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Before Greece and Rome

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Near East and Egypt • Earliest to evolve complex and durable governing structures o City-state: permanent settlement controlling surrounding territory o Empire: artificial unification of multiple territories under single government • Cultural achievements o Economics: specialization, trade o Records: monuments (statues, murals); literacy (Sumer 3400, Egypt 3100) o Arts & Sciences: most early advances Evidence for influence of Near East and Egypt on European cultures • Literature: themes, genres, characters, stories o Ex: flood stories in Gilgamesh (ca. 2500 BCE) and Hebrew Bible • Material o Technology: crops and domestic animals, metallurgy, shipping o Art, music: media, techniques, motifs o Architecture: mathematics, techniques, designs Major Points of contact: Cyprus, Crete, Sicily; Greek trading outposts (emporia) c7000 BCE: Cetal Huyuk: representatives of early towns (5-10,000 population) 3500: • Sumerian city-states: begin exploiting irrigation agriculture • Earliest large cities: uruk, Elam, Ur (50,000 by 2900), etc • Semi-stable monarchy: priest-kings (combine religious & governing functions) • Literacy: response to complexity of society (3400) 2350: • Akkadians: idea of empire

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Sargon: semi-legendary, heroic founder-figure Syncretism o Literacy: Sumerian retained as “sacred language” (compare Latin, Sanskrit) o Religion: fusion of Akkadian and Sumerian rituals and cults Babylonians o Further develop Sumero-Akkadian culture (poetry, music; law) o Hammurabi: another semi-legendary founder figure (his “Code”) probably first Mesopotamian culture encountered by

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the Greeks 1250 BCE: Assyrians • syncretism: Gilgamesh epic; god “Assur” in Sumero-AkkadoBabylonian myth • first NE empire to infringe on Greeks (Cyprus) • probably employ Greek mercenaries 1000: Neo-Babylonian Empire • reputation for wealth and extravagance (hanging gardens, ishtar Gate) • probably employ Greek mercenaries 600: Persian Empire • control Greek cities in Ionia (west coast of Asia Minor) • failed attempt to bring Greece into empire • conquered by Alexander the Great (334 BCE) Ancient Egyptian Civilization Nile culture: role of geography in shaping civilization 5000 BCE (earlier?): Neolithic technology reaches Egypt 3500: early city-states (literacy ca. 3100) 3000-2200: archaic period-old kingdom: • union of upper and lower kingdoms • 2200-2000: 1st intermediate period: separation of kingdoms

2000-1786: middle kingdom: reunification and extension of territory • 1786-1567: 2nd intermediate period (Hyksos invasion) 1567-1069: • new kingdom: apex of Egyptian culture (valleys of Kings) period Greeks first encounter Egyptians • ~1050: invasions of “sea peoples” (late bronze age upheaval) cultural contact: methodological issues • parallel developments vs. influences; • direct & indirect influence bronze age (c2000-1100 BCE) • technologies: metallurgy, sailing, etc • idea of cities: organization, architecture, literacy post-bronze age (c800 BCE on) • role of traveling craftsmen, mercenaries o evidence of loan-words (trade, construction terms) • art, architecture; gods: divine family, succession (NE anu-ea-marduk: Greek ouranos-kronoszeus) • dying and reviving god (Egyptian osiris: Greek dionysos, Persephone) sacred spaces: hilltops sanctuaries: monumental temples practices: • divination and prophecy o birds: flight patterns; species (crow on left unlucky) o dreams (symbolic interpretation) o animals entrails 9hepatoscopy) • sacrifice (victims; ritual) • festival (athletics; calendar) myth

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explanatory o ex: sun gods in underworld at night theological o ex: gods destroy humans with flood

05/09/2007 12:57:00

05/09/2007 12:57:00