World History Part I

In human history, it’s important to study world history and the history occurring now in 2011. The reasons are lessons can be learned from the past, discovering the past can inspire culture development, and seeing our ancestors can motivate us to live into possible higher heights of constructive civilization. So, this is why I’ve written this precise article on world history. I’ve decided to write many more related articles in the future from prehistoric times to 2011 or 2012. To understand world history, you have to understand art & architecture, language, governmental structure, dwellings or locations, religion or spirituality, and other cultural aspects of a fundamental civilization. The reason is that civilization has the rise of cities, organized government, complex religion, job specialization, social classes, art & architecture, some form of writing or linguistics, and public works.

African history is interesting and fun to know about. The past is not only a reminder of what we were, but it can be utilized as a method of forming of better present and future. As time goes on, many things stay the same. African history is world history since all of modern humanity has their origin from the motherland of Africa. I am an African too. I just happen to be born in America, but my black ancestors originated from Africa. So, if you’re a human being, you must learn about Africa beyond simple comprehension of wordplay. You have to understand the culture, history, language, geography, and a wide spectrum of social dispositions that adequately and eloquently found in the beautiful location of Africa. From the Pyramids to Presidents is a great reminder of the strength of black people. Black people are strong in the past, in the present, and will be strong in the future. That’s the truth. Even before ancient Egypt, ancient Nubia was a great civilization with a government, language, irrigation systems, religious structure, a potent empire, and filled of intelligent, strong black men including intelligent, strong black women. The Nubians ruled the Kingdom of Kush famous. They existed again even before the ancient Egyptians were an Empire. Back in the 7,000’s B.C, the people in Sudan had a Neolithic (or the New Stone Age) has a sedentary way of life. There were mud brick villages and hunting, plus fishing on the Nile. There was grain gathering and cattle herding. The Sahara was drying in this time, so Neolithic peoples traveled into the Nile Valley to develop agriculture, etc. In fact, both the ancient Egyptians and the ancient Nubians traded with each other. Also, the ancient Egyptians adopted a lot of the culture form the Kushites as well. Both civilizations were based on the Nile River for transport, trade, agricultural development, the growth of cities, and a wide spectrum of reasons. Both civilizations made pyramids too, which occurred before the pyramids found in China, Peru, Mexico, Indonesia, etc. Black people live in both nations as well, so we who are black are the first in civilization and the first in human existence indeed. Now, ancient Nubia had city capitols like Kerma, Napata, and of course Meroe. Ancient Egypt made strong accomplishments in medicine, astronomy, mathematics, literature and the arts, paintings plus sculpture, etc. The ancient Egyptians have had the black ink, paper, ox-drawn plows, organized labor, boat sails, and made the hieroglyphics. There was river culture in the Niger and Congo rivers as well. The Meroitic script was an alphabet

system as well. One Queen Candace of Ethiopia held off Alexander in battle and prevented the conquest her empire. The Roman Empire was repealed by the Black Queen (or Candace) Amanirenas.

The civilizations in Mesopotamia or the Fertile Crescent surrounds the modern day Middle East from Kuwait, Iraq, to Israel. Mesopotamia is nicknamed as “The Cradle of Civilization.” This area is in southwest Asia. The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers are found in this region as well. The Mediterranean Sea is near the Fertile Crescent as well. Egypt is to the west of the Fertile Crescent with the Nile River and various fertile locations. The Fertile Crescent is filled with fertile farmland, trees, and urban locations not just rural places. The Euphrates River was near the places of Ur, Nippur, and Babylon. The Tigris River housed the city of Nineveh and Susa was next to the rivers in Elam. These rivers were key locations for the purposes of trade, transportation, religious actions, agriculture, and a myriad of activities. Permanent settlements came about in the river valley in the Fertile Crescent by the Neolithic Age (or the New Stone Age) in ca. 4,000 B.C. River valleys were used for crops because the soil was rich and it protected people from invasion from other nomadic peoples. Nomadic describes people who travel in search of food. The famous civilizations in the Fertile Crescent are plenty like Sumer, Babylon, Assyria, Israel, Persia, Elam, Aram, and others. Mesopotamian civilization deal with agriculture, the building of temples called ziggurats, trade and commerce, and slaves were cut of their hair. Slaves were in the bottom of the class system. They used labor with metal, metal weapons, and used irrigation methods to create more food in a surplus. They had the wheel plow and of course the Sumerians invented the model day wheel. Sumerians used cuneiform as a means to write information. Scribes existed in Sumerian and Sumerians were polytheistic by worshipping many gods.

Mesopotamia had some of the first modern city states, kingdoms, and Empire. Babylonia was famous for the Code of Hammurabi (or a law that Hammurabi supported in Babylonian. Centralized governments existed in the region with priests as its rulers first). The Hammurabi code from ca. 1700 B.C. called for a harsh eye for an eye policy in dealing with disputes or crimes. Massive trade existed in the region, it was a crossroads for migration of peoples, and it topography might of caused invasions to occur. Flood control technology existed and flooding made rich soils vital for agriculture. Sumeria came before Akkadians (or a more Semitic people). Kish, Nippur, Lagash, Uruk, Eridu, and of course Ur were major cities in Sumeria. Sumerians believed in a more negative afterlife. Sumer was famous for cuneiform and ziggurats as well. After Akkad, the Babylonian Empire came in the 1800’s B.C. and the Assyrian Empire reached its peak in ca. 650 B.C. The Babylonians developed the Hanging Gardens in Babylon. The gardens were created by Nebuchadnezzar. They develop math (like algebra, geometry), astronomy, and formed a basic calendar. They had literature like the epic poem called “The Epic of Gilgamesh” from Babylon.

Ancient India is known very readily by the Indus Valley civilization. In that time, the Hindus Kush Mountains, the Indus River, the Ganges River, the Bengal Ocean, and the Indian Ocean were geographic points where civilization flourished during ancient times. The Dravidians made their civilization in ancient India. Today, the descendants of the Dravidians live mostly in the southern part of India.

Hinduism has had a long history in ancient India. It came about in 1500 B.C. It was a mixture of the Aryan religion and the indigenous Indus Valley civilization’s religion (that focused on nature gods). Their books deal with the Vedas and the Upanishads. Their Bhagavad Gita deals with ethics or moral lessons. Hinduism’s symbol is the Aum symbol. Hinduism is polytheistic, but they worship Brahmin as the Supreme God. Brahman is pantheist or viewing Brahmin as a part of all living things. To Hindus, one goal in life is for man to reach unity with Brahmin. Brahmin has its manifestations of Vishnu and Shiva. Vishnu refers to preserving the Earth and Shiva is the god of destruction (or recycling the path of birth, life, death, and reincarnation). Reincarnation is when the soul is transferred from a human to other human or even animals depending on karma. Karma is the concept of the sum total of your decisions that you make in your life. Dharma in Hinduism is the work that you do in this life. The dharma is determined by personality, age, sex, and social class. Dharma promotes harmony and people to leave the wheel of fate. So, you dharma determines your karma. If you karma is bad, you could reincarnate into a lower class, if you karma is more positive then you can ascend into a higher class. There are castes or classes in Hinduism. The atman in Hinduism refers to the soul or one’s essential self. The gods in Hinduism can take human or animal form. The moksha is the union with Brahman to be released from samsara (or the process of reincarnation). Hinduism also believes in ahimsa or nonviolence. *Buddhism in a way was a reaction to Hinduism since Hinduism back then was rigid and used a discriminatory caste system. Hinduism has no real founder since it was developed in a gradual fashion. Yet, Buddhism’s founder is named Siddhartha Gautama in ca. 566 B.C. Gautama was a prince in a warrior family. He was living in an enclosed environment and he wanted to find the deeper meaning in life. A soothsayer said that he would be a wandering holy man. He saw a poor man and destructive events that caused him to re-evaluate the priorities in his life. He mediated for 48 days in order to develop his life. He became the Buddha or the enlightened one. So, he

developed the Four Noble Truths as a means to permit his philosophy. It details that life is about suffering and that humans want use the eightfold path to overcome desire. The desire for life or riches is illusions according to Buddhists. The Eightfold Path deals with behavioral changes like the right views, the right aspirations, the right speech, the right conduct, the right livelihood, the right effort, the right mindfulness, and the right contemplation. Buddha taught many teachings on morality.

Ancient Chinese has one of the most interesting parts of human history in general. I’ve known numerous people of Chinese descent in real life that are sweet, nice, understanding, and tolerant. In ancient China during the Neolithic age (or the new stone age), the Xia civilization existed. The Xia dynasty isn’t discussed a lot, because even now, not much is known about it. In ancient China, there are numerous clans. A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship or descent. That means that a clan is group of people presumed to be related to each other. China geographically has the loess plateau. It’s called the Huangtu plateau found in the upper and middle of China’s Yellow River. The significance of loess is that is that the region loess is found is the most erodible soil on Earth. It covers most of the Shanxi and Gansu provinces. Loess is a sediment that created by wind blown silt. The loess can promote shelter in the cold winter and summer. In ancient times, the loess was fertile to build civilizations though. Ancient China had feudalism. Feudalism is when society is run by controlling land in a fashion (that rewards people who does work). The first civilization in China that gets a lot of attention is called the Shang Dynasty that lasted from 1766 B.C. to 1122 B.C. The Zhou, Qin, and Han Dynasty came after the Shang Dynasty. Zhou lasted from 1122 256 B.C., the Qin Dynasty lasted from 221 B.C. to 206 B.C., and the Han Dynasty lasted from 202 B.C. to 220 A.D. The Shang Dynasty was located in the northeastern part of China in the Yellow River. The Yellow River and the Yangtze River were key places where crops grow, cities were organized, and trade flourished. Turtle shells show bears glyphs which bear the first recorded Chinese characters. Shang capitals have been called the ruins of Yin. It is said in Chinese tradition that Shang was created after the rebel King Tang of Shange overthrew the last Xia ruler in the Battle of Mingtiao. The royal palace of Yinxu had tombs of royals. Also, Shang is marked by ancestor worship or the worship of your dead ancestors (according

to them can give people inspiration or strength to move forward in life). The Shang people fought nomadic herdsmen and other tribes trying to come into their territory. Shang rulers ruled in religious ceremonies. Their high god Di was responsible for the rain, wind, and thunder. Bronze and jail objects plus pottery is found in the Shang civilization. Horse drawn chariots were found in the Shang dynasty as well. In astronomy, the Shang Dynasty produced the calendar on the cycle of the moon. The calendar of the Shang Dynasty was differentiated into big and small months, and it regulated that 366 days formed a cycle. Besides, in the 'inscriptions on oracle bones' of the Shang Dynasty, there are many records about solar eclipse, lunar eclipse and nova. In mathematics, there are big numbers up to thirty thousand and specific conceptions about decimal system, odd numbers, even numbers and multiple numbers, according to the 'inscriptions on oracle bones'. It indicates that people of that time had preliminary capability of calculating. Additionally, optics knowledge was also used then. The excavated convex mirror of the Shang Dynasty can mirror the whole face of a person completely. Shang was a bronze age advanced civilization. The Shang dynasty used oracle bones. Oracle bones were from ox or a turtle that were used for divination (or the process of using the occult by some in claiming to see the future or gain insight). The bone has Chinese characters. And the bone is heated, then it cracked to do divination. Monopolies in ancient China deals with one corporation running the entire market or most of it in an usual hardcore fashion.

Zhou came after Shang of course. Zhou saw the introduction of iron in China. According to Chinese tradition, Wen’s son (named King Wu of Zhou) led an army of 45,000 men and 300 chariots across the Yellow River in 1046 B.C. King Wu then conquered the Shang Dynasty’s King Di Zin in the Battle of Muye. This was the beginning of the Zhou Dynasty. Zhou saw the Mandate of Heaven (which runs in contrast to Shang’s divine rule of the kings). The Zhou leaders used a feudal system in order to maintain Zhou authority over a large area of territory. *Now, the Mandate of Heaven is a philosophy. It teaches that rule is from divine power, but

it is predicated on the conduct of the ruler in heaven. In other words, Heaven (or Tian) would bless the rule of a just ruler, but will be angry with despotic (or tyrannical) ruler and would withdraw its mandate (that will lead into the overthrow of that ruler). So, the Mandate of Heaven wants the best ruler to rule an area. This concept is a part of Chinese culture. It’s used to curtail incompetent or corrupt ruler. It abhors the abuse of power.

The period of 476 D.C. to 221 B.C. was the time of warring states. This was when different factions in China wanted to compete for you know power and influence. During the period of warring states, metal coinage was widespread. There were hundreds of schools of thought. Legalists were active. There were crossbows, writing brushes, and chopsticks were used. Ming Zi and Zhuang Zi were in power in this time. The Qin Dynasty came about from 221 to 206 B.C. The Qin Dynasty conquered all of the warring states. Qin Shi Huangdi (or Shi Huangdi ) was the first Emperor from the Qin dynasty to rule China as a centralized unified state. He linked existing walls to form the Great Wall of China. He did a lot of policies in improving Chinese infrastructure like: having a standardized coinage, weights and measures, script and width of cart tracks, and Confucian ideas were spreading in this time. The Han Dynasty came from 206 B.C. to 220 A.D. The magnetic spoon was used for divination. Civil service exams began and the Silk Road to the West was opened up. Eastern Han invented paper (from 24 B.C. to 220 A.D.). Buddhism comes into China as well. Zhang Heng (78-139) invented the seismograph and calculated pi in 5 decimal places. Hua Tuo (150-200) developed acupuncture and moxibustion. Emperor Wu is a famous Emperor of the Han Dynasty. During his time, he made territorial expansion (or using force to expand his land or territory to gain power). Wudi centralized China. Wudi lead his empire to Kyrgyzstan, Korea, northern Vietnam, etc. We repelled the Xiongnu. Emperor Wudi promoted Confucian thought. Laozi promoted Chinese philosophies as well. He is considered the founder of Taoism.

Confucius promoted filial piety. Filial piety is the Confucian view that you have to respect your parents and ancestors as a key part of daily living among people. China has many more dynasties after the Han Dynasty.

There was the Three Kingdoms system in China. They are the Wei, Shu, and the Wu. Each Kingdom was headed by an Emperor that claimed to be a legitimate succession from the Han Dynasty. This period lasted from 220-280 A.D. In many dynasties, changes, there is a peasant revolt, civil war, and other bad events that come up. Wei conquered the Shu in 263 A.D; there is the overthrow of Wei by the Jin Dynasty in 265 A.D., and the destruction of Wu by Jin (from 280 A.D.). The Three Kingdoms period was one of the bloodiest in Chinese history. The Eastern Han Dynasty had about 50 million people. During the early Western Jin Dynasty, there was a report of only ca. 16 million people. The figures of Jin may be suspect, because of Jin’s census being less complete. During this 3 Kingdoms period, technology advanced significantly. Shu chancellor Zhuge Liang invented the wooden ox. The wooden ox was suggested to be an early form of the wheelbarrow. Liang also improved on the repeating crossbow. Wei mechanical engineer Ma Jun (considered to be the equal of Zhang Heng) made a hydraulic powered mechanical puppet theatre designed for Emperor Ming of Wei, square chain pumps for irrigation of gardens in Luoygang, and the design of the South Pointing Chariot. This chariot is a non-magnetic directional compass operated by differential gears. The Emperor He from the Eastern Han Dynasty experienced depressed and the 3 Kingdoms came about to rule in China. The 3 Kingdoms focused on 3 regional markets and the Grand Canal (this merged the Yangtze River to the Yellow River). Other dynasties came about in Chian like the Jin Dynasty, Sui Dynasty, the Song Dynasty, etc.

The Sui, Tang, and Song dynasties of China represented a huge development in ancient Chinese history. Many of those dynasties (rulers based on bloodlines) extended the improvements made by the Han dynasty. After the disunity and chaos of the 'three kingdoms' period General Yang Chien rose to power and reunited China under Emperor Weng, the first emperor of the Sui dynasty. The Sui dynasty lasted from 580 AD to 618.

Weng wanted to light the burden of the Chinese peasants, so he made reforms like the elimination of the harsh parts of the penal code. He made a census to find populations and he lightened the military service requirements. The 2nd Sui Emperor Sui Emperor Yant Ti made an exam programs to gain more people as officials. Under Yang Ti, the Imperial or Grand Canal was built that connected the Yangtze and Huang He rivers together. He made or conscripted 2 million workers to finish the project. The regime was oppressive like taxing people in advance of years. This caused states and peasants rising and an army coup. One of the successful rebel army officers, Li Shih Min installed his father as emperor, founding the Tang dynasty. After ten years eliminating his rivals Li Shih Min forced his father to abdicate and took the throne himself as the emperor T'ai Tsung. The Tangs had one female Empress named Empress Wu (683-705 A.D.). During this dynasty, poetry and painting was much more abundant. Buddhism spread more rapidly into China. Sculpture and other inventions grew. There were the wars later in the end of Tang that lead to the Song dynasty under General Kuang Yin. The Northern and Southern Song dynasties caused them to expand their lands. They forces places to have tribute or bribes to nations in order for them to not subsequently invade those nations. The Northern Song dynasty was defeated by the Jurchen invading tribes. These tribes formed the Ch’in Empire. Tons of inventions came in the Southern Song dynasty like: • • • • • saltpeter, gunpowder, fireworks, printing porcelain

Under the Song, Confucianism was dogmatized with an achievement of a state wide moral code. Confucianism became more cohesive under the Song dynasty.
The Mongols invaded China and caused many changed to ancient China. Chinese scholars criticized harshly Mongols for their destructive acts on people and their damage to the mainstream th life of ancient China. A Persian historian from the 13 century said the Mongol caused the lands to be desolate and regions were like a desert. It is true that the Mongols lead a brutal conquest of China, Asia, and as part east as Europe plus the Middle East. North China was damaged heavily by the invasions. The civil service (or one of ancient China’s famous institutions) was eliminated by the Mongols. The ban remained until 1315. There was no long the officialdom for the Yuan Dynasty. This dynasty was the Mongols were founded in 1271 A.D. China was to the Mongols as one part of their huge empire. They made the Chinese to have a social structure that made the Mongols in the top, the non-Han in the next level (or being mostly from the Islamic population that was brought to China by the Mongols to help rule them), the Northern Chinese, and the Southern Chinese. The Confucian scholars weren’t in top positions of the ruling Mongol government, because the Mongols didn’t trust a different path for China that wasn’t pro-Mongol. Kublai Khan ruled China. He restored rituals at court that dealt with Confucian ideology, music, rituals, etc. He supported ancestor worship. He gave his son Jin Chin a Chinese style education that included the teachings of Buddhism and Confucianism. The Mongols supported the peasants since the peasants were key in the Chinese economy. They united the peasants to promote a rural cooperative to increase agricultural resources in ancient China. Censuses were done in the cooperatives. Some peasants didn’t like the Mongols public works projects in China since huge labor was required by the peasants (like the extension of the Grand Canal to Beijing). Artisans were treated with benefits in China. Cultural exchange from China to Persia existed in the Mongol rule. Many Muslims were inspired to come into China to build upon studies of astronomy, medicine, etc.

The Ming Dynasty is one of the most famous Dynasties in China. It lasted from 1368 to 1644. The Ming Dynasty had orderly government and social stability. During the Ming era, China had a large th navy and a standing army of about one million troops. The admiral Zheng He in the 15 century made a tributary fleet that traveled all over Asia, India, and even Africa to the Atlantic Ocean. During this time, the restoration of the Grand Canal and the Great Wall of China came about (including the creation of the Forbidden City in Beijing during the first quarter of the 1400’s). Ming had from 160 to 200 million people. Emperor Hongwu (who ruled from 1368 to 1398) wanted a self sufficient rural community in a rigid system. The Emperor didn’t focus on urban life. In the 1500’s, the Ming traded with Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, Japan, etc. in this Columbian Exchange (or trade among the Old World and the New World. It’s like the Old World and the New World exchanged with each other horse, corn or maize, coffee, etc.). Crop failure, natural calamities, epidemics, and the Little Ice Age (harming crops) caused the Ming Dynasty to suffer economic troubles. The Qing Dynasty came about the Ming Dynasty ended.

The civilizations of the Americas have existed from prehistoric times. The Native Americans are the first people in the Americas. They or the Native Americans traveled from Siberia or Asia into the North American continent. To get a picture of the origin of the inhabitants of the Americas, you have to learn about the Ice Age. The Ice Age covered the northern portion of the globe with ice. The Ice Age influenced the climate, temperature, fluana, and flora of the Earth. This large Ice Age lasted from 100,000 to about 10,000 years ago. Between 12,000 and 10,000 years ago, people first arrived into the Americas. The Ice caused a land bridge between Siberia and North America. The reason is that water froze into thick ice sheets, the sea level dropped, and these events formed the land bridge between 2 continents. This bridge is called the Bering Strait. By the time of 10,000 B.C., the Earth’s climate warmed and the land bridge was covered with water. The Native Americans are genetically related to the Asian people groups. Advanced civilizations existed in the Ancient Americas like:

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Olmecs Mayans Aztecs, and Incas of course.

Even British diplomat and lawyer John Lloyd Stephens marveled at the Mayan civilization. He looked at the first Maya city to be re-discovered in the modern era named Palenque. He talked about the Mayans’ great skills in arts, they had great power, and he gazed at the walls from the Mayan civilization. A burial mask of Pakal or the ruler of Palenque is known. The Incas made golden images of the llama, which is an animal from South America. People discovered the ancient Mayan site of Bonampak. This site had murals of warriors and nobles. Some musicians are shown

performing music at a large celebration too. Even the Inuit peoples had snow goggles. The region between North and South America (or in Mexico and Central America) is called Mesoamerica. Meso- is a Greek prefix meaning middle. The diverse climates of the Americas influenced the development of ancient civilizations. For example, the Inuits used fur covered clothing to adjust to the cold climate. In the Neolithic period, the ancient Americas created farms and villages. Some in Mesoamerica (in the Neolithic era from 8500 B.C. to 2000 B.C.) cultivated crops like beans, sweet potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, squash, and maize. Maize is corn. Villages soon evolved into the great cities of the Americas. Throughout human history, humans formed cities from the ancient villages. The first major, large civilization in the Americas was called the Olmec culture The Olmecs lived in the tropical forest inside of the Gulf Coast of Mexico. It lasted from 1500 B.C. to 400 B.C. Temples and advanced art were a large part of the Olmec civilization. Stone is commonly used in Olmec architecture and art. Colossal Olmec heads (some are 40 tons in weight) are found in ceremonial places like in San Lorenzo and La Vente. People don’t know too much about this civilization. We do know that the Olmec performed trade. They made a calendar and they created a hieroglyphic writing in stone. There are images of jaguars and serpent decorations in many Olmec carvings. The Mayan civilization was heavily influenced by the Olmec civilization. They Mayan culture spread grealty from ca. 300 A.D. City states formed during the Classic period or the peak of the Mayan civilization. These city states were all over the Yucatan Peninsulas in southern Mexico and some parts of Central America. Agriculture and farming grew via the clearing of forests (and this clearing of lands was a tactic formulate in order for individuals to create crops). Maize was grown to support new cities. Astronomy and mathematics were key parts of the Mayans. They Mayans knew about the concept of zero and formed a 365 day accurate solar calendar. They had a 260 day ritual calendar as well.

Ancient Greece has had a long history. Ancient Greece is the first high level modern ancient civilization in Europe. It was founded by the Minoans and ironically they weren’t even from Greece. Religion is a huge part of Greco-Roman culture. There were gods and goddesses. The ancient Greeks view these gods and goddesses as super human and immortal. The Greeks in their mythologies believed that these gods resided in Mt. Olympus in Greece. Ancient Greece had its people claiming that it was a humanistic society, but that wasn’t always the case. The gods in ancient Greek mythology intervened in human affairs throughout time. The 12 Olympian gods and goddesses were ruled by Zeus. Zeus is the god of thunder and the sky. Zeus is shown as physically strong. The Greek god Poseidon is the god of the seas representing life to ancient Greeks since the sea is in constant change. To them it is a life force, since ancient Greek society so relied on the water for food, transportation, trade, colony building, and other endeavors. Athena is of course the goddess of wisdom. This relates to using thinking about topics. It represents the humanistic quality of learning in their Greek religion. Aphrodite is of course the goddess of beauty, passion, and any feelings or emotions. To the Greeks, you must be highly fit, loving, and intelligence to seek perfection in everything you do to participate all of the time in life. This relates to human nature since many humans have that ego to try to be the best (even at the expense of pro-eugenics rhetoric that some ancient Greeks have done).

The Etruscans were a non Indo-European people, who were pre-Roman. They influenced the Roman civilization in many ways. When you look at ancient images of the Etruscans, many have light, olive, and some have dark skin complexion. That’s interesting to say the least. They possessed great artwork from fine gold jewelry to the bronze statues. They laid the foundation for the city of Rome. The Etruscans had their own alphabet and writing system to. The origin of the Etruscans isn’t totally known. They have had relationship with the Sea Peoples form the time of Ramses III (1200-1166 B.C.). The Etruscans referred to themselves as Rasenna, but to the Romans and Greeks they were Etrusci, Tusci, Tyrrheni, or Tyrseni. The modern Etruscans increased their civilization great around in Italy in ca. 800 B.C. Recent studies from across the world claim that the Etruscans are related to people from Anatolia (or the Turkey peninsula) and the Near East. To the modern Italians they are still Etrusci and the name of the Etruscan Sea is still the Tyrrhenian, after perhaps 3,000 years. The Etruscans called themselves Rasenna. The Etruscan arch design has influenced the Roman civilization too. The Etruscans were warlike and fought with each other. Yet, they formed 12 major cities near the sea. They made a complex, advanced civilization. The Etruscans had a somewhat equality with males and females since the men were busy in warfare in many cases. They had the 2 classes of the aristocrats or the rich landowners and the non-aristocrats. Ancient civilizations have had classes like: • • • • priests, merchants, nobles, workers,

• peasants, etc. The Etruscans worshipped Nature. The ancestors of the Romans were the Indo-European tribes of the Latins, Sabines, etc. Some of them invaded and took over the territory of the Etruscans. The Etruscans had land improvement in the form of hydrology and hydraulics to build land drainage activities. Even parts of the city of ancient Rome were developed on the foundation of the Etruscan civilization. The Etruscans have had huge influence in ancient Rome until the Romans sacked Veii in 396 B.C.


Korea and Japan are some of the most beautiful places on Earth (other than Africa of course). There are rivers, great pagodas, and other locations. Korea is near China and across the Sea of Japan. Korea is a peninsula or a land surrounded on three sides by water. It’s very mountainous, so that is why people live along west coast mostly where there is lower lying areas. Fishing is important over there since it has 5,400 miles of coastline. The Yalu is a major river border of China. China influenced Korean culture. It was once a tributary state of the Chinese. A tributary state is when a country with more political/military power (like China) will allow a weaker nation politically/militarily (like Korea) to not be invaded if they pay a tribute (or tax) to the stronger nation. It’s an ancient form of bribery or extortion to a stronger nation. Korea is a cultural bridge between China and Japan. Korea had 2 separate kingdoms between 300-600 A.D. Their names were Shilla, Paekche, and Kaya. Korea was united and ruled by 3 Dynasties form 668-1910 A.D. Korea has a strong central government. Only the nobility and aristocracy could take the civil service examinations and work for the government. In ancient Chinese, the poor folks can take it, but mostly rich folks passed it because of the resources. Celadon was their ancient pottery.

Japan is of course and island to the direct east of China and Korea. In fact, Japan is made up of a chain of islands called an archipelago. There are thousands of islands in Japan, but the 4 main ones are the Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku, and Kyushu. There are plenty of mountains in

the place, so most people live on the coasts. Rain occurs in Japan, there is a protection from the sea, trade is huge in Japan, and the climate is mild. Yet, natural disasters are common in Japan like earthquakes, volcanoes, and Tsunami tidal waves. The ring of fire is near Japan. The ring is regions on Earth were volcanoes and earthquakes are very common in the Pacific Ocean basin. This ring is of course near tectonic Plates. Mt. Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan (surrounded by 5 lakes). China influenced Japanese history via Korea. Japan in ancient times had clans or uji. Yamato united these clans by 500 A.D. by the Yamato clan (they believed that they were descendants of the sun goddess, so their rising is the symbol of Japanese emperors) to develop its first dynasty. In rural areas, Japanese emperors didn’t have much power. The emperors were viewed as gods. There were no civil service examinations, but you had to be a noble to get a government job. Shintoism (meaning the way of the gods) is the Japanese state religion until 1945. This religion believed that person must go through level to find spiritual truth or enlightenment (as similar to many pagan mystery religions). Shintoism deals with: -nature spirits or kami - the worship of the emperor, and -ancestor worship. The Japanese borrowed many Chinese cultural parts like: pagoda architecture, the Chinese system of writing, food, tea, music, dances, gardens, Buddhism/Shintoism, Confucianism, etc. Many Japanese students were sent to China to study information. Buddhism greatly spreads from 500 B.C. to 600 A.D. into India, Afghanistan, China, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Korea, and Japan. Haiku is a system of art that Japanese people used to express emotions and feelings of Japanese poets. They are made of 3 lines verses. Some of the Haiku poems describe issues of Nature. The Japanese alphabet is called the Hiragana and there is the katakana alphabet. The Mongols failed to invade Japan. Japan invaded China and ruled it for a while during WWII. Feudalism is common in ancient Japan with the Shogun on top. There is the samurai following their way of the warrior or the Bushido (Some kill themselves by the Seppuku act).

*Don’t Worry since a lot of extra information will be subsequently presented here.

By Timothy

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