File - GHS World Civ

2600 B.C. – A.D. 550
• The Indus Valley is located in
the region known as South
Asia, or the Indian
• Subcontinent: is a large
landmass that juts out from a
• Today the Indian
subcontinent includes: India,
Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri
Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan
• The Indian subcontinent is divided into
three major zones
The fertile Gangetic Plain in the north (lies just
south of the Himalayas). This fertile region is made
so by the Indus River, the Ganges River, and the
Brahmaputra River; their tributaries carry melting
snow from the mountains to the plains making
agriculture possible.
The dry Deccan plateau: arid, agriculturally
unproductive, and sparsely populated
Coastal plains on either side of the Deccan: use
the seas for fishing and “highways” for trade.
• Monsoons are a defining feature of line in the Indian subcontinent. They are seasonal winds that
regularly blow from a certain direction for part of the year.
• In October: winter monsoons blow from the northeast, bringing hot, dry air that withers
• In mid-June: summer monsoons blow from the southwest, they pick up moisture over the
Indian Ocean and drench the land with downpours.
• Rains are desperately needed to water the crops; if the rains are late…famine and
starvation may occur…however, if the rains are too heavy…rushing rivers will unleash
deadly floods.
• About 2600 B.C. the earliest south Asian civilization emerged in the Indus
River valley (present day Pakistan)
• Archaeologist believe that at least five large cities may have been
prominent during the course of the civilizations history.
• Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro are considered possible twin capitals of the
civilization or cities that ruled the area one after the other.
• Both cities were laid out in an organized pattern; most housed were built with
baked clay bricks of a standard size; houses had complex plumbing systems
with baths, drains, and water chutes that led into sewers beneath the streets;
merchants used a uniform system of weights and measures…all of these
things have made archaeologists conclude that the Indus cities had a wellorganized government.
• Most people living in the Indus civilization were farmers; they grew: wheat,
barley, melons, and dates. They may have been the first people to cultivate
cotton and weave its fibers into cloth.
• Some people were merchants and traders; their ships carried cargo of
cotton cloth, grain, copper, pearls, and ivory combs to distant lands like
• It is believed that the Indus people were polytheistic. They also seem to have
viewed certain animals as sacred, including the buffalo and the bull. Some
scholars think these early practices influenced later Indian beliefs, especially
the veneration of (special regard for) cattle.
• By 1900 B.C. the Indus Valley civilization was declining. Scholars do not know
for sure what happened to the civilization. Some theories: invasions, damage
to the local environment (too many trees were cut down to fuel the ovens of
brick layers), major flood of the rivers, or a devastating earthquake, or
maybe a combination of events brought an end to Indus civilization.
2000 B.C. – 500 B.C.
Nomads who migrated across Europe and
• Spoke Indo-European languages.
• Intermarried with local peoples to form a group
who called themselves Aryans.
• Through acculturation: blending of two or
more cultures, the Aryans combined the culture and
traditions of the nomads with those of earlier Indian
Most of what we know about the Aryans comes
from the Vedas (collection of hymns, chants, ritual
instructions, and other religious teachings.
Aryan priests memorized and recited the Vedas
for a thousand years before they ever wrote down
these sacred teachings….therefore the period
from 1500 B.C. to 500 B.C. is often called the Vedic
In the Vedas, the Aryans
appear as warriors who
fought in chariots with
bows and arrows.
They loved food, drink,
music, and chariot races,
and dice games
They valued cattle, which
provided them with food
and clothing
Later, when they became
settled farmers, they
continued to measure their
wealth in cows and bulls.
• Gradually gave up nomadic ways and settled into
villages to cultivate crops and breed cattle.
• They spread eastward to colonize the heavily forested
Ganges basin.
• By 800 B.C. they learned to make tools out of iron.
• Rajahs led Aryan tribes (chiefs)
• Typically, Rajahs were the most skilled war leader and
were elected by an assembly of warriors.
• Had a council of elders made up of the heads of families
to advise him.
• They often fought with one another to control trade and
territory across the Gangetic Plain.
• Aryans divided their society into ranked groups based on occupation.
(kuh SHAT ree yuhz)
(VYS yuz)
• The lowest social group were
the dalits (DAH lits) or
untouchables; this group
was considered outside of
the caste system. They did
work that others wouldn’t
do. Ex: making leather from
animal skins, digging graves,
or cleaning streets
• Polytheistic: worshiped gods and goddesses who embodied natural forces
such as sky, sun, storm, and fire.
Indra: God of War
Weapon: Thunderbolt
Varuna: God of Order
and Creation
Agni: God of Fire and
messenger who communicated
human wishes to the gods
Aryans also honored animal deities such as monkey and snake gods
Hanuman: is a
Hindu god, who
was an ardent
devotee of Rama
according to the
Hindu legends.
participated in
Rama's war against
the demon king
Ravana. Several
texts also present
him as an
incarnation of Lord
Snake gods,
when happy,
were believed to
bring sufficient
rains, prevent
water fountains
from draught,
cure disease and
guard treasures.
• Brahmins offered sacrifices of food and
drink to the gods; through proper rituals
and prayers they believed they could call
on the gods for health, wealth, and victory
at war.
• As the lives of the Aryans changed so did
their beliefs….some religious thinkers
started moving toward the notion of
brahman, a single spiritual power that
existed beyond the many gods of the
Vedas and that resided in all things.
• There was also a move toward mysticism:
Mystics are people who seek direct
communion with divine forces. They
practiced meditation and yoga.
Mahabharata (muh hah BAH rah tuh): India’s greatest
epic. A story about five royal brothers, the Pandavas, lose their
kingdom to their cousins and after 18 days of battle the
Pandavas regain their kingdom and restore peace to India.
Ramayana (rah MAH yuh nuh):
this story
recounts the fantastic deeds of the daring hero Rana and his
beautiful bride Sita. Sita is kidnapped by the demon-king
Ravana. The story tells how Rama rescues Sita with the aid of
the monkey general Hanuman.
Thousands of years ago…two major religions emerged in ancient India
• Has no single founder
• Has no single sacred text
• It grew out of the overlapping beliefs of
the diverse groups who settled India
• Started with the Aryans adding the gods
of the Indus civilization to their own; later
people brought other gods, beliefs, and
• As a result, Hinduism became one of the
world’s most complex religions, with
countless gods and goddesses and many
forms of worship existing side by
side…although all Hindus share certain
basic beliefs.
• Everything is part of the unchanging, all-powerful spiritual force called BRAHMAN
• Worship a variety of gods who give concrete form to brahman
• The most important Hindu gods are Brahma, the Creator; Vishnu, the Preserver; and
Shiva, the Destroyer. Each can take many forms, human or animal, to represent the
various aspects of brahman with which he is associated
• Some Hindus worship various forms of the powerful goddess Shakti. She is both kind
and cruel, a creator and a destroyer
• Over many hundreds of years, Hindu teachings were recorded in the sacred texts of
the Vedas
*Upanishads (oo PAN ih shadz): are a section of the Vedas that address
mystical questions related to Hinduism
Brahma, the Creator
Shiva, the Destroyer
Vishnu, the Preserver
Shakti goddess
• Every person has an essential self, or atman.
• Ultimate goal of existence: is achieving moksha
(union with brahman) To do that one must free
themselves from selfish desires that separate them
from brahman. Most people cannot achieve
moksha in one lifetime
• Hindus believe in reincarnation (rebirth of the soul in
another bodily form) This allows people to continue
working toward moksha through several lifetimes.
• Hindu’s believe that the law of Karma brings you
closer to achieving moksha. Karma refers to all the
actions of a person’s life that affect his/her fate in
the next life.
• Hindu’s believe all existence is ranked: Humans are
closest to brahman, then come animals, plants, and
objects like rocks or water. People who live good
lives are born into a higher level of existence (good
karma). Those who do evil are reborn into suffering
at a lower level of existence (bad karma).
• To escape the wheel of fate, Hinduism stresses the
importance of dharma and ahimsa.
• Dharma: the religious and moral duties of an
• Ahimsa: nonviolence
• About 500 B.C. the teacher Mahavira
founded Jainism
• Mahavira rejected the idea that Brahmin
priests alone could perform certain sacred
• Emphasize meditation, self-denial, and an
extreme form of ahimsa
• Jains wear masks and carry brooms to
sweep the ground in front of their feet as to
not kill even an insect
• Castes are social groups into which people are born
and which can rarely be changed.
• Castes were closely linked to Hindu belief. To Hindus,
people in different castes were different species of
• Caste rules governed every aspect of life. For example:
where people lived, what they ate, how they dressed,
and how they earned a living.
• Rules forbade marrying outside one’s caste or eating
with members of another caste.
• High-caste people had the strictest rules to protect
them from the spiritually polluted or impure.
• The dalits or untouchables had to live apart and to
sound a wooden clapper to warn of their approach
• Despite its inequalities, castes ensured a stable social order
• Law of karma determined their caste; could not change their status in this
life, they could reach a higher state in a future life by faithfully fulfilling the
duties of their present caste
• Gave many people a sense of identity and interdependence
• Each caste had its own occupations and leaders. Caste members
cooperated to help one another
• Although separated, different castes depended on one another for their
basic needs
• Over time, many additional castes and sub-castes evolved
• Founded by Siddhartha Gautama
• He was born a prince about 563 B.C.
• Tradition says that his mother dreamed
that a radiant white elephant
descended to her from heaven. Signs
such as this led a prophet to predict that
the boy would someday become a
wondering holy man. To prevent this
from happening, his father kept him in
the family’s palaces, surrounded by
comfort and luxury.
• At 16 years old, Gautama married a
beautiful woman and enjoyed a happy
At age 29, he took a ride beyond
the palace gardens and saw an old
man, a sick person, and a dead
body. For the first time he became
aware of human suffering. He left
home in search of a realm of life
where there is neither suffering nor
He wandered for years seeking
answers but the ones he received
failed to satisfy him. He fasted and
meditated. At some point he sat
under a large tree determined to
stay there until he understood the
mystery of life.
Legend tells us that throughout the
night evil spirits tempted Gautama
to give up his meditations but he
fended the off. When he rose, he
believed he understood the cause
and cure for suffering and sorrow.
He was no longer Gautama; he had
become the Buddha, or
“Enlightened One”.
• In Buddha’s first sermon after reaching
enlightenment, he explained the Four
Noble Truths that lie at the heart of
• The Buddha saw the Eightfold Path as
a middle way between a life devoted
to pleasure and one based on harsh
• Buddha stressed moral principles such
as honesty, charity and kindness to all
living creatures
A Buddhist must understand the Four Noble
Truths, and commit oneself to the Eightfold
Next, one must live a moral life, avoiding evil
words and actions
Through meditation, a person might at last
achieve enlightenment
And the FINAL goal of a Buddhist is to
achieve nirvana.
Nirvana: union with the universe and release
from the cycle of rebirth
• Grew from same traditions
• Both stress nonviolence
• Both believe in karma, dharma, and
a cycle of rebirth
• Hinduism: focused on priests, formal
rituals, and many gods
• Buddhism: each person seeks
enlightenment through meditation
• Hinduism: use of caste system
• Buddhism: rejected the use of caste
system, offering the hope of nirvana
to all regardless of birth
Distribution of World Religions Today
Theravada Buddhism
(thehr uh VAH duh)
• Closely followed the Buddha’s
original teachings.
• Only the most dedicated seekers,
such as monks and nuns, could
hope to reach nirvana
• Spread to Sri Lana and Southeast
Mahayana Buddhism
(mah huh YAH nuh)
• Easier for ordinary people to follow
• Pictured Buddha and other holy
beings as compassionate gods
• Describe an afterlife filled with many
heavens and hells
• Spread to China, Tibet, Korea, and
*Buddhism slowly declined in India; a few Buddhist centers survived until the 1100s, when they fell
to Muslim armies that invaded India.
Northern India was often a battleground where rival rajahs
fought for control of the Ganges valley. In 321 B.C., a young
adventurer, Chandragupta Maurya (chun druh GUP tuh
MOWR yuh) forged the first Indian empire
He first gained power in the Ganges valley. He then
conquered northern India. From 321 B.C. to 185 B.C., the
Maurya dynasty ruled over a vast, united empire.
Maintained order through a well-organized bureaucracy.
(royal officials that held specialized jobs like supervising the
building of roads, collecting taxes, and managing state
owned factories and shipyards)
People sought justice in royal courts
His rule was effective but harsh; a brutal secret police
force reported on corruption, crime, and dissent (ideas
that opposed those of the government)
Had specially trained women warriors guard his palace
The most honored Maurya emperor
Chandragupta’s grandson
Fought a long, bloody war for the Deccan region of
Kalinga….horrified that more than 100,000 people
died….he turned his back on further conquests
Converted to Buddhism, rejected violence, and
resolved to rule by moral example
He sent missionaries to spread Buddhism across India
and to Sri Lanka
He also preached tolerance of other religions
Had stone pillars set up across India, offering moral
advice and promising a just government
His rule brought peace and prosperity and helped
unite the diverse peoples within his empire
He built: hospitals, Buddhist shrines, roads, and rest
houses for travelers
After his death, the Maurya empire was shattered by
rival princes
• Gupta rule was loser than that of the Mauryas
• Much of the power was left in the hands of individual
villages and city governments elected by merchants
and artisans
• Trade and farming flourished across the Gupta empire
• Crops: wheat, rice, and sugar cane
• Artisans produced: cotton cloth, pottery, and
• Eventually Gupta India declined under the pressure of
weak rulers, civil war, and foreign invaders. The White
Huns, a nomadic people, overran the weakened
Gupta empire, destroying its cities and trade.
• Students were educated in religious schools
• Learned religion, mathematics, medicine, physics, languages, literature, and
other subjects
• Within mathematics: devised the system of writing numbers the way we do
today, also the decimal system of numbers based on ten digits (which we still
use today)
• Within medicine: used herbs and other remedies to treat illness, surgeons
were skilled in setting bones and in simple surgery to repair injuries, and they
also began vaccinating people against smallpox about 1,000 years before
• Ideal families were a joint family: parents, children, and their offspring shared a common
• Indian families were patriarchal
• Property belonged to the whole family
• Family performed the training of children in the traditions and duties of their castes
• Children worked with older family members in the fields or at a family trade; a daughter
learned that as a wife she would be expected to serve and obey her husband and his family;
a son learned the rituals to honor the family’s ancestors.
• As parents, an important duty was arranging good marriages for their children, based on
caste and family interests.
• In northern India, a bride’s family commonly provided a dowry (payment to the
bridegroom) and financed the costly wedding festivities.
• After marriage, the daughter left her home and became part of her husband’s family
• Women: In early Aryan society women seem to have enjoyed a higher status
than in later times
• By late Gupta times, upper-class women were increasingly restricted to the
home; if they went outside they were supposed to be covered from head to
foot. Lower-class women labored in the fields or worked at spinning and
• Women were thought to have Shakti, a creative energy that men lacked. A
husband’s duty was to channel his wife’s energy in the proper direction.
• Women had few rights within the family and society
• Primary duties were to marry and raise children
• A women’s rebirth into a higher existence was gained through devotion to
her husband
• A typical village included:
A cluster of homes made of earth or stone
Fields where farmers grew wheat, rice, cotton, and sugar cane
People of different castes who performed the necessary tasks of daily life
Ran its own affairs based on caste rules and traditions and faced little outside
interference as long as it paid its share of taxes
• A village headman and council made decisions; the council was made up of
the most respected people of the village
• Landlords owned much of the land; farmers who worked the land had to give
the owner part of the harvest….often, what remained was hardly enough to
feed the farmers and their families
• Villages usually produced most of the food and goods that they needed
however they relied on trade for some essentials such as salt and spices as well
as manufactured goods
Physical barriers separated
China from Egypt, Middle
East, and India. This isolation
contributed to the Chinese
belief that China was the
center of the earth and the
sole source of civilization.
West and Southwest: deserts and
high mountain ranges
Southeast: thick rainforests divided
China from Southeast Asia
North: Gobi desert
East: Pacific Ocean
Huang River = Yellow River = River
of Sorrows
• Archaeologists have uncovered some of the large palaces
and rich tombs of Shang rulers
• Walled capital city, the Shang were able to drive off nomads
from the northern steppes and deserts.
• Kings probably controlled only a small area; loyal princes and
local nobles governed most of the land….most likely heads of
important clans
• Top level of Shang society included the royal family and a
class of noble warriors; there was a class of artisans and
merchants; majority of people were peasants
• Warriors used leather armor, bronze weapons, and horsedrawn chariots
• Artisans produced goods for nobles: bronze weapons, silk
robes, and jade jewelry
• Merchants exchanged food and crafts made by local
artisans for salt, shells, and other goods not found in
northeastern China
Zhou overthrew the Shang
Justified their attack due to the Mandate of Heaven
(divine right to rule); the Zhou felt that the Shang king
was so cruel that the gods sent ruin on him.
Zhou rewarded their supporters by granting them
control over different regions; therefore, under the Zhou,
China developed into a feudal state.
FEUDALISM: system of government in which local lords
governed their own lands but owed military service and
other forms of support to their ruler
China’s economy grew under the Zhou; started to use
money for the first time in China; the strong economy
will lead to an increase in population
By 256 B.C., China was a large, wealthy, and highly
developed center of civilization. However, the feudal
lords ignored the emperor and battled one another in
savage wars ….out of the wars a ruthless leader will
bring an end to the Zhou Dynasty
The rise and fall of dynasties
• Born in 551 B.C. to a noble but poor family
• Brilliant scholar, hoped to be an adviser to a local ruler
• Unable to find a permanent position within government;
he turned to teaching
• He attracted many students: Siddhartha Gautama
(Buddha) and Socrates (Greece)
• Never wrote down his ideas; students collected many of
his sayings in the Analects (collection of short literary or
philosophical extracts).
• Little interest in spiritual matters, instead developed a
philosophy (system of ideas) that were concerned with
worldly goals, especially those of ensuring social order
and good government
• Taught that harmony resulted when
people accepted their place in
• He stressed FIVE key relationships:
• Ruler to Subject
• Parent to Child
• Husband to Wife
• Elder Brother to Younger Brother
• Friend to Friend
• He felt older people were superior to younger
ones and men were superior to women
• According to Confucius, everyone had duties
and responsibilities.
• Correct behavior would bring order and stability
• Filial Piety: respect for parents; above all other
• Honesty, hard work, and concern for others
• In the centuries after his death,
his ideas influenced many
aspects of Chinese life.
• Filial piety supported traditional
customs such as reverence for
• Introduced the delicate
balance between two forces:
yin and yang
• Hundreds of millions pf people in
Korea, Japan, and Vietnam
accepted Confucian beliefs
• Laozi (Low tza) “Old Master”: founder of Daosim
• Credited with writing The Way of Virtue
• Not concerned with bringing order to human affairs;
Instead, sought to live in harmony with nature
• The Dao = “The Way”
• “Those who know the Dao do not speak of it. Those who
speak of it do not know it”
• To know the Dao, one should reject conflict and strife
• Stressed the simple ways of nature and the virtue of
yielding. Ex: water, does not resist but rather yields to
outside pressure….yet it is an unstoppable force
Above: Accurate
calendar with 365
¼ days
Right: Silk
China’s most
valuable export
Above: Oracle
Right: Calligraphy
• Qin (chin) Dynasty brought an end to
the Zhou Dynasty
• Zheng (jeng) crushed all his rivals
• In 221 B.C. Zheng proclaimed himself
Shi Huangdi (shi whong di) or “First
• He ushered in China’s classical age –
a term historians use when a
civilization sets patterns in
government, philosophy, religion,
science, and the arts that serve as a
framework for later cultures
• Determined to end divisions that had splintered China; he spent
20 years conquering most of the warring states
• He centralized power with the help of Legalist advisers: Legalism
was based on teachings of Hanfeizi (Hahn fay dzuh)
• Hanfeizi insisted that the only way to achieve order was to pass
strict laws and impose harsh punishments for crimes
• Shi Huangdi tortured, killed, or enslaved many who opposed his
rule; the hardest hit were the feudal nobles and Confucian
scholars who loathed his laws
• He abolished feudalism and replaced the feudal states with 36
military districts and appointed loyal officials to administer them
• He standardized weights and measures and replaced the
diverse coins of the Zhou states with Qin coins
• Had scholars create uniformity in Chinese writing
• Workers repaired and extended roads and canals to
strengthen the transportation system
• Shi Huangdi’s most remarkable and costly achievement was
the Great Wall.
• Shi Huangdi died in 210 B.C.; anger over heavy taxes, forced
labor, and cruel policies exploded into revolts. Qin power
officially collapsed in 206 B.C.
• Gao Zu (gow dzoo) an illiterate peasant leader, defeated rival
armies and founded the new Han dynasty four years later
• Gao Zu (gow zoo) set about restoring
order and justice to his empire
• He lowered taxes and eased Legalist
• He appointed Confusion scholars as
• His policies created strong foundations for
the Han dynasty, which lasted from 202
B.C. until A.D. 220
• Most famous Han emperor
• Ruled from about 141 B.C. to 87 B.C.
• To train scholars, he set up an imperial university at Xian
• Improved canals and roads
• He had granaries set up across the empire so the
government could buy grain when it was abundant and
sell it at stable prices when it was scarce
• Imposed a government monopoly on iron and salt;
Monopoly is the complete control of a product or
business by one person or group
• Followed the policy of expansionism; expanding a
country’s territory, by increasing the amount of land
under Chinese rule.
• Emperor Wudi opened up a network of
trade routes, later called the Silk Road, that
would link China and the West for centuries
• During the Han period, new foods such as
grapes, figs, cucumbers, and walnuts
flowed into China from western Asia
• Chinese sent large quantities of silk
• Eventually the Silk Road stretched for 4,000
miles, linking China to the Fertile Crescent in
the Middle East.
Science and Medicine
Texts: chemistry, zoology, botany
Simple seismograph (earthquakes)
Diagnosed diseases, developed
anesthetics, herbal remedies
Acupuncture: inserts needles into
the skin at specific points to relieve
pain or treat various illnesses
The Arts
Technology and Engineering
Invented method of making
paper out of wood pulp
Advanced methods of ship
building and invented a rudder to
Invented bronze and iron stirrups,
fishing reels, wheelbarrows, and
suspension bridges
Ban Zhao wrote Lessons for
Women a handbook of behavior
• By A.D. 400, Buddhism had spread
throughout China. Buddhist
monasteries became important
centers of learning and the arts.
Buddhism absorbed many
Confucian and Daoist traditions.
Chinese Buddhist monks stressed filial
piety and honored Confucius

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