Declines of the Classical Civilizations (#6) Explain reasons for the decline of classical China. (p.106) ◦ 1) Centralized government became weaker and regional landlords corrupted the political stability of the empire. ◦ 2) Increased taxes were far too burdensome on the peasantry, which led to social unrest and disdain of rulers. ◦ 3) Revolutions by Daoist forces in 184 C.E. Declines of the Classical Civilizations (#6) ◦ 4) The decline of government morality ◦ 5) Civil wars throughout empire. ◦ 6) Frequent invasions from borderland nomadic groups (Huns) ◦ 7) Plagues which may have killed up to half of the population. Declines of the Classical Civilizations (#7) Explain reasons for the decline of classical India. (p.107) ◦ 1) The inability of the Gupta emperors to control regional princes. ◦ 2) Invasions by nomadic Hun tribes, especially in the more well developed northern regions. ◦ 3) The introduction of Islam competed with Hinduism strong religious hold on the subcontinent. ◦ 4) Arab traders took control of the majority of trade routes throughout the Indian Ocean region and hurt India’s economic prosperity. Declines of the Classical Civilizations (#8) Explain reasons for the decline of classical Rome. (p.107-109) ◦ 1) Declining population ◦ 2) Difficulty in recruiting effective armies (Disloyal mercenaries) ◦ 3) Weak emperors Declines of the Classical Civilizations (#8) ◦ 4) Declining tax revenues due to economic downturn ◦ 5) Citizens saw life as futile and therefore their participation in politics and their state declined. ◦ 6) A series of plagues that wiped out a large part of the population Declines of the Classical Civilizations (#8) ◦ 7)Rome’s upper classes became more pleasure seeking and stopped producing many offspring, because raising children seemed counter to the pleasure seeking nature of their lives. ◦ 8)Rome had growing difficulty protecting its borders and farmers began to look for protection from landlords. (Beginning of manorial system) ◦ 9)Invasions from Germanic tribes. Roman Empire Splits (#10) 1) The Byzantine Empire (aka the eastern portion of the old Roman Empire) Centered on Constantinople. 2) North African zone 3) Western part of the former empire. (Included Italy, Spain, and parts of northern Europe) Roman Empire Splits (#10) The Growth and Spread of Religion Why? ◦ Devastating plagues and growing political instability caused many to seek comfort in growing belief systems. ◦ Christianity became a widespread religion throughout the Mediterranean. ◦ Buddhism surged into eastern Asia as classical China collapsed. ◦ Finally, shortly after 600 C.E., a new faith, Islam, surfaced to become a dynamic force. The Spread of Christianity The Spread of Buddhism Monks and missionaries were the main method by which the faith spread. Buddhism mainly spread east towards China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam . BUDDHISM’S SPREAD (#13) Buddhist monks in front of the Angkor Wat Buddhism’s Evolution Over the centuries, like most religions, Buddhism evolved. Buddhism aimed to make it easier for ordinary citizens to gain salvation while continuing to work and meet their spiritual obligations. A prime example of this evolution is that of bodhisattvas, which were followers that could maintain salvation through prayer and meditation for others. Buddhism’s Evolution (#14) As the religion spread to China, it took on Chinese cultural elements. In the east Asian form of Buddhism, known as Mahayana Buddhism, more emphasis was placed on Buddha as a divine savior or god. The religion also became more organized with more monks, priests, temples, creeds, and rituals. (Kinda like the Chinese political structure, very organized) Chinese culture alters Buddhism (#15) Chinese influences affected Buddhism’s stance on most issues, but especially women’s role in society. It did not improve women’s status in China as was to be expected. Instead, the Chinese altered some of the Buddhist doctrines to reflect their strict patriarchal system. Ex. “ Husband supports wife” was changed to “Husband controls wife”. Christianity compared to Buddhism (#16) Christianity placed more emphasis on church organization and structure (which it borrowed from the political structure of the Roman Empire) More emphasis placed on missionary activities in Christianity. Stressed its exclusive nature of truth and was more intolerant of changes to its origins and beliefs. Reasons for Christianity’s Spread (#17) The opportunity for spiritual equality (Egalitarianism) Fervor of early Christians The Roman extent and road system helped the faith to spread. The organization and structure of the church Christian doctrine became organized through the writings of the New Testament. Constantine’s conversion made it much easier to spread the faith that was not viewed as a threat anymore. Let’s Read p. 115 “The Spread of Major World Religions” Religious Geography (p.116) Where are the greatest concentrations of the four major religions today? Which aspects of modern religious geography follow from the patterns of religious dissemination under way by the end of the classical period? Which cannot be explained by these lateclassical developments?