The reign of Hammurabi was the high point of Mesopotamian history because of his law code that was very sophisticating. He was a very powerful ruler who gave rise to a more impressive state. His law codes were based on the law of retribution or how they referred to it as lex talionis. However, lex talionis was shaped by gender distinctions and class.
The Epic of Gilgamesh was an ambitious poem that was from the ancient Mesopotamia. It was an epic narrative that narrates the story of a Sumerian king, who was a legend. Unfortunately, the king had a quest that was rather unsuccessful, for immorality. The theme which appears in the poem does recur in ancient literature.
Mesopotamians had organized religion. Their gods literally represented the forces of nature, as they were polytheistic. Hebrews, on the other hand, had a god, Yahweh. In their view, unlike the Mesopotamians believed Yahweh was both a personal and a powerful god.
In the ancient world, the Kingdom of Israel was very significant, especially to the Hebrews. They had to fight so as to carve a territory for themselves. However, the twelve tribes came together under a unified rule. It was during the reigns of David, Saul and Solomon. It is also significant as a great temple in dedication to Yahweh was build, which as of today, it is a Jews pilgrimage site.
The Indo-Europeans made great contributions in ancient history. They constructed light chariots that were being drawn by horses. They also had mastery in iron metallurgy that was so advanced. This is turn made them warriors who were formidable. From their Indo-European language, other languages such as Greek, Old Persian, Sanskrit, Farsi Latin and Hindi became descendants from it.
Metallurgy was a great innovation in the ancient world. People were able to carve things out of metals. The ancient world completely transformed. This made the innovators to gain a lot of respect.
Second Packet: Early African Societies and the Bantu Migrations
In ancient history, the Egyptians began experimenting through hieroglyphics with a written language. Through innovations in, there was a great influence to the loves of very many people. This brought a way into education. The Kushites also copied the hieroglyphics from the Egyptians and created the Meroitic writing, which unfortunately could not be read.
The Egyptians and their other neighbor like the Kushites and the Nubians were very similar. This might be because they observed each other and copied from each other, like how the Kushites copied writing from the Egyptians. The Nubians and the Egyptians were similar too as they were both polytheistic. Both the Nubian and the Egyptian society were patriarchal, highly.
In Egypt, some women did become pharaohs, for example Hatshepsut. Nubian too, did have many rulers who were female. They ruled both indirectly and directly by serving as regents. This gave women a great role in the Africa societies as they were able to rule too.
The introduction of the cultivation of banana was due to the Bantu lifestyle of cultivation. This enhanced their trade as they were even able to make their way back into Africa through the Indian Ocean trade. This enabled them to expand into areas that were mostly forested. They were also able to continue migration and dispersing as they continued to increase Africas population.
Third Packet: Early Societies in South Asia
As compared to its counterparties, the Egyptians and Mesopotamians, the Harappan society also traded. They both were polytheistic when it comes to their religious structure. Just like the written records of the Egyptians and Mesopotamians cannot be read, those of the Harappan society cannot be read as well. All the societies were also patriarchal.
The caste system was system where people were distinguished by their relative degrees. Such a system is disadvantageous because it is meant to be controlled by men instead of rules. It would also be disadvantageous as it distinguishes the different classes of people. The caste social system is advantageous, on the other hand, as the society is under classes and this gave the people their occupations.
In the ancient times, the Indian political system has been fragmented. This was due to the invasion of the Indo-European Aryans who brought along political, cultural and religious change. India had religious and cultural traditions that did not match. This greatly contributed to their political fragmentation.
Lack of political unity in Indian history led to fragmentation of its political stability. The lack of political unity might negatively influence the course of the history of India in future. This is because with political instability and division, even the social structures and the cultural structures are weakened too. Eventually, this might be a challenge for the political unity in Indian history.
The arrival of the Aryans did have great impact in the religion of India and later on, on the beliefs of the Hindu. The evolution was based on writings that were known as Upanishads. The main goal of the Upanishads was reaching the state of moksha. This had great impact on the Indian religious thinkers as they made emphasis that the material world was nothing but illusion and they further stressed on virtues such as mercy, honesty and self-control. This eventually changed the Hindu beliefs.
Fourth packet: Early Society in East Asia
In the ancient world, the fundamental mandate of heaven was that it was proposed by powers that were heavenly, even though indistinct and granted powers to govern. This was different from the other governmental systems that were common through the ancient world as they believed that the emperors were a connection between earth and heaven. The limitations of the mandate of heaven could be the higher standards of justice and honor that they had to maintain.
The Shang and Zhou dynasties did play a major role in the ancient society. The Shang dynasty had the monopolization of metallurgy for bronze, and this med them to rise as a very powerful military state. While on the other hand, the rise of the Zhou Dynasty brought about the main streams of Chinas civilization, as it came into a much sharper focus. There was also the achievement of a more decentralized authority, especially during the reign of Zhou dynasty.
Fifth Packet: Early Societies in the Americas and Oceania
The societies of Americas and Oceana are very different from the other societies. These societies remained isolated due to melting of glaciers, instead of them migrating. This eventually led to the rise of other fascinating and unique societies. Just like the other societies in ancient history, even the America and Oceana have been influenced by the changes in the climatic conditions.
Even though the decline of Olmec, which is Mesoamerican society, remains to be a mystery, there are certain factors that clearly explain their decline and mystery. The fact that they began to destroy their own centers in La Venta and San Lorenzo might have brought about the decline and eventual collapse. The Maya society, on the other hand, declined when their books were all destroyed. This led to warfare, ecological degradation and overpopulation and eventually a collapse.
The decline of the Maya was very mysterious as compared to the other Mesoamerican societies like the Olmec. This is because the Mayas had made major contributions in the ancient society. The Mayans contributed to astronomy, their calendar was found to be the most accurate. They also had very strong points for Math, based on the vigesimal system. The Mayans also developed the most comprehensive yet sophisticated writing system and that is why their decline remains to be mysterious, as they had done so much.
As migration was spreading, even agriculture was spreading. The Austronesian speaking people greatly impacted the spread of food products such as yams, bananas, taro among other. Since they were the most daring and skilled sailors, the Austronesians did establish many agricultural societies and left cultural, religious and political influences. Through their sailing, they were able to also trade food products and other societies would also assimilate.
Sixth Packet: Achaemenid Persia
The Persians did copy most of their ruling techniques from Assyrians. However, the Persians were different from the Assyrians because they were very military powerful and they were also great horsemen. On that note, the Persians were able to achieve greater success. The Persians were also bureaucratic in maintaining order. The fact that they also had an expansive road system made them successful as they were easier communication.
Cyrus did play an integral role in the rise of the Achaemenid Empire. This is because; the expansion under the Achaemenid began during his reign. He was also known to be very brilliant when it came to military strategy and his tolerant and enlightened view of empire. In the same process, Darius also did play a great role in the extension of the empire. Under Darius the empire was even able to reach its peak as he made great use of centralized coinage elaborate law codes and regularized the tax levies.
Zoroastrianism influenced Judaism, Islam and Christianity as it had become the dominant religion but it generally spread all over the empire. This happened due to the philosophies that emphasized ever individuals significance as there would be that final judgment. The major philosophies of Zarathustra have existed for centuries and even the Christians, Jews and Muslims refer to them as great teachings. In that manner, these religions have been influenced in one way or the other.
During the Persian wars with Greece, the invasion of Alexander of Macedon marked the end of the Achaemenids rule. The Persian Empire was able to live on in Alexanders Hellenistic Empire. He did so by claiming kingship and also claimed the continuation of power. He also paid his respects at Cyruss the Great tomb and he maintained the monocratic bureaucracy of Darius. Eventually, he also married a Persian bride and settled in Persia.
Seventh Packet: Qin China
The Confucius thought believed that a proper order and balance in five basic relationships of humans could bring about both political and social harmony. In his philosophies, there were central core values such as priority, benevolence and filial piety. The quote is a representation of the Confucian thought as he even ensures that those in governmental positions possessed the education that was needed and that they were also a dedicated staff. This quote also represents the Confucius thought as he was able to keep the Chinese thinkers on track and not escape his shadows.
This statement is a representative of the thought by Daoist as it criticizes Confucians social activism. Instead, he proposed introspection as well as a life of reflection. In his thoughts, he suggested for inaction of action. The statement also represents the Daoist thought because it signifies the importance of living according with the dao.
The legalist thought was very harsh and so is the statement. This is because it proves the how essential it is for there to be unification. The statement is persuasive yet stern, to let one now that there might be consequences. The thought of the Legalism stated that laws that are clear, at the same time strict, with very harsh punishment were paramount in controlling the nature of humans.
Qin Shihuangdi, who was from Western China, had been inspired by Han Feizi and Shang Yang, who were Legalist philosophers. Under their inspiration, he was able to create an imperial administration which was centralized. This allowed for the unification of China, for the first time. He also crushed the local autonomy. However, due to his harsh rule, his execusion...
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