Foundations: c. 8000 B. C. E.–600 C. E. Major Developments


Major trading patterns within and among Classical civilizations; contacts with adjacent regions



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Major trading patterns within and among Classical civilizations; contacts with adjacent regions

  1. China

    1. Zhou

    2. Qin

      1. silk cloth encouraged

      2. Roads constructed

        1. Forced labor to build thousands of miles

    3. Han

      1. Trade along Silk Roads increased

        1. Economy strong – monopoly of silk production

        2. Downturn in agricultural production hurt

        3. Trade thrived

        4. Helped spread Buddhism

        5. Carried far more luxury items than culture

      2. Government sponsored and maintained canals, irrigation

  2. India

    1. Aryans

    2. Mauryans

      1. Promoted trade and communication

      2. Ashoka creates roads with rest areas for travelers

      3. Roads connected with the Silk Roads

      4. Wealthy through trade

        1. Silk, cotton, elephants to Mesopotamia/Rome

      5. Buddhist missionaries sent out

        1. Angered Brahmins

    3. Guptas

      1. Traded ideas – “Arabic” number system

  3. Mediterranean

    1. Greece

      1. Gained wealth and power through trade/strong navy

        1. Trade necessary because agriculture on large scale impossible

        2. Natural harbors, mild weather

        3. Trade and cultural diffusion by boat

        4. Had to develop sophisticated methods of communication, transportation, governance to regulate trade

        5. Wine and olive products for grain

        6. Replaced barter system with money system

          1. Money invented by Lydians

      2. Alexander the Great

        1. 20,000 miles – conquered Persian Empire

          1. Opened traded to Hellenistic world

  • Arts, sciences, and technology

    1. China

      1. Zhou

        1. Iron Age

      2. Xin

        1. Modernized army

          1. Iron weapons, crossbows, cavalry warfare

      3. Han

        1. Paper

        2. Accurate sundials/calendars

        3. Broaden use of metals

        4. Agriculture improves

          1. ox-drawn plow

          2. collar to prevent choking

    2. India

      1. Aryans

        1. Vedas – part of Hindu scripture

        2. First transmitted orally – later recorded in Sanskrit

          1. Sanskrit – elite language

        3. Epic Age (1000-600 BCE)

          1. Ramayana

          2. Mahabharata – greatest epic poem of India

          3. Upanishads – collection of religious epic poems

      2. Mauryans

      3. Guptas

        1. Classical Age of India

        2. Supported Hinduism led to revival in Hindu art, literature, music

        3. Great temples built

        4. Fashioning iron for many uses/weapons

        5. Guptas – enthusiastic patrons of Hindu culture

        6. High towered temples

        7. Lavish wall paintings – Caves of Ajanta

        8. Growth of Sanskrit as language of educated

        9. Inoculation of smallpox

        10. Sterilization during surgery/cleaning wounds

        11. Plastic surgery/setting of bones

        12. Astronomy – eclipses – identification of planets

        13. Classic Hindu temple – courtyards, paintings, sculptures

        14. Scientific/mathematic breakthroughs

          1. Pi, zero, decimal system

          2. numerical system – called “Arabic” due to traders




      1. Mediterranean

        1. Overview – celebration of life, human experience

        2. Served as inspiration for Renaissance and Enlightenment

        3. Greek – Golden Age – 500-350 BCE – “Periclean Age”

        4. Philosophy

          1. Truth through rational thought and deliberate observation

            1. Many findings proved erroneous

            2. Process, not findings that are key

          2. Precedent – seeking knowledge for its own sake – pure science

          3. Nature became focus – more orderly than gods

            1. Truth through human examination not religious ritual

          4. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle

            1. Rational inquiry

            2. Socrates – seek answers by asking questions

              1. Be rational with moral issues

              2. Skeptical about conventional methods of thinking

              3. Tried and convicted for corrupting the youth

                1. Committed forced suicide

            3. Plato – student of Socrates – wrote down his teachings

              1. Perfect “forms” were basis of nature

              2. Wrote of perfect government – philosopher kings

              3. Academy – 387 BCE – first higher learning institution

            4. Aristotle – logic, observation, experimentation led to scientific method

              1. Need for moderation and self-knowledge

              2. Knowledge of physical world through observing phenomenon and drawing conclusions

        5. Sculpture/Architecture among ancient world’s finest

          1. “Classical” architecture

            1. Pillars and cupolas copied around the world

            2. Geometric shapes – triangles and cylinders

            3. US impact seen from Capitol buildings

          2. Realistic human statues

            1. Students of human body

            2. Statuary survived to this day

        6. Math and science – Pythagoras

          1. Built on knowledge of Babylonians/Egyptians

          2. Hippocrates – diseases have only natural causes

            1. “Father of Medicine”

            2. First to say medicine different science than religion

            3. Created field of medicine

            4. Hippocratic Oath – Greek idealism

            5. Body has four “humors” – yellow bile, black bile, phlegm and blood

        7. Literature

          1. Homer – West’s first literary masterpieces

            1. Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripedes

          2. Vernacular

            1. Herculean, read horoscopes

          3. Comedies and tragedies

          4. First practitioners of theater

    1. Social and Gender Relations

      1. China

        1. Zhou

        2. Xin

        3. Han

          1. Traditions reinforced through strengthened patriarchal system

          2. Society further stratified

            1. Elite class – educated governmental bureaucracy

            2. Peasants

            3. Artisans

            4. Unskilled laborers, small number of slaves – mean people

        4. Themes

          1. Few live in cities – less than 10%

          2. Social hierarchy

          3. Confucius – five basic levels of relationships

            1. ruler/subject

            2. father/son

            3. elder brother/younger brother

            4. husband/wife

            5. friend/friend

            6. each relationship has set of duties/responsibilities between

    superior/subordinate

          1. harmony the result of right conduct

          2. North – wheat, south – rice

          3. Fishing, hunting, forestry, tea growing main industries in mountain

          4. Tenant farmers – bulk of rural population – for landlords

          5. Power from court of emperor – implemented by scholar-gentry

          6. Hierarchy in Provinces

            1. Scholar-gentry landlords

            2. Military

            3. Artisans

            4. Landed peasants

            5. Landless tenant peasants

          7. Hierarchy in Capital

            1. Emperor, Officials, Eunuchs, Military, Artisans

          8. When crops failed

            1. Higher starvation, infanticide, lawlessness, peasant revolts

          9. Extended family

            1. Call on spirits of dead ancestors – advocates with gods

          10. Extended family most influential feature

            1. Multi-generational homes – respect to elders

            2. Patrilineal wealth – passed down to son

            3. Female identity extension of father/husband

            4. Family to family network of connections

              1. Business, social life, marriage

          11. Patriarchal – voice of authority for family – to government

            1. Taoist – yin/yang

              1. Assertive masculinity vs. gentle/submissive female

            2. Women could get power in court

              1. Favored concubine/wife

            3. Daughters not valued as much – female infanticide

              1. Sold as servants/slaves for debts



      1. India

        1. Caste system – introduced by Aryans – migrated 1500 BCE

          1. 3000 BCE – Varna – four classes – where is soul

            1. Brahma – priests

            2. Warrior class

            3. Farmer/merchant class

            4. Laborers

            5. Scheduled class/untouchables – outside class structure

              1. Assigned menial jobs

    2. Birth determines occupation, traditions, social strata for spouse

        1. Tenets of Hinduism/caste maintained order

        2. Aryans

          1. Village organization – patriarchal control

          2. Customs devalued role of women

            1. Not allowed to own property

              1. Bound them to fathers and husbands

                1. Sati – women killed selves on husband’s funeral pyres

                  1. Honor and purity to wife

            2. More isolated/segregated – purdah

              1. Contact w/ family members only, no public

          3. Used skin color to separate classes

            1. New elites had darker skin than conquered people

            2. First three classes Aryans – final dark-skinned

            3. During Epic Age – warriors and priests reversed authority




        1. Mauryans

        2. Guptas

          1. Women saw rights diminished

            1. Declared minors in need of supervision by male

            2. Daughters neglected, infanticide

            3. Couldn’t participate in sacred rituals/study religion

            4. Couldn’t own property

            5. Child marriage became norm – girls six/seven

              1. Due to property issues in urban area

          2. Because of strict caste division, slavery not widespread

          3. Return of Guptas solidified caste system

            1. Proliferated and evolved

              1. Brahmin – priestly class

              2. Kshatriya – warrior

              3. Vaishya – producing caste

              4. Shudra – servant caste

              5. Harijans – untouchables

                1. Not even a caste

                2. Do tasks that might “pollute” Hindu culture

                3. Waste products, butchering, carrying dead

            2. Further castes – jatil – subcastes




      1. Mediterranean

        1. Slavery – Sumerians – survivors of opponents into labor

          1. Egypt – Hebrews, Sumerians, Romans – Nubia

          2. 1000 CE Islamic East Coast – trans-Saharan slave trade

            1. children of slave could convert and be freed

            2. female slave marries owner, freed

            3. Muslims took slaves from conquered territory

    ii. Serfdom – Middle Ages – Western/eastern Europe

    1. peasant can use plot of land in exchange for protection

    a. worked lord’s land

    iii. Greece

    1. Overall – three groups

    a. citizens – adult males engaged in commerce

    b. free people with no political rights

    c. non-citizens/slaves – had no rights 33%

    2. Slavery common - excluded from political life

    a. enabled democracy

    1. Greek citizens time to meet, vote, create works of art and philosophy

    b. potential to move up

    1. skilled jobs, partially owned businesses, maybe buy freedom

    2. women treated as inferior – excluded from political life

    a. In Sparta, some girls received military training

    1. Greatest female equality of all city-states, maybe nations

    c. Married to men in their teens

    1. Father choose husband, power switched to new hus

    2. Virginity prized until marriage

    3. Childbirth expected after wedding

    4. Could not own property, participate in political life

    d. Divorce only initiated by man



    e. but…did have significant roles in religious festivals and rituals

    1. Major belief systems

      1. Basic features of major world belief systems prior to 600 C.E. and where each belief system applied by 600 C.E.

      2. Polytheism

        1. Belief in many gods/goddesses

        2. Early peoples – in awe of nature – blessing/curse

          1. Relationship with land/weather

          2. Totemism – identification of self with various animal symbols

          3. shamanism – identification with unseen spirit worlds

          4. “dreamtime” – Aboriginals

          5. Shinto – Japan

        3. Animism – belief that gods and goddesses inhabited natural features

          1. Africa, islands of Polynesia

        4. Worship of ancestors and fertility

          1. Fertility – soil/women

        5. Class of people emerged to oversee rituals/guide people

          1. priests/shamans held important positions

        6. Space dedicated for early rituals – temples first buildings

        7. Some regional, some transplanted

        8. Nomadic as well as early river civilizations

          1. Greeks/Romans – represented natural human phenomenon, but appeared like humans

          2. Pantheons

            1. elaborate groups – positions for each

            2. Sumerian-Babylonian deities – set of rituals

            3. Olympian deities

            4. “celestial bureaucracy” – China

            5. Aesir and Vanir – northern Europe

        1. Transition to Monotheism – Zoroastrianism

          1. Polytheism faded as myth or legend

          2. Zoroastrianism – partial commitment to monotheism

            1. Founded by priest Zoroaster in 500 B.C.

            2. Based teaching on Avestas

            3. Worship of one god Ahura Mazda – “wise lord”

              1. Son Mithra venerated as well

              2. Ahriman – god of darkness

          3. Belief that Ahura Mazda and Ahriman in cosmic struggle

            1. Mazda’s followers go to heaven

            2. Ahriman’s go to hell

          4. Not monotheism – dual gods of equal power

          5. Flourished in Persia until 600s CE w/ Islam

          6. Remains in India – Parsis

            1. Historians say played a role in shaping Jewish/Christian thought




      1. Judaism

        1. Overview

          1. Hebrews – Jews/Jewish not until 900s BCE

          2. Religion and societal custom

          3. Key part of the Western world’s ethical, cultural, intellectual foundation

          4. World’s first monotheistic faith

            1. Devoted exclusively to worship of one deity

        2. Founding

          1. Abraham’s Covenant

            1. Patriarch lived in Sumerian city of Ur, clan leader

            2. Covenant with god YHWH (Yahweh/Jehovah)

              1. For…complete religious allegiance

              2. Get…Hebrews “chosen people”

                1. led to “promised land” – Canaan - Israel

            3. Between 2000 > 1850 BCE left Ur – faith created

            4. Son Isaac carried on faith and then grandson Jacob

              1. Took name Israel – twelve sons founders of the Twelve Tribes of Israel

          2. Slavery in Egypt

            1. 1700 BCE – during time of famine – Hebrews migrated to Egypt

            2. Freed by Moses – returned to Promised Land

              1. Set up kingdom of Israel – led by monarchy

          3. Hebrew Kingdoms

            1. Ruled by judges, then kings

              1. King David and son Solomon – height – 1000 BCE

                1. First temple built

                2. David military leader – united

                  1. Skilled musician – psalms

                  2. Made prosperous – central to trade routes

              2. After Solomon’s death, split into Israel and Judah



            2. Assyrians invaded, destroyed temple, scattered

                1. Babylonians finished the job

                  1. Nebuchadnezzar

                    1. Babylonian Captivity

                    2. Forced the writing of the Torah

                2. Temple rebuilt, kingdom swallowed by Romans

                  1. Region renamed Judea – Jews

                  2. Under Roman rule gave birth to new religion - Christianity



          1. Revolted against Greeks and gained autonomy, but later

            1. 70 and 132 CE suppressed by Roman campaigns

              1. Jews killed, temple leveled

              2. Jews transplanted through Africa, Europe, Middle East, Americas

                1. Diaspora – exile - linked not by geography, but cultural identity

                2. From then on set up synagogues where they could worship as a community

                3. Led by rabbis - cleris

        1. Beliefs

          1. One creator – who made the world/all life

            1. differed itself from hundreds of nature gods

            2. Created world for humans to enjoy and practice free will

            3. Destiny of world is paradise, reached with divine help

            4. Task of human beings

              1. Serve and Honor God – follow Ten Commandments

              2. Promote the ethics of the prophets

              3. Maintain the identity of the people

          2. Beliefs

            1. Afterlife

            2. Set of traditions/doctrines

            3. philosophy

            4. Personal salvation

          3. Five Books of Moses – Torah

            1. Story of Abraham and descendants

              1. Increased in number – became slaves in Egypt

              2. Egypt – Moses became leader

                1. brought them back to land promised by God

                2. Return called the Exodus

                3. Central event on 40-year trek – Mt. Sinai – Ten Commandments

                  1. Only one God

                  2. No idol worship

                  3. Honor parents

                  4. Murder forbidden

                  5. Stealing forbidden



          4. Moses – author of Torah “teaching” – first five books in Hebrew scripture – Tanakh

            1. Christian Bible first five books of Old Testament

          5. Messiah “Annointed One” would someday appear to free them from oppression

          6. Talmud “Instruction” – strict code of conduct/righteous behavior

            1. ethical monotheism

              1. Dietary restrictions

              2. charity, social responsibility, concern for the poor

              3. Restrictions on sexual practices

                1. Women respected in home, but extremely patriarchal

            2. retributive principle – eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth

              1. common to Middle East

          7. Practice slavery – like many Middle Eastern religions

        2. Spread

          1. Not a missionary religion

            1. Did little to attempt to convert non-Jews – even 70 years in Babylon



        3. Impact

          1. Christianity

          2. First monotheistic religion




      1. Hinduism

        1. Locations - Belief System Applied

          1. Principal religion of India

          2. Spread through waters of Indian Ocean

            1. Southeast Asia

            2. Malay peninsula, islands of Indian Ocean

            3. Vietnam/Cambodia – some adopted Sanskrit

          3. During Mauryan – Buddhism gained more power

            1. Reestablished during Gupta

          4. Today

            1. Bangladesh

            2. Pakistan

            3. Sri Lanka

        2. Basic Features

          1. Originated Aryan invaders

            1. Vedic roots – no precise date of birth

            2. Indus River people + Aryan invaders – 1500 BC

            3. Vedism – core – four Aryan scriptures

              1. Vedas – knowledge

                1. Focus on obedience to gods

                2. Complex rituals/sacrifices for priests

              2. Oral form back to 4500 BCE

              3. Oldest/largest – Rig-Veda – hymns/stories

              4. Gods/goddesses

                1. Agni – fire god

                2. Mitra – patron of humankind

                3. Surya – sun god

                4. Indra – god of war/storms

          2. Early Hindu scriptures

            1. Upanishads – 900-500 BCE

              1. Essays and poems to outline Hindu spirituality

                1. Emphasize simplicity

                2. Inner development of individual

                3. methods for spiritual improvement

                  1. Yoga – meditative practices

                    1. physical/mental discipline

            2. Puranas – popular tales about gods and heroes

            3. Sutras – moral teachings

            4. Laws of Manu – 200 BCE > 200 CE – support of caste system

            5. Texts that were religious and literary

              1. Mahabharata – grand epic of 90,000 stanzas

                1. longest poem in the world?

                2. Great war between two royal houses

                3. Bhagavad-Gita “Song of the Lord”

                  1. Poetic dialogue between Arjuna/Krishna

                  2. Lectures on moral duty

              2. Ramayana – 350 BCE – adventures of Rama

                1. Seventh incarnation of Vishnu

          3. Hinduism – Muslim invaders – non-religious practices

            1. “Beyond the Sindhu River”

          4. Roots further back than any other religion still practiced

          5. Not a single faith

            1. Founded by single group/person

            2. Single deity/set of gods

            3. single body of scripture

            4. synthesis of many religious traditions

          6. Combined polytheistic gods of nature of Brahmins and made them represent concepts

          7. Everything part of divine essence – Brahman – “Ultimate Reality” “One”

            1. Brahma enters gods or different forms of one god

            2. Deities – Vishnu – preserver, Shiva - destroyer

          8. Meaningful life has found union with divine soul

            1. Every living creature has atman – individual soul

            2. World is an illusion – maya

              1. causes suffering

              2. Prevents union with Brahman

            3. Union achieved through reincarnation – after death new soul/animal

              1. Cycle of life, death, rebirth – samsara

              2. Spiritual perfection < incarnation and reincarnation

            4. Karma – person’s good or evil deeds – “law of deeds”

              1. Evil actions, spiritual laxity > karmic debt – trapped in samsara

              2. Good actions, spiritual discipline > greater understanding of moral duty – dharma

              3. Need to eliminate karmic debt – gains release - Moksha

            5. Change castes or go to an animal

            6. Methods of achieving moksha

              1. Veda – obedience to gods, ritual practices

                1. Requires reliance on Brahmin

              2. Upanishads, later scriptures

                1. proper conduct/spiritual exercises

                2. prayer, meditation, ritual, worship, good actions



            1. Eventually reaches – moksha

              1. United with the soul of Brahma

              2. No longer experiences worldly sufferings

          1. Does not have single founder

            1. Developed gradually

            2. Embraced variety of forms of worship

          2. Deities

            1. Brahman, but recognizes hundreds of gods/goddesses

              1. including older Vedic deities

              2. All gods – avatars – incarnations of the Brahman

            2. 200 BCE – three gods largest following

              1. Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva

                1. Vishnu the Preserver

                  1. began as minor Vedic sun god

                  2. Became Savior figure, friend to humanity

                  3. In incarnations, appears as a hero

                    1. 7th - Rama – In Ramayana

                    2. 8th – Krishna – teaches Arjuna

                2. Shiva the Destoyer

                  1. Vedic – healing, disease, fertility

                  2. God of creation/destruction

                  3. Duality of life and death

                  4. Sexual energy/cosmic regeneration

                  5. Dancer in art

                3. Most important, least popular – Brahma

                  1. Masculine personification of Brahman

              2. Goddesses – incarnations of mother goddess

                1. Mahadevi Shakti

                2. Parvati – wife of Shiva

                3. Durga – warrior goddess

                4. Lakshmi – Vishnu’s wife

                5. Kali – venerated, feared goddess of death

          3. Reinforced caste system – social, political and religious concept

            1. Moral justification through Vedic thought/Hindu theology

            2. Offered hope to those of lower castes

            3. Upper class might achieve moksha

            4. Acceptance of one’s status considered virtuous

              1. Dharma – performance of one’s duties

              2. Social position in life secondary – only illusion – maya

                1. spiritual development the key

            5. Affect on women

              1. considered legal minors as adults

              2. treated with respect

              3. Married in childhood, divorce rare

              4. Sati – suttee – funeral pyres of dead husbands

                1. Discouraged by British, outlawed by Indians

          4. Aryan custom – venerating cattle, no beef

          5. Affects daily life

            1. Moral law – dharma – guides actions in world

              1. Human actions produce consequences

              2. Obligations to family and community



        1. Aryans introduced own array of gods/goddesses

          1. Veneration of some animals – especially cattle

        2. Empires

          1. Lost authority under Mauryans – regained w/ Guptas




      1. Confucianism

        1. Overview

          1. Least religious in nature

            1. Main priority – how to reestablish political/social order

          2. No object of worship, clergy, ritual practices

          3. Ethical code based on secular principles

          4. Believed in existence of gods, spirits, heaven, but irrelevant

          5. Morally concerned person most concerned about actions here in the material world

          6. What happens after death can’t really be theorized in meaningful way

            1. …so why waste time

        2. Founding

          1. K’ung Fu-tzu – Latinized Confucius – 551-479 BCE

            1. Reaction to politically chaotic Zhou dynasty

            2. Minor aristocrat/gov’t official Prince of Lue

              1. strong-willed, thinking at odds with rulers

              2. Never could gain high position

                1. Became educator/political advisor

            3. After retiring pondered relationship individual/society

          2. Gathered followers

            1. Recorded thoughts

            2. Analects – recordings of his conversations with students

          3. Meng-tzu – Mencius (371-289 BCE)

            1. Commentaries on Analects

            2. Helped movement reach highest level






        1. Basic Principles

          1. Good society = benevolent leaders and good heavier from below

          2. Well being of group more important than that of individual

          3. Order/hierarchy key, but gov’t must be good

            1. No provision for possibility of female rulers

            2. Meng-tzu – Mandate of Heaven – moral justification

              1. Unjust rulers lose the Mandate of Heaven

          4. Society matches hierarchy of family – juniors deference to seniors

          5. Home most important institution

            1. Blessed w/ filial piety – love and respect for elders/ancestors

          6. Five relationships for social tranquility – reciprocity/mutual respect

            1. just ruler and loyal subjects

            2. loving father and respectful son

            3. husband righteous and wife obedient

            4. Older brother genteel and younger brother humble

            5. older friend considerate and younger friend deferent

          7. Females as subservient

            1. Men ruled society, fought wars, acted as scholars

            2. Marry as many as they want, divorce any who fail male heir

            3. Women exclusively homemakers/mothers

            4. Laws prohibited from owning property

            5. Not provided security through dowry system

            6. …however…did allow women limited education

              1. Children honor father and mother

          8. “golden rule” – “Never do to others what you would not like them to do to you”

          9. Honorable behavior – etiquette, grace, virtue, courtesy – li

            1. Regardless of class, practice li and you are “gentlemanly”

            2. Higher status expected to show – jen/ren – sympathy – “human heartedness”

            3. “xiao” filial piety – respect/obligation for extended family

          10. Focus on creation of junzi – superior individuals – educated, conscientious, state more important than ambition

          11. Political system isn’t as important as good people





        2. Spread

          1. Compatible with other religions – philosophy

          2. Religions embraced

          3. Gov’t embraced – led to order

          4. Spread primarily though Chinese culture

          5. Communities become tight-knit

            1. Members have duties to community from birth

        3. Impact on Society

          1. By 1000 CE coexisted with, competed with, gained, lost, regained status

          2. Neo-Confucianism – 600 CE

          3. Even when not in official favor – still very influential

          4. China’s traditional emphasis on

            1. Filial piety

            2. social hierarchy

            3. respect for authority

              1. Persisted even under Communist regime







        4. Confucius – trying to confront problems of the time

        5. Ethical philosophy

          1. Emphasized proper/harmonious relationships

          2. Respect for one’s elders/authority

          3. Relationship between ruler/people

    3. Decline during Three Kingdoms era due to Taoism/Buddhism


      1. Legalism

        1. Chinese – Qin Dynasty – most notable practitioners

        2. Peace and order only through centralized/tightly governed state

        3. People made to obey through harsh punishment, strong central government, unquestioned authority

        4. Focused on practical/benefits for society

        5. Two most worthy professions – military/farming

        6. Effective for organization

          1. Great Wall – mass projects build quickly

          2. Caused resentment among common people

            1. Led to wider acceptance of Daoism/Confucianism

        7. Differences from Confucianism

          1. Confucianism – fundamental goodness of people vs. fundamentally evil

          2. Confucianism – corresponding responsibilities vs. strict laws/harsh punishments

          3. Both social belief systems to lead to orderly society




      1. Daoism

        1. Overview

          1. Appeared around 500 BCE – more philosophy than religion

          2. Founding father no claim to divinity – like Buddhism initially

          3. way of nature, way of the cosmos

        2. Founding

          1. Lao Tzu (604 BCE) – trying to confront problems of the time

            1. “Old Master”

            2. May or may not be actual historical figure

            3. Said to have written Tao-te Ching

              1. most scholars believe written 300/200 BCE

          2. Zhuangzi (Chuang-tzu)

          3. In response to Era of Warring States

        3. Following Dao

          1. Follow “the way” “the path” – “Book of the Way”

            1. accomplishes everything, but does nothing

            2. Pot on the potter’s wheel

              1. Opening is nothing

              2. Pot would not be a pot without it

              3. Water – soft and yielding, wears away rock

                1. Humans should be passive, yielding to Dao

          2. Metaphysical and instinctual

            1. Universe governed by natural force/invisible yet irresistible

              1. divine yet impersonal

          3. Ambition/activism only bring chaos to world

            1. wuwei – disengagement from world affairs

              1. simple life in harmony with nature

          4. But…Daoist priests sometimes use magic to influence the spirits

          5. Can not be understood intellectually, but felt/sensed intuitively

          6. Deliberately antirational – parables/paradox to train worshiper to look at world in nonlogical ways

          7. Attains wisdom and happiness by seeking dao

            1. Not concerned with worldly things – politics, money, worldly poss.

              1. All illusory and meaningless

            2. Dao found in nature, poetry, spontaneous behavior

            3. Don’t resist Dao, but realize you have no control over material world

            4. Individualism – every person pursues Dao in own way

          8. Promoted scientific discovery

            1. Harmony with nature

              1. Great astronomers, chemists, botanists






        1. Daoist Ritual

          1. Associated with mystical/magical practices – blend of folk religions

            1. Charm making

            2. Alchemy

            3. Fortune telling

            4. I-Ching “Book of Changes” – daoist text

              1. reading the future

          2. Yin-yang – most famous symbol

            1. nothing is absolute, even opposites flow into each other

            2. Male assertiveness, female submissiveness

          3. Most flexible of the world’s major religions

            1. Traditionally coexisted with other faiths

            2. Not uncommon to blend with Buddhism and Confucianism

        2. Governmental recognition

          1. Coexisted – added to uniqueness of China

          2. Confucianism and Daoism closely linked, but sometimes uncomfortable

            1. Opposed to each other

        3. Spread

          1. Spread throughout China

          2. Small, self-sufficient communities – counterbalances to Confucian activism

          3. Spread to areas where China had strong cultural influence –

        4. Differences from Confucianism

          1. helping people live in harmony/internal peace not orderly society

          2. simple, passive existence, little gov’t interference not orderly government

            1. In time, natural balance of universe would resolve problems

          3. Confucianism used for relationships and Daoism for private meditations

            1. Blended later – responsibility for community & personal reflection

        5. Political reform – precepts metaphysical

          1. The way “Tao” should be followed

          2. Seek union with natural order of universe

          3. Blend of Chinese folk religion and Lao Tzu’s teachings

      1. Buddhism

        1. Overview

    1. Originated in India

          1. Similar to Judaism, Hinduism

            1. All are tied to culture, not evangelical movement trying to change civilizations

          2. Forms and denominations spread worldwide

          3. Challenge to social hierarchy of India

            1. Against Brhamins

            2. No caste system

            3. Appeals to lower rank

          4. Two main schools of thought:

            1. Theravada/Hinayana

            2. Mahayana

          5. Foundations go to one person, but…

            1. variety of beliefs, gods, theologies is staggering

        1. History

          1. One of several religious movements in 500 BCE

            1. Transition from Vedism to Hinduism created debate/controversy

            2. Many philosophers experimented with how to reach World Soul

              1. Jainism – Mahavira – 540-468 BCE

                1. Nonviolence

                2. Asceticism

          2. Siddhartha Gautama

            1. Noble family in northern India

            2. 29 yrs old, goes outside, sees pain/poverty of common people

            3. Abandons life to seek answer to suffering

              1. “holy” seeker – meditated, practiced yoga

            4. Born to one spiritual extreme – sensuality/obsession w/ worldly

              1. Chose fasting/ascetism

                1. After 6 years realized it’s not working

                2. Follow “middle way” of moderation, peace, contentment

            5. Following middle way – achieved enlightenment under bodhi tree

              1. took name Buddha – “enlightened one”

              2. Began preaching what he learned – 45 years

            6. Sangha – monks, nuns from every caste

              1. Goal – emulate Buddha – follow the path





        2. Buddhist Doctrine

          1. Early form – less a religion than a philosophy

            1. no claim to divinity or godhood

            2. wanted to correct worst features of Vedism and Hinduism

              1. modify doctrine

              2. purify concepts of karma/reincarnation

                1. take out rituals, ceremonies, brahmins

            3. Thoughts all related to Hinduism – reaction or drawn from

          2. Samsara – wheel of life, death, and reincarnation

          3. Rejected caste system

            1. Rejected idea that only Brahmin could be freed from samsara

            2. Any person could achieve liberation

            3. Realize Four Noble Truths and Follow Eightfold Path

          4. Four Noble Truths

            1. Human existence is inseparable from suffering

            2. The cause of suffering is desire.

            3. Suffering is extinguished by extinguishing desire

            4. desire may be extinguished by following the Eightfold Path

          5. Eightfold Path

            1. Know the truth

            2. Resist evil

            3. Do nothing to hurt others

            4. Respect all forms of life

            5. Work for the well-being of others before that of yourself.

            6. Free your mind of evil

            7. Control your thoughts

            8. Practice meditation

          6. Five Moral Rules

            1. Do not kill any living being

            2. Do not take what is not given to you

            3. Do not speak falsely

            4. Do not drink intoxicating drinks

            5. Do not be unchaste

          7. By following these, anyone can reach enlightenment

            1. Free himself from samsara > nirvana “extinguish”

            2. Goal not union of individual soul with World Soul

              1. Nirvana leads to state of superconsciousness

              2. Dissolved into the life spirit that transcends place/time




        1. Spread through Asia

          1. After death, 483 BCE

            1. Spread through Asia

            2. Split into various denominations

              1. Theravada Buddhism

                1. “Way of the Elders”

                2. Hinayana “Lesser Vehicle” Buddhism

                3. South and Southeast Asia

                4. Closer to spirit of Buddha’s original teachings

                  1. simplicity

                  2. Meditation

                  3. Nirvana – renunciation of self/consciousness

                5. Gods/goddesses little place

                  1. Buddha not a deity

              2. Mahayana Buddhism

                1. “Greater Vehicle”

                2. More elaborate, more complicated

                  1. More ritual and symbology

                  2. Buddhism blended w/ indigenous religions

                  3. Original gives little spiritual comfort

                  4. Gods/goddesses

                    1. Buddha became a god

                    2. Veneration of gods key

                    3. Not just meditation

                  5. Brings up new methods of salvation

                    1. Resembles heaven

                    2. Not suppression of self

                    3. Concepts of hell/punishment

                3. Prayed to bodhisattvas

                  1. Souls who had achieved nirvana

                  2. Remained in human form to help others

                4. Needs priests/scriptures

                5. Irony – many additions like the elements of Hinduism Buddha was trying to get rid of

                6. North and northeastern Asia

                  1. Japan, Korea, Tibet, parts of China




        1. Why did it spread?

          1. Acceptance of men and women from all ranks of society

          2. Monks and nuns who set up religious communities

            1. Located along trade routes – lodging for traders

            2. Merchants carried doctrines along Silk Roads

            3. Gained popularity under Ashoka Mauryan

          3. Always fighting against Hindu Brahmins

            1. Later Gupta emperors

          4. Blended with Confucianism in China – stressed patriarchal families

          5. Belief of bodhisattvas – ordinary people reach nirvana through meditation

        2. Gained popularity under Ashoka

          1. Missionaries around Asia

          2. Brahmins threatened – once dead – pushed out Buddhists

      1. Christianity

    1. Late Classical period (200 C.E.–600 C.E.)

      1. Collapse of empires (Han China, loss of western portion of the Roman Empire, Gupta)

      2. Movements of peoples (Huns, Germans)

      3. Interregional networks by 600 C.E.: Trade and religious diffusion



    Major Comparisons and Snapshots


    7. Comparisons of the major religious and philosophical systems including some underlying similarities in cementing a social hierarchy, e.g., Hinduism contrasted with Confucianism

    8. Role of women in different belief systems -- Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, and Hinduism

    9. Understanding of how and why the collapse of empire was more severe in western Europe than it was in the eastern Mediterranean or in China

    10. Compare the caste system to other systems of social inequality devised by early and classical civilizations, including slavery

    11. Compare societies and cultures that include cities with pastoral and nomadic societies

    12. Compare the development of traditions and institutions in major civilizations, e.g., Indian, Chinese, and Greek

    13. Describe interregional trading systems, e.g., the Indian Ocean trade

    Examples of What You Need to Know


    Below are examples of the types of information you are expected to know contrasted with examples of those things you are not expected to know for the multiple-choice section.

    14. Nature of the Neolithic revolution, but not characteristics of previous stone ages, e.g., Paleolithic and Mesolithic

    15. Economic and social results of the agricultural revolution, but not specific date of the introduction of agriculture to specific societies

    16. Nature of patriarchal systems, but not changes in family structure within a single region

    17. Nature of early civilizations, but not necessarily specific knowledge of more than two

    18. Importance of the introduction of bronze and iron, but not specific inventions or implements

    19. Political heritage of classical China (emperor, bureaucracy), but not specific knowledge of dynastic transitions, e.g., from Qin to Han

    20. Greek approaches to science and philosophy, including Aristotle, but not details about other specific philosophers



    21. Diffusion of major religious systems, but not the specific regional forms of Buddhism or Aryan or Nestorian Christianity


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