Standard whi. 4 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the civilizations of Persia, India, and China in terms of chronology, geography, social structures, government, economy, religion, and contributions to later civilizations by

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The student will demonstrate knowledge of the civilizations of Persia, India, and China in terms of chronology, geography, social structures, government, economy, religion, and contributions to later civilizations by:

SOL Standard

Essential Understanding

Essential Knowledge

a) describing Persia, including Zoroastrianism and the development of an imperial bureaucracy.

Built on earlier Central Asian and Mesopotamian civilizations, Persia developed the largest empire in the world.
Zoroastrianism was the main Persian religion, although other religions were tolerated.

Persian Empire

Tolerance of conquered peoples

Development of an imperial bureaucracy

Construction of road system

Practice of Zoroastrianism

Religion of Persia

Belief in two opposing forces in the universe

b) describing India, with emphasis on the Aryan migrations and the caste system.

Classical Indian civilization began in the Indus River Valley, spread to the Ganges River Valley, and then spread throughout the Indian subcontinent. This spread continued with little interruption because of the geographic location.
Indo-Aryan people migrated into the area, creating a structured society (caste system) and blending their beliefs with those of the indigenous people.
During the Golden Age of classical Indian culture, Indian people made significant contributions to world civilization.

Physical barriers, such as the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush, and the Indian Ocean, made invasion difficult.
Mountain passes in the Hindu Kush provided migration routes into the Indian subcontinent.
The Indus and Ganges were the important rivers in the Indian subcontinent.
Indus River Valley civilization

Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro
Aryans (Indo-Aryans)

Migration, assertion of dominance

Caste system, which influenced all social interactions and choices of occupations
Mauryan Empire - Asoka

Continued political unification of much of India

Contributions: Spread of Buddhism, free hospitals, veterinary clinics, good roads
Gupta Empire

Golden Age of classical Indian culture

Contributions: Mathematics (concept of zero), medical advances (setting bones), astronomy (concept of a round earth), new textiles, literature

c) describing the origins, beliefs, traditions, customs, and spread of Hinduism.

Hinduism was an important contribution of classical India.
Hinduism influenced Indian society and culture and is still practiced in India today.


Belief in many forms of one God

Reincarnation: Rebirth based upon karma

Karma: Knowledge that all thoughts and actions result in future consequences

Vedas and Upanishads: Sacred writings

Spread along major trade routes

d) describing the origins, beliefs, traditions, customs, and spread of Buddhism.

Buddhism was founded by Siddhartha Gautama in a part of India that is in present-day Nepal. Buddhism became a major faith when Asoka sent missionaries throughout Asia.


Founder: Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha)

Four Noble Truths

Eightfold Path to Enlightenment

Asoka’s missionaries and their writings spread Buddhism from India to China and other parts of Asia.

e ) describing China, with emphasis on the development of an empire and the construction of the Great Wall and;
f) describing the impact of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism.

Classical China was centered on the Huang He (Yellow River) and was geographically isolated. Invaders entered China from the north. The Great Wall was built for China’s protection.
Chinese culture began around 1500 b.c. (b.c.e.). Of Chinese contributions to civilization, Confucianism and Taoism are among the most noted.

Migratory invaders raided Chinese settlements from the north. Qin Shi Huangdi built the Great Wall as a line of defense against invasions.
China was governed by a succession of ruling families called dynasties. Chinese rulers were considered divine, but they served under a Mandate of Heaven only as long as their rule was just.
The Silk Road facilitated trade and contact between China and other cultures as far away as Rome.
Contributions of classical China

Civil service system, paper, porcelain, silk

Impact of Confucianism in forming the social order in China

Belief that humans are good, not bad

Respect for elders/ancestor worship

Code of politeness (still used in Chinese society today)

Emphasis on education
Impact of Taoism in forming Chinese culture and values

Humility, simple life and inner peace, harmony with nature

Yin and yang represented opposites for Confucianism and Taoism. Chinese forms of Buddhism spread throughout Asia.

Essential Questions

  • How did Persia govern its empire?

  • Why were physical geography and location important to the development of Indian civilization?

  • What impact did the Aryans have on India?

  • Why was the caste system central to Indian culture?

  • What were the accomplishments of the Mauryan and Gupta empires?

  • What are the beliefs of the Hindu religion?

  • How did Hinduism influence Indian society and culture?

  • What are the beliefs of Buddhism?

  • How did Buddhism spread?

  • Why was the Great Wall of China built?

  • What were contributions of classical China to world civilization?

  • Why were Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism important in the formation of Chinese culture?

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