Study Guide: hist 3840, Ancient History

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Study Guide: HIST 3840, Ancient History (Exam 1, Spring 2012)

Study chapters 1-7 in the textbook (Ralph W. Mathiesen, Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations) and the assigned internet readings (see syllabus), as well as your lecture notes.

You may bring in a 3x5 index card to the exam. You may write/type whatever you want using both sides of the card, but cannot bring magnifying glasses or other extraordinary aids to read minuscule writing. I will initial your card before the exam starts and will pick up your card with the exam. Please bring at least one blue examination booklet in which to write the exam (available at the Bookstore).

General tips:
• Be sure to review all material (textbook, internet readings, class notes).
• Start with the big picture, then begin to narrow down to the details.
• Plan on budgeting your time. You will have 85 minutes to take the exam (minus a few minutes for distributing and collecting tests). If a section of the exam is worth 40% of the total, budget 32 minutes (40% of 80 minutes), if a section is worth 10%, then budget 8 minutes. If you want to have time to plan and/or look over your answers, you should budget a little less for each section.
• Before you begin writing, read over the whole exam. Note where you have choices and mark which questions (terms or essays) you are going to tackle.
• For essays, you should make an informal outline (on the back of the exam paper or in the cover of the blue book–these will not be read or graded by the instructor) before you start writing. This will help you stay focused and prevent panic attacks if you find yourself running short of time. The outline will go more quickly if you study by preparing outlines for all of the essay questions (and time yourself writing out at least one practice essay).

I. Terms (4 out of 8 terms; 10% each; 40% total)
Terms will be taken from the lectures and readings. A good start would be to study the hints for the essay questions below, but be sure that you look at each day's readings and notes to make sure that you are not missing any important terms. Write a substantial paragraph on each term (5 sentences or longer). Be sure to address the questions Who? What? When? Where? and Why? (both "why important" and "why it happened").

II. Technical Terms (2 out of 4 terms; 5% each; 10% total)
Terms will come from the technical terms given at the beginning of each class period; write a strong paragraph for each term. Half of your credit will come from writing a short definition of the term or description of the concept (1 or 2 sentences). The other half will come from at least one specific example of how this concept can be used to research or understand ancient history (3 or 4 sentences).
Terms: radio carbon dating, stratigraphy, epigraphy, syncretism, historiography, toponyms, etymology, dendrochronology

II. Essay (1 of 2 essays; 40% total)
TWO of the following will appear on the mid-term exam. You will write on ONE of them. I will grade your essay based on coverage of relevant historical facts, reference to appropriate primary sources, understanding of historical debates and interpretations, overall organization and argument, and writing ability (clear style, correct grammar). The hints below are to aid you in studying, but will not appear on the exam.

Primary sources (be prepared to discuss at least one primary source in each essay and to be able to write a paragraph for the Terms section): Sumerian King List, Epic of Gilgamesh, Code of Hammurabi, Hymn to the Nile, Princess Ahura and the Magic Book, Instruction of Ptah-Hotep, Horus and the Pig, flood story in Genesis, Thucydides on the Hellenes, Herodotus and Strabo on the founding of Cyrene, Herodotus on the Hellenes and Phoenicians, Herodotus on Croesus and Solon, Eccleziazusae of Aristophanes, selections on Greek women, selections on Greek religion

1. Discuss the changes that led from the later Stone Age (Mesolithic and Neolithic) to the Bronze Age in the Near East with a special emphasis on Mesopotamia and the eastern Mediterranean area.

Hint: Mesolithic, Pleistocene, Ice Age, extinctions, sedentary, nomadic, stone tools, bow/arrow, domestication of dog, Neolithic, pottery, domestication of grains, beasts of burden, trade networks (obsidian, amber, ochre, flint, etc.). mining, public spaces, private dwellings, Chalcolithic (Copper) Age, specialization, early agrarian settlements (Hassuna, Halaf culture, etc.), irrigation, bricks, pottery wheel, bronze, social classes, slavery, gender, early writing systems, long-distance trade, religious buildings, sciences (astronomy, mathematics), kingship, cities, laws

2. To what extent did the culture developed in Greece during the Bronze Age and Dark Age draw on influences from other cultures and to what extent was it new and innovative? What historical debates are behind this question?

Hint: Minoans, Crete, Knossos, Martin Bernal, Black Athena, Hyksos, Aphrodite, Ishtar, Athena, Ht Nt, Herodotus, Ancient model, Aryan model, revised Ancient model, Linear A, double ax, Minoan solar goddess, sailing ships, toponyms, Thera, Mycenaeans, Linear B, Indo-Europeans, sky gods, chthonic (earth) gods, matriarchy vs patriarchy, Theseus, Sea People

3. Compare the types of states found in the Near East (Mesopotamia and the eastern Mediterranean) in the later Neolithic with the Iron Age Empires of the Near East. What were the key similarities and differences in organization, territory, ethnic make-up?

Hint: Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Gilgamesh, Hammurabi, city states, law codes, Assyrians, iron weapons, intimidation of subject populations (mutilation, deportation, etc.), vassal states, core territories, provinces, king as representative of god, capital cities, Nineveh, military organization (standing army, mercenaries, conscripts, etc.), palace intrigues, tribute, taxation, New Babylonian Empire, Medes, Lydia, Egypt's Saite Dynasty (XXVI), Persians, Achaemenids, Cyrus the Great, Darius, Susa, king of kings (shah en shah), divine ruler, ruling families, satrapies, satraps, royal road

4. Trace changes in Egyptian government and religion from the Old through the New Kingdoms.

Hint: Ra, Atum, Isis, Osiris, Seth, ma'at, Nile River, honorific titles, pyramids, taxation, work duty, nomes, nomarchs, temples, priests, pharaohs, Hyksos, Ramses II, Thutmose I, Hatshepsut, Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV), Memphis, Heliopolis, Tell al-Amarna (Akhetaten), Ramses III, Nubia, Punt, Aegean, Palestine/Syria, Hebrews, Exodus

5. Compare and contrast religious beliefs and practices in two of the following: Egypt (Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms) and/or Mesopotamia (Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians) and/or Greece (Mycenaeans, Minoans, and Classical Greeks). Take into account changes over time as well as differences between the two regions/cultures that you are comparing.

Hint: polytheism, syncretism, Egyptians, Ra, Atun, Isis, Osiris, Horus, Seth, pharaohs, ma'at, Sun, judgment, pyramids, priesthood, shrines, amulets, offerings, oracles, pilgrimages, amulets, dream interpretation, animal worship, Mesopotamians, Gilgamesh, flood story, Ishtar, ziggurats, temples, priesthood, Minoans, mountain shrines, possible human sacrifice, bulls, snakes, Mycenaeans, sky gods or earth gods?, Homer, Olympian gods (Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Athena, Aphrodite, etc.), Olympic games, libations, sacrifices, temples, Trojan War, oracles, Delphi, pythoness

6. Discuss the development of the Greek polis in the period from 800 to 400 BCE. Consider government, (including changes in government), urban life, philosophy, and the arts. How were Athens and Sparta similar to and different from other poleis in their development?

Hint: monarchy, aristocracy, oligarchy, tyranny, democracy, hoplites, helots, Draco, Solon, Pisistratus, Cleisthenes, colonies, Persian Wars, Peloponnesian War, citizenship, archons, Council of 500, Pisistratus, juries, Gerousia, ephors, Messenia, perioikioi, resident foreigners, philosophy, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Sophists, literature, drama, tragedy, comedy, satire, Aristophanes, Aeschylus, Euripedes, Sophocles, women, spinning and weaving

7. Discuss relations among the major Greek city states from the beginning of the Persian War until the end of the Peloponnesian War.

Hint: monarchy, aristocracy, oligarchy, tyranny, democracy, hoplites, helots, colonies, Peloponnesian League, Delian League, oracle at Delphi, Lydia, Cyrene, Persia, Croesus, Xerxes, Cyrus, Darius, Marathon, Thermopylae, Salamis

8. Discuss developments of economy and trade in the eastern Mediterranean from the late Neolithic period through the Classical Age of Greece (roughly 8000 to 400 BCE).

Hint: trade routes, Mediterranean sea, rivers, overland, early settlements (Ebla, Catal Huyuk, etc.), Greeks (Minoans, Mycenaeans, Classical Greeks), Phoenicians, Aramaians, Philistines, Hebrews, Egyptians, Sea Peoples, cross-cultural contacts (language, religion, writing, crops, livestock, pottery, luxury goods, diplomacy, etc.), Black Athena, Martin Bernal

III. Map (1% each; 10% total)
Be able to find the following places on a map of the Mediterranean and surrounding areas. See maps on inside covers of the textbook. Places marked with a star (*) have been discussed in class but are not labeled on the flyleafs of the book; many, however, can be found in the smaller maps in the assigned chapters of the textbook and in standard reference works.

Aegean Sea
Ionian Sea
Mediterranean Sea
Persian Gulf
Red Sea
Black Sea
Atlantic Ocean

*Asia Minor (Anatolia)


*Upper Egypt
*Lower Egypt

Sahara Desert

Arabian Desert




Uruk (Erech)


Euphrates River

Tigris River
Nile River

Caucasus Mountains

Balkans Mountains

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