Themes in ap world History

The Aftermath of the Fall of Classical Civilizations

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12. The Aftermath of the Fall of Classical Civilizations

It will be important for you to understand how these civilizations transitioned from classical times to Medieval times.

Han China


Gupta India

    • Daoism and Buddhism gain popularity

    • Invasions from nomads (Hsiung-nu)

    • political decentralization

    • 589 CE: Sui dynasty reestablishes order in China

    • Confucian culture/traditions kept by the elite classes

    • invading nomads settled and assimilated into Chinese culture

    • small landowners forced to sell to large landowners

    • large landowners became increasingly self-sufficient, leading to a decline in trade, which led to a decline in urban populations

    • Conflict with large Christian minority

    • Constantine established second capital at Byzantium (Constantinople) and converted to Christianity

    • Western portion of empire steadily declined, while eastern portion thrived and continued to trade with the East

    • Huns migrate out of Central Asia, pressuring Germanic tribes of Central Europe to migrate/invade the Roman Empire

    • Germanic tribes establish kingdoms within Roman empire, eventually overthrow western emperor by 476 CE

    • Eastern portion (becoming the Byzantine Empire) faced less pressure from outsiders and more economic prosperity, center for arts

    • Attempt to revive empire during the rule of Justinian (Byzantine emperor), but unsuccessful

    • cities in the west deteriorated and culture/intellectual life declined

    • centralized government replaced by allegiances to Germanic kings

    • Invaders from central steppes from ~500 CE to ~600

    • local rulers (Rajput) replace centralized rule of Guptas

    • interest in Buddhism declined, while adherence to Hindu traditions continued

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