Themes in ap world History


Interactions between Civilizations of the Classical Period



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13. Interactions between Civilizations of the Classical Period

In addition to knowledge of the specific characteristics of Classical civilizations, you are required to know about types of interactions, such as invasions (many of which have already been discussed) and trade




  1. Rivalries along the Nile

    • Kingdom of Kush south of Egypt: admired Egyptians and adopted aspects of their culture, such as hieroglyphics and religious beliefs

    • Kush conquer Egypt ~750 BCE during a time when Egypt was weak

    • Kush conquered by another rival kingdom, Axum ~300 CE

    • Another rival kingdom, Ethiopia, was a Christian kingdom (Christianity brought to region by Greek merchants ~4th century CE)

    • All of these kingdoms traded along the Nile and across the Red Sea

  2. Silk Roads

  • roads linked China, India, and Mesopotamia

  • trade often facilitated by Central Asian herders

  • roads extended by Romans to include the Mediterranean region

  • important route that gave access to luxury goods and exotic spices from the East to the West

  • Nomads linked to more advanced civilizations through their participation in trade (often offering use of their animals)

  • allowed the diffusion of ideas (including religious beliefs and scientific discoveries), goods, technology, and diseases

  1. Indian Ocean Trade

  • an extension of the Silk Roads that allowed trade primarily between China, India, and Africa

  • sea merchants/sailors from China, India, Persia, Africa, Southeast Asia

  • movement possible from monsoon winds to go from section to section across the Indian Ocean

  1. Trans-Saharan Trade

  • trade across the Sahara desert

  • use of camel caravans to cross the desert

  • primarily exchange of salt and palm oil for gold and ivory

  • significant in that sub-Saharan Africa was linked to North Africa and therefore the Mediterranean trade routes, as well as the silk roads that the Romans extended into North Africa





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