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AP Exam Review
Postclassical Period
Middle East/ Africa/ Asia/ Latin America/ E. Europe/ W. Europe
Middle East
Middle East
• The Arabian peninsula
– Nomadic Bedouin
• Herding, Clans, women had some rights
• Post-classical Arabia
• Muhammad ibn Abdullah
– Born in a Mecca merchant family, 570 C.E.
• Muhammad's spiritual transformation
– At age 40, he experienced visions
• The Quran
• The Hadith
Middle East
• Conflict at Mecca
• The hijra
– Fled to Medina, 622 C.E., Islamic calendar
The umma (community)
The "seal of the prophets"
Muhammad's return to Mecca
– Conquered Mecca, 630
• The Kaa'ba
• The Five Pillars of Islam: Profession of faith,
prayer, tithing, pilgrimage, fasting at Ramadan
• Islamic law: the sharia
Middle East
• The caliph
• The expansion of Islam
633-637, seized Byzantine Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia
640's, conquered Egypt and north Africa
651, toppled Sassanid dynasty
711, conquered the Hindu kingdom of Sind
711-718, conquered northwest Africa, most of Iberia
Success due to weakness of enemies, vigor of Islam
Referred to Islamic world as Dar al Islam
• The Shia and Sunnis
– The Shia sect supported Ali (last caliph and son in law of Muhammad)
• Felt caliphs should be directly related to Muhammad
– The Sunnis ("traditionalists") accepted legitimacy of early caliphs
• Were Arab as opposed to Islamic
• Did not feel caliphs had to be related to Muhammad
– Two sects struggled over succession; produced a civil war (Ridda Wars)
Middle East
Middle East: Umayyad
• The Umayyad dynasty (661-750 C.E.), Sunnis
• Policy toward conquered peoples
– Dhimmis, Levied jizya (head tax) on those who did not
convert to Islam
• Umayyad decline
– Luxury and soft living
– Faced strong resistance of the Shia faction
– Umayyad family slaughtered; only one son escaped to
– Formed breakaway Umayyad Dynasty in Spain
Middle East: Umayyad
Middle East: Abbasid
The Abbasid dynasty (750-1258 C.E.)
Harun al-Rashid (786-809 C.E.)
– Represented the high point of the dynasty
– Baghdad became metropolis, center for commerce, industry, and
• Abbasid decline
Struggle for succession between Harun's sons led to civil war
Governors built their own power bases, regional dynasties
Local military commanders took title of Sultan
Popular uprisings and peasant rebellions weakened the dynasty
A Persian noble seized control of Baghdad in 945
Later, the Seljuk Turks controlled the imperial family
Middle East: Abbasid
AP Exam Review
Postclassical Period
Middle East/ Africa/ Asia/ Latin America/ E. Europe/ W. Europe
• Kingdom of Axum (Aksum)
– Eventually became Monophysite Christian
– By 2nd century: Bantus populated much of East
– By 7th century: Arab merchants begin to visit
– By 8th century: Muslim armies, merchants push
up Nile
Africa: Sudanic States
• Camels
• The kingdom of Ghana
• Koumbi-Saleh
– Capital city
– Thriving commercial center
Africa: Sudanic States
• Nomadic Berbers in North Africa
– Berbers and Arabs were bitter rivals
– Arabs settled coastlands, cities
– Berbers lived in deserts, mountains
– Berbers became puritanical Muslim, Shia
– Berber fanatics invaded Ghana, Morocco
– Ghana weakened, fell 10th century CE
Africa: Sudanic States
• Sundanic States
– The lion prince Sundiata (reigned 1230-1255) built the
Mali empire
– Conversion to Islam after his death
• The Mali empire
– Controlled gold, salt; taxed almost all trade passing
through west Africa
• Mansa Musa (1312 to 1337)
– Made his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324-1325
• The decline of Mali
– Factions crippled the central government
– Rise of province of Gao (Songhay) as rival to Mali
Africa: Songhay
• Rise
– Sonni Ali the Great
– Disputed Mali, conquer Timbuktu
– Anti-Muslim: saw them as a threat
• Height of the Songhay
Askia Muhammad seized power after Sonni’s death
Devout Muslim, promoted Islam; launched jihads
• Promoted Songhai to Muslims
• Declared Caliph of the Sudan
– Tradition and Trade
• Fall
Civil war erupted in 16th century
Demographic Changes
Moroccan Empire invades and destroys state in order to control
gold trade
Africa: Swahili
• Intermarriage of the Bantu and the Arab produced Swahili
• The Swahili city-states
– Chiefs gained power through taxing trade on ports
• Kilwa
One of the busiest city-states
Multistory stone buildings, mosques, schools
Issued copper coins from the 13th century
By 15th century, exported a ton of gold per year
Merchants from India, China, Arabia visited
• Islam in East Africa
– Ruling elite and wealthy merchants converted to Islamic faith
– Conversion promoted close cooperation with Muslim merchants
– Conversion also opened door to political alliances with Muslim
Africa: Swahili
Africa: Religions
Africa: Kingdoms
Trade Routes & Boundaries
AP Exam Review
Postclassical Period
Middle East/ Africa/ Asia/ Latin America/ E. Europe/ W. Europe
E. Europe
Byzantine Empire
• The later Roman empire
– The Byzantine emperors faced different challenges
• Conflict with Sasanid dynasty (226-641 C.E.) in Persia
• The early Byzantine State
– Tightly centralized rule of a highly exalted emperor
– Caesaropapism: Emperor is both caesar and pope
• The state and church are separate
• Emperor appoints patriarchs, influence over pope
– Emperors also stood above the law
• Dress and court etiquette designed to enhance rulers' status
• Adopted Oriental style monarchy with all the symbols
Byzantine Empire
Weak Empire (476 to late 6th Century CE)
Justinian and Theodora (Advisor)
Justinian Code
Byzantine conquests
– Reconquered part of western Empire
• Threats from Sasanids and Slavic peoples
Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire: Islamic Threat
Byzantine Empire
East & Western Conflict
• Tensions between Greeks and Latins
• Constantinople
– Greek was religious language
– Caesaropapist emperors
• Rome
– Latin was chief language
– Autonomy from imperial authorities
• Rivalry for conversion of Slavs
• Political grievances
– First Franks then Germans claimed imperial authority
– Charlemagne received imperial crown in 800
– Otto of Saxony claimed himself an emperor in 962
– Byzantines felt they were only legitimate emperor
– Rivalry over Southern Italy and Sicily
Byzantine Church
• Church and state
– Church's close relationship with the imperial
– Constantine actively participated in religious debate
– Under emperors, church was department of state
• Iconoclasm
– Controversy over use of icons in religious services
– Ban inaugurated by Emperor Leo III in 726 C.E.
• Unpopular policy sparked protests, riots throughout the empire
• Opposed by Western Christians, Pope
– The iconoclasts abandoned their effort in 843 C.E.
• Much protest, excommunications from pope
• Emperors worried
Byzantine: Icons
The word of God in
art used for prayer:
Iconographers read
Bible passage,
paint as a prayer.
Icons follow certain
styles using
specific colors,
Great Schism
• Constantinople and Rome
Political rivalry in Central Europe, Balkans, Southern Italy
Iconoclastic movement in the east criticized by the west
Ritual, doctrinal differences
Leavened vs. unleavened bread
Marriage of priests
The vernacular
Council rule versus the monarchical style of the pope
Filoque controversy: Holy Spirit – from who does it proceed?
• Schism
Power struggle led to mutual excommunication, 1054
Origins of Eastern Orthodox & Roman Catholic churches
It was really post-1054, actions made the split permanent
Byzantine Empire
AP Exam Review
Postclassical Period
Middle East/ Africa/ Asia/ Latin America/ E. Europe/ W. Europe
Western Europe
Germanic Kingdoms
• Germanic kingdoms
Visigoths 470's - 8th century
Ostrogoths ruled Italy, 5th century - 530's
Lombards invaded, ruled Italy, 550's to the mid-8th century
Franks Burgundians
Angles, Saxons, Jutes
• Political Culture
Tribes, families
Personal loyalty to king, local noble not state
Warrior aristocracy assisted royalty
• Center of Europe shifted from Italy to northern area
– Towns declined, only non-German structure was the church
– Most Germans were Arian Christians but tolerated Catholics
526 - 600 C.E.
• The Franks: 3rd century
– Politically inexperienced, little exposure to Roman society
• Clovis: A strong military and political leader
• Clovis's conversion
– Most Germans were Arian Christians
• Hostile to Catholics but generally tolerant if taxes paid
• The Franks converted to Roman Christianity
• The Carolingians: 8th century
– Lost control after Clovis's death
• Charles Martel
– Stops Muslim invasion of Europe, 732 at Battle of Tours
– Pepin becomes king, 751
Pope appointed Pepin as King of the Franks
Invaded Italy to save Pope from the Lombards
Pope allows Franks to reign as King of Italy
Pepin grants the area in Italy around Rome to Pope
• Charlemagne (reigned 768-814 C.E.)
– Charles Martel's grandson, founder of Carolingian empire
• Administration
– Relied on aristocratic deputies, known as counts
• Charlemagne as emperor
– Pope Leo III proclaimed Charlemagne emperor, 800
Frankish Empire
Decline of the Franks
• Louis the Pious (re. 814-840)
– Charlemagne's only surviving son, lost control of the counts
– His three sons divided the empire into three kingdoms, 843
• Invasions
– Muslims raided
– Magyars invaded
– Vikings invaded
Europe 1000 C.E.
Feudal System
Two Feudal States
Holy Roman Empire
Manoralism: Economic Feudalism
• Serfdom
– Difference between peasants, serfs
• Peasants were free, owned their own land
• Serfs not free, could not own land
– Slaves, peasants frequently intermarried
– Free peasants became serfs for protection
• Serfs' obligations
Labor service and rents in kind
Could not move without permission
Serfs had right to work on land, pass job to heirs
Serfs often drafted as foot soldiers in feudal armies
• Manors
Principal form of agricultural organization
Manor was a large estate controlled by lord
Many lords could execute serfs for serious misconduct
Manors were largely self-sufficient communities
• Trade: luxuries, manufactured products, finished goods
• Serfs had to work lord’
lord’s land first, before their own plots
Agricultural Economy
Expansion of arable land
– Cleared forests, swamps
– Lords encouraged such efforts
Improved farming techniques
Crop rotation methods
Use of fertilizer
Cultivation of beans increased
More domestic animals
Books on economy, agriculture
New tools and technology
– Extensive use of watermills and heavy plows
– Use of horseshoe and horse collar, increased land under cultivation
– 3-plot rotation of planted land
New food supplies
– Before 1000, European diet - grains
– After 1000, more meat, dairy products, fish, vegetables, legumes
Population growth
– From 29 to 79 million between 800 C.E. and 1300 C.E.
Crusading Orders and Baltic Expansion
– Germans launched mass settlement of Eastern lands
Allowed nobles to conquer, settle lands in east
Formed military-religious orders to assist
Launched crusades against pagan Baltic and Slavic peoples
Settled German peasants, serfs in lands
– The Teutonic Knights were most active in the Baltic region
• Baltic region was absorbed into Christian Europe by late 13th century
• Settled German settlers in Estonia, Latvia, Prussia
• Allied with the Hansa
The Reconquest (for Christianity) of Sicily and Spain
– The conquest of Southern Italy, Sicily by Normans, 1040 – 1090
• Seized lands from the Byzantines, Lombards,
Lombards, Muslims to create a powerful, modern state
• Became ally, protector of the Popes; bitter enemies of the Byzantines
– The reconquista of Spain
• The reconquista began in 11th century after collapse of strong Muslim state
• By 1150, conquered half peninsula: leading states were Leon-Castile, Aragon, Catalonia, Portugal
• By the 13th century, took almost all the peninsula except Granada
• The Turks
– Arrived in Middle East in early 11th century; defeated Abbassids and Byzantines
– Seized much of Byzantine holdings in Anatolia, Muslim Holy Land
• Pope Urban II
– Byzantines asked West for help; Pope called for knights to seize Holy Land,
• The first crusade
– French, Normans organized a respectable military expedition, 1096
– Jerusalem fell to the crusaders, 1099
– Muslims recaptured Jerusalem, 1187
• Later crusades
– By the mid-13th century, launched five major crusades which all failed
– 4th crusade (1202-1204) conquered Constantinople, made Schism final
• Consequences of the crusades
– Facilitated exchange of goods between Muslims, Europe
• Demands for silk, cotton textiles, and spices increased; spread sugar, citrus plants
• Italian merchants sought opportunities for direct trade in Asian markets
– European borrowed heavily from Muslim intellectual knowledge
Reacquired Aristotle, lost Greek classics
Borrowed Muslim science, mathematics, technology, paper skills
Borrowed Muslim architectural techniques
Helped produce a 12th century European intellectual Renaissance
AP Exam Review
Postclassical Period
Middle East/ Africa/ Asia/ Latin America/ E. Europe/ W. Europe
China: Buddhism
China: Sui
• The rule of the Sui
Reunification by Yang Jian in 589
Constructions of palaces and granaries, repairing the Great Wall
Military expeditions in central Asia and Korea
High taxes and compulsory labor services
• The Grand Canal
One of the world's largest waterworks before modern times
Purpose: bring abundant food supplies of the south to the north
Linked the Yangtze and the Huang-Hi
The canal integrated the economies of the south and north
• The fall of the Sui
High taxes and forced labor generated hostility among the people
Military reverses in Korea
Rebellions broke out in north China beginning in 610
Sui Yangdi was assassinated in 618, the end of the dynasty
China: Sui
China: Tang
• Founding of the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 CE)
• China enjoyed an era of unusual stability and prosperity
• Extensive networks of transportation and communications
• Adopted the equal-field system
• Bureaucracy of merit
– Recruited government officials through civil service examinations
– Restored Confucianism as state ideology, training for bureaucrats
• Foreign relations
– Political theory: China was the Middle Kingdom, or the center of civilization
• Tang decline
Casual and careless leadership led to dynastic crisis
The equal-field system deteriorated
Regional commanders gained power, beyond control of the emperor
The last Tang emperor abdicated his throne in 907
China: Tang
China: Song (960-1279)
• Song Taizu: Reigned 960-976 C.E.
• Song weaknesses
– Song never had military, diplomatic strength of Sui, Tang
– Financial problems
• Enormous bureaucracy with high salary devoured surplus
• Forced to pay large tribute to nomads to avoid war
– Military problems
• Civil bureaucrats in charge of military forces
• Military was largely foot soldiers at war with cavalry nomads
– External pressures
• Semi-nomadic Khitan,
Khitan, nomadic Jurchen attacked in north
• Constant drain on treasury to pay tribute to nomads
– The Song moved to the south, ruled south China until 1279
• Nomads invaded, overran northern Song lands
• Song retreated to the South along Yangtze, moved capital
• After defeat, constantly forced to pay tribute
Song Northern & Southern Maps
Demographic & Environmental Changes
• An agricultural revolution
Twice flowering, fast-ripening rice increased food supplies
New agricultural techniques increased production
Population growth
• 45 to 115 million inhabitants
• Between 600 and 1200 C.E.
• Urbanization: China most urbanized country in period
– Chang'an had about 2 million residents
– Hangzhou had about 1 million residents
– Many cities boasted population of 100,000 or more
• Commercialized agriculture
– Some regions depended on other regions for food
– Extreme surplus of southern rice allowed cities to flourish
– Necessitate vast grain shipments to cities
Taoist, Buddhist Synthesis with Confucianism
Early Confucianism focused on practical issues
Politics, Public Morality, Social Relationships
Confucians drew inspiration
From Buddhism Spirituality
From Taoism Cosmology
Metaphysical issues: nature of soul
Man's relation with cosmos
Xenophobia Contributes, too
Logical thought
Argumentation of Buddhism
Invasions by nomads, Turks and Mongols threatened state
Foreign ideas began to circulate
Too many threats to society, traditions
Zhu Xi (1130-1200 C.E.), most prominent Neo-Confucian scholar
Neo-Confucian influence
Adapted Buddhist, Taoist themes, reasoning to Confucian interests
Made Buddhism Chinese but stressed Chinese roots, values
Influenced East Asian thought
In China, it was an officially recognized creed
Influenced Korea, Vietnam, and Japan for half a millennium
• Porcelain
– High quality porcelain since the Tang, known as chinaware
– Technology diffused to other societies, especially to Abbasid Arabia
– Exported vast quantities to southeast Asia, India, Persia, and Africa
• Metallurgy
– Improvement: used coke instead of coal in furnaces to make iron, steel
– Iron production increased tenfold between the early 9th and 12th century
• Gunpowder
– Discovered by Daoist alchemists during the Tang
– Bamboo "fire lances," a kind of flame thrower, and primitive bombs
– Gunpowder chemistry diffused throughout Eurasia
• Printing
– Became common during the Tang
– From block-printing to movable type
– Books became widespread
• Naval technology
– "South-pointing needle" - the magnetic compass
– Double hulled junks with rudder, water-tight compartments
Market Economy
• Merchants in Charge
Only period in China where merchants socially superior to aristocrats
Merchants attempted to intermarry with aristocrats, become landowners
Merchants attempted to have sons admitted as Confucian bureaucrats
Merchants tended to espouse Confucianism as way into traditional elites
Most large cities had large merchant communities
• Financial instruments
– Banking and credit institution
– “Flying money " were letters of credit
– Paper money backed by state, treasury
• A cosmopolitan society
– Foreign merchants in large cities of China
– Mostly Arab (Muslim), Indian, S.E. Asian
– Chinese merchants journeyed throughout region
• Economic surge in China
– An economic revolution in China
– Made China the wealthiest nation in the world at time
– Promoted economic growth in the eastern hemisphere
Chinese Influence
Korea in the Ancient and Classical Periods
Chinese armies invaded periodically
Chinese established control of parts of Korea
Fall of Han left regional Korean aristocrats in control
Korean History 669 – 1392 C.E.
Tang armies conquered much of Korea
Song replaced Tang
China's influence in Korea
Ancestor worship strong in Korean society
Korean officials trained in Confucian ideas during Han, Tang but not as strong
Newer Traditions
Sinification = becoming Chinese
Koreans borrowed what was useful, unavoidable; avoided what was not
Tributary embassies included Korean royal officials and scholars
Silla kings built new capital at Kumsong modeled on the Tang capital
Older Traditions
Koguryo conquered Silla in 935, ruled to 1392
Korean elite turned to Neo-Confucianism
Peasants turned to Chan Buddhism
Difference from China: aristocracy and royal houses dominated Korea
Nam Viet people originated in Southern China
Rise of Han and southern settlement of Chinese pushed Viet out
Viet migrated into Red River Valley, down coast fighting local inhabitants
Vietnam under Chinese rule to c. 983 CE
Han first conquered Northern Vietnam in 111 BCE
1,000yr struggle for independence
Independent Vietnam (c. 983 CE)
Difference from China
Role of village equal to role of family in China
Few cities; village dominate countryside, elders ran villages
Many Vietnamese retained their religious traditions
Women played more prominent roles in Vietnam
Viet elites adopted Chinese agriculture, schools, thought; intermarried
Massive migration of Chinese official, scholars, bureaucrats to Vietnam
Could be head of households, own land, engage openly in business
Were often leaders of villages and even at national level
Chinese influence in Vietnam limited to the elite
Elites adopted bureaucracy, form of state, emperorship, Confucianism
Adopted Chinese script, literary and artistic models
Mahayana Buddhism (although region is Theravada) also arrived
Irrigation and water control techniques
Japanese feudalism
– Called the Shogunate Period
• Military dictators ruled, Emperors reigned in splendid isolation
• Government was centralized feudalism
– Countryside divided up into fiefs
– Daimyo appointed by the shoguns
– Adopted Neo-Confucianism as state philosophy
• Provincial lords controlled Japan
– Called Daimyo, vied for power against each other
– Constant war to increase personal power, wealth, fiefs
– Kamakura Period (1185-1333 C.E.)
– Muromachi Period (1336-1573 C.E.)
The Samurai
– The lowest class of aristocratic nobility
Professional warriors of provincial lords
Observed samurai code called bushido
Valued loyalty, military talent, and discipline; traded military skills for food
To preserve their honor, engaged in ritual suicide called seppuku
Japanese Women
– Legendary founder of Japan, Yamato clan was sun goddess, Amaterasu
– Under Heian
• They were the cultural elite with elaborate rituals including dress
• Had great influence, including several empresses
– Under Shogunate
• Lost considerable influence as Neo-Confucianism introduced, warfare spread
• Could still be samurai and fight but patriarchal society
• Shinto was also male dominated and included ancestor worship