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Transcript
Name _______________________________________________________
Period _________________
Babylonian Empire
Babylon gained independence from Assyrian Empire in
627 b.c. As barbaric tribes from the north and east
invaded Assyria, Babylon capitalized upon Assyria's
weakened state, by gaining independence. The
Babylonians then proceeded to conquer the rest of
Southern Mesopotamia.
The Assyria Capitol of Nineveh was captured by the
Babylonians (612 BC): The Babylonians marched north,
conquering Assyrian territory along the way as they
advanced toward the heart of the empire.
There were libraries in most towns and temples. An old Sumerian proverb said: "He who would
excel in the school of the scribes
must rise with the dawn."
The Babylonian system of
mathematics was sexagesimal, or a
base 60 numeral system. From this
we get the modern day usage of 60
seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in
an hour, and 360 (60 x 6) degrees
in a circle. The Babylonians were able to make great advances in mathematics because the number
60 has many divisors (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20, and 30), making calculations easier. They also
demonstrated knowledge of the Pythagorean theorem well before Pythagoras.
What does the proverb mean : "He who would excel in the school of the scribes must rise
with the dawn?" _____________________________________________________________________________________
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Why would a 60 numeral system be beneficial? _______________________________________
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Name _______________________________________________________
Period _________________
Egyptian Empire
The different areas of the Ancient Nile River
were ruled by tribal chiefs and kings. As time
passed smaller kingdoms unified - forming
larger and larger kingdoms. This continued
until around 6,000 years ago when the Nile
Valley consisted of only two large kingdoms.
These kingdoms were called Lower Egypt and
Upper Egypt. Lower Egypt was in the Northern
portion of the Nile Valley, and Upper Egypt
was in the Southern portion of the Nile Valley.
Around 5,000 years ago a powerful king from the Upper Egyptian nation led an army North in order to
conquer Lower Egypt. This kings name was Narmer. Narmer established a unified Egypt throughout the
Nile Valley. He built a capital on the border between Lower and Upper Egypt, which he named Memphis.
From Memphis, Narmer and his decedents ruled Egypt. A family that rules a nation is known as a
dynasty. From 5,000 years ago until around 2,300 years ago Egypt was ruled by 30 different dynasties.
Historians divide the nearly 2,500 years of Egyptian history into
three periods. These periods are known as the Old Kingdom,
the Middle Kingdom, and the New Kingdom.
The Egyptian government was a theocracy. The government
used the power of religion as a control in ruling the country. The
pharaoh was the head of the state and also the divine
representative of the gods. During the old kingdom, the
pharaohs considered themselves to be living gods ruling with
absolute power. By the middle kingdom, they were
representatives of the gods on earth. To reinforce their images
as the representatives of the gods they were often depicted as
warriors who single-handedly defeated their enemies.
Who was the first ruler of Egypt?
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Why do you think historians split up Egyptian History into
groups? ____________________________________________
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Why would having the King as a representative of the gods help
his power?
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Why do you think Southern Egypt was the “Upper Kingdom”
and Northern Egypt was the “Lower Kingdom?”
___________________________________________________
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Name _______________________________________________________
Period _________________
Persian Empire
The Achaemenid Persian empire was the largest
that the ancient world had seen, extending from
Anatolia and Egypt across western Asia to northern
India and Central Asia. Its formation began in 550
B.C., when Lydian King Astyages of Media, who
dominated much of Iran and eastern Anatolia
(Turkey), was defeated by his southern neighbor
Cyrus II ("the Great"), king of Persia (r. 559–530
B.C.). This upset the balance of power in the Near
East. The Lydian army withdrew for the winter but
the Persians advanced to the Lydian capital at
Sardis, which fell after a two-week siege. The
Lydians had been allied with the Babylonians and
Egyptians and Cyrus now had to confront these
major powers. The Babylonian empire controlled
Mesopotamia and the eastern Mediterranean. In 539 B.C., Persian forces defeated the Babylonian army
at the site of Opis, east of the Tigris. Cyrus entered Babylon and presented himself as a traditional
Mesopotamian monarch, restoring temples and releasing political prisoners. The one western power that
remained unconquered in Cyrus' lightning campaigns was Egypt. It was left to his son Cambyses to rout
the Egyptian forces in the eastern Nile Delta in 525 B.C. After a ten-day siege, Egypt's ancient capital
Memphis fell to the Persians.
It was during the Achaemenid period that Zoroastrianism reached South-Western Iran, where it came to
be accepted by the rulers and through them became a defining element of Persian culture. The religion
was not only accompanied by a formalization of the concepts and divinities of the traditional Indo-Iranian
pantheon but also introduced several novel ideas, including that of free will.
Zoroastrians believe that there is one universal God: Ahura Mazda. He is said to be the one uncreated
Creator to whom all worship is ultimately directed. Ahura Mazda's creation—truth and order—is the
antithesis of chaos, or falsehood and disorder. The resulting conflict involves the entire universe,
including humanity, which has an active role to play in the conflict.
The religion states that active participation in life through good thoughts, good words, and good deeds is
necessary to ensure happiness and to keep chaos at bay. This active participation is a central element in
Zoroaster's concept of free will. Ahura Mazda will ultimately prevail over the evil Angra Mainyu or
Ahriman, at which point the universe will undergo a cosmic renovation and time will end. In the final
renovation, all of creation—even the souls of the dead that were initially banished to "darkness"—will be
returned to life in the undead form. At the end of time, a savior-figure will bring about a final renovation of
the world in which the dead will be revived.
Why do you think the Persians were able to conquer so much land? ______________________
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What are some of the beliefs of Zoroastrianism? What religion are its beliefs similar to? ______
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