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THE ORIGINS OF
CIVILIZATION
Early Forms of Man

Hominids
Human-like creatures that walk upright
 Appear about 4 million years ago
 “Lucy” found in Ethiopia, about 3.5 million
years old


Homo habilis
Able to make and use tools
 Appear 2.5 million years ago
 Start of the Paleolithic Era (Old Stone Age)

Early Forms of Man

Homo erectus
Appear 1.6 million years ago
 First to migrate from Africa
 First to use fire
 Maybe first to use language

Early Forms of Man

Homo Sapiens: Neanderthals
Appear 200,000 years ago
 Larger brains
 Sophisticated stone tools
 Lived in caves, huts of wood & animal skin
 Developed religious rituals
 Created music

Early Forms of Man

Homo Sapiens: Cro-Magnon men
Appear 40,000 years ago
 More than 100 different tools
 Created painting
 Our ancestors

The Life of Early Men

Hunter-gatherers
From 4 million BC to 10,000 BC
 Hunted animals for meat
 Gathered wild grains, vegetables, fruit


Nomads
Wandered the earth in search of food
supplies
 Improved tools helped them gain more food

Technology

The way in which humans used applied
knowledge to create more and more advanced
tools to improve their lives







The stone axe
The wheel
The sail
The compass
The printing press
The telephone
The computer
The Neolithic Revolution
Neolithic Era = New Stone Age
 One of the two greatest changes in the
existence of the human race



10,000-5,000 BC
Men began to raise and grow food where
they lived
Kept and bred livestock – domestication
 Sowed seeds for crops
 Secure, local sources of food

The Neolithic Revolution

Took place in different parts of the world
Mesopotamia
 Nile valley of Egypt
 China
 Indus valley of India
 The Mediterranean basin
 Central America
 Peru

The Neolithic Revolution
Men could settle down in communities
 Communities grew, became more
complex


New institutions, rules needed
Civilization

Civilization



Advanced form of culture
Linked to growth of life in cities: civitas =
city state in Latin
Marked by five major changes in
human life
Hallmarks of Civilization
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
(5)
Creation of institutions – government,
kings, priests, laws
Separation of roles – farmers, artisans,
merchants, administrators, priests,
scribes
Record keeping – invention of writing
Advanced technology
Large cities
River Valley Civilizations
Earliest civilizations grew in river valleys
 Water essential for

Drinking – humans and herds
 Irrigation of crops
 Transportation

The River Valley Civilizations
Mesopotamia
 Egypt
 China
 Indus valley


Geographic division led to development
of different cultures
Culture

The way of life of one distinctive group of
people. Marked by common
Language
 Beliefs and values
 Symbols
 Social customs
 Family structure
 Food and drink
 Clothing

The Bronze Age
Began around 3000 BC
 Marked by use of bronze tools and
weapons


Bronze an alloy of copper and tin
Sumeria
In Mesopotamia – between two rivers
 City-states



Ur – about 3000 BC, 30,000 people
Led by priests (defense against the
gods) and warrior kings (defense against
enemies)
Sumerian Technology



Ziggurats – temples in pyramid-form
Irrigation systems
Arithmetic, based on 60




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


60 minutes to an hour
360 degrees to a circle
Cuneiform writing
Wheel
Plow
Sail
Bronze armor and weapons
Potter’s wheel
The Civilizations of
Mesopotamia and Egypt
The Babylonian Empire

Babylonians conquered Mesopotamia c.
2000 BC

Created the first great empire

Hammurabi ruled Babylon, 1792-1750 BC
 Created the world’s first law code, focused on



Property rights
Commercial law – laws governing trade
Personal violence
Egypt
Ruled by pharaohs – kings believed to
be gods
 Belief in after-life
 Pyramids
 Mummification
 Papyrus – paper
 Hieroglyphic writing

Egypt

Solar calendar


365 days, 12 months per year
Written numbers, geometry
Indo-European Migrations
Nomads from north of the Black Sea and
Caspian Sea
 Pastoral people



Herded wandering flocks of cattle, sheep,
goats
1700-1200 BC: moved to populate
Europe, Iran, India, South Asia
ANCIENT GREECE
Minoan Civilization
Based on Crete
 Flourished 2000-1400 BC
 Sea traders
 Produced painted pottery, precious
metals, bronze weapons

Mycenaean Civilization
Indo-European invaders
 Entered Greece c. 2000 BC
 Established city-states

Mountainous terrain made travel,
communications difficult
 Led to growth of independent cities


Imitated Minoan writing, religion, art,
sea-borne trade
The Trojan War
c. 1200 BC
 War between the Mycenaeans and the
city-state of Troy
 Ended in Greek victory, destruction of
Troy

The Dorians
Invaded Greece c. 1200 BC
 Era of Homer


Blind poet, wrote the first great epic poems

Epic = narrative about great events, heroic
deeds
The Iliad, about the Trojan War
 The Odyssey, about the return home of
Greek king Odysseus

The Dorians
Lost the art of writing
 Homer’s works memorized, passed
down by oral transmission
 Did Homer actually exist?

The Rise of Athens
Greek Political Terms

Polis = city-state in Greek

Politics
Monarchy = rule by one man
 Oligarchy = rule by a few men
 Tyranny = single rulers, who seized
power outside the system


Often supported by the common people
Greek Political Terms
Democracy = people power
 Aristocracy = power in the hands of the
best people
 Autocracy = power in the hands of one
person

Athens Develops Democracy

621 BC: Draco as tyrant
Established equality under the law
 Famous for very harsh laws – many death
penalties, slavery for debt


594 BC: Solon
Organized Athenians into classes based on
wealth
 All citizens could speak and vote
 Only top three classes could hold office

Athens Develops Democracy

500 BC: Cleisthenes
Organized citizens by district, not wealth
 All citizens could submit laws
 Council of 500 chosen by lot as the
executive


NOTE: What is a citizen?

An adult male, born in Athens, who owns
property
Sparta

Mixed constitution
Two elected kings, controlled the army
 Five elected officials carried out laws
 Council of Elders (30) proposed laws
 All Spartan citizens voted on laws, elected
kings and officials

Sparta
A militarist society
 Whole state devoted to military power



All male citizens, aged 7-30, in the army
The most powerful army in Greece
Sparta
No value placed on literature, art
 Duty, discipline, strength valued more
than freedom, individuality, learning
 Large population of slaves – helots

The Persian Wars
Darius the Great

546 BC: Persian Empire reached the
Aegean Sea
Included many Greeks, who revolted
against Persian rule
 Athens helped the Greek rebels
 Persia crushed the rebellion


490 BC: Darius invaded Greece
The Battle of Marathon





Marathon, a plain NE of Athens
25,000 Persians vs. 10,000 Athenians
Greeks had developed the phalanx – army
with iron spears and shields, marching in tight
formation
Greek phalanx defeated the lightly-armed
Persians
Pheidippides ran to Athens with news of the
victory
The Battle of Thermopylae
480 BC: Xerxes invades Greece
 Met Greek army at Thermopylae, a
narrow pass
 300 Spartans held back the Persians
while the Greek army escaped


All Spartans killed
The Battle of Salamis
Xerxes advanced on Athens, set fire to it
 Sent his fleet to destroy the Athenian
navy while he watched
 Instead, saw a great Athenian naval
victory


1/3 of the Persian fleet destroyed
The Battle of Plataea
479 BC: Greeks crushed the Persian
army
 478 BC: Greek city-states form the
Delian League


Turns into an Athenian empire, based on
sea-power
The Golden Age of Athens
Pericles 461-429 BC
Elected leader of Athens
 Three goals

Strengthen democracy
 Strengthen the Athenian empire
 Glorify the city


Established direct democracy
All citizens could speak, vote, hold office
 All citizens equal before the law

Athenian vs. American Democracy

Differences:
Direct democracy vs. representative
democracy
 Definition of a citizen
 Duties of a citizen

The Glory of Athens

Architecture:
Acropolis
 Parthenon


Sculpture
Phidias
 Myron

The Glory of Athens

Theater
Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides (tragedies)
 Aristophanes (comedies)


History
Herodotus
 Thucydides

The Peloponnesian War
Athens vs. Sparta
Two states hated and distrusted each
other
 Athens = sea power
 Sparta = military power
 Each had allies among other city-states

Wanted to avoid war
 Agreed not to seek or accept city-states that
wanted to switch sides

The Peloponnesian War
431 BC: Dispute between allies of
Athens and Sparta leads to out break of
war
 Athenian strategy

Avoid land battles
 Keep Athenians inside city walls – which
extended to the sea
 Wait for a chance to attack Sparta by sea

The Peloponnesian War

429 BC: plague strikes Athens
1/3 population dies
 Pericles dead

421 BC: temporary truce
 415 BC: Athens attacks a Spartan ally,
Syracuse



Athenian fleet and army wiped out
404 BC: Athens surrenders
Greek Philosophy
Philosophy in Athens
Philosophy = love of wisdom
 Based on two ideas

That the universe is orderly
 That humans can understand its order
through the use of reason


Emphasis on reason

Humans can understand ethical and
physical laws through exercise of the mind
Socrates
Taught by the Socratic method –
questions and answers
 Forced his students to question received
beliefs
 Taught self-examination as a route to
find truth and justice
 399 BC: condemned to death for
“corrupting the youth of Athens”

Plato
Student of Socrates
 Believed that ideas were more real and
perfect than things
 Wrote The Republic – a description of
the perfect form of government

No, NOT a democracy!
 A philosopher-king, governing three classes
of rulers, warriors, and farmers/artisans

Plato

Why did Plato, an Athenian, distrust
democracy?
Aristotle

Developed formal rules of logic


Syllogism
Analyzed and summarized many fields of
learning

Poetry, science, nature, ethics
Believed in observation, leading to
deduction of rules
 Taught Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great and
Hellenism
Macedonia Conquers Greece
Peloponnesian War left all Greek citystates weakened
 338 BC: Philip II of Macedonia
conquered Greece
 336 BC: succeeded by his son,
Alexander

Alexander the Great
Ruled 336-323 BC
 Conquered the Persian Empire
 Captured Egypt


Established the great city of Alexandria
Advanced as far as India
 Died in Babylon, aged 32
 His empire divided among his generals

Hellenism

Greek culture, blended with additions
from the conquered lands of Alexander

Egypt, Persia, India
Became the dominant culture of the
whole East Mediterranean, Middle East
 Alexandria became the main center of
Hellenistic civilization

Hellenism

Koine Greek
Became the common language of the
eastern Roman Empire
 The language of the New Testament

Hellenism

Mathematics
Euclid developed modern geometry
 Pythagoras – the Pythagorean Theorem
 Archimedes calculated π, explained the law
of the lever, and invented…

Archimedes screw
 The complex pulley
 A method of calculating the mass of irregular
objects

Hellenism

Astronomy
Aristarchus – proved the Earth revolves
round the Sun, the Sun is at least 300 times
bigger than the Earth
 Eratosthenes – calculated the equator to be
28,000 miles long
 Ptolemy – argued the Sun and planets
revolve around the Earth in fixed circles

Hellenism in Philosophy

Stoicism

Zeno (335-263 BC) argued
People should live lives of harmony and virtue
 They should obey natural laws established by
God
 Human desires, power and wealth are
dangerous distractions from virtue
 Virtuous people control these desires

Hellenism in Philosophy

Epicureanism

Epicurus taught that
Gods are not concerned with humans
 The only real objects are those perceived by the
five senses
 The greatest good is the absence of pain
 Virtuous conduct involves harmony of mind and
body, to minimize pain – moderation, not
abstinence

Hellenism in Politics
The eastern Mediterranean was a region
of monarchies
 Plato had already accepted kingship as
the best form of rule
 People of Greek civilization accepted
kings as their natural rulers


In the east, the Ptolemy dynasty became
the new pharaohs of Egypt