Foundations of Classical Civilizations

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Essential Questions

Foundations of Classical Civilizations

Questions
China
India
Rome
Greece
1. How is the social structure set up?
Qin Dynasty
- peasants no longer were loyal to landowners
- established bureaucracy
Han Dynasty
- highly patriarchal society
- large merchant class
- scholar - bureaucrats
Maurya Empire
- efficient bureaucracy with secret police
Gupta Empire
- relied on local authorities to maintain order and to collect tributes Republic
- tensions between patrician and the plebians
- patricians were aristocracy
- plebians paid the taxes and had no right and ability to run for a political position Athens
- all free adult males could participate in politics
- dominated by wealthy aristocrats
- women did not have near full equality with men
Sparta
- promoted equality with no gain on land or wealth
- women were almost at full equality with men
- men and boys lived in barracks between ages 7 to 30
2. What is the economic system or trade system like?
Qin Dynasty
- building of roads and bridges, and the introduction of standard currency increased trading - high taxes
Han Dynasty
- used the silk road to trade
- main item was silk
Maurya Empire
- agriculture was the main source of wealth
- farmers used excessive irrigation systems
Gupta Empire
- traded mainly with salt and metals
- relied on 1/4 of agriculture taxes
Republic
- large numbers of slave laborers
- large unemployed class
- wealthy merchant class
Empire
- promoted trade and a variety of luxury goods were brought into the empire Greece
- main trading items were grapes and wines
- traded using the silk road
- Mediterranean Sea ports
3. How are they organized politically?
Qin Dynasty
- Mandate of Heaven
- established a strong bureaucracy
- harsh legalist
Han Dynasty
- Confucian and bureaucratic state
- difficult service exams
- bureaucracy composed of well-educated people
- Confucianism reinforced the chain of authority
- tribute system

Maurya Empire
- empire was divided into provinces, districts, and villages - state-appointed rulers
- hierarchical court system
- efficient bureaucracy
- powerful army
- secret police
Gupta Empire
- political structure similar to the Maurya's
- smaller bureaucracy that relied on local authorities to keep order - kept under caste system
Republic
- based on rule of law
- highly centralized
- consuls were the supreme masters of rules and administration - Senate was the most important and powerful governing body
- plebian assembly was was the final court to decide matters - patricians held the high offices
Empire
- roman law focused on property rights and family stability
- based on universal laws
Greece
- organized into city states
- used diplomacy to negotiate agreements
Athens
- developed the first democracy in which all free adult males could participate in politics - dominated by wealthy aristocratic landowners
Sparta
- a military state
4. How does their religious belief system influence daily life? Qin Dynasty
- Mandate of heaven “chose” the emperor
Han Dynasty
- Confucian state
- Confucianism was used as an educational tool
- Confucianism reinforced the chain of authority in the government which perpetuated the Mandate of Heaven Maurya Empire under Ashoka
- 1st Buddhist ruler of India
- sent Buddhist missionaries to convert people
- Silkroad helped spread the religion
Gupta Empire
- tolerant of many religions but they were Hindus
- adopted Buddhist principles
- had a pantheon of gods similar to the Greeks
- characterized by rituals celebrating the authority of the state - adopted much of the philosophy and epic tradition from the Greeks, along with some of its styles of statues and architecture Greece

- both practiced polytheism, the belief of many gods
- much like the Roman pantheon of gods
- philosophy from Aristotle, Plato, etc.
5. What was the role of women?
China
- expected to obey their husband’s wishes
-...
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