History 4a Notes

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History 4A Lecture Notes Fall 2012

The Origins of Western Civilization: The Ancient Mediterranean World

8/24/12
Introduction (power point on bspace contains images if desired) * Instructor: Carlos Norena
* GSI: Patrick Clark, Brendan Haug, John Olmsted, Norman Underwood * historia (history) – Greek, lit. “inquiry, learning by inquiry; a [written] account of what has been learned by inquiry” Resources of History (example)

* clay prism (Sumerian King List)
* marble etchings (Athenian Decree)
* bronze tablet (Statue of Power of Emperor Vespasian)
* coinage (currency of Alexander the Great)
* papyrus (tax receipt from Egypt)
* archaeological remains (city of Pompeii)
* monuments (Great Pyramids at Giza)
* pottery (Athenian Black-Figure Jug)
* statues (“Dying Gaul” in bronze)
* lost and disposed objects (jewelry; garbage)
Note on Chronology and Dating
* Olympic Era Calendar
* begin at year 1.1 equivalent to 776 BC
* lines up with the Olympic Games
* every year adds 0.1 up to 0.4 total, then begins at 0.1 with first digit increased * 775 BC=1.2, 774 BC=1.3, 773 BC=1.4, 772 BC=2.1, etc. * Roman Calendar
* Ab Urbe Condita (“from the founding of the city”) * begin dating from supposed founding of Rome in 753 BC * 752 BC=2, 751 BC=3, etc.
* Regarding Months
* most previous calendars based on lunar cycle
* Egypt based on solar cycle with arbitrary 12 months
* Caesar apply this to Roman Calendar
* Pope Gregory in 15th to 16th century cuts 10 days to balance out dating * add leap year for every 4 years
* presently cut 3 leap years every 400 years
* Modern Calendar
* designed by Dionysius Exiguus
* BC = Before Christ
* AD = Anno Domini (“in the year of the lord”)
* there is no year 0; just 1 BC to 1 AD
* New Calendar
* BCE = Before Common Era
* CE = Common Era
* created to make calendar less biased towards Christianity * ironically, many people think CE stands for Christian Era * Terms
* century – 100 years
* millennium –1000 years
* note that “16th century” refers to events in the 1500’s, and so on * stratigraphy – the lower something is in the ground, the older it is * c. – short for circa, which means that the date is an estimate * assume dates to be same (BC/AD) as heading and c. if vague * k on the end of a number means to multiply by 1000

8/29/12
Neolithic Revolution (9k to 5k BC)
* humans originally hunter-gatherer societies
* nomadic
* “big men” with significant charisma hold power through personality * evidence for independent agricultural development in
* Ohio river valley
* southern Mexico
* coastal Peru
* Mesopotamia (land between two rivers)
* Yellow River (China)
* debatably Papau New Guinea
* Nile and Indus river valleys are not included
Civilization (beginning 5k)
* develops in river valleys due to use for irrigation
* use flooding of rivers to water crops and produce more than enough for food * free time allows for development of culture and politics * permanent settlements develop and establish boundaries

* control of resources creates social stratification and population caging * combination results in formation of state societies
* legitimization of system of good and just leadership through respect and propaganda * state – set of institutions and associated personnel which wield ultimate decision-making authority over a bounded space and usually backed up by armed forces Sumerian Civilization

* Geography
* southern portion of Mesopotamia
* Tigris (east) and Euphrates (west) rivers
* rivers flood unpredictably and violently
* alluvial – agriculture based on rivers
* highlands north
* marshes further...
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