August 21, 2013
Chapter Questions-The West Before 1300
1) What was the significance of Hebrew monotheism for the future of Western civilization?
Monotheism, the existence of one universal God, impacted Western civilization in various ways. The second Isaiah describes the strongest statement of Hebrew monotheism in a poem written during the Hebrew exile in Babylonia, 597-539 B.C.E. In this poem, God is described as the creator of the heavens, the earth, and life to the universe. God cannot be worshipped through pictures. The Hebrew God also changes how followers behave. To get God’s approval, a person must act righteously. These beliefs are still practiced in modern Christianity.
2) Define the concept of polis.
The polis was a community of citizens who were all from the same ancestors, living in a close area to one another. The relatives were then divided into subgroups such as clans and tribes. The relatives would worship the gods together in ceremonies. Poleis were set up to help defend the land against invaders. Poleis led to the end of monarchy in Greece, and the beginning of communities.
3) Why did Sparta develop its unique form of government?
After the helots revolted, the Spartans had to develop a new way of life. There were almost 10 times the amounts of helots as compared to the free citizens. To do this, the Spartans made changes that turned their city into a military academy and camp. An official would decide if an infant was fit to survive, and if he was, he was taken from his home at age seven, and trained to become a warrior. Their constitution was mixed, with various parts of monarchy, oligarchy, and democracy. The goal of the new government in Sparta was to “win glory in war”.
4) What solutions did Emperor Augustus provide for the problems that had plagued the Roman Republic?
Augustus was the first emperor of Rome. After the Punic Wars in 264 and 218 B.C.E., farmland was damaged and the rich and...
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