After the First Civilizations: What Changed and What Didn’t?
Chapter Learning Objectives
To consider the nature of imperial systems in the classical era
To explore why empires developed in some regions but not in others
To show the important similarities and differences between imperial systems and the reasons behind them
To reflect on the significance that classical empires have for us today
Ahura Mazda: In Zoroastrianism, the good god who rules the world. (pron. ah-HOOR-a MAZ-dah)
Alexander the Great: Alexander III of Macedon (356–323 B.C.E.), conqueror of the Persian Empire and part of northwest India.
Aryans: Indo-European pastoralists who moved into India about the time of the collapse of the …show more content…
Qin Shihuangdi: Literally “first emperor from the Qin”; Shihuangdi (r. 221–210 B.C.E.) forcibly reunited China and established a strong and repressive state. (pron. chin shee-hwang-dee)
Solon: Athenian statesman and lawmaker (fl. 594–560 B.C.E.) whose reforms led the Athenians toward democracy.
Wudi: Han emperor (r. 141–86 B.C.E.) who began the Chinese civil service system by establishing an academy to train imperial bureaucrats. (pron. woo-dee)
Xiongnu: Nomadic peoples to the north of the Great Wall of China who were a frequent threat to the stability of the Chinese state. (pron. shong-noo)
Yellow Turban Rebellion: A major Chinese peasant revolt that began in 184 C.E. and helped cause the fall of the Han dynasty.
Big Picture Questions
1. What common features can you identify in the empires described in this chapter?
2. In what ways did these empires differ from one another? What accounts for those differences?
3. Are you more impressed with the “greatness” of empires or with their destructive and oppressive features?