History: Notes

Topics: Shang Dynasty, Mesopotamia, Maya civilization Pages: 9 (4040 words) Published: October 2, 2014
I. The Quest for Order
A. Mesopotamia: "The land between the rivers"
1. Sumer
a. Sumerians migrated to Sumer, 5000 B.C.E., built irrigation networks b. Became dominant by 3000 B.C.E.
c. Other inhabitants, mostly Semites - Akkadian, Hebrew, Aramaic, Phoenician 2. Sumerian city-states
a. A dozen cities dominated the area from 3200 to 2350 B.C.E. b. Internal and external pressures promoted cities to become states c. Importance of government in irrigation and self-defense
3. Sumerian Kings
a. Earliest governments: assemblies of prominent men
b. 3000 B.C.E., all cities were ruled by kings in cooperation with nobles c. All cities were city-states, autonomous one to another
B. Egypt: "The Gift of the Nile"
1. The Nile River
a. Reliable water supplies and rich mulch: Beneficial conditions for agriculture b. Agriculture began before 5000 B.C.E.
c. Agricultural communities appeared along the Nile, 4000 B.C.E. 2. Unification of Egypt
a. State emerged through Menes' conquest, 3100 B.C.E.
b. Important cities: Memphis, Thebes, Tanis
c. Centralized state ruled by the pharaoh, the god-king
3. The pyramids
a. Royal tombs, mostly constructed during the Old Kingdom
b. Enormous monuments, can be seen today at Giza, near Cairo c. The largest is the pyramid of Khufu
C. The Course of Empire
1. Sargon of Akkad (2370-2315 B.C.E.)
a. Leader of the Semitic people from northern Mesopotamia
b. Organized a coup against the king, 2334 B.C.E.
c. Conquered Sumerian cities of Mesopotamia
d. Sargon's empire lasted for several generations, collapsed in 2100 B.C.E. 2. Hammurabi (re. 1792-1750 B.C.E.) and the Babylonian Empire a. Babylonian Hammurabi, "King of the four quarters of the world" b. His dynasty dominated Mesopotamia until 1600 B.C.E.

c. Devised the most extensive Mesopotamian law code
d. Empire fell under the invasion of the Hittites, 1595 B.C.E. 3. The Egyptian New Kingdom
a. Ahmosis, founder of New Kingdom, expelled the Hyksos, 1550 B.C.E. b. Expanded to Palestine and Syria
c. Pharaoh Tuthmosis III, launched 17 campaigns in Palestine and Syria 4. The Assyrian empire
a. A hardy people from northern Mesopotamia, began conquest by 1000 B.C.E. b. Empire included Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine, much of Anatolia, and most of Egypt, 8th-7th centuries B.C.E., collapsed in 612 B.C.E. 5. Nebuchadnezzar and the New Babylonian empire

a. After Assyrian empire, Mesopotamia fell under New Babylonian empire b. Babylon, the most luxurious city
II. The Development of Complex Societies
A. Economic Specialization and Trade
1. Bronze metallurgy
a. Alloy of copper and tin, discovered about 3000 B.C.E.
b. Bronze weapons were developed first, bronze farming tools appeared later c. Egyptians embraced bronze after the 17th century B.C.E.
2. Iron metallurgy: discovered after 1000 B.C.E. by Mesopotamian craftsmen 3. The wheel: Used by Sumerians probably for centuries before 3200 B.C.E. 4. Shipbuilding: Sumerians and Egyptians built watercraft by 3500 B.C.E. 5. Long-distance trade

a. Trade between Mesopotamia and Egypt, as early as 3500 B.C.E. b. 2300 B.C.E., Sumerian trade with Harappan society (north India) c. In Babylonian times, Mesopotamians traded with peoples in all directions d. Surviving evidence shows great volume of trade

B. The Emergence of Stratified Societies
1. Social distinctions: much more sharply defined than in neolithic times 2. Mesopotamian kings
a. Royal status became hereditary
b. Legends portray some kings as offsprings of gods (e.g., Gilgamesh) 3. Temple communities
a. Priestly elites: intervened with gods to ensure good fortune of communities b. Received offerings from city inhabitants
c. Owned large tracts of lands and workshops
d. Functioned as banks and charities
4. Other social classes
a. Free commoners: peasants, craftsmen, or other professionals b. Dependent clients: worked on other people's lands
c. Slaves: mostly domestic...
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