The Ancient Near East-2 Mrs. Cox World History Paisley IB
Vocabulary • 1. Fertile Crescent • 2. Mesopotamia • 3. ziggurat • 4. city-state • 5. polytheism • 6. dynasty • 7. cuneiform • 8. Sargon • 9. Hammurabi
Vocabulary • 10. Indo-Europeans • 11. steppes • 12. Nebuchadnezzar II • 13. Judaism • 14. Torah • 15. Abraham • 16. covenant • 17. patriarch
Vocabulary • 18. Moses • 19. Exodus • 20. Diaspora • 21. monotheism • 22. Cyrus the Great • 23. Darius I • 24. satraps • 25. Xerxes • 26. Zoroaster • 27. dualism
Questions • 1. What problem did farmers face due to nearby rivers? • 2. What was the name of the religious beliefs of the Sumerians and what does the word mean? • 3. Name the areas in which Sumerians produced cultural achievement. • 4. How did social hierarchy develop in Sumer? • 5. Why did Sumer’s city-states weaken? Who were the rulers who came to power as a result?
Questions • 6. What did the Indo-European tribes have in common? • 7. How were the Assyrians different from the Sumerians? • 8. Why did Nebuchadnezzar build the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, according to legend? • 9. In what ways did many Phoenicians earn a living? Why was this a good career for a Phoenician?
Questions • 10. What was the name of the people that appeared in Southwest Asia sometime between 2000 and 1500 BC? • 11. Where did the Hebrews move? • 12. Why was Moses an important Hebrew leader? • 13. Name at least three Hebrew kings and which one made Jerusalem the capital of his kingdom? • 14. What are the beliefs of Judaism? Where would someone find out what the beliefs mean?
Questions • 15. Who led the Persian revolt? What places did he conquer? • 16. How did Darius change the Persian Empire? • 17. List the teachings of Zoroaster. What did he think people should do? • 18. Why did Zoroastrianism almost disappear? • 19. Name the Persian emperors who encouraged cultures to blend. How was this helpful to the Persian empire?
Geography Promotes Civilization • The Fertile Crescent is found between the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf in Southwest Asia. With the Fertile Crescent, an area called Mesopotamia developed. It was home to the world’s first civilization.
Geography Promotes Civilization • As early as 3500 BC people farmed grains in Mesopotamia’s silt, rich soil left behind when the Tigris and Euphrates rivers flooded every spring. In time, people learned to control the rivers’ flooding and store rainwater to use during the hot , dry summers. As a result, food was plentiful. Villages grew larger and governments formed. Slowly, a civilization emerged.
Sumer • Sumerians developed the first civilization. Their first large cities began to appear by 4000 BC. Each Sumerian city had structures made of mud bricks and large pyramid-shaped temple called a ziggurat to honor its chief god.
Sumer • Sumerians developed the first civilization. Their first large cities began to appear by 4000 BC. Each Sumerian city had structures made of mud bricks and a large pyramid-shaped temple called a ziggurat to honor its chief god.
Sumer • Over time, each Sumerian city and its land formed a city-state, a political unit with its own government. Polytheism, the worship of many gods, shaped Sumerian life. The Sumerians believed that they had to keep the gods and goddesses happy so they would bring the people rich harvests instead of problems like flooding. As a result, priests held a higher status in society, often governing the city-states.
Sumer • In time, the city-states started to fight more for land and water. War chief’s began to rule as kings. Often, a king passed his leadership on to family members, forming a dynasty.
Sumerian Culture • The Sumerians produced great cultural achievements. Scribes kept records, wrote about laws and grammar, and created works of literature in a writing system called cuneiform. With the ability to record events, humankind moved from prehistory into the historical age.
Sumerian Culture • Sumerians also made advancements in math, science, and the arts. Their math system was based on the number 60. Because of this, even today we divide an hour into 60 minutes and a circle into 360 degrees. The Sumerians also invented the wheel and the plow and learned to use bronze to make stronger tools and weapons. They even built sewer systems and performed medical surgeries.
Sumerian Culture • In addition to architecture and sculpture, Sumerian artists created engraved stone cylinders that when rolled over wet clay created a seal to serve as a signature or to show ownership. They traded with other groups to obtain materials. It was through trade that a social hierarchy, or ranking, developed.
Sumerian Culture • At the top were the kings, priests, and their principal agents. Then came large landowners and wealthy merchants, followed by the majority of Sumerians who worked as craftspeople, farmers, and laborers. At the bottom of the ranking system were the slaves, many of whom had been captured during battles.
Sumerian Culture • Men held political power and made laws while women took care of the home and children. Some upper-class women received educations and served as priestesses in the temples.
Empires in Mesopotamia • Frequent warfare weakened Sumer’s city-states. Sargon, ruler of the Akkadians, was the first to use a permanent army. This army helped him to create the world’s first empire, a land that includes different kingdoms and people under one rule. The Akkadian Empire stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf.
Empires in Mesopotamia • After Sargon’s empire fell, one hundred years of disorder followed. As several tribes battles for Mesopotamia, one tribe, the Amorites, settled in Babylon. Hammurabi, their leader, was a brilliant warrior. He brought all of Mesopotamia into his Babylonian Empire. During his rule, he wrote Hammurabi’s Code.
Empires in Mesopotamia • The code contains 282 laws dealing with a variety of crimes. Now people knew what kind of behavior was considered criminal. Upon his death, Babylonian power declined. With two centuries the empire had ended.
2-3 The Hittites • After the fall of the Babylonian Empire, Indo-European tribes invaded Mesopotamia. Speaking related languages, the tribes likely traveled from the steppes, or arid grasslands, north of the Black Sea. • One of these tribes was the Hittites. Around 2000 BC, they conquered the surrounding people to build a strong empire in Asia Minor, which is now Turkey.
The Hittites • They used iron, not bronze, to make better weapons, becoming the first people in the region to master iron making techniques. They also improved the horse-drawn war chariot, making it lighter, quicker, and able to hold an extra man. Their culture was a blend of their own and those around them.
The Hittites • For example, they used Sumerian cuneiform to write their own language. The Hittites sacked Babylon around 1595 BC. The empire lasted until about 1200 BC, when it fell to powerful raiders known as the Sea Peoples.
The Assyrians and the Chaldeans • The next group to rise to power was the Assyrians. A fierce warrior society, the Assyrians had chariots and iron tools, plus a well armed cavalry. They briefly gained power in the 1300s BC, lost it, then regained their strength when they built an empire around 900 BC. In time, the Assyrians used their military might to control all of Mesopotamia and parts of Asia Minor and Egypt.
The Assyrians and The Chaldeans • They used siege warfare to take over cities by digging beneath city walls to weaken them or suing battering rams to pound through them. To keep conquered people from rebelling, the Assyrians spread fear by killing or maiming their captives. In some cases, however, they kept groups from rebelling by splitting them up and resettling them.
The Assyrians and The Chaldeans • Roads linked the vast Assyrian empire. Kings ruled through local leadership and harsh punishment for rebels. In spite of this brutality, Assyrian culture produced great achievements such as the library in the capital city of Nineveh, which housed more than 20,000 cuneiform tablets.
The Assyrians and The Chaldeans • As the Assyrians power declined, the Chaldeans formed an empire with the old city of Babylon as its capital. King Nebuchadnezzar II built a grand palace there. It is said to have housed the Hanging Gardens, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. According to legend, he built this magnificent structure for his wife, who missed the mountains and forests of her birthplace.
The Assyrians and The Chaldeans • Nebuchadnezzar also built numerous palaces and temples, including an immense multistoried ziggurat, in Babylon in 539, the Chaldean empire ended, less than 100 years after rising to power.
The Phoenicians • While great empires rose and fell, smaller states emerged in Phoenicia in western Asia at the western end of the Fertile Crescent along the Mediterranean Sea in present-day Lebanon. Wealthy city-states such as Sidon and Tyre become centers for trade.
The Phoenicians • Phoenicians could not easily farm the rugged hills and mountains of their homeland, so they turned to trade for their livelihood. Many became expert sailors who traveled to faraway ports. Along the way, they founded colonies such as Carthage, which became a powerful city on the Mediterranean coast of north Africa.
The Phoenicians • While exporting valuable goods brought the city-states wealth, the Phoenicians’ greatest achievement was their alphabet. As traders traveled from port to port, more people began to use the alphabet. The Greeks modified the Phoenician alphabet for their own alphabet, which is the ancestor of the one we use to write English today.
2-3 The Early Hebrews • The Hebrews ancestors of the people called Jews, appeared in Southwest Asia between 2000 and 1500 BC. Judaism is the religion of the Hebrews. Accounts of their early history form the Torah, the most sacred text of Judaism. The Torah and other writings became the Hebrew Bible, which also appears as the Old Testament within the Christian Bible.
The Early Hebrews • The Torah tells about a man named Abraham. According to the Torah, God made a covenant, or promise, to lead Abraham and the rest of the Hebrews to a new land where his people would form a mighty nation. Later Hebrews considered Abraham their patriarch, or ancestral “father” because in Canaan, his grandson Jacob had 12 sons. Each of them established a tribe. Later, all Hebrews could trace their roots to one of these tribes.
The Early Hebrews • Still later, some Hebrews moved to Egypt, where the pharaoh made them slaves. According to the Torah, God told a Hebrew leader named Moses to demand the Hebrews’ freedom. Around 1200 BC, after a series of plagues struck Egypt, the pharaoh finally agreed. The journey of the Hebrews out of Egypt led by Moses is called the Exodus. Jews today still celebrate the Exodus during the Passover holiday in the Spring.
The Early Hebrews • After the Exodus, the Hebrews wandered through the desert for 40 years. According to the Torah, God gave Moses two stone tablets that contained the Ten Commandments. Over time, the commandments greatly influenced the laws and values of Western Civilization. When the people reached Canaan, which later became known as Israel, the Hebrews renamed themselves the Israelites.
The Kingdom of Israel • At first the Twelve Tribes did not have a central government. They lived in communities scattered in Canaan, where they farmed and raised livestock. Each community had judges to enforce laws and settle problems between people. This system worked until the Philistines invaded in the mid-1000s BC.
The Kingdom of Israel • To get rid of the Philistines, the Israelites made Saul their first king. He had some military success but never won full support from the people. The next king, David, did have the tribes’ backing. He was able to unite the kingdom, which grew strong as he conquered new territory. He also made Jerusalem the capital of his kingdom. David’s son Solomon later built a great temple there when he became king.
The Kingdom of Israel • After Solomon’s death around 931 BC, Israel could not agree on who would be the next king. So it became two kingdoms: Israel and Judah. Within a few centuries, both had fallen. In 722 BC, Israel was conquered by the Assyrians, who scattered the people of Israel throughout their empire.
The Kingdom of Israel • Judah, the other Hebrew kingdom, fell to the Chaldeans, who destroyed Solomon’s Temple and enslaved the Jews in Babylon. These events marked the start of the Diaspora, the scattering of the Jews outside Judah. After fifty years of enslavement, the Persian Empire conquered the Chaldeans and let the Jews return to Jerusalem.
The Kingdom of Israel • They were allowed to rebuild Solomon’s Temple, renaming it the Second Temple. Many Jews, however, moved other places in Persia instead of returning to Jerusalem.
The Teachings of Judaism • Ancient Hebrew society was based on religion, just as it was later for Jews. The most important belief in Judaism is that only one God exists. This belief is called monotheism. Because most other ancient peoples worshipped many gods, the Jews’ monotheism set them apart. Other central beliefs are obedience to the law, justice, and righteousness.
The Teachings of Judaism • The most important laws of Judaism are the Ten Commandments, but a whole system of laws guides many areas of Jewish life such as how to pray, when to worship, and what to eat. This system of laws is called Mosaic Law. These beliefs are recorded in scared texts such as the Torah and the Talmud. The Talmud contains explanations and interpretations of the other sacred texts.
2-4 Growth and Organization • The Medes were another Indo-European tribe that came to power. They settled in Media, on the plateaus of what is now Iran. Among the neighboring groups the Medes conquered were the Persians. In 559 BC, Cyrus the Great led a Persian revolt that united Persia and Medes under his rule.
Growth and Organization • Cyrus then conquered the wealthy kingdom of Lydia, several Greek cities in Ionia, and Babylon. Cyrus also freed the Jews from slavery and allowed them to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple there. • At the time of Cyrus’s death in 530 BC, he ruled the largest empire in the world.
Growth and Organization • His son Cambyses became emperor, but unlike his father, he was described as a tyrant and a madman. After Cambyses’s death, Darius I became leader of Persia. He strengthened the empire by creating a permanent army of paid, trained soldiers. Some soldiers were even more skilled and they served as bodyguards for the emperor. Darius gained new lands in the east, although he was unable to conquer Greece.
Growth and Organization • To help rule his vast empire, Darius had satraps govern different regions. Even though they were in charge, the satraps still had to obey Darius’s orders. Darius also built roads and minted the first Persian coins. Trade made Persia very rich, and most historians consider Darius’s reign the high point of Persian culture.
Growth and Organization • His son Xerxes was the last strong leader of Persian. Later emperors faced rebellion and a decline of trade until around 330 BC, when the Greek king Alexander the Great conquered Persia.
Zoroastrianism • During the reigns of Cyrus and Darius, a religion called Zoroastrianism took hold in Persia. Based on the teachings of Zoroaster, it was one of the first religions to teach dualism, the belief that the world is controlled by two opposing forces, good and evil, or Ahura Mazda and Ahriman.