Post classical age
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POST-CLASSICAL AGE. 6 th century CE to 1450 CE Began with rise of Islam First trans-regional civilization Spans Eurasia and Africa Era of two great powers: Islam, China Ended due to Turks, Mongols, Black Death Characteristics Spread of universalizing religions, philosophies

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Post classical age

  • 6th century CE to 1450 CE

    • Began with rise of Islam

      • First trans-regional civilization

      • Spans Eurasia and Africa

    • Era of two great powers: Islam, China

    • Ended due to Turks, Mongols, Black Death

  • Characteristics

    • Spread of universalizing religions, philosophies

    • Saw rise of new civilization centers

    • Emergence of network of global contacts

    • Ages of Faith, Aristocracy, Increasing Inequalities


  • State Structure

    • Most systems were aristocratic in nature

    • Most systems were decentralized

    • Influence of system was often more important

  • Agents of Change

    • Often trade or economic

    • Pastoral nomads and migration less important

    • Universalizing Faiths

  • World System or Global Contacts

    • No world system yet (Americas, Oceania not included)

    • Afro-Eurasia was a system though

  • Women in the Era

    • Less Centralized states: women have more influence

    • Less Aristocratic states: women have more influence

    • Increasing institutionalization means fewer rights

Interregional networks

  • An Age of Faiths: Religions and Missionaries

    • Christianity

      • Roman Catholicism

      • Orthodoxy: Cyril and Methodius

    • Buddhism

      • Merchants spread it to East Asia, Southeast Asia

      • Pilgrimages to South Asia

    • Islam

      • Pilgrimage

      • Dar al Islam as created by the vast conquests

      • Sufi missionaries and merchants

    • Jews and Nestorians

    • Southeast Asia: Spread of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam

  • Trading Patterns

    • Muslim system including Sub-Saharan Africa

    • Indian Ocean Systems: East Africa to Southeast Asia

    • East Asia

    • Central Asia: The Silk Road and Nomads

    • Western European – Mediterranean and North Sea

The islamic world

  • Bedouin Origins

  • Muhammad and Early Islam

    • The Quran, The Jihad

    • The Sharia and Ulama

    • The Five Pillars

  • The Orthodox Caliphs

    • The Caliphate

    • The Sunni-Shia Split

  • The Umayyads and Abassid

    • Dhimmi status and “People of the Book”

    • The Sultan and Vizier

    • The Roles of the Turks and Mongols

  • Other Muslim Worlds

    • Muslims in Spain

    • Muslims in Central Asia

    • Muslims in Africa

    • Muslims in Southeast Asia

  • Structural Change: Fragmentation:,Sultans, Viziers, Harem

  • Dar al Islam provides cultural, religious unity to region

Post classical age


  • Sub-Saharan Africa

    • Sahel: Ghana, Mali, Songhai

    • East Africa: Swahilis, Ethiopia

    • Southern Africa: Kongo, Zimbabwe

    • Tribute empires, syncretic blending

  • South Asia

    • Post-Harsha: Regional divisions, caste stability

    • From Muslims to the Sultanate of Delhi

      • Arabs conquer Al-Sind, raid, trade into N. India

      • Turks establish a Mameluk Sultanate

    • Southern India: A Hindu Renaissance, commercial

      • Vaisaya caste expands with commere

Chung kuo china

  • The 2nd Warring States Period 220 – 589 CE

    • Nomadic conquerors intermixing with sedentary Chinese

    • Spread of Buddhism

  • Sui Dynasty reunited China; the Grand Canal

  • Tang Dynasty

    • The Golden Age of China

    • Bureaucracy and Civil Service through Confucian exams

    • Scholar Gentry

  • Song Dynasty

    • Merchants have upper hand

    • Great technological and commercial innovation

      • Gunpowder, compass, porcelain, movable type printing

  • Why was China so strong

    • Twice flowering rice increased harvests

    • Settlement of marginal lands, use of terraces

    • Capitalism as opposed to mercantilism

    • Currency based economy

  • Neo-Confucianism blends Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism

On china s periphery

  • Sinification vs. Indigenous Development

  • Tribute System vs. Annexation

  • Japan

    • Yamato Clan unifies Japan (Shinto)

    • Nara: Prince Shotoku copies Chinese style of state (Confucianism)

    • Buddhism enters through contacts

    • Heian: Japanese develop their own culture

    • Court Elite vs Rural Elite vs majority of population

    • Military elite assumes increasing power not scholar gentry

  • Korea

    • Korguyo; Silla unifies Korea

    • Confucian but not as rigid; Buddhism as balance

    • Slavery continues to exist in large numbers

  • Vietnam

    • Chinese attempts to control area until 1000 CE

    • Vietnamese independence: Sinified elite different from commoners

    • Women have great influence at court, in local matters

Southeast asia

  • Transition between Indian Ocean, China

  • Decentralized State Structures, Feudalism, Tribute

    • Funan

    • Khmer Empire

    • Srivijayan Empire

    • Malacca

  • Interactions

    • Commerce and Trade

    • Spread of Religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam

    • Syncretism

  • Hierarchical Systems Different: Gender

The byzantines as buffers

  • The Byzantines

    • Insulated Europe from Arabs, Turks

    • Civilized, Christianized the Slavs especially Russians

    • Preserved Greco-Roman Culture

    • Helped spread Arabic learning to the west

    • Monasticism was an Eastern development

  • The Schism

    • A contest of wills between the pope, emperor

    • When west was young, pope was weak

    • As west emerged, pope got stronger

    • The split was over the authority of the pope

    • What occurred in 1054 was many centuries in coming

Developments in europe

  • Blending Traditions

    • Christianity, Germanic Custom, Roman Law

  • The Structures from 5th century to 1000 CE

    • From Kingdoms to the Franks to the Holy Roman Empire

    • The Roman Catholic Church

      • Caesaro-papism or Papal Supremacy

      • The Investiture Crisis

      • Monasticism

    • Feudalism

      • Aristocracy, reciprocity, and primogeniture

      • Local rule, local self-defense, fiefs, vassals

    • Manorialism including serfdom, manors, autarky

  • Vikings: Raid, Trade, Settle, New States

  • A Changing Europe: After 1000 CE

    • Rise of Towns and with it the rise of the bourgeoisie

    • Commerce and Great Fairs: use of money rather than barter

    • Scholasticism and Chivalry

    • The Black Death leads to labor shortages

    • Peasant Rebellions

    • Wars devastate the aristocracy

    • Rise of centralizing monarchs using law, taxes not custom

  • The Crusades as Contacts for Change

The 14 th century in europe

  • Expanded Warfare

    • 100 Years War: Technology vs. Aristocratic Chivalry

    • Reconquista in Iberia

  • The New Monarchy and Nationalism

    • Centralizing royalty vs. decentralized feudalism

    • Spain, England, France

  • The Babylonian Captivity and Great Schism

    • The papacy was undermined by squabbling

    • Never theological but was always political

    • People began to question need for the pope

    • Heresies occurred as did some attempts to reform church

  • The Renaissance

    • An expression of commercial prosperity

    • Began in Italy in the 1300s with emphasis on arts

    • The “We/Sacred” gave way to “I/Secular”

    • Glorification of the Classical produced new ideas

    • Humanism and Science

Post classical age


  • The Impact of the Mongols

    • Destroyed all existing state structure

    • Destroyed agriculture in some areas

    • Left a vacuum upon collapse, helped create new systems

    • Forced states, peoples to adapt, adopt to survive

  • Increased contacts between distant Eurasian parts

  • Spread Diseases

  • Exchanged Technologies

  • Movement of Peoples

Disconnected the americas

  • Paleolithic, Neolithic Peoples Existed During this period

    • Americas also had these phases, which lasted longer

      • Nomadic hunters, gatherers, fishers

    • Settled agricultural communities in many places of Americas

      • Subsistence vs. surplus; Irrigation systems

      • Differentiated labor systems and hierarchy

      • Ceremonial centers and pyramids

  • Americas Post-Classical Civilizations

    • Centers

      • Mesoamerica

        • Toltecs

        • Mayans

        • Aztec

      • Andean South America

        • Chimu, Mohica

        • Incas

    • Contacts Between Centers Limited but corn did spread

    • Technology had not changed much over millennia

    • Roles of Merchants, Roles of Diplomats

Urban centers

  • Cities

    • Cosmopolitan cultures

    • Centers of exchanges and commerce

  • Dar al Islam and China

    • Both civilizations were centered on cities, urban cultures

    • Had most of the world cities with large populations

  • Geographic World

    • China: Chang-an (Xian), Hangzhou, Canton

    • Central Asia: Samarkand

    • West Africa: Timbuktu

    • East Africa: Swahili Cities

    • Dar al Islam: Baghdad, Cairo, Cordoba

    • Western Europe: Venice, the Hansa

    • Southeast Asia: Srivijaya, Malacca

    • Southern Asia: Calicut

    • Eastern Europe: Kiev, Constantinople, Novgorod

    • Meso-Americas: Teotihuacan, Tikal, Tenochitlan

Demographic changes

  • Cultural Diffusion through migration or Indigenous Development

  • Migrations

    • Agricultural Peoples: Bantus

      • Comparable to Germanic migrations (but Bantu were usually not invaders)

      • Settlement of East, Central, Southern Africa

      • Diffusion of iron-making, farming, herding

      • State building: Kongo, Swahili trading cities

    • Nomadic Peoples

      • Comparable to Hunnic and Indo-European migrations

      • Arab Bedouins

      • Turks: Seljuk and Ottoman

        • Disrupted Abbasids, Byzantines, Central Asia

        • Introduced mameluk armies, Sultans

        • Produced the first European crusades

      • Mongols and Mughals

        • Disrupted most of Eurasia

        • Created a power vacuum

  • Contacts as Migration

    • Pilgrimage: Buddhist, Muslim, Christian

    • Commercial contacts along caravan and sea routes

    • Scholarly exchanges between Muslim and non-Muslim worlds

Demography diseases

  • Demographic Shift

    • A change in demographic patterns

    • Abrupt decrease in population due to illness

  • 6th century Bubonic Plague

    • Preceded spread of Arabs

    • Strongest impact was in SW Asia, East Africa

  • Black Death or 14th Century Bubonic Plague

    • Originated in China

    • Spread by Mongols throughout Eurasia

    • Spread throughout Mediterranean by contacts

    • Results

      • Labor Shortages: fostered growth of free, paid labor

      • Attacked old elites in cities producing new urban elites

      • Broke back of Mongols, small states

      • Forced states to create new means of taxation, military formations

Social hierarchy

  • Aristocracies: Called Gate Keepers

    • European classes of “those who fight” and “those who pray”

    • Capulis of the Aztecs and the nobles of the Mayans

    • Brahmins and Kshatriyas of South Asia

    • The landed scholar gentry (shi) of China

    • The daimyos and samurai of Japan

  • The Peasants: Those Who Work

    • Shudras and Pariahs of South Asia

    • The Peasants of East Asia

    • The Serfs and peasants of Western Europe, Eastern Europe

    • The serf like capulis of Aztecs, Mayan caste peasants

    • The sharecroppers and tenant farmers of the Arab world

    • The commercial classes are agents of change

  • Gender Roles

    • The patriarchical system increases with aristocratic societies, warrior societies

    • Increasing examples of subordination of women

      • Footbinding in China; painted faces in Japan

      • Veils, purdah in SW Asia and India; suttee in India

      • Women as legal minors, disenfranchised in Western Europe

      • Women as baby factories: Aztecs

    • Exceptions to the Rule

      • Women in the Catholic Church: renounce sexuality and acquire equality

      • Women in Bantu Africa – farmers, merchants, some rulers, matrilineal descent

      • Women in Southeast Asia – merchants, commerce, some rulers, matriarchy

Developments in arts sciences

  • The Muslims including South Asia

    • Preserved Past Learning Especially the Greeks

    • Created New Learning

    • Spread other civilizations‘ accomplishments

    • Science, Math, Geography, History, Philosophy

  • The Chinese and Japanese

    • Golden Age of Art and Poetry under Tang and Song

    • The Heian Age in Japan – first novels, pillow books

    • Ming tend to preserve culture or turn the clock backwards

  • The Byzantines

    • Icons, Hagia Sofia, Cyrillic

  • Western Europe

    • Romanesque and Gothic Architecture

    • Epics and Romances

    • Scholasticism

  • Mesoamerica

    • Higher mathematics

    • Astronomy and Calendars

    • BUT: Most of Technology remained borderline Neolithic

Cc essay topics

  • Compare and contrast Japanese and Western European feudalism. (Note you might want to consider adding Zhou feudalism).

  • Compare and contrast political and social institutions in Western and Eastern Europe.

  • Analyze the roles and functions of cities in major cultures (Islamic, West European, East Asia, Western Africa, Eastern Africa).

Cc essay topics1

  • Compare trading alliances and patterns of trade in any two of these regions:

    • Northern Europe (Hansa)

    • Mediterranean (Venice, Genoa)

    • Abbasid Muslim world

    • The Silk Road of Central Asia

    • Trans-Saharan Trade Route

    • East Africa/ Swahili cities

    • The Indian Ocean.

  • Compare the roles of politics, social classes, and gender in Christianity and Islam.

Cc essay topics2

  • Analyze gender and social systems and any changes over time as caused by interactions and religions such as the impact of Islam and Neo-Confucianism.

  • Compare the Aztec and Inca Empire.

  • Compare European, Sub-Saharan African, Southeast Asian and South Asian contacts with the Islamic world.

Cc essay topics3

  • Compare the impact of the Mongol Empire on cultures and institutions in Eastern Europe, Middle East, and East Asia.

  • Compare the impact of Turkish invasions on the Byzantines and Islamic worlds.

  • Compare the Christian Crusades and Islamic Jihads.

Cc essay topics4

  • Compare schisms in Christianity (Roman Catholic-Orthodox) and Islam (Sunni-Shia).

  • Compare interactions in any two regions during this time period:

    • Pre-Columbian Americas

    • Eastern Europe

    • Western Europe

    • Sub-Saharan Africa

    • Islamic World

    • South Asia

    • Southeast Asia

Ccot essay topics

  • Trace the change and continuities of interactions between from 600 to 1450 CE in any historical region: Latin America; North America; Sub-Saharan Africa; SW Asia and North Africa; Western Europe; Eastern Europe; Central Asia; South Asia; Southeast Asia; and East Asia.

  • Trace the changes and continuities in world trade from 500 BCE to 1000 CE in any one of the following regions: the Mediterranean, the Silk Road (Central Asia, East Asia, Southwest Asia), the Indian Ocean, Sub-Saharan Africa.

Ccot essay topics1

  • Trace the changes and continuities in world trade from 500 to 1500 CE in any one of the following regions: North Africa and SW Asia; Western Europe; Mesoamerica; Sub-Saharan Africa; the Indian Ocean; Central Asia; East and Southeast Asia.

  • Trace the transformation in functions and structures of states from 600 to 1450 CE in one region: Western Europe; Eastern Europe; SW Asia; Sub-Saharan Africa; East Asia; Southeast Asia; South Asia.

  • Trace the demographic changes from 600 to 1450 in any one region: Latin America, Western Europe, North America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Southern Asia, Southeast Asia, or East Asia.

Ccot essay topics2

  • Trace the transformation and impact of technology including manufacturing, transportation and communications from 600 to 1450 in any one region: North America; West Europe; East Europe; Sub-Saharan Africa; Southwest Asia and North Africa; South Asia; and East Asia.

  • Trace the transformation of religion and philosophy from 600 to 1450 in any one region: East Asia; South Asia; Southwest Asia and North Africa; Western Europe; Eastern Europe; Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Trace the intellectual and artistic transformation from 600 to 1450 in any one region: East Asia; South Asia; Southwest Asia; West Europe; East Europe.

  • Ccot essay topics3

    • Trace the transformation of social structures including gender and inequalities from 600 to 1450 in any one region: West Europe; Southwest Asia; Sub-Saharan Africa; South Asia; East Asia, and Southeast Asia.

    • Trace the transformation in gender roles from 600 to 1450 CE in any one region: the Muslim world, the Christian world, the Hindu world, the Confucian world, the Buddhist world, the world of the Central Asian nomad, in Mesoamerica, or in Sub-Saharan Africa.