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Chapter 2

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  1. Chapter 2 Early Societies in Southeast Asia and the Indo-European Migrations

  2. Civilization Defined • Urban • Political/military system • Social stratification • Economic specialization • Religion • Communications • “Higher Culture”

  3. Mesopotamia • Early Mesopotamia, 3000-2000 B.C.E. • “Between the Rivers” • Tigris and Euphrates • Modern-day Iraq • Cultural continuum of “fertile crescent” • Sumerians the dominant people

  4. The Wealth of the Rivers • Nutrient-rich silt • Key: irrigation • Necessity of coordinated efforts • Promoted development of local governments • City-states • Sumer begins small-scale irrigation 6000 BCE • By 5000 BCE, complex irrigation networks • Population reaches 100,000 by 3000 BCE • Attracts Semitic migrants, influences culture

  5. Sumerian City-States • Cities appear 4000 BCE • Dominate region from 3200-2350 BCE • Ur (home of Abraham, see Genesis 11:28), Nineveh (see Jonah) • Ziggurat home of the god • Divine mandate to Kings • Regulation of Trade • Defence from nomadic marauders

  6. The Ziggurat of Ur

  7. Political Decline of Sumer • Semitic peoples from northern Mesopotamia overshadow Sumer • Sargon of Akkad (2370-2315 BCE) • Destroyed Sumerian city-states one by one, created empire based in Akkad • Empire unable to maintain chronic rebellions • Hammurabi of Babylon (1792-1750 BCE) • Improved taxation, legislation • Used local governors to maintain control of city-states • Babylonian Empire later destroyed by Hittites from Anatolia, c. 1595 BCE

  8. Legal System • The Code of Hammurabi • Established high standards of behavior and stern punishment for violators • lex talionis – “law of retaliation” • Social status and punishment • women as property, but some rights

  9. Later Mesopotamian Empires • Weakening of central rule an invitation to foreign invaders • Assyrians use new iron weaponry • Beginning 1300 BCE, by 8th-7th centuries BCE control Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine, most of Egypt • Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (r. 605-562) takes advantage of internal dissent to create Chaldean (New Babylonian) Empire • Famously luxurious capital

  10. Mesopotamian Empires, 1800-600 BCE

  11. Technological Development in Mesopotamia • Bronze (copper with tin), c. 4000 BCE • Military, agricultural applications • Iron, c. 1000 BCE • Cheaper than bronze • Wheel, boats, c. 3500 BCE • Shipbuilding increases trade networks

  12. Social Classes • Ruling classes based often on military prowess • Originally elected, later hereditary • Perceived as offspring of gods • Religious classes • Role: intervention with gods to ensure fertility, safety • Considerable landholdings, other economic activities • Free commoners • Peasant cultivators • Some urban professionals • Slaves • Prisoners of war, convicted criminals, debtors

  13. Patriarchal Society • Men as landowners, relationship to status • Patriarchy: “rule of the father” • Right to sell wives, children • Double standard of sexual morality • Women drowned for adultery • Relaxed sexual mores for men • Yet some possibilities of social mobility for women • Court advisers, temple priestesses, economic activity • Introduction of the veil at least c. 1500 BCE

  14. Development of Writing • Sumerian writing systems form 3500 BCE • Pictographs • Cuneiform: “wedge-shaped” • Preservation of documents on clay • Declines from 400 BCE with spread of Greek alphabetic script

  15. Uses for Writing • Trade • Astronomy • Mathematics • Agricultural applications • Calculation of time • 12-month year • 24-hour day, 60-minute hour

  16. Mesopotamian Literature • Epic of Gilgamesh, compiled after 2000 BCE • Heroic saga • Search for meaning, esp. afterlife • This-worldly emphasis

  17. The Early Hebrews • Patriarchs and Matriarchs from Babylon, c. 1850 BCE • Parallels between early biblical texts, Code of Hammurabi • Early settlement of Canaan (Israel), c. 1300 BCE • Biblical text: slavery in Egypt, divine redemption • On-going conflict with indigenous populations under King David (1000-970 BCE) and Solomon (970-930 BCE)

  18. Moses and Monotheism • Hebrews shared polytheistic beliefs of other Mesopotamian civilizations • Moses introduces monotheism, belief in single god • Denies existence of competing parallel deities • Personal god: reward and punishment for conformity with revealed law • The Torah (“doctrine or teaching”)

  19. Foreign conquests of Israel • Assyrian conquest, 722 BCE • Conquered the northern kingdom • Deported many inhabitants to other regions • Many exiles assimilated and lost their identity • Babylonian conquest, 586 BCE • Destroyed Jerusalem • Forced many into exile • Israelites maintained their religious identity and many returned to Judea

  20. Israel and Phoenicia , 1500-600 BCE

  21. The Phoenicians • City-states along Mediterranean coast after 3000 BCE • Extensive maritime trade • Dominated Mediterranean trade, 1200-800 BCE • Development of alphabet symbols • Simpler alternative to cuneiform • Spread of literacy

  22. Indo-European Migrations • Common roots of many languages of Europe, southwest Asia, India • Implies influence of a single Indo-European people • Probable original homeland: modern-day Ukraine and Russia, 4500-2500 BCE • Domestication of horses, use of Sumerian weaponry allowed them to spread widely

  23. Indo-European migrations 3000-1000 BCE

  24. Implications of Indo-European Migration • Hittites migrate to central Anatolia, c. 1900 BCE, later dominate Babylonia • Influence on trade • Horses, chariots with spoked wheels • Iron • Migrations to western China, Greece, Italy also significant