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Empire in Ancient Civilizations Key Knowledge: 1.What were the major empires, leaders, similarities and differences? 2. What can we learn about empires.

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Presentation on theme: "Empire in Ancient Civilizations Key Knowledge: 1.What were the major empires, leaders, similarities and differences? 2. What can we learn about empires."— Presentation transcript:

1 Empire in Ancient Civilizations Key Knowledge: 1.What were the major empires, leaders, similarities and differences? 2. What can we learn about empires that we can use later?

2 What is an Empire? A group of nations or states under the control of a single ruler or ruling power, especially an emperor or empress. Keep in mind while we learn –Which were harsh and which (if any) were tolerant? –Why did they rise and why did they fall? –Which left an important legacy?

3 Egypt – New Kingdom Kingdoms Old Kingdom2660 – 2180 B.C. Middle Kingdom2080 – 1640 B.C. New Kingdom(Age of Empires)1570 – 1075 B.C. Powerful Rulers: 1 st rulers - Scorpion king/Narmer (Menes) Greatest Empire Builder - Thutmose III Nubian Ruler - Piankhi (Kushite King)

4 In what direction did Thutmose III choose to expand Egypt?

5 Why? Why was the region to the North East an area to conquer?

6 New Kingdom Highlights Powerful military that used chariots and bronze weapons to conquer their neighbors. Female Pharaoh – Hatshepsut (1472 – 1458 B.C.) –Encouraged expansion through trade Most powerful period of Egyptian history. 1285 B.C. Ramses II made a treaty that created peace with the Hittites for a century. 1200 B.C. Egypt’s empire began to decline. –Many invasions led to the fall of the empire.

7 Assyria Early History of constant defense against attack from foreign invaders. So they developed a Powerful Military Culture Once they were able to overcome the Hurrians do you think they became Peaceful? They conquered land from Mesopotamia to Egypt. Siege Weapons Forced Resettlement of rebellious people Harsh Taxes and Rule All art depicted brutal war scenes or lion hunts Capital City of Nineveh


9 Biblically inspired poetry about Sennacherib The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold; And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea, When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee. Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green, That host with their banners at sunset were seen: Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown, That host on the morrow lay withered and strewn. For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed; And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still! Lord Byron

10 Why do you think the Assyrians chose to be so harsh to the people they conquered?

11 What types of technology were the Assyrians concerned with? Why?

12 What does this Biblical excerpt make us think about how people thought of the Assyrians? "And it will come about that all who see you Will shrink from you and say, 'Nineveh is devastated! Who will grieve for her?' Where will I seek comforters for you?"... The shepherds slumber, O King of Assyria: Thy Nobles shall dwell in the dust: Thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them.” Nahum 3:7, 18

13 Assyrian Highlights Capital City - Nineveh –Contained one of the ancient world’s largest libraries –Created by King Ashurbanipal –Contained over 20,000 clay tablets (books) Declined because the empire became too big to protect. They made many enemies because they were so cruel.

14 Persia Cyrus exercised tolerance in governing and conquering No soldiers were allowed to loot and burn Cyrus honored local customs and religions, and would even worship at their temples! Now why would he do that? The Persians brought economic gains to conquered lands: Coined money increases and simplifies trade Satraps rule the ‘provinces’ as governors Royal Road from Susa to Sardis increases communication and trade So why did Babylon open its gates to Persia without a fight?

15 1. Persian Capital Persepolis, 2. Susa and 3. Sardis (why didn’t the road go further west?)

16 Just for future reference compare the size of Persia and that of Greece...

17 Persepolis Why would the Persian Emperors want to build a new capital city? Cyrus Cambyses Darius Xerxes

18 This was what an actual immortal looked like. I have proof! If you have seen the movie 300, I am sure you have seen images of the legendary Persian ten thousand immortals that were the elite fighting forces of the world.


20 Chaldean ‘New’ Babylon

21 Do you see a reoccurring theme of building grand cities? This is king Nebuchadnezzar’s rebuilt Babylon.

22 Every brick in rebuilt Babylon had the king’s name inscribed upon it! The dragon-god Marduk was etched all along the main gate of Babylon

23 While you have heard the love story of how the king built the legendary ‘Hanging Gardens’ for a lovesick wife (one of many), don’t think he was cuddly He also enslaved the entire race of Jews!

24 Shang, Zhou and Qin China Loess Mandate of Heaven Dynastic Cycle Qin, strengthening the trunk by weakening the branches Chinese Centralization Highways/Standardization Great Wall Loss of Human Freedom and Heavy Taxation in return for peace and stability Xia Shang Zhou Qin Han Sui Tang Song Yuan Ming Qing I wonder why they call it the yellow river?



27 The Zhou period was long, but much of it was a time of turmoil, however through turmoil we get important contributions

28 Chin Shih Huang Di

29 Qin Qin was a harsh legalist, and put thousands of scholars to death and burned books! Qin But he did bring peace and stability to his country! This is the duality of the Qin, and with many empires!

30 For example: The Great Wall protected the Chinese People from attack (nomads) But millions of peasants died in the forced building of the wall!

31 Hundreds of Terra Cotta figures adorn the Tomb of Chin Shih Huang Di to guard his afterlife

32 The Big Picture What are some basic assumptions we can make about all empires we study? 1.There has to be a Power Vacuum of weak empires/states for a new one to form 2.All Empires had Skilled Military Leaders OR Administrators or both! Any other observations that we can apply to our concept of Empire?

33 Why did they Fall? 1.Empire overextends itself 2.Loss of faith in Government and Ideology 3.Rebellions weaken or overturn the empire completely. Why were some very harsh and some more tolerant?

34 And if you think we have seen a big empire, just wait for the Mongols!

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