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Chapter 4 Warriors and Deities in the Near East. Assyrian Empire 900-612 BCE  By 800 BCE had conquered much of Tigris-Euphrates region  Great talent.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 4 Warriors and Deities in the Near East. Assyrian Empire 900-612 BCE  By 800 BCE had conquered much of Tigris-Euphrates region  Great talent."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 4 Warriors and Deities in the Near East

2 Assyrian Empire BCE  By 800 BCE had conquered much of Tigris-Euphrates region  Great talent in military affairs Army was large, seemingly invincibleArmy was large, seemingly invincible Horse and chariot were chief force in warfareHorse and chariot were chief force in warfare Used tightly-knit infantry formationsUsed tightly-knit infantry formations Also experts in siege warfareAlso experts in siege warfare  Perhaps the most hated conquerors in ancient history  Empire reached from upper Tigris to central Egypt  Conquered peoples finally united, overthrew Assyrians  Had sophisticated appreciation for all art forms

3 Phoenicians  Lived along coastal strip (now Lebanon)  Great colonists, traders in luxury wares  Spread art of iron making  Established colonies throughout western Mediterranean  Most notable contribution was phonetic alphabet, about 1000 BCE System of 22 marksSystem of 22 marks Definite advance – simplicity, accessibilityDefinite advance – simplicity, accessibility Greeks later added signs for vowelsGreeks later added signs for vowels

4 Persians 500 BCE – 500 CE  Most powerful of peoples of western Asia Indo-European languageIndo-European language Highly skilled cavalryHighly skilled cavalry Eventually became sedentaryEventually became sedentary  Persian Empire Cyrus the GreatCyrus the Great  United Persians in mid-sixth century BCE  Extended domain from India to Mediterranean, Arabia to lower Nile Valley  Main cities were in Iran, not Mesopotamia

5 Persian Empire  His government was umbrella sheltering many different peoples Subjects allowed to keep customs, lawsSubjects allowed to keep customs, laws Local authorities stayed in powerLocal authorities stayed in power Religion was totally freeReligion was totally free  Darius I During his reign, empire reached largest sizeDuring his reign, empire reached largest size Uniform coinage, calendarUniform coinage, calendar Advanced law codeAdvanced law code

6 Hebrews  Most knowledge comes from Old Testament  Story of Abraham leading people into desert is probably true  Established in Canaan by 1500s, came under control of Egypt  Exodus Exact reasons are not clearExact reasons are not clear Under Moses, Hebrews resolved to return to CanaanUnder Moses, Hebrews resolved to return to Canaan Wandered across Sinai Peninsula, met Canaanites, PhilistinesWandered across Sinai Peninsula, met Canaanites, Philistines  By about 1000 BCE had set up own kingdom in Canaan, Saul as king  David conquered Jerusalem, which became capital city

7 Hebrews  Solomon Hebrews were trading intermediaries between Mesopotamia, EgyptHebrews were trading intermediaries between Mesopotamia, Egypt Temple of Jerusalem was built – one of wonders of ancient worldTemple of Jerusalem was built – one of wonders of ancient world His successor split kingdom into Judea and SamariaHis successor split kingdom into Judea and Samaria  In time, Judeans (Jews) and Samaritans saw themselves as separate peoples  Diaspora People scattered after Assyrian conquestPeople scattered after Assyrian conquest Ten Lost Tribes of IsraelTen Lost Tribes of Israel Judeans conquered by BabyloniansJudeans conquered by Babylonians Babylonian Captivity BCEBabylonian Captivity BCE After their return, Judea remained under Persian rule until Alexander the Great conquered the areaAfter their return, Judea remained under Persian rule until Alexander the Great conquered the area

8 Jewish Religious Belief and its Evolution  Yahweh became the only deity of the Jews  Zarathustra’s dualism doctrine had considerable influence  Covenant – sacred contract to keep the faith, triumph over enemies  Ten Commandments – rigid set of rules, moral regulations  One of earliest attempts to link ethics, worship Yahweh as enforcer of correct ethical actionsYahweh as enforcer of correct ethical actions This belief was not unusualThis belief was not unusual What was different was idea that good would be rewardedWhat was different was idea that good would be rewarded

9 Economic Change and Social Customs  Jews were mostly minor players in regional affairs, politics  Made transition from nomadic herders to town life  Social tension between rich and poor then appeared  Jews divided all humanity into “we” and “them”, segregated themselves

10 Economic Change and Social Customs  Women Typical nomadic custom of subordinating women, considering them as possessionsTypical nomadic custom of subordinating women, considering them as possessions Marriage, divorce reflected patriarchyMarriage, divorce reflected patriarchy Wife married into husband’s family, moved into his houseWife married into husband’s family, moved into his house Divorce was easy for husband, very unusual for wifeDivorce was easy for husband, very unusual for wife  Children were the whole reason for marriage Boys shared inheritance, girls did notBoys shared inheritance, girls did not Education carried out within familyEducation carried out within family

11 A Changing Theology  Concept of Yahweh changed over time  Long spiritual crisis during Babylonian Captivity  New interpretation of the Covenant (the Talmud)  Yahweh was not the universal god of all  He was just and merciful, omnipotent and omniscient  Granted Man free will, thus allowing principle of evil to appear

12 A Changing Theology  Last Judgement concept  Gradually Yahweh became a personal deity Could be prayed to directlyCould be prayed to directly Actions were not impulsive or unpredictableActions were not impulsive or unpredictable Relationship between God and Man is meant to be one of mutual loveRelationship between God and Man is meant to be one of mutual love

13 Discussion Questions  1. The Assyrians have sometimes been called the “first terrorists”. Why? What actions did they take that might be called “terrorism” today? What comparisons and contrasts do you see with modern terrorism?  2. Judaism established not only monotheism, but also the new idea of a covenant between Man and God. Why was this such a different idea? How did it change over time? Did it strengthen or weaken the spread of Judaism?


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