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THE CLASSICAL EMPIRES Unit 2: Classical Period 600 BCE – 600 CE.

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Presentation on theme: "THE CLASSICAL EMPIRES Unit 2: Classical Period 600 BCE – 600 CE."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE CLASSICAL EMPIRES Unit 2: Classical Period 600 BCE – 600 CE

2 Learning Targets/Key Themes  Students will be able to:  Define an empire and explain why empires rise and fall  Describe the basic features of the earliest empires  Analyze the key interactions between Classical Empires  These themes, along with the key vocabulary (See handout) will be the basis for your test at the end of this unit

3 Answer the following questions in your notebook:  How would you define the term “empire”?  What are the reasons an empire is created?

4 What is an Empire?  A state with political control of people and regions with different cultural and ethnic backgrounds

5 Why Are Empires Created?  Strong sense of Patriotism  Extreme pride in one’s country  Expansion  To benefit the regions being conquered  To eliminate threats  Economic gain  To create a buffer zone (protection)  To spread religious beliefs  To gain political power

6 Characteristics of an Empire  Diverse population  Strong government  Strong military  Strong diplomacy  Peaceful negotiations between two countries or regions

7 The Classical Period (600 BCE – 600 CE)  Main Characteristics:  Growth of Empires  Growth of Trade  Cultural Diffusion Spreading of cultural ideas and traditions from one region to another

8 Review:  What is an empire?  Why are empires created?  What is cultural diffusion?

9 Major Classical Civilizations  Persia  China (Zhou, Qin, Han dynasties)  India (Gupta dynasty)  Greece  Rome  Mayans (Americas)

10 The Persian Empire ( BCE)  Founded by Cyrus the Great  Darius I ( BCE)  Balanced central government and local leaders  Divided government into 3 districts to make it easier to control  Built Royal Road  Fought in many wars that lead to the decline of the empire


12 Persian Empire  Persian Society  Women worked in textile manufacturing  Government used slaves to complete public works projects  Persian Economy  Government coined money  Traded with Greeks and Indians  Main City: Persepolis  Persian Religion  Zoroastrianism

13 Classical China  Zhou Dynasty ( BCE)  Mandate of Heaven Rulers are given the right to rule by the gods  Strong landowners and weak emperor  Ends in civil war for two hundred years Leads to development of major philosophies

14 Chinese Philosophies  Confucianism  Founded by Confucius  Relationships create an orderly society  Family is foundation of society  Daoism  “Dao” – the way  Look to nature for order  Legalism  Humans are naturally evil and will only obey authority through force

15 Qin Dynasty ( BCE)  Used Legalism to restore order  Took away power from aristocracy  Strong centralized government  Unified China  Standard language and writing system  Uniform laws throughout empire

16 Shi Huangdi  Proclaimed himself “First Emperor”  Centralized power by banning local militaries  Built roads to improve communications  Started building the Great Wall of China  Forced labor  Also built his own tomb with the Terracotta Army

17 Terracotta Army


19 Han Dynasty (202 BCE – 220 CE)  Founded by a peasant  Longest Chinese dynasty  Conquered Vietnam, Korea and parts of Central Asia  Traded with India, Rome, Persia  Continued building Great Wall of China  Reformed government  Promoted Confucianism

20 Ancient Greece  Geography prevented political unification  Developed strong city- states instead  Athens and Sparta  Main Problems  Wars with Persia  Wars between city-states Peloponnesian Wars ( BCE) Athens vs. Sparta Leads to downfall of Greek city-states

21 Alexander the Great ( BCE)  Alex’s father, Philip II, conquered most of Greece  Built a massive empire, including Greece, Egypt, and Persia  Tries to invade India, but his military refuses  After death, empire divided in three parts  Main Contribution: Hellenism  Blending of Greek and Middle Eastern/Asian cultures

22 Roman Republic ( BCE)  Political System  Republic  Consuls  Senate (patricians  upper class)  Tribunes (plebians  lower class)  Focused on military expansion  Laws  Twelve Tables  Created laws that everyone must follow  Protected the lower classes

23 End of the Roman Republic  Growing Tensions between the rich and poor  Food shortages, not enough opportunities to own land or get certain jobs  Julius Caesar  General in Roman Army  44 BCE: Invades Rome with his own military and declares himself “dictator for life”  Assassinated by upper- class senators

24 The Roman Empire (31 BCE – 476 CE)  Established by Augustus Caesar  Continued military expansion  First true emperor of Rome  “Pax Romana” (Roman Peace) Height of Roman Empire; Great cultural and political achievements  NOT a dynasty (Unlike China and India)  Succession based on military strength  Tolerated local customs and religions  Laws and Nationalism held empire together

25 Expansion of the Roman Republic

26 The Decline of the Roman Empire  1). How did the geography of Greece impact its political development?  2). Describe the City-State of Sparta. (culture, lifestyle, economy)  3). Describe the City-State of Athens. (culture, lifestyle, economy)  4). Which city-state would you wish to live in back in Ancient Greece? Explain why in complete sentences.  5). Why was Alexander the Great able to conquer Greece so easily?  6). What is Hellenism and how is Alexander the Great connected to it?  7). Describe the Structure of the Roman Republic.  8). Why is Augustus Caesar considered the 1 st Emperor of Rome?  9). What is the difference between Plebeians and Patricians?  10). Thoroughly explain 1 reason why the Roman Empire fell in 476c.e.

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