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Slide Show #8 Postimperial Worlds: The Problems of Empires, from 200 to 700 CE.

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Presentation on theme: "Slide Show #8 Postimperial Worlds: The Problems of Empires, from 200 to 700 CE."— Presentation transcript:

1 Slide Show #8 Postimperial Worlds: The Problems of Empires, from 200 to 700 CE

2 Review Questions WHY DID Teotihuacán rise and decline as an imperial state? WHY DID the Roman Empire collapse in the west but survive in the east? WHY WAS China better adapted for long-term survival than Rome and India? WHAT WERE the bases for Ethiopia’s prosperity? WHY WERE the Arabs able to conquer such a vast empire so quickly? HOW DID the Muslims treat conquered peoples? HOW DID states in Korea, Tibet, and Japan develop?

3 Teotihuacán Causes of Expansion CE Causes of Expansion CE Population pressure, need for food Population pressure, need for food Needs of elites: ritual objects, weapons, etc. Needs of elites: ritual objects, weapons, etc. Lack of exports to pay for goods Lack of exports to pay for goods Methods of Expansion Methods of Expansion Trade and conquest (or at least dominance) Trade and conquest (or at least dominance) Spread of artistic imagery into the Maya world Spread of artistic imagery into the Maya world Decline and Final Collapse CE Decline and Final Collapse CE Signs of internal divisions: larger residential compounds Signs of internal divisions: larger residential compounds New building ceases New building ceases Fire wrecks city (ca. 750 CE), many people flee city Fire wrecks city (ca. 750 CE), many people flee city

4 Color scheme of red on a gold background is characteristic of ceramics from Tikal, while bird-like symbols with forked, blood-sucking tongues on the bottom row are similar to glyphs from Teohituacán. Detail of Mayan Vase

5 The Maya and Teotihuacán

6 The Maya city of Tikal rises over the forest of the Petén in Yucatan. Gaudily painted in their day, the pyramids warned off enemies, invited trade, celebrated kings. The small stones lining the plaza bear images and records of the deeds of rulers. The great temple in the middle ground was built as a tomb for King Jasaw Chan K’awiil (682–734), who restored the city’s fortunes, after a period of defeat. Tikal

7 Roman Decline & Collapse Causes of Decline: CE Causes of Decline: CE Sprawling size, long vulnerable land frontier Sprawling size, long vulnerable land frontier Unruly military: ambitious, restless, prone to revolt Unruly military: ambitious, restless, prone to revolt Hostile relations with Persia & Parthian empire in East Hostile relations with Persia & Parthian empire in East Christianity -- subversive to elites? Christianity -- subversive to elites? Germanic peoples threaten Western frontier Germanic peoples threaten Western frontier Migrants enter the empire--pushed by war, hunger, plague, cold Migrants enter the empire--pushed by war, hunger, plague, cold From the Chinese border to Europe: Huns, Xiongnu From the Chinese border to Europe: Huns, Xiongnu Nomadic by custom or circumstances? Nomadic by custom or circumstances? Visigoth victories, sacking of Rome, 410 Visigoth victories, sacking of Rome, 410 Emperor Constantine moves capital to Asia Minor, 323 CE Emperor Constantine moves capital to Asia Minor, 323 CE Problems defending the Western Empire: commerce suffers Problems defending the Western Empire: commerce suffers Regional priorities--German kingdoms arise in imperial territories Regional priorities--German kingdoms arise in imperial territories Collapse of Roman political control Collapse of Roman political control Roman language, culture, symbols used by barbarian leaders Roman language, culture, symbols used by barbarian leaders

8 The Western Roman Empire

9 The philosopher at war. The Meditations of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (r. 161–180) were written in military camps while he was campaigning against the barbarians on the empire’s northern frontiers. His statue atop the Capitol at Rome has always symbolized dynamism and power. Emperor Marcus Aurelius

10 The late Roman Empire increasingly relied on immigrant mercenaries for its defense. The Vandal Stilicho (right) was one of the best, defending “all within the sun’s fiery orbit” in trust for the emperors of Rome. He married an emperor’s niece and maneuvered to make his son, Eucherius, also shown here, emperor. His daughter married an emperor. But, falsely accused of treachery, he loyally gave himself up for execution in 408 C.E. Stilicho: Roman Mercenary

11 “A Parthian shot” from the tactics Parthian-mounted archers used in defending their homeland in what is now Iran and Iraq against the Romans. Retreating, or pretending to retreat, they turned in their saddles to shoot at their pursuers. Steppelander armies copied or developed this technique on their own. This 2,000- year-old Chinese design shows a Turkic warrior wielding a double-curve bow, constructed to be compact but with high tensile strength for use on horseback.

12 Huge rock carvings were traditional media of propaganda for Persian kings. None celebrates a more spectacular victory than that of Shapur I (r. 241–272) at the battle of Edessa in 260 C.E., when he took the Roman Emperor Valerian captive. The sculptor captured Valerian by showing him bending the knee in submission, while his cloak billows in the wind. The realism of the art enhances its symbolic significance, suggested by Shapur’s huge crown, bulging physique, and imperious gestures.

13 Rome’s Legacy Roman culture blends with Germanic culture and Christianity Roman culture blends with Germanic culture and Christianity Roman cultural values became a basis of a new European culture Roman cultural values became a basis of a new European culture Roman influences spread around the globe with European empires Roman influences spread around the globe with European empires Various Western European leaders try to reconstitute Rome: Various Western European leaders try to reconstitute Rome: Charlemagne, Otto I, Napoleon, Hitler Charlemagne, Otto I, Napoleon, Hitler Current attempt to create a European Union is more peaceful Current attempt to create a European Union is more peaceful

14 Post-Roman Europe/Mediterranean Region

15 Imperial China, Strengths & Weaknesses Strengths: Strengths: roughly circular empire eases military movements Chinese culture emulated by barbarians strong internal economy Weaknesses Weaknesses uncertain succession of leadership feuding imperial factions/ reliance on eunuchs warlords divide northern China Collapse of Han Dynasty, 220 CE Collapse of Han Dynasty, 220 CE Chinese influence on neighboring states: Silla, Koguryo, Paekche, Japan, Tibet, Funan, Indochina Chinese influence on neighboring states: Silla, Koguryo, Paekche, Japan, Tibet, Funan, Indochina Recovery of imperial China under Sui amd Tang dynasties Recovery of imperial China under Sui amd Tang dynasties Emperor Tang Taizong streamlines administration, expands rule Emperor Tang Taizong streamlines administration, expands rule Introduction, spread of Buddhist ideas Introduction, spread of Buddhist ideas Empress Wu maneuvers way to throne (690), reigns effectively Empress Wu maneuvers way to throne (690), reigns effectively

16 Threats to China and India

17 Gupta India: Problems and Potential Candra Gupta restores unity 320 CE Candra Gupta restores unity 320 CE Huns from Asia infiltrate India, 415 CE Huns from Asia infiltrate India, 415 CE Aided by Indian cultural pessimism (Kaliyouga idea) Aided by Indian cultural pessimism (Kaliyouga idea) Kalidasa’s plays focus on morally corrupt state Kalidasa’s plays focus on morally corrupt state Caste system promotes inequality/social divisions Caste system promotes inequality/social divisions Decline of empire--move to a multitude of small states Decline of empire--move to a multitude of small states

18 On the Frontiers of Empires Ethiopia: Western border of Indian Ocean trade networks Ethiopia: Western border of Indian Ocean trade networks Good ports on the sea, defensible highlands inland Good ports on the sea, defensible highlands inland Capital city: Axum, funneled trade goods from Africa Capital city: Axum, funneled trade goods from Africa Ivory, obsidian, rhino horn, wild animals Ivory, obsidian, rhino horn, wild animals Imported trade goods from China, Greece Imported trade goods from China, Greece Greek & native languages: cosmopolitan community Greek & native languages: cosmopolitan community Main economic strength: agriculture: wheat, wine, coffee Main economic strength: agriculture: wheat, wine, coffee Highly refined ivory, metalwork, stone buildings Highly refined ivory, metalwork, stone buildings Byzantium: former eastern frontier of Roman Empire Byzantium: former eastern frontier of Roman Empire Constantinople- capital: key strategic point between Europe & Asia Constantinople- capital: key strategic point between Europe & Asia Justinan develops new law code, tries to reunifiy Roman empire Justinan develops new law code, tries to reunifiy Roman empire

19 Stela of Axum. Until the rulers of Ethiopia adopted Christianity in the mid–fourth century, they invested huge amounts of capital and labor to create gigantic stelae—still the biggest structures made of single blocks of stone anywhere in the world. The largest examples—which reach well over 100 feet high—stood on ground long used for burials and probably marked important tombs. They have the skyscraper-like form of towering buildings. This art form climaxed in the early fourth century, just before Ethiopian priorities switched to church building, and the last stelae were left to topple or perhaps were never even hoisted into position. Ethiopian monuments

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21 New Forms of Empire Arabia: early Islam and new form of empire ca CE Arabia: early Islam and new form of empire ca CE From tribal warfare to unification under monotheistic Islam From tribal warfare to unification under monotheistic Islam Charismatic leadership replaces kinship ties Charismatic leadership replaces kinship ties Role of the Quran as source of teaching---divine revelation Role of the Quran as source of teaching---divine revelation How the Arabs took advantage of Persian/Rome conflicts How the Arabs took advantage of Persian/Rome conflicts Dar al-Islam (House of Islam)--the Muslim world: CE Dar al-Islam (House of Islam)--the Muslim world: CE widespread equality of opportunity for all classes widespread equality of opportunity for all classes Freedom of religious worship, with payment of extra taxes Freedom of religious worship, with payment of extra taxes Gradual division of leadership as empire expands to Africa Gradual division of leadership as empire expands to Africa Use of Sharia (Muslim law) to adjudicate and rule Use of Sharia (Muslim law) to adjudicate and rule The Caliph as secular & religious authority The Caliph as secular & religious authority Division of Muslims into Shia and Sunni sects Division of Muslims into Shia and Sunni sects

22 The minarets of the mosque of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul conceal the building’s origins as the greatest Christian church of its day, built at the command of the Emperor Justinian to defy time and display the largest dome in the world at the time. The dome collapsed some 20 years after its completion. So the emperor had it rebuilt on an even more ambitious scale. Daring perforations around the base of the dome— over 100 feet wide and nearly 200 feet high—bathed the sanctuary in light Hagia Sophia: Christian Church to Islamic Mosque

23 The earliest known Arabic texts, from the fourth century C.E. onward, are inscribed in stone. Yet the earliest versions of the Quran, which date from the eighth century are in a rounded script designed to be written with a brush. This form of written Arabic is known as Kufic—from the town of Kufa in Iraq, where it supposedly originated. The Quran

24 Dar al-Islam: “the house of Islam”

25 In the Shadow of China Japan: s Japan: s Uses China as a model for architecture, written language Uses China as a model for architecture, written language Battle for control of Japan by Chinese, Korean, Japanese elites Battle for control of Japan by Chinese, Korean, Japanese elites State rule: Confucianism, but emperor is a divine human State rule: Confucianism, but emperor is a divine human Religion: Buddhism mixed with Shinto Religion: Buddhism mixed with Shinto Fujiwara family establishes control around 850 Fujiwara family establishes control around 850 Tibet: from nomadic pastoralists to agriculture Tibet: from nomadic pastoralists to agriculture Barley as staple crop, combined with yak husbandry Barley as staple crop, combined with yak husbandry Growth of military strength--horse warriors Growth of military strength--horse warriors Reign of Songsten Gampo , begins era of expansion to Nepal, Central Asia, western China Reign of Songsten Gampo , begins era of expansion to Nepal, Central Asia, western China Korea: Development of Koguryo state ca Korea: Development of Koguryo state ca Silla, Paekche states in the south also expands Silla, Paekche states in the south also expands Prosperity based on agricultural development, iron Prosperity based on agricultural development, iron “sacred bone” (royal family rank) vs. “true bone” (elite family rank) “sacred bone” (royal family rank) vs. “true bone” (elite family rank) Unification of Korean peninsula after 653 Unification of Korean peninsula after 653

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27 The Potala Palace, towering above the valley of Lhasa, stands on the site of the palace of the kings of Tibet in the seventh and eighth centuries. The present construction dates from the mid 1600s. Tibetan Capital, Lhasa

28 Korean crown. Before Buddhism became rooted there in the sixth century C.E., Korean rulers were buried with fabulous treasures. This crown, with antler-like ornaments, is from one of the many royal burial mounds of the kingdom of Silla. It shows the influence of Chinese and Central Asian goldsmiths’ work. `

29 Rather than the fall or collapse of empires, these are transformations into new entities with many cultural values that continue on. In the cases of Japan, China, and Rome these are continuities to our own time.


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