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Early Complex Societies Evolve into Classical Societies Objectives for Todays Discussion/Lecture: What are the characteristics of classical societies?

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Presentation on theme: "Early Complex Societies Evolve into Classical Societies Objectives for Todays Discussion/Lecture: What are the characteristics of classical societies?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Early Complex Societies Evolve into Classical Societies Objectives for Todays Discussion/Lecture: What are the characteristics of classical societies? What were the problems faced by classical societies? What benefits did classical societies experience? What were the key developments of the Persian empire? (SPRITE chart) What were the key changes and continuities that occurred during the unification of China? (COT SPRITE chart)

2 Formation of Classical Societies Approximately 1000 BCE early societies emerged and Achieved high degrees of internal organization Extended their authority over extremely large regions Elaborated influential cultural traditions

3 Classical Societies: A Look at Persia What problems did classical societies like Persia face? Classical Persian society began to take shape during the sixth century B.C.E. when rulers of the province of Persia in southwestern Iran embarked on a series of conquests that resulted in the formation of an enormous empire.

4 Problems of Classical Societies Difficult to oversee vast territories without advanced technologies of transportation and communication. Military challenges arose from within classical societies themselves in the form of rebellion, civil war, or conflict. External threats came from nomadic and migratory people who sought to share in the wealth. Maintenance of equitable distribution of land and wealth

5 What benefits did classical societies like Persia experience?

6 Benefits of Classical Societies Increased trade encouraged economic integration within the societies. Establishment of regular commerce between peoples of different societies and cultural regions. Generated sophisticated cultural and religious traditions.

7 Origins: Persia Around 1000 BCE the Medes and the Persians migrated from central Asia to Persia (modern-day Iran). They were part of the larger Indo-European migration.

8 Origins of Persia The Persians were mostly pastoralists but they did practice limited agriculture. When the Assyrian and Babylonan empires weakened in the 6 th century BCE, the Medes and Persians embarked on a successful imperial venture. –Cyrus conquered regions between India and Egypt by 530 B.C.E. –His son, Cambyses completed the conquest by gaining Egypt.

9 Lets Revisit: Who were the Assyrians and the Babylonians?

10 What were the key developments in the Persian Classical Empire? Social: Imperial administration required educated bureaucrats. –Administrators, tax collectors, record keepers, translators –Free classes – artisans, craftsmen, merchants, low ranking civil servants, peasants, landless cultivators. Women worked in the weaving of textiles. –Slaves Political: Centralized government with local administration. The Achaemenid Empire appointed governors to oversee affairs in the various regions.

11 Ruins at Persepolis, the capital established by Darius (520 B.C.E.)

12 Persepolis was located northeast of Shiraz in modern-day Iran

13 What were the key developments in the Persian Classical Empire? Religion: Zoroastrianism emerged from the teachings of Zarathustra. –Good conquers over evil after a conflict. –Omnipotent deity –Judgment resulting in rewards in heaven or punishment in evil. Intellectual: Expansion of empire required educated bureaucrats. Translators were needed to help with diverse languages in the empire. Technology: development of roads, canals, postal stations Economic: Agriculture was the foundation of Persian economy; long distance trade grew rapidly and linked lands from India to Egypt. Development of roads (Persian Royal Road)

14 What were the key SOCIAL changes and continuities that occurred during the unification of China? (COT SPRITE chart) Time Period: 550 B.C.E. to 220 C.E. Beginning of Period:Family was patriarchal; ruling class – royal family and nobles, merchants and craftsmen, peasants, slaves End of Period: Land became concentrated in the hands of a small, wealthy elite class. Peasants organized rebellions. Most of the population worked in the countryside farming. (pp. 197, 200) Changes: gap between the social classes continued to widen; Han Wudi Raised taxes and confiscated land and personal property. Continuities: Emphasis on filial piety and womens subordination to men (Confucius – Classic of Filial Piety and Ban Zhaos Admonitions for Women) Patriarchal families were foundation of society (p.199) Reasons for Changes/Continuities: Poor crop production, need to build a strong military/army required funds, burden of debt; small number of land owners possessed the wealth

15 What were the key POLITICAL changes and continuities that occurred during the unification of China? (COT SPRITE chart) 550 BCE to 220 CE Beginning of Period: Shang Yang awarded land rights to cultivators. Qin Shihuangdi established strong central government and kept strict control over regional provinces. Qin used resources from production to build a strong military. P. 197 End of Period: Rebellions of peasant societies (Yellow Turban Uprising); dynasty deteriorated into regional factions. Changes: Bureaucracy embraced legalism (strict governance). Han Wudi imposed higher taxes. Continuities: Centralized rule remained pretty much until the end of the Han Dynasty until rebellions became more frequent. Reasons for Changes/Continuities: Taxes to finance military; confiscation of land and businesses; poor harvests, widening gap between the rich and the poor. Wudi did not address unfair distribution of land p. 208 This climate discouraged investment in manufacturing and trade.

16 What were the key religious changes and continuities that occurred during the unification of China? (COT SPRITE chart) 550 B.C.E. to 220 C.E. Beginning of Period: End of Period: Changes: Continuities: Mandate of Heaven – belief that a ruler would be rewarded or punished for the success of his rule Reasons for Changes/Continuities

17 What were the key intellectual changes and continuities that occurred during the unification of China? (COT SPRITE chart) 550 B.C.E. – 220 C.E. Beginning of Period: Confucius – focus on moral and ethical behavior of the individual and cultivation of of analysis and judgment. Standardization of scripts; Daoism – disengaging from politics and administration and living in harmony. Legalism – chaos could only be eliminated through strict governance Continuities: Advanced education was provided for the elite. End of Period: Changes: Han wudi established university for men of government service (Confucius, Mencius, Xunzi) 124 B.C.E. Reasons for Changes/Continuities

18 What were the key technological changes and continuities that occurred during the unification of China? (COT SPRITE chart) 550 B.C.E. to 220 C.E. Beginning of Period: End of Period: Changes: Continuities: Reasons for Changes/Continuities

19 What were the key economic changes and continuities that occurred during the unification of China? (COT SPRITE chart) Beginning of Period: End of Period: Changes: Continuities: Reasons for Changes/Continuities


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