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Study Guide: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, and Assyria

by: Sarah Doberneck

Study Guide: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, and Assyria History 1A

Marketplace > University of California - Los Angeles > History > History 1A > Study Guide Mesopotamia Egypt Israel and Assyria
Sarah Doberneck
Introduction to Western Civilization: Ancient Civilizations, Prehistory to circa A.D. 843
Dr. Phillips

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This study guide includes all the lecture notes up to this point to help with the essay prompts, as well as a description of each term listed for the Identifications section of the test.
Introduction to Western Civilization: Ancient Civilizations, Prehistory to circa A.D. 843
Dr. Phillips
Study Guide
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This 15 page Study Guide was uploaded by Sarah Doberneck on Sunday October 11, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to History 1A at University of California - Los Angeles taught by Dr. Phillips in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 274 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Western Civilization: Ancient Civilizations, Prehistory to circa A.D. 843 in History at University of California - Los Angeles.


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Date Created: 10/11/15
History 1A Study Guide Part 1 Mesopotamia 0 Egypt Ziggurat A terraced tower build of baked brick and culminating in a temple usually to worship the patron god of the city It tended to be in the center of Sumerian cities They were first built around 3000 BC UtNapishtim character in the epic of Gilgamesh who is tasked by Enki to abandon his worldly possessions and create a giant ship to be called The Preserver of Life Often compared to the biblical Noah Gilgamesh The main character in the Epic of Gilgamesh Said to be a king from Babylon around 2500 BC Enkidu central figure in the Ancient Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh Enkidu was formed from clay and saliva by Aruru the goddess of creation to rid Gilgamesh of his arrogance Sargon Said to have been abandoned by his mother but rescued and eventually became a gardener then a king Similar to the story of Moses Started the dynasty of Sargon and conquered the rest of Akkad and eventually Sumer Hammurabi the sixth Amorite king of Babylon from 1792 BC to 1750 BC Most famous for his law code which gives a lot of insight Babylonian culture relating to class structure and religious idealogy Ishtar Goddess in Mesopotamia also a character in the Epic of Gilgamesh She is the goddess of love war fertility and sexuality In the Epic she asks Gilgamesh to marry her When he says no she then becomes determined to kill Gilgamesh Fertile Crescent The Fertile Crescent also known as the Cradle of Civilization is a crescentshaped region containing the comparatively moist and fertile land In this region civilization started with the Sumerians in about 5400 BC NarmerMenes Ancient Egyptian king during the Early dynastic Period during the 31st centure BCE Credited for unifying Egypt Nile River The river that allowed the area around Egypt to be a fertile area Egypt depended on this river s yearly ood for their crops and therefore their livelihood Egyptians lives were completely dependent on the river which they seemed to revere The branching of the nile causes Egypt to be split into Upper and Lower Egypt but also allows Egypt to be relatively secluded from outside invaders RaAmonRa Ra the sun god became the main god of Egypt during the 5th dynasty which was about 2400 BC By the 12th Dynasty Amon and Ra combined to be AmonRa who was the main god for essentially the rest of Egyptian history Israel 0 Maat Maat is known as justice or right order It represents the ethical principles that citizens were expected to follow Hyksos A group of people from the IsrealPalestine area that invaded Egypt at the end of the Middle Kingdom about 1650 BC They introduced the horse and chariot compound bows bronze working and pottery techniques Hatshepsut Regent of Egypt because the rightful ruler Tuthmosis the 3rd was too young to rule Eventually she made herself Pharoah in 1490 BC Amenhotep IVAkhenaten Pharaoh of Egypt brought a religious revolution to Egypt He brought Aten the god of Sun to prevalence Amenhotep the 4th changed his name to Akhetaten and created a hymn to Aten He says that Aten is the one and true god and tried to convert Egypt to monotheism Once he died the religious change died as well Ramses III reigned from 1290 to 1224 where he established himself as a conquered and a builder Sea Peoples A group of people from the Mediterranean area that united with the Libyans to conquer Egypt yet were unsuccessful between 1184 and 1152 BC Rosetta Stone Steely discovered by Napoleon consists of two texts One in Egyptian and one in Greek Used to begin to decipher the Egyptian language and learn about Egyptian royalty Asiatics People to the north of Egypt of Asian descent Abraham Patriarch and prophet Took his family from Ur between 2000 and 1750 and moved them to Palestine area He found his true god Yahweh and began the establishment of the Jewish religion Moses Prophet of the Israelites said to have delivered them out of Egyptian captivity around 1400 BC by parting the red sea Story is found in the Book of Exodus in the bible He then led the Egyptians through the wilderness for 40 years During this time God revealed the 10 Commandments to him Saul ruled from 10201000 BC was the first king of Israel appointed by the prophet Samuel to help create order in the land and protect the people David Israelite soldier known for killing the giant Goliath Afterwards he was exciled from Israel because Saul felt threatened Once Saul died David returned and became king from 1000970 Ark of the Covenant A sacred item to the Israelites Originally a portable shrine consisting of a wooden chest and the Ten Commandments but was given a permanent home in Jerusalem This established Jerusalem as a holy city and the political capital Today the ark if the covenant is said to be lost Solomon David s son and successor Ruled from 970930 He is most known for building a magnificent temple and for the labor and taxes imposed on his people to do so He placed the Ark of the Covenant inside the temple Babylonian captivity Around 600 BC the Jewish people were captured and held as slaves in Babylonia Started a long trend of Jewish diaspora The Jews had to learn how to worship without their temple Assyria O Tiglathpileser 1 King during the Middle Assyrian Period 11141076 BC He expanded Assyrian control into Anatolia and Syria and to the shores of the Mediterranean He seems to have carefully cultivated a fear of himself in his subjects and in his enemies alike Tiglathpileser III a prominent king of Assyria in the eighth century BCE who introduced advanced civil military and political systems into the NeoAssyrian Empire Sargon II Became king in 722 BC Established himself as a new ruler by not referring to his ancestors as most other kings had Ashurbanipal he ruler of ancient Assyria at the height of Assyrian military and cultural accomplishments His most significant contribution is his library of thousands of cuneiform tablets that allow historians to learn more about this time period Class Notes History 1A 9252015 Lecture What does the term western civilization mean Civilization is an advanced social and political structure in which individuals come together to form a cohesive unit The rst example of this is with the creation of cities Civilization starts in Asia and Africa before it spreads to Europe with the Greeks and the Romans Political ideologies of democracy and a republic can be traced to the Greeks and romans For the majority of human history humans used stone tools Technological advancements are seen in the differences between the old middle and new stone ages People usually used spears and arrows as weapons in these ages They were used to hunt animals for food and to protect themselves Copper started to become popular in about 500 BC However due to the soft nature of copper it wasn t used as much as stone was 0 Once copper and tin were combined in about 3000 BC bronze was invented and widely used because of its strength 0 Iron was created and was stronger than bronze which led to the copper age Carbon dating is what allows us to track the dates of these materials Scientists can determine how old a living organism39s tissue is by the amount of carbon 14 left Hunting and gathering was the primary method of obtaining food until early civilizations realized that it was easier to make the food come to them 0 This led to more farming and trap setting Growing food and raising herds of domesticated animals resulted in societies changing from being mainly nomadic like their ancestors were to now being stationary and developing villages Civilization is linked with the establishment of cities which is a community of people that has established territorial boundaries and some sort of political and social structure 5 other traits of civilization are Systematization of religion distinction between social classes specialization of tasks development of the artsthe incorporation of art into the public sector Literacy Why does civilization rst happen in Mesopotamia Mesopotamia lies within the Fertile Crescent which led allowed it to agriculture and a stable society Sumer and Akkad were names used by the natives to describe Mesopotamia IT later become known as Babylonia The earliest cities rst came around in Sumer at about 3500 BC Consisted of mudbrick buildings surrounded by walls or moats Mud brick was the primarily used construction material for private and public buildings because Mesopotamia had very little timber to use to build things Each of the earliest cities had independent political units making them quotcity statesquot Outside of the actual city would be agricultural lands owned by the citizens as a whole They used complex irrigation systems to sustain the farm land that fed the cities Most of the citizens were farmers at this time Over time a political and social hierarchy evolved Each city had a king Sumerian society combined government and religion It was thought that the ruler of the city was a patron godgoddess The ruler was the gods39 earthly representative This resulted in the priests working very closely with and supporting the kind The king king s family and priests made up the highest social class Sumerian temples led to monumental architecture They made step pyramids to honor the gods ziggurat Inside would be a statue of the god Sumerians practiced an anthropomorphic religion meaning that the gods were often made to look like people It was also polytheistic meaning that there were many gods that were organized in a hierarchy The Sumerians believed that the universe arose from a watery chaos First came the gods then the slq then earth and nally humans and animals Top gods were the gods of the sky water and nature with about 50 gods under them The gods were thought to meet in council about the earth Sumerians were the rst to develop a system of writing and did so about 3500 BC o It started with pictograms evolved into signs for words and syllables The technical form cuneiform is used to describe the type of writing as well as the method they used to write The story of the ood and the epic of Gilgamesh are myths that became Babylonian myths as well Flood Myth 0 Differences between the two include the reactions of the gods In the biblical version God controlled the ood In the Sumerian version the Gods ran in fear Biblical version ood lasted 40 days and 40 nights while Sumerian lasted 6 days and 6 nights The Epic of Gilgamesh It is possible that Gilgamesh was a real person from 2500 BC Babylon o It is Sumerian in origin but later was adopted by Babylonians One theme of the epic is that death is inevitable and humans can39t become gods Early Dynastic Period 30002340 BC We know very little about this period Divided into numerous small and independent city states Came to an end because of outside invaders Dynasty of Sargon According to tradition Sargon was abandoned by his mother but was rescued and eventually became a gardener then the king Common ancient myth that foundlings became great men Sargon conquered the rest of Akkad and eventually Sumer When he died the kingship stayed in his family His grandson enlarged the empire even further and called himself quotKing of the Four Quarters of the Earthquot Lasted until 2159 when new invaders took over 3rCI Dynasty of Ur Called this because Ur was the leading city during this time Lasted almost a century before the Amorites took over 0 Led to the loss of the Sumerian language being spoken Old Babylonian Period o The Babylonians unite all of Mesopotamia under their control causing the entire region to be known as Babylonia Most successful ruler of this time was Hammurabi Literature mathematics and astronomy all ourished The kingdom also expanded greatly Hammurabi s Code 0 Covered a wide range of life in Babylonia such as relations between husband and wives law of inheritance property crimes trade military service homicide etc c There is a distinction between nobility commoners and slaves in how each class is punished The punishment is more severe for hurting nobility rather than a slave Mesopotamia was invaded by multiple outside sources and eventually devined in importance Egypt It seems that civilization appeared in Mesopotamia before Egypt but not my much 0 Egypt also lies within a type of fertile crescent leading to encouraged agriculture and a settled lifestyle 0 Egypt depended on the Nile39s ooding to survive The branching of the Nile led to Egypt being split into lower and Upper Egypt 0 The Nile also allowed Egypt to be naturally protected being surrounded by a river a large desert and the sea 0 The isolation of Egypt is a contrast to Mesopotamia which made Mesopotamia very susceptible to invaders The seclusion of Egypt led to them believing that they were superior to others and a spirit of conservatism and a stagnant culture The Greeks were the ones who studied and eventually deciphered the Egyptian language Greeks were fascinated by Egypt because of how old the culture was and the antiquity of it conferred authority 0 They saw similarities between the two religions Noticed differences in things such as direction of writing and how they used the restroom The Greeks came up with their own theories of why the Nile ooded annually Greeks were inhibited in their studies because they couldn39t read the Egyp anlanguage The rst language was known as Hieroglyphic quotsacred carvingquot used for temples mostly Next came Hieratic quotpriestly scriptquot and was a simpli ed form of hieroglyphics Finally came Demonic quotpopular scriptquot cursive form of Hieratic Napoleon discovered a black steeley later named the Rosetta Stone Contains an inscription in Greek and Egyptian The Greek texts were translated into the Egyptian language A French scholar was able to discover names of Egyptian pharaohs and royals giving us names like Cleopatra Was the rst step to us being able to read the Egyptian language Old Kingdom Period Most famous for its pyramids The rst pharaoh of this period Zoser had the step pyramid built for him as his tomb The architect was given credit for pioneering the building of structures using stone The style of building possibly came from Mesopotamia The sphynx and Giza pyramids were built during this period Pyramids symbolized the power of the pharaohs In return for building the Pharaoh a pyramid they were ensured that the river would ood as needed The pharaoh was believed to be the only human being that was guaranteed life after death Everyone else39s chances depended on their relation to the Pharoah They believed in many gods most of which were part animal Ra the god of the sun rose to become the chief god of all of Egypt during the 5th dynasty because the Pharaohs of this dynasty claimed him as their patron god More temples were built in his honor and 23 of the pharaohs had Ra as part of their names Maat quotjusticequot or quotright orderquot thought of as part of the Pharaohs duties Summed up as truth justice and the Egyptian way Old kingdom ends after the 6th dynasty because of northeastern enemies and the rise of power for Egyptian nobility in this period First Intermediate Period 2180 BC 2040 BC Known as the decline of Egypt The nobility continued to take over Climate change leads to drought and famine in the region Borders pushed back by outside invaders Ended when taken over after a century and a half Middle Kingdom 11th Dynasty 0 Upper and Lower Egypt are reunited showing the beginning of the Middle Kingdom 12th Dynasty 0 O 0 Known as the heart of the middle kingdom Home to many changes in religion Before only the Pharaoh was guaranteed life after death The average Egyptian had no chance of living after death In the middle kingdom a new concept of a Judgement Day emerged where everyone s sou would go on trial to determine if you were worthy enough to have eternal life There was also an increase in the amount of gods and types of worship Loca gods rise to national prominence throughout Egypt similar to how Ra rose in the Old Kingdom The new patron god of the 12th dynasty was Amonra who was then the main god for essentially the rest of ancient Egyptian history The First pharaoh of this dynasty moved the capital to a new city named quotAmenemhat seizes the two citiesquot which makes him seem like the rightful ruler of the new combined country The pharaoh starts to be expected to treat his people well Amenemhat reorganizes the political structure in order to disperse resources better and keep oca nobility in check Literature ourished the Story of Sinuhe is an example from this time penod Foreign policy Asiatics to the north Nubians to the south Built walls to the north to keep invaders out Egyptians called all foreigners quotvilequot Fought the Nubians in the south and were able to conquer much of their territory and gain access to new resources They mostly gained new manpower and hired Nubians into the military There was extensive trade between the island of Crete and Egypt Only the beginning of contact between Egypt and Greece The Second Intermediate Period Due to the Hyksos invading which we have had a hard time determining the origin of 13th and 14th dynasties decline in pharaohs power 15th and 16th ruled by Hyksos 17th divided Egypt Hyksos in north and Egyptians in south Hyksos are said to be from the IsraelPalestine area History 1A week 2 lecture New Kingdom Started With the liberation of Egypt from the Hyksos Ahmos the first is known as the founder of the 18th dynasty is the high point of Egyptian power and wealth Ahmos ejects the Hyksos from Egypt reunites Upper lower and Nubia rules for 25 years His son focused on reclaiming territory that had been lost during the intermediary period so he pushes into Nubia Tuthmosis the 3rd was too young to rule when Tuthmosis the 2 his father died leading to Hatshepsut one of Tuthmosis wives gaining control She wanted to be more than regent so she made herself the ruler This led to much confusion because kings were typically male Hatshepsut was very well received although the gender issue was present She ruled for 20 years Hatshepsut participated in propaganda seen when she announced that the Hyksos had ruled without Ra meaning that now that the traditional Egyptians were Suddenly after 2 decades records Hatshepsut stop It is possible that Tuthmosis the 3rd regains the throne that has been denied from him and then attempted to eradicate all memory of her from the land Tuthmosis was one of the best military leaders of the period His successes in conquest as well as those of his successors lead to an increase of wealth in Egypt Amenhotep was known as the pharaoh of sport because of his acts of war There are accounts of him killing people with his bare hands and hanging them upside down Tuthmosis the 4th began an alliance between Egypt and We see that one of the main ways to secure friendly relations between two nations comes from arranging marriages between the two leading families Amenhotep the 3rd known as a time of peace and prosperity There were many countries who paid tribute to Egypt and there was relatively little conquest and battle Amenhotep the 4th brought a religious revolution to Egypt He brought Aten the god of Sun to prevalence Ra is the god of the sun but Aten is the literal sun Amenhotep the 4th changed his name to Akhetaten and created a hymn to Aten He says that Aten is the one and true god he is the only one who knows Aten enough to worship him so everyone else much worship the Pharaoh who is the son and prophet of Aten Akhetaten moves the capital from Thebes to Armarna which symbolized the changed of religion Under the new religion Akhetaten tries to convert Egypt from the traditionally polytheistic religion to a new quasimonotheistic one This change naturally leads to a less accepting culture because now the idea is this is the only god only we know him and how to worship him Akhetaten changes the names of his family and predecessors to make sure that all names of old gods were not known gods in the plural was banned and the name for mother was changed because its also the name of a local goddess worshiped in Thebes Ultimately the revolution was a failure Outside of the palace the Egyptian people continued to worship their traditional gods and ignore the changes that the pharaoh tried to in uence Once he died the new religion failed The royal courts stopped trying to change things and revived the traditional religion One account says that his corpse was thrown to dogs his family all changed their names 19th Dynasty Established by Ramses the 1st Ramses II reigned from 1290 to 1224 where he established himself as a conquered and a builder His biggest accomplishment was defeating the Hittites which lead to a peace treaty between the two A coalition against Egypt arose between Libyans and the Sea people where they united and tried to invade Egypt to establish permanent settlement of the area but were unsuccessful It is unclear where the Sea People originate from but it seems plausible that they come from the eastern Mediterranean area The New Kingdom comes to an end in With the 20th dynasty Egypt is once again divided Israel The God of the Jews Yahweh was destined to become king if the Jews and the Muslims leading to the religion and religion Hebrew designates an ethnicity and later on a language Israelite is a term for an inhabitant of the land of Israel Jew is used as a religious term to describe someone who follows Yahweh The Old Testament Includes history law proverb prophecy song There is a universal theme of the glory of God and his plan for the human race There are two factors the will of God and the actions of mortals that affect events that happen God works through human events to put forth his plan Three parts the law the prophets and the writings There is a lot of historical information relating to geography and history of their neighbors The first 5 books of the bible aren39t considered history in the modern sense if the word because of the element of causation and gods work The history of the Hebrews before their con ict with the philistines is very uncertain Based on historical accounts in the bible the patriarch Abraham took his family out of Ur and found his God Yahweh Noah39s ark landed in the same place that the Babylonian ood story landed Jacob and his sons ed to Egypt to escape drought and famine Some historians reject the entire exodus story as a myth It is very possible that some Hebrews joined in the Hyksos invasion due to cultural similarities The Hebrew in Egypt are said to have settled into lower Egypt and when the Hyksos were expelled they were forced into slavery The Hebrews were delivered from slavery by Moses This isn39t listed in Egyptian history but that may be because it wasn39t of great importance to them or they didn39t want to advertise it The Hebrews spent 40 years wandering in the desert to get to Canaan This is when God delivered the 10 commandments which brought a new covenant to the people The commandment of not having any other gods before god shows that they weren t exclusively monotheistic and confirms the pretense of other gods The arrival of the Hebrews about 1200 BC In Joshua it was said that military conquest allowed the Hebrews to settle another book says it was peaceful Ultimately this is the settlement of the Hebrews which leads to a more sedentary lifestyle The Hebrews adopted the Canaanite language leading to the development of Hebrew The term Israelites could now be used to describe the group The Israelites were starting to worship the Canaanite gods and create idols which then led to s stricter enforcement of the commandments The Israelite law gives saw the need to distinguish themselves from the Egyptians and the Canaanites in order to protect the sanctity of their religion The Israelites had a strong religious and cultural bond but no political bond The lack of this led to the Israelites having insufficient resources to combat a new force the philistines The philistines had better organization and more advanced technology specifically with iron weapons allowing them to take over Canaan A man named Samuel started preaching rebellion and knowing this would require unity named Saul the first king of Israel David fought For the Israelite and was able to kill Goliath leading to a popularity increase and Saul kicking him out When Saul died David came back and became king He was a successful leader and allowed Israel to become independent The ark if the covenant was originally a portable shrine consisting of a wooden chest and the Ten Commandments but was given a permanent home in Jerusalem This established Jerusalem as a holy city and the political capital Today the ark if the covenant is said to be lost Solomon David39s son and successor Built a huge temple put the ark if the covenant in there The temple became the spiritual center of the country 0 Increases diplomatic relations with neighboring countries through marriages Solomon allows his wives to continue worshiping their pagan gods and builds temples for them 0 Foreign trade increased leading to an in ux of wealth and allowing the temple to be built However this required compulsory labor and a lot of taxes leading to his popularity to drop 0 The upside was a sense of magnificence to the kingdom of Israel but the Egyptians hated how he acted like a typical King After Solomon s death Israel split into two parts Israel in the south and Judah in the north 0 This is known as the divided monarchy 0 Lasts a couple hundred years The rise of the prophets 0 There was a growing insistence of the covenant between God and his worshippers and various political problems 0 The people were to worship God exclusively and in return God would protect them However if they didn39t hold up their end then God was able to withdraw his part of the agreement 0 The prophets were against the corruption of the kings 620 BC 0 Reign of Josiah 0 Said that the spread of polytheism ended because if Josiah 0 He destroyed all of the booksworks relating to other religions 0 In 586 Nebuchadnezzar rounds up the Jews and ships then to Babylon 0 Jewish diaspora begins meaning scattering if the people 0 Jews couldn39t return to Jerusalem until 5 39 when Babylon was annexed 0 By this time they we39re all spread out Babylonian captivity 0 Forced Judaism to adapt to a new environment 0 Before their worship was directly linked to their temple that as destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar Assyria 0 Spoke a sematic language close to Babylonian and learned writing 0 Ashur was the chief divinity of the Assyrian empire 0 New Assyrian period aka Assyrian empire lasted from 934612 0 First becomes independent stare when Babylonia falls around 2000 0 In the old Assyrian period the kinds considered themselves to be an earthly administrator for the city s patron god Ashur 1813 to 1781 move into Middle Assyrian period outside ruler comes in and changes royal ideology 1 Added many titles to his name including ruler of the universe 2 Shalmeneser 3 Shlalmeneser was the cause of change to culture 0 King of Assyria and Babylon 0 Brought back Babylonian texts that would in uence Assyrian literature 4 Tiglath came next 0 Captured and killed many animals 0 Expanded the empire displayed personal strength and bravery provided stability and order which is how a king should be In Assyria Patriarchal society 0 Man could have two wives and a concubine 0 If a man found out his wife was cheating he could either kill both the wife and the lover mutilate them or do nothing New period 0 934745 period of recovery concerned with reclaiming territory 0 745639 period of expansion increase in size lower and organization 0 639612 Period of decline Period of recovery 0 Reclaim territory that had been lost in the intermediate period between the middle and he periods 0 Assyrian kings justified taking over land baying that they were entitled to it because it39s belonged to their ancestors 0 Any country that gained independence from Assyria was technically and legally in revolt from Assyria and could therefore be reclaimed no matter how long they had been a country 0 Brutal methods of conquest The Assyrian kings made sure to document how successful they were with their conquests The purpose of being so brutal was to send a message that if you revolt they will do the same to you 0 Known to skin leaders a live and out the skin in the outer walls or to decapitate the enemies and put the heads in pyramids along the road 0 The result if these tactics was a calculated frightfulness Period Of expansion 0 Assyria us the strongest territory in the are due to their permanent specialized military 0 Tiglath is the first king of this new period 0 Sargon 2nd son of tiglath spent his entire reign fighting and maintaining control of conquered territories 0 Ashurbanipal conquered Egypt and created a great royal library through control of Egypt didn39t last for very long Fall of Assyrian emotive O Sudden collapse has been a puzzle to historians O In 630 it was powerful stable and ourishing 0 By 610 the main cities are all in ruins Internal and external pressures all caused this There was a lot of change in leadership in a short time Fall of Nineveh was the end of the Assyrian empire The fall of Assyria changed the power structure in the near east


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