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by: Andy Limbacher

HistoryNotesWeek1.pdf hist 1511

Andy Limbacher

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In class notes up to January 20th. Up to Sumerian civilization.
World Civilizations to 1500
Prof. Daniel Ayana
Class Notes
history, ancient history
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Andy Limbacher on Saturday January 23, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to hist 1511 at Youngstown State University taught by Prof. Daniel Ayana in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see World Civilizations to 1500 in History at Youngstown State University.


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Date Created: 01/23/16
Why did human history evolve differently on different continents?:  Biographic endowments: Available domesticatable plants and animals (leads to surplus food) o Mesopotamia (modern middle east): Cows, sheep, goats, wheat, barley o Meso-America (Middle America): Maize, beans, squash o China: Rice, dogs, pigs Cities: Surplus food leads to population growth. This causes people to gather in cities.  Innovation: Discovery of new technology and techniques occurs accidentally. Larger populations have a higher chance of discovery. China led in innovation due to highest population. Also, freedom to experiment contributes.  Disease Centers: High localized population speeds the spread of disease. Constant exposure to disease causes city dwellers to develop better immune systems than rural folk. Original diseases came from domesticated animals. Continental Axis: Travel north and south made difficult due to temperature shifts. Civilization expanded east-west, instead. Civilization: Comes from “Civilis” (Greek): politeness. Defined behavior of groups of people (polite people were civilized). By Medieval times, it referred to behavior of nations, and how they interacted.  510-310 BC: Greeks traveled to Egypt (in decline at this point) as tourists. They referred to Egyptians as “civilized” because of the lack of infighting between cities (Greeks had city-states at this point, which shared uneasy peace).  18 Century: “Civilization” meant “enlightenment”. Opposite of feudal Dark Ages.  19 Century: “Civilization” defined by architecture. It was thought that only civilized people built with stone. Non-Christians were considered uncivilized.  20 Century: “Civilization” meant independence and autonomy. Belief came that all humans shared common rationality: analogy, induction, and deduction. Urbanization:  With rise of cities, military structure used to maintain order.  Social structure was based around economy. People began to specialize their labor, best in humanity comes out.  Distinct religious structure.  Writing develops to aid memory.  Artistic and intellectual activity rises. Prehistory: A time before recorded history. We know about through archeology and biology. Old Stone Age: 100,000-10,000 years ago. People began making tools with stone.  Neolithic Age: 40,000-10,000 years ago. Rise of civilization. o Patriarchy: Men take over society rule from women. Women previously respected higher due to childbirth. Rise of warfare required men to protect land. Women still center of religious activity. o Oldest Cities: Jericho, Catal-Huyuk. o Beginnings of Writing: 4,000-3,000 BC. Mesopotamian Civilization: “Land Between the Rivers (Euphrates and Tigris)”. Included Sumerians, Akkadians, and Amorites (old Babylonians). Spoken language called “Semitic” (generally). City-States: Surrounded by walls. Three concentric circles: Innermost for living areas, middle for farming lands, and outermost for trading and commerce.  Uruk: Covered 1,000 acres. 6 mile wall with defense towers. Buildings made of sundried, mud bricks. Small flats for the poor. Large buildings built for commerce. Palaces built for the rich. Names of building funders stamped on bricks, thought to be a form of immortality.  States always at war with each other. Fighting over territory and resources (water). Land around rivers mostly flat, surrounded by dry, desert land. Nomads: Lived in desert. They were seen as barbarians by city-dwellers, and captured to be enslaved or sold for tribute. Nomads wanted water and food. Empires:  Akkadians: First Mesopotamian empire. Nomads conquered all of Mesopotamia, and made Sargon. Acquired Sumerian culture. City states return to war after Akkadians fall.  Ur-Nammu: 2113-2000 BC.  Assyrians: 1,000-627 BC. Used iron weapons to extend empire to Egypt. o Used terror as political instrument. Destroyed resources. Deported defeated city states, and forced them to inter-marry in order to destroy their individual culture, and prevent uprising. o Postal System: Transported goods and messages over roads. Romans adopted system later. Used Aramaic language, with lasted until rise of Islam. o Greeks adopted Assyrian military system in 4 century BC. o Declined due to Median uprising sparked by violence.  Median: 627-612 BC. Ruled by Nebucchadnezer. Destroyed Jerusalem. Summarians:  Social Structure: o Nobility: Ruling family, governors, and warrior groups. o Commoners:  Temple clients: Free, but attached to temples.  Merchants: Hated by religions, due to buying cheap and selling high (essentially taking money for little work). Liked by nobility, due to providing luxury goods and information of outside world. If merchants became rich, kings would borrow money.  Farmers: Majority. Source of taxation, and backbone of economy. o Slaves: Enslaved due to inability to pay taxes/debts, prisoner of war, or criminal activity. Prisoners of war were most common, and had highest chance of buying freedom.  Religion: Polytheism (many gods). Each god represented a different need that people needed fulfilled. “Adhered to”, not worshipped. o Gods: An (God of the sky, most important), Enlil (God of Wind), Enki (Invention, rivers, wells, agriculture), Ninhursaga (mother goddess of soil, mountain. Mother of kings). o Death seen as end of life. o Gods owned cities (patron gods). Land owned partly by temple, taxes collected went to priests. Gods created humans for manual labor. o Gods always angry. Caused harsh weather (dust storms), unpredictable rivers, shaped humans to be angry. o Gods also secretive. Divination (burn incense, slaughter cattle) used to determine gods’ wishes. o Ziggurats: Massive stepped towers. Built high to be closer to gods. Women would work at temples as prostitutes, earning money for the gods.  Hammurabi’s Code: Not strictly “eye for eye”, punishment determined by class status. People connected to nobility payed money, while all others give equal to their crime. o Marriage: Arranged, and only legal with written contract. Wife’s family pays dowry (money). Divorce easier for husband (can divorce for pretty much any reason), but have to pay back dowry if not noble. Adultery was common for men, and unpunished, while women were thrown in rivers. o Laws: Determines who gets land. People downstream with dependent on the people upstream for irrigation. Also determined the interest rates buy which the rich could loan out money.  Bronze: Developed in 3,200-3,000 BC.  Iron: Developed in 1,000 BC. Ability to wage was increased.  Wheel: Provided better transportation.  Shipbuilding: Developed in 3,200 BC.  Writing: 3,200 BC. Cuneiform (wedge shaped characters). Tiny pictures representing objects became symbols representing ideas. Allowed for transaction records, tax records, teaching texts, and religious texts.  Math: Developed base 10 and base 6 systems for different purposes.  Astronomy: Charted stars, and developed a lunar calendar (ours is solar-based). th  Literature: Epic of Gilgamesh. 6 king of Uruk travelled in search of immortality. Determined writing his story was a form of immortality in itself.


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