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World History 100-003 - Week 2 - Egypt & the Hebrews

by: Chessie Paradiso

World History 100-003 - Week 2 - Egypt & the Hebrews History 100-003

Marketplace > George Mason University > Business > History 100-003 > World History 100 003 Week 2 Egypt the Hebrews
Chessie Paradiso

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About this Document

Typed up on September 2nd, 2016. Directly from Prof. Elzey's slides and lecture.
History of Western Civilization
Christopher C. Elzey
Class Notes
History; The West and the World; Ancient Greece; Ancient Israel; Egypt; Mesopotania, Egypt
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Chessie Paradiso on Monday September 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to History 100-003 at George Mason University taught by Christopher C. Elzey in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see History of Western Civilization in Business at George Mason University.

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Date Created: 09/12/16
Egypt (16th century BCE) ● Kingdom formed alongside Nile River ○ Unlike Tigris & Euphrates b/c it was predictable ● Lifeline on kingdom ○ Important nutrients in silt ○ Crops were plentiful and the kingdom was largely stable ● Three Kingdoms: Old, Middle and New ○ Not city­states but kingdoms ­ joint settlements in Upper and Lower  Nile River ○ Ruled by Pharaoh   ■ Main responsibilities were around prosperity & order,  nile river flooding and sun rising/setting. ■ Viewed as deities  Centrality of Religion in Egypt ● Polytheistic ­ Manifested in combination of humanly and animal forms ● Divine rule of kings  ○ Assisted in generating Ma’at ­ the ancient Egyptian concept of truth,  balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice. Maat was also personified as a  goddess regulating the stars, seasons, and the actions of both mortals and the deities, who  set the order of the universe from chaos at the moment of creation. ■ Truth & justice ■ Portrayed through Egyptian art (scales of justice) ■ Ma’at ­ life as a feather, heavy heart weighs down scale  with wrong­doings and balance would be tipped ■ Could potentially screw up your afterlife Social Ethics: “Book of the Dead” ● Number of deities increase during New Kingdom (syncretism ­ combination and  reconciliation of others and other ideas) ● After life not just for king but for his advisors and family ● Available to average citizens ○ Prepare for journey into afterlife ■ Mummification ○ Stuff for the journey ■ “Book of the Dead” basically a guide book for mummies that gives them instructions on talking to deities in the afterlife The Hebrews ● Rare to have such a militarily weak and politically inconsequential society wield such  influence over the course of western history. ● Source: Hebrew Bible ● History of the Hebrews ○ Patriarch of Hebrews, Abraham and his descendents.  ■ How they moved from Ur to Canaan to Egypt.  ■ Group was semi­nomadic, very difficult existence ­ poor land, no food, etc.  ■ Around 1400­1500 BCE ? ■ Probably migrated to Egypt along with Hyksos ■ In Egypt, Hebrews were enslaved ○ Moses ■ Hebrew but lived in Egypt ■ Born a commoner but raised by royalty ■ When he was 40, saw Hebrew slave being beaten,  intervened and killed egyptian slave master ■ Fled Egypt to Midian ● Was told by God to return to Egypt ­  “Let my people go” ○ 10 plagues ■ Exodus: Parting of Red Sea ○ Moses & Yahweh on Mt. Sinai ■ Critical moment for history of religion ● “I have selected your people as the  chosen people” ● I will provide you with everything if you obey the commandments, and if you worship me and only me ■ Birth of Covenant ■ Monotheism was unique ● Though mesopotamia was not  unfamiliar with notion of pacts between unequals ○ Definitions ■ Polytheism ­ worship of several gods ■ Pantheism ­ belief that god or gods infuse himself or  herself into EVERYTHING ■ Syncretism ­ combination or adoption of other gods and  other faiths with your own ■ Henotheism ­ worshipping one god while recognizing  other gods ○ Hebrews and Monotheism ■ Slow to accept Yahweh’s condition ● Some still worshipped multiple deities:  Baal and Astarte ■ Yahweh as Hebrews understood him ● Name  ­ “he causes to be” ● Though almighty, displayed sympathy,  was caring ■ Exodus from Egypt and return to Canaan ● Divided then monarchy (Kings Saul,  David, and Solomon) united hebrew nation ● Taken over by the Assyrians in 722  BCE, and the Babylonians in 587 BCE ● In 538 BCE, Persian king Cyrus allowed Hebrews return to Canaan ■ Prophets: Hebrew troubles were because they didn’t  follow Yahweh and only Yahweh.  ● Overtime Hebrews (now Jews) totally  accepted covenant: Yahweh only god, obey laws, conform to divine will ■ Significant moment for later religion ­ established  monotheistic, covenant based religion with holy text at the center


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