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Classical Era Strengths and Accomplishments Holding Empires together took political and technologica


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Title: Classical Era Strengths and Accomplishments Holding Empires together took political and technologica

Classical Era Strengths and Accomplishments Holdin
g Empires together took political and
technological innovation
  • Greeks including Hellenistic Era
  • Romans
  • Qin-Han
  • Mauryan - Gupta

Need for ship of state Plato The Republic
  • Prehistoric to Ancient
  • sedentary
  • Towns and then cities to city states
  • Complex systems develop
  • Empires smaller and accomplished through conquest
    and knowledge of metullurgy
  • Zhou and Egypt more isolated and used community
    and more complex social and political systems to
  • Indus and Fertile Crescent used advancements in
    military tactics and as organizing principles
    (grid for city, city-states)
  • Classical
  • Tendency in early era to establish cities then
    had to maintain and supply the cities
  • Had to connect the areas
  • New styles of governance
  • Growth of Bureacracies
  • Roads and standarization
  • Needed stronger educational base (university
    system, scholarly gentry, Greek tutors)
  • Increased literacy and information storage
  • Monumental style for cities
  • Later smaller farms grow to large
  • Class struggle and some rural vs. urban conflict
  • Some peasant or agrarian reform
  • Increased use of slaves
  • Some peasant and slave revolt
  • Tributary states or provinces
  • Inclusive and syncretic styles (Romanization,
    Sinification, Indianitation, Hellenization)
  • New philosophies
  • At first Legalism into Confucianism and
  • Christianity

Metaphor A ship, to have a safe and successful
  • needs an expert navigator at the helm, a captain
    who knows the capacities of the vessel,
    geography, meteorology, water currents,
    navigational astronomy, supplies management, and
    good communication with all parts of the ship and
    other matters.
  • An ignorant and untrained person at the helm of a
    ship would endanger vessel, cargo, crew, and
    passengers alike.
  • Similarly, Plato suggests, the ship of state
    needs expert governors at the helm, governors who
    are well informed about such things as law,
    economics, sociology, military strategy, history,
    and other relevant subjects.
  • Ignorant and incompetent governors can be and
    have been disasters for citizens and states.

  • Hegemony simply means dominance over others
  • In the context of empires in can mean
    political/economic/cultural dominance
  • How do they dominate
  • Inclusive
  • Exclusive
  • Aristocracy vs. citizenship
  • Enslavement
  • Does not always mean ownership or becoming
  • Can be economic enslavement such as tribute or
    repayment of debt
  • What type of new political structures are
    established to create and later maintain the
  • Does the culture present have to be destroyed or
    can it be incorporated into the new culture?
  • How well is it done so that a large army does not
    suck dry the empires resources?

Qin- Han 221 BCE 206 BCE 206 220 CE
  • Qin leader, the first emperor, Shi Huangdi,
    centralizes authority
  • Eliminates conflicts
  • New techniques in warfare
  • Standardized language and writing
  • Circular copper coin with square hole
  • Measurements and axial length standardized so
    roads made same width and carts made same ruts
  • Began new system of roads and irrigation canals
  • Creates a new type of bureacracy or governmental
    worker using people who are knowledgeable and
    have not just inherited the position
  • Some military men
  • Censorate
  • Standardizes weights, language
  • Wudi
  • Wang Meng

Classical China. In 221 b.c.e. two centuries of
internecine rivalrythe Warring States
periodended with the rise to centralized power
of the Qin dynasty, but internal revolt and
external pressures on the borders precipitated
further civil war. The Han dynasty emerged as the
new rulers in 202 b.c.e. They refortified the
northern walls, and extended imperial control far
to the south and west, deep into central Asia
along the silk route, defining a Chinese
territorial extent that has been asserted down to
the present day.
The Qin-Han Dynasty
  • Military Power and Mobilization
  • Qin defeated regional states by 221 B.C.E.
  • Armed forces essential to Qin success
  • Defeated Koreans and Xiongnu (Huns)
  • Mass mobilization of men for public works
    including Great Wall of China
  • 700,000 workers used to create capital city
  • Qin Shi Huangdi tomb included 7,000 life-size
    figures of soldiers

The Qin Dynasty
  • Competing Ideologies of Empire cont.
  • Struggle between Legalism and Confucianism
  • Qin rejected Confucian respect for the past
  • Ordered Confucian texts burned
  • Rejected personal ties as basis of government in
    favor of bureaucracy with defined rules
  • Economic Power
  • Public works intended to improve economy
  • Canal and river transport systems
  • Irrigation in Sichuan for grain production
  • Acquisition of areas rich in iron ore and two
    ironworking facilities

Centralization by Han
  • A Confucian Bureaucracy
  • Liu Bang, first Han, was commoner who chose
    educated men with Confucian principles
  • History became more important
  • Established elite academy to teach Confucianism
    as part of requirement that knowledge of
    Confucius is necessary for promotion in
  • Consolidated legal system
  • Established principles for the conduct of women
    Administrative Power
  • Empire divided into forty commanderies
  • Each administered by three officials to insure
    that no one leader could develop power base to
    challenge the emperor
  • Chinese had invented something brand new rule by
  • 165 BC, the Han instituted the first examination
    primarily concerned Confucius, the Five Classics,
    and moral questions
  • admission into government service was possible
    only through this examination
  • Standardization of weights, measures, etc
  • New city at Chang-an
  • Used bureaucracy instead of personal ties
  • Rejected military and merchants for government
    and instead shifted to the land owners or gentry
    and established a school which focused on
    Confucian values
  • Created scholarly-gentry bureaucracy
  • Influenced role of women as quality of offspring
  • Opportune marriages became a factor


The Han Dynasty
  • Military Power and Diplomacy
  • Han as militaristic as Qin had been
  • Army of 300,000 to one million
  • Campaigns to the west for silk markets and access
    to Bactrian horses
  • Foreign relations by tributary system
  • Payments and obedience to Chinese government in
    return for gifts from emperor to tribal leaders

(No Transcript)
Han Dynasty - Fluctuations in Administrative Power
  • An Interregnum 9-23 C.E.
  • Death of child emperor Ping led to attempt of
    regent Wang Mang to create new dynasty
  • Failure and restoration of Han created
    distinction between earlier and later Han
  • Flooding and course changes of the Yellow River
    disrupted daily and economic life
  • Invasions of Xiongnu and rebellion of Red Turbans
    in 23 C.E. opened door for return of Han
  • A Weakened Han Dynasty 23-220 C.E.
  • Han weakness enabled barbarians to live inside
    the Great Wall, serve in army, and intermarry
    with Chinese
  • Led to sinicization of barbarians
  • Southern movement of population enriched
    merchants rather than emperor
  • Han failed to force local administrators to send
    tax revenues to central government
  • Peasant Revolt and the Fall of the Han
  • Yellow Turban revolt in 184 C.E. broke out
    simultaneously in sixteen places
  • Four factions within government sought dynastic
  • Child emperor
  • Bureaucrats, advisors, palace guard, and regent
  • Court eunuchs
  • Women of the court

Disintegration and Reunification
  • Ecology and Culture
  • China split into three governments that reflected
    geographic features
  • North suited to wheat south to rice culture
  • Chinese culture endured imperial division
    people of the Han refers to culture
  • Western dynasty became more Chinese over time
  • Buddhism Reaches China
  • Entered during Han Dynasty
  • Foreignness contributed to its success
  • Anti-priestly stance and presence in trading
    communities made it acceptable to merchants
  • Mixed with Confucianism and Daoism to bring
    innovations to Chinese culture

Wudi 164 BCE -
  • Confucianism became dominant in the civil service
    while Legalist rivals continued to hold positions
    there. Examinations for China's 130,000 or so
    civil service positions tested an applicant's
    knowledge of Confucian ideology, knowledge of
    ancient writings and rules of social grace rather
    than technical expertise.
  • Theoretically these examinations were open to all
    citizens, but in reality they were open only to
    those with adequate respectability, which
    excluded artisans, merchants and others of lesser
    status than the gentry - no doubt a lot of people
    who could have served China well.
  • Ever-Level Graineries storage of excess grain
    to be redistributed during times of famine

The 138126 BC travels of Zhang Qian to the West,
Mogao Caves, 618712 AD mural.
  • Zhang Quin
  • 138 BCE defeats the Xiongnu
  • They pay tribute and allow passage
  • Opens the Silk Road
  • (1) a string of oases and towns offering shelter,
    food, and water to travelers
  • (2) guard stations to warn merchants of dangers
    en route
  • (3) interpreters and translators
  • (4) guides and camel grooms
  • (5) capital to fund the caravans
  • (6) written or oral descriptions of the routes
  • (7) stable governments in at least China and
    Persia to keep the caravans free of bandit
  • Faxian (Fa Hsien) collecting authentic Buddhist
    scriptures who returned to China from the Gupta
    dynasty bringing Buddhism
  • Xuanzang, the most renowned of these Chinese
    Buddhist monks, journeyed to India in the seventh
    century to study with Buddhist masters, visit
    important religious sites, and gather Buddhist
    texts and artifacts. His travel account and his
    adventures provide teachers with a lively means
    of explaining Buddhist principles as well as
    showing Buddhist art and ritual objects.
    Xuanzangs voyage ushered in a flourishing era in
    the history of the Silk Roads. The Tang dynasty
  • ITsing in the 6th Century from China (Cina) to

Wang Meng Socialist Emperor
  • a family of less than eight that had more than
    fifteen acres was obligated to distribute the
    excess amount of land to the landless.
  • He moved to reduce the tax burden on poor
    peasants, and he devised a plan to have state
    banks lend money to whomever needed it at an
    interest of ten percent a year, in contrast to
    the thirty percent that was the going rate by
    private lenders.
  • In order to stabilize the price of grain, he made
    plans for a state granary, hoping that this would
    discourage the wealthy from hoarding grain and
    from profiting from price fluctuations.
  • Wang also delegated a body officials to regulate
    the economy and to fix prices every three months,
    and he decreed that critics of his plan would be
    drafted into the military.
  • 23 CE executed by Red Eyebrow Society, peasant
    secret society

Trying to hold on to the empire leads to its
  • Although the Han period was one of great
    prosperity, free peasants began to suffer.
  • Land taxes on the land-owning farmers were fairly
    light, but there were other demands on them,
    including military service and forced labor of up
    to one month per year.
  • The Chinese population tripled under the Han
    dynasty, eventually reducing the average size of
    the individual farm plot to about one acre per
    personbarely enough for survival.
  • As time went on, many poor peasants were forced
    to sell their land and become tenant farmers.
  • Land once again became owned by the powerful
    landed aristocrats, who often owned thousands of
    acres and gathered their own military forces to
    bully free farmers into becoming tenants.

Yellow Turban Uprising
  • Gap between Rich Poor
  • Banditry
  • Factions at Court
  • Family Members
  • Confucian Scholar Bureaucrats
  • Court Eunuchs
  • 189 AD Slaughter of Eunuchs
  • 400 Years of Chaos (400-800 AD)

United China Timeline
  • 551-479 BC Confucius
  • 403-221 BC Period of Warring States
  • 390-338 BC Shang Yang
  • 372-289 BC Mencius
  • 298-238 BC Xunzi
  • 280-233 BC Han Feizi
  • 221-207 BC Qin Dynasty
  • 206 BC 009 AD Former Han Dynasty
  • 141-087 AD Han Wudi
  • 009-023 AD Wang Mang
  • 025-220 AD Later Han Dynasty

Chinese expansion. A substantial shift in Chinese
population distribution began during the first
two centuries c.e., a fact that can be traced
from Han census records. As land-hunger and
pressure from the Xiongnu and the Tibetans on the
northern border forced migration from the densely
populated northeast, and as techniques for rice
cultivation in the humid basin of the Yangzi
improved, the lands to the south were mastered,
and population clusters developed along the river
Confucius on Good Government
  • The Master said, When a Princes personal
    conduct is correct, his government is effective
    without the issuing of orders. If his personal
    conduct is not correct, he may issue orders, but
    they will not be followed.
  • The Chinese Classics
  • Aspects of Mandate of Heaven
  • Later compare to Machivellis The Prince

Maurya Empire 321184 BC Gupta Empire 240550 AD
  • Chandragupta Maurya (326)
  • Army
  • Secret police
  • Courts
  • Arthashastra (Treatise on Material Gain) by
    Kautilya early mirror for princes
  • Superceded the Laws of Manu (ca. 1500 BCE)
  • Ashoka
  • Adopts Buddhism
  • Rock and Pillar Edicts
  • Right behavior, kindness to animals, kindness to
  • Promote rest areas and travel and those devoted
    to Dharma

  • The remarkably advanced Mauryan empire was
    divided and subdivided into provinces, districts,
    and villages whose headmen were appointed by the
  • The old customary law, preserved and administered
    by the Brahmin priesthood, was superseded by an
    extensive legal code that provided for royal
    interference in all matters.
  • A series of courts ranging from the village court
    presided over by the headman to the emperor's
    imperial court administered the law.
  • So busy was Chandragupta with the details of his
    surprisingly modern administration that,
    according to Megasthenes, he had to hear court
    cases during his daily massage.
  • Two other agencies were very important in holding
    the empire together. One was the professional
    army, which Megasthenes reports was an incredibly
    large force of 700,000 men, 9000 elephants, and
    10,000 chariots.
  • The other was the secret police, whose numbers
    were so large that the Greek writer concluded
    that spies constituted a separate class in Indian
  • So great was the danger of conspiracy that
    Chandragupta lived in strict seclusion, attended
    only by women who cooked his food and in the
    evening carried him to his apartment, where they
    lulled him to sleep with music.
  • Complementing this picture of an efficient but
    harsh bureaucracy is a remarkable book, Treatise
    on Material Gain (Arthashastra), written by
    Chandragupta's chief minister, Kautilya, as a
    guide for the king and his ministers.
  • Kautilya exalts royal power as the means of
    establishing and maintaining "material gain,"
    meaning political and economic stability.

  • Asoka
  • Rigid and strict military campaigns
  • Adopts buddhism yet is tolerant
  • Although a devout Buddhist, Ashoka did not
    persecute the Brahmins and Hindus but proclaimed
    religious toleration as official policy
  • The king ... honors every form of religious faith
  • whereof this is the root, to reverence one's own
    faith and never to revile that of others. Whoever
    acts differently injures his own religion while
    he wrongs another's.

Gupta 320-460 CE
  • Title of maharajadhiraja Great One
  • City of Patna
  • Chandra Gupta 319 335 CE
  • Samudragupta 335 380 CE
  • Faxian (Fa Hsien) collecting authentic Buddhist
    scriptures who visited in 450
  • light taxes
  • nine gems
  • Aryabhatta calculated the solar year
  • Kalidasa playwright and poet
  • Vatsyayana Kama Sutra
  • Rock cut monateries Mahayana Buddhist caves
  • Although Brahmanism was waxing and Buddhism
    waning under the Guptas, all the Hindu sects, as
    well as Buddhism and Jainism, coexisted
    peacefully, and there was considerable
    intermingling and exchange of ideas among them.
    (In fact, the Buddha himself would be accepted
    into the Hindu pantheon as one of the avatars of
    Vishnu.) The amiability was surely due in part to
    the insistence of the Gupta emperors on religious
    tolerance Ardent followers of Vishnu though they
    were, the Gupta rulers generally had Buddhists
    among their advisers at court, and they were
    generous in their patronage of Buddhist monastic
    centers and universities, such as the one at
  • 466 Unable to hold back the Huns
  • Next Century 7 very weak rulers and .

  • Family Life and the Caste System
  • Gender Relations
  • Sati
  • Castes and Guilds - Jati
  • Wealth and the Social Order

Gupta Achievements
1000 diseases classified
500 healing plants identified
Printed medicinal guides
Plastic Surgery
Gupta India
C-sections performed
Solar Calendar
Decimal System
The earth is round
PI 3.1416
Concept of Zero
Pax Gupta
  • Accomplishments in art, literature, scholarship,
    and philosophy were not more remarkable than
    those in science.
  • The most famous Gupta scientist was the
    astronomer-mathematician, Aryabhatta, who lived
    in the fifth century.
  • He discussed (in verse) quadratic equations,
    solstices, and equinoxes, along with the
    spherical shape of the earth and its rotation.
  • Other Hindu mathematicians of this period
    popularized the use of a special sign for zero,
    later passing it on to the Arabs.
  • But an even more valuable mathematical
    contribution also dates from Gupta times numbers
    themselves, as they are now known.
  • Although their specific author is uncertain,
    "Arabic" numerals, with their system of nine
    digits and a zero, are not, in fact, Arabic they
    are the product of Indian mathematicians of Gupta
  • The notation and decimal systems were adopted by
    the Arabs who called mathematics "the Indian
    science" and passed along by them to Europe,
    where it helped form the basis of much invention
    and discovery.
  • In addition to employing their skills in Yoga,
    Hindu physicians sterilized wounds and prepared
    for surgery by fumigation, performed Caesarean
    operations, set broken bones, and practiced
    plastic surgery.
  • They used drugs then unknown in the West, such as
    chaulmoogra oil for treating leprosy, a practice
    still used today.
  • Achievements in pure science were matched by
    practical applications. Gupta craftsmen made
    soap, cement, superior dyes, and the finest
    tempered steel in the world.

NAEEM AHMED "The Stupa is truly the image, or
rather the epiphany, of the Buddha, of his Law
that rules the universe, and is moreover a
psycho-cosmogram. The form, suggested by the
apparent aspect of the vault of the sky, implies
in its turn the total presence and intangibility
of the Buddha, who in this way is seen not as a
human teacher but as the essence of the
Nine gems during golden age
  • Faxian (Fa Hsien) collecting authentic Buddhist
    scriptures who visited in 450
  • light taxes
  • Aryabhatta (b. 476 d. 550)
  • calculated the solar year
  • Stated earth rotated on its axis
  • Defined sine and cosine
  • Considered first to write about algebra
  • Kalidasa playwright and poet
  • Vatsyayana - Kama Sutra
  • Rock cut monasteries (Mahayana Buddhist) caves

Buddhism under the Guptas
  • Under the Gupta dynasty (c. AD 320-c. 600),
    Buddhism in India was being affected by spreading
    Gupta patronage for Brahmanic religion and by the
    rising tide of bhakti (a devotional ritualism
    centered on temples to Puranic deities), which
    emphasized a devotees love for a personal god).
  • During this period, some Hindus practiced
    devotion to Buddha, whom they regarded as an
    avatar (incarnation) of Vishnu.
  • During the Gupta period some Buddhist monasteries
    joined together to form mahaviharas that
    functioned as universities.
  • The most famous of these at Nalanda had a
    curriculum that went far beyond the bounds of
    traditional Buddhism.
  • Nalanda soon became the leading centre for the
    study of Mahayana, which was rapidly becoming the
    dominant Buddhist tradition in India.
  • Though Buddhist institutions seemed to be faring
    well under the Guptas, various Chinese pilgrims
    visiting India between AD 400 and 700 described a
    decline in the Buddhist community and the
    beginning of the reabsorption of Indian Buddhism
    by Hinduism.
  • Among these pilgrims were Fa-hsien, Sung Yün,
    Hui-sheng, Hsüan-tsang, and I-ching.

Pax Romana and legacy of Roman Empire
  • Rule of Law instead of man
  • Aquaducts based on Greek principles plus the
  • Pantheon using a dome based on the barrel dome
  • Virgils The Aenid
  • Coluseum built
  • Christianity
  • Concrete

Pax Romana - 27 BCE - 180 CE
  • Caesar Augustus reign (27 bce-14 ce) considered
    the Golden Age of Rome
  • Establishment of law and civil order throughout
  • Rome became an international city
  • Public works aqueducts, public baths, theatres,
    marketplaces, roads, libraries
  • Some 400,000 slaves perform the menial work of
    Rome, with middle-class citizens often owning 8,
    the rich from 500 to 1,000, an emperor as many as
  • Population of city of Rome is 1 million
  • Free urban workers enjoy 17 to 18 hours of
    leisure each day, with free admission to baths,
    sports events, and gladiatorial contests.
  • Economy rested on slavery
  • slaves ranged from field laborers to secretaries,
    teachers, and artists
  • Could earn their freedom and often earned enough
    to buy freedom

Pax Sinica
  • 222 CE Gunpowder will be invented in the next
    half century by Chinese alchemists of the Wu
    dynasty, who will mix sulfur and saltpeter in the
    correct proportions and at the correct
    temperature to produce the explosive
  • Paper made of flax in 101 CE

Greeks Periclean Era is Golden Age Hellenistic
  • Science, Medicine, Astonomy ,Math
  • Greek ideals were accepted and incorporated into
    the Roman lifestyle.
  • Archimedes developed several simple machines but
    his most notable were the Archimedes screw used
    to pump water for irrigation and mining, and the
    cranes used at sea ports to load and unload heavy
  • The aeolipile was a crude steam engine developed
    by Hero of Alexandria during the 1st century BC.
  • Aqueducts and Bridging - The Greeks also used
    techniques such as aqueducts and bridging
  • Without the use of telescopes, the Greek
    astronomer Aristarchus determined that the earth
    was not the center of the universe and developed
    the heliocentric theory that the earth and other
    planets revolve around the sun (McKay).
  • Eratosthenes, a Greek scientist from the 3rd
    century BC, realized that the earth was actually
    round and was able to calculate its
    circumference accurately within 200 miles.
  • Another fascinating machine from the 1st century
    BC is the Antikythera Mechanism, a mechanical
    calendar considered to be the first computer.
  • Euclid
  • Father of Geometry (Elements)

Hippicrates Father of Medicine
  • I SWEAR by Apollo the physician, and
    Aesculapius, and Health, and Allheal, and all the
    gods and goddesses, that, according to my ability
    and judgment, I will keep this Oath . . . . I
    will follow that system of regimen which,
    according to my ability and judgment, I consider
    for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from
    whatever is deleterious and mischievous.
  • From Hippocrates, The Hippocratic Oath

Fall of Classical Empires