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Ancient Civilizations


Osiris-god of life and death -very dominant in their lifestyle. -believed in life after death ... Taoism -rejects social ... Saul Although popular at ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Ancient Civilizations

Ancient Civilizations
  • Egypt, India, China, Mesopotamia, and The Hebrews

  • -located on the Nile River The Gift of the
    Nile. Longest river in the world flows into
    Mediterranean Sea.
  • -the longest of the four civilizations.
  • -annual flooding fertilized the soil.

  • Uniting Egypt
  • Early on, 2 kingdoms developed.
  • The Upper Kingdom in the South
  • The Lower Kingdom in the North
  • King Menes united the two in Memphis. Kings were
    referred to as Pharaohs.

  • The Great Periods
  • The Old Kingdom
  • The Middle Kingdom
  • The New Kingdom

  • Egyptian Religion
  • polytheistic, meaning they worshipped many gods
    (part human part animal).
  • polytheistic, meaning they worshipped many gods
    (part human part animal).
  • Horus-sky god.
  • Ra-sun god.
  • Osiris-god of life and death

  • -very dominant in their lifestyle.
  • -believed in life after death.
  • -believed in embalming, the preservation of the
    body. (Brains were embalmed first this was a
    very religious ceremony.) (Mummification)
  • -caused government to be a theocracy, meaning the
    king acted as both religious and political
  • -was a bureaucracy, officials to whom the king
    delegated administrative responsibilities. (Ka-sow

  • Pyramids were built during the Old Kingdom
  • -These served as a place of rest/honor for kings.
  • -They held the kings clothing, furniture, and
  • -There were secret passages.
  • -They took thousands of workers and hundreds of
    years to build.

  • Egyptian Contributions
  • Hieroglyphics-ancient Egyptian writing system
    employing picture symbols. (e.g.-Rosetta Stone
    was used to decipher hieroglyphs.)
  • Number System-enabled them to calculate area and
  • Geometry-used to survey flooded land.

  • Calendar-An accurate 365 day calendar.
  • Medicine-Not only embalming, but doctors used
    splints, bandages, and compresses when treating
    fractures, wounds, and diseases.

  • -surrounded by mountains Himalayas. The
    mountains served to block cold weather out of the
    valley and as protection.
  • -Due to seasonal floods, soil was rich for
    seasonal crops.
  • -They had to deal with monsoons-seasonal winds
    that would bring heavy rainfall.

  • Indias Religion
  • Hinduism-polytheistic the people believed in
    yoga and fasting, worshipping the cow. Major
  • Dharma-righteous living duties to fulfill.
  • Karma-all actions have a consequence.
  • re-incarnation rebirth of the soul after death.

  • Buddhism
  • -founded by Siddharta Gautama, b. 566 B.C.
    (Buddha-The Enlightened One). Buddha, a prince,
    wondered, meditated, fasted, denied himself
    pleasure, searching for a solution to end
    suffering and misery.
  • Comprised Four Noble Truths
  • All know suffering and sorrow.
  • Suffering is caused be desires.
  • People end suffering by eliminating their desire.
  • Eliminate desires by knowing truth, resisting
    evil, saying nothing to hurt others, controlling
    thoughts, meditating, etc.

  • The goal was to achieve nirvana, meaning one
    could be one with the universe.

  • Contributions
  • Seals to make contracts.
  • Straight streets
  • Ditches for irrigation

  • These people lived in isolation because of the
    Himalayas, near the Yellow Sea. Chinese history
    is divided into Dynasties. Rulers of China (from
    the same family) had a mandate from heaven to
    form a theocracy. Most important dynasties
    Shang, Zhou, Quin, Han

  • Religion
  • Confucianism
  • Confucious (b. 551 B.C.) was poor and sought to
    end suffering by fulfilling a role in society.
    He had many wise proverbs, such as Do not do
    unto others as you would not want done unto you.

  • Taoism
  • -rejects social structures belief in the fact
    that opposites attract and Yin/Yang-life must be
    kept in balance.

  • Contributions to Society
  • System of weights and measurements
  • Agriculture system
  • Educated officials
  • Silk trade
  • China (pottery)
  • The Great Wall for protection

  • Greek for land between the rivers.
  • Located between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
    in the Fertile Crescent.
  • Sumerian farmers first built dams to control
    flooding, and constructed canals and ditches to
    bring river water to irrigate their fields.
    Fertilized land produced food (grain crops) by
    4000 B.C.

  • Religion
  • Polytheistic their gods had specific powers over
    natural forces and human activity.
  • Their gods were unpredictable and selfish.
  • Humans had little control over their lives.
  • They built ziggurats (temples) where the gods
    lived. (similar to pyramids)
  • Theocracy-the religious leader was also the
    political leader he was the mediator between the
    gods and the people.

  • Writing
  • Pictographs were used they also developed a
    model for the alphabet.
  • Scribes wrote on clay tablets had to dry.
  • They wrote epics-long poems (e.g.-Gilgamesh,)

  • They wrote proverbs-short bits of advice.
  • One bird in hand is worth two in the nest.
  • A good plan today is better than a perfect plan
  • A penny saved is a penny earned.
  • A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh
    word stirs up anger. (Prov. 151)
  • A fools lips bring him strife, and his mouth
    invites a beating. (Prov. 186)

  • Hammurabis Code
  • Hammurabi, the leader of Babylon had a written
    set of laws that regulated society and trade.
  • He created a tax system.
  • There was a specific punishment for the violation
    of laws. (e.g.-an eye for an eye.)
  • There were differing punishments for social

  • Contributions to Society
  • Dams and Canals
  • Wagon wheel
  • Potters wheel
  • Sundial-to keep time
  • 12 month calendar based on the cycles of the moon
  • Metal plow

The Hebrews
  • A people that grew out of Mesopotamia, lived in
    Canaan, and were monotheistic-a belief in a one
    all-powerful God (Yahweh). The Bible records
    their beliefs and history.

The Hebrews
  • Beliefs
  • God determines right and wrong.
  • People should deal justly with each other.
  • People should accept moral responsibility for
    their actions.

The Hebrews
  • History - recorded in the Old Testament.
  • Abraham
  • Moved from Mesopotamia to Canaan at Gods
    command. (1900 B.C.)
  • God made a covenant (agreement) God would bless
    Abraham and his descendants if they would remain
    faithful to God.

  • Jacob (Israel)
  • Abrahams grandson
  • Jacob had 12 sons, which would grow into tribes
  • Due to a famine, they migrated to Egypt, where
    pharaohs enslaved them.
  • Moses
  • He led them out of Egypt in an exodus (departure)
    into the Sinai desert.
  • The covenant was renewed as the Israelites
    pledged to obey Gods laws, the most
    important-The Ten Commandments.

  • Joshua
  • He led them across the Jordan River into Canaan
  • After the judges, the Israelites wanted a king.
  • Saul
  • Although popular at first, he failed to defeat
    the Philistines.
  • Battled with David over the throne.

  • David
  • Slayed the giant Philistine, Goliath.
  • He took the throne in 1012 B.C.
  • Organized a central government at Jerusalem.
  • Wrote Psalms.
  • Solomon
  • Constructed a temple in Jerusalem.
  • Wrote Proverbs.

  • Prophets
  • After Solomon, the kingdom divided-Israel
  • Invaded by Assyrians (722 B.C.), Chaldeans (586
    B.C.)-were exiled to Babylon.
  • Prophets were preachers who interpreted Gods
    will to the Israelites, who became known as Jews
    after the Babylonian exile.
  • Prophets were preachers who interpreted Gods
    will to the Israelites, who became known as Jews
    after the Babylonian exile.

  • Located in the southern part of Europes Balkan
    Peninsula very mountainous, and many islands.
    (Island of Crete Peloponnesus peninsula Mt.
  • Mountains protected and isolated the Greeks on
    the mainland.
  • Greek people never united under one government.
  • People depended on the sea-trade for their
    living. (Aegean, Mediterranean, Ionian, Black)

  • Climate was mild conducive to outdoor public
    meetings. (theater, schools, government)

Aegean Civilizations
  • Minoans (2500 to 1450 B.C.)
  • concentrated on the island of Crete.
  • Wealthy people with palaces (indoor bathrooms,
    fireboxes) who decorated with brigthly colored
    murals and enjoyed dancing and sports.
  • Destroyed by a tidal wave caused by earthquake.

  • Mycenaens (2000 to 1100 B.C.)
  • also lived on Crete combined with Minoans to
    form ancient Greece.
  • Married with local people (Hellenes) after
    extending boundary to the Balkan Sea.
  • Built stone walls for protection.
  • Government kept detailed records of taxes, crops,
    and livestock.

  • Overran by the Dorians, which started the Dark
    Age where written language disappeared with no
    records kept, trade stopped, and poverty.
  • Many fled to the mainland.
  • They restored both cultures into the Hellenic
    Civilization, the original inhabitants of Greece.
    Hellenic Civilization taught love for nature,
    importance of the husband-wife relationship, and
    loyalty between friends.

Hellenic Poets Heroes
  • Homer (700 B.C.)-wrote the epics Illiad The
  • Illiad-a Trojan prince falls in love with Helen
    (wife of Mycenaean prince). Helen is captured
    and taken to Troy, on which the Mycenaean's lay
    siege for 10 years. The Greeks build a huge
    horse and hide soldiers inside. The Trojans
    believe they have won and take the horse into the
    city. That night, the Greeks sneak out of the
    horse, capturing and burning Troy to the ground.
    The Trojan Horse destroyed from within.

  • Odyssey-a homeward adventure of a Mycenaean king
    after the Trojan War taking 10 years to return
    home. An odyssey is a long journey.

  • Heroes-teachers used the Illiad to teach pride in
    Greek civilization and heritage.

Greek Deities
  • Activities of gods goddesses explained why
    people behaved as they did. They believed
    deities caused physical storms to happen.

  • Athena-wisdom art
  • Demeter-goddess of agriculture
  • Aphrodite-goddess of love beauty
  • Zeus-king of the gods ruled the sky (weather).
  • Dionysus-god of wine fertility. (play about
    this one)
  • Apollo-god of light (sun) and prophecy.
  • Hades-ruled the underworld.

  • Greeks humanized their gods they were total
    human forms. They believed gods behaved like
    humans (married had children).

  • Deities possessed super human powers (physical
  • Humans tried to be like deities in every way
  • 12 most important deities lived on Mount Olympus
    each one controlling a specific part of the
    natural world.
  • Religious festivals were important part of Greek
    life Olympic Games honored Zeus.

The Polis (city-state)
  • This was the basic political unit of Hellenic
    civilization comprised of the city and the
    surrounding villages and fields (measured about 3
    days walking distance). The center of the city
    stood on a fortified hill (acropolis) with a
    temple for the local deity. At the foot of the
    acropolis was the agora-public square.

  • The polis was small enough that all citizens
    could take part in business with 5,000-10,000
    male citizens who voted, owned property, and held
    office. Women, slaves, and foreigners had no
  • The polis was famous for trading of wine and
    olive oil with a monetary system.

Political and Social Change
  • Kings lost power to landholding aristocrats
    (wealthy nobles).
  • Farmers had to obtain loans from aristocrats.
    When they were unable to pay them back, they lost
    their land, becoming peasants and sharecroppers.
  • farmers were foot soldiers in the Greek army,
    more valuable than a wealthy cavalry.

  • Other middle class working people (artisans)
    joined forces with the farmers wanting a voice in
    government and citizenship.
  • tyrants seized power making promises to the
    farmers (low middle classes) and wanting

  • harshness of a few tyrants caused tyranny to
    mean rule by a cruel and unjust person.
  • citizens restructured their government into
    either an oligarchy (small group of rulers) or
    democracy (rule by the people).
  • -there were 2 democracies
  • 1. Sparta
  • 2. Athens

  • descendants of Dorian invaders founded in
    southern Greece. Land was invaded and farming
    people were taken as slaves (Helots) and assigned
    to farm the land. Artisans and merchants were
    hired, but were considered free individuals,
    called Periocci. Together, they outnumbered the
    Spartans. To maintain power, they established a
    military society.

  • Spartan Military
  • life revolved around the military. Men were the
    soldiers. Women breeded more soldiers. Newborns
    were examined and the sickly left on a hillside.
    Young boys would go to military school, learning
    to read, write, use weapons, and steal. (If
    caught stealing, they were whipped publicly.
    They would go barefoot and have one garment to
    wear and having little to eat.) After 20 years
    as a soldier, they would marry at age 30, but
    continued to live and serve in the military until
    60, then they would retire.

  • Women in Sparta
  • Involved in gymnastics, wrestling, and boxing.
    They were to be as healthy and strong as
    possible. They married at 19. If younger, they
    were less likely to have a healthy child. They
    had no rights in government.

  • Government in Sparta
  • 2 kings ruled jointly, leading the army and
    religious services.
  • Legislative body had 2 houses
  • The Assembly had most power, making laws and
    decisions concerning war and peace. Male
    citizens over 20 served. There were five
    overseers (ephors) elected to administer public
    affairs, and could veto legislation.
  • The Council of Elders were comprised of 28 men
    over 60 who proposed legislation.

  • Spartan Culture
  • people were exceptional athletes, always winning
    the Olympic Games.
  • they lagged behind intellectually, and in trade
    and manufacturing.

  • located in the central part of Greece.
  • descendants of Mycenaean's.
  • named after the goddess Athena.
  • included more citizens all free men regardless
    of class or ownership of land

  • Athenian Tyrants (brought changes)
  • Draco-extremely harsh penalties for breaking
    laws. For minor offenses, such as stealing, the
    penalty was death. Draconian means cruel and
    severe. Laws were written down, and aristocrats
    could not dictate.

  • Solon-improved economic conditions. He canceled
    all debts and freed debtors from slavery in
    Dracos rule. Anyone could own a limited amount
    of land. He promoted trade. Cash crops were
    grown rather than grain. He ordered fathers to
    teach their sons a skill. He set up a 2 house
  • 1. Council of 400 (aristocrats)
  • 2. Council of Assembly (commoners).

  • Peisistratus-divided land among the landless
    extended citizenship to the poor gave poor
    loans and provided jobs for the poor by
    providing work projects.
  • Cleisthenes-created laws that established a
    democracy for Athens. A tyrant was no longer

  • Athenian Democracy-lasted almost 200 years until
    the Macedonians overthrew them. This was more of
    a direct democracy.
  • The Assembly was the major political institution.
    All citizens were equal and guaranteed freedoms
    and could belong to the Assembly. The Assembly
    passed laws and acted as the Supreme Court. They
    chose 10 generals to run a navy and army.

  • The Council of 500 administered everyday
    government business. They were chosen by a
    lottery drawing because they thought elections
    unfair. Good speakers had the advantage in an
  • Jury System-majority vote needed for a verdict
    and the jury was very large (200). The large
    size would keep jurors from the influence of
    threats and bribes.

  • Ostracism-each year, citizens would write the
    name of an undesirable politician on a piece of
    baked clay (ostracon). If the name appeared on
    6,000 ostracas, the person was exiled for 10

  • Education in Athens
  • fathers were required to educate their sons. All
    citizens were expected to hold public office.
    Girls did not receive a formal education,
    learning to weave and bake. Boys went to school
    from age 7 through 18. They learned The Illiad
    and the Odyssey by heart. They studied math,
    drawing, music, and gymnastics. They also
    studied rhetoric-public speaking. After school,
    they spend 2 years in the military.
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