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Phoenicians, Persians and Judaism Role of Nomadic Peoples On the fringes of early civilizations were nomadic peoples that depended on hunting, gathering Some groups ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Phoenicians,%20Persians%20and%20Judaism

Phoenicians, Persians and Judaism
Role of Nomadic Peoples
  • On the fringes of early civilizations were
    nomadic peoples that depended on hunting,
  • Some groups were pastoral nomads that raised
    animals for food and clothing
  • Traded with settled groups and helped long
    distance trade and passed on new technologies by
    carrying products between civilized centers
  • These groups occasionally overran settled
    communities and created their own empires

Role of Nomadic Peoples
  • Indo-Europeans were one group
  • Their language became the mother tongue of Greek,
    Latin, Persian, Sanskrit and Germanic languages
  • They originated in the steppes of central Asia
    and moved into Anatolia around 2000 B.C
  • 1750 B.C. they established an empire in western
    Asia called the Hittite Empire
  • They used iron to make tools and weapons
  • 1200 B.C. the empire began to fall apart
  • The end of the Hittites and the weakening of
    Egypt led to the rise of other small kingdoms and
    city states in the region

Spread of Indo-European Languages
  • They were a seafaring a trading empire based in
    the eastern Mediterranean that flourished between
    1550 B.C. to 300 B.C.
  • They occupied a string of cities (city-states) in
    the Levant region (Lebanon, Syria, Israel)
  • They were best known for trade they produced
    glass and purple dye that was widely distributed
    across the Mediterranean region
  • They established colonies throughout the region
    to promote trade

  • The Phoenicians developed an alphabet, where
    symbols represented sounds, not a word or
  • The alphabet was used to record business
  • The Greek alphabet and later the Roman alphabet
    was based on the Phoenician alphabet

Persian Empires
  • In 539 B.C. Babylon fell to Persian invaders led
    by Cyrus the Great
  • Persian Empire eventually became the largest in
    the world stretching from Asia Minor to northern
  • The empire embraced tolerance of religions and

Structure of the Persian Empire
  • Emperor Darius was responsible for the
    unification of the empire
  • The empire was divided into provinces (satrapys)
    that were ruled by a local governor that
    collected taxes based on resources and wealth
  • Special officials were sent out to check on the
    empire and they traveled on the Royal Road that
    was maintained by the empire. This road made it
    easier to communicate and trade across the empire
  • The Persian Empire used a common system of coins
    to allow trade
  • Much of the power of the Persian Empire was based
    on the military, Persian kings created a standing

  • The Persian Religion was one of their unique
    cultural achievements- Zoroastrianism
  • According to tradition Zoroaster lived in the 5th
    century B.C. and was revered for his visions
  • His teachings were written in the Zend Avesta,
    the sacred book of Zoroastrianism
  • It is a monotheistic religion. The supreme deity
    is Ahura Mazda, who is good and brought all
    things into being
  • He is opposed by Ahriman the evil god
  • People are allowed the freedom to choose between
    right and wrong and in the end Ahura Mazda will
    triumph and there would be a judgment
  • Zoroastrians believed in heaven, hell and final
  • Zoroastrian beliefs influenced Judaism, Islam and

Roots of Judaism
  • To the south of the Phoenicians there was a group
    of Semitic speaking people that were pastoral
  • Around 2000 B.C. they migrated to Canaan (Israel/
    Palestine) and later to Egypt where they were
    enslaved and led to freedom by Moses
  • By 1000 B.C. they had emerged as a distinct group
    united under their king, David
  • Solomon followed David and strengthened the
    Israelite kingdom

Roots of Judaism
  • After the death of Solomon the Israelites were
    divided by the northern (Israelites) and southern
    (Judah) tribes in the eighth century B.C.
  • Israelites were defeated and assimilated by other
    groups in the region and gradually lost their
  • In the sixth century B.C. the Kingdom of Judah
    was conquered by the Chaldeans
  • People of Judah were sent to Babylon as captives
    (Babylonian Captivity)
  • Babylonian Captivity ended when the Persians took
    control of the region and allowed the Jews to
    return to Israel where they reestablished their
    religion, but they were under foreign control
  • The Babylonian Captivity made the Jews a people
    without a land

The Spiritual Dimensions of Judaism
  • Their god Yahweh created the earth and everything
    in it, God ruled the world and all people in it
    were his servants
  • Ten Commandments provided rules to live by and
    stressed religious duty
  • God was good and expected goodness from people if
    they followed the Ten Commandments
  • Israelites believed that they had a covenant with
    God and they were his chosen people
  • The Jews believed that God had sent prophets to
    be his voice to teach and warn people to follow
  • The prophets taught a code of ethics, or moral
    teachings, and that all people were equal before
  • Jewish religious beliefs were recorded in the
    Torah (Old Testament)
  • Jews maintained their sense of identity by living
    in close knit communities and obeying religious
    laws and traditions