stearns ch. 5 notes

Topics: Ancient Rome, Roman Empire, Decline of the Roman Empire Pages: 8 (1497 words) Published: November 3, 2013
Chapter 5
The Classical Period: Directions, Diversities, and Declines by 500 C.E.

I. Expansion and Integration
A. Key point – how did classical civilizations adjust to expansion
1. Between 550>400 BCE Confucius, Laozi, Buddha, Socrates
a. Need to articulate central values
B. How did they all unite?
1. China – more centralized
2. Mediterranean – more localized/diverse
3. India – key religious values – not as vulnerable to collapse – like Rome
C. What are the two challenges of integration?
1. Territorial – how to command
a. China – language for elite, resettlement
b. Rome – local autonomy, tolerance
c. India – spread caste system
2. Social – inequality between men/women – upper/lower class
a. China – hierarchy – deference – obedience – Confucian
b. India – caste system
c. Rome – slavery
D. How to maintain cohesion?
1. Rome – promise of upward mobility
2. China – mutual respect between upper and lower
3. India – future reincarnation into higher form if good life

II. Beyond the Classical Civilizations
A. Some as border civilizations, some entirely independent
1. Wider trade patterns
B. Africa – Kush – hieroglyphics, iron, monarchy
1. Defeated by Axum, then Ethiopia
a. Ethiopian Christian church cut off from Greeks – isolated
b. Ethiopia – by 20th century – oldest uninterrupted monarchy
2. Farming on southern border of Sahara – regional kingdoms
a. Agriculture spread slowly – dense vegetation, diseases on domesticated
b. Eventually farmed new crops, traded w/ Asia
C. Japan – 200 CE extensive agriculture – migrations from Korea over 200,000 year period
1. tribal chiefs – each tribe had own god
2. Chinese visitor – law-abiding, fond of drink, experts agriculture
a. Tattoos to separate social classes
3. Shintoism – worship political rulers and spirits of nature – eventually nationalized
4. 400 CE – one regional ruler took over surrounding territories
a. By 600 CE began trading/interacting with Chinese civilization
D. Northern Europe – lagged behind Japan – most backward areas in the world
1. Regional kingdoms – no written language – except Latin imports
a. Primitive agriculture and hunting
2. Gods and rituals to deal with nature
a. Not until 1000 CE did Christianity truly unite
E. Central America – Olmec civilization – more advanced than Europe/Africa
1. Corn staple food crop, but few domesticated animals
2. Olmec culture
a. Artistic forms – jade
b. religious images – animals and humans
c. science – accurate calendars
3. Successors made Teotihuacan – great city, later taken over by Maya – 400 CE on
4. Olmecs similar to Sumerians – foundation
5. Incas in Peru/Bolivia – isolation form world – couldn’t copy and react
a. No wheel, iron
b. Advanced civilization – agriculture to city
F. Polynesian peoples – Fiji by 1000 BCE, Hawaii 400 CE
1. Great travelers/explorers
2. adapted local plants, brought in new animals, imported caste system under kings
G. Central Asia – played central role in trade
1. Invention of stirrup
2. Important contacts between civilizations
3. herding groups invaded civilizations

III. Decline in China and India
A. 200-600 CE all three start to decline
1. Outside invasion – nomadic growth – Huns
a. Huns realized weakness of regime
2. Internal problems
B. Han Dynasty – population growth/prosperity spiral down
1. Confucian intellectual activity less active
2. Bureaucrats corrupt
3. Local landlords took up power
4. New peasant taxes – social unrest
a. Peasants become day laborers/sell children
5. Daoism attractive – healing practices + magic
a. Yellow Turbans – golden age w/ magic
1. Attacked weak emperor/corrupt bureaucracy
6. Similarities to Rome
a. Political ineffectiveness
b. Epidemics – killed half of China
c. Three centuries of chaos
7. Cultural unity...
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