- New Kingdom - After overthrowing the Hyksos (nomadic invaders who ruled Egypt from 1640 BC - 1570 BC) pharaohs sought to strengthen Egypt by building an empire; Egypt enters its third period of glory in the New Kingdom, and reaches greater wealth and more power than ever before.
- Queen Hatshepsut - Declares herself
pharaoh around 1472 BC, when her stepson (the male heir to the throne)
was a young child. She spent her reign encouraging trade, rather than
- Ramses II - Pharaoh that finally makes a
treaty with a Hittite king (Battle of Kadesh), that states “peace and
brotherhood between us forever;” Alliance would last till the end of the century; Rules for approx. 67 years.
- Assyrians - Dominated the Fertile Crescent; Reaches such great power by a means of a sophisticated military organization and state-of-the-art weaponry; Greatest power in Southwest Asia at the time.
- Ashurbanipal - An Assyrian king that prides himself on the ability to read in several languages; Collects more than 25,000 tablets from throughout the Fertile crescent; Collection helped scholars better understand Mesopotamian writings.
- King Cyrus - Persian king; begins conquest of several neighboring kingdoms in Iran. Cyrus is now considered to be a military genius as he conquered the entire Fertile Crescent, and most of Anatolia. Is also famous for his government. Allows Jews (who had been deported from their homeland by the Babylonians) to return to Jeruslam in 538 BC.
- King Cambyses - (son of Cyrus) expands Persian Empire by conquest of Egypt. Unwisely, publicly scorns the Egyptian religion. Order images of Egyptian gods to be burned. Dies after only 8 years of ruleà widespread rebellions break out across the empire.
- King Darius - Successor of Cambyses. Spends first 3 years putting down revolts. And then spends the next few years establishing an unusually effective and well organized administration. Divides empire into 20 provinces.
- Satraps - A governor installed by Darius. These governors would rule locally. They checked up on the administration of each province in every corner of the kingdom.
- Royal Road - Unifies the Persian empire; Runs from Susa in Persia to Sardis in Anatolia; Distance of 1677 miles.
- Zoroaster - Religious reformer who offers answer to question “why should so much suffering and chaos exist in the world?;” Teaches
that 2 spiritual armies fight for possession of a person’s soul; The
god of truth and light leads one army, and the god of evil and darkness
leads the other; At the end of time souls would be judged according to
which side they chose.
- Confucianism - Belief in social order, harmony, and good government. Believes in 5 basic relationship:
- Ruler and subject
- Father and Son
- Husband and wife
- Older brother and younger brother
- Friend and Friend
- Analects - are a record of the words and
acts of the central Chinese thinker and philosopher Confucius and his
disciples, as well as the discussions they held. The Chinese title
literally means "discussion over [Confucius'] words."
- Filial Piety - A teaching of Confucius in which he stressed that children should practice respect for their parents and elders.
- Daoism (Taoism) - “The way guides all things” presented by a 6th century Chinese thinker named Laozi; Belief that only the natural order was important; Believed that only humans failed to follow the dao; Its search for knowledge and understanding of nature led Daoism followers to pursue scientific studies; Daoists made contributions to the sciences of alchemy, astronomy, and medicine.
- Legalism - Believed a highly efficient
and powerful government is the key to social order; Punishments are
useful to maintain social order, thinkers and their ideas should be
strictly controlled by the government; Qin Dynasty under Shi Huangdi.
- Yin and Yang - Two powers that together
represent the natural rythems of life; Yang - masculine qualities of
the universe; Yin - feminine qualities of the universe.
- Qin Dynasty - Short lived dynasty that
replaces the Zhou dynasty in the third century BC; Emerges from the
western state of the Qin; Legalist ideas were used to subdue warring
states and unify the country; By 202 BC the Qin dynasty gave way to the Han dynasty.
- Autocracy - A government in which the ruler has unlimited power and uses it in an arbitrary manner.
*Special thanks to Jonathan Schechner for writing up these terms.