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Chapter 1: The Roots of Western Civilization

| Chapter Summary | Chapter Outline | Critical Thinking Questions | Review Questions: Multiple Choice | Review Questions: True-False | The Big Picture | Essay Questions | Map Exercises | A Closer Look | Using the Internet | Biography Questions | Guide to Further Research | Chapter in Perspective |

Chapter 1: Outline

I. Before Western Civilization

For hundreds of thousands of years [Web site] before written history, humans made advances [Secondary Discussion] in the use of tools [Image], created art, and developed agriculture, which led to a shift in nomadic hunting and gathering to more sedentary ways of life.

  1. Out of Africa [Web site]: The Paleolithic Period, 600,000-10,000 BC
    1. "Western Civilization" [Secondary Discussion] [Also discussed here [Secondary Discussion]
    2. Trade
    3. The Earliest Humans [Web site]
    4. Trade Networks
    5. Cave Art [Image]
    6. Stone Monuments. [Web site]
  2. The Neolithic Period: The First Stirrings of Agriculture [Web site], 10,000-3000 BC
    1. Agriculture [Image]
    2. Domestic Animals
    3. Middle Eastern Plants [Secondary Discussion]
    4. Middle Eastern Animals
    5. Population Growth
    6. Slavery
    7. New Warfare [Secondary Discussion]

II. Struggling with the Forces of Nature: Mesopotamia, 3000 - ca. 1000 BC

In the Tigris-Euphrates Valley, people developed a complex society which made advances in religious ideas, political organization, and significantly, the use of writing.

  1. The Origins of Western Civilization
    1. The Bronze Age
    2. Irrigation
    3. Ziggurats [Image]
    4. Economic Functions
  2. Life in a Sumerian City [Primary Source]
    1. Homes and Meals
    2. Trade
    3. Markets
    4. Families
    5. Women's Work [Secondary Discussion]
  3. Gods and Goddesses of the River Valley
    1. Nature and Deities
    2. Sumerian Pessimism [Primary Source]
    3. Sargon [Primary Source]
    4. Social Order
    5. Individual Longings [Primary Source]
  4. The Development of Writing
    1. Writing [Web site]
    2. Cuneiform [Secondary Discussion]
    3. Scribe School
    4. Written Records [Web site]
  5. Laws and Justice
    1. Written Law Code [Primary Source]
    2. Code of Hammurabi [Primary Source]/ photo [Image]
    3. Social Order
    4. Women [Primary Source] and Children
  6. Indo-Europeans [Secondary Discussion]: New Contributions to the Story of the West
    1. Indo-European Languages [Secondary Discussion] and here [Image]
    2. ??
    3. Improved carts
    4. Contributions
    5. Hittites [Secondary Discussion]

III. Rule of the God-King: Ancient Egypt, ca. 3100 - 1000 BC

In the Nile Valley, a less unpredictable environment than that of the Tigris-Euphrates Valley led to the establishment of a more stable and optimistic culture than that of Mesopotamia.

  1. Nile Valley [Image]
  1. Prosperity and Order: The Old Kingdom [Web site], ca. 2700 - 2181 BC
    1. Egyptian Deities [Web site] and here [Web site]
    2. Desire for Order [Primary Source]
    3. Trade [Primary Source]
    4. Family Life [Secondary Discussion]
  2. Hieroglyphs: Sacred Writing [Primary Source]
    1. Complicated Scripts [Web site]
    2. Scribes [Web site/Primary Source]
  3. Pyramids and the Afterlife [Web site]
    1. Pyramids [Image]
    2. Afterlife [Secondary Discussion]
    3. Burial Rituals
  4. Changing Political Fortunes, ca. 2200 - 1570 BC
    1. Famine
    2. Afterlife
    3. Middle Kingdom [Web site]
    4. Egypt Conquered [Secondary Discussion]
  5. Political Expansion: The New Kingdom [Web site], 1570 - 1085 BC
    1. Egyptian Empire [Primary Source]
    2. Hatsheput [Secondary Discussion]
    3. Empire Building [Primary Source]
  6. The Religious Experiment of Akhenaton [Web site], 1377 - 1360 BC
    1. Akhnaten's Religion [Primary Source]
    2. Results [Web site]
  7. The Twilight of the Egyptian Empire, 1360 - ca. 1000 BC
    1. Egyptian Decline [Primary Source]

IV. Merchants and Monotheists: The Peoples of the Mediterranean Coast, ca. 1300 - 500 BC

Two other peoples made significant contributions to Western civilization: the Phoenicians developed an alphabet while the Hebrews turned away from the polytheism of other ancient cultures to embrace monotheism.

  1. The Phoenicians: Traders on the Sea
    1. Mediterranean Trade [Secondary Discussion/Image]
    2. Trading Colonies [Primary Source]
    3. Phoenician Alphabet [Web site]
  2. The People of One God: Early Hebrew History [Web site], 1300 - 900 BC
    1. Nomadic Hebrews [Secondary Discussion]
    2. Patriarchs [Secondary Discussion]
    3. Hebrew Scriptures
    4. Establishing a Kingdom[Primary Source/Image]
    5. Dividing a Kingdom
  3. A Jealous God, 1300 - 587 BC
    1. The Covenant [Primary Source]
    2. Hebrew Laws [Primary Source]
    3. Prophets [Primary Source]
    4. God's Punishments [Primary Source]
  4. Judaism in Exile [Primary Source]
    1. Recording the Scriptures [Primary Source] and here [Primary Source]
    2. Worshipping without a Temple
    3. The Second Temple [Primary Source]
    4. Hebrew Contributions [Primary Source]

V. Terror and Benevolence: The Growth of Empires, 1200 - 500 BC

With the spread of iron-forging technology came also changes in warfare and the successive emergence of three great empires, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, and the Persians.

  1. The Age of Iron
    1. Trade and Bronze
    2. ??
    3. Iron Age
  2. Rule by Terror: The Assyrians, 911 - 612 BC
    1. Assyrian Conquests [Image]
    2. Governing an Empire [Image]
    3. Preserving Learning [Primary Source] and here [Image]
    4. Governing by Terror [Primary Source] and here [Primary Source]
    5. Fall of Assyria
  3. Babylonian Rule: 612 - 539 BC
    1. Babylonian Severity
    2. Art [Web site/Image] and Culture [Primary Source]
    3. Commerce
    4. Astronomy [Secondary Discussion] and Mathematics[Secondary Discussion/Image]
  4. Rule by Tolerance: The Persian Empire [Web site], 539 - 500 BC
    1. Fall of Babylonians [Image]
    2. Persian Administration [Primary Source] and here [Primary Source]
    3. Zoroastrianism [Web site]


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