- How was the influence of Buddhism manifested in Indian civilization of the Gupta period?
What factors tended to undermine the strength of Buddhism in India?
- Why did the Chinese pilgrim Fa Xian go to India in the early fifth century? What do we learn
about India from his account?
- How did the government of Harsha differ from that of the earlier Gupta Dynasty?
- What similarities and differences were there between Gupta-era sculpture and classical
- Compare and contrast the cults of Vishnu and Shiva.
- Explain the meaning of this statement: "What the Periclean Age and the Augustan Age were
for the classical civilizations of the West the reigns of Vikramaditya and Harsha were for India."
- Explain the significance of the Bhagavad Gita in the Indian religious tradition.
- Contrast Sanskrit drama with Western drama.
- What kinds of influence did India of this period exert on the West?
- Explain the assertion that the dominance of the state has been both China's greatest strength
and its greatest weakness.
- The Qin Dynasty was very brief. Why was it so important for Chinese history?
- What were the major achievements of Qinshihuangdi, China's "first emperor"?
- In what ways was the Han Dynasty of lasting significance for Chinese history?
- Explain Emperor Han Wudi's major contributions to the strength of the Chinese state,
examining both internal and external policies.
- What is referred to as the "Han compromise." What were the effects of this compromise on
later Chinese history?
- In what ways was China's period of disunity similar to the period in western Europe
following the downfall of the Roman Empire? In what ways was it different?
- What were the major factors that contributed to the reunification of China after the period of
- What did the short-lived Sui Dynasty accomplish that proved to be beneficial to the Tang
- Explain the purpose and effects of the Chinese civil service examination system.
- Describe changes in the position and role of the following groups in Chinese society: the
aristocracy, farmers, women.
- What role did eunuchs play in Chinese history?
- What effects did the abolition of the practice of primogeniture have on later Chinese history?
- Outline the major economic changes in China from the Han to the Tang, with particular
attention to the role of the state.
- List some specific technological advances in China from the Han through the Tang dynasties.
- In what sense is it incorrect to refer to Confucianism as a religion?
- What was Dong Zhongshu's contribution to Confucian thought?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of Japan's geographic location and climate?
- How do you account for the fact that the position of women in Japanese society seems to
have been higher in ancient times than later?
- What factors aided the spread of Buddhism in Japan? What effect did it have on the native
- Japan imported many cultural items from China. Which were the easiest for the Japanese to
assimilate, and which were the hardest?
- Why did Chinese characters prove to be inadequate in the development of a system for
- What important differences were there between the Japanese imperial government and the
imperial government of China upon which it was modeled?
- Why is it claimed that the Taika Reforms represent "the founding of the Japanese imperial
system"? Why did these reforms not completely succeed?
- What climatic and other factors hampered the growth of human societies in Africa?
- How do you account for the emphasis on collectivism rather than individualism in African
- What impact did the introduction of iron tools have on African societies?
- Explain the origins of the terms "Sahara" and "Sudan."
- What difference did the introduction of the camel have on African economic development?
- Summarize the role of Bantu-speaking peoples in the evolution of civilization in Africa.
- From what specific regions were African societies affected by contact with non-Africans
through the operation of trade networks?
- In what ways did Egypt become a major Jewish population center?
- Read the Sanskrit drama Shakuntala and compare it with a drama of Aeschylus or Sophocles.
- Compare the role of Buddhist monks in education in India during this period with the role of
Christian monks in education in the West during the Middle Ages.
- Read translations of poems by Li Bo and Du Fu to determine why the Tang period is
considered a high point of Chinese poetry.
- Investigate the evolution of sculpture in northwestern India.
- Investigate the problem of the Ainu in the population of Japan. Explore their ethnic
characteristics, probable origins, and present status.
- Compare the descriptions of India by the Chinese Buddhist pilgrims Fa Xian (5th century) and
Xuanzang (7th century). (Translations can be found in Samuel Beal, Buddhist Records of the
- Compare the sculpture and painting of the classical age in India with that of the classical
(Hellenic) age in Greece.
- To what extent was the government of China's "First Emperor" totalitarian? From what
sources did he derive his ideas about government?
- Examine the impact of Buddhism on philosophical thought in Tang-period China.
- Compare ancient Japanese and Chinese societies and social structures.
- Compare the impact of Bantu expansion in Africa with the impact of nomadic invasions in
- Compare Confucian and Buddhist views of women. Then compare the impact of
Confucianism on women's daily lives with that of Buddhism.
- Explore further the idea that with regard to science, "the Western model favored analysis; the
Chinese model favored synthesis."
- Examine the impact of Buddhism on artistic and literary developments throughout Asia.
REVIEW: World Civilizations
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