Chapter Study Outline

       I. Overview of Assyrian model of rule

             A. Assyrians redistributed population to create more homogeneity within their territory

             B. Warfare led by military innovation becomes the key factor in shaping human development

             C. New empires created by completely new people groups

            D. Other migration forced by climatic changes

             E. Fringe microsocieties contributed significant advances to human development

       II. Forces of upheaval and the rise of early empires

             A. Around 1200 BCE, another warming phase brought about social upheaval and human migration in Afro-Eurasia

             B. Population growth and soil exhaustion in other regions forced many people to leave homes and look for food and fertile land

             C. Migrations led to incursions into urban societies

                       1. Fierce warriors attacked capital cities

                       2. Destroyed the administrative centers of kings, priests, and dynasties

            D. Destruction of cities and administration centers paved way for new states

             E. The mixing of nomadic and urban societies led to the expansion of kingdoms

                       1. Warrior-kings sought to conquer independent and culturally distinct kingdoms and subjugate the people

                       2. Conquests led to more integration

                             a. Common language or multilingual

                             b. Shared religious beliefs

                             c. Some customs and beliefs remained

                             d. Common administration, laws, calendar were instituted

                       3. South Asian peoples shared cultures and beliefs more than political systems

                       4. Other regions were connected mainly by extensive trade

                             a. Byblos

                             b. Tyre

             F. Pack camels used for transportation

                       1. Opened up new overland trade routes

                       2. Could carry heavy loads

                       3. Could cross deserts

             G. New ships

                  1. Technological advancement allowed ships to be used on open sea as well as rivers and shorelines

                  2. Had larger, better reinforced hulls, stronger masts and rigging, more sails

                  3. Innovations in steering and ballast also advanced

             H. Iron tools and weapons

                  1. Metalworkers learned to manipulate iron

                  2. Adding carbon to iron made steel

                  3. Changes in agrarian techniques

                             a. Iron-tipped plow could open up new regions

                             b. Turned up new topsoil for better crop production

                  4. Innovation in military and administrative control

                             a. Standing armies with advanced weapons

                             b. Deportation

                             c. Use of slaves in areas needing more labor

                  5. Roads, garrisons, and way stations constructed for moving troops

       III. The Neo-Assyrian Empire

             A. Known for its reliance on terror using harsh punishments, large-scale deportations, and systematic intimidation to crush adversaries

             B. Techniques for imperial rule became the standard model for many ancient and modern empires

             C. Assyrian heartland centered on the ancient cities of Ashur and Nineveh on the upper Tigris River

             D. Affected all Southwest Asia and North Africa, as well as the Mediterranean region  

             E. Expansion into an empire

                       1. Assyrians had several advantages

                             a. Armies of well-trained, disciplined, professional troops

                             b. Officers rose by merit, not birth

                             c. Perfected the combined deployment of infantry and cavalry (horse riders and chariots)

                             d. Excellent siege warriors, using siege towers and battering rams

                             e. Huge armies of 120,000 soldiers

                       2. In first stage of imperial expansion, the king participated in annual campaigns

                       3. Tiglath Pileser III reorganized and led second phase of royal expansion

                             a. Took away the rights of the nobility to own and inherit land or other wealth

                             b. Abolished old system of hereditary provincial governors with annual appointments

                             c. Reinstated expansionist annual military campaigns

                             d. Policies intensified hatred of the Assyrians

             F. Integration and control of the empire

                       1. Structure of the empire

                             a. Empire divided into two parts

                                         i. The Core—the “Land of Ashur,” between the Zagros Mountains and the Euphrates River

                                              a.  King’s appointees governed lands

                                              b.  Responsible for supplying food for the temple of the national god (Ashur), labor, and officials

                                        ii. The land under the yoke of Ashur

                                              a.  Ethnic groups under Assyrian control but not Assyrians

                                              b.  Local rulers held power as vassals of Assyria

                                              c.  Had to supply huge amounts of tribute in form of gold and silver

                                              d.  Wealth went to the king for his own court and military costs

                                       iii. Reforms of Tiglath Pileser III

                                              a.  Brought more lands into the empire

                                              b.  Forced Assyrianization was harshly administered throughout

                             b. Deportations and forced labor

                                    i. As army grew, non-Assyrians became part of the army

                                        a.  Phoenicians provided ships and sailors

                                        b.  Medes served as the king’s bodyguards

                                        c.  Charioteers from Judah fought against rebels in western provinces

                                    ii. Needed huge workforces for agriculture and public works

                                        a.  Recruited workers from conquered peoples

                                        b.  Relocated over 4 million people to support work projects

                                        c.  Relocation undermined local resistance efforts

                             c.   Assyrian ideology and propaganda

                                    i. Propaganda supported and justified expansion, exploration, and pervasive inequality

                                              a.   Art showed a strong sense of divinely determined destiny

                                              b.   The national god, Ashur, commanded all Assyrians to support expansion of empire

                                              c.    King, with aid of Ashur, conducted holy war to transform the entire known world to a well-regulated “Land of Ashur”

                                    ii. Three types of propaganda were used

                                              a.   Elaborate architectural complexes for state ceremonial displays of pomp and power

                                              b.   Texts composed to glorify the king and the empire

                                              c.    Texts recited at state occasions, placed on monuments, written in annals

                                              d. Images glorifying the king and the might of the Assyrian army were depicted on palace walls

                                              e.    Assyrian literary form called annals

            G. Assyrian social structure and population

                       1. King topped hierarchical structure and served as the sole agent of the god Ashur

                       2. Military elites highly rewarded and became noble class that controlled land and peasants

                       3. Most Assyrians were peasants who worked the fields of the elites

                             a. Those enslaved because of debt had rights to marry free partners, engage in financial transactions, and own property including slaves

                             b. Slaves acquired in conquest had no rights

                             c. Some peasants were relocated to work new lands

                       4. Most peasant families were small and lived on small plots of land

                       5. Women in Assyria more restricted than in Sumeria or Old Babylonia

                             a. Assyrian women had no control over their lives

                             b. Inheritance passed through male line

                             c. Middle Assyrians introduced veiling in the thirteenth century BCE

                             d. All “respectable” women had to veil

                             e. Prostitutes would be beaten or killed for veiling

                              f. Assyrian queens under same norms but had a more comfortable life than commoners

                             g. Mother of the king gained some power and respect

                                         i. Queen could serve as regent if son was not of age when he became king

            H. The instability of the Assyrian Empire

                       1. Imperial expansion led to overextended armies and subjects too distant to control

                       2. Nobles became discontented

                       3. Subject peoples rebelled, which challenged Assyrian worldview and led to the empire’s fall

                       4. In 612 BCE, Neo-Assyrian Empire collapsed with the conquest of Nineveh by the Babylonians and Medes

       IV. The Persian Empire

             A. Persians part of nomadic group that came to the Iranian plateau at the end of the second millennium BCE

             B. Successor state to the Neo-Assyrians

             C. Used persuasion rather than violence to subdue other peoples

             D. Cyrus the Great (r. 559–529 BCE) united Persian tribes and defeated the Medes and other peoples in Anatolia

             E. No urban tradition; borrowed ideology and institutions from the Elamites, the Babylonians, and the Assyrians

             F. The Integration of a multicultural empire

                       1. Cyrus founded the Persian Empire

                             a.   Traced his ancestry back to legendary king Achaemenes

                             b. A benevolent king who liberated his subjects from the oppression of their own kings

                                    i. Freed Babylonians, including the Hebrews, who returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt their temple

                                    ii. Greeks saw Cyrus as a model ruler

                       2. Darius I succeeded Cyrus and put the empire on solid footing

                             a. Conquered territories held by seventy different ethnic groups

                             b. Introduced innovative and dynamic administrative systems

                       3. Persians used central and local administration to rule a multicultural, multilingual empire

                       4. Exploited local traditions, economy, and rule rather than force Persian traditions and customs on subject peoples

                       5. The Persians believed all in the empire were equal

                       6. Used local languages, but Aramaic became the lingua franca of the empire      

                       7. Established a system of provinces or satrapies, each ruled by satrap (governor)

                       8. Promoted trade throughout the empire

                             a. Built roads

                             b. Standardized currency, including coinage

                             c. Standardized weights and measure

            G. Zoroastrianism, ideology, and social structure

                       1. Ahura Mazda, the supreme god, was believed to have appointed the monarch as ruler over people and lands

                       2. Drew religious ideas from their pastoral and tribal roots

                             a. Similar to Vedic texts of Indus Valley

                       3. Zoroaster (aka Zarathustra) taught after 1000 BCE in eastern Iran and responsible for crystallizing the region’s traditional beliefs into a formal religious system

                       4. Zoroastrianism became the religion of the Persian Empire

                       5. The teachings of Zoroaster are in the Avesta

                             a. Avesta is a compilation of holy works transmitted orally by priests for more than 1,000 years

                             b. Written down in the sixth century BCE

                             c. Much in common linguistically with Vedic texts

                       6. Zoroaster’s teaching converted Iranians from animistic nomadic beliefs

                             a. Promoted monotheism

                             b. Persian belief in a dualistic universe

                             c. Ahura Mazda was good

                             d. Ahiram was deceitful and wicked

                             e. Both gods were in a cosmic struggle for the universe

                       7. Zoroastrianism not fatalistic, rather treated humans as independent actors capable of choosing between good and evil

                       8. Human choices had consequences—rewards or punishments in the afterlife

                             a. Strict rules of behavior determined the fate of each individual

                             b. The dead were to be left to the elements

                       9. Persian kings enjoyed absolute authority

                             a. Kings were expected to rule morally, following the tenets of Zoroastrianism

                             b. Kings were to be just rulers, fair, and able to distinguish right from wrong

                             c. Kings had to display physical superiority through horsemanship and weapons handling

                    10. Persians divided social order into four large, diverse groups

                             a. Ruling class of priests, nobles, and warriors

                             b. Administrative class of scribes/bureaucrats and merchants

                             c. Artisans

                             d. Peasants

                    11. Nobility and merchants close to the king

                             a. King was expected to marry a woman from the noble families

                             b. Darius tried to diminish the power of the nobles through reforms

                             c. Royal gifts solidified the relations between king and nobles

            H. Public works and imperial identity

                       1. Royal road built and used by traders, Persian army, and those bringing tribute to the king

                             a. Way stations with fresh mounts and provisions placed along the way

                       2. Other infrastructure built to connect periphery to center of empire

                             a. Canal linking Red Sea to Nile River

                             b. Qanats, underground tunnels for water

                       3. Cyrus led way in building monumental architecture

                       4. Darius forged visual and physical expressions uniquely Persian

                             a. Capital at Persepolis

                             b. Craft workers from all over empire built Persepolis; their distinct styles melded into a new Persian architectural style

                             c. Persepolis was an important administrative hub

                                         i. 30,000 tablets written in Elamite cuneiform script have been found by archaeologists

                       5. Persians borrowed from other groups to design their architecture

                             a. Reception rooms were grand, columned halls

                             b. Large spaces allowed people from all over the empire to gather

                             c. Elaborate architectural decoration was form of propaganda

                             d. Propaganda of Persians, which showed gladly obedient peoples, contrasted with Assyrian propaganda

                       6. Persian method for creating empire very different from Assyrians’

       V. Imperial fringes in western Afro-Eurasia

             A. Those on the fringes of the empires took an active role, sometimes intruding on the empires themselves

                       1. Developed own political and cultural systems

             B. Migrations and upheaval

                       1. Around 1200 BCE, demographic upheavals and migrations of peoples in the Danube River basin and central Europe

                             a. Rapid rise in population

                             b. Development of local natural resources

                       2. Used iron technologies to arm populations and invaded southeastern Europe, Aegean, and eastern Mediterranean

                       3. Invasions of the migrants caused collapse of developed societies including Hittite Empire

                       4. Moved political, military, and technological power to the fringes of these former territories

                       5. Adopted boats for transportation around the Mediterranean Sea

                       6. Attacked the Egyptians and other kingdoms

                       7. Settled along the southern coast of the Levant

                       8. Economic downturn from 1100 to 900 BCE affected empires and kingdoms

                             a. Arts, large-scale construction, writing, trade all declined or disappeared

                             b. Sea People shook the social structure of the Minoans and Mycenaeans

                             c. As empires declined, individual warrior-heroes emerged

                                    i. Iliad based on oral tradition from this time

                                    ii. War in Troy about 1200 BCE

                       9. Rapid transformation was both destructive and creative

             C. Persia and the Greeks

                       1. On the fringe of the Persian kingdom rose the Greeks

                       2. Joined with other Mediterranean peoples to revolt

                       3. Persia could not put down the rebellion on the mainland

                             a. Athenians defeated Persians in 492 BCE at Marathon

                             b. In 479 BCE, Athenians defeated Persians and began to expand into Persian territory

            D. The Phoenicians

                       1. Some borderland people coexisted with the large empires

                       2. Chanani (Canaanites) were known by the Greeks as Phoenicians

                             a. Phoenicians (“Purple People”) traded purple dye

                             b. Innovators of shipbuilding and seafaring

                             c. Traded throughout the Mediterranean with boats made from inland cedar trees

                             d. Established trading colonies on southern and western rim of Mediterranean

                       3. Worked with the Assyrians as imperial vassals and became trading partners and suppliers

                       4. Competition between Greeks and Phoenicians led to innovations and transfer of culture

                             a. Phoenicians developed alphabet, and writing revolutionized communication

                             b. Less need for professional scribes

             E. The Israelites and Judah

                       1. Small region on edge of Egypt

                       2. Hybrid society merged traits of Mesopotamian states with its own

                       3. The Israelites

                             a. Origins unknown, established around 1000–960 BCE

                             b. United by King David and son Solomon with emerging state, capital Jerusalem

                                                      i. Central temple organization, priesthood, scribal elite, new monarchy

                             c. Quickly fragmented into two kingdoms, Judah and Israel

                             d. Hebrews deported by Assyrians to Babylon until collapse of Babylon

                             e.   Returned to Judah under rule of Persia and rebuilt temple

                       4. Monotheism and prophets

                             a. Temple in Jerusalem became most important shrine in region

                             b. One god, YHWH

                             c. To affect change to one god arose a group of freelance religious men of power called prophets

                                    i. Opposed power of the kings and priests at temple in Jerusalem

                                    ii. Central to formation of monotheism and Israelite culture

                                    a. Isaiah

                                    b. Ezra

                                    iii. Established strict social and moral codes enshrined in the holy text the Torah

                       5. Because they were constantly threatened and displaced, their ideas spread rapidly throughout Mediterranean world

       VI. Foundations of Vedic culture in South Asia (1500–400 BCE)

                  A. Founded by nomads who did not have older surviving urban centers to draw on

                  B. Social and religious culture

                       1. Brought cultural traits from European nomadic communities

                             a. Rituals conducted by priests

                             b. Composed rhymes, hymns, and explanatory texts called Vedas

                             c. Vedas oral and then written in Sanskrit

                    2. Encountered indigenous peoples with knowledge of the land

                       a. Exchange between Vedic people and indigenous peoples

                       b. Region became more unified because of the shared culture of the Vedas

                       c. Did not create a single, unified kingdom

             C. Material Culture

                    1. Early trade centered on horses not luxury goods

                             a.   Drove creation of long-distance trade routes

                    2. Vedic people settled and cultivated the land

                             a.   Used iron plow to grow crops

                             b. Urban settlement developed

                             c.   Trade developed as agricultural surpluses grew

             D. Splintered states

                       1. The region remained politically disintegrated

                       2. Created regional oligarchies and chieftainships

                       3. Fought among themselves and reinforced the importance of warriors

                             a. Indra, the god of war

                             b. Agni, the god of fire

                       4. Warriors were the elite

                       5. Chieftainships merged into kingdoms tied to kin and clan structures

                             a. Two main lineages: lunar lineage and solar lineage

                       6. Society expanded

                             a. Solar lineage clans stayed together in same area

                             b. Lunar lineage clans splint into branches and migrated east and south

                       7. Although the two main lineages disappeared over time their presence lived on in two epic tales

                             a. Mahabharata

                             b. Ramayana

                             c. Epics legitimized the regimes claims to blood links

             E. Castes in a stratified society

                       1. Differences between those who controlled land and those who did not

                       2. Castes (inherited social classes) associated with specific lineages

                             a. Kshatriya, warriors and controlled land

                             b. Vaishya, worked land and tended livestock

                             c. Shudras, of non-Vedic lineages, were laborers or slaves in the fields

                             d. Brahmans, priestly caste, ranked highest

                                         i. Performed rituals and communicated with gods

                                        ii. Guided society in the proper relationship with the forces of nature as represented by the deities

                             e. Powerful monarchies emerged around kings (rajas)

                                         i. Laws of Manu guided the king and regulated king’s subjects

             F. Vedic worlds

                       1. Brahman caste unified the people through a common culture

                       2. Vedas contained sacred knowledge of the people and helped unify them

                       3. Brahmans, the priests of Vedic society, memorized the Vedic works

                             a. Brahmans compiled commentaries on old works and created a new set of rules and rituals

                             b. Established full-scale theology that explained their newly settled farming environment

                             c. Some parts of the Veda incorporated ideas of non-Sanskrit-speaking peoples

                                         i. Atharva Veda includes charms and remedies from indigenous traditions

                       4. Main Vedic literature comprised four Vedas

                       5. Evolving ideas led to a new collection called the Upanishads or Supreme Knowledge

                             a. Dialogue between disciples and a sage

                             b. Social and religious order intertwined

                             c. Concept of atman, an eternal being that never perishes but is reborn

                             d. Reincarnation becomes a cornerstone of the late Vedic belief system

       VII. The Early Zhou Empire in East Asia (1045–771 BCE)

             A. After allying with Shang, Zhou turned against them in 1045 BCE

             B. Integration through dynastic institutions

            1. Zhou continued Shang’s attempts at state building through unified dynastic structures

                       2. Set up a patrimonial state centered on ancestor worship

                       3. Continued and expanded on the Shang state’s tribute system

                       4. Integrated parts of China through cultural symbols and statecraft

             C. Zhou succession and political foundation

                       1. Zhou takeover of Shang gradual

                       2. Rewarded allegiance to state with lands that could be inherited

                             a. Regional lords required to supply military forces

                             b. New colonies consisted of garrison towns with Zhou colonizers

                             c. Paid tribute and appeared at the imperial court to pledge allegiance to king

            D. The Zhou “Mandate of Heaven” and the justification of power

                       1. Ideology to support a morally correct takeover of the Shang

                       2. Mandate of Heaven was a compact between the people and their god

                       3. Became a political doctrine rather than religious

                       4. A way to defend continuity of political structure or to argue for overthrow

             E. Zhou expanded on writing system employed by Shang

                       1. Used for divination and a variety of political practices

                             a. Royal speeches and grants of official offices

                       2. King Mu (r. 956–918 BCE) put in place more bureaucracy and reforms

                             a. Writing became more essential for records, archives, and laws

                       3. Creation of a revised calendar important for legitimacy of the court

                             a. Advances made in astronomy and mathematics for better calculations

                       4. Material culture also indirectly gave Zhou legitimacy

                             a. Emulated Shang’s large-scale bronzes

                             b. Used Shang artisans to make objects because of their superior skills and technology

                    5. Revered predecessors and worshiped ancestors, formalized in the practice of writing

             F. Social and economic transformation

                       1. Hierarchical social structure of nobility

                             a. Zhou ruler and royal ministers

                             b. Hereditary nobles served as regional lords with landholdings

                                         i. Supplied warriors to fight in king’s army

                             c. High officers at the Zhou court

                             d. Military caste

            G. Occupational groups and family structures

                    1. Ladder of occupational strata served as class structure for commoners

                       2. Patrilineal society

                       3. Strict hierarchies for men and women

                             a. Wealth trumped gender to a certain extent

                             b. Rich women had high status in Zhou aristocracy

                       4. Technological advances

                             a. Plows enable farmers to increase farmland and crop rotation improved soil

                             b. Regional states began to construct infrastructure to control waterways

                             c. Canals became trade routes linking north and south

                             d. Irrigation works became so elaborate they needed powerful state control, such as Zhou dynasts, to manage system

                             e. Canals linked two breadbaskets: wheat and millet fields in north, rice in south

            H. Limits and decline of Zhou power

                       1. Zhou state important but not superpower like Assyria or Persia

                       2. Zhou ruled larger area than Shang but with little increase in centralization

                       3. Used military campaigns and persuasion to keep subordinates loyal

                       4. To control regional lords, ritual reforms introduced in eighth century BCE

                       5. Invaders from north forced Zhou to flee capital

                       6. Zhou model of government became the standard for later generations

       VIII. Conclusion

             A. Upheavals in the territorial states of Afro-Eurasia led to great changes in the earlier kingdoms in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and China

             B. Rise of two regional superpowers: Assyrian Empire and Persian Empire

                       1. Led way through technology, trade, and administrative strategies of expanding states beyond their ethnic or linguistic homelands

                       2. The two empires, while operating differently, ably, and systematically, exploited human and material resources at great distances from the imperial centers

             C. Other models of integrated but not politically centralized states

                       1. Vedic people in South Asia

                       2. Zhou dynasts in China

            D. Borderland peoples near the large empires were able to carve out their own cultures through trade and common language

                       1. Sea Peoples

                       2. Greeks

                       3. Phoenicians

                       4. People of Judah

             E. Religious texts and the rapid spread of monotheism mark this period