Lecture Notes - FEBRUARY 5 2008 ASHOKA • Ashoka’s death...

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F EBRUARY 5, 2008 A SHOKA Ashoka’s death in 232 BCE led to an immediate decline for the Mauryan Empire 50 years later, it collapsed R EGIONAL K INGDOMS For about the next 200 years, local rulers like the Bactrians and Kushans ruled over much of South Asia C LASSICAL G REECE Represents to many the basis of western civilization/cultural achievement Exerted tremendous influence on the Romans (also a classical society) Merged Mycenean and Minoan societies (mainland and island) Usually periodized into Hellenic and Hellenistic o Hellenic from 776 BCE to 323 BCE o Hellenistic from 323 BCE to 146 BCE 776 BCE – first Olympic games 323 BCE – rise of Alexander the Great 146 BCE – Roman conquest of Greece POLIS / POLEIS City-states in competition Acheieved degrees of control through alliances Reflective of the rise of urban centers in the classical era Sparta and Athens most successful of Greek poleis S PARTA Built on firm individual commitment to the militaristic state o Valued self-sacrifice, harsh training o Men were warriors, as were women… A THENS Newfound wealth in Athens c. 7 th century BCE led to gap in social classes and wealth Solan institutes new and somewhat democratic system of government Canceled personal debts Ended system of debts slavery P ELOPONNESIAN W ARS (431-404 BCE) Stuggle between Athens and its supporters and Sparta and its supporters Sparta ultimately wins Sweeps aside Hellenic period customs Served as important cultural legacy
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Thucydides (460-295 BCE) o First critical history (unlike Herodotus’ work) o Relied on first hand accounts o Discarded many mythological explanation of events o Provides wealth of geographical and ethnographic information C ULTURAL L EGACIES OF G REECE Socrates (470-399 BCE) o Socratic method o “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Plato (430-347 BCE) o The Republic (dialogue on political rulers) A philosopher-king understood best how to rule World of forms and ideas “Allegory of the cave” Aristotle (384-322 BCE) o Argued for intellectual wedding of sense and reason Sense used to gain basic information about the world Reason can then be used to explore the cause of events Worked on philosophical concepts like how we know (epistemology) S HORTCOMINGS OF C LASSICAL G REEKS Could not carry poleis system into a long-lasting empire Romans are able to do this (c. 100 BCE – 476 CE) Followed up on Alexander’s conquests with a strong imperial presense R OMANS Conservative, law-driven, efficient (great system of roads, laws) Pater families Face their own challenges o Rise of Christianity o Social class conflict (patricians vs. plebeians) o Threat of Carthage (North Africa) o Threat of Germanic Tribes T HE D AR AR I SLAM AND THE C LASSICAL P ERIOD P OST -C LASSICAL
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Lecture Notes - FEBRUARY 5 2008 ASHOKA • Ashoka’s death...

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