Hum Hist handout 11

Hum Hist handout 11 - Human History Week 7, lecture 1...

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Human History Week 7, lecture 1 Second Axial Age 2/16/10 The reaction against Axial thought Axial Age thought in Eurasia may have been largely a response to the increasing scale and complexity of empires across the 1st millennium BCE: retreat from godlike kings toward more bureaucratic rule creates need for personal transcendence Intellectual crisis as empires unravel, standards of living decline after 100/200 CE Glories of past seem inexplicable: e.g., Anglo-Saxon/English poem “The Ruin,” 7th century CE, about Roman remains—“ Snapped rooftrees, towers tottering, the work of Giants … Rime [mold] scours gate towers, rime on mortar; shattered are tower shields, roofs ruined. Age ate them” Reactions against Axial sophistication and reason: e.g., Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove in China (3rd century CE) But not possible to retreat to pre-Axial thought; instead, get a second version of it The Second Wave of Axial Thought New ideas all build on First Wave of Axial Thought Christianity and Islam build on Judaism and Greek philosophy; Mahayana and Theravada
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Hum Hist handout 11 - Human History Week 7, lecture 1...

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