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600CE- 1450CE

 Followers called Muslims
 Believe that Allah (God) transmitted his words to the
faithful through Mohammad
 Mohammad’s followers recorded teachings in Qu’ran
 Believe that salvation comes from submission to God:
 Five Pillars of Islam:
Confession of faith
Prayer 5 times per day
Charity to needy
Fasting during Ramadan
Pilgrimage to Mecca
 Jihad: to struggle
 2 Sects: Sunni and Shia (Disagree over who succeed
 Mecca and Medina; Ka’ba
 Dar al Islam: House of Islam
 After Mohammad dies, Abu Bakr becomes caliph (head of
the state, military commander, chief judge, and religious
 Later on there would be lack of clear succession in terms of leaders
 Theocracy: government ruled by immediate divine
guidance or by officials who are divinely guided
 Caliphate: empire ruled by caliph
 Son of Ali, Hasan, relinquishes throne. Gives way to
Umayyad Dynasty
 Increased size of Islamic Empire (led to increased
 Capital at Damascus, spiritual center at Mecca
 Official language was Arabic
 Tax on religions other than Islam
 Much success during Umayyad, they built the Dome of
the Rock during its reign.
 Muslims split into two sects: Shiite and Sunni
 Shiite: Shia Islam holds the Mohammad’s son in law,
Ali, was heir to empire
 Sunnis: They hold Ali in high esteem, but did not
believe he was the successor
 Thought empires should be derived from base of people.
 Battle for control between forces of Abu al-Abbas
(Shia) and reigning power led to decline of Umayyad
 Replaced by the Abbasid Dynasty
 Eventually destroyed by Mongols
 Golden age where arts and sciences flourished
 Capital at Baghdad (became cultural center)
 Islamic empire based on trade
 Introduced idea of credit
 Advancements in math and medical
 Expanded with knowledge learned from India
 Defeat Tang at Battle of Talus River
 Fight over control of Silk Road
 Diffusion of paper money from China to Middle East
 Muslims monopolized trade routes
 Protected heritage of western Europe
 Translated teachings from Ancient Rome and Greece to
 Abbasid were tolerant of local conquered religions
 Sufis were most successful Islamic missionaries
 Allowed conquered to blend Islam and other faiths
 Women viewed as property.
 No rights to own property or inherit it.
 Low status of women gave way to female infanticide
 After Qu’ran written status of women increased.
 Women treated with more dignity, considered equal
before Allah
 Women still treated unequally in some ways
 Example: Testimony in court
 Overtime Islamic society became more patriarchal and
more structured
 Internal rivalries between groups weakened empire
 Final blow when Turkish slaves (mamluks) revolted
and established new capital in central Iraq.
 Mongols invade and destroy the empire.
 Enter Middle Ages, period after fall of Rome and
before Renaissance
 The Roman Empire split in to two sides
 East v. West, practiced different forms of Christianity
 Eastern Roman Empire: AKA Byzantine Empire
 Centered in Constantinople
 Highly centralized
 Western Roman Empire
 Complete collapse
 Religion still strong
 Used Greek Language, had domes on buildings, culture
similar to Persia
Religion: Orthodox Chrsitianity
Leaders had absolute authority with monopolies over
Used coined money
Justinian restored glory of Roman Empire in
 Trade and arts, Justinian Code (law), Hagia Sophia (enormous
 No Pope, they had secular leaders
 Disagreement with Western Empire over sacrament of
communion, rules about priests, and use of languages
in church.
 Orthodoxy in East, Roman Catholicism in West
 St. Cyril converted Slavics of southeastern Europe and
Russia to Orthodox Christianity
 Vladimir (a prince) converted to Christian Orthodoxy
 Russia aligned with Byzantine in terms of beliefs and
 Russia became culturally different than other powers
of Europe
 After collapse of Western Roman Empire, small kingdoms
were formed.
 Most significant was the Franks
 Franks were a Germanic tribe under leadership of King
 Roman Catholicism
 Empire divided among King’s sons=decline
 Muslims attack, Charles Martel leads the Franks and
defeats the Muslims at the Battle of Tours.
 Martel declares Carolingian Dynasty
 Crowned by Pope, kn0wn as Charles the Great
 Built the Holy Roman Empire (relatively small,
compared to the Roman Empire)
Strong focus on arts and education
Feudalistic society, meaning Charlemagne shared
power with local lords
Charlemagne did not levy taxes (did not build strong
After death, empire divided among sons in Treat of
 Used multi oared boats to invade
 Notorious for raiding Roman Catholic Monasteries
 Developed some of the earliest commercial fisheries in
Northern Europe
 Vikings converted to Christianity
 The social, economic, and political system of the
middle ages
 Kings holds power of kingdom
 Nobles give king military service and loyalty to the
kingdom and king gives them power over sections of
the kingdom
 Nobles divide land into smaller sections under the
control of vassals
 Land given to vassals called fiefs
 Vassals could then split the land again and allow
peasants to work on it
 Peasants (serfs) eventually tied to land
 Rotation of fields
 One for fall harvest, spring harvest, and one
replenishing it’s nutrients
 “Great Clearing” used by lords to create more farmland
 Code of etiquette, an honor system that strongly
condemned betrayal and promoted mutual respect
 Followed by lords and knights
 Serfs specializing in specific skills gave way to a middle
class of merchants (burghers)
 One of the most significant alliances between towns
 Established in 1385, had an economic basis and
controlled trade throughout much of northern Europe
 Cathedrals designed to bring worshippers closer to God
 Flying buttresses, gave support to windows and vaulted ceilings.
 Crusades- military campaigns undertaken by European
Christians of 11th through 14th C. to take over the Holy Land
 Gave way to heresies (religious practices or beliefs that do not
conform to traditional doctrine
 Good things came from the Crusades, in the form of
diffusion of culture and ideas between ethnic groups
 Issued strict decrees on church doctrine
 Heretics and Jews were frequently persecuted
 Fourth and final unsuccessful Crusade was ordered by
Innocent III
 Pope Gregory IX started Inquisition, formalized
interrogation and persecution process of heretics
Pope Innocent III
 1st Crusade, initiated by Pope Urban
 Response to Seljuk Turks who controlled Holy Land
 Christians wanted Jerusalem
 2nd and 3rd Crusades
 Not significant
 4th Crusade
 Catholic Church sacked Constantinople and est. Latin
 Made Holy Land violent and uncertain
 Famous Christian realist
 He wrote Summa Theologica
 Outlined his view that faith and reason are not in
conflict, but that both are gifts from God and each can
be used to enhance the other
 Interregnum- time between kings
 Germany and Italy became decentralized in a group of
strong, independent townships and kingdoms
 England
 Magna Carta- reinstated feudal rights of the lords, and
extended the rule of law to other people in the country
 Parliament established: two branches- House of Lords
and House of Commons
 Claimed to have heard voices telling her to liberate
France from England
 Eventually claimed all French territory
 Said she was divinely inspired to lead men into battle
 Joan of Arc was eventually burned at the stake by the
 Hundred Years War- btwn France and England,
England eventually withdrew from France
 After 100 Years War, power in France became more
 Under Bourbons (series of monarchs) France was
unified and became major power
 Spain was united by Queen Isabella, who married
Ferdinand, making a single monarchy
 Spanish Inquisition: non-Christians forced to leave the
 1242 Russia succumbs to invading Tatars (Mongols)
ruled by Genghis Khan
By late 14th C that Russian Princes gained back power
Ivan III expanded Muscovy territory (area around
Moscow) and declared himself Czar
Moscow declared third Rome
Ivan the Terrible centralized power and ruled with
Secret Police
 3 powerful Chinese dynasties (600 to 1450): Tang,
Song, and Ming
 Golden Ages
 Tang Dynasty
 Ruled by Xuanzong, empire expanded to Manchuria,
Mongolia, Tibet and Korea
 Local warlords gained more and more power and Tang
 Song Dynasty
 Unified by Taizu
 Fell to Mongols, who established Yuan Dynasty
 Ming Dynasty rose after Yuan fell
 Nearly every aspect of life and culture advanced during
the Tang and Song dynasties
 Art, architecture, science, porcelain, silk, transportation,
 Tang=poetry
 Song= printing processes, gun powder, compasses,
 Both used Civil Service Examinations, focus on
Confucian Principles
 Both had paper money and letters of credit
 Tang built military garrisons on major trade routes
 Wu Zhao became first and only empress of China,
ever, during the Tang Dynasty
 Impressive, right?
 China was very patriarchal at this time (foot binding)
 Most influential religion was Buddhism
 Two forms: Mahayana and Chan
 Mahayana: emphasis on peaceful and quite existence, life
apart from worldly values
 Chan: emphasis on meditation and appreciation of beauty.
Had converts from educated classes
 Neo Confucianism
 Borrowed Buddhist ideas about the soul and individual
 Filial Piety (maintenance of proper roles and loyalty to
 First important ruling family was the Yamamoto Clan
 First and only dynasty to rule Japan
 Current ruler is descendant of this clan
 Shinto religion “the way of the gods”
 Japanese worshipped the kami, referring to nature and
all forces of it
 Goal of Shinto is to become part of kami by following certain
rituals and customs
 Taika reforms to make Japan more similar to China
 Yoritomo Minamoto given title of shogun, given “real
 Power not in hands of emperor
 Beneath shogun were daimyo’s (owners of large tracts
of land, and powerful samurai
 Code of Bushido (followed by Samurai), like code of
chivalry in Europe
 When Islam conquered India, they set up Delhi
 Made non-Muslims pay a tax
 Hindu temples were destroyed
 Good things did come from Delhi Sultanate though:
 Colleges founded, irrigation improved, Mosques built,
 Great horsemen and archers
 Genghis Khan unified Mongol tribes and set them on a
path of expansion
 He invaded China in 1234, Mongol Empire eventually
spanned from Pacific Ocean to eastern Europe
 Split into Hordes, or small independent empires
 Golden Horde: Russia; treated as vassal state
 Kublai Khan ruled China
 Called Pax Mongolica
 Did not have organized religion, so they didn’t enforce
one on conquered
 Invaded India under Timur Lang (AKA Tamerlane),
ruthless and cruel leader
 Destroyed everything and massacred thousands
 Mongols were great diffusers of culture (i.e.
 World trade grew and cultural diffusion grew
 Developed to the south of Egypt
 Kush developed at same time as Ancient Egypt
 Axum rose after Kush declined
 Christianity in the 4th C. and converted to Islam in the
7th C
 Swahili Coast: settled by Bantu
 Major trade and merchantry
 West Africa south of Sahara
 Began trade with Muslim Empire in 7th C.
 Trade increased across the Sahara as time progressed
 Gold became major trade and symbol of wealth and
 Islam led to decline of Ghana (holy war)
 Mali:
 Greatest ruler was Mansa Musa (built capital and
 Gold pilgrimage to Mecca
 Sonnia Ali made the largest empire in West Africa
 Conquered entire region
 Became major cultural center
 Used oral literature
 Bronze sculpting
 Mayans
 City states ruled by single king
 Largely agricultural
 Lowlands of Central America
 Wars for capturing slaves and sacrifices
 Decline of Mayan unknown
 Aztecs
 AKA the Mexica
 Capital at Tenochtitlan
 Expansionist policy with professional army
 Extensive road system for trade and transportation
 Warriors were elite class
 Tribute from conquered peoples
 Inca
 Andes Mtns in Peru
 Expansionist policy with professional army, established
Primary labor source was humans
Capital at Cuzco
Mummification of rulers
No private property
Temple of the Sun and Machu Picchu
Quipu for record keeping
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