classical and ancient era vocab

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zoroastrianism

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109 Terms

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zoroastrianism

Monotheistic religion that emerged during the Persian Empire and promoted morality and the struggle of good versus evil.

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persian empire

Empire that emerged in Southwest Asia (Middle East) during the Classical era, established by Cyrus the Great. It covered most of the ancient world (spanning 3 continents- Asia, Europe, and Africa), and was made up of the Achaemenids, Parthians, and Sassanids.

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royal road

A highway reorganized and rebuilt by the Persian king Darius the Great. He built the road to facilitate rapid communication throughout his exceptionally large empire

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alexander the great

Conquered the Persian empire and advanced its borders to India. He combined Greek and Persian culture and influence.

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satraps

The governor of a province in the Persian Empire, often a relative of the king. He was responsible for protection of the province and for forwarding tribute (taxes) to the central government.

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hellenism

Culture derived from the Greek civilization and the spreading of that culture throughout the Mediterranean world. It was a blend of Greek, Egyptian, Persian, and Indian ideas as a result of Alexander the Great's extensive empire.

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aristotle

Greek philosopher who taught that knowledge was based upon observation of phenomena in the material world. He was also a mentor of Alexander the Great.

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athens

Powerful city-state in Greece that was a leader in the arts, sciences, philosophy, democracy, and architecture.

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sparta

Greek city-state that was ruled by an oligarchy, focused on military, used slaves for agriculture, and discouraged the arts.

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socrates

Athenian philosopher who shifted the emphasis of philosophical discussion to ethics and human behavior. He influenced Plato as well as developed the Socratic method.

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phoenicia

Civilization of independent city-states along the Mediterranean Sea who were known for maritime trade and commerce due to their efforts in shipbuilding. Inventors of the 1st alphabet.

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caravanserai

A roadside Inn along frequently traveled trade routes (Silk Road, Royal Road). It allowed travelers to rest and recover as well as commerce and information to flow amongst merchants from Europe, Africa, and Asia

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roman republic

The period from 507 to 31bce, during which Rome was largely governed by the aristocratic Roman Senate; citizens voted representatives into power.

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punic wars

A series of wars between Rome and Carthage (Phoenician colony in North Africa) over dominance of the Mediterranean. Carthage's General Hannibal was ultimately unable to stop the Romans, who then conquered Greece, and North Africa, including Egypt.

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Plebeians

Ordinary Roman citizens

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patricians

The wealthy class in Roman society; landowners

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julius caesar

Roman General responsible for the conquest of Gaul (modern day France); he returned with his army to Rome and overthrew the Republic. He was assassinated in 44bce by conservative Senators.

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roman empire

An empire established by Augustus Caesar (Octavian) in 27bce; At its peak it included lands in Europe, Africa, and Asia

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pax romana

Was a sense of stability and prosperity that Roman rule brought to the lands of the Roman empire in the 1-2 centuries. It allowed people and traded goods to move safely along Roman roads and seas, which facilitated the spread of culture and ideas.

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christianity

Religion emerging from Southwest Asia (Middle East) in the 1st century ce. It is a monotheistic extension of Judaism.

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maurya empire

Classical civilization in India; unified South Asia under one government and expanded their territory.

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gupta empire

Indian Empire that ruled through a central government. Considered the "Golden Age of India" due to advancements in education, healthcare, trade, and numbers.

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hinduism

A religion and philosophy developed in ancient India, characterized by a belief in reincarnation and a supreme being who takes many forms. It is the world's oldest religion.

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brahim

The highest of the varnas or caste groups; the priests

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rigveda

The first Vedas scripture; it lays out the principles for thought and development in India.

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upanishads

A major book in Hinduism that explains the Hindu idea of the divine force informing the whole universe.

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brahma

A Hindu god considered the creator of the world.

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caste system

A rigid social class hierarchy system in India with four distinct groups or varnas. This social structure was not only enforced by the government, but also the Hindu religion.

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samasara

In Hinduism and Buddhism; the endless cycle of birth and suffering and death and rebirth.

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karma

A person's deed and actions; the moral law of cause and effect of actions; it determines the nature of one's rebirth.

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dharma

In Hinduism, the duties and obligations of each caste.

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jati

A Hindu caste or distinctive social group or sub caste.

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sati

An Indian ritual by which a widow threw herself on the funeral pyre of her deceased husband to join him in death, showing her devotion.

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laws of manu

A set of laws relating to the caste system and Hindu beliefs. It formalized the long-held Hindu traditions.

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ashoka

Ruled the Maurya Empire who supported Buddhism and ruled the Empire at its height by building roads and irrigation systems to increase trade

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reincarnation

The belief that in individual soul is reborn in a different form after death.

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buddhism

Religion founded by Siddhartha Gautama in India; state of enlightenment can be attained by suppressing worldly desire.

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four noble truths

As taught by the Buddha, the beliefs that form the foundation of Buddhism; All life is suffering, desire is the cause of suffering, removing desire removes suffering, and this can be done through the Eightfold Path.

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eightfold path

In Buddhism, the basic rules of behavior and belief leading to an end of suffering. Right views, intentions, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and concentration.

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siddhartha gautama

an Indian prince who renounced his wealth and social position after becoming enlightened he stated the principles of Buddhism.

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nirvana

In Buddhism, the release from pain and suffering achieved after enlightenment.

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daoism

Founded by Laozi, originating in China emphasizes living in harmony with "the way", natural order of the universe.

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qin dysnasty

Chinese dynasty that ended the Warring States Period, and reunified China under one rule. Lasting only 14 years, the dynasty laid the foundation of centralized rule in China and used Legalist policies to gain control.

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confucianism

The system of ethics, education, stressing love for humanity, ancestor worship, reverence for parents, and harmony in thought and conduct.

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analects

Confucius's teachings written by his disciples.

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filal piety

In China, having the upmost respect for your parents as well as other superiors and political authorities.

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shi huangdi

He built roads and began the construction of the Great Wall of China. He believed in Legalism (strict laws) and was anti-Confucius.

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han dynasty

Ruled China from 206bce to 221ce. The Han expanded its boundaries, established a central government, created the civil service exam, and increased the popularity of the Silk Road.

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civil service exam

Exams that Chinese bureaucrats (government officials) needed to pass in order to serve the government. Based on Confucian teachings and established during the Han dynasty.

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indian ocean trade network

The largest sea trading area in the world until the 1400's. It connected Southeast Asia and China to Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. It was used to trade common goods, such as spices, but eventually helped spread major world religions such as Islam.

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51

silk road

An interconnected series of trade routes through various regions of the Asian continent, mainly connecting China to the Mediterranean. Connecting civilizations such as China, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, India, as well as Rome, and was used to exchange luxury goods.

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moche

Prominent civilization in modern-day Peru around 600ce before the rise of the Incan empire. Depended on trade and agriculture.

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mayan

Major civilization in Southern Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula. Influenced by the Olmec, they established independent city-states, believed in multiple gods, and invented a calendar.

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ogliarchy

A form of government in which a small number of upper-class citizens make the decisions for everyone.

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theocracy

A government thought to be guided by divine power and controlled by religious leaders.

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democracy

A political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them.

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aristocracy

A form of government in which power is held by the nobility. Often referred to as the traditional elite or "the best" people, and it is usually hereditary.

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empiricism

The theory that all knowledge originates in experience; the practice of relying on direct observation of events and experience to determine reality.

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cultural syncretism

The blending of foreign beliefs with indigenous beliefs to create a newly formed culture or religion of its own.

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artifacts

Objects made by a human being, typically an item of cultural or historical interest; tools, bones, stone, etc.

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paleolithic period

Also called the Old Stone Age; period in human pre-history (a time before writing) distinguished by the original development of stone tools.

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neolithic revolution

Also known as the Agricultural Revolution; this was a wide-scale transition of many human cultures during the Neolithic period (New Stone Age) from a lifestyle of hunting and gathering to one of agriculture and settlement, making an increasingly larger population possible.

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monotheism

The belief that there is only one God.

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bronze age

A historical period that was characterized by using bronze, specifically the making of weapons and artifacts made from copper and tin (bronze), and which also coincides with the beginning of the first civilizations.

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civilization

The stage of human social and cultural development and organization that is considered most advanced.

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specialization of labor

In Neolithic society different people had different jobs to perform to help their civilization/society grow

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hunter gather

A member of a nomadic people who live chiefly by hunting and fishing, as well as harvesting wild food.

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agriculture

The art and science of cultivating the soil, growing crops and raising livestock.

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surplus

An amount of something left over when requirements have been met, an excess of production or supply over demand.

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domestication

The process of taming an animal and keeping it as a pet or on a farm. It can also refer to the cultivation of a plant for food.

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pastoralism

A form of animal husbandry, by nomadic people who moved with their herds. Livestock is herded in order to find fresh pastures on which to graze.

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kinship groups

A family, clan, or other group based on blood relationship.

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artisans

A worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involved making things by hand.

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merchants

A person who trades in commodities produced by other people. Involved in business or trade.

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social stratification

System in which society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy. Ex- Social Class pyramids

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ethnocentrism

Belief that one’s own culture is superior to all others and is the standard by which all other cultures should be measured.

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matriarchal

A form of social organization in which a woman is the head. Hereditary lineage is traced through the mother rather than father.

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metallurgy

The process of working with metals to create individual parts, assemblies, or large-scale structures.

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79

cultural diffusion

The spread of ideas, customs, and technologies from one people or place to another.

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80

mesopotamia

Meaning the land between two rivers (Tigris & Euphrates) in modern day Iran, it is considered the world’s first civilization. Also known as the Fertile Crescent.

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sahara

A vast desert of northern Africa extending east from the Atlantic coast to the Red Sea and south from the Atlas Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea into the Sahel.

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desertification

The process by which fertile land becomes desert, typically as a result of drought, deforestation, or inappropriate agriculture.

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indus river valley

Ancient civilization on the sub-continent of India or south Asia. Complex society which had a successful agricultural economy, trade, system of writing, sophisticated water and sewage systems, as well as the world’s oldest religion Hinduism.

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deforestation

The clearing of trees, transforming a forest into cleared land

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huang he

Earliest Chinese settlement; also known as the Yellow River due to loess. This civilization was made up of the Xia, Shang, and Zhou Dynasties.

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loess

A fine, light silt deposit by wind and water. Creates fertile soil of the Yellow River valley in northern China

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mesoamerica

The early civilizations that included Mexico and Central America. They relied on sedentary agriculture based on the cultivation of maize.

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animism

A religious belief that focuses on the roles of multiple gods and spirits in the natural world.

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89

oceania and polynesia

A region of thousands of habitable islands in the Pacific Ocean; Australia, New Guinea, etc. subregion of Oceania, made up of islands such as Hawaii, New Zealand and Easter Island.

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barter

To exchange goods or services for other good or services without using a monetary system.

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polytheistic

The belief in multiple gods.

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ziggurats

Massive “stepped” pyramids made from mud bricks, used as temples in city-states throughout Mesopotamia.

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hebrews, israelites, jews

A small early civilization/group of people whose development of a monotheistic faith provided the foundation of modern Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

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jewish diaspora

When Jews dispersed/spread from Israel, their ancestral homeland, to western Asia and Mediterranean lands.

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vedas/vedic age

Books of Knowledge or Wisdom; early collections of prayers and hymns that provided information about the Indo-European Aryans who migrated into India around 1500bce.

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veneration of ancestors

Having the upmost respect for your ancestors. Practiced in China, families believed that a family’s ancestors could bring good or evil fortune to the living members of the family. Families would honor spirits and offer sacrifices at the deceased elders graves.

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scribes

A professional position reserved for men who were trained to be able to read and write using their ancient civilizations writing system.

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98

the epic of gilgamesh

The most famous literary work from Mesopotamia; it tells the story of one man’s quest for immortality.

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cuneiform

Wedge-shaped writing in the form of symbols carved into clay tablets; used in Mesopotamia.

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hieroglyphics

Ancient Egyptian writing system in which sacred carving were made onto papyrus.

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