Agricultural Surplus
The food grown in a civilization beyond the needs of that civilization to feed its people. This food constitutes wealth, which can be used to trade, or to support specialists who do not farm, but do other tasks to help the civilization improve itself.
Agricultural Revolutions
The change from food-gathering to food production that occurred between ca. 8000 and 2000 BC. Also known as the Neolithic Revolution.
4 Noble Truths
Elucidated by Siddartha Gotama, they are: 1) life is suffering, 2) suffering is caused by desire, 3) to end suffering, eliminate desire, and 4) desire can be eliminated by following the Noble Eightfold Path.
5 Pillars of Islam
A basic part of the framework of Muslim faith and action, the five pillars are behaviors that are expected of all Muslims. First is the testimony of faith, second the stricture to pray 5 times each day while facing Mecca, third the giving of assistance to the poor, fourth fasting during the month of Ramadan, and fifth taking part at least once in one's lifetime in the pilgrimage to Mecca.
Abbasid Caliphate
Founded in 749 AD by Abdul Abbas, who claimed descent from Muhammad, the Abbasid Caliphate eliminated the Ummayad Caliphate, and presided over the Islamic world into the tenth century.
Achaemenid Persian Empire
550BCE-330BCE, refers to a dynasty that ruled over the Iranian Plateau, including much of Mesopotamia and Syria. The Persians fought two bitter wars with the Greeks from 499-479 BCE.
The fortress portion of a Greek polis, usually constructed at the highest point in the city, and home to the most important temples, including that of the city’s patron god or goddess.
525-456 BC, Aeschylus is considered the father of Greek tragedies. He was a playwrite who by increasing the number of actors and lessening the role of the chorus, increased dramatic tension in Greek plays. He wrote nearly 90 plays, but we have only 7 of them today. They include the Oresteia, Seven Against Thebes, and Prometheus Bound.
Akbar the Great
1542-1605 Emperor of India, Akbar was the greatest of the Mughal Emperors, grandson of the first Mughal Emperor Babur, and ruler of the largest portion of India in the history of the Mughals. Akbar was greatly interested in religions, and at one point proposed a syncretic religion that he hoped would help everyone to get along. It failed, but his religious tolerance led to a very stable and inclusive society in India during his reign.
Egyptian Pharaoh (r. 1353-1335 BC). He built a new capital at Amarna, fostered a new style of naturalistic art, and created a religious revolution by imposing worshipof the sun-disk. The Amarna letters, largely from his reign, preserve offical correspondence with subjects and neighbors.
Alexander the Great
King of Macedonia in northern Greece (356-323 BC). Between 334 and 323 BC, he conquered the Persian Empire, reached the Indus Valley, founded many Greek-style cities, and spread Greek culture across the middle east.
3rd millennium BCE, the first unified conquest empire established in human history. Created by King Sargon the Great, who conquered the city-states of Sumer, and the northern part of Mesopotamia to the area north of Babylon.
384-322 BC, one of the greatest of all philosophers, Aristotle's thought has been influential worldwide, and throughout history. Aristotle was a student of Plato, who was a student of Socrates. Aristotle studied under Plato for 20 years until, in 342 BC, he was called to Macedon to teach the young Alexander.
Tribal people living near the Caspian sea at least three thousand years BCE, who migrated into various areas of the Eurasian continent that eventually became a part of world history, including India, where they developed first Vedic, then what is called "Hindu" culture, but also Greece, Iran (Persia), and Ireland, among others. The word "Aryan" means the noble ones, but these people were probably not even of a single ethnic or racial group, but rather loosely connected through language and cultural practices.
This word describes a life characterized by abandonment of physical and worldly pleasures and denial of material wealth.
Ashoka the Great
Probably ruled from about 299-237 BCE, Ashoka was a successful conqueror on the Indian subcontinent who eventually converted to Buddhism, which he then used as a system of both legitimacy, and as a source for law and ethics.
Assyrian Empire
From about 800-600 BCE, this ancient civilization reached from the Mediterranean Sea across nearly all of Arabia, and north into Armenia. One of the hallmarks of Assyria was the use of mass deportation of conquered peoples in order to disorient them and maintain control.
Hindu belief : The eternal ultimate that encompasses all.
Ruled the Roman Empire from 63BC-AD14. Augustus was the posthumous title bestowed by the Roman Senate on Octavian, nephew of Julius Caesar, who, along with Marcus Antoninus, inherited half of Caesar's fortune and armies in 44BC. Octavian/Augustus eventually defeated Marcus Antoninus (and his lover Cleopatra, queen of Egypt) in 33 BC at the Battle of Actium. When he returned home from this victory, the frightened and cowed Roman Senate welcomed him into the gates, gave him the title of Princeps (first citizen) and Imperator (general of all the armies) and allowed him to set himself up as de-facto behind-the-scenes ruler of Rome - he is considered to be the first emperor of Rome.
The several extinct species of humanlike primates that existed during the Peistocene era (genus Australopethicus)
Australopithecus afarensis
First known bipedal hominid, appearing approximately 3.2 million years ago in Africa. There is speculation that this is an ancestor of the genus Homo, to which modern humans belong. The first Australopethecine discovered was found in 1974 in Hadar, Ethiopia, and given the name “Lucy”.
Avignon Papacy
1309-1378, a period in the history of the Roman Catholic Church when the seat of the Papacy was moved from Rome to Avignon, France. This period is also often called the "Babylonian Captivity" of the Papacy, and is accompanied by a sense that the religious mission of the Church was compromised by material and political ambitions and service to the French king. See
The culture of the Mexica that dominated central Mexico from about 1375 to 1522. Skilled in organization, building, and warfare, their empire was built on fear and the exaction of tribute from peoples surrounding them in the Valley of Mexico. The Mexica as a civilization was eliminated in 1522 by the Spanish Conquistador Hernan Cortez.
Founding Emperor of the Mughal Dynasty in India, ruled from 1483-1530.
Babylonian Captivity
The removal of the Jews from Judah to the city of Babylon in the 6th century BC.
The largest and most important city in Mesopotamia. It achieved particular eminence as the capital of the Amorite king Hammurabi in the eighteenth century BC and the Ne0-Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in the sixth century BC.
Capitol of the Abbasid Caliphate after 762AD.
Bantu are a group of people in Africa linked more by language than by anything else. This language appears to have come from ancient Bantu speakers who spread over much of the continent of Africa, bringing with them agricultural techniques, and culture, as well as language, between 700 and 400 BC.
Basil II (the Bulgar Slayer)
Ruler of the Byzantine (Roman) Empire from 976-1025, Basil II, also known as Basil the Bulgar Slayer, presided over an expansion of the empire to include what is now Bulgaria, and parts of Georgia and Armenia.
Second Battle of Kosovo
1448, after pitched fighting, Hungarian King John Hunyadi was defeated by the Ottoman forces on the field at Kosovo, opening the way for Ottoman conquest of the Balkan region.
Battle of Lepanto
The Ottoman Turks in 1570 occupied the Venetian island of Cyprus. Venice, in alliance with the Pope and the King of Spain, attacked the Ottoman fleet in the Mediterannean in response in 1571, badly defeating the Ottoman navy. This battle is often seen as the turning point at which Ottoman expansion into Europe was halted and began its reverse.
Battle of Talas
In 571 AD the Abbasid Caliphate fought briefly with China's Tang Dynasty over control of the Syr Darya, or Talas River. China lost the battle, and a large number of people. However, the importance of this battle really is in the fact that it gave Arabs control of some part of the Silk Road.
Bhagavad Gita
A late addition to the Mahabharata, which was created sometime around the 9th century AD, the Bhaghavad Gita describes the problem of Arjuna, a warrior whose destiny is to fight and to cause many deaths. Arjuna's chariot driver is the god Krishna in disguise, and his advice to Arjuna provides a defining set of principles for the development of much Indian belief.
Black Death (Black Plague)
Between 1347 and 1348, a great sickness (more likely several diseases) struck Europe, destroying nearly 1/3 of the population in almost every geopgraphic area where it took hold. This "Black Death" had no treatment, and no cure, and was ultimately one of the key causes for major changes in every area of European life.
Members of the highest of the four castes that make up Indian society, responsible in Vedic times for the conducting of ceremonies and the maintenance of purity and correctness in ritual life.

Pieter Breughel, a Flemish painter who lived between 1525 and 1569, best known for his painting of landscapes. In Reformation style, Breughel's landscapes often took contemporary scenes and imbued them with religious symbolism. One of his best-known paintings is title the Masscre of the Innocents.
Bubonic Plague
See "Black Death" above.
An Indian Prince named Siddhartha Gotama (563-483 BCE) who gave up his wealth and position to seek understanding of the human condition. He eventually came to the conclusion that life is characterized by suffering, suffering is caused by desire, and so to end suffering, one must eliminate desire. He then elucidated a set of steps by which one might end desire and attain enlightenment. This is the foundation of Buddhism.
a universal religion born out of Hinduism. Siddhartha Gautama, living around 560-477 BC, sought a way to escape the endless suffering and death he found in society. Ultimately, he came to the conclusion that included the Four Noble Truths: 1. Life is suffering, 2. Suffering is caused by desire, 3. To end suffering, eliminate desire, and 4. The way to eliminate desire is to follow the "noble eightfold path".
Burning of the Books (Qin)
During the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BCE) in China, Shihuangdi (the first emperor) ordered that books of the major philosophical schools, including Confucianism and Daoism, be collected and burned to prevent critiques of his government from having a solid theoretical or philosophical basis. Many scholars hid or buried their books. Others whose books were destroyed memorized whole texts, and rewrote them later during the Han Dynasty.
The ruling system of the Islamic Empire following the death of Muhammad. Without the prophet, many began to turn away from Islam, so the followers of Muhammad elected a caliph - a leader and protector of Islam - to act as a central focus and create a unified image for the Umma. The caliph was not a prophet, nor was he more important than any religious scholar. He was simply a leader. In time, the caliph's job became inherited, rather than elected, and two major "dynasties" emerged in succession - the first was the Umayyad, and the second, after 749, was the Abbasid Caliphate.
Canton (Guangzhou)
A major city on the Pearl River in SE China that has long been a center of trade between China and SE Asia.
City located in present-day Tunisia, founded by Phoenicians ca. 800 B.C.E. It became a major commercial center and naval power in the western Mediterranean until defeated by Rome in the third century B.C.E.
Caste System
A system of social hierarchy and social management based on rigid distinctions between people based on the kind of job and caste of the family to which they are born. In a caste system like that developed in India, to move from one caste to another in one's lifetime is not possible. Instead, one moves up (or down) in the hierarchy from lifetime to lifetime through a system of reincarnation based on the state of one's karma.
Catal Huyuk
An agricultural village located in the fertile crescent part of Turkey. Catal Huyuk features homes with connected outer walls to form a fortress. People entered their homes through the roof.
Peoples sharing a common language and culture that originated in Central Europe in the first half of the first millennium B.C.E.. After 500 B.C.E. they spread as far as Anatolia in the east, Spain and the British Isles in the west, and later were overtaken by Roman conquest and Germanic invasions. Their descendants survive on the western fringe of Europe (Brittany, Wales, Scotland, Ireland).
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, 1547-1616, author of the book Don Quixote,which is often seen as the first modern novel. This book was created by Cervantes as a tragic/comic work poking fun at the most favored literary genre of the time - chivalric romances.
Chandragupta Maurya
Often known only as Chandragupta, after conquering the central Asian kingdom of Magadha, he went on to found the Mauryan Dynasty and conquer large parts of Northern India.
The first major urban civilization in South America (900-250 B.C.E.). Its capital, Chavín de Huántar, was located high in the Andes Mountains of Peru. Chavín became politically and economically dominant in a densely populated region that included two distinct ecological zones, the Peruvian coastal plain and the Andean foothills.
Chinese civil service exams
A system by which Chinese subjects demonstrated mastery of the Confucian classics in a series of hierarchically arranged exams, from the local to the imperial level, and by which those who passed gained employment with the imperial government as administrators and advisors to the emperor. By the Tang Dynasty (after 956 AD), this had become the only means of gaining government employment.
A monotheistic religion based on the New Testament stories of the life and ideas of Jesus of Nazareth, whom Christians hold to be the son of God.
An ambiguous term often used to denote more complex societies but sometimes used by anthropologists to describe any group of people sharing a set of cultural traits.
a term with many potential definitions, used to denote a culture that has developed a society with some complexity in the political, cultural, economic, spiritual, and technological areas. For the purposes of this class, “Civilization” denotes life in cities.
Commercial Revolution
A revolution in manufacturing, trade, monetary management, and products such that these changes produce sharp growth in a national, regional, or imperial economy.
Western name for the Chinese philosopher Kongzi (551-479 B.C.E.). His doctrine of duty and public service had a great influence on subsequent Chinese thought and served as a code of conduct for government officials.
Born about 551AD, Confucius was a Chinese scholar whose philosophy was an attempt to solve the problem of the period of civil wars in which he lived. Unable to gain lasting employment as an advisor to a prince or king, Confucius spent most of his life teaching his philosophy to followers, and feeling that he was a failure. However, Confucius' ideas, which included the idea of society as hierarchical, the importance of ritual and education, and benevolence (perhaps best rendered as politeness and compassion) became the basis of Chinese social and cultural thought beginning in the Han Dynasty, 208 BC on.
Constantine, Emperor
288-337 AD. Constantine became sole ruler of the Roman Empire after his armies were victorious over other claimants to the throne. He re-consolidated the divided empire under his sole rule, and in 325 AD, to bolster his authority, sponsored the Council of Nicaea, in which he encouraged Christian church leaders to agree on an orthodox (standard) definition of Christianity and Christian beliefs.

Established in 326 by Roman Emperor Constatine (on the site of a Greek fishing village called Byzantium) as his capitol city, Constantinople became the center of the Roman empire at this time as Constantine consolidated his own power. Its position at the center of the Eastern Roman (or Byzantine) Empire, which lasted long after the Western Roman Empire was gone) made it one of the most important cities in the early medieval world. In 1446 it was conquered by the Ottoman Turks and became what we now call Istanbul.
primary executives in the Roman Republic, elected for one-year terms, who commanded the army in battle, administrated state business, and supervised financial affairs

Council of Trent
From 1521, and for 18 years, the Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in Europe sat in conference to decide how the Church should respond to the Protestant Reformation. Eventually they decided that no revisions to Church doctrine would be made, but that emphasis on a personal relationship with God, and better education of priests, and more transparent financial management practices would be put into place. They also asked Nicolaus Copernicus to come up with a calendar that would accurately plot Easter each year.
A series of military expeditions mounted by Europeans to "take back the Holy Land" (Jerusalem) under the auspices of the Catholic Church beginning in 1098 with the Pope's response to a letter from the Byzantine Emperor Alexius Comnenus asking for help in defending the empire against the Turks. From 1098 until 1204, there were at least 4 major crusades, and numerous smaller or less important ones.
cultural evolution
The change in a specific political, ethnic, class, or other culture over time in the process of finding solutions to barriers or challenges to continued prosperity, success, or existence. The process by which humans consiously modify the society and species, without having to wait for the time-intensive physical changes involved in natural selection.
Socially transmitted patterns of action and expression.Materialculturerefers to physical objects, such as dwellings, clothing, tools, and crafts. Culture also includes arts, beliefs, knowledge, and technology. (p. 11)
The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought. Also, the same patterns, traits, and products of human work and thought considered as the expression of a particular class, period, population, or community.
A system of writing in which wedge-shaped symbols represented words or syllables. It originated in Mesopotamia and was used initially for Sumerian and Akkadian but later was adapted to represent other languages of western Asia. Because so many symbols had to be learned, literacy was confined to a relatively small group of administrators and scribes. (p. 37)
The written script of the Sumerians, which became the system of writing for nearly all Middle Eastern cultures after 3000 BCE. The name cuneiform comes from the fact that the script was written by pressing wedge-shaped reeds into wet clay, making the characters appear to be composed of small wedges.
An Inca capitol, founded in the 11th century, Cuzco sits 11,217 feet above sea level in what is now Peru.
(600-530 B.C.E.) Founder of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. Between 550 and 530 B.C.E. he conquered Media, Lydia, and Babylon. Revered in the traditions of both Iran and the subject peoples, he employed Persians and Medes in his administration and respected the institutions and beliefs of subject peoples. (p. 122)
Daniel (Old Testament Prophet)
Protagonist of the Book of Daniel in the Hebrew Bible. At the destruction of the Temple about a century after the Assyrian destruction of the Kingdom of Israel, Babylonian forces raided and carried off Daniel and two other companions to be trained as advisors to the Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel's prophesies to that king have become important references in both Judaism and Christianity.
Chinese school of thought, originating in the Warring States period with Laozi (604-531BC). This philosophy offered an alternative to the Confucian emphasis on hierarchy and duty. Daoists believe that the world is always changing and is devoid of absolute morality or meaning. They accept the world as they find it, avoid futile struggles, and deviate as little as possible from "the path" of nature.
Darius I
(ca. 558-486 B.C.E.) Third ruler of the Persian Empire (r. 521-486 B.C.E.). He crushed the widespread initial resistance to his rule and gave all major government posts to Persians rather than to Medes. He established a system of provinces and tribute, began construction of Persepolis, and expanded Persian control in the east (Pakistan) and west (northern Greece). (p. 123)
Sanskrit for "moral law"
system of government in which all "citizens" (however defined) have equal political and legal rights, privileges, and protections, as in the Greek city-state of Athens in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C.E. (p. 135)
The class of religious experts who conducted rituals and preserved sacred lore among some ancient Celtic peoples. They provided education, mediated disputes between kinship groups, and were suppressed by the Romans as a potential focus of opposition to Roman rule. (See also Celts.) (p. 73)
Dynastic Cycle
A view of history, common in China, that is based on the theoretical life-cycle of a dynasty. When a dynasty is new, the need to gain legitimacy along with inexperience makes it energetic and responsible. As it grows older, it becomes more experienced, and more effective in governing. An old dynasty is assumed to be corrupt, its officials overconfident, and tired. With these assumptions, Chinese scholars attempted to read the movement of history. If there was lots of corruption in government, dissatisfaction in the population, etc, the dynasty could be assumed to be old, and likely to lose the Mandate of Heaven - to be replaced. If there was much peace, land reform, and taxes were generally low, the dynasty was assumed to be in the young stage and to have plenty of time left.
Edict of Nantes
(1598) The Edict of Nantes marked the end of the French Wars of Religion, as Henry IV (Henry of Navarre), a protestant, agreed to become Catholic in order to accede to the Kingship, but pronounced that Protestants were free to worship publicly in most parts of France (except for Paris).
Prizing the equality of all people in a society, regardless of gender, age, race, social status, wealth, or prior performance.
Egypt (New Kingdom Era)
The period following the 1532 reconquest of Egypt from the Hyksos rulers. After reconquering Egypt proper, the Egyptian armies successfully captured Sudan and Nubia, regions full of resources, and used that new wealth to rebuild the power of the Egyptian state. Egypt became the most powerful state in the Middle East until it was met with the Sea Peoples and fell to Alexander the Great in the 3rd Century BCE.
Emperor Constantine I
Emperor of Rome (b.285-d.337 CE) between 306 and 337. Constantine is known for his legalization of Christianity, his sponsorship of the Council of Nicaea in 325, and eventual adoption of the faith himself. He also founded the city of Constantinople on the spot of a sleepy Greek fishing village on the Bosporous Straight then known as Byzantium.
Equal Field System
A system of landholding used in the Han Dynasty in which the emperor was assumed to own all land. Land was thus assigned to people based on their ability to supply labor for it. For example, more land was assigned for each ox a family owned, etc. Theoretically, land reverted to the government upon the death of the head of the family.
Possibly the first city in history. 3500 BCE. Sumeria.
A group of people who settled the Italian peninsula sometime during the 9th century BC. The Etruscans lived in walled city-states, wrote their own language using Greek characters, and elected their kings. Many of their cultural habits became a part of Roman culture, including the contests between gladiators and the system of election of kings.
(480-406 BCE) A Greek playwrite, one of the canon of four great tragedians (writers of tragic plays) in the Greek tradition, alongside Aeschylus and Sophocles.
Roman historian 260-339 BC. Living during the time of Emperor Constantine in the Roman Empire, Eusebius chronicled the rise of Christianity, among other things, within the empire of his time.
The biological theory that, over time, changes occurring in plants and animals, mainly as a result of natural selection and genetic mutation, result in new species. (p. 5)
A system of social organization in the Middle Ages that was based on the three basic socio-economic relationships of the time: lords, vassals, and serfs. This system worked by creating series of vertical relationships between people in each of these categories, all of which were reciprocal in nature. Serfs were laborers who were bound to the land and its lord. Vassals were bound by oath to serve a lord in a specific capacity, whether as a peasant, or a warrior, or in some other capacity. In return for these services, lords had responsibilities to care for and feed their vassals and serfs. Through this system medieval social groups organized their economics, politics, laws, and social relationships.
A defined property, usually land, that was granted by a lord to a vassal in return for the vassal's services.
First Temple
A monumental sanctuary built in Jerusalem by King Solomon in the tenth century B.C.E. to be the religious center for the Israelite god Yahweh. The Temple priesthood conducted sacrifices, received a tithe or percentage of agricultural revenues, and became economically and politically powerful. The First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 B.C.E., rebuilt on a modest scale in the late sixth century B.C.E., and replaced by King Herod's Second Temple in the late first century B.C.E. (destroyed by the Romans in 70 C.E.) (p. 100)
Five Classics
The five Confucian classics were works that informed Confucius own thought or were by him. These books were the foundations of Confucian thought throughout Chinese history. They included the I-Ching (the Book of Changes), The Book of History, the Book of Odes, The Book of Rites, and the Spring and Autumn Annals.

Ganges River
A river in Northern India that runs from the Himalayas to the Indian Ocean, the Ganges is revered as a sacred being, Ganga Ma, Mother Ganges, and is seen by Indians as a goddess who cleanses souls. The Ganges is mentioned in the Rig Veda, and is an important geographic influence on Indian culture.
Genghis (Chinggiss) Khan
Born Temujin in 1162, from 1199 to his death in 1227, he held the title of Genghis (Chinggiss) Khan (great leader) of the Mongols, whom he unified and led as one of the most effective fighting forces of all time. The Mongol Empire, which would eventually encompass most of Eurasia, was initially his brain child.
Ghana Empire

(@1267-1337) Italian painter and architect, Giotto is considered to have been the first genius artist of the Italian Renaissance.
Golden Horde
Russian name for the Mongol Khanate in Western Russia after the 1240's.
Grand Canal
A canal begun in the Han Dynasty, and completed in the Sung Dynasty, that connects the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers in China. This was used for transporting tax rice, among other commodities, without having to use ocean-going vessels.
Great Schism
1054 - after a long series of disagreements over the leadership of the early Catholic church, the church divided between the Eastern half (now the "Orthodox Church), headed by the Patriarch of Constantinople, and the Western half (now the Roman Catholic Church) headed by the pope. This schism eventually led not only to hostility but growing doctrinal differences as well.
Great Wall of China
A wall built first during the Qin Dynasty (221-208 BC) by combining the defensive walls of states conquered, extended during the Han Dynasty (208 BC-221 AD) then updated during the Ming Dynasty 1368-1644 AD to the Great Wall we know today, with a core of rammed earth surrounded by carfully structured cut stone walls, running along the ancient border between what is now Manchuria and northern China.
peninsula jutting into the Aegean sea which became the site of the development of one of the most creative ancient civilizations after 750 BC. The Greeks in Athens, Sparta, and many other small city-states developed sophisticated political systems, innovative miltary techniques, and were master traders. They are also credited with the beginnings of the Western method of reason and investigation into the nature of the world.
A ruler of Babylon between 1792-1750 BCE. He is the assumed creator of the oldest extant law code in history, the Code of Hammurabi.
Han Dynasty
208 BC-221 AD. This dynasty, founded by Liu Bang, was the largest and longest-lived dynasty in China's history.
Han Wu Ti (Wudi)
(156BC - 87 BC) Seventh Emperor of the Han Dynasty (r. 147BC-87BC). Known as the "Martial Emperor" Wudi finalized the destruction of the landed aristocracy, conquered much of Northern Vietnam, Tibet, and other parts of Western China. His need for income drove him to take government control of all mining and refining of salt and iron. To finalize the Confucian system in the administration, he established the Academy of the Five Erudites, headed by Dong Zhongshu.
Hanlin Academy
School for the education of Confucian Scholars for government service, founded in the 8th century during the Tang Dynasty, by Emperor Xuanzong, and burned in the 1900 seige of foreign legations during the Boxer Rebellion.
(247-182 BC) Carthaginian commander during the Punic Wars with Rome. Hannibal's army controlled most of Italy for 17 years during the Second Punic War, never losing a battle personally.
Hanseatic League

Harun al Rashid

The peninsula in the Aegean where Greek culture grew up.
Hellenistic Age
Historians' term for the era, usually dated 323-30 B.C.E., in which Greek culture spread across western Asia and northeastern Africa after the conquests of Alexander the Great. The period ended with the fall of the last major Hellenistic kingdom to Rome, but Greek cultural influence persisted until the spread of Islam in the seventh century C.E. (p. 144)
Hellenistic Age
Historians’ name for the era from 330-323 BCE during which Greek culture spread across western Asia and northeastern Africa, and those cultures spread to Greece following the conquests of Alexander the Great.
Hellenistic Age

Henry the 8th

Hereditary Principle

(ca. 485-425 B.C.E.) Considered the "Father of History," at least in the West, Herodotus of Halicarnassus was heir to the technique of "historia" —"investigation—developed by Greeks in the late Archaic period. He came from a Greek community in Anatolia and traveled extensively, collecting information in western Asia and the Mediterranean lands. He traced the antecedents of and chronicled the Persian Wars between the Greek city-states and the Persian Empire, thus originating the Western tradition of historical writing. (p. 136)
A system of writing in which pictorial symbols represented sounds, syllables, or concepts. It was used for official and monumental inscriptions in ancient Egypt. Because of the long period of study required to master this system, literacy in hieroglyphics was confined to a relatively small group of scribes and administrators. Cursive symbol-forms were developed for rapid composition on other media, such as papyrus. (p. 44)
Hijra (Hegira)
622 CE. The migration of Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Yathrib (Medina) traditionally year one in the Muslim dating system.
a term used to designate one or all of the many religious traditions that have grown up in India since 1500 BC based on the Vedic texts and the Upanishads.
One who follows the ideas of Hinduism (above)
The study of change over time using evidence from the past.
A people from central Anatolia who established an empire in Anatolia and Syria in the Late Bronze Age. With wealth from the trade in metals and military power based on chariot forces, the Hittites vied with New Kingdom Egypt for control of Syria-Palestine before falling to unidentified attackers ca. 1200 B.C.E. (See also Ramesses II.) (p. 84)
The biological family that includes humans and humanlike primates. (p. 7)
Homo sapiens sapiens
The biological classification for modern humans, meaning thoughtful ape, this is our name for ourselves.
A heavily armored Greek infantryman who was a part of a phalanx formation. Hoplites were typically middle-class or upper-class citizens who could afford to purchase their own weapons and armor. These soldiers, along with their characteristic phalanx formation, dominated warfare in the West for centuries.

Hundred Schools

Hunting and Gathering societies
Human societies whose only means of sustenance is through gathering wild plants and hunting wild animals for food.
Ignatius Loyola

Iliad & Odyssey
Two classics of literature originally made up, it appears, by a wandering, blind minstrel.



Indus Civilization
Between 2700 and 1500 BCE, this was the largest of the early River Valley Civilizations in terms of square miles. The Indus Civilization, which existed on the banks of the Indus River and its tributaries in what is now the Sind, in Pakistan, probably was a theocracy, and trading appears to have been a critical part of its economic activities.
Indus River


Iron Age
Historians' term for the period during which iron was the primary metal for tools and weapons. The advent of iron technology began at different times in different parts of the world. (p. 82)
Iron Age
A historical term for the period in which cultures used iron as their primary metal for making tools and weapons. The dates for this age vary depending upon which culture it is being applied to.

In antiquity, the land between the eastern shore of the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, occupied by the Israelites from the early second millennium B.C.E. The modern state of Israel was founded in 1948. (p. 97)
Jan Hus


Living around 5 BCE to 34 CE, Jesus was a Jew from Galilee in northern Israel who became a reformer of Jewish beliefs and practices during a period of control, then occupation by Rome. Eventually, Jesus was branded a revolutionary by the Romans and executed. Considered to be the Messiah by those who followed him, he is the central figure in Christianity.
John Calvin

John Wycliffe

Joint Stock Company

Julius Caesar


An Indian poet known to be one of the greatest writers in human history.

The accumulated spiritual residue of good and bad acts accomplished during a lifetime.
A society that formed an interstate empire, and by 1500 BCE ruled the Middle East from their capitol city of Babylon for 400 years. No documents from the Kassite period exist, suggesting that there was some sort of loss of literacy during their rise to power.
A brahmin, advisor to Chandragupta Maurya, Kautilya wrote a book on governing that included advice on finances, advocated light taxation but penalties for trying to avoid taxes, and recommended that a ruler use subjects to spy upon each other.
The capital city of Minos
Kublai (Khubilai) Khan

An Egyptian name for Nubia, the region alongside the Nile River south of Egypt, where an indigenous kingdom with its own distinctive institutions and cultural traditions arose beginning in the early second millennium B.C.E. It was deeply influenced by Egyptian culture and at times under the control of Egypt, which coveted its rich deposits of gold and luxury products from sub-Saharan Africa carried up the Nile corridor. (p. 68)
Kyoto (Heian Kyo)

Land Tenure Systems
The ways in which societies grant ownership and or use-right of land.
Given credit for the creation of Daoism. Laozi espoused Wu Wei - the principle of non-action, based on the assumption that trying to solve problems only makes them worse.

China, a political philosophy that emphasized the unruliness of human nature and justified state coercion and control. The Qin ruling class invoked it to validate the authoritarian nature of their regime and its profligate expenditure of subjects' lives and labor. It was superseded in the Han era by a more benevolent Confucian doctrine of governmental moderation. (p. 64) "legitimate trade Exports from Africa in the nineteenth century that did not include the newly outlawed slave trade. (p. 671)
A branch of Confucianism that takes as its first assumption that human nature is basically bad, and so society can only maintain peace through the efforts of a strong emperor who dictates behavior through rewards and strict punishments.
A unit of the Roman Army.
Leo III (The Isaurian)

Leonardo Da Vinci







Mahammed II (Sultan of the Ottoman Empire)
Maize and Potatoes

Mali Empire

Mandate of Heaven
Chinese religious and political ideology developed by the Zhou, according to which it was the prerogative of Heaven, the chief deity, to grant power to the ruler of China and to take away that power if the ruler failed to conduct himself justly and in the best interests of his subjects. (p. 61)
Mandate of Heaven

Third century Persian religion; belief that the body is trapped in darkness searching for the light.


Mansa Musa


Martin Luther

Mauryan Empire
321-185 BCE. The first Indian empire, controlling most of India north of the Deccan plateau. The Mauryan empire was founded by Chandragupta Maurya.


Michelangelo Buonarotti

Minamoto Yoritomo

Prosperous civilization on the Aegean island of Crete in the second millennium B.C.E. The Minoans engaged in far-flung commerce around the Mediterranean and exerted powerful cultural influences on the early Greeks. (p. 88) mit'a Andean labor system based on shared obligations to help kinsmen and work on behalf of the ruler and religious organizations. (p. 321)
Minoan Civilization
Aegean civilization located on the island of Crete in the second millennium BCE. Different from the great empires, this culture engaged in trade as its primary means of gaining a surplus. Very literate, this culture developed the “Linear A” script, which is unreadable today, but which the earliest Greeks used to create a writing system for their own language.
Largest of the cities of the Indus Valley civilization. It was centrally located in the extensive floodplain of the Indus River in contemporary Pakistan. Little is known about the political institutions of Indus Valley communities, but the large-scale of construction at Mohenjo-Daro, the orderly grid of streets, and the standardization of building materials are evidence of central planning. (p. 49)
A major city that was clearly a part of Indus Valley Civilization, here the great pool and granaries were discovered, as well as numerous seals, and a well-organized city with discrete underground water systems that supplied fresh water and carried away sewage.
Moldboard Plow

Mongoloid Peoples

The belief in the existence of only one god. Common belief in Zoroastrian, Hebrew, Christian, Islamic and only a very few other religions in human history.
Mughal Empire


Site of a fortified palace complex in southern Greece that controlled a Late Bronze Age kingdom. In Homer's epic poems Mycenae was the base of King Agamemnon, who commanded the Greeks besieging Troy. Contemporary archaeologists call the complex Greek society of the second millennium B.C.E. "Mycenaean. (p. 90)
The earliest people to be called Greek, these people probably migrated to the Hellenic Peninsula in the late third century BCE, and began building with simple, though massive, post and lintel systems that created some of the earliest Greek city-states, including Mycenae, for which this culture is named. Eventually learning to write from the Minoans, and to sail and trade from them as well, this culture practically disappeared between 1750 and 1200 BCE.
Nara (Heijo Kyo)

Natural and genetic selection
the process, originally defined by Charles Darwin, by which species evolve. Natural selection is a biological process whereby individual members of a given species who are born with certain characteristics either survive to pass on those characteristics to their offspring, or die and fail to reproduce, thus becoming extinct. Over extremely long periods of time, the cumulative change can be great, and can explain the diversity of species as well as behavioral and physical characteristics of different species in the biological world.

The period of the Stone Age associated with the ancient Agricultural Revolution (s). It follows the Paleolithic period. (p. 12)
Neolithic Age
The New Stone Age, beginning about 11,550 YBP, during which humans evolved complex stone tools. This is the period of the Agricultural Revolution.
Nestorian Christianity
Fifth century Syrian faith that spread to India, central Asia, and China; belief in the human nature of Jesus.

The first emperor of Rome, ruling from @ 27 BC, after his 33 BC defeat of Marcus Antoninus. Octavian ruled from behind the scenes, never claiming the official title of emperor, but maintaining personal control of all of Rome's armies, and an unrivaled personal fortune. Known posthumously as Augustus Caesar.
Old Kingdom Period Egypt
2660-2180 BCE. The period in which Egypt's civilization reached many of its heights. The pyramids were constructed during this period.
The first Mesoamerican civilization. Between ca. 1200 and 400 B.C.E., the Olmec people of central Mexico created a vibrant civilization that included intensive agriculture, wide-ranging trade, ceremonial centers, and monumental construction. The Olmec had great cultural influence on later Mesoamerican societies, passing on artistic styles, religious imagery, sophisticated astronomical observation for the construction of calendars, and a ritual ball game. (p. 75)
Biblical scholar and Christian theologian, @185-254 AD.
Ottoman Empire

Out of Africa Theory
A theory, advanced by the majority of Archaeologists and paleoanthropologists currently in the field, that the genus Homo developed first in Africa, then migrated outward to the rest of the world in successive waves. Contrasted to this is the theory of simultaneous development.
The period of the Stone Age associated with the evolution of humans. It predates the Neolithic period. (p. 12)
Paleolithic Age
The period of the stone age that ended around 11,550 YBP, followed by the Neolithic. This is the period in which humans evolved.



Pastoral Nomadism
The practice of herding domesticated animals, such as sheep, goats, horses, and cows, for use as food, and in other manufactured products. Nomads were not settled peoples, but moved around in large patterns allowing their animals to graze on fresh grass where it was best found at each point in the year.
The Roman hereditary aristocracy, owners of most of the land and wealth of Rome.
A Jew from the Greek City of Tarsus in Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) Paul was a persecutor of Christians (then a tiny Jewish sect) until he received a revelation on the road to Damascus. Becoming a Christian, Paul used his status as a Roman citizen to assist in his travels around the empire promoting and explaining Christianity. Eventually, it was the work of Paul that separated Christianity from Judaism.
Pax Mongolica

Peace of Augsburg

Peloponnesian War
A protracted (431-404 B.C.E.) and costly conflict between the Athenian and Spartan alliance systems that convulsed most of the Greek world. The war was largely a consequence of Athenian imperialism. Possession of a naval empire allowed Athens to fight a war of attrition. Ultimately, Sparta prevailed because of Athenian errors and Persian financial support. (p. 142)
Peloponnesian War
A war fought between 469 and 405 BC between Athens and Sparta.
People of the Book

Lived @495-429BC. Aristocratic leader who the Athenian state through the transformation to full participatory democracy for all male citizens, supervised construction of the Acropolis, and pursued a policy of Imperial Expansion that led to the Peloponnesian War. He formulated a strategy of attrition, but died of the plague early in the war.
An Athenian leader during the Peloponnesian Wars, Pericles died of the bubonic plague in 427 BCE. During his time as leader of Athens, he had promoted democracy, and Athens’ trading system, maintained discipline and morale in the face of a terrible enemy (Sparta), and been a controversial figure as well, eventually presiding over the trial that sent Socrates to his death.
Persian War
The Persians fought two bitter wars with the Greeks from 499-479 BCE.
The first major Indo-European empire, Persia covered as its core what we call Iran today, along with territory in contemporary Afghanistan, Syria, Turkey, Pakistan and Arabia. The Persian empire was ruled from its capitol city at Persepolis by a series of strong rulers who implemented a center and sattelites government system whereby the emperor could effectively administer many far-flung provices, projecting authority through a series of localized power delegates known as satraps. 550BC-651AD. Persia is also known for its fast royal post system that took advantage of the famed royal road - one of the first paved central transporation arteries in world history.
Persian Wars
Conflicts between Greek city-states and the Persian Empire, ranging from the Ionian Revolt (499-494 B.C.E.) through Darius's punitive expedition that failed at Marathon (490 B.C.E.) and the defeat of Xerxes' massive invasion of Greece by the Spartan-led Hellenic League (480-479 B.C.E.). This first major setback for Persian arms launched the Greeks into their period of greatest cultural productivity. Herodotus chronicled these events in the first "history in the Western tradition. (p. 138)

A characteristic infantry formation used by the Greeks, particularly after 800 BCE. The phalanx consisted of an equal number of rows and ranks of heavily armored men who carried their own large shields. In battle, each phalanx worked as its own unit. Each man covered half his body and half of his neighbor’s body with his shield. The preferred weapon for use in a phalanx was a long, heavy-tipped thrusting spear that stuck out between the shields. The phalanx could be quickly reorganized into different formations (shapes) to suit its needs, forming a bristling diamond to repel cavalry, while covering itself with shields like a turtle under heavy archery fire, and forming into a spiny square in defensive situations.
The central figure in the ancient Egyptian state. Believed to be an earthly manifestation of the gods, he used his absolute power to maintain the safety and prosperity of Egypt. (p. 43)
Ruler of Egypt, so known after Menes unified Egypt and became its first Pharao in around 3200 BCE.
Semitic-speaking Canaanites living on the coast of modern Lebanon and Syria in the first millennium B.C.E. From major cities such as Tyre and Sidon, Phoenician merchants and sailors explored the Mediterranean, engaged in widespread commerce, and founded Carthage and other colonies in the western Mediterranean. (p. 104)
Beginning after 1000 BCE, these descendants of Canaanites lived along the Mediterranean coast of Lebanon and Syria. They became great maritime traders, launching ships to trade the Mediterranean sea from their great ports at Tyre and Sidon.
Phonetic alphabet
Alphabet created by the Phoenicians for writing their language, this was an alphabet based not on syllabic sounds, nor on pictographic representations of meaning, but on individual letter sounds to create meaning. This is the beginning of the alphabet we use in the United States today.
A tyrant in Athens from 560-527 BCE, Pisistratus is best known for using the common people to force the aristocratic class to give him sole rule of the city. His economic reforms rehabilitated the Athenian economy, making Athens one of the premier trading states of the Mediterranean. His patronage of the Olympics and literature also went far toward giving common people a sense that they had a role in Greek society.


Pleistocene epoch
An epoch in the geologic time scale occurring between 1,808,000 and 11,550 YBP (years before present). The end of the Pleistocene corresponds with the end of the Paleolithic era used by Anthropologists.
Policy of Seclusion of Japan

The Greek term for a city-state, which was a kind of self-contained society that included the city and the agricultural land it controlled. This was the most common form of political organization in Hellas (the Greek peninsula) before the rise of Alexander the Great in 330 BCE.

Pope Innocent III

Prince Vladimir of Kiev

Punic Wars

Qin (Chin) Empire






Root farming
A pre-agricultural practice in which foragers who made use of tubers and other edible-root plants learned to replant parts of roots they had used in concentrated areas. Though these roots remained wild and untended, the practice did produce higher concentrations of edible root crops than occurred in nature.
Safavid Empire

Sala al Din

death and redeath - the Aryan/Indian view that life disappears into everything, then is reborn and must suffer through life and death again indefinitely based on one's karma.

Sargon the Great
Creator and first ruler of the Akkadian Empire in the 3rd millennium BCE.
The governor of a province in the Achaemenid Persian Empire, often a relative of the king. He was responsible for protection of the province and for forwarding tribute to the central administration. Satraps in outlying provinces enjoyed considerable autonomy. (p. 123)

Seljuk Turks

Senate (Rome)
The primary governing body of Rome after 509 BCE, composed of members of the patrician class.

A farm worker in Europe during the middle ages, distinguished from peasants by two key conditions. 1. Serfs did not have the right to farm their own plot within the landlord's estate, and 2. Serfs worked for the landlord every day of the week. In addition, serfs were property that went along with the land.
Shah Ismail I


The dominant people in the earliest Chinese dynasty for which we have written records (ca. 1750-1027 B.C.E.). Ancestor worship, divination by means of oracle bones, and the use of bronze vessels for ritual purposes were major elements of Shang culture. (p. 60)
Shang Dynasty
From roughly 2800 to 1035 BCE, the Shang Dynasty is the oldest historical dynasty in China. There are no documents extant from the earlier Xia (Hsia) Dynasty, but the Shang left oracle bones that give us a good amount of information about the concerns of the king and elites during this period.
Shihuang Di





Siddhartha Gautama
Siddhartha Gautama, lived 560-477 BC. Founder of Buddhism..
Silk Road
Four Noble Truths - Doctrine of truth in Buddhism which forms the basis of the faith. 1. Life is suffering, 2. Suffering is caused by desire 3. To end suffering, eliminate desire, 4. To eliminate desire, follow the noble eightfold path.
Slash & Burn farming
A pre-agricultural practice in which foraging groups would set fire to a patch of forest or grassland, creating a fertile bed of ash to mix with the soil, and leave the area to be seeded by nature, returning during harvest season to gather the new plants growing there. This often produced a higher concentration of edible plants than existed in natural forestlands.
Athenian philosopher who lived 470-399BC. he shifted the emphasis of philosophical investigation from questions of natural science to ethics and human behavior. He attracted young disciples from elite families but made enemies by revealing the ignorance and pretensions of others, culminating in his trial and execution by the Athenian State.

Around 638-559 BCE, Solon was a tyrant in Athens, where his governmental reforms ended practices of inheritance of power and wealth by birth, allowing some of those not born to aristocratic families to become a part of the ruling class.
Songhai Empire

5th Century Greek philosophers who studied culture and language and believed that through critical examination one could come to understand these things.

Spanish Armada

Specialization of Labor

St. Francis Xavier

St. Thomas Aquinas

The ancient Kingdom of Kush, which was the most powerful state in North Africa between 1700 and 1500 BCE, and was subsequently conquered by New Kingdom Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose I (1504-1492 BCE). Rich in natural resources, including iron, Kush was technologically important as well as for its geology and wood. In the 8th century BCE, Kush returned to conquer and rule Egypt for a time.
Sui Dynasty

Suleiman the Magnificent


The people who dominated southern Mesopotamia through the end of the third millennium B.C.E. They were responsible for the creation of many fundamental elements of Mesopotamian culture—such as irrigation technology, cuneiform, and religious conceptions—taken over by their Semitic successors. (p. 31)
Southern Mesopotamia (now southern Iraq). Sumerians created some of the earliest and most lasting legacies of civilization, including irrigation technology, cuneiform writing, and the earliest cities yet known to us. The site of the first civilizations.
Sung Dynasty


Taika Reforms


T'ang Dynasty

Taoism (Daoism)



Teutonic Knights

Capital city of Egypt and home of the ruling dynasties during the Middle and New Kingdoms. Amon, patron deity of Thebes, became one of the chief gods of Egypt. Monarchs were buried across the river in the Valley of the Kings. (p. 43)

Tigris & Euphrates rivers
The primary rivers of ancient Mesopotamia, for which the land was named by the Greeks – Mesopotamia means “the land between the rivers” in ancient Greek – these two rivers, which still water Iraq today, drain from the Zagros Mountains in what is now Turkey, and provided the water for the earliest civilizations known to humankind.
Tokugawa Shogunate

The process of exchanging goods for other goods, whether between individuals, societies, or groups of size between those. Trade can take place locally, or across great distances. It has the capability of changing social values as well as adjusting the availability of material goods from areas where they are abundant to areas where they are less common. Trade has been documented as early as the fourth millennium BCE between Sumeria and Kemet (Egypt). It has also frequently caused improvements in technology.
Treaty of Nerchinsk


The term the Greeks used to describe someone who seized and held power in violation of the normal procedures and traditions of the community. Tyrants appeared in many Greek city-states in the seventh and sixth centuries B.C.E., often taking advantage of the disaffection of the emerging middle class and, by weakening the old elite, unwittingly contributing to the evolution of democracy. (p. 134)
Umayyad Caliphate

A set of philosophical/theological treatises that attempted to de-ritualize understanding of the vedas.



Wu Wei
Non-action. A key principle in Daoism.
Yangtze River

Yellow River


Zheng He
(a. 1405-1433) Zheng He was a Muslim, a Eunuch, and a favorite of Ming Yongle. He was given command of the Chinese treasure fleet which sailed around the China seas, Southeast Asia, and as far as Africa spreading Chinese culture in search of tribute.
The people and dynasty that took over the dominant position in north China from the Shang and created the concept of the Mandate of Heaven to justify their rule. The Zhou era, particularly the vigorous early period (1027-771 B.C.E.), was remembered in Chinese tradition as a time of prosperity and benevolent rule. In the later Zhou period (771-221 B.C.E.), centralized control broke down, and warfare among many small states became frequent. (p. 63)
A massive pyramidal stepped tower made of mudbricks. It is associated with religious complexes in ancient Mesopotamian cities, but its function is unknown. (p. 36)