Text of the Midterm Review


What legal code helps us better understand Mesopotamian culture?

Code of Hammurabi

What did Mesopotamian religion reveal about their lives?

They felt as if they were at the whim of the gods (fllods, earthquakes, drought, etc.)

What two key ways did the Nile contribute to Egyptian agriculture?

Water and flooding that moved in topsoil

What key factors protected Egypt from outside invasion?

Natural barriers (oceans, deserts, etc.)

What type of progress did Egyptians believe in?

Circular, not linear

What two principles were supposed to guide the actions of Egyptian kings?

Truth and justice

What was the role of the Egyptian vizier?

Ran the bureaucracy for the king?

Describe the three classes of Egyptian society.

Upper (pharaohs, nobles, priests); Middle (traders & bureaucrats) & lower (those who worked the land

Describe the two main groups of Egyptian gods.

sun gods (Re or Ra) and land gods (especially water: Isis & Orisis)

What two aspects of Egyptian culture helped to preserve so much of their history?

Pyramids (tombs of kings) and their written records (papyrus)

Where did the Hebrews come from?

Out of Egypt (under Moses leadership)

Who united the 12 tribes of Israel (the Hebrew people)?  How?

King Saul, war with the Philistines

What was SaulŐs son, David, key contribution to Israel?

Expansion through military campaigns

Which ruler broke down the Hebrew tribal distinctions and built up the temple and infrastructure?


What was the outcome of the Babylonian captivity?

New, more devout practice of Hebrew religion (one God, Yahweh)

Identify three key tenets of Judaism.

GodŐs chosen people, Yahweh will show mercy to those who repent, anchored by the Ten Commandments

What empire, start6ed under the reign of Cyrus, provided a period of relative peace in the Near East between 600-300 BC?

The Persians

What was different about Greek agriculture?  Why was this helpful?

3 crop system - healthier diet, division of labor

WhoŐs poetry provides ideology for Early Greek development?

Homer and Hesiod

Identify some of these key ideals.

Pursuit of excellence, virtue, use of persuasion over force

What was the polis?  Why was it important to the individual?

Greek city state, it was democratic and held all adult males as citizens

What is the name for a situation in which one person seizes power?  A small group?  How did the Greeks feel about these situations?

Tyranny, oligarchy, despised them

Was Greek society paternalistic or maternalistic? How did their sexual; attitudes demonstrate this?

Paternalistic, men enjoyed much greater sexual freedom

What were the two most prominent city-states (polises)?

Athens and Sparta

Identify two key characteristics of Athens.

Birthplace of democracy & Greek culture & learning

Identify two key characteristics of Sparta.

Military discipline, helots perform labor, reinforce toughness & strength

Identify three characteristics of golden age Greek thought & artistic expression.

More lifelike art, more expressive & lyrical literature, rational philosophy (there is an order), provide evidence to back assertions

Who do the Greek states unite to defeat ca 400 BC?

The Persians

What great city center did the Greeks build during the Golden Age in Athens?

Acropolis (included the Parthenon)

What Greek philosopher sought to find the guidelines for a just life through questioning?  Who were his influential descendents?

Socrates, Aristotle and Plato

After defeating the Persians, what wars lead to the downfall of classical Athens?

Peloponnesian Wars (Athens v. Sparta)

Who succeeds in uniting Greece and eventually build a Hellenistic empire?

Macedonians under Phillip & then Alexander

What was the primary influence on Roman culture?

The Greeks (Romans were big imitators)

Describe the basic class structure of Roman society.

Patricians (ruling nobility) & Plebeians (everybody else)

What offices were created in the Roman republic after class uprisings?

Tribunes (supposed to represent people vs. courts)

Identify three key Roman values during the republic.

Wealth, honor to family, shared rule, faithfulness, virtue

Why did Caesar return to Rome to challenge Pompey?

The Senate had turned against Caesar

What were some of CaesarŐs key policies?

Cancellation of debts, colonies for his veterans, continued grain subsidies

What is the outcome of CaesarŐs campaign vs. Pompey?

The republic is shattered, Rome is an empire, Caesar is king in all but name

What was the name for the period of relative peace and prosperity throughout the Roman Empire between Augustus and Marcus Aurelius?

The Pax Romana

What was the geographic size and population of the Roman Empire at its height?

3.5m sq. miles, 50 million citizens

What was the best way for a common man to rise to prosperity in the Roman Empire?

Successfully fighting in the army

Since conquered peoples were usually allowed to practice their local customs, how did the Romans create unity throughout the empire?

Efficient administrative rule & law based on natural rights

What apostle was key to spreading Christianity throughout the Empire?  What was the basic appeal of Christianity?

Apostle Paul, provided lifeŐs purpose & community of believers

What emperor helps restore the empire but establishes its center of power in the East?

Constantine in Constantinople

Which part of the Roman empire remained unified after 450? Which begins to fall apart?

Western part disintegrates(Germanic & Frankish kingdoms), Eastern part remains unified (Byzantine empire)

What group of people were relied on for much of the manual labor in Roman life?  Where did they come from?

Slaves; born slaves, abandoned children, captured in war, etc.

What people are the first to adopt Islam?  Who is the first Islamic leader?

Nomadic Bedouins on Arabian peninsula, the prophet Muhammad

Identify at least three of the five pillars of Islam.

hajj (pilgrimage), zakat (tax), salat (worship 5x a day), Fast during Ramadan, Profession of faith: ŇThere is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophetÓ

What happens to the character of daily life in Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire?

Cities decay, agriculture becomes more important, churchmen grow in power