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Lecture 2

SOSC 1520 Lecture 2: SOSC 1520 Sept 26 Lec 2

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York University
Social Science
SOSC 1520
Glenn Goshulak

SOSC 1520: Sept 26 Agricultural foundation of Ancient Societies: Peasant farmer: highlights non-market nature of ancient societies -- didn't sell their crops on a market and buy supplies from another -- Didn't look for new technologies (as a matter of fact, technology barely developed, took thousands of years to) -- Didn't have control over what they produced, often owned it to a land owner and were tenants of a landlord --> Their lives were generally hard, they were often oppressed, and they were often dominated by the economic rule of tradition. Life in Cities: -- cut off from the countryside -- Slavery: used in mass numbers for a variety of purposes (mining, ships, shops) -- Cases of impressive accomplishments -pyramids -wouldnt have been possible without the exploitation of peasants and slaves Slavery was a very common form of economic life. Social Surplus: "Anything above and beyond what we require for existence" --> Key question: 'To whom does it accrue?" Wealth and Power: - Not to those creating it (peasants, merchants, slaves) - "Wealth was generally the reward for political, military, or religious power or status and not for economic activity" --> These roles in society were valued more -The enlightened, the noble, the superior and those who knowledge and skill necessary for social survival -- Peasants et al. were viewed as IGNOBLE (dishonourable, base, despicable) 500 - 1500 AD: The Middle or Dark Ages -- Fall of Rome The Catholic Church -- attempts to recreate Roman Empire - Charlemagne: Emperor of the Romans --> (The holy roman Empire, they had interests that lined up with the catholic church) The Rise of Islam: After death of Prophet: Muhammad (632 CE), muslim armies conquer large parts of middle east and unite under single leadership. In exch for contributing soldiers for King's army -Nobles divide land among lesser nobility (vassals) - In some c
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