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MMW 12 Final: Chang MMW12 Final Study Guide

Making of the Modern World
Course Code
MMW 12
Study Guide

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Part 1. MMW2 Themes
Axial Ages Sages + Philosophies
--> Crises as a result of conflict.
--> Conflict that arises from geography
--> Advances in technology
--> Metallurgy (conflict to kill more people)
--> Population growth (urbanization and sedentary life)
-> Religions and philosophies
--> Daoism Confucianism
--> Hinduism, Buddhism,
--> Hinduism > brahmanisms > conduct fortunes > sacrifices = elaboration, lost meaning >
look for replacements
Social Structure (Gender relationship-patriarchal societies, social stratification (caste system),
Economy (trade)
--> Persian wars bring the best out of the Greeks
--> Peloponnesian Wars - Athens becomes a hegemon, democratic system breaks down.
persuasive wise influence (ex. Sicily) + plague + loss of allied support. AKA, brings out the
worst of the Greeks.
Individualism (Greece- individual's relationship with the state and Israel- individual's
relationship with God)
Part 1. Key Names and Terms
Indus and Vedic Culture
Indus Valley - Early Indian societies were discovered here. Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa.
Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro: Cities, layout identical, sewage, died of
deforestation/invasionCities of the ancient Indus/Harappan civilization (Around the 23rd (?) -
18th century BCE), homogeneous and massive in nature. Despite being separated by over 1000
miles, Harappa in the north featured the same elements as MD in the South. The key features of
these cities were fortification, city planning, sewage system, water system. Not much is known
about the civilization in general, due to the inability to decipher writing and poor preservation of
archaeological remains (rise of water table) Cities later collapsed, abandoned by residents,
caused by either ecological mismanagement or outside invasion (unlikely).
Stamped Seals - drawings of animals, sexual potency Small seals (square stamps) Function
unknown. Found at the sites of Mohenjo-Daro and Harrappa. There is one of a shaman sitting in
a yogic pose and is believed to be an early predecessor of Shiva (the 4 animals and the bull,
Shiva's animal that is associated with him). These seals often contained drawings of animals
known for their sexual potency, such as elephants and hippos.
Aryan Influx - Migration + filtered and absorbed natives into, horsedrawn carriage, iron.
(Aryan - "noble people") The Aryans entered/migrated to India around the 18th - 15th
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centuries. Came from the Caucausus Mountain range between the Mediterranean and Black
sea. Aryan words and deities were prevalent in Greek (Zeus), Roman (Jupiter), Indian
Pantheons. Primarly adopted pastoral lifestyle. Was a warrior style civilization. Marked by
their war-chariots (wheels from Mesopotamia) and superior weaponry (advances in metellugry).
Dravidians - The people that lived in India originally before the Aryans settled. The Aryans
constantly clashed with the Dravidians. Indian culture began as a mixture of these two
cultures. Dravidians, darker colored people were originally discriminated against by the caste or
varna (color) system. Aryans were lighter skinned while Dravidans were dark. However,
intermarriage eventually brought these two distinctions to nil.
Dyaus Pitr -main god in Aryan religion >> Zeus A celestial god, father of all the
gods. Predecessor of Zeus of the Greek religion/mythology. Notable for the linguistic similarities,
indicating common IE heritage (evidence for IE migration). Originated from Aryan culture. The
spread of their pantheon of gods to other culture indicates communication between different
civilization and adatpation of pantheons.
Rig Vedas - Body of knowledge, earliest, priest exclusive, religious/social life. "Body of
knowledge concerning the verses of praise (rig). Hymns, the body of knowledge involving
rituals and the process of sacrifice. More of a religious and spiritual text. Oral transmission,
specialized skill for priests. Written down in 700 BCE. Tradition of privilege priests.
Varuna - punished, part of ethic system God of the Vedic Religion that came from the Aryans.
His primary characteristic was his role as guardian of cosmic order and overseer of moral action.
Presided over the sky from his heavenly place. Despised lying and evil deeds of all sorts and they
afflicted malefactors with severe punishments, including disease and death. They dispatched
souls of serious evildoers to the subterranean House of Clay, a dreary and miserable realm of
punishment, while allowing souls of the virtuous to enter the Aryan heaven known as the World
of the Fathers.
Rita or “natural order of things” - cosmic moral order. When Varuna created the world, he
ruled it by this standard of "rita". The word "rita" embodies most of the meaning of the English
word "right" and extends into the area of "rite" or ritual as well. It was the standard for cosmic,
moral and liturgical order, the basis for what is true and in its proper place, for proper movement
and for what is correctly said or done. Standard for Cosmic Moral Order
Indra vs. Vritra - Indra was the god of thunder and war. A majority of the Vedic hymns
were devoted to him. Seen as a god that would interfere with human affairs. Aryans found
inspiration in him and believed that he could help them in their wars (Aryans were a war culture,
it fit perfectly. He came the cultural hero to the Aryans. Vritra was a demon that blocked the
flow of the life-giving waters. Indra kills Vritra and releases the life giving waters. This
symbolic destruction of the serpent -> represents all obstacles in life. When he slew the
serpent it could be a symbolic representation of the irrigation systems that were built.
Soma - Spiked drink treated as god Hallucinogenic drink that the Aryans would drink before
going into battle. Made them feel invincible. Their god Indra would drink this before battle.
Later, Soma would be viewed as a God.
Agni - God of Fire. As the Aryans started to migrate eastwards, he became more prominent in
the Aryan pantheon. The forest was always seen as the obstacle. Often the Aryans moving
eastwards relied on fire to keep moving. Shows the prominence of Agni to help them keep going.
Ganges River Delta - Settlement location of dravidians Encompasses the Ganges river, the
other major river in India. It is not to be confused with the Indus river.
Varna system (Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, Shudras) - Brahmins (priests), Kshatriyas
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(warriors and aristocrats), Vaishyas (merchants, artisans, cultivators), Shudras (landless
peasants and serfs). Later, about at the end of the Vedic Age, they added the category of the
untouchables. The varna system (also known as the caste system) described Vedic society
reasonably well. It was brought by the Aryans when they settled in India. Formed slowly and
gradually as the Aryans established settlements throughout India. Varna literally means
"color" and it was used by the Aryans to refer to the major social classes. This terminology
suggests that social distinctions arose partly from differences in complexion between the Aryans
who were "wheat-colored" and the darker-skinned Dravidians. During the late Vedic Age the
recognition of varnas and theories of their origins had the effect of enhancing the status and
power of priestly and aristocratic classes.
Myth of Purusha - Jati were Guilds. Purusha was sacrificed by the gods and according to the
Rig Veda, the splitting of his body is how the Caste system (varna system) came into being.
From Purusha's mouth came the brahmins (priests), from his arms came the kshatriyas
(warriors), from his thighs came the vaishya (merchants) and from his feet came the
shudras (landless peasants and serfs).
Jati - Jati were subcastes in the Varna system. It basically split the castes further into
subcastes. Occupation largely determined an individual's jati: people working at the same of
simliar task in a given area belonged to the same subcaste and their offspring joined them in both
occupation and jati membership.
Srauta sacrifices (Hopkins) - The shirta sacrifices are rituals performed by a specialized
priesthood. Defined as fire sacrifices. Fire was elevated to divine status. Sacrifices and offerings
were given to the fire such as food. These practices were organized into fire sacrifices
administered by priests. They were rites using the Vedic hymns. Unlike domestic ceremonies,
srauta ceremonies were performed by priests became more and more elaborate. There is a
distinction between fires by normal "domestic" people and priests. A special set of three fires
was developed early in the Vedic period soley for use in the Srauta ceremonies. As rituals using
these fires became more and more complex, sacrificial duties were divided among several priests.
Priestly training became more specialized and separate priestly traditions developed to meet the
needs of ritual specialists.The shirta sacrifices are rituals performed by a specialized priesthood.
This creates a highly stratified caste system and also contributes to increasing extragavancef for
the rituals. (Reader, 245)
Upanishads - Criticized the elaboration of the sacrifices and the growing power of the
Brahmin caste. "literal meaning Sitting in front of"Sacred text of the Vedic and Hindu
religion. Discouraged greed, envy, gluttony, and all manner of vice. Upanishad literally means
"a sitting in front of" and it refers to the practice of disciplines gathering before a safe for
discussion of religious issues. Often took the form of dialogues that explored the Vedas and the
religious issues that they raised. Taught that appearances are deceiving, that individual human
beings in fact are not separate and autonomous creatures. It developed several specific doctrines
such as samsara, which held that upon death, individual souls go temporarily to the World of the
Fathers and then return to earth in a new incarnation, and karma, which accounted for the
specific incarnations that souls experienced. Explained why individuals were born into their
Brahman vs. Atman
฀฀฀฀฀Brahman - Universal Soul
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