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Chapter 4

History Chapter 4 Study Notes!

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Carol Chin

HISTORY STUDY NOTES CHAPTER 4 Creation of Empire: North Africa and Southwest Asia 1550-330 BCE th  6 century BCE- Persian King Darius  King of 23 countries  Presented inscription of how he conquered 9 kings and won many battles; inscription was in 3 languages- Old Persian, Babylonian, and Mesopotamian  Claimed political and military power gained his throne EMPIRE: A large political unit that imposes its rule over diverse regions, peoples, and cultures: empires can take many forms.  Common characteristic ^  Encompasses politics, social, economic, and culture Rise & Fall of the Assyrian Empire (900-612 BCE)  First to build empire that encompassed Southwest Asia  Organized around demands of warfare  Commissioned engineering projects, built new cities, sponsored the arts, and influenced cultural developments  Structural weakness its downfall o War: o Expanded at first because of defensive reaction to outside threats (nomads from Syria) o Wealth with conquest-became more aggressive o Wanted to seize wealth of Egyptians and Babylonians o MILITARY HIERARCHY king at top  Deportation:  Deported conquered people  Would be miles away from home – men enlisted in Assyrian armies  Thwarted opposition to Assyrian expansion and rule  Used as a scare tactic as well o King & Army: o King was all powerful; authority o Political, administrative, and military decisions o Officials had to be in contact with him = slow decision making o Military tactics superior to most o 745 BCE and on had professional army o Dominated by men  Royal Women:  Led privileged lives-wealth  Could shape political affairs o Imperial Governance o Indirect rule-centralized around the king o Territories far away were difficult to deal with, left local king to rule and demanded obedience and annual contributions o Rebellions happened often; they would install a pro-Assyrian ruler  Motives for Expansion:  Not interested in ruling but only wealth  Tribute from countries and BOOTY o City Building: o Deported people gave manpower to construct awesome cities and make towns larger o New cities too big to support- draining of resources!!  Independence Preserved: Phoenicians in the Assyrian Empire:  Inhabitants of Mediterranean port cities  Sidon, Byblos, and Tyre; important hubs of trade  Extensive maritime trade o Establish settlements overseas o Collected metals and other valuables and shipped them East o Established coastal outposts where they could send local goods to their home o System of trade well established by 750 BCE o Benefitted the Assyrians – new market o Phoenician independence maintained their culture like their alphabet (22 characters) o Basis of all alphabetic scripts in the world  Culture & Identity in Assyrian Empire:  Cultural assimilation o Enforced assimilation o Cities with Assyrian names, public buildings, same god (Assur), but did not demand people change their life o As long as they paid their tributes and taxes o Deportation naturally assimilated- influenced language  Babylonian and Syrian Influence o Accepted other cultures of conquered territories o When conquered Babylonia still using cuneiform scripts (best library ever) epic of Gilgamesh! o Imitated places they saw in Syria (architecture and craftwork) o Kept religion but harmonized with Babylonian ideas  Failure of the Assyrian System o After death of king in 627 BCE Babylonia regained independence = Neo-Babylonian or Chaldean o Joined the Medes in an attack on Assyrian heartland o Destroyed Assyrian capital Nineveh o Resisted in n. Syria but eventually succumbed o Failure was to rise to the military challenge o Centralized on king – since there was no king no one stepped forward o Survival of empire relied on others o Subjects withheld tribute, empire fell apart o When Assyria’s military faltered the wealth disappeared  The Neo-Babylonian Empire was its successor! The Persian Empire 550-330 BCE  Respect was key to their success  Survived 200 years because of their tolerance  Established by Cyrus the Achaemenid who annexed the Neo-Babylonian Empire  Conquered new lands (Egypt too)  The Achaemenids, Seleucids, PARTHIANS* and Sassanid’s maintained imperial rule over much of SW Asia  Cyrus became king of Babylon and continued local traditions  Darius soon became new king  Imperial Structure: o Darius undertook a program of reorganization and reform o 20 provinces called SATRAPIES*
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