Classical Civilizations of the Mediterranean Persia, Greece, and Rome

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  • Classical Civilizations of the MediterraneanPersia, Greece, and Rome

  • The Birth of PersiaPersia developed alongside the Mediterranean world and inherited man successes of Mesopotamian societyPersia made leaps in advanced technology, language, culture, art, and mathematicsAlso developed a new religion called ZoroastrianismZoroastrianism dwindled as Alexander conquered Persian territory and once Islam began to take holdThe first World religion where there was an idea of one universal God (Ahura Mazda)

  • Cyrus: Was he Really that Great?Cyrus the Great (580-529 BCE) is credited with the establishment of the Persian empireKnown as a great conqueror he controlled the largest empire the World had seen to that point: He even captured Babylon!Many welcomed him as a liberator and he allowed the Jews to return to the Promised Land (Palestine today)He often showed great respect for the cultures he conquered and even was tolerant of their religious beliefsThe Hellenes (Greeks), whom he conquered, regarded him as an upstanding law giver who actually promised peace to all mankind.539 BCE he even created the first charter of human rights on the Cyrus the Great Cylinder (Social codes?)

  • GreecePeloponnesian War (431-404 BC) is what ended the Golden Age of Greece.Sparta defeats Athens and a transfer of power shifts to SpartaThis is a key reason Plato begins his philosophical work on government and educationAlexander of Macedonia spread the size of the empire through Persia and into parts of IndiaHis empire was short-lived however: Alexander dies at age 33 After 13 years of victories (Alexanders own soldiers began to believe he was immortal!) and with little to no injuries; Alexander dies from malaria/typhoid fever

  • RomeThe Roman state began small around 800 bce but spread rapidly during the Punic wars (264bce-146bce)They had fought the Phoenicians at the battle of Carthage (Which was often celebrated via re-enactment in the Coliseum)The Carthaginian general Hannibal was defeated and cut to pieces to send his body to all corners of the Roman empireThey then burned the city and spread salt on the earth so agriculture could not sustain the rebuilding of a city at that spot

  • Rome cont.In 45 bce Julius Caser sets the path for the development of a modern RomeHis grandnephew Augustus seizes power and establishes the basic structures of the Roman empire we know of todayThe Mediterranean world, Spain, and Africa saw peace, stability, and economic prosperity under rulers following Augustus (Marcus Aurelius 180bce)Emperors also moved north and took France, Britain, and Germany as wellFrom here the downfall began and would take over 200 years to complete though strong leaders like Constantine took efforts to reverse the tideAttempted to unite his empire by making an obscure religion the mandated religion of his people: Christianity

  • Plato and the Republic

  • Who was Plato?Greek philosopher, mathematician, author of dialogues, and founded the first academy of higher education in the world in AthensWas a student of Socrates & teacher of AristotleOutspoken against the tyranny of government that was established at the end of the Peloponnesian War (404-403 bce)He laid the foundations of modern philosophy and science

  • The RepublicPlatos political theory on justice, order, & the character of the city-state and the just manThis takes place during the period of the Peloponnesian War and the main protagonist is Socrates, his teacherSocrates and various other Athenians examine justice, just men, the affairs of the city-state, and political regimesThey also discussed the roles of philosophers in society and the immortality of the soul

  • Allegory of the CaveThis was an analogy used to describe the perception of man and to illustrate the nature of his educationSocrates describes a scenario in which what people take to be real would in fact be an illusion (Fire and shadows)Platos aim in the Republic is to describe what is necessary for us to achieve reflective understanding

  • Attila the Hun433 becomes ruler of Huns and is called the Scourge of God by RomansDescended from what would later become the Mongols (Mongolia not established yet)434 Theodosius II paid annual price to keep Huns at bay441Attilla attacks Eastern Roman empire and continues west451 Set back by Romans and Visigoths at Chalon he refocuses and attacks Italy452 Lays siege and waste to various cities throughout Italy and meets with Pope Leo I who convinces him to leave Rome alone453 Attila dies on wedding night.

  • Diocletian 285-305ADTakes rule in 285 AD and begins reformsPolitical: Creates a two emperor system to rule over extent of empire (Maximian)Social: Emphasis on marriage, justice and due processMilitary: Restructured internally, reduced years of service (to 20), and created mobile groups to protect capital and sent local groups to fringes of empireEconomic: Contracted new building projects, restored coinage, and enacted new taxes on propertyReligious: Saw Christianity as a threat to his rule, began persecution303 edicts against practicing and speaking/writing about ChristianityBackfired and proved to be a catalyst for its rapid spread

  • Constantine 306-337ADTolerance: in 313 creates the Edit of Milan granting religious freedom to all ending years of persecution New Rome: He created a new Christian capital for the Roman Empire (Constantinople)Creates a second senate there Christianity: Converts to Christianity and supports its spreadMakes concessions to fold pagan tribes into Christian empire of RomeHa setback against his nephew who tries to reinstate polytheistic viewsOnce Theodosius takes rule he officially puts an end to pagan practices

  • Rome Begins to DeclineArmy spread thin around empireEconomy was failing and aristocrats power went uncheckedInvasions from outside: Germanic tribes/Huns/TurksInternal factors: Couldnt afford military upkeepMany soldiers not even Roman (no loyalty to Rome)Extent of empire cost $$$Weak leadershipRome sacked 410 and after Theodosius death in 455Official fall around 476 AD