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Ch 5: The Rise of Empires in the Ancient Near East

About This Chapter

Watch fun video lessons and study the empires that were prevalent in the ancient Near East. The quizzes that accompany each lesson are useful for self assessment.

The Rise of Empires in the Ancient Near East - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Take a trip back to the Iron Age in this chapter, which introduces you to the neo-Babylonian, neo-Assyrian and Persian empires as well as the Assyrian empire. Get a quick look at the history of metallurgy and learn about the styles of ancient Persian architecture. Explore some common beliefs and myths of the ancient Near East through these fun and concise lessons taught by subject experts. When you've watched all the lessons in this chapter, you'll be familiar with:

  • History of iron and bronze
  • Kushite conquests
  • Assyrian military strength
  • Assyrian art
  • Ancient Persia's government
  • Zoroastrianism
  • The Cult of Mithras

Video Objective
Iron vs. Bronze: History of Metallurgy Compare and contrast iron and bronze and discuss the impact of the transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age on the ancient Near East.
The Kushite Conquest of Egypt Discover how the Kush people conquered Egypt and created a dynasty.
The Age of Meroë & its Achievements Describe Meroe's achievements.
Iron Age Empires: Neo-Babylonian, Neo-Assyrian and Persian Empires Explore these three empires of the Iron Age and discuss their leaders and legacies.
Assyrian Empire: Military Strength, Feats & Decline Assess the Assyrians' sources of military strength. Describe their achievements and decline.
Assyrian Art and Architecture Inspect the characteristics of Assyrian art and architecture. Describe the palaces, carvings and ziggurats, including influences, detail and purposes.
Features of the Ancient Persian Government Study the government of Ancient Persia and identify its structure and features.
Ancient Persian Art and Architecture: History & Style Discover the areas that featured ancient Persian architectural structures. Find out the influences for various artwork of the Achaemenid Era.
Zoroastrianism: Definition, Beliefs & History Study the beliefs of this very early religion and determine how it formed the roots of major religions that are prevalent today.
Cult of Mithras: Myth & History Find out why Mithraism is considered a mystery religion and discuss its spread through Persia and Rome. Identify some practices and beliefs of this cult.

10 Lessons in Chapter 5: The Rise of Empires in the Ancient Near East
Iron vs. Bronze: History of Metallurgy

1. Iron vs. Bronze: History of Metallurgy

This lecture explores the transition from the bronze age to the iron age. The difficulties of working with iron are enumerated. The properties of iron and steel are compared to those of bronze. Finally the implications for this transition on civilization are considered.

The Kushite Conquest of Egypt

2. The Kushite Conquest of Egypt

The Kush were able to not only maintain their independence from Egypt, but also conquer their northern neighbor for a period of several decades. However, the Egyptians seem to have barely noticed.

The Age of Meroe & its Achievements

3. The Age of Meroe & its Achievements

Often swept to the sidelines of Egyptian history, Meroƫ has a history rich in trade, innovative government, and metalworking. Just as importantly, it took centuries for anyone to conquer Meroƫ.

Iron Age Empires: Neo-Babylonian, Neo-Assyrian and Persian Empires

4. Iron Age Empires: Neo-Babylonian, Neo-Assyrian and Persian Empires

This lesson is a survey of the three empires that emerged after the Bronze Age collapse. Parts of the survey are viewed from the perspective of the Israelites, who found themselves the playthings of powerful empires. The lecture focuses on a few specific rulers and their impact on their empires. It also traces patterns of imperial tactics throughout this period and region.

Assyrian Empire: Military Strength, Feats & Decline

5. Assyrian Empire: Military Strength, Feats & Decline

The Assyrians rightfully earned their reputation as ferocious in battle, but their success was possible only because of their developments in warfare. Also, the Assyrians helped to create cultural change in Mesopotamia that is still felt today.

Assyrian Art and Architecture

6. Assyrian Art and Architecture

This lesson explores the unique characteristics of a fierce and violent culture: the Assyrians. The Assyrians were a warrior culture living in ancient Mesopotamia who used art and architecture to display their power.

Features of the Ancient Persian Government

7. Features of the Ancient Persian Government

The Persians ruled one of the largest empires in ancient history, and did so in a way that largely kept its inhabitants content. This was accomplished through a surprising array of administrative techniques.

Ancient Persian Art and Architecture: History & Style

8. Ancient Persian Art and Architecture: History & Style

This lesson explores the artwork of one of the most powerful and expansive empires in history: the Persian Empire. Persian artwork contained vivid imagery that recorded the success of the Persian kings in battle and their cultural tendencies.

Zoroastrianism: Definition, Beliefs & History

9. Zoroastrianism: Definition, Beliefs & History

Major religions, like Christianity and Islam, have been popular since ancient times, but what religion was popular before these belief systems developed? This lesson explores the beliefs of Zoroastrians, one of the earliest forms of organized religion.

Cult of Mithras: Myth & History

10. Cult of Mithras: Myth & History

The Cult of Mithras was a mysterious religion popular in Rome in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th centuries. This lesson explores the secretive beliefs, practices, and history of the cult and its initiates.

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