About This Chapter
Ancient Civilizations in the Near East - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives
An exploration of Near East ancient civilization lends insight into the development of phenomena such as law, writing, and various styles of art and architecture. This chapter covers the histories of a number of ancient cultures that existed in and around Mesopotamia, delving into their cultural identities, social structures, and religious perspectives. The video lessons in this chapter should lead you to:
- Be familiar with the history of Mesopotamian civilization
- Understand the historical development of phenomena such as writing and law
- Identify the appeal and history of the fertile crescent
- Articulate the artistic, architectural, and historical styles of a variety of ancient cultures
- Assimilate significant accomplishments of ancient Egypt
|Mesopotamia: The First Civilization||Explore the evolution of civilization in the Mesopotamian region.|
|Mesopotamian Kings: History, Politics, and Religion||Understand the ruling system of Mesopotamian kings and its correlation with religion.|
|The Protoliterate Period in Sumer||Learn about the development of written language in Sumer.|
|The Invention of Writing||Examine the innumerable impacts of the materialization of writing.|
|The Old Sumerian Period||Understand the predominance of and motivations for perpetual warfare in the old Sumerian period.|
|The Fertile Crescent: Cradle of Civilization||Recognize the advantageous characteristics of the fertile crescent. Learn about the art, technology, and architecture of what became the region's dominant empires.|
|The Akkadian Period||Become familiar with the migration of the Akkadians and the development of the first true empire.|
|The Neo-Sumerian Period||Understand the characteristics of the Neo-Sumerian period and the tendencies toward order, peace, and prosperity in the Sumerian city of Ur.|
|Heirs of the Sumerians: Babylonians, Hittites, Hurrians, and Assyrians||Examine the technologies, architecture, and art of various kingdoms of the Mesopotamian region.|
|Assyrian Art and Architecture||Become familiar with the architecture and art of the Assyrian civilization.|
|Hammurabi's Code: The Advent of Law, Prerequisites, and Implications||Learn about the origination of law and its corresponding social implications.|
|The Epic of Gilgamesh||Understand the Sumerians' religious belief system and exploration of immortality. Identify defining characteristics of this culture.|
|Ancient Egypt in the Bronze Age||Explore the art, characteristics, and accomplishments of Egyptian culture as the pinnacle of Bronze Age society.|
|Ancient Egyptian Art: History and Style||Become familiar with the style and elements of ancient Egyptian art.|
|Ancient Egyptian Architecture: History, Characteristics, and Influences||Understand the influences and traits of ancient Egypt's architecture.|
|The Achievements of the Egyptians||Identify major achievements of ancient Egyptian culture.|
|Egyptian Women: Royalty, Privileges, and Tradition||Recognize the expected roles, responsibilities, and perceptions of women in ancient Egypt.|
|The Egyptian Social Structure||Understand the dominant social structure of ancient Egypt.|
|Iron Age Empires: Neo-Babylonian, Neo-Assyrian, and Persian Empires||Distinguish among and recognize the major characteristics of these empires of the Iron Age.|
|What's the Difference Between Polytheism and Monotheism?||Define and differentiate between the religious concepts of monotheism and polytheism.|
|The Hebrews and Their Beliefs||Examine the fundamental tenets of Judaism.|
|Iron vs. Bronze: History of Metallurgy||Compare and contrast the characteristics of iron and bronze. Understand the historical development of metallurgy.|
|Ancient Persian Art and Architecture: History and Style||Become familiar with the style and history of the art and architecture of ancient Persia.|
|Zoroastrianism: Definition, Beliefs, and History||Understand the development, philosophy, and historical and contemporary implications of Zoroastrianism.|
|Cult of Mithras: Myth and History||Learn the history and characteristics of Mithraism.|
1. Mesopotamia: The First Civilization
In this lesson, we explore the beginning of one of the oldest civilizations in the world, Mesopotamia. We specifically discuss the factors that encouraged settlement in the region.
2. Mesopotamian Kings: History, Politics & Religion
Ancient Mesopotamia was a land of chaotic weather and inner turmoil. Religion became a political weapon for fighting among the city-states. This lesson explores the link between religion and politics in the ancient land.
3. Sumer's Protoliterate Period & the Origin of Writing
In this lesson, we explore the Sumerian development of writing and the important cultural factors that led to its usage, as well as some of the practices in which it was quickly utilized. After, feel free to test yourself on the brief quiz.
4. The Invention of Writing
Writing, the original IT: This lecture covers the limitations and obstacles of aural transmission. It describes the invention of Cuneiform in the fertile crescent. Finally, it explains how writing enabled literate societies to dominate their pre-literate neighbors.
5. Old Sumerian Period: Wars & Expansion
In this lesson, we explore the Old Sumerian Period, a period of Mesopotamian history where the growth of prosperous city-states led to intermittent periods of warfare.
6. The Fertile Crescent: Cradle of Civilization
Complex civilization wasn't always the norm. In this lesson, we are going to check out the origins of civilization as we know it, and see where, when, and how this new system of living first began.
7. Akkadian Civilization: Culture, Art & Religion
In this lesson, we explore the Akkadian empire of ancient Sumer. Possibly the first 'empire' to ever exist in the ancient world, Akkadian kings dominated Sumer for over a century.
8. Neo-Sumerian Period: Lifestyle, Peace & Prosperity
In this lesson, we explore the Neo-Sumerian Period, a relatively short period in Sumerian history but one of immense economic and cultural growth and prosperity.
9. Heirs of the Sumerians: Babylonians, Hittites, Hurrians and Assyrians
This lecture covers the history of Mesopotamia from the disintegration of the Sumerian Empire to the great Bronze Age collapse. We'll explore the destructive force of the Elamites and the Hittites as well as the imperial ambitions of the Babylonians, the Mittani and the Assyrians.
10. 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.
11. Hammurabi's Code: The Advent of Law, Prerequisites and Implications
This lecture discusses the need for law and the benefits of a judicial system. Next, it reviews the history of early law codes, like those of Ur-Nammu and Hammurabi. Finally, we look at the implications of law for kings.
12. The Epic of Gilgamesh
Witness the Epic of Gilgamesh, a story of adventure, love and friendship. This long poem will help us examine the hallmarks of civilization for a Sumerian and the importance of dreams. We'll also cover the Sumerian contributions to the epic form of literature.
13. Ancient Egypt in the Bronze Age
This lecture first compares the natural features of the Nile valley to those of Mesopotamia, enumerating the advantages that geography offered the Egyptians. This is followed by a brief discussion of why Egyptian material culture survives while so much of Mesopotamian culture has been lost. The lecture ends with a a whirlwind tour through 3,000 years of Egyptian history broken up into traditional historical periods.
14. Ancient Egyptian Art: History and Style
This lesson provides a brief look at the exquisite art of the Ancient Egyptians. Egyptian art contains images of people and deities that represent the culture in which they lived.
15. Ancient Egyptian Architecture: History, Characteristics & Influences
This lesson explores the architectural wonders of ancient Egypt. Some of these structures include temples, pyramids and monumental statues constructed long ago and surviving into modern times.
16. Egyptian Social Structure: From Slaves to Pharaoh
In this lesson, we will explore ancient Egypt's social structure. We'll start at the top of this great pyramid with the Pharaoh and work our way to the bottom, where we'll find peasants and slaves.
17. Egyptian Women: Royalty, Privileges & Tradition
In this lesson, we will study ancient Egyptian women. We will focus especially on the rights and privileges they enjoyed in the legal, economic, and social realms, and we will meet Egypt's most famous female ruler.
18. Egyptian Achievements: Unification, Pyramids, Hieroglyphics & Calendar
In this lesson, we will discuss some of the major achievements of ancient Egypt, including its unification by King Menes, the pyramids, hieroglyphics, and the Egyptian calendar.
19. 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.
20. What's the Difference Between Polytheism and Monotheism?
This lecture discusses the origins of monotheism. It then compares monotheism to polytheism, with especial emphasis on the problematic nature of holy law. Finally it uses the Greek story of Hippolytus to compare the ancient polytheistic perspective to a modern christian perspective.
21. The Hebrews and Their Beliefs
This lesson covers the Hebrews and their beliefs. We look at the core tenets of Judaism and explore some of the stories from the Torah. Finally, we see how the Hebrews' history of oppression impacted their religion and the world today.
22. 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.
23. 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.
24. 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.
25. 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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Other chapters within the World History: Credit Recovery course
- Foundational Concepts of World History
- Major Belief Systems of the World
- Early Civilizations of World History
- Early Chinese Civilization
- Early Indian Civilization
- History of Ancient Greece
- Hellenism and the Athenian Achievement
- The Rise of the Roman Republic
- History of the Fall of Rome
- The Rise of Christianity
- The Eastern Mediterranean
- Introduction to the Dark Ages
- African History
- The Early Middle Ages
- The Medieval Warm Period
- The High Middle Ages
- History of Asia (1000-1300 CE)
- Pre-European Civilizations in North America
- Eurasia and the Great Dynastic Empires
- The Late Middle Ages
- The Renaissance
- The Age of Exploration
- The Reformation Across Europe
- The Elizabethan Era
- The Enlightenment & World Revolutions
- World War I
- Between the World Wars
- World War II
- The Cold War
- Latin America Since 1900
- The 21st Century
- Post War Europe, Asia, Middle East, and Africa