About This Chapter
Who's it for?
This unit of our AP World History Homeschool Curriculum course will benefit any student who is trying to learn about the ancient Middle East. There is no faster or easier way to learn about ancient Middle Eastern civilizations. Among those who would benefit are:
- Students who require an efficient, self-paced course of study to learn about the Egyptians, Mesopotamians or Sumerians.
- Homeschool parents looking to spend less time preparing lessons and more time teaching.
- Homeschool parents who need a history curriculum that appeals to multiple learning types (visual or auditory).
- Gifted students and students with learning differences.
How it works:
- Students watch a short, fun video lesson that covers a specific unit topic.
- Students and parents can refer to the video transcripts to reinforce learning.
- Short quizzes and an ancient Middle East unit exam confirm understanding or identify any topics that require review.
Ancient Middle East Unit Objectives:
- Understand why the Fertile Crescent was the optimum place to establish a civilization.
- Identify the post-Sumerian kingdoms, including Assyrian, Babylonian, Hittite and Hurrian.
- Discuss the historical legacy of Hammurabi's Code.
- Identify the main differences between monotheism and polytheism.
- Explain how ancient Egypt evolved during the Bronze Age, with a special emphasis on social structure.
- Compare the Neo-Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian and Persian empires.
- Understand how religion served the political needs of the Mesopotamian kings.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. What's the Difference Between Polytheism and Monotheism?
There have been many religions throughout human history, and each one has had a unique set of beliefs. In this lesson, we're going to look at the two main categories into which most of the world's religions fit and then compare them to each other.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
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Other chapters within the AP World History: Homeschool Curriculum course
- AP World History - Foundational Concepts: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP World History - Major Belief Systems: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP World History - Ancient Civilizations: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP World History - Ancient China, Africa, India & America: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP World History - Ancient Greece: Homeschool Curriculum
- Hellenism & Athenian Philosophy: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP World History - Rise of the Roman Republic: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP World History - Fall of the Roman Empire: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP World History - The Dark Ages: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP World History - Early Middle Ages: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP World History - The Medieval Warm Period: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP World History - The High Middle Ages: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP World History - Asia, Africa & America (1000-1300 CE): Homeschool Curriculum
- AP World History - The Late Middle Ages: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP World History - The Renaissance: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP World History - The Age of Exploration: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP World History - The Reformation Across Europe: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP World History - The Elizabethan Era: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP World History - The Enlightenment: Homeschool Curriculum
- Political, Technological & Intellectual Developments (1750-1914): Homeschool Curriculum
- AP World History - Colonialism: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP World History - Imperialism: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP World History - World War I: Homeschool Curriculum
- The Cold War and Other 20th Century World History: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP World History - A Globalized World - 1980 & Beyond: Homeschool Curriculum
- Portions of the AP World History Exam: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP Exam Essay Writing Skills: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP Exam Essay Writing and Development: Homeschool Curriculum