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In Part 1, we will be learning about Mesopotamia and Egypt. As you read, please pay attention to the thesis statements being made in your text and the websites about the role of religion, the rights of women, the relationship between leaders and priests, how political leaders. stayed in power, and how civilizations developed. Also, be sure to make note of important people or groups and what they accomplished and the effects of their accomplishments on world history. You also have a Test due by 11:59pm Sunday. It is on Ch 1 and the parts of 2 we read, chapters 3, and 4, my Announcements, and the Syllabus.

Please remember, to be considered for the highest grades, you must cite or reference material from the readings. I accept MLA, APA, Chicago, and in text simple styles such as (Brand, Chapter 1, section 10). This will apply to every discussion we do moving forward…so I don’t have to keep repeating it 🙂 Please remember the word counts, peer, and the rubric 🙂

As with all discussions, you will not see any until you first post. No matter what option you pick, you must respond to someone else. I am using the same rubric as week one to grade. Enjoy!

Please read Chapter two, which covers Egypt and Mesopotamia in our text to begin. Then you can do either Option A on Ancient Mesopotamia or Option B on Egypt, or Option C on women in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Option C requires you to watch parts of two cc documentaries, so keep that in mind when making your choices.

Option A.Using our text (secondary sources) and the primary sources known as the Epic of Gilgamesh

Actions(don’t worry I am asking you to skim it — find out who he is, what he does, and how the gods/goddesses and underworld world) discuss what we know about the politics and religious beliefs and practices of the ancient people of Mesopotamia. Be sure to discuss the relationship between the Gods and humans, the beliefs about a flood, what happens to Gilgamesh (and therefore to all of us, right?), and the views about the afterlife.

This optional video on Gilgamesh is fun and a short creative look at the Epic:

This cc video is optional, but I think you will enjoy it. Mesopotamia is important for so many reasons. It is the first complex civilization and deserves far more attention than it usually gets:

Option B: Egypt

After reading our text chapter sections on Egypt (secondary sources) and the secondary source intro that contains the 42 parts of the primary source known as The Negative Confession Links to an external site.

Please describe the religion of Egypt and how it related to/helped build and organize their society and how it supported order and stability. How do you account for the development from simple cave-based rituals and Venus figurines to such highly sophisticated beliefs and practices — do you think we are seeing the same fears/concerns/desires driving the development of more complex religion and social systems, or is something really new happening?

There are millions of documentaries on Egypt. It is hard to pick just one. If any of the following cc options are of interest, enjoy.

Option C: This option relies on secondary sources but also primary source artifacts related to elite women, such as the great Hatshepsut (Links to an external site.) and Nefertiti. (Links to an external site.) The roles available to ancient women of Egypt (Links to an external site.) may surprise you. Please be sure you read through the links, ch 2 in the text, and watch the cc videos. Videos are secondary sources because they are from our time interpreting – reflecting back on the past. In the videos, you will see how scholars use primary sources to construct their understanding of these great women and Egyptian history. Discuss and analyze the roles of women and their power in Egypt. Compare what you learn with what we discussed regarding the Venus figurines. Remember, last week, we discussed Venus Figurines and entertained the possibility that women may, according to some scholars, have been more powerful or treated more equally in prehistoric cultures than we might expect. Of course, not everyone viewed the Venus Figurines as a sign of female power or equality; other scholars interpret the artifacts to mean that women were only valued for fertility or sexuality.


In part two of this assignment, we will move further East to explore more of Asia. You are reading the sections in your book on Ancient India and Ancient China (usually Ch 3 & 4). We will cover Japan later in the class. You will be learning about scholarly arguments (thesis statements) regarding the language, religion, and culture of India and the philosophies and religions of China. I hope you will come to recognize the relevant leaders, groups, philosophers, and teachers. from India and China, as well as an understanding of their contributions to the growth of civilizations in India and China. Important events and their consequences will also be explored as we continue to look at cause and effect in world history. I am giving you several choices this week, as the chapters are expansive. Don’t forget, we have a test that opens Friday and will be due Sunday.

Option A: I know some of you are interested in linguistics and the expansion of people outwards. In the chapter on India, we learn about the Aryo (Aryan) people, an Indo-European group whose periodic migrations brought the exchange of the Indo-European root language, horses, patriarchal systems, and iron technology to many regions, including India. If you pick this option, read a bit more about the Indo-Europeans and their ties to many cultures, (Links to an external site.)then discuss the importance of these people and the consequences of their expansion. Please also respond to one other person as normal.

Option B: The Harappa/Mohenjo-Daro (Links to an external site.)civilization began along the Indus River. It is known also as the Indus Valley Civilization. (Links to an external site.)In this option, please describe this civilization. Describe their technologies, developments, innovations, and art. What are the challenges of learning more about them?

Option C: After reading, explore the Rig Veda and other sacred texts. B (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)rowse through some (not all – just a small sample will do) of the hymns presented in this translation. What exactly is the Rig Veda? What can it tell us about the culture that eventually replaced the Harappan society? How would you describe the Aryans based on our cd text andthe Vedas? How does the religious imagery in these hymns compare to what we read about in Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and/or prehistoric religions (cave art/Venus period)? Remember to include any relevant information from our text book, podcasts, and websites. Respond to one of your fellow students.

Option D: During the period of the Seven Warring States at the end of the Zhou Dynasty [1027 – 256 BCE], China continued to prosper in spite of the intense fighting between the States. Various Chinese philosophers offered different solutions as to how to restore social and political order out of the chaos of the times. Using the information from our text, the quotes from Confucius, Lao-Tzu, and a Legalist scholar included here, and your knowledge, write an entry in which you: Identify and discuss the views of the three major schools of philosophy (Confucian, Daoism, Legalist) (Links to an external site.)of an ideal people and society and how one might “construct” or achieve such an ideal. Explain how each major school of philosophy presented a different vision of the ideal ruler and person. Remember to include any relevant information from our text book, podcasts, and websites. Respond to one of your fellow students.

Quote from Confucius: Lead the people with governmental measures and regulate them with laws and punishment, and they will avoid wrongdoing but will have no sense of honor and shame. Lead them with virtue and regulate them by the rules of propriety, and they will have a sense of shame and, moreover, set themselves right.” [2:3] Chi K’ang asked Confucius about government, saying, “What do you think of killing the wicked and associating with the good?” Confucius replied, “In your government what is the need of killing? If you desire what is good, the people will be good. The character of a ruler is like wind and that of the people is like grass. In whatever direction the wind blows, the grass always bends.” [12:19] Confucius said, “If a ruler sets himself right, he will be followed without his command. If he does not set himself right, even his commands will not be obeyed.” [13:6] Excerpts from The Analects of Confucius.
Lao-Tzu Quote: Not exalting worth keeps the people from rivalry. Not prizing what is hard to procure keeps the people from theft. Not to show them what they may covet is the way to keep their minds from disorder. Therefore the Sage, when he governs, empties their minds and fills their bellies, weakens their inclinations and strengthens their bones. His constant object is to keep the people without knowledge and without desire, or to prevent those who have knowledge from daring to act. He practises inaction, and nothing remains ungovernedHe who respects the State as his own person is fit to govern it. He who loves the State as his own body is fit to be entrusted with it.How cautious is the Sage, how sparing of his words! When his task is accomplished and affairs are prosperous, the people all say: “We have come to be as we are, naturally and of ourselves.”
Legalism Quote from Han Fei Tzu: When it comes to women, the wise ruler may enjoy them, but should not be drawn into their pleads or submit to their requests. (, July 26th, 2015)
LEGALIST QUOTE: In the highest antiquity, the people did not know that they had rulers. In the next age they loved and praised them. In the next, they feared them. In the next, they despised them.
When it comes to people who are close to him, he enjoys them, but is sure to hold them responsible for what they say, and prevent them from expressing unasked for opinions.
When it comes to uncles, brothers, and chief vassals, he should punish them when their advice leads to failure, and promote them when their advice leads to success. He should not promote them erratically.
When it comes to pleasures and the enjoyment of valuable goods, he should have a staff that handles these things, and prohibit anyone from having the freedom to control them. Otherwise, ministers will be able to manipulate the sovereign by knowing his wants.
When it comes to favors, he should grant them at his own will to use emergency resources and public storehouses, and benefit the people. A minister should never be allowed to give based on his personal favorites.
When it comes to persuasions and discussions, he must observe and find out people who are considered skillful at something, and verify the lack of skill in those who are considered bad. He should always avoid letting ministers talk to each other about them.
The wise ruler institutes posts, offices, ranks, and bounties in order to offer a guarantee to promote the worthy and encourage the excellent. …
The sovereign promotes the worthy by examining their abilities, and gives them bounties based on what excellences they have. Thus, worthy people will not hide their abilities in their service to the sovereign, and the excellent people delight in career promotion. And so, aims and advantages are achieved.
…Placing too much value on minor advantages will impede major advantages.(Han Fei Tzu,, July 26, 2015)
Option D. The Qin Dynasty (Links to an external site.), though short lived, was important in Chinese history. Please discuss this Dynasty, how it was ruled and its importance, and its accomplishments. Remember to include any relevant information from our text book, podcasts, and websites. Respond to one of your fellow students.


For part three, in this assignment, we return to chapter two to revisit the Persian Empire and the Hebrews, the ancestors of the Jewish people. The Persian Empire was formed by Cyrus the Great. It was one of the ancient world’s largest empires, cosmopolitan, advanced, and wealthy. We will explore. some thesis statements by scholars about the importance of the religion of the Empire, as well as the importance and “greatness” of two of its Emperors, Cyrus the Great and Darius the Great (two very important historical figures for you to know). We will also learn about the causes and effects of important religious or infrastructure developments to the Empire. When discussing the Hebrew people, who. develop into the Jewish people. We must recognize the arguments made for their importance to world history 9those thesis statements again :)), which we will read about in our text and the websites. We will also note essential people, such as Abraham, whose embrace of the God of the people will cause many effects.

Please read through those sections covering the Persian Empires and the development of the Jewish Kingdoms in Chapter Two. Then, pick one of the options.

Option A: Read these hymns that constitute the central scriptures of Zoroastrianism. The Avesta, sacred scripture, Links to an external site.contains the Gathas, which reveal much about this monotheist religion. The Central beliefs Links to an external site.and practices of the Zoroastrian people are still important today. What are the central themes and concerns of this religion? How do they compare to the religious texts we have examined from other cultures? What might they tell us about Persian culture? Is there anything distinctly more modern about these texts than others we have read about?

I have included an optional cc video you might enjoy. It is optional, so please know you are not tested on it If you do watch it, try to watch in 15-minute increments. It helps those who want to explore more by showing some of the places we learn about in our readings and lecture.

Option B: Discuss the Hebrew people’s history and the Jewish people’s development from their polytheism to monotheism Links to an external site.and kingdom building Links to an external site.through the return from the Babylonian Captivity. Links to an external site.What would you say was the greatest contribution made by Jewish people to Early World History?

The optional cc video I have included here is an interesting look at the development of the early Kingdom of David of the Israelites. If you’d like to watch something to learn more and see some of the things we talk about or read about, it is a good source. As with all optional videos, you don’t have to watch. It is a great look at one of the early Kings. If you watch this, I suggest pausing every 15 minutes so you don’t get overwhelmed.

Option C: Discuss Cyrus the Great Links to an external site.and the Persian Empire Links to an external site.up through its conquest by Alexander the Great. What do you think earned Cyrus the name “the Great?” What about Darius the GreatLinks to an external site.? Why is he considered great? What were his major accomplishmentsLinks to an external site.?

The following optional cc video I have included is very good. It is not required. It is good, though and for those who want to explore more and visually, it is good.

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