Chapter 4—Eurasian Empires, 500 B.C.E.–500 C.E. The Big Picture: After the First Civilizations: What Changed and What Didn’t?
Chapter Learning Objectives
To consider the nature of imperial systems in the classical era To explore why empires developed in some regions but not in others To show the important similarities and differences between imperial systems and the reasons behind them To reflect on the significance that classical empires have for us today
Ahura Mazda: In Zoroastrianism, the good god who rules the world. (pron. ah-HOOR-a MAZ-dah) Alexander the Great: Alexander III of Macedon (356–323 B.C.E.), conqueror of the Persian Empire and part of northwest India. Aryans: Indo-European pastoralists who moved into India about the time of the collapse of the Indus Valley civilization; their role in causing this collapse is still debated by historians. Ashoka: The most famous ruler of the Mauryan empire (r. 268–232 B.C.E.), who converted to Buddhism and tried to rule peacefully and with tolerance. (pron. ah-SHOKE-uh) Athenian democracy: A radical form of direct democracy in which much of the free male population of Athens had the franchise and officeholders were chosen by lot. Caesar Augustus: The great-nephew and adopted son of Julius Caesar who emerged as sole ruler of the Roman state at the end of an extended period of civil war (r. 31 B.C.E.–14 C.E.). Cyrus (the Great): Founder of the Persian Empire (r. 557–530 B.C.E.); a ruler noted for his conquests, religious tolerance, and political moderation. Darius I: Great king of Persia (r. 522–486 B.C.E) following the upheavals after Cyrus’s death; completed the establishment of the Persian Empire. (pron. most commonly in American English DAHR-ee-us) Greco-Persian Wars: Two major Persian invasions of Greece, in 490 B.C.E and 480 B.C.E, in which the Persians were defeated on both land and sea. Gupta Empire: An empire of India (320–550 C.E.). (pron. GHOOP-tuh) Han dynasty: Dynasty that ruled...
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