Chapter 4: Classical Civilizations in the Mediterranean and Middle East

Civilizations around the Mediterranean influenced each other greatly through culture, language, and government, and their legacy remained prominent throughout history.

Persian Empire:

  • Influential through Persian language and culture (wide tolerance in diversity and politics)
  • Developed infrastructure throughout empire - trade & spread military operations
  • Center of major religion - Zoroastrianism (moral choices), faded in competition with Islam
  • Unable to conquer Greece but dominated Middle East, North Africa, and Indian River Vally.

Ancient Greece

  • Divided civilization due to natural barriers and rugged terrain
  • City-states - had their own local government; helped develop complex society
  • Athens - birthplace of democracy (everyone voted on major issues)

Ancient Rome

  • Greatly influenced by Greece
  • Emerged as monarchy, developed into Republic, then an empire
  • Valued militaristic power

Patterns in Greek and Roman Society

  • Sparta and Athens became leading city-states, but political decline started during Peloponnesian Wars for dominance in Southern Greece
  • Economies based on commercial agriculture, trade, and slavery
  • Sparta and Athens became leading city-states, but political decline started during Peloponnesian Wars for dominance in Southern Greece
  • Human-like gods
  • Complex mathematical skills influenced art and architectureconcentrated on law courts and military force
  • Philosophy, science, and art flourished

Legacy

  • Classical Greece, Persia, and their Hellenistic successors lasted 600 years (Rome 600 years after that)
  • Impact on Americas: designers of US constitutions looked at Greek and Roman precedents
  • Zoroastrianism influenced Islam, Judaism, and Christianity

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