Chapter 5

The Classical Period: Directions, Diversities, and Declines by 500 CE

Classical civilizations valued ideas of religion, philosophy, and government which were spread through integration (mixing and combining) and expansion.

Ancient India and China: throughout the classical world, integration and expansion faltered between 200 - 500 CE. Decline, even collapse, began to affect India and China. This was caused by political instability and nomadic invasion.

Japan: at the peak of its development because of the growth of agriculture and religion (Shintoism).

Northern Europe: lagged behind every other civilization in the world.

Central America: Olmec developed and spread civilization; progress was greater than that of Europe and Africa.

Roman Empire:

Fall of the Roman Empire happened because of political corruption, decreasing population because of plagues, and loss of interest in culture

  •        The city states tried to be self sufficient, led to political and economic decline
  •        Eastern and Western portions of the empire developed differently after the fall of Rome
  •        Trade, production, culture, political & economic stability, all declined.

Byzantium Empire: picked up where Rome left off in the east. Centered on Constantinople.

  •       West- overrun by barbarians.

Religion: Political instability led to a need for spiritual comfort - Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam rose,

  •            emphasized spiritual growth beyond daily concerns
  • Spread through trade and travel, positive and negative effects
  • Hinduism: India, Buddhism: Eastern Asia, Islam: Middle East, Christianity: worldwide
  • Syncretism: blending new beliefs with old


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