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Civilization: Ancient World to Medieval Times

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What changes do you see in terms of individual citizens' lives during this era? Is life harder or easier? In what ways?

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• Ancient" "Classical", "Medieval", "Early Modern", and " Modern". What do these words mean?
o Ancient = all of history before 500 CE ["CE" means "common era" and is an increasingly common way of referring to the usually dating system without using the abbreviation "AD", which means "In the Year of the Lord" and thus might be inappropriate to use about non-Christian peoples and societies. "BCE" means "Before the Common Era".]
Classical = those periods in ancient history which produced art and literature which later achieved great acclaim. In practice this means Greece in the fifth and fourth centuries BCE, and Rome in the first century BCE and the first century CE.
Medieval = European history between about 500 and 1500 CE.
Early Modern = European history from about 1400 (there is an overlap with "medieval" to 1789, and the French Revolution.
Modern = History since the French, American and Industrial revolutions in the late 18th century.
1. Individual's lives were influenced by religion beliefs, which changed from the ancient to the medieval times:
There were a great many different religions followed in the ancient and medieval time periods. Some of them are still practiced today; others are not. It is hard even to know what religion is, but we see religion as any tendency to change your own behavior in accordance with supernatural forces.

Most people in the ancient and medieval world believed that there were many unseen spirits affecting how things happened. The earlier faiths all thought that there were many gods, each responsible for different things: a god of the sky, a god of water, a god of love, and so forth. Egyptian, Sumerian, Chinese, Indian, African, Greek, Roman, and German religions all had their gods organized this way, even though they had different gods. This is called polytheism (poll-ee--THEE-is-em). But, beginning about 1350 BC in Egypt, there was a movement toward monotheism, or just believing in one god (often with a lot of weaker helper gods or angels). Akhenaten, an Egyptian pharaoh, may have been one of the first powerful people to push this idea. By 1100 BC or so (maybe), we see the Jews practicing monotheism. Around the same time, Zoroastrianism swept West Asia with the same idea, adding a strong notion of dualism, with the world divided into good and evil. Five hundred years later, about 500 BC, Buddhism swept India. This was a time of great religious change not only in India, but in East Asia too, with the rise of Taoism and Confucianism. Finally, in the first century AD, Christianity began to spread monotheism to the Mediterranean and Europe, although Judaism suffered from the Roman conquest of Jerusalem. By the 500's AD, Buddhism spread all over China. And in the 600's AD, Islam replaced Christianity and Zoroastrianism as the main religion followed in the Mediterranean, West Asia, and much of Africa. By the 1200's, Islam had reached India as well. http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/religion/
• 1 The study of ancient history
o 1.1 Archaeology
o 1.2 Primary sources
• 2 Chronology
o 2.1 Prehistory
o 2.2 Important events
o 2.3 End of ancient history in Europe
• 3 Some prominent civilizations of ancient history (relevant)
o 3.1 Europe and the Mediterranean
o 3.2 East Asia
o 3.3 Central and Southwest Asia
o 3.4 Saharan and Sub-Saharan Africa
o 3.5 The Americas
• 4 References and further reading
• 5 See also
• 6 External Links
Some prominent civilizations of ancient history
Europe and the Mediterranean
• Ancient Egypt
• Ancient Greece
• Ancient Rome
• Carthage
• Etruscans
• Hittites
• Phoenicia
East Asia
• Ancient China
• Ancient Japan
• Ancient Korea
• Mongols
Central and Southwest Asia
• Ancient India
• Ancient Persia
• Assyria
• Babylonia
• Indus Valley civilization
• Kingdom of Judah
• Medes
• Mesopotamia
• Mitanni
• Sumer
Saharan and Sub-Saharan Africa
• Axumite Kingdom
• Kush

The Americas
• Aztecs
• Mayans
• Native America
• Incans
• Olmecs
Medieval life
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
An examination of the major themes in medieval life, from birth to death, from language to performing arts, from country life to town life, from the structure of the universe to folktales.
• 1 Rural life
• 2 Town life
• 3 Religious life
• 4 Cultural life
o 4.1 Language and literature
o 4.2 Education
o 4.3 Visual arts
o 4.4 Performance arts
• 5 Stages of life
o 5.1 Childhood
o 5.2 Love, Sex and Marriage
o 5.3 Customs
o 5.4 Medicine
o 5.5 Death
• 6 Time
o 6.1 The Past
o 6.2 The Present
• 6.2.1 Rhythm of the day/week/month/year
o 6.3 The Future
• 7 The World
o 7.1 Nature and the Universe
o 7.2 Other creatures
• 7.2.1 Animals
• 7.2.2 Angels and Demons
• 7.2.3 Mythical creatures

2. Increase in knowledge and philosophies over time: move from reason to romanticism
Article 1 BELOW: It discusses philosophers and the impact of the increase in knowledge in the lives of individual people. For example, life became easier for people over time, from hunting and gathering to more sophisticated technology and easier way of life. For example, eventually humanism WAS introduced, which is the awareness and emphasis of a culture on the dignity and worth of human beings. Humanists believe that human beings, through their power of reason, have the ability to understand nature, and to determine and achieve that, which is good for human beings. During the Renaissance, the good life FOR THE PEOPLE was again the life of reason, with emphasis placed on satisfying all the needs of the person in balanced harmony; and with human beings seen as capable of controlling their own lives, and of constructing a just society. The humanistic spirit was expressed in the artistic endeavors of the period, which emphasized the Greek joy in living, instead of the suffering and death it had formerly displayed. Architects began to design non-religious buildings rather than cathedrals, and painters and sculptors began to glorify people and nature in their works, instead of the clergy and religious symbols. More and more, writers composed prose and poetry in the vernacular that is, in native languages like French and Italian, rather than in Latin, opening a new literary age that gradually brought learning and literature to the common person.
The great golden age of Athenian philosophy, encompassing Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle only lasted for about a hundred years. In the centuries that followed, changes in the political and cultural climate of the ancient world tended to discourage many varieties of philosophical thinking. The Macedonians under Philip and Alexander founded a Greek empire, which was later conquered by the Romans. Although the general culture of this "Hellenistic" period remained Greek in spirit, political power was vested in a highly centralized state, established and maintained primarily through extensive applications of military force. The (sometime) Athenian tradition of participatory government disappeared as individual citizens were excluded from significantly shaping the social structure of their lives.
Hellenistic philosophers, therefore, devoted less attention than had Plato and Aristotle to the speculative construction of an ideal state that would facilitate the achievement of a happy life. Instead, the ethical thinkers of this later period focussed upon the life of the individual, independently of the society as a whole, describing in detail the kinds of character and action that might enable a person to live well despite the prevailing political realities. In general, we might say, such philosophers tried to show how we should live when circumstances beyond our control seem to render pointless everything we try to accomplish. The Hellenistic schools of philosophy, then, exhibit less confidence and propose solutions less radical than their Athenian predecessors had in the golden era. http://www.philosophypages.com/hy/2w.htm
Jakes said. "These people had sophisticated technologies and complex cultural systems that we only know a little about." One of the defining characteristics of the Hopewell civilization was its cremation of some of their dead. In addition to cremation basins, many charred objects, including fabric and copper, have been found. But when textiles were found, their importance was undervalued, Jakes said.http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/08/0823_040823_ancient_textiles.html
Let' go through the following article for other ideas of changes that people made throughout this period of time. Although it is a discussion of theories and philosophies, it also had excellent examples embedded of the how the lives of people changed from the ancient world to the medieval times (reason to romanticism) with lives often being somewhat easier over times.

o Importance of Philosophy
o Philosophic Inquiry Subjects
o Ancient Period
o Medieval Period
o Modern Period
o Indian Philosophy
o Chinese Philosophy

The word philosophy is said to come from the ancient Greek word "philosophia," meaning, "love of wisdom." By this is meant the active pursuit of wisdom, not merely passively possessing wisdom. Various philosophies have been developed because of man's natural desire to understand the mysteries of existence, like the nature of truth and knowledge, and man's relationship to nature and to society. Philosophy seeks to determine what is of basic value and importance in life, so that a person may pursue these objectives in his or her efforts to secure a full and satisfying life.
Many philosophic schools of thought have sprung up in both the Western and Eastern cultures of the world. However, Western and Eastern philosophies developed independently of each other, since until about 200 years ago there was little interchange between these cultures, mainly because of the difficulties of travel and communication between the two.
Philosophy has an enormous influence on our everyday lives, whether or not we know it. Every institution of a society, including its government, economic system, religions, and the family is based upon philosophic ideas. Philosophic beliefs have led to the overthrow of governments and the changing of economic systems, because people have held certain views as to what is of importance and value to them, and to what extent political institutions should govern and control their lives.
Philosophy may make inquiry into any subject, and is concerned with the study of practically everything in the universe. However, there are five basic subjects that are of particular concern to philosophers: metaphysics; epistemology; ethics; politics; and history.
Metaphysics. Metaphysics is concerned with questions about reality, about what is actually real. Are only physical, tangible objects known through our senses real? Or, is reality to be found only in the eternal Truths of God, knowable to us through our power of reason, with the physical world being, therefore, but an illusion?
Epistemology. Epistemology concerns the study of the theory of knowledge. This is concerned with questions such as: Is there a limit to how much we can know? Is there true knowledge, or merely opinion, which appears to us to be the truth? Is truth fixed, eternal, and absolute? Or, is truth changing and relative?
Ethics. Ethics, or morality, asks, "Is there a highest, absolute good for human beings? If so, what is its nature, and how do we know? Which human actions are morally right, and which are wrong? Why should we be moral?"
Politics. Politics asks, "What is the best form of government, and what is its proper role? How much control should government have over the lives of its citizens?"
History. History is concerned with such questions as, "Does human history have any significance? Is there have any meaning, purpose, or pattern to history that justifies the seemingly endless frustrations and miseries of human efforts?"
Thus, the subjects addressed by philosophy concern questions about life we have all asked ourselves, pertaining to the nature of truth, reality, knowledge, morality, the meaning of human life, and the role of government. These are the types of questions which have been pondered over the ages by philosophers, and which continue to be pondered today.
Various philosophies have been developed over the ages as a response to the social and political conditions that existed influenced by the culture and time period in which they were developed. Accordingly, the development of Western Philosophy may be conveniently divided into three historic time periods: Ancient, and Modern. at the time they were formulated. Thus, the views expressed by a particular philosophy were Medieval;
Almost all the great philosophers of the ancient period of philosophic development were Greek. The Greek culture began to flourished between 800 B.C. and 500 B.C., and the first recorded Olympic Games were held in 776 B.C. The peoples of ancient Greece lived in independent communities called "city-states," the chief ones being Athens, Corinth, Sparta, and Thebes. The city-states were not united politically, but their peoples were bound together by a common culture and language.
The "Golden Age" of Greek civilization began around 445 B.C. During this period, Athens became the cultural center of the Greek world. Great and beautiful architectural structures were built, and lasting works were produced in literature, drama, history, and philosophy. The people of Athens were ruled by a democratic government, and the right to vote was given to all citizens, but excluded women and slaves. It might be noted that until recent times we had a similar voting situation right here in the U.S.
The Golden Age lasted until around 431 B.C., at which time a war broke out between Athens and Sparta that ended in 404 B.C. with Sparta being victorious. It was around this time in history that the works of the great ancient Greek philosophers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle were developed. Socrates was born about 469 B.C.; Plato, in 427 B.C.; and Aristotle, in 384 B.C. Plato was a student of Socrates', and Aristotle, a student of Plato's. Consequently, the philosophy of each reflected to a large extent the views of their tutor.
These ancient Greek philosophers were mainly interested in metaphysics, ethics, and political philosophy. They speculated about the workings of the universe, and investigated the nature of knowledge and reality. They sought to define such notions as, good and evil, beauty, ethics, justice, and good government.
Socrates did his teaching in the streets, the marketplaces, and the gymnasiums. Socrates left no writings of his own, although he was constantly engaged in philosophic discussions. Information about his life comes mostly from the works of Plato, and from that of the historian Xenophon, who also had been a pupil of Socrates. According to Xenophon, Socrates was a respected teacher, chiefly interested in helping people become good, and he completely devoted his life to seeking out truth and righteousness. Socrates' intention was to formulate true and enduring precise definitions and meanings of such abstract concepts as, wisdom, justice, courage, and virtue, which could serve as the foundation of knowledge and morality, and as standards by which to live.
Plato, unlike Socrates, is known through his own writings. Plato also was very much concerned with abstract ideals and absolute concepts, and with answering metaphysics questions such as, "What is real?" He developed a concept of what constitutes reality based not only upon Socrates' teachings, but also upon the teachings of philosophers who preceded Socrates. Two of these earlier philosophers were Heraclitus and Parmenides, each with a completely opposing view of reality.
Aristotle was concerned with the practical application of abstract ...

Solution Summary

Referring to civilization for the period of the Ancient World to Medieval Times, this solution discusses the changes in terms of individual citizens' lives during this era, and how life was harder or easier. References are provided.