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Ancient History

Athens and Sparta were the two leading powers in the Ancient Greece. Most of the ancient Greek city states were allied with either Athens or Sparta. The Persian wars and the formation of Delian League transformed Athens into a powerful nation. Spartans feared that Athens who headed the League would challenge the Spartan leadership in the Greek world. The imperialistic attitude of the Athens led to the Peloponnesian war. Economic reasons for the war were the trade relations of Athens with other Greek city states. Athens wanted to monopolize the trade. The final example of trade war can be seen in the Megarrian decree. The nature of the Athenian and Spartan society were considered as one reason for war. Philip II, the father of Alexander, the great came to the throne of Macedonia at a difficult time. He faced the internal and external threats by following the policy of diplomacy. Philip II strengthened the Macedonian army by reorganizing it. Philip II strengthened himself my making series of marriage alliances. He followed a policy of divide and rule. He threatened Persian Empire with an invasion but in the meantime, he was assassinated. The death of Philip II caused many insurrections in northern and southern Greece. Alexander crushed those insurrections hoping that it would not be repeated. Soon another major revolt broke out and spread to all parts of Greece. Alexander crushed and burned Thebes. After crushing the opposition in Greece, Alexander set out to conquer the whole of Asia. Major battles of Alexander, the great were the battles of Granicus, Gordium, and Issus. Other victories were the conquests of Tyre and Gaza, Egypt, Gaugamela, and India. Alexander built the city of Alexandria on the bank of the city of river Nile. It later became a major economic and cultural center. It helped spread Greek culture to the east. Alexander tried to create a fusion of Greek and Persian culture by imitating some aspects of Persian culture. After the death of Alexander in 323 BC, the empire was divided into four kingdoms and the successor kings refused to follow the foot steps of Alexander. They had placed Greeks in positions of power in their respective regions and it helped the spread of Greek culture. At the same time, they allowed natives to follow their culture and religion. The Greek literature spread in Persian regions as a consequence of the spread of Greek language. The library at Alexandria became a center of learning and literature. Greek influence was also seen in coinage too. In the same way, Greek culture influenced the Middle East and the ideas of the east spread to the west. When Alexander broke the political barrier, the trade also flourished. The common culture Alexander created led to the development of western civilization and spread of Christianity.

The dream of forming a Pan-Hellenic Empire by Athens was shattered by the rivalry of Athens and Sparta. Athens and Sparta were the two leading powers in the Ancient Greece. Most of the ancient Greek city states were allied with either Athens or Sparta. The end result of suspicion and rivalry between the two super powers led to

Greeco- Persian wars were a series of conflicts between Greece city states and Persian Empire between 500 BC and 448 BC. The beginning of the conflict could be seen with the conquest of Asia Minor by the Persians. As a result, Ionians broke out in rebellion against the Persians with the help of Athenians. The revolt was crushed during the Battle of Lade in 494 BC, but Darius, the Persian king decided to take revenge on Greeks for helping Ionians. After a series of invasions, the stage was set for the Battle of Marathon. Athenians and Plataeans were able to defeat the Persians at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC. The battle was very important in the history of the Greeks because it was the first major victory for Greeks against the Persians. The battle helped the Greeks to regain their confidence which continued for the next three centuries. In 480 BC Darius's son Xerxes decided to take revenge on Greeks and mounted a great expedition. The Greek city states came together to fight against the Persians. The Greeks understood the importance of holding Xerxes as long as possible to build up their navy. The mountain pass of Thermopylae was chosen for the site of the battle due to its defensive terrain. The Battle of Thermopylae ended with the victory for the Persians but the distraction helped other Greek soldiers to retreat to southern Greece. Eventhough, Persians won the war of Thermopylae technically, it was a great encouragement to the Greeks. The Battle of Artemisium was a naval battle between Greek city states and the Persians in 480 BC. During the battle, the Allies got the report that they lost the land battle at Thermopylae and the Greeks decided to retreat. The battle was so important because it led to the major battle of Salamis. The Battle of Salamis was a decisive battle after the Battle of Thermopylae. In 479 BC, Greeks stationed their fleet at Salamis, a straight between Athens and Salamis. In the following battle, the Persians and their allies were defeated by the Greek Navy. The Battle of Salamis was a turning point in the history of Greece. The battle also led to the growth of Greece and the birth of western civilization. The Battle of Mycale was a decisive battle by the Greeks against the Persians in 479 BC. The battle began on the background of Ionian revolt. The Ionians called upon the Greek mainland states against the Persians. The war resulted in the destruction of the Persian forces in Ionia. The war also strengthened Ionian league and later led to the Peloponnesian war . The Battle of Plataea took place in 479 BC. The war was between Greek alliance and Persians. Athenians sought the help of Spartans to defeat Mardonius. The battle resulted in the complete defeat of Persians. Persians no longer interfered in the affairs of the Greeks after this battle until the conquest of Alexander, the great in 4th century AD. The Battle of Himera was fought in 480 BC between Greece and Carthegians under their general, Hamilcar. The victory of Greece at the Battle of Himera removed the Eastern and African threat to Sicily and the west.

Greeco- Persian wars were a series of conflicts between Greece city states and Persian Empire between 500 BC and 448 BC. The beginning of the conflict could be seen with the conquest of Asia Minor by the Persians. Persians employed tyrants in several Ionian cities and forced them to pay taxes to Darius, the Persian Emperor. A

Buddhism had no influence in ancient China, until Han dynasty came to power. Confucianism was the political philosophy of Han dynasty. When Han dynasty declined during 220 BC, there was social and political chaos in China. The gentry and aristocratic classes of that period still followed Confucianism while an elite group shifted away from it. These people tried to embrace other ideologies like Taoism and Buddhism. Chinese viewed Buddhism through Taoist ideology. During the time of Han dynasty, the Buddhist influence was meager in china, but it spread rapidly after its fall. In the beginning, the Chinese did not have much understanding of the Buddhist philosophies. They welcomed Buddhism wholeheartedly because the message of Buddhism was warmer than Confucianism. The elaborate Buddhist temples and ceremonies attracted them. Again, the idea of Nirvana or salvation and non-violence prompted them to accept the new faith. Mahayana and Hinayana Buddhism were there at the inception but it was Mahayana which took roots in China. During the last part of the 6th century, Buddhism began to gain patronage of the rulers and there began the Buddhist art. Buddhist cave paintings and statues spread in many parts of Northern China. It reached more and more masses during the 7th century especially at the time of Tang rulers and influenced the culture of the China. It greatly influenced Chinese art, architecture, sculpture, and literature.

Buddhism had no influence in ancient China, until Han dynasty came to power. Confucianism was the political philosophy of Han dynasty. When Han dynasty declined during 220 BC, there was social and political chaos in China. The gentry and aristocratic classes of that period still followed Confucianism while an elite group shi

This solution explains about the five pillars of Islam. Other major religions which originated in the same area were Judaism and Christianity, which had the same traditions. Judaism originated as a revelation, while Islam started one from person. Christians believe in Trinity. The early forceful conversions and trade of Arabs helped muslims to spread their faith throughout Africa, Europe, and West Asia

The Islamic faith established by Prophet Muhammad were based on five pillars. These Five Pillars were connected with the day today life of a Muslim. They are testimony of faith, prayer, giving zakat, fasting during the time of Ramadan, and pilgrimage to Mecca. The other main religions originated in the same area are Judaism a

The background of Jesus Christ and Confucius had some similarities. They were from a poor background. The other similarities between Jesus Christ, Buddha, Confucius, Mencius, and Lao Tzu was that they were all philosophers. All these figures had public ministries and were concerned about the human sufferings. These people worked and mingled with common people. Each of them had great concern for morality and justice of common man. Jesus Christ and Buddha advised people to overlook the faults of others. Confucius pointed out out the importance of respecting the elders, husbands by their wives etc. Confucius and Mencius had the same views regarding the state. They were looking for an ideal state. Jesus, Confucius, Mencius, and Buddha were all concerned about the eternal destiny of the people. Both Buddha and Jesus had spiritual experiences. They talked about salvation but the ways they pointed out were different. Jesus and Confucius were abandoned by their own people. One great similarity found in all these philosophers was that they influenced the masses by their different teachings. The impact of the historical figures: Jesus Christ gave great hope for the hopeless and marginalized sections of society. He himself mingled with the outcasts and poor, which was scorned by the religious leaders of the time. He assured them hope not only in this world but in the world to come. The standard of life set down by Christ in the New Testament was that of highest quality. The teachings of Christ spread far and wide. Christianity is the biggest religion of the world today. Confucius tried his best to reform the disorganized Chinese society. Like Jesus Christ, he talked much about the love. After his death, his teachings spread far and wide in different parts of Asia. It had great impact on religious, social and cultural life of the people of East Asia. The teachings of Lao Tzu had profound impact on the social life of the people. He showed the people how they could lead a simple life in harmony with the nature. Taoism had great impact on Chinese literature and art. The teachings of Mencius had great political impact. He came against the hereditary rule and put forward the concept of the mandate of heaven. Buddhism was introduced in India at a time when the evils of caste system were at the highest. Buddhism provided the low caste people an escape from the caste barrier. Buddhism started from India and spread to different parts of Asia. It played a great part in forming the civilization of China. Buddhism also encouraged art and architecture to a great extent.

The life of the historical personalities like Jesus and Confucius began from a humble background. Buddha had a rich background. Confucius, Lao Tzu, and Mencius were philosophers from China. All these figures started their public ministries. They were all concerned about the human sufferings. These people worked and mingled

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