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Homework answers / question archive / Part 2: Crossroads and Cultures, 500-1450 C

Part 2: Crossroads and Cultures, 500-1450 C


Part 2: Crossroads and Cultures, 500-1450 C.E. Chapter 8: The Worlds of Christianity and Islam, 400-1000 Intro to Part 2: Why is the time period around 500 CE considered a turning point in world history? How do the authors explain the collapes of “classical” civilizations? What do the authors mean by “regional societies”? Chapter 8 Intro: What do you make of the account about the bishop of Noyon, the Germanic king, and the king's wife who wanted to be a nun? What does this story say about the dynamics of the era? (266) Explain: “By Radegund's day, Christianity had become deeply entrenched in all of Roman Empire's former territories and beyond.” (266) What do the authors mean by the Latin west and the Greek east? (266-267) Comment: “The Muslim conquests sowed the seeds of Islamic faith and Arab institutions in diverse societies in Africa, Europe, and Asia.” (267) Describe some of the ways that Christianity and Islam were similar in this era. (267) Multiple Christianities, 400-800: What do you find remarkable about the Christian church in Byzantium? (268) How were Christians remarkably different in Syria and Egypt in this era? (268) Who was Nestorius? Why did his idea of Christ kick up a storm with some people? (Could we also say he was also neh-TOR-i-us?) (269) What do you find remarkable about Justinian I? What was he trying to accomplish? (270-272) What do you find notable about the mosaic in the “Mary as Mother of God” special section? Why was Armenia in a unique position? What do you find notable about their Christian ideas? (272) What do you find notable about Ethiopian Christianity and the city of Axum? (272-273) Why is Charlemagne (king of the Franks) considered such a big deal in western Europe? (273) Comment: “In an increasingly uncertain and violent world, the bishops of the west rallied their followers around the cults of saints.” (274) In what ways was Pope Gregory I instrumental in the development of the Christian clery in the west? Social and Political Renewal in the Post-Roman World, 400-850 Why was Byzanium in trouble? How did they revitalize their operations? (275-277) What is iconoclasm? Why would this be a key trend in the era? (277) What do you find notable about the Germanic successor states? Why was barley a big deal? (277-280) Who were the Goths? What do you find notable about their history? (278-279) Comment: “When the Roman state collapsed, the Frankish kings allied with Christian bishops...” (279) How did Clovis play a key role in the development of the Franks? (279) What factors gave rise to the Carolingian dynasty? In what ways did Charlemagne borrow ideas from the Roman Empire? (279-280) Why do the authors say the European economy was deteriorating in the sixth century? (280-281) What do you find notable about the development of Slavic society? What was Rus? (281, 284) Rise and Spread of Islam, 610-750: Where did Muhammad come from? Is this an unlikely place for powerful movement to start? (285) How do the authors explain the rapid growth of Islam in the seventh century? 286-287) Why are the ulama (scholars) especially important in the early history of Islam? How do you see their relationship to the caliphs? (287) How did Islam contribute to new ideas about community and the role of women? (287, 288-289) How did the empire of the Umayyad contribute to the development of Muslim societies? (287-291) Where do we see the beginning of a split between the Shi'a and the Sunni? (290) From Unified Califate to Islamic Commonwealth, 750-1000: How did the Abbassid caliphs establish an especially powerful and lasting empire? (291-294) Describe the role of Baghdad as a center of commerce and culture in this era. (292-293) Why is the rise of the scholars (ulama) influence the course of the Abbasid caliphate? (294-295) How do the authors explain the collapse of the Abbasid Caliphate? (295) Counterpoint: Norse Vikings In what ways were the Vikings comparable to the “Barbarians” of an earlier era? What do you find notable about Nordic society? Does it seem like the society in Beowulf? Chapter 9: Religion and Cross-Cultural Exchange in Asia, 400-1000 Intro Why did Xuanzang go from China to India? Why was a King Harsha eager to meet him? What does this account tell us about the cultures developing in China and India? Steppe Peoples and Settled Societies Descibe the relationship among nomadic peoples and agrarian peoples in this era. (305-309) Describe some of the challenges facing China after the fall of the Han dynasty. (305-306) Who were the Tuoba? How did the Northern Wei shape China and Central Asia? (306-307) How did a confederation of Turkic tribes become especially powerful in Central Asia? (307-308) How do the Khazars reflect the mixing of cultural ideas that was so common in this era? (307-309) The Shaping of East Asia How did the Chinese transform Buddhism into something different from what it was in India? How do the authors explain the immense popularity of Mahayana Buddhism in China? (310) Explain how the Pure-Land and Chan (Zen) movements helped expand Buddhism. (311-312) What did the Sui Dynasty accomplish? Why was their rule relatively short? (312-313) In what ways could the equal-field system be compared to modern communist ideas? (312) How did the Tang dynasty combine traditons from previous rulers? (313-319) How did Empress Wu Zhao (also called Wu Zetian) manage to take power from the Tang for about fifteen years? Why do you think Confucian historians would want to trash her reputation? (313-314) Comment: “The Chinese conceived of their capital not only as the seat of government but also as the axis of cosmological order.” (314) What factors could explain the prosperity of the Tang era? What problems lay beneath the surface? Explain how tea became especially important to Chinese culture in the Tang era. (316-317) Explain how Korea, Japan, and Vietnam all developed in relation to Tang China. (315, 318-319) The Consolidation of Hindu Society in India What similarities do the authors see between post-Gupta India and post-Roman Europe? (320-321) How did King Harsha inlfuence India? What is notable about his land distribution strategy? (321-323) How did Hinduism represent a “resurgence of Brahmanical religion” in this era? (322, 324-325) Explain: “Personal devotion to gods such as Shiva and Vishnu replaced Bhahmanical rituals as the core of religious life.” (324) Comment: “As he traveled about India, Xuanzang was appalled by the decayed state of Buddhism in its homeland.” (325) Why did local agriculatural economies become particularly important in this era? How do the authors explain the decline of international trade in India? (325) What changes do we see in India's caste system in this era? What is jati? (325-326) How do the authors describe the status of women, and qualities sought in men and women? (326) What does the Kama Sutra say about rules for upper-class men? How does this book relae to the lifestyle of the king and his court in this era? (327) The Spread of Indian Traditions in Southeast Asia How did Southeast Asian societies reflect the influence of Indian culture in this era? (327-334) Why is the Hindu traditon in Southeast Asia often referred to as Brahmanism? (328) How does the famous temple known as Angkor Wat reflect Indian influence in Cambodia? (331) How did the Sailendra kings of Java show their devotion to Mahayana Buddhism? (332-333) Comment: “The devotee's ascent of the monumnet symbolized a spiritual progress from the world of illusion to the realm of enlightenment.” (special section on Boroudur, 32-333) Explain: “The potent ideologies of the Sanskrit literary heritage and the organizational skills of Buddhist and Brahman holy men stimulated the formation of states based on divinely sanctioned royal authority.” (332-333) Counterpoint: Sogidan Traders in Central Asia and China Where is Sogdia? How did their culture relate to the vast network known as the Silk Road? Describe the rise and fall of the Sogdian trade network, and the city of Samarkand.

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