AP World History: Ancient World

Agriculture
The deliberate effort to modify a portion of Earth’s surface through the cultivation of crops and the raising of livestock for sustenance or economic gain.
Agrarian
pertaining to land or its cultivation; Ex. agrarian reform, agrarian society
Bands/ Clans
extended family groups that generally lived together
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Barbarian
without civilizing influences
Bureaucracy
system of managing government through departments run by appointed officials (not elected)
Civilization
a society in an advanced state of social development (e.g., with complex legal and political and religious organizations)
City-States
different sections of land owned by the same country but ruled by different rulers (e.g. Greece)
Classical
of or characteristic of a form or system felt to be of first significance before modern times
Domestication
process of changing plants or animals to make them more useful to humans
Economy
system by which goods and services are produced and distributed to meet people’s needs
Egalitarian
a person who believes in the equality of all people
Emperor
supreme ruler of an empire
Empire
many territories, countries, or peoples controlled by one government (also just any territory ruled by an emperor)
Feudalism
a political system and a social system where by a powerful lord would offer “protection” in return for “service”
Foraging
the process of scavenging for food
Hierarchy
a series of ordered groupings of people or things within a system
Hierarchical
Of, relating to, or arranged in a hierarchy
Hunter-Gatherer
A hunter-gatherer society is one whose primary subsistence method involves the direct procurement of edible plants and animals from the wild, foraging and hunting without significant recourse to the domestication of either plants nor animals
Irrigation
supplying dry land with water by means of ditches, sprinklers, etc.
Monarchy
a government in which power is in the hands of a single person who usually inherits their power
Monotheism
belief in a single God
Neolithic
The New Stone Age from circa 8500 to 4500 BCE: The period of the Stone Age associated with the ancient Agricultural Revolution(s)
Nomadic
(of groups of people) tending to travel and change settlements frequently
Pastoral
relating to shepherds or herdsmen or devoted to raising sheep or cattle (e.g. pastoral peoples)
Paleolithic
The Old Stone Age from circa 750,00 to 500,000 years BCE to 8,500 years BCE: The period of the Stone Age associated with the evolution of humans and the development of minor tools
Philosophy
the rational investigation of questions about existence, knowledge, and ethics
Polytheism
belief in multiple Gods
River Valley
the fertile land surrounding a river- the first civilizations arose near them
Sedentary
remaining in one place
Settlement
the act of colonizing or a small group of people in a sedentary position
Subsistence
the necessities of life, the resources of survival
Surplus
a quantity much larger than is needed
Sustenance
the act of sustaining life by food or providing a means of subsistence
Theocracy
government run by religious leaders
Traditional
consisting of or derived from tradition; customary practices
Urbanization
the social process whereby cities grow and societies become more urban
Vassals
lesser lords who pledged their service and loyalty to a greater lord — in a military capacity
Alexander the Great
king of Macedon, conqueror of Greece, Egypt, and Persia; founder of Alexandria (356-323 BC)
Analects of Confucius
“something that is repeated” – a collection of Confucius’ famous sayings
Bronze Age
a period between the Stone and Iron ages, characterized by the manufacture and use of bronze tools and weapons
Byzantium
the civilization that developed from the eastern Roman Empire following the death of the emperor Justinian (C.E. 565) until the fall of Constantinople (C.E.1453)
Calendar
a system of timekeeping that defines the beginning and length and divisions of the year
Code of Hammurabi
the set of laws drawn up by Babylonian king Hammurabi dating to the 18th century BC, the earliest legal code known in its entirety
Cuneiform
One of the first written languages known: A system of writing in which wedge-shaped symbols represented words or syllables. It originated in Mesopotamia and was used initially for Sumerian and Akkadian but later was adapted to represent other languages of western Asia.
Democracy
a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them
Eight Fold Path
Eight steps to end suffering and attain enlightenment according to Buddhist tradition.
Four Noble Truths
as taught by the Buddha, the four basic beliefs that form the foundation of Buddhism
Gothic Migrations
The Migration period, also called the Barbarian Invasions or German: Völkerwanderung (wandering of the peoples), was a period of human migration that occurred roughly between the years 300 to 700 CE in Europe, marking the transition from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages. These movements were catalyzed by profound changes within both the Roman Empire and the so-called ‘barbarian frontier’. Migrating peoples during this period included the Goths, Vandals, Bulgars, Alans, Suebi, Frisians, and Franks, among other Germanic and Slavic tribes.
Great Wall
a fortification 1,500 miles long built across northern China in the 3rd century BC
Han Dynasty
imperial dynasty that ruled China (most of the time from 206 BC to AD 220) and expanded its boundaries and developed its bureaucracy
Hellenism
The ideals and principles that spread from Greece through much of the ancient world. Much of its influence such as philosophy, athletics, and architecture penetrated the Middle East.
The Huns
Fierce warriors from Central Asia- First invaded southeastern Europe and then launched raids on nearby kingdoms
Indian Ocean Trade
connected to Europe, Africa, and China.; worlds richest maritime trading network and an area of rapid Muslim expansion.
Iron Age
the period following the Bronze Age; characterized by rapid spread of iron tools and weapons
Jewish Diaspora
A “scattering” of the Jewish people
Legalism
In Chinese history, Legalism was one of the main philosophic currents during the Warring States Period- A philosophy of focusing on the text of written law to the exclusion of the intent of law, elevating strict adherence to law over justice, mercy and common sense
Pax Romana
A period of peace and prosperity throughout the Roman Empire, lasting from 27 B.C. to A.D. 180.
Pyramids
Huge stone tombs with four triangle-shaped walls that met in a point on top
Roman Republic
The period from 507 to 31 B.C.E., during which Rome was largely governed by the aristocratic Roman Senate.
Roman Senate
a council of wealthy and powerful Romans that advised the city’s leaders
Shang Civilization
China’s first dynasty almost 2000 BCE
Shi Huang Di
harsh ruler who united China for the first time and used legalism in ruling (Qin China)
Siddhartha Gautama
founder of Buddhism; born a prince; left his father’s wealth to find the cause of human suffering; also know as Buddha
Silk Road Trade
The most famous of the trading routes established by pastoral nomads connecting the Chinese, Indian, Persian, and Mediterranean civilizations; transmitted goods and ideas among civilization.
The Torah
the most sacred text of Judaism
The Vedas of Hinduism
Aryan hymns originally transmitted orally but written down in sacred books from the 6th century B.C.E.
Ziggurats
a temple or tomb of the ancient Assyrians, Sumerians, or Babylonians, having the form of a terraced pyramid of successively receding stories

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