World History Homework One Answers - Student 12

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Answers by FrederickT3 20:09, 8 September 2011 (EDT):

1. Which do you think was the most important invention, idea or law discussed in the lecture? Include in your answer the "when, where, what, why and how."

I would pick writing as the most important invention because only with written records can we reconstruct history. Not coincidentally, the first known civilisation (Sumer) was also the first with known writing system (cuneiform). Writing is a prerequisite for recording laws and transmitting them and other important information across the vast spaces of empires, thus enabling the organisation of empires.


2. Pick one of the major ancient empires mentioned in the lecture, and describe basic information about it. Include in your answer a reference to how it compared with another ancient empire mentioned in the lecture.

Israel was a small country, not really an empire at all, but it gave us the Bible, Judaism and eventually Christianity. The other empires may have been larger and more powerful from a military point of view but they followed wrong religions, which was a factor in their eventual downfall.

Interesting observations.

3. There are several tables in the lecture containing various estimated dates. Pick one of those estimated dates and explain either why it surprises you, why you think it may be wrong, or why you know it is correct.

The creation of Adam and Eve may be surprising because proponents of evolution are so vociferous. We know, however, that the range given in the lecture is correct because it is derived from the Bible. There is some uncertainty about the exact date (3700 to 4004 B.C.) because the number must be reconstructed by adding up the lifespans of people mentioned in the Bible, and these are not 100% exact.


4. Either write an essay of at least 150 words in length on any aspect of the lecture, or add or fill in 3 important terms from the lecture for the Study Guide at the link above (mention in your homework which three terms you picked).

I added/filled in entries for the Athenian playwrights Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes, as well as for the Roman philosopher Seneca and the battle of Marathon.


Honors Questions

5. Write a longer essay (500 words rather than 150 words) in your answer to question 4, or add or fill in 6 important terms from the lecture for the Study Guide at the link above.

See 4.

6. Which matters most to the success of an ancient empire: its technology, its laws, its language, or its geography? Explain, with specific examples.

Geography was important because agriculture at the time depended more on climate, soil, natural irrigation, etc. than on technological advances. The prime example is Egypt, which flourished along the fertile banks of the River Nile. Other factors were also important: Laws and a centralized bureaucracy to efficiently organize an empire and military power to defend the empire against enemies.

Excellent answer. Good point about laws and bureaucracy, but isn't decentralization better than centralization?

Extra Credit (regular or Honors)

7. What is your favorite mystery about the ancient world, and what do you think explains it? Some suggested possibilities include:

   * The invention of the wheel: who, when and how?
   * How did the Egyptians build the pyramids?
   * Why did ancient empires collapse?
Terrific beginning to the coursework. Grade: 60/60.--Andy Schlafly 10:26, 15 September 2011 (EDT)