World History Study Guide to 1648

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Term Description
Abraham 2000 BC: father of Jewish people, made a covenant with God; Arabs claim descendance from Abraham's son Ishmael.
acropolis part of a Greek city-state that is built on a hilltop for easy defense. Example: where the democratic assembly met in Athens.
the Academy Founded by the Greek philosopher Plato in 387 BC, this was the world's first great center of learning.
Aesop A Greek writer famous for writing Aesop's Fables around 600 BC, such as "The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing," to teach life lessons
Alexander the Great 356-323 BC: born to Philip II of Macedon and tutored by Aristotle. Conquered Greece, Egypt, Persia, and more, but not India. Alexander's conquests spread Greek culture and language, helping the future expansion of Christianity.
Alexandria City in Egypt captured by Alexander the Great and then "Hellenized" (made Greek-like). Known for its famous library.
Allah The god of the Islamic religion. Followers of Allah are called Muslims.
Analects a record of the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius, written and compiled by his disciples circa 400-300 BC
Ancient world civilizations before the fall of the Western Roman Empire in AD 476
Aeneid 19 BC: a fictional epic poem, describing how a wandering Trojan became the ancestor of the Romans, written by the great Roman poet Virgil.
Anglo-Saxon refers both to the people of England from AD 449-1066 who came from Germanic tribes, and to their Old English language
Anselm AD 1033-1109: a medieval Christian philosopher who founded scholasticism and developed an "ontological" proof for the existence of God based on degrees of perfection.
Archimedes 287–212 BC: Greek mathematician and engineer. Discovered Archimedes' Principle, invented "Archimedes' screw," and built defenses against the Romans for his city of Syracuse; killed by the Romans.
archons Aristocratic officials elected by the Athenian government to make the laws; later overtook by tyrants who rose to power in the 600s BC
Arianism AD 320: a heresy (false doctrine) claiming that Jesus was not God
aristocracy rule by the wealthy and privileged, rather than by democracy
Aristotle 384-322 BC: Greek philosopher, student of Plato and tutor to Alexander the Great. Emphasized the value of experience, and founded the Lyceum (a school resembling a university with specimens and a library)
Art of War 500 BC: first book on military strategy, written by Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu, having insights like "If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril."
Assyrian Empire 1400-605 BC: was first dependent on Babylonia, then became an independent state, and finally an empire. Known for cruelty, especially to the Hebrews. Captured northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 BC.
Athens birthplace of democracy in 509 BC, Athens was a Greek city-state previously ruled by aristocrats. It defeat invading Persians.
Attila the Hun (AD 406-453): last and greatest ruler of the Huns, called the "Scourge of God"; almost defeated the Roman empire but was talked out of looting Rome by Pope Leo I.
Augustus Caesar the first Roman Emperor (27 BC-AD 14), whose name was Octavian; he took power away from the Roman Senate, he began "Pax Romana" (peaceful prosperity), and he was the emperor when Jesus was born
Aztecs A fierce type of people (AD 1200-1521), also known as "the Mexica," from Central Mexico who built a glorious capital city titled Tenochtitlan, and established three causeways to connect it to the mainland.
Babylon the major Mesopotamian city in the ancient Middle East, its greatest ruler was Hammurabi. Babylon developed Cuneiform, used base-60 numbers, defeated ancient Sumer about 2000 BC, and was later cruel to Hebrews.
Babylonia State and empire created by Babylon. First empire existed from 1900-1600 BC, later reemerged as the Neo-Babylonian Empire from 625-538 BC
Babylonian Exile Period of time from 597 to 538 BC, during which the Israelites were kept as prisoners in Babylon.
barbarian any "uncivilized" (not Roman), unshaven, ruthless warriors who would attack and invade ancient Rome (name "barbarus" means "bearded").
Battle of Tours Pivotal victory against the Muslims (AD 732); led by Charles "the Hammer" of the Germanic people known as the "Franks".
B.C.E./C.E. anti-Christian terms for B.C./A.D., whereby "Before Common Era (B.C.E.)" replaces "Before Christ (B.C.)", and "Common Era (C.E.)" replaces "In the Year of Our Lord (A.D.)"
Bible Collection of Hebrew (Old Testament) and Christian (New Testament) Scriptures. Foretells the coming of a Messiah for the Hebrews, and recounts ancient history including the origin of farming, the origin of multiple languages (Tower of Babel) and the Great Flood.
Brahman/Brahmin Brahman is the ultimate god or existence in Hinduism, of which all existence is a part; "Brahmin" means the highest class for families in the Hindu caste system
Bronze Age 2500-1200 BC: when bronze was used for jewelry, tools, utensils, weapons; this eventually enabled the introduction of the plow for easier farming.
Buddha "Awakened One" in Buddhism. Siddhartha Gautama was the first Buddha.
Buddhism A belief system which teaches that desire causes suffering and if desire is eliminated, enlightenment and Nirvana are attained.
Bushi Proficient, skilled generals from Japan who raised their own "samurai" soldiers to defend and protect their land.
Byzantine Empire AD 330-1453: It was the eastern part of the Roman empire, based in Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey), which outlasted the Western half by 1000 years.
Caligula (AD 37-41) cruel and senseless Roman emperor, who even declared his horse to be a Roman Senator.
Carolingian Court AD 600s-900s: Dynasty that started with Charles Martel and his descendants, including Charlemagne, whose revival of education became known as the Carolingian Renaissance. The crowning of Charlemagne in 800 is considered the birth of the "Holy Roman Empire", also known as the Carolingian empire.
Carthage An ancient city on the coast of northern Africa (across the Mediterranean Sea from Italy) which fought against Rome in the three Punic Wars, which left Carthage destroyed, never to be rebuilt again.
caste the social rank in Hinduism: Brahmins are priests and scholars, Kshatriya are rulers, Vaishya are peasants, and Shudra are serfs. Good karma enables one to improve his caste in the next life.
Celts A tribal, ancient people living in what is now Ireland and Great Britain, who worshiped many gods and had priests called "druids."
Chaldeans The ancient Babylonians.
Chaldean Empire Ancient Babylonian Empire that lasted from 605-562 BC.
Chandragupta Mauryan Built the largest Indian empire ever; he was a tough and strong dictator who defeated Greek general Seleucus in 322 BC, taking from him the portion of the Greek empire slightly north of India.
Charlemagne King of the Franks from AD 768-814, and Holy Roman Emperor after being crowned by the Pope in AD 800.
Charles Martel Charles "the Hammer": a Christian ruler who led the Franks to a decisive victory against the Muslims in the Battle of Tours (AD 732).
Chivalry Code of behavior developed during feudalism; required loyalty to God, looking out for one another, and different roles for men and women
China One of the world's oldest major civilizations, with a tradition of philosophers rather than religious leaders
Christendom A massive church-state network that consisted of religious hierarchy and held influence over all of Europe during the Middle Ages.
Cicero, Marcus Tullius Famous Roman orator, senator and lawyer who lived from 106-43 BC, and who opposed Marc Anthony.
city-states Small nations consisting of only a single city each, especially in ancient Greece. Examples included Sparta, Athens and Corinth. They fought each other, but also banned together to defeat the Persians when that great empire sought to absorb Greece.
civilization must have towns, social and government institutions, record-keeping systems for property, and an agricultural surplus so not everyone is farming
classical civilizations Ancient Mediterranean civilizations that were generally pre-Christian, such as Rome, Greece, and Egypt
classicism Near the end of the Middle Ages, a Renaissance movement in the arts, looking back to ancient Rome and Greece for inspiration
Cleisthenes Established democracy in Athens in 507 BC, giving all free men the right to vote
Cleopatra The queen of Egypt who reigned from 51-30 BC
Code of Hammurabi 1780 BC: The code of Hammurabi was one of the first set of written laws. It was a harsh code that demanded an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth.
Code of Manu Hindu law containing rules and codes of conduct. Written in 200 BC in India.
Colosseum A massive stadium in Rome that was used to hold gladiatorial contests, chariot racing and killing Christians and others for entertainment. Originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre.
comedy In ancient Greece, a play with a happy ending. All classical plays were either a "comedy" or a "tragedy".
Confucius 551-479 BC: the most prominent Chinese philosopher, who taught about ethics and social conduct, with an emphasis on education, self-discipline, and compassion; he said, "By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest."
Constantine (the Great) AD 272-337: The first Christian emperor of Rome who legalized Christianity, ended the persecution of Christians, and united the eastern with the western Roman empires
Constantinople Now named Istanbul, it was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire beginning in AD 330. Originally known as Byzantium.
Council of Nicaea AD 325, a council of bishops called by Constantine to obtain agreement on various aspects of Christianity (e.g., the Trinity) and to end heresies (e.g., Arianism).
Crusades (AD 1099-1204): a series of four major military expeditions by Christians to free Jerusalem and make it safe for pilgrimages, beginning with the successful First Crusade but later including the looting of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade.
cuneiform 3000 BC: The earliest known form of writing. Consists of lines and dashes to represent different concrete things, such as fish.
Cynicism Ancient Greek philosophy emphasizing living life without worldly possessions, founded by Socrates' student Antisthenes.
Daimyo A Japanese feudal lord who owned lots of land. Agricultural workers (peasants) would work under the daimyos, who began their importance after a civil war in AD 1467.
Darius the Great the king of Persia (522-486 BC) and one of the greatest rulers of the Achaemenid dynasty, best known for his failed attempts to conquer Greece; in 492 a storm destroyed his fleet, and in 490 BC Athens defeated his army at Marathon
David 1000 BC: Second king of Israel, as chosen by God, and an ancestor of Jesus Christ. He expanded the kingdom of Israel.
Delian League Formed in 477 BC as an alliance consisting of Athens and other Greek city-states to guard against the Persia (Achaemenid) empire after the Persian Wars; but Athens misused it to impose taxes and fund Athenian projects.
Dharma The laws of the religions of Buddhism and Hinduism
diaspora The migration or scattering of a people, especially the ancient Hebrews, away from their ancestral home.
Diocletian The Roman emperor who tried to save the empire of Rome by dividing it into eastern and western regions. He established the "tetrarchy" (rule by four), and ruled from AD 284 to 305.
direct democracy laws are made by votes of the citizens, rather than by elected officials. Athens of ancient Greece was the first direct democracy.
Dorians tribes that settled Greece, 1100-1000 BC, having an oppressive military ruling class. The "Doric order" is the simplest form of Greek architecture, consisting of a straight column without any artistic trim at the top.
Dravidians The lowest class of the Aryans, they were the children of mixed Aryans and not treated very well. They were people of Southern India and Sri Lanka
early agriculture crops such as grain being grown in places such as Egypt
Edict of Milan a political proclamation that legalized Christianity (and all other religions) throughout the Roman empire, issued by Constantine I in AD 313 after the Diocletian persecutions against Christians
Egypt One of the oldest civilizations in recorded history, going back to nearly 3000 BC.
Eightfold Path The Buddhist way to end suffering and attain inner peace and contentment. It includes wisdom (right view and intention); ethics (right speech, action & livelihood); and mind (right effort, mindfulness & concentration).
Emperor A ruler or king of a country, such as Augustus Caesar as the first Roman emperor.
Enlightened One A translation of the name Buddha, in Buddhism
Enlightenment A philosophical movement in the 1700s that included atheistic ideas like utilitarianism.
Epic of Gilgamesh A very ancient Sumerian (Mesopotamia) poem preserved on stone tablets with a story bearing great resemblance to Noah's Ark and the Great Flood
Euclid 300 BC: A Greek mathematician around 300 BC who developed geometry and wrote the Elements.
Euphrates river The Euphrates is a river that was the border of Mesopotamia and was both a trading route and a protection for Mesopotamia.
Fertile Crescent An area of land in the Middle East along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, where it was easy to grow crops, which was the birthplace of civilization and probably the location of the Garden of Eden.
feudalism way of life in Europe (particularly Western and Central Europe) in the early Middle Ages, consisting of a "lord" who owned land (given by the king) on which "peasants" or "serfs" farmed in exchange for food and protection.
First Punic War between Rome and Carthage in 254-241 BC: Rome conquered the island of Sicily and developed a navy; although Rome was no match for the powerful Carthaginian navy, Romans did invent a corvus that allowed them to board enemy ships and win the war
Four Noble Truths in Buddhism: (1) suffering is universal, (2) craving or desire causes it, (3) the cure is to eliminate the craving or desire, and (4) following the Eightfold Path helps eliminate this desire in order to attain "nirvana" (complete contentment).
The Franks Germanic tribes settling in the northern part of the Roman empire (including northern France), rising in power and territory from AD 330-751 and defeating barbarians; Charles the Hammer and Charlemagne were Franks
Gentiles The term for peoples, such as Greeks, who are not of Jewish or Arab descent.
Golden Age An age of great peace and prosperity, especially in ancient Greece between the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars.
Gracchi brothers Two tribunes (high elected officials) of ancient Rome who wanted to help the poor by redistributing land from the rich.
Great Schism AD 1054: the Eastern Orthodox Church splits from the Roman Catholic Church in a dispute over icons and statues, the origin of the Holy Spirit, and regional differences.
Great Wall of China the long and high wall in China that was built beginning with the Qin dynasty in about 200 BC, to keep invaders out.
Greece perhaps the greatest ancient civilization: invented democracy, developed mathematics and philosophy, and adopted ethical standards like the Hippocratic Oath (which prohibits abortion).
Greek drama Theatrical tradition of ancient Greece, 600-400 BC, with two main types: comedies (good ending) and tragedies (bad ending).
Gregory the Great One of the most significant popes, who used church money for non-religious purposes such as paying for public projects such as roads, supporting armies, and establishing government programs for the poor; this later caused controversies.
Gaul Now France, it was a place for barbarians to attack the Roman empire.
Gnosticism A heresy, false teaching or distortion of the Christian faith that still exists today. Gnostics believed only in what could be supported by human reasoning, and attempted to add to the New Testament and edit out information that was hard to prove.
Gothic architecture of the late Middle Ages, featuring tall, perpendicular structures, long or stained-glassed rose windows, pointed arches, and flying buttresses (stone supports on the outer walls of churches)
Gupta empire (AD 240-550): large Indian empire that developed with algebra, the concepts of zero and infinity, and the numbers 1-9
Hammurabi King of Babylon, 1792-1750 BC, who developed the Code of Hammurabi, which is based on the concept of an eye for an eye
Han dynasty 202 BC - AD 220, this was the greatest of all the Chinese dynasties and was similar to the Roman empire in expanding territory, administering justice, and enjoying peace like the Pax Romana. The Han dynasty valued education highly, and created a scholar class of people known as "shi".
Hannibal 247-182 BC: A military commander for Carthage who had a brilliant surprise attack against Rome during the Second Punic War
Hebrews God's chosen people who established the nation of Israel and wrote the Old Testament
Hellenistic Relating to Greek culture and language, particularly in lands beyond Greece as conquered by Alexander the Great beginning in 335 BC
Hernando Cortes Led the Spanish to capture and burn the Aztec capital in AD 1519.
hieroglyphics A phonetic alphabet developed by the ancient Egyptians that uses the pictographic symbols to represent both an object and/or a phonetic sound.
Himalaya Mountain Range Mountain range famous for having the world's tallest peaks, including Mount Everest and K2; geographic protection that isolated ancient China
Hinduism An ancient polytheistic religion followed by 82% of (Asian) Indians to this day
Hippocrates (460-377 BC) "The father of medicine" in ancient Greece who developed the Hippocratic Oath, which was an ethical code that included a prohibition on abortion, and which all medical students traditionally repeated as a condition of graduation.
Holy Roman Empire Lasting from AD 800 to 1806, it included the territory in Europe under the authority of the Holy Roman Emperor. Constituent states often ruled themselves.
Homer An early Greek poet, famous for lengthy sagas such as Iliad and The Odyssey.
Hsia dynasty rulers in China up until 1766 BC, when Emperor Chieh (the last in the dynasty) was overthrown
Huns A confederation of Asian tribes who fought against the Romans in what is now the Ukraine, Germany, France, Italy and the Balkans. They were considered by many Romans to be the most ferocious enemies.
ideograms In primitive societies, a graphic symbol (rather than alphabetic words like these) representing a concept or an idea.
The Incas developed a huge empire beginning in AD 1250 in the Andes Mountains in South America, making it the largest civilization in all of the Americas.
India A country that was home to the Indus Valley civilization and dates back over 3,000 years, and was birthplace of Hinduism and (later) Buddhism.
Indus River Valley A fertile valley that was home to an ancient civilization and is modern Pakistan and northwestern India
Invisible Hand A powerful unseen force that benefits all when the government leaves free enterpise alone.
Iron Age An era following the Bronze age when tools and weapons were made primarily out of iron: 1200 BC in Europe, but later (600 BC) in China.
Isaac The promised son born to Abraham and Sarah in their old age, whom Abraham offered to sacrifice to God despite Abraham's great love for Isaac. Isaac is the father of the Israeli people.
Isaac Newton (1643-1727) Scientist during the Scientific Revolution and Christian fundamentalist who discovered and explained the invisible force of gravity
Ishmael The son born to Abraham and Sarah's servant, Hagar. Ishmael is revered by Muslims as an ancestor who was unfairly treated as an outcast after Isaac was subsequently born to Abraham and Sarah.
Islam the only major world religion that developed after Christ, Islam was founded by Muhammad in AD 622 and is based on the "Five Pillars of Islam."
Israel Nation founded by King David in 1010 BC, first temple destroyed by Babylonians in 587 BC, Jerusalem was rebuilt in 515 BC, Alexander the Great then conquered region in 332 BC.
Jainism Branched off of Hinduism, this religion stresses strict vegetarianism and non-violence towards all life.
Japan an island archipelago made up of 4 large islands and over 4,000 smaller ones, it had feudalism during the same time period that Europe did
Jesus 4 BC-AD 33, and beyond: The Holy Messiah of the Christian faith, and the only son of God who was promised to save all humanity. He was the only founder of a religion to perform miracles to cure the suffering, the only one to emphasize the power of faith, and the only one to give up His life for the salvation of others.
Joan of Arc AD 1412-1431: 17-year-old girl who led the French army to a remarkable military victory over the English in AD 1429, and was later captured and martyred by the English and made a saint by the Catholic Church
Johannes Kepler (AD 1571-1630) Scientist in Scientific Revolution who built on Copernicus's work and discovered that planets orbit the sun in ellipses rather than circular orbits; also a devout Christian
John Locke (AD 1632-1704) Leading political philosopher in the Enlightenment whose ideas helped the American colonists form a new government with the social contract theory
Judah, Kingdom of the southern kingdom of a divided nation of Israel, after the death of Solomon in 928 BC
Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) a military and political leader who laid out the groundwork for the future Roman empire before he was murdered by Roman senators
Julian Calendar The 12 month, 365-day calendar established by Julius Caesar, and the basis for the Gregorian calendar we use today.
Justinian I and the Justinian Code Eastern Roman Emperor from AD 527 to 565 who developed the Justinian Code, which is the basis of civil law in many places
karma In Hinduism, everything a person has done. This determines status in the next life, so a Hindu wants "good karma."
knight An armored soldier of feudalistic Europe. These soldiers first began using plate mail around the time of the crusades.
Latin the powerful, concise language spoken in ancient Rome that has contributed many roots of words and terms to modern European languages. "Caveat emptor!" (let the buyer beware)
Lawrence AD 258: One of the earliest Christian martyrs, killed for serving the poor during the anti-Christian era of the Roman empire. He was roasted to death on a grid, but stayed true until the end. He even said during his execution, "Turn me over. I am done on this side!"
lord The ruler and owner of a feudalistic area, under him are the serfs.
Lyceum The great Greek center of learning founded by Aristotle, which then competed with the Academy.
Niccolo Machiavelli AD 1469-1527: An Italian political theorist who wrote the The Prince, the most famous guide to how a conniving politician can seize power by manipulating others
Magna Carta A charter of personal and political liberties granted to the barons by King John of England in AD 1215, which later became a foundation for personal rights in the US Constitution.
maize corn, first grown by Native Americans, now one of the most popular foods in the world
Mandate of Heaven A belief in ancient China which held that the gods blessed good rulers and overthrew bad ones
manor Under feudalism during the Middle Ages, a manor was a farm owned by a lord who had peasants to do the work and pay him rent in exchange for food, shelter and protection
Marc Antony 83-30 BC: A Roman commander and close friend of Caesar. He was in the 1st civil war of the Roman republic
Marcus Aurelius AD 121-180: A Roman emperor known most for ending Pax Romana and conquering Germanic tribes.
Marcus Crassus 115-53 BC: A wealthy Roman who ruled Rome along with Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great, as a part of the first triumvirate.
Martin Luther an important Christian figure who launched the Protestant Reformation in AD 1517 and founded the Lutheran Church based on a theory of salvation by faith alone, causing a split in the Catholic Church in Central Europe, then in Western and Northern Europe.
Mauryan Empire 323–185 BC: a Buddhist empire covering much of modern India
Maya The civilization of the Mayans existed in Mesoamerica (including where Guatemala is today) from about AD 300-900. They were advanced in math and astronomy and had a written pictographic language; today 4 million people still speak the Mayan language.
Mesoamerica Mexico and Central America, where pre-Columbian (before Columbus' exploration in 1492) civilizations existed
Mesopotamia Modern-day Iraq, where civilization first appeared in perhaps 3500 BC.
Messiah Anointed by God. Jesus Christ is the Messiah of Christianity
Michelangelo (AD 1475-1564) A Renaissance man known for his paintings on the Sistine Chapel ceiling and his sculptures of David and the Pieta (Mary holding Jesus after the Crucifixion).
Middle Ages A period of time, also called the Medieval Ages, spanning from AD 500-1500, when feudalism was common.
Middle Kingdom 2100-1650 BC: Egyptian kingdom known for its works and ideas, which ended due to a civil war.
Ming Dynasty AD 1368–1644: a Chinese dynasty that kept to itself while rebuilding and strengthening its country's defenses against the Mongols. Was replaced in AD 1644.
monasteries communities of Christian monks that are set apart for God, and which preserved knowledge during the Middle Ages.
Mongol empire Peaked in power in the AD 1200s, held more contiguous (connected) land than any empire in history, but failed twice in trying to conquer Japan.
monotheism The belief in a religion worshiping only one god. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are monotheistic religions.
Moses The prophet who led the Israelites out of Egypt, gave them the Ten Commandments, and wrote the first five books of the Bible.
Muhammad AD 570-632: The man who preached a new monotheistic religion "Islam", founded on only one god, Allah.
Nile River in Egypt which flows northward towards the Mediterranean Sea, supplying Egypt with water.
Nero One of the most irresponsible and cruel emperors of Rome. Nero reigned beginning when he was 16 years old, ruling until AD 69.
New Kingdom 1550-700 BC: ancient Egypt at the time of Moses, where many buildings were construted primarily with slave labor.
Nicene Creed AD 381: A core statement of Christianity that affirms the Holy Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Nicolaus Copernicus (AD 1473-1543) Polish scientist who first sparked this movement with the bold declaration that the earth revolved around the sun, instead of sun revolving around the earth.
Nirvana The ultimate goal of Buddhism: the end of all suffering.
Normans Vikings who settled in northwest France (Normandy), and then invaded and conquered England in AD 1066.
Octavian 63 BC-AD 14: The grandnephew of Julius Caesar who became the first Emperor of Rome, ruling under his new name of "Augustus Caesar."
Old Kingdom 3000-2200 BC: the ancient Egyptian kingdom that built the famous pyramids
Olympics (Ancient Greek) An ancient sporting event first held in 776 BC, establishing the beginning of the Greek civilization
Paper Invented by Chinese in AD 100, from dipping a bamboo screen into a mixture of bark, rags and plants, and then allowing only a thin layer of pulp to dry on the bamboo screen.
patricians the upper 10% of the Roman republic, consisting of wealthy landowners.
Paul AD 5-67: an energetic evangelist for early Christianity, who wrote many letters now in the New Testament of the Bible
Pax Romana 27 BC-AD 180: the "glory days" of the Roman empire, a time of peaceful prosperity and influence (but cruelty to Christians).
Peloponnesian War 431-404 BC: fought between Athens and Sparta; this War was ultimately won by Sparta and its allies
Pentateuch The first five books of the modern Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy
Pepin AD 714-768: Son of Charles Martel, Father of Charlemagne. Donated territories to the Pope and was a wise and judicious king of the Franks.
Persian empire 550-330 BC: a large empire stretching from India to southern Europe and Egypt
Persian Wars 492-449 BC: wars between Persia (modern-day Iran) and Greek city-states including Athens and Sparta.
Peter ?? BC-AD 67: formerly named Simon, Peter was a leading apostle of Jesus who became the first pope in Rome, where he was martyred.
pharaoh the ruler in Ancient Egypt, considered by Egyptians to be a son of god.
Philip of Macedon 382-336 BC: King of Macedon who arranged for the homeschooling of his son, Alexander the Great.
Philistines ancient people who occupied the land of Canaan, who were enemies of Israel and God.
Phoenicians ancient people who lived and traded goods on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea, developing a new language using an alphabet of 22 letters, on which Greek, Latin, English, French, etc., are based.
Pillars of Islam the five basic rules of Islam: submit to Allah, pray, fast, give to the poor, and make at least one pilgrimage to Mecca (in Saudi Arabia today)
Plato 427-347 BC: Greek (Athens) philosopher who emphasized the value of logic, while his student Aristotle preferred the value of experience.
Pompey the Great 106-48 BC: Ruled Rome as a part of the first triumvirate with Julius Caesar and Marcus Crassus. Pompey is well known for ridding the Mediterranean sea of pirates.
polis The name for city-states in Ancient Greece.
polytheism A religion with many gods, which was common in ancient times until Judaism and Christianity emerged.
Pope The leader of the Roman Catholic Church, who was most powerful in Europe during the time of the Holy Roman Empire, in the Middle Ages.
Ptolemy (AD 90-168) a mathematician, geographer and astronomer in Hellenistic Egypt
Punic Wars 264-146 BC: Won by the Roman republic, enabling it to gain control of the Mediterranean Sea and control commerce
pyramids Very large monuments in Egypt for the burial of pharaohs, built with a precision that cannot be duplicated even today.
Qin Shia Huandgi the first Chinese emperor, who ruled from 221-210 BC, built new roads, and established a standard coin, weight and writing system. This Qin (or Chi'in) state was the first unified Chinese empire.
Qur'an (Koran) the holy book of Islam.
Ramses II the most famous pharaoh, whose reign from 1279-1213 BC (during the New Kingdom) was the second longest in Egyptian history.
Red Sea The Red Sea is between Egypt and the Sinai peninsula. Through Moses, God parted the Red Sea so the Israelites could escape from the Egyptian army.
Reformation Events beginning in AD 1517 when German monk Saint Martin Luther nailed 95 Theses to a Church door, leading to a separation of Catholic and Protestant churches.
The Republic 380 BC: Plato's greatest writings, which form a foundation for America's system of government.
Renaissance a revival in artwork and Greek and Roman achievement, from the AD 1300s to the 1600s, that made the transition from medieval to modern times.
Richard the Lionheart AD 1157-1199: King of England and leader of the third Crusade, the only Christian leader feared by Muslims. He supposed to free the Jerusalem but his French partner king Philip left the Crusade and supported his brother revolt against him. He is known for his chivalry and adhering of Christian values.
Roman Catholic Church The Christian Church led by a Pope, beginning with Peter the Apostle. The word "catholic" means "universal".
Roman citizenship This special status was attained by living in along the Tiber River, being born to Roman citizens, or serving in the army for 25 years. Privileges associated with citizenship included the right to serve as a priest or magistrate and the right to appeal to Caesar. Roman citizens could not be scourged or crucified.
Roman empire (27 BC-AD 476) Began when Augustus Caesar ended the Roman Republic and became the emperor of Rome's vast territory, and ended 500 years later when barbarians overran it; the Roman empire laid foundations to cities in Southern, Western and Central Europe, built roads, established laws, and eventually spread Christianity.
Roman law began with a code of laws inscribed in the Twelve Tables, establishing the concept of "justice" - rule by principle and not by whim
Roman military considered to be invincible; each soldier was equipped with shields, helmets, swords, and javelins
Roman republic 509-27 BC: The first republic in history with a senate and a constitution, it was located in Rome and inspired some of the principles of the government of the United States. The Roman republic ended when Augustus Caesar took full power and established the Roman empire.
Roman senate 300 members representing wealthy families in Rome, it dominated the Roman republic; similar to the U.S. Senate today
Romanesque architecture popular in the early Middle Ages, featuring thick walls, rounded arches and small windows
Rome the capital city of the Roman empire, and of modern day Italy; supposedly founded by Romulus and Remus, and named after Romulus after he killed his brother
Rosetta Stone ancient text written on stone in three different languages, which enabled the first translations of Egyptian hieroglyphics.
Royal Road ancient Persian highway rebuilt by Darius the Great.
samurai elite warriors of feudalistic Japan who followed a special honor code called Bushido.
Saul 1010 BC: the first king of Israel, appointed by God; Saul was a flawed man, jealous of David.
Satraps Governors in the distant lands of the Persian empire, which extended to Egypt and Arabia, who were carefully watched by the "King's Eyes and Ears" soldiers to prevent rebellions.
scholasticism Christian philosophy from the AD 900s-1500s that developed logic in the direction of God.
scientific revolution The beginning of modern science in the AD mid-1500s, starting with the recognition by Copernicus that the Earth revolves around the Sun.
Second Punic War between Rome and Carthage in 218-202 BC; Carthage's leader Hannibal led his army with elephants over the Alps to surprise the Romans, but could not conquer Rome itself; by the end Rome had acquired Spain
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World a listing of the most impressive public works in the world, written by Greek writer Antipater in the 2nd century BC (200-100 BC).
Shang Dynasty first major dynasty of China, which lasted from 1766 BC (when T'ang overthrew the prior dynasty) to 1122 BC
Shiite Muslims fundamentalist Muslims who are considered more aggressive than Sunni Muslims.
Shinto The national religion of Japan, which considered the emperor to be descended from a godlike "sun kami"; Shinto is sometimes considered more of a code of conduct rather than a religion.
shogun a feudalistic military ruler of Japan.
Siddhartha Gautama 560?-480? BC: the Buddha, and the founder of the religion of Buddhism.
Silk Road 500 BC - AD 1500: a trade route from East China to Central Asia and Europe, and allowed ideas to be communicated to different areas of the world much as the internet allows today
Sir Isaac Newton AD 1643-1727: Discovered the explained the force of gravity. Many say he was the second most influential man after Jesus Christ.
Socrates 469-399 BC: The first great Greek philosopher, Socrates taught that the visible world is not all of reality; Socrates taught Plato, who later taught Aristotle
Socratic method A teaching method developed by Socrates, which consists of asking many questions as a way of leading students to the correct answer; this method is used today in law schools.
Solomon Third king of Israel and the author of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon; known for his wise justice
Solon of Athens 630-560 BC: One of the Seven Sages of ancient Greece, who believed that one should "keep everything with moderation."
Sparta a Greek city-state well-known for its military prowess, which won the Peloponnesian war against Athens.
Spread of Buddhism Buddhism traveled outside of India along the Silk Road.
St. Augustine (AD 354-430) a father of the early Christian church who wrote intellectual discussions of the faith entitled Confessions, City of God, and On Christian Doctrine.
Sumer Ancient homeland of the Sumerians, located in Mesopotamia, located in where Iraq is today
Sunni Muslims moderate Muslims who oppose the more aggressive Shiite Muslims.
Sumerians the earliest civilizations living in the Middle East, where inventions included the wheel and the first known form of writing
Taijitu Also called "Yin and Yang," this is the symbol for Taoism. It represents a constant interaction and harmony in nature between two forces having opposite qualities.
Taoism (Daoism) Chinese philosophy of seeking harmony with nature by recognizing that two major forces are opposed to each other.
Ten Commandments the laws of the God of Israel handed down to Moses.
Theocracy a government ruled by the laws of a specific religion, as in some Muslim nations today.
Thomas Aquinas AD 1225–1274: A brilliant medieval priest who merged Aristotle's insights with Christian faith, and wrote Summa Theologica as a summary of Christian theology that is studied even today.
Third Punic War Romans conquered and destroyed Carthage in 146 BC and then went into Macedonia and Greece to defeat them in revenge for having helped Hannibal; Rome then controlled the entire western civilized world (all the land around the Mediterranean).
Thucydides 460-395 BC: Greek historian who wrote History of the Peloponnesian War.
Toltecs A northern Mexican nomadic tribe that reigned over a city called Tula (AD 900-1200) in present-day Mexico City.
Tragedy A type of drama or poetic saga that has an unhappy ending. Common in ancient Greece, this type of work focused on the followed the fall of a character, often because of a specific character flaw such as envy or greed.
Tribune A representative of the poorer lower class (plebians) in the Roman republic. The Assembly of Tribes elected these officials, and they could present the plebe's resolutions before the Senate for ratification.
Troy an ancient city whose destruction was recorded in the Iliad, and its survivors supposedly helped found Rome.
Tutankhamen "King Tut": a young Egyptian pharaoh who ruled from 1341-1323 BC. Archaeologist Howard Carter first discovered his tomb in 1922, shedding light on ancient Egyptian culture.
Twelve Tables 450 BC: basic and successful Roman laws that filled twelve tablets, such as "If one is slain while committing theft by night, he is rightly slain."
Valentine AD 269: A Christian martyr, Valentine is honored by our present-day holiday, Saint Valentine's Day. He was a physician who also conducted marriages contrary to Roman law (marriage was outlawed so that more men would be free to join the army). Before he was executed by Romans on February 14th, he left a note for the jailer's daughter -- the very first valentine.
Vassals Performed military services to the lords in exchange for protection and land in the feudal system.
Vedas Holy books of Hinduism.
Virgil (70-19 BC) a Roman poet & philosopher, friend of Octavian (Augustus Caesar), and author of the Aeneid. Portrayed in the Middle Ages as a noble pagan and symbol of wisdom.
Vishnu Supreme god of Hinduism
Visigoths a confederacy of Germanic tribes that harassed the Roman empire but later fell in AD 711 to the Moors, who were North African Muslims
Vulgate AD 400: The Latin translation by Saint Jerome of the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament. It was then used as the authoritative Bible for the next 1000 years.
Warring States Period 475-221 BC: war period in ancient China also known for the philosophical schools that flourished.
Wheel The ancient Mesopotamia invention, originally in the form of a potter’s wheel; the wheel is considered the first and greatest of man's inventions.
Yahweh God as described in the Old Testament, written as YHWH in the original Hebrew (which lacked vowels).
Yangtze River Longest river in Asia which flows south for 3000 miles; navigable from the sea for half of its course; the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers are the most important rivers in Chinese history
Yellow River Second longest river in Asia; known also as Huang He and "the cradle of Chinese civilization," it runs westward from the Yellow Sea and has a tendency to flood surrounding lands such its course can change with devastating results
Zeus Highest of Greek Gods, God of Thunder, supposedly father of the gods.
Zhou dynasty (or Chou dynasty) 1071-221 BC: it was the longest lasting dynasty in China and included both Prince Zheng as a leader, and Confucius as the major philosopher. This dynasty benefited from the Iron Age after 600 BC.
Ziggurat man-made step-sided structures resembling pyramids that were built in Mesopotamia. The Tower of Babel, described in Genesis 11, may have been a giant ziggurat.
Zoroastrianism Polytheistic religion founded between 1200 and 600 BC by the Persians.

Honors terms

Term Description
Aeneas according to legend, a prince who escaped from Troy whose son founded Rome and whose grandson, Brutus, founded the Britons in England
Aeschylus the oldest of the three great Athenian tragic playwrights (next to Sophocles and Euripides), 525-456 BC
Age of Metal discovery of metals for use in tools: copper (beginning 3500 BC), bronze (beginning 2500 BC), and iron (beginning 1200 BC) were developed as tools.
Age of Pericles the "golden age" of Athens, led by Pericles, who introduced a form of direct democracy from 461-429 BC
Ahuramazda the Creator in Persia's religion of Zoroastrianism
Ahhotep a Middle Kingdom Pharaoh who repelled the Hyksos people from Egypt
Akkadian Empire a Sumerian empire (2360-2180 BC) located in the fertile crescent in the lower Mesopotamia and north of the Sumer River
Alluvial a deposit of sediment (alluvium) in a river bed
archons in the early Greek empire (around 700 BC), archons were government officials elected by the land-owning aristocrats; the archons then made the law
Aristophanes (456-380 BC) an Athenian playwright who wrote comedies and political satires
Ark of the Covenant The chest used by the Hebrews to contain the tablets of the Law given to Moses by God.
Aryans A semi-nomadic Nordic tribe who invaded and settled India around 1500 B.C.
Ashoka Emperor of the Mauryan Empire of India (273-232 B.C.). Upset by the horrors of war (despite winning), he converted to Buddhism and recorded Buddha's teachings on thousands of rock pillars.
Assembly of Centuries the group of representatives who approved new laws in the Roman republic
Assembly of Tribes the governing entity that held the election of representatives
Ashoka Emperor of the Mauryan Empire of India (273-232 B.C.). Upset by the horrors of war (despite winning), he converted to Buddhism and recorded Buddha's teachings on thousands of rock pillars.
Aztecs An aggressive type of people from Central Mexico who adopted many legends and customs from their ancestors. They built a capital city called Tenochtitlan, and established three causeways to connect it to the mainland.
Bantu Over 400 tribes in Africa that share the Bantu language and common customs.
Barracks Emperors A series of Roman emperors (235-284 AD) who used the Roman army as a base for political power. These emperors usually had a poor, rural background.
Battle of Marathon In August 490 B.C., King Darius I of Persia brought his army to the plains of Marathon to invade Athens. Despite being outnumbered ten to one, the Athenian army defeated the Persians.
Battle of Chalons 451 BC: one of the bloodiest battles in world history and the last major victory of the Roman empire, when it defeated Attila the Hun in what is now France; Attila returned later for revenge and could have looted Rome
Bhagavad Gita A section of the Mahabharata, the Bhagavad Gita is an ancient Hindu text written in Sanskrit which consists of Krishna's writings on philosophy and morality.
Breda Became one of the leaders of the Hun, but was killed by his power-hungry brother, Attila the Hun.
Caesar's Commentaries A history by Julius Caesar describing the wars he fought.
Caligula A Roman emperor, ruling from 37 AD to 41 AD, who is historically depicted as a brutal monster, and who was so hated that he was murdered by his own guards.
Canaan The geographical area that encompasses modern-day Israel, the West Bank and a portion of land east of the Jordan River.
Canon of the Medicine Book written by Ibn Sina during the Golden Age of Islam describing many diseases and their causes.
Catal Huyuk An ancient settlement in southern Anatolia, in what is now modern-day Turkey.
Catholic Monarchs The title given by Pope Alexander VI to King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile, whose marriage in 1469 unified Spain led to its conversion back to a Catholic nation from Islam (the "Reconquest").
Cato the Censor A Roman statesman who during the Punic War called for the destruction of Carthage.
Champollion, Jean Jean Champollion (1790-1832) is the father of Egyptology (the study of Egypt), and who translated a portion of the Rosetta Stone.
Chandragupta Maurya The founder of the Mauryan Empire in India who ruled between 320 and 293 B.C. The first Indian emperor to be converted to Jainism, he eventually renounced his throne and joined a group of nomadic Jain monks.
Christian Catacombs Ancient, secret underground burial places for Christians, which served as secret passageways for Christians to meet and worship God together.
Cicero A Roman consul, statesman, lawyer, philosopher and author. After Julius Caesar's assassination, Cicero was one of the most powerful politicians in Rome, and was Mark Antony's rival.
Cincinnatus A Roman hero for whom the city of Cincinnati, Ohio is named. In 458 B.C., he raised an army in Rome and came to the aid of the consul Minucius and his men, who were trapped by the Aequians. Cincinnatus also voluntarily giving up power, surpassed only by George Washington in that respect.
Claudius Roman emperor who became ruler after his nephew Caligula's assassination, he ruled from 41-54 AD, when he was poisoned by his wife Agrippina. Britain came under Roman rule during his reign, and his edict expelling the Jews from Rome is mentioned in the Book of Acts in the Bible.
Cleopatra Seven Egyptian queens of Greek decent that ruled from 193 BC until 30 BC during the Ptolemaic Dynasty. The most famous, Cleopatra VII Philopator, Egypt's last independent ruler, had affairs with both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.
Code of Hammurabi An elaborate code of law created by Hammurabi that called for harsh punishment, such as an eye for an eye, a foot for a foot.
Confucianism A Chinese ethical and moral philosophy based on the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius that focuses on human morality and right action. It has had a significant influence on the development on the culture and history of East Asia.
Constitutional monarchy A government with a constitution that acknowledges a monarch as head of state with varying degrees of influence in the running of the country. Countries with constitutional monarchies include the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain.
consul An elected governmental position in ancient Rome that held executive authority and military command of the Roman republic.
Copts The Coptic Church originated in Egypt around 50 AD when St. Mark the Evangelist traveled to Alexandria, and is one of the oldest Christian denominations. Its leader is the Patriarch of Alexandria, who is called Pope.
Covenant An oath or promise.
Cynicism A Greek philosophy founded by Antisthenes (444 BC - 365 BC) that rejects worldly pleasure in favor of happiness derived from virtue.
Cyrus A Persian emperor (576 BC – 529 BC) who conquered Babylon and sent the Jews back to Israel.
Darius A Persian emperor (521 BC – 486 BC) who quelled the Ionian Revolt and invaded Greece, but was forced to withdraw at the Battle of Marathon.
Delian League A confederation during the Persian Wars controlled by Athens, and consisting of Athens and other Greek city-states and Aegean towns. Its navy helped defend Greece from Persia.
Demosthenes A ancient Greek statesman who spoke against Philip II of Macedonia in speeches that came to be known as "Philippics". He also attempted to convince Greeks to rise up against Macedonian rule after the death of Philip's son, Alexander the Great.
Diadochi After the death of Alexander the Great, his empire was partitioned among the rivalling generals of his army, the so-called diadochi ("successors").
Diocletian The last Barrack Emperor of Rome, he ruled from 284-305 AD. He divided the Roman Empire into eastern and western regions in an attempt to save the empire, and formed a tetrarchy of four rulers, two for each region. He required the military to worship the Roman pagan gods, making it impossible for Christians to be soldiers, and persecuted them.
Donatello (1386-1466) He lived during the Renaissance and was a sculptor and painter. He created a statue of "David" made out of bronze, and sculpted a famous statue of St. George.
Dorians Tribes that settled in Greece between 1100 BC and 1000 BC, and had a military ruling class, which persisted in Sparta and Crete even after democracy was established in Athens. These tribes created the simplest style of Greek architecture, known as the Doric order, which consisted of unadorned, straight columns.
Draco a tyrant in Athens during the early Greek empire (600s B.C.) who established a set of written laws that were so strict that the term "draconian" today refers to overly harsh rules of punishment
Dravidians Dravidians are the people of southern India and Sri Lanka who speak the Dravidian languages and are found in the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka.
Empress Lu The wife of the Chinese emperor Han Gaozu, who after her husband's death had all other possible heirs murdered and installed her son as emperor, ruling as regent until her death.
Epicureanism A philosophy founded by Epicurus in the late 4th century that holds the belief that great happiness is achievable through the avoidance of pain and fear. It does not believe in divine power interacting with humanity.
Etruscans People who settled in the Italian peninsula prior to 700 BC. Most Etruscan cities ran on a democratic-style system. Their culture influenced the later Roman Empire.
Euripides Athenian tragic playwright, BC 480-406.
Exodus The abrupt departure of the people of Israel from Egypt, as told in the Book of Exodus in the Bible.
Ezana Ezana was the king of Axum, in Africa, ruling from AD 330-350. He was the first Christian king in Africa.
Five Good Emperors Five consecutive Roman emperors who ruled between 96 AD to 180 AD and were elected due to talent rather than family connections.
foraging society A pre-farming economy based upon scavenging, hunting, and gathering resources.
Four Emperors Era A series of Roman emperors who ruled in quick succession in 68-69 AD.
Franks A Germanic people that, beginning in the 4th century AD, eventually conquered the areas of France, Benelux, Belgium, The Netherlands and portions of Germany.
Gaul The Roman name for the area comprising modern-day France and Belgium, and parts of northern Italy, western Switzerland and Germany, and the Netherlands. This area was under Roman rule for most of its existence.
Golden mean Is considered the middle between two extremes in philosophy.
Great Canal A canal that connected the Nile River to the Red Sea, built during the Middle Kingdom of Egypt.
Hadrian The third of the "Five Good Emperors" of the Roman Empire, Hadrian ruled from AD 117 to 138 and had two main achievements: he ended Rome's costly territorial expansion, fortifying her boundaries with numerous "Walls of Hadrian," and he effectively "Hellenized" Rome by anointing Athens the empire’s cultural center, thereby enhancing learning.
Han empire was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms.
Harappa A city that is part of the Indus Valley Civilization. It is part of modern Pakistan
Hatshepsut Originally a regent for her son, Thutmose III, Hatshepsut was the longest reigning female ruler of Egypt. She ruled during the eighth dynasty from 1479-1458 B.C. She established trade networks for Egypt and thus collected most of the wealth of the eighth dynasty. She was eventually dethroned when her son took power at the age of 22. Her monuments are the Temple of Karnak, Deirle-Bahri, and Speos Artemidos.
Hellenistic culture Greek culture after the death of Alexander in 323 B.C., when Greek influence extended throughout the territory he conquered; Hellenistic culture was renowned for its strict code of ethics, its culinary prowess, and its use of metal.
heliocentric Recognizing that the Sun ("helio" is Greek for "sun"), and not Earth, is the center of solar system.
Helot A person from the class of serfs in the city-state of Sparta (700s - 300s B.C.) in ancient Greece.
Herodotus Greek historian (484 to 425 BC), the "father of history". His book is simply called Histories and describes the Persian Wars.
Hiram The Phoenician king of Tyre. Ruled from 980-947 B.C.
Hittites An ancient people in the Middle East that gained control of most of Mesopotamia in 1650 B.C. due to their advanced inventions, such as horse-drawn chariots.
Horace The leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus, lived from 65-8 B.C.
humanism Thee Greek emphasis on reason, ethics and rational thinking rather than religion.
Hundred Years' War (1337-1453) This war was fought between France and England. It lasted for 116 years. It started when the English king Edward III tried to take the French throne because France lacked a successor to the late Capetian king.
Hyksos Refers to a people who entered - possibly forcibly - into Egypt, and built their capital at Avaris in the Nile Delta area in about 1648 B.C.
Ides (of March) The 15th of March, May, July and October in the ancient Roman calendar. The 13th is the ides of all the other months. Julius Caesar was murdered on the ides of March.
Invisible Hand If government allows free enterprise to flourish on its own, without interference by government, then an “invisible hand” harnesses the power of self-interest for the overall good of society. Companies are guided by this “invisible hand” to work in a way that is beneficial to others, and the overall wealth and progress of society will increase.
Imperator A title first used by Octavian (Augustus Caesar), literally meaning in Latin “general” or “commander”, giving him power over the entire army.
Iron Smelting A technology comprised of the extraction of usable metal from iron ore.
Iliad a great Greek work of literature written by Homer in the 800s or 700s B.C., describing the mythical Trojan War
Incas a member of any of the dominant groups of South American Indian peoples who established an empire in Peru prior to the Spanish conquest.
Indo-European A very general classification of peoples that includes all the way from India to Egypt.
Jericho A city in Israel by the Jordan River. Mentioned extensively in the Bible. Joshua and the Israelites marched around this city and blew trumpets in order to destroy it and to reach the promised land.
Josephus Flavius Josephus AD 37-101 Jewish general and historian who took part in the Jewish revolt against the Romans and later worked for a Roman patron.
Judaism The monotheistic religion of the Hebrews, also the oldest religion that remains currently active.
Kami Spirits in the Shinto religion that reside in prominent natural features and people. Shrines are often built to Kami.
Kassites Led by their king Agumkakrine, they took advantage of the Hittite raid of 1595 B.C. and occupied the Babylonian region, where they ruled for over 400 years.
Kautilya Advisor to Chaundragupta Maurya, wrote book

"Arthoshastra" on maintaining political power.

Khmer Empire This empire peaked in A.D. 1200 in modern Cambodia, thriving on rice production and trade with China and India. The Khmer empire built the Angkor Wat, a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu with mixed Southeast Asian and Indian art.
Khufu Egyptian pharaoh who had the pyramid of Giza built
Khyber Pass An important break in the mountains between Pakistan and Afghanistan, pivotal in military campaigns by Alexander the Great, Aryans, Muslims, and later the British, who had to overcome defensive positions taken from above by local tribesman.
Kush Was part of a larger region called Nubia.
Larger Vehicle a form of Buddhism practiced in China, Korea, Japan and Tibet, teaching how to attain full enlightenment for the sake of others. (Also known as Mahayana Buddhism.)
Last Roman Emperor The last ruler of the Roman Empire was Romulus Augustus, who ruled from October of AD 475 to September of AD 476
legalism Legalism is the excessive adherence to law or formula.
Legions Legions were the principal unit of the Roman army comprising 3,000 to 6,000 foot soldiers and cavalry in addition to the foot soldiers.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) Leonardo da Vinci was considered a “Renaissance man.” He was a painter, a scientist, a mathematician and many more. He created one of the best paintings in the world, The Mona Lisa. He was said to have draw up designs for flying machines and armored tanks. When he wrote he wrote backwards so that you would have to look in a mirror to read it.
Lesser Vehicle in Buddhism, describes how to attain freedom from one's own suffering.
Livy A Roman historian (59 BC - 17 AD) who wrote a monumental history of Rome from its beginnings to his day.
Loess A type of soil derived form glacial deposits consisting of fine yellow silt that is extremely crumbly. The silt from Loess Plateau of north-west China, carried along by the Yellow River, has given that river its distinctive name.
Magadha Led Aryans to join and try to repel the Persians.
Mahayana the later of the two great schools of Buddhism, chiefly in China, Tibet, and Japan, characterized by eclecticism and a general belief in a common search for salvation, sometimes thought to be attainable through faith alone.
Manichaeism A belief system teaching that there exists two separate, opposite and equally ultimate Principles: the Light and the Darkness.
Marathon A small town about 26 miles from Athens where the Greeks won a key battle against the Persians in 490 B.C., and a messenger ran the distance to deliver the news to Athens, inspiring the modern marathon race today.
Marcus Aurelius Roman emperor from AD 161 to 180. Marcus Aurelius was also a philosopher, a Stoic, and wrote a famous book, Meditations.
Marius Roman general and consul: opponent of Lucius Cornelius Sulla.
Masada a mountaintop fortress in East Israel on the South West shore of the Dead Sea: site of Zealots' last stand against the Romans during revolt of AD 66–73.
Menes Was a legendary Pharoah of Egypt from somewhere between 3100-2850 BC.
Meroe a ruined city in Sudan, on the Nile, NE of Khartoum: a capital of ancient Ethiopia that was destroyed AD c350.
Mesolithic Age Before the beginning of recorded history in 3500 B.C., when humans changed from hunting and gathering food to producing food, as in planting and farming.
Minoan Civilization A civilization that flourished on the island of Crete from around the 27th century B.C., to the 15th century B.C.
Moche A South American civilization that existed in northern Peru from AD 100-800
Moksha Means liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth in the Hindu religion.
monsoons Tropical storms, particularly in the climate of India, where the "southwest monsoon" occurs from about mid-June to the first week in October, and consists of winds carrying heavy rainfall from the Indian Ocean and resulting in widespread flooding
Mount Sinai A 7,498 foot mountain, located in Southern Sinai, now part of modern Egypt.The location where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God.
Muhammad Ali Muhammad Ali was a professional boxer during the 1960’s and 70’s he was perhaps the most famous Muslim of the western world at this time. During the Vietnam war he refused to be drafted because it was not a “holy war.”
Mycenaean Civilization Was an early Indo-European civilization of Greece.
Nebuchadnezzar I was the emperor of the Babylonian Empire from 1146 to 1123 BC.
Nebuchadnezzar II Lived from 635 BC- 562 BC, was King of the Chaldeans and final conqueror of the Southern Kingdom of Israel, called "Judah." He was the first of many heads of state of foreign superpowers to come to a possibly salvific knowledge of God.
Neolithic Age The last part of the Stone Age (neo = "new", lithic = "of/like stone"), before the invention of metallurgy. It immediately preceded the rise of the first civilizations.
Nero Was the Emperor of Rome from AD 54-68. He blamed the great fire of Rome on the Christians who were unpopular due to their belief in one God.
Nerva Roman emperor from AD 96 to 98. Following the turmoils after Nero's death, he stood at the beginning of a long peaceful and prosperous time in the history of the Roman empire.
Nile River A river that ran throughout all of Egypt and fueled its entire agricultural and economic system.
Nineveh The capital of Assyria, seized and destroyed by the Chaldeans in 612 B.C.
Nok culture The African culture where the people created the first terracotta production as well as iron-smelting technology.
Oath of the Hindu Physician Oath requiring, among other things, that doctors not to drink alcohol and to have an honest doctor-patient relationship.
Octavian Also known as Augustus Caesar (63 BC - AD 14) was the first Roman emperor. He was originally called Gaius Octavius Thurinus until he changed it after being adopted by Julius Caesar in 44 B.C.
Odyssey The Odyssey was an epic poem written by the Greek poet Homer. It traces the journey home to Greece by a hero of the Trojan war and the troubles he faces at the hands of gods and men.
Olmec The first major Pre-Columbian civilization in Mexico
oracle bone First concrete evidence that the Shang Dynasty really existed. They were generally used as medicine by grinding them up into powder but they were also used to write on.
Origen was an early Christian philosopher, who lived in the East, and especially in Alexandria
Ostrogoths Were a Germanic tribe influential in the last days of the Roman Empire.
Ovid Ovid or Publius Ovidius Naso was a famous Roman poet, known for his Heroides, Amores, Ars Amatoria, and Metamorphosis. He lived from 43 BC to 17 AD
Paleolithic Age Is the name given by atheists to the first part of the Stone age, followed by the Neolithic Age. During the Paleolithic Age, atheists believe people harvested wild plants and animals for food.
papyrus A thin parchment constructed from reeds near the Nile River
pariah An outcast or any person or animal that is despised.
Parthenon The Parthenon is a celebrated marble temple of Athene, on the Acropolis at Athens. It was of the pure Doric order, and has had an important influence on art.
patricians A patrician is a person of high honor or rank.
Pericles 493-429 BC: a fabulous orator, he led Athens during its Golden Age (between the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars), and expanded democracy: "Government in the hands of the many, not of the few," he said.
Peru Peru is a country in South America with a rich history. Once dominated by the Incas, Peru fell to the Spanish in the 16th Century.
Petra Petra was an ancient city that lasted from some time in 6th century B.C. to 360 AD when an earthquake destroyed their water supply. The city is famous for its buildings carved in red sandstone and given the name the pink city. Also Indiana Jones was filmed there.
phalanx common Greek military formation, which is rectangular
Philippides An athlete sent by Athens to run 150 miles to Sparta as they needed help in their battle against Persia, where they were outnumbered 10 to 1. His remarkable ability continues to inspire ambitious joggers today.
Philo (20 BC - 50 AD) was a Jewish historian from Alexandria in the first century. He combined Judaism and Greek philosophy.
pictograph A pictorial symbol for a word or phrase. Pictographs are the foundation for cuneiform and hieroglyphics, having been discovered in Egypt and Mesopotamia from before 3000 B.C.
Pisistratids Was a ruler of Athens around 570 B.C.
plebian A Plebian was one of the lower classes in the early Roman world, such as small farmers and shopkeepers, similar to a commoner in Medieval Europe. This status was inherited in ancient Rome, though it could change through marriage or (rarely) promotion.
Plutarch (46 to 127 AD.)Was a Greek historian, philosopher, biographer, and priest.
praetors one of a number of elected magistrates charged chiefly with the administration of civil justice and ranking next below a consul.
Poseidon The god of the sea, rivers, floods, droughts, earthquakes, and the creator of horses; known as the "Earth Shaker". He is a son of Cronus and Rhea and brother to Zeus and Hades. In classical artwork, he was depicted as a mature man of sturdy build with a dark beard, and holding a trident.
Prehistory Before 3400 B.C.
purdah The seclusion of women from the sight of men or strangers. Purdah is practiced most in the Muslim and Hindu religions.
Pythagorus A Greek philosopher mathematician (569-475 B.C.), best known for his Pythagorean Theorem which equates the square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle to the sum of the squares of each side. His philosophy included abstracting 2 ships + 2 ships = 4 ships to the more general truth that 2 of anything plus 2 of anything = 4 of anything.
Ramayana A Sandskrit epic, depicting the life and adventures of Ramachandra.
Ramses II Ramses II was the king of Egypt. His reign is remembered by his constant war with the Hittites.
Raphael (1482-1520) Raphael was contemporary to the Renaissance. He was a skilled painter who is known for his artwork in churches and for his private clients. He inspired Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.
Rembrandt A Dutch painter who lived from AD 1606-1669
Rig Veda A collection of over one thousand hymns that date back to as early as two thousand B.C.
Romance of Three Kingdoms Is a novel written by Luo Guanzhong in the Han Dynasty when it fell into disorganization. (AD 220-280)
Romulus and Remus Rome obtained its name from Romulus and Remus, who were twins, and by legend the the sons of Mars who were rescued from death by a mother wolf after his uncle threw him into the Tiber river out of jealousy.
rule of tyrants during the early Greek empire in the 600s, a series of tyrants ruled Athens. One was "Draco", who imposed the same penalty of death for every crime, no matter how minor!
Saint Patrick Born in Wales and grew up in England. Later traveled to Ireland and converted the Celts there to Christianity in the mid-400s AD
Sanctuary Medieval right of criminals on the run to enter churches and be untouchable by authorities.
Sargon the Great The first person in recorded history to create an empire or multi-ethnic state.
Sati (Buddhism) Mindfulness, self-collectedness, powers of reference and retention. In some contexts, the word sati when used alone covers alertness
Satrap Local governors established in distant lands by the powerful Persian ruler Cyrus
Saxons Were a Germanic tribe, eventually settling in England and North Western France.
Schliemann, Heinrich German archeologist who was an excavator of Troy. His work supported the idea that Homer's Iliad and Virgil's Aeneid reflected real historical events.
Scipio (236 BC -183 BC) Was the Roman General during the Second Punic War who brought about the final defeat of Carthage at the Battle of Zama in 202 B.C.
Seneca Roman philosopher (a Stoic), statesman and playwright; teacher of Nero. BC 4 - AD 65.
Shang dynasty Was a major ancient Chinese dynasty from about 1766 to 1122 BC. Built cities in northern China along the Yellow River. It consisted of city-states which were often at war with one another.
Shang Yang Was a Chinese statesman and philosopher. He promoted Legalism, which was like the divine right of kings in the West.
Shi A scholar class created by the Han dynasty
Shiva In Hinduism, Shiva "the Destroyer" is the third member of the Trimurti, or the "Hindu triad", along with Brahma "the Creator" and Vishnu "the Preserver".
Slavs Slavic people who settled the Steppe and cultivated the soil in AD 100. They lived in tribes and villages and were vulnerable to nomadic fighters like the Huns. They established a trade city known as Kiev which exists to this day.
Song Dynasty About 50 years after the fall of the Tang dynasty, the Song dynasty united China again under centralized rule. This dynasty governed for about 300 years, from A.D. 960 to 1279. It emphasized education even more than the Tang dynasty did. Art and literature thrived. Paper money was invented during the Song dynasty.
Solon Solon was an Athenian statesman who introduced economic, political, and legal reforms.
Sophocles Athenian tragic playwright, BC 497-406.
Steppes Steppes are large areas of flat unforested grassland in southeastern Europe or Siberia.
stirrup a metal frame for each foot when riding a horse; invented in China in 322 BC and used to great advantage in battle, because they make it easier to control the horse and shoot arrows with accuracy
Stoicism The second of the two main Greek philosophical schools of thought. Stoicism sought to find a sense of divine justice, deemphasizing pain and pleasure for the goal of reason, logic, and self discipline.
Stone age The stone age is believed to be at time before men had metal working skills in our prehistory. Young Earth Creationists dispute the exsistence of a stone age rather there were stone working cultures.
Stupa An ornate Buddhist dome-like stone structure originally built to cover items believed to be relics of the Buddha.
Sui Dynasty The Sui dynasty established centralized rule in China in A.D. 589 for the first time since the Han dynasty in A.D. 220. In other words, China went without a centralized government for over 300 years, from 220 to the establishment of the Sui Dynasty in 589.The Sui dynasty ruled for only a very brief period of 29 years, until A.D. 618. But in that brief period of time it accomplished something magnificent: it built the Grand Canal to connect northern and southern China.
Sulla (138-78 BC) was a Roman general and dictator during the Republican period. He won Rome's first civil war. Reforms during his time gave the Senate more power.
Sumuabum Was an Amorite king who established a Babylonian Kingdom in 1894 BC.
Suttee An ancient Hindu practice in India where a wife sacrifices herself upon her husband's funeral pyre. Outlawed by the British Raj.
Tacitus (AD 55-120) Was the Roman author of Histories, Annals, and Germania, describing first century Rome. His work chronicles Nero's blaming of the Christians for the fire in Rome and the resulting large scale persecution of Christians that ensued.
Taj Mahal A marble memorial located in Agra, India. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, Queen Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth.
Tang Dynasty The Tang dynasty ruled for nearly 300 years, from A.D. 618 to 907. This is known as the golden age of art and poetry in China. New territories were acquired, including Manchuria, Tibet, Korea and northern Vietnam.
The Tale of Gengi The world's first psychological novel. Was written in the 1000s and about Japanese culture.
Teotihuacan Known as "City of the gods," Teotihuacan (AD 100-900) was perhaps the most powerful and largest city-state in Mesoamerica. They worshiped many gods and lived in barrios (suburbs or ghettos) around the city.
terra cotta A hard fired clay, distinctively brownish-red colored traditionally used for architectural purposes, especially ornamental, and for pottery and sculpture.
Terracotta army when Shia Huandgi (the first emperor of China) died in 210 B.C he was buried with an army of life sized terracotta warriors, which all had different expressions on their carved faces.
Thales Thales of Miletus (ca. 624 BC–ca. 546 BC) was the first Greek philosopher. He successfully predicted the solar eclipse of 585 BC and posited that water was the basic principle of all matter in the world.
Thales of Melitus philosopher in the Greek tradition.
Theravada Oldest surviving Buddhist school, founded in India
Thirty Years' War A religious conflict as Catholic states sought to suppress Protestantism. It began as a fight between Bohemian Protestants and Hapsburg Catholics in 1618, and soon became a political conflict for power that included Spain, Holland, Denmark, France, Sweden, and the Habsburg dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire. The war ended with the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648.
Thutmos III The 6th Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty. The first 22 of years of his reign he was co-regent with his stepmother, Hatshepsut. Reigned from 1479 BC to 1425 BC;
Tiber River One of the longest Italian rivers, over 250 miles long, it flows through the city of Rome.
Tiberius a tyrannical Roman emperor who reigned from AD 14-37
Tigris and Euphrates Two rivers where civilization began in Mesopotamia before 3500 B.C., as described in the Book of Genesis and also confirmed by non-biblical sources.
Titus and Domitian The two sons of Emperor Vespasian. Titus ruled from AD 79–81; Domitian ruled from AD 81-96.
Toltecs AD 900-1200: a northern Mexican nomadic tribe that ruled about 50 miles north of present-day Mexico City, in a city called Tula
Torah the Jewish name for the first five books of the Bible, meaning Law.
Trajan Was a Roman Emperor from 98 to 117 AD and the second of the Five Good Emperors.
Tribal Assembly Was a Roman assembly of plebians & patricians, composed of members of 35 various Roman tribes
Triumvirate A triumvirate is a system of governance led by 3 leaders. The two most important triumvirates of ancient times were those of Rome: one led by Julius Caesar, Pompeius Magnus ("Pompey the Great") and Marcus Crassus; the other led by Octavian, Mark Antony, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. It was the failings of these triumvirates that lead to the downfall of the Republic, and the emergence of the Roman Empire.
Untouchables People at the very bottom of the Hindu caste system. Their Hindi name is "Dalits." Under the system,these people literally are not be touched because they are considered to be so undesirable.
Upanishads Hindu scriptures that describe reincarnation. Written in Sanskrit, they predate the teachings of Buddha by several centuries.
Ur 3500 BC: Important city-state in Mesopotamia
Vandals Eastern Germanic tribe that sacked Rome in AD 455. Sweeping through Gaul and Spain they finally settled in North Africa. The Spanish region of Andalusia is named after them.
Vergil 70-19 BC: Writer of Famous Roman Mythology "The Aeneid."
Vespasian a Roman Emperor (AD 70-79), also the general in charge of putting down the Jewish revolt near the end of the AD 60s
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) William Shakespeare is the greatest playwright in the history of the world. He has developed many famous plays such as the "Merchant of Venice", "a Midsummer Night's Dream", and "Macbeth".
Xenephos (435-354 B.C.) Was historian, philosopher, and military commander, born at Athens, son of an Athenian of good position; was a pupil and friend of Socrates.
Xenophon Famous Greek writer, Writer of renowned historical work "The Anabasis."
Xerxes A Persian king in the 5th century BC who attacked and conquered much of Greece, before being defeated in a naval battle in the Battle of Salamis and forced to withdraw back to Babylon
Zealots A group of Jews in the 1st century AD who sought the violent overthrow and expulsion of Rome from Israel. Their most famous battle (and defeat) came at Masada, a mountain fortress that still holds spiritual significance for Israel today.
Zeno 490-430 BC: a Greek philosopher who proposed Paradoxes, such as how a destination is never reached if the traveler goes half the distance to the goal an infinite number of times.

See also