World History Homework Two - Model

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1. What do you think was the main secret to Alexander the Great's enormous success?

One of Alexander’s main secrets to his military success, in my opinion, was very simply that he led his troops on the front lines of battle. ... Alexander chose to fight along side his men showing that he was no coward and experienced the same problems and hardships his own men had to face. Many tales were heard among the deeds of Alexander, riding into the heaviest of fights, hunting and slaying the enemy commanders and carrying the wounded out on his own horse. To his men he appeared not just as a king seeking conquest but as a brother in battle. As we go on through history you will notice that the greatest military leaders will share this trait. Examples of this are Attila, Hannibal, The Khans of Asia, George Washington, and King David." (James G.)
He made better use of his cavalry and the phalanx, which was superior to the Persian divisions. He also used his knowledge of terrain to his advantage even when not near his homeland. (Anthony)
I believe that Alexander's main asset and help was God's hand in his conquest. God was preparing the way for Jesus and making ready the world for Jesus to enter. Without God's help Alexander would have been nothing. (John F.)

2. What about the Greek geography was unique and conducive to the development of democracy? Explain a bit.

In Greece, the terrain is mountainous and rocky, which makes forming a large empire difficult—armies have difficult time controlling such large sections of territory. Without one big ruler bossing them all around, it was easier for them to develop and maintain their own form of government. (Duncan)

3. Explain the big advance in language mentioned in the lecture, which might have been even more significant than the invention of the wheel.

The invention of the Phoenician alphabet. It allowed for more words with greater meaning, more than just concrete nouns. With the alphabet, you could convey ideas, plans, and even things like proper nouns. Communication could be accomplished with greater speed and clarity. (Michelle F.)
With the Phoenician alphabet, it became possible to express the unseen as easily as what is tangible or seen. (Instructor)

4. Pick a significant advance in knowledge by the Greeks and comment on it.

The Greeks are credited with the incredible invention of medicine. Hippocrates is known as the father of medicine. On top of figuring out how to use medicine, he also knew when not to use medicine. He made this clear by issuing the Hippocratic Oath. It is very upsetting how modern doctors definitely ignore his oath for their own selfish gain. (Jenna N.)

5. Aesop's Fables: pick one you like best and explain why, or comment on all of them as a group.

The Fable, "The Bundle of Sticks," specifically intrigued me. It proves that union gives strength, because alone we can be destroyed, but together we can survive all hardships. Aesop grasps the meaning of family and friends and how they are always there to support us when we experience many sufferings. Man always needs someone to console them; someone they can trust that will always be there with them. If a family separates, members will eventually break down from grief and destruction; we are meant to assist each other and always be there to help. (Veronika)
My favorite fable is the "Tortoise and the Hare." I like how it shows pride leading to the fall, and perseverance leading to the goal. (Kara)
Aesop's Fables are a group of stories that helped young people better themselves [concerning] the disguises and illusions of the world. For example, an illusion in modern times would be if something is advertises as free when in fact a small purchase is required. ..." (Sandro)
... the Dog and the Wolf ... [is] one of my favorites. The moral is that is better to starve free than to be a fat slave. As an American, being free is one of the most important things to me, which is probably why I like this fable so much." (Anna)

6. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle: who impresses you most, and why?

Plato. He began to develop monotheism, based on the idea of a prime mover. He considered there to be an ultimate being who was an ultimate embodiment of Good. From his philosophy is derived Neo-Platonism, a variation of monotheism. A teaching in Neo-Platonism is that the universe emanates from God without diminishing Him. While these philosophies tend to consider God more of a transcendent “One” (similar to pantheism) than a living being with a will (as in Abrahamic monotheism), they do demonstrate a great point- the Greeks, the most logical civilization ever, began to envision monotheism without revelation. This seems to me proof that belief in God is in fact logical. (Addison)
Plato was my favorite for writing the book The Republic and working with reason rather than experience. The Republic was the basis for our form of government in the U.S. (Aran)
I think Aristotle was the greatest because he believed in experience. He also was the tutor, and much of the brains to, Alexander's victories. ... (Julie)
Socrates, founder of the Socratic Method, teacher of Plato, and Martyr of the Pursuit of Truth. Plato is the man who made logic famous, who was the greatest student of Socrates and teacher of Aristotle, and upon whose ideas the American government was based and Christian thought expanded. Aristotle was a compiler of knowledge, the teacher of Alexander the Great, and whose method of thinking was used by St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologiae, perhaps the greatest theological document of all time. Of the three, Socrates was the noblest, Plato the one who affected more people, and Aristotle whose effect shall be the longest reaching. The three great Greeks have been described, and they impress me in different ways equally. (Cole)

7. Pick an ancient people other than the Greeks and briefly describe them.

The Chaldeans seized the Assyrian capital, Ninevah and destroyed it in 612 B.C. they also conquered all of Mesopotamia, Judea and Syria. The Chaldeans remained in power for only fifty years and are the founders of the "Neo-Babylonian Empire." The Chaldeans' reign is mentioned in the book of Daniel, because Daniel was captured by the Chaldean army during its first attack on Jerusalem. (Amanda)

H1. Do you think Jesus taught in Greek? Explain.

Jesus was God. God knows all. Simply it is very likely that Jesus taught in Greek. He makes references in the Bible about drinking the cup his father gives him ... some say this has implications that lead to Socrates being executed by drinking from a cup with Hemlock poison in it. Jesus brought back people from the dead. He could have preached in Greek if he wanted to. (Jonathan L.)
I believe that Jesus taught in Aramaic because he needed to use the most comon language that would reach the most people. Everybody in Haiti speaks Creole, but only the educated people can speak, read and write French. I think Jesus would speak Creole in Haiti so everyone could understand his message. (Steven H.)

H2. The Persian Wars. What can you say about them?

The Persian wars were a series of battles and campaigns between the Greek city states and Persia. Persia had vast amounts of men and resources but they did not have the fighting skills of the Spartans nor the navy of the Athenians and were unable to conquer Greece. (Isaac)

H3. Greek mathematics, philosophy, drama, literature and architecture. Which do you like best, and why?

I like the Greek mathematics. The mathematician Archimedes was discovered pi, estimating it within 0.1 of its actual value. He used his mathematical knowledge to defend his home city of Syracuse against Roman invaders, with devices such as catapults, huge crossbows, and perhaps even a huge mirror to set Roman ships on fire with solar energy. (Duncan)

H4. "Democracy is not the best for fighting wars!" What aspect of Greek history might you cite to support that statement? Explain.

On more than one occasion, the Ekklesia (the assembly of citizens in the Athenian democracy) voted compulsively and had to later rescind its vote, or deal with the consequences. When the passions of the people are mindlessly inflamed with nationalism or worry or stress during war or domestic crisis, a direct democracy almost necessarily ensures that the nation will be lead emphatically in the wrong direction, unprepared or with a rash mentality. For example, the Ekklesia voted in 406 BC to execute eight generals who failed to collect survivors from ships damaged in a storm. The trial tried all eight generals together and thus was an illegal proceeding, which happened anyway due to the excitement of the people after years of war. Later the Ekklesia made up for the unlawful executions by executing those who had accused the generals. More infamously, (though not related to a war) Socrates was executed by the Ekklesia- an event which Greek reason might have helped avoid. (Addison)
Sparta had her government based on military discipline, while Athens was a direct democracy. Most of the wards fought between the two city-states were won by Spartans. (Tom)

H5. Write about anything related to the lecture.

Going back to Alexander the Great, though in a different capacity, I believe he exemplifies an interesting paradigm: a different mindset from that of most individuals today. ... These days it seems difficult to get people interested or motivated enough to do practically anything, much less achieve something spectacular. What is even more profound is Alexander’s primary reason for conquest: he wanted to see/discover the Pacific Ocean (I believe it was it was known in legend as the Eastern Sea, though I’m not positive). Due to his studies under Aristotle, Alexander believed that the earth was round, to the great dismay of many of his soldiers, and he wanted to look on, with his own two eyes, the body of water of which he knew must exist. This just occurs to me as a particularly fitting spark to the genius of one of the most influential historical figures ever, and is one of the foremost reasons why I enjoy studying history. The remarkable such inspiration and determination that drove a man to known as “the Great,” is nothing short of awe-inspiring. (Joe B.)
In Greece, c. 400 B.C. (the time when historians estimate the Hippocratic Oath to have been written) not all life was considered to be valuable. They did many things that would not be condoned today, slavery being one of them. They had brutal punishments, were often at war, were not averse to mutilating prisoners, made sacrifices to their gods, and many other practices that our culture today would find appalling. Yet even the pagan Greeks recognized that it was wrong to kill and unborn child. ... (Michelle F.)