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The Indo-European Migrations. The Movement of Peoples, Language & Bronze/Iron Age Europe.
An Unexplained Migration: Between 2000 B. C. & 1200 B. C. a vast population shift occurs. Nomadic tribes from the Russian steppe & Caucasus begin to migrate. Primarily pastoralists – herdsmen. First to tame horses – invent the chariot, first to ride horses. Cause of sudden migration unknown – climatic change, disease, population growth?
A Common Language: Indo-European tribes moved & resettled in all directions. All the tribes spoke similar languages which would develop into the modern languages of Europe, India & parts of S. W. Asia.
The Indo-European Migrations. Part 2: The Hittites & the Aryans
The Hittites: Established empire in Anatolia (modern Asian Turkey) around 2000 B. C. Advanced technology – Chariots, composite bow, bronze armor. Established capital at Hattusas – pursued policy of expansion – conquered territory in Mesopotamia & Syria.
Exploited Anatolia’s rich natural resources: timber & metal ores (especially iron – increased military advantage. ) Important role as transmitters of elements of older cultures – religion, language, law – and as traders.
The Aryans: Aryan means “Noble” or “Free Born. ” Swept into Indus valley around 1500 B. C. Period of conquest 1500 B. C. – 500 B. C. Employed superior iron weapons, composite bows & chariots to conquer the more numerous Indians. Intermarried with native Indians creating a new culture with a new language – Sanskrit.
Indo-Aryan Society & Culture: Based around tribes led by an elected warrior prince (raja. ) Patriarchal extended families – eldest male bore responsibility for economic and spiritual well being of family. Indo-Aryan culture based around autonomous villages – today India has over 700, 000 of them. The Mahabharata – an Indo-Aryan work of epic literature that described the formation of the new society.
In the 20 th Century Adolph Hitler used the term Aryan to describe a “Super Race” that the Germans were a part of. According to him, “All the human culture, all the result of art, science, and technology that we see before us today, are almost exclusively the creative product of the Aryan. ” The result of Hitler’s misuse of history was the carnage of World War II and the Holocaust.
Religion: Known as Vedic religion – based on a series of Aryan texts known as the Vedas – a collection of hymns & rituals. Polytheistic. Develops into Hinduism.
The Caste System: What is a Caste system? A means of social control and means to distribute limited resources. Becomes linked to the religion – attributed to the supreme god Brahma to make legitimate. Based on dharma (religious law or responsibilities) & karma (consequences of individual deeds. )
The Caste System showing the Varna or classes: Mouth – Brahmins (priests) Arms – Kshatriyas (nobles & warriors) Legs – Vaishyas (farmers & merchants) Feet – Shudras (laborers & servants) Harijan (The Untouchables) – those who dealt with waste & the dead.
Seafaring Traders The Phoenicians.
The Phoenicians: Descendents of the original inhabitants of the eastern Mediterranean coast – the Canaanites. Established a series of independent city-states in what is today Lebanon – Sidon, Tyre & Byblos being the most important – around 1200 B. C.
Quickly established a seafaring trade empire across the Mediterranean. The name Phoenician comes from the Greeks – means “red men” from the purple dye which they were famous for. Established colonies across Mediterranean, most importantly at Carthage (New City) in North Africa (modern Tunisia. )
Traded for tin as far away as the British Isles. Discovered the Azores (mid-Atlantic) and possibly the Americas (Central & South America. ) Culture an eclectic blend of Mediterranean & Middle Eastern. Introduced Asian mathematics & astronomy to the Greeks. Main contribution – the alphabetic writing system. Modified by the Greeks to produce the basis of the western alphabet.
Age of the First Empires: Assyria Dominates the Fertile Crescent.
The Rise of a Warrior People: The Assyrian homeland is in northern Mesopotamia. Flat farmland with no natural barriers encouraged invasion. In response Assyrian kings built a powerful, professional army. Starting around 850 B. C. this military machine was applied to conquest.
The Assyrian Empire: Between 850 B. C. & 650 B. C. , from their capital at Nineveh, the Assyrians conquered Syria, Palestine, Babylon & Egypt. Treated conquered peoples with brutality – mass executions & deportations (terrorism) employed to pre-empt rebellion. Suppression led to constant warfare.
Assyrian Rule & Culture: Assyrian kings ruled the empire through carefully selected governors. Tribute was levied against subject peoples – non-payment led to destruction of settlements & exile of populations. A network of roads, a postal system & standardized language (Aramaic) were established to ease control. Practiced traditional Mesopotamian religion, art & custom – art glorified the Assyrian warrior kings, the hunt and battle. Ashurbanipal, the last great Assyrian king, kept one of the ancient world’s largest libraries – 25, 000 clay tablets.
The Rise of Babylon: By 612 B. C. Assyria had overextended its reach. A coalition of Medes & Chaldeans razed Nineveh – the Assyrian Army was defeated in battle. A Chaldean king Nebuchadnezzar rebuilt Babylon as his capital.
The Origins of Judaism
Early Migrations: Judaism, the oldest of the three surviving western religions was founded between 2000 B. C. & 1200 B. C. Its scriptures – the Torah are a mixture of history & allegory. The Hebrews – later called Jews – were Semitic tribes of semi-nomadic herdsmen & farmers from Sumeria. The patriarch (father) of the faith is Abraham. The Hebrew tribes migrated north and west through the Fertile Crescent to Canaan.
The Covenant with Yahweh: The Hebrews pledged to worship only one god – Yahweh (Jehovah) – making Judaism the first true Monotheistic religion. The Hebrews promised to worship only Yahweh in exchange for his protection – a Covenant. The Hebrews believed their god had power over all, not just them. Yahweh was a universal, not a local god.
Life under Pharaoh: Around 1700 B. C. the Hebrew tribes, threatened by drought, settled in Egypt. At first they did well – later they were forced into servitude. Sometime between 1500 B. C. & 1200 B. C. the Hebrews, led by Moses, fled Egypt (Exodus. ) While crossing the Sinai desert the Hebrews made a new covenant – adopted the Ten Commandments – the basis for Jewish civil & religious law. Yahweh was a just, not arbitrary deity.
The Ten Commandments: The first four concern the Hebrew’s relationship with Yahweh: I am the Lord thy God… Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image… Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain… Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. The last six concerned the Hebrews relationships with one another: Honor thy father and thy mother… Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Thou shalt not covet…
Jewish I Catholic I am the Lord your G-d who has taken you out of the land of I, the Lord, am your God. You shall not have other gods besides Egypt. me. Protestant* You shall have no other gods but me. II You shall have no other gods but me. You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain. You shall not make unto you any graven images. III You shall not take the name of the Lord your G-d in vain. Remember to keep holy the Lord's Day. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. IV You shall remember the Sabbath and keep it Holy. Honor your father and your mother. You shall remember the Sabbath and keep it Holy. V Honor your mother and father. You shall not kill. Honor your mother and father. VI You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not murder. VII You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not commit adultery. VIII You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness. You shall not steal. IX You shall not bear false witness. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife. You shall not bear false witness. X You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor's goods. You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.
The Tribes & the Judges: The 12 Hebrew tribes returned to Canaan and seized the land through warfare. Hebrew law was interpreted by scholars – Judges – later rabbi’s (teachers. ) Over time the largest tribe – Judah – would give it’s name to the people and the religion – Jews and Judaism.
Three Kings: Between 1020 B. C. & 922 B. C. the Hebrew tribes were unified into a single kingdom – Israel. Three kings – Saul, David & Solomon – defeated the hostile Philistines and established a new capital – Jerusalem. Solomon, the greatest of the three built a trading empire and a great temple.
A Time of Conflict & Captivity: By 922 B. C. the Kingdom of Israel had split – Israel in the north, Judah in the south. In 738 B. C. both kingdoms were paying tribute to the Assyrians. By 722 B. C. the Kingdom of Israel was absorbed by Assyria. Judah held out until 586 B. C. & then fell to the Babylonian Empire under Nebuchadnezzar – many Jews were taken into captivity in Babylon & the Temple of Solomon was destroyed. Babylon would fall in 539 B. C. to the Persians – 40, 000 Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem.