Mesopotamia is believed to be a land that’s between two rivers. Ancient Mesopotamia was occupied by different people with different cultures, wealth, gender, and religion. This therefore, brought about conflicts and warfare because of inequality. It is a fact that ancient Mesopotamia was growing and due to trade others became wealthy while others remained poor. The laws were made by the elite who made it possible for it to benefit them. In the laws when a poor person commits the same crime as the rich person they will be given a harsher punishment compared to the rich person. The education system was also unequal because only the royal family or the wealthy family’s sons were educated. In the Mesopotamian society women were made to be inferior to the men and they only did house chores. The earliest form of civilization was in Babylon through the code of Hammurabi where the laws were written. The ancient Hebrew was able to mine for irons and thus made weapons.
The hunters-gathers society is the one in which they get there food through hunting wild animals and collecting wild plants. They are considered nomads because they move from place to place in search of food. The big man in a society is considered to be the head of the village whose authority is considered to be regional in that they have influence to the other villages. The position of the big man is temporary. Chiefdoms are hierarchical political organization in a society that is not industrialized. The formal leadership comes from the wealthy council of elders. In order for a person to become a chief they must be very wealthy and the position should be inherited. This is permanent leadership meaning the chief must die or retire for another person to take the position. State level society is the one in which it has a centralized government with the elite people in the society as rulers. The earliest form of state level officials was first seen in the ancient Mesopotamia.
When the ancient hunters-gathers were moving in search of food they settled in Mesopotamia because it was fertile. This made them domesticate animals and began planting crops. This was in the Neolithic revolution where agriculture was replacing the hunting and gathering lifestyle. When agriculture took over people started trading thus making them wealthy this is the gift economy. Trading brought about urbanization and thus turned villages into cities. The leadership also changed from being led by a council of elders to state-level societies where the kings ruled.
There are many differences between the ancient polytheism and monotheism. In polytheism they believed in many gods or goddesses while in monotheism they believed in one God. The polytheism is almost identical to the animist beliefs because they believe in ancestors, demons, spirits and supernatural beings. The monotheism is considered to be the progression from the polytheism and animism beliefs. In polytheism the gods are not equal while in monotheism the God is supreme. The similarities of these two are that they both believe that there is a higher power that created the world and everything in it. Monotheism brought about Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Sabianism. In Judaism history as well as the practices, beliefs and the laws were stored and educated people in the Torah. Polytheism brought about monotheism.
Ancient Greek societies
In ancient Greek societies the sophists were teachers who specialized in using the techniques of using philosophy or rhetoric in teaching virtue to the sons of the nobles. This was condemned by Socrates according to Plato’s dialogues. The thing that caused democracy to become an issue in ancient Greek was that the poor men were being taken and made soldiers. This became a problem when it came to the harvesting season. The poor people saw that since their men were being taken as soldiers they had a right to have a say in making of decisions so that there men would be back to harvest. The sophists were not involved directly with the democratization of Athens. Through their psychology and philosophy they were able to ensure the growth of democracy. They were also the ones who were involved in making laws in Athens because they were the first lawyers.
The shift from the classical age to the Hellenistic age was due to the death of Alexander the Great. The classical age occurred when Philip of Macedon came to throne, he was known to be a very ambitious man. He found a way to capture some states because he saw how divided Greek was therefore he used treachery to acquire the states. The reason for the division of the Greek states was because of the Peloponnesian war. In 356 B.C, Alexander the great came to power after the assassination of his father Philip. Alexander was a skilled military man and also ruthless. He was able to acquire more states such as Ptolemaic of Egypt, Seleucid Asia and Macedonia. Alexander was able to fuse the cultures between that of Greek with those that he conquered. This led to the spread of Greek culture with other states and thus the economy also grew. After the death of Alexander the great in 323 B.C, the world changed to the Hellenistic state.
The Hellenistic state was called that because the cities in which Alexander was able to conquer lost their identity and were more like Greeks. This also became a problem for philosophers who were used to the classical philosophy to change to the Hellenistic. The philosophers such as Plato in the Republic also changed his views about democracy because of the death of his mentor Socrates. In Hellenistic stage other philosophers such as Aristophanes made comedic plays where he made jokes about the classical philosophers such as Socrates and Plato and also made fun about the polis. The crisis of the polis occurred in the Hellenistic period where the public and the private lives were separated thus people were concerned about their private lives than that of the polis.
The gender roles and expectations in the citizen classes of Athens and Sparta differed in many ways. This is because in Athens the women were given a lot of restrictions such as they were to visit their friend or go to ceremonial occasions for a short period of time. In the Olympic Games the women were not allowed to go because the participants did not wear any clothes. The men’s position in Athens was to oversee the crops were growing, trading, became government officials, hunting and sailing. In Athens schools the men were taught culture and art of peace and war.
The women on the hand were taught about domestic work but there was an exception of the courtesans. They attended schools where they were taught on how to be good companions for men who could afford them. They also did not have restrictions in that they could go and watch the Olympic Games. In the Sparta education the boys were taught on how to be soldiers in military schools. While the girls were taught domestic work, running, wrestle, combat skills, and play discus and javelin in the sisterhood barracks. When a girl reached 18 years and has passed all her training and fitness class they were allowed to go home and were given husbands but once they failed they lose their rights to be considered citizens thus are turned to be middle class citizens. The women in Sparta had a lot of freedom to move from place to place without any restrictions compared to the other Greek states.
Ancient Roman society: The republic and the early empire
The roman republic began when the then king Lucius Tarquinius Superbus was over thrown by the people because he was a tyrant and also his son had raped one of the nobleman’s wife. He was the last of the seven kings but his reputation was not of excellence and brilliant leadership like the other six. King Porsenna of Etruscan got interest of acquiring Rome thus invaded and defeated Rome but was unable to rule it. This was because he had to flee from the state because he was been hunted down. The state remained without a leader thus prompted the Romans to stop the kinship way of ruling and elected the magistrates known as the consuls to be rulers. The primary job for the consul was to act as a general in times of war. The dictator was appointed only when there was need for unity of command. Their job lasted for a period of six months.
The senate existed also when there was kingship they main role was to be advisers for the people and the magistrate. There were two famous assemblies which are the tribal assembly for the people and the Centurite assembly for military. The laws of the land were written in twelve tablets which ensured that all citizens were treated equally. Plutarch is considered to be a moral philosopher because when he wrote about the roman society leaders he did not look at their history rather looked at their influence in the society. According to Plutarch parallel lives he does not clearly indicate what really caused the fall of roman republic rather it just speculates on what caused the fall. He uses moral anecdotes to write about the lives of the people.
The fall of roman republic began in the Punic wars where Romans fought with the Carthaginians due to trading in Mediterranean. There were three wars in which at the end the Romans defeated the Carthaginians and destroyed their lands. The attacks by the Goths and the Vandal’s tribes also weakened the republic. When the Romans were able to conquer outside Italy the importation of slaves followed suit which became a hurdle for the government. The senators were threatened by the citizen assembly where their powers were reduced. When Gaius Julius Caesar took power the state was already falling. He did his best to keep the country at bay but when he was assassinated civil wars continued. When Caesars Augustus came to power the republic was in danger of being ruined completely. He took over and proved to be a leader when he controlled the senate and the people of Rome. The crisis of the third century occurred at the fall of the roman republic.
The late empire and early Christianity
The Christians are considered to be an abomination in the Roman Empire. The first form persecution committed to the Christians was under Nero. He tortured them and caused fire which ended up destroying some areas of the city. The major reason that Nero had for persecuting the Christians was because that was a mysterious religion.
The apostolic succession this is when the spread of Christianity was observed in the Roman Empire. Factors that led to it spreading were that the teachings showed that people were going to be treated equally in the afterlife. This created interest among the Roman Empire civilians who were oppressed. Christianity was new so people saw it as hope for a better future. Rome had integrated with a lot of people thus the cultural believes were also distorted therefore, their religion was also affected. This prompted them to follow Christianity because it was trending. Christianity believed in one God in that it was supreme above all including emperors this caused the people to consider it as the best weapon against the roman leaders. Paul of tarsus was also very influential in spreading the gospel while concentrating on the New Testaments. While spreading the gospel he used the Augustine of Hippo ideology that the salvation of people is solely based on their faith.
Pope Gregory I was the leader of the Western Empire Catholic churches. Gregory believed that all people should repent their sins this was evident when a monk who was dying confessed to have stolen coins. He made the monk be alone until when he died he said that by doing that the monk will really repent and go to heaven. He believed this should be applied to all people in Western Roman Empire so as to restore the empire. Gregory I was part of the clerics who went to the emperor Maurice to seek military aid in order to fight off the Lombards who were invading the western empire.
The first emperor who began restoring Byzantium was Constantine the great. While he was rebuilding it he renamed it to Constantinople. Justinian the great was the emperor of byzantine and his main goal was to restore the Eastern and Western Empire. This goal was considered to be very ambitious but proved to be very effective. He ended up making good laws that were very essential in restoring the two empires. The Eastern Empire was dominated by Christians in that other religion was denounced. Justinian’s was able to make a policy in which people could practice their religion without much restriction. In the city of Constantinople Justinian tried to rebuild it by making aqueducts which enabled the city to have water.