Section 1- Primacy Source Reading
Part 1- Edicts of Ashokta
The Edicts of Ashoka are a group 33 pillars with inscriptions on them. The edicts were written by Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan Kingdom is n roughly 232 B.C. Edicts were found all over India and even into the Medditeraean. The edicts of Ashoka are one of the first known attempts to write down the philosophy of Buddhism. The edicts were rediscovered and translated by scholars in the 19th century.
The Edicts of Ashoka present solutions and life style choices for many of the problems of its time. For example edict six discusses how easy it is too do bad, but that it is very difficult do to good, but also very virtuous. Edict 10 states that no glory or fame should be celebrated except the glory and fame of spreading the religion. Edict one states that no animal should be sacrificed for slaughter. The edicts establish a type of morality for Buddhists to follow, as well as lessons to take to heart.
Part 2- The Faults of the Quin
The Faults of the Quin was written by Jai Yi, a well-known Chinese writer during the early part of the Han Dynasty. The Faults of the Quin lays out why Jai Yi believes the Quin Dynasty fell. Jai Yi wrote this document in the late 100s B.C.
Jai Yi gives several reasons the Quin Dynasty fell. Jai Yi does not lay blame with the Quin state itself, but rather the founding Quin Emperor and his heir. Quin dynasty came to power through force and taking over other provinces. After the Quin came to power, they stopped taking land and instead their military force was much more defensive. Because the military had become complacent it was easily overwhelmed and beaten in battle by more aggressive military forces, which brought and end to the Quin Dynasty.
Part 3- Laws of Manu: Castes and Occupation
The Laws of Manu are an ancient Hindu document that discusses the caste system, which caste shall do what work, and what happened if you do not follow the caste system. It was written by Manu.
There are four casts in the caste system, Brahmin, Kshartriya, Vaisya, and Sudra, a person’s life, marriage, and occupation is determined by your caste, it is extremely taboo to wander outside your caste’s traditions. The Brahmin are Hindu Priests, if they should try sell fish instead, they will be considered a Sudra after three days. The Kshartriya are the rulers and Kings tasked with protecting the area. Vaisya are farmers and livestock handlers. The Sudra are unskilled workers such as servants.
Section 2- Group Collaboration
Part 1- Expansion through Conquer
One similarity between the Romans and the Han Dynasty is that both regimes expanded their empire through military campaigns. The Roman Empire Spread all the way from modern day to Turkey to Africa and Great Britain. The Roman’s use taxes imposed on subjects to pay for its military expansion. The Han Dynasty was similar as they expanded throughout China using military force and used loot and taxes on subjects to pay for its military campaigns.
As both empires relied so much on military strength it had a deep impact on the culture of the empires, they were proud of their military prowess, even if it made them both many enemies.
Part 2- Legacy
Both the Roman Empire and the Han Dynasty left a long and impactful legacy after it fell that is still felt today. Roman architecture can still be seen at sights like the Colliseum, we still use latin today, and the Catholic Church is still around today, in large part, because the Roman Empire adopted it as the official Roman religion. In Western civilization, no empire has had longer lasting impact than the Roman Empire.
The Han Dynasty has left a long lasting impact on Eastern civilization. The currency of the Han Dynasty was the official currency for over 200 after the actual fall of the Han Dynasty and many of the religious and political ceremonies put in place by the Han Dynasty lasted for almost 1000 years, until the last Chinese Emperor left the throne in 1911.
The Roman Empire and Han Dynasty each left legacies on their civilizations that are still felt to this day.
Part 3- Video Response Paper
Part 1- My Thoughts
The video is entitled the “Hindu Kush”, the video narrator follows the same trail that Alexander the Great followed on his expedition to conquer the Persian Empire, his expedition took him from Greece to India and back. The narrator makes the same trek and discusses the trip and challenges that Alexander the Great faced.
The video seemed to be historically accurate overall. It discussed the major events of the expedition. It also takes a critical view of Alexander’s actions, when it is deserved such as the attacks on women, the killing of Cleitus, and the crucifying of Clisthenes
I did not find the video particularly interesting, mostly because the format of the video. I was much more interested in the actual events that Alexander the Great faced and the history of the expedition itself. The format of the narrator following in Alexander’s steps seemed to take away from video because it seemed to be discussing the narrator’s difficulties as well.
The format of the video was not completely bad though. It was very effective in a few scenes, particularly the part about how Alexander soldiers climbed a near vertical cliff in order to attack a group of fleeing villagers. The video was able to show the cliffs and we were able to see just how difficult it may have been to climb the cliffs.
Overall I felt the video could have been effective and engaging, but it was an informative nonetheless. If the format of the video has been better and if the video and the narrator had focused more on the actual expedition of Alexander instead of including so many anecdotes and modern day references, the video would have both more informative and more engaging.