Is BC and BCE the same?
- Note that BC and BCE refer to the same time period. BCE is an abbreviation for Before Common Era , and BC for Before Christ. AD is Anno Domini, and CE is Common Era. This is done in order to standardize time periods across the world (ISO 8601).
2nd millennium BC. The 2nd millennium BC spanned the years 2000 through 1001 BC. In the Ancient Near East, it marks the transition from the Middle to the Late Bronze Age . The Ancient Near Eastern cultures are well within the historical era: The first half of the millennium is dominated by the Middle Kingdom of Egypt and Babylonia.
The second millennium of the Anno Domini or Common Era was a millennium spanning the years 1001 to 2000 (11th to 20th centuries; in astronomy: JD 2 086 667.5 – 2 451 909.5).. It encompassed the High and Late Middle Ages of the Old World, the Islamic Golden Age and the period of Renaissance, followed by the Early Modern period, characterized by the Wars of Religion in Europe, the Age of ...
System and Society: the Near East in the second millennium BCE. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 40 Series Archaeologica, 2018. Lucas G . Freire. Download PDF.
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- Key Terms
- The Babylonian Empire
- The Significance of Mesopotamia For World History
- Middle Kingdom Egypt
- New Kingdom Egypt
- The Kingdom of Kerma
- The Greek World: from The Bronze Age to The Archaic Period
- The Early Aryan Settlement of Northern India
The second millennium BCE (2000 BCE-1000 BCE) saw the emergence of a number of polities (political entitites, such as city-states, territorial states, or empires) that demonstrated a higher level of political sophistication than in earlier ones. East Asia’s Shang Dynasty, the Middle and New Kingdoms in Egypt and the Babylonian Kingdom in Mesopotamia epitomized this. At the same time, non-state developments elsewhere laid the groundwork for the future. The arrival of the Indo-European “Aryans” in South Asia would lead to the establishment of the Vedic culture that would serve as the social and religious foundations of the region. Small societies in the Aegean, such as the Minoans on Crete and Mycenaeans on the Greek mainland would influence the Greek culture we will see in Chapters 4 and 5. In the Americas, cultures like the Olmec and Chavín illustrate that complex societies were not confined to Afro-Eurasia.How did the rulers of ancient Mesopotamian empires attempt to bring together and control the people within their realms?Describe the legacies of the civilization in ancient Mesopotamia.Describe Egypt’s intermediate periods.Explain the significance of pyramids.AnyangArchaeological evidenceAtenBronze Age
Hammurabi, who aspired to follow Sargon’s example, created the next empire in the region, the Babylonian Empire. With well-disciplined foot soldiers armed with copper and bronze weapons, he conquered Mesopotamian city-states, including Akkad and Sumer, to create an empire with its capital at Babylon. Although he had other achievements, Hammurabi is most famous for the law code etched into a stele that bears his name, the Stele of Hammurabi. The Stele of Hammurabi records a comprehensive set of laws. Codes of law existed prior to Hammurabi’s famous stele, but Hammurabi’s Code gets a lot of attention because it is still intact and has proven very in uential. As seen in above, the upper part of the stele depicts Hammurabi standing in front of the Babylonian god of justice, from whom Hammurabi derives his power and legitimacy. The lower portion of the stele contains the collection of 282 laws. One particularly influential principle in the code is the law of retaliation, which demands “a...
Mesopotamia saw the emergence of some of the first cities and the world’s first empires. The city-states of the region flourished from about 3000 to 2300 BCE. Then, Sargon of Akkad and subsequent rulers built empires, expanding their control and influence over even larger territories. There were cultural links and commonalities found in the Sumerian city-states of the third millennium BCE. With agricultural production dependent on access to water, cities initially grew in Southern Mesopotamia near rivers, namely the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and their tributaries. Sumerians tried to control their environment using irrigation, drainage ditches, water reserves, and other methods. With unpredictable floods and other environmental challenges, the Sumerians viewed nature as hostile and their expectations of the afterlife tended to be pessimistic. Their understanding of nature as unpredictable also spurred engineering innovations as Sumerians prepared for floods, water shortages, and ot...
Following the decentralized First Intermediate Period of roughly 150 years, Pharaoh Mentohotep II reunited Egypt to found the Middle Kingdom. The Middle Kingdom saw the reorganization of the state’s bureaucratic apparatus to control the nomes. To further strengthen their authority, the pharaohs also moved their capital from the Old Kingdom capital of Thebes south to Lisht, halfway between Upper and Lower Egypt. With military expeditions, they extended the boundaries of the state north to Lebanon and south to the second cataract of the Nile into a region known as Nubia. With this extension of territory, Egypt had access to more trade goods, and the organization of trade shifted so that professional merchants took a leading role in developing new trade routes. These professional merchants paid taxes to the state, supporting further consolidation of power by the pharaohs and also infrastructural improvements like irrigation. During the Middle Kingdom, the pharaohs focused less on the b...
The New Kingdom of reunited Egypt that began in 1530 BCE saw an era of Egyptian imperialism, changes in the burial practices of pharaohs, and the emergence of a brief period of state-sponsored monotheism under the Pharaoh Akhenaten. In 1530 BCE, the pharaoh who became known as Ahmose the Liberator (Ahmose I) defeated the Hyksos and continued sweeping up along the Eastern Mediterranean. By 1500 BCE, the Egyptian army had also pushed into Nubia, taking Kush southward to the fourth cataract of the Nile River. As pharaohs following Ahmose I continued Egypt’s expansion, the Imperial Egyptian army ran successful campaigns in Palestine and Syria, along the Eastern Mediterranean. Furthermore, by expanding into Kush, Egypt controlled trade routes into Sub-Saharan Africa. Adopting the Hyksos’ chariot military and metal technologies contributed to the Egyptian ability to strengthen its military. Egypt maintained a large standing army and built an expansive empire during the New Kingdom. Egypt...
The region south of Aswan, at the first cataract of the Nile River, is commonly called Nubia. Nubia is notable for its long-term, dynamic relationship with ancient Egypt. Just as importantly, Nubia was also the site of an early civilization. The kingdoms of Kerma (c. 2400 BCE to 1500 BCE) and Kush (c. 1000 BCE to 300 CE, see Chapter Four) emerged along the Nile River. These kingdoms prospered especially due to their productive agriculture and the region’s copious natural resources. At certain points, both Kerma and Kush were strong enough to successfully invade Egypt. These kingdoms in Nubia also developed their own religious and cultural traditions, including a written script, Meroitic. While the people of this region, known collectively as Nubians, borrowed heavily from the Egyptians, Nubians also had distinctive practices that set their civilization apart from that of their northern neighbors. Scholars generally link the origins of ancient Kerma (in present-day Sudan) back to the...
Geography and Topography
While Greece is a unified country today, the territory of the present-day country was not unified under one rule until the rise of the Macedonians in the fourth century BCE (see Chapter 6). The geography and topography of the Greek mainland and the Mediterranean region surrounding it in uenced the history of the Greek people in a number of crucial ways. First, the mountainous nature of mainland Greece, especially in the north, allowed di erent regions to remain somewhat isolated. The most iso...
Periods of Greek History
Historians today separate Greek history into particular periods, which shared specific features throughout the Greek world. In this chapter, we will examine: The Bronze Age (c. 3,300 – 1,150 BCE) – a period characterized by the use of bronze tools and weapons. In addition, two particular periods during the Bronze Age are crucial in the development of early Greece: the Minoan Age on the island of Crete (c. 2,000 – 1,450 BCE) and the Mycenean period on mainland Greece (c. 1,600 – 1,100 BCE), bo...
Methodology: Sources and Problem
Before launching into the story of the early Greek world, it is important to consider the methodology that Greek historians utilize. In other words, how do we know what we know about the Greek world? Modern scholars of ancient history are notoriously obsessed with evaluating their primary sources critically, and with good reason. Studying Greek history, especially in its earliest periods, is like putting together a puzzle, most of whose pieces are missing, and some pieces from another puzzle...
By 1700 BCE, Harappan Civilization had collapsed. In northwest India, scattered village communities engaging in agriculture and pastoralism replaced the dense and more highly populated network of cities, towns, and villages of the third millennium. The rest of northern India too (including the Ganges River), as well as the entire subcontinent, were similarly dotted with Neolithic communities of farmers and herders. That is what the archaeological record demonstrates. The next stage in India’s history is the Vedic Age (1700 – 600 BCE). This period is named after a set of religious texts composed during these centuries called the Vedas. The people who composed them are known as the Vedic peoples and Indo-Aryans. They were not originally from India, and rather came as migrants travelling to the subcontinent via mountain passes located in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Aryans rst settled in the Punjab, but then they pushed east along the Ganges, eventually impressing their way of life, l...
In the first millennium BCE, which is the era when alphabetic writing was developed by Greek-speaking people, starting in the eighth century BCE, there is evidence for a wide range of dialects, which can be divided roughly into four groups: (1) Arcado-Cypriote, (2) Aeolic, (3) Ionic, and (4) Doric or “West Greek.”.
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