Unit #1: HW #8
Syncretism – the process of blending new religious beliefs with old beliefs
Mahayana – Chinese version of Buddhism; placed considerable emphasis on Buddha as god or savior
The Benedict Rule – established by Benedict; urged a disciplined life, with prayer and spiritual fulfillment alternating with hard work in agriculture and study
Rajput – Regional princes in western India who emphasized military control of their regions
Constantine – an emperor of Rome who set up the second capital city of Constantinople and advocating for Christianity
1. The Yellow Turbans were Daoist leaders who inspired a revolt against the empire by promising that divine magic would bring a golden age. They gained popularity as the Han Empire declined because they incorporated magic and healing into their religion, which broadened their appeal. Also, the Chinese bureaucracy and emperor were becoming corrupt and less powerful, and the Yellow Turbans were addressing many of the commoners’ concerns by protesting against this.
2. China experienced 3 centuries of chaos after the fall of the Han because nomads frequently attacked and invaded the land, and the political structure was not operating effectively. Additionally, there were many epidemics that spread across China, which killed as much as half of the population, and China was culturally separated by the growth of Buddhism in that region. However, the permanent mark of this period was not very extensive, as the only effects were the existence of Buddhism in China and different styles in art and literature. This was because the original structures in China were too resilient and durable to be overturned or abandoned. Values like Confucianism were perpetuated despite the 3 century period and the bureaucracy was not fully diminished, for the nomads ultimately assimilated to the preexisting cultural norms.
3. One reason that Hinduism grew as the Gupta Empire declined was that the Hun princes who were now in power originally worshipped gods of battle and did not care for the Buddhist alternative of serenity and contemplation. Another reason was that after hearing about the faith of Islam, Hindu leaders worked hard to increase Hinduism’s popularity by emphasizing religious devotion and writing Hindu texts to Hindi. This convinced many Indians to stay Hindus instead of converting.
4. Islam was detrimental to the Indian economy, as the Arab traders were able to take control of trade from the Tamils in the Indian Ocean. Therefore, India’s previous trade lost some prosperity but did not collapse.
5. The decline and collapse of Rome was more disruptive and serious than that of other classical empires because after its fall, the Mediterranean region was never reunited, unlike China or India. Also, Rome’s political culture was not able to survive through the chaos and was never revived, and the same outcome occurred regarding religion, because the region did not produce one single faith that was strong and widespread enough to maintain unity.
6. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the three regions that emerged were the Byzantine Empire, the Parthian Empire, and the Sassanid Empire. The Byzantine Empire was originally the Western half of the Roman Empire, and retained Mediterranean culture, as they spoke Greek and continued the Roman authoritarian style. It had artistic creativity and traded actively, and despite attempts, was not able to reclaim the entirety of Roman heritage. The Parthian Empire encompassed some of what was previously Alexander the Great’s Empire, and was centered in the Tigris-Euphrates area. They did not produce new culture and instead utilized Persian ways and principles. They were able to sustain an effective military and bureaucracy until they were overthrown by a Persian rebellion that produced the Sassanid Empire. This empire revitalized more of the Persian culture, reviving