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Posted by Elizabeth Napp on 3/5/2013 11:40:00 AM
Word Bank: Griots, Mahayana, Hijra (Hegira), Zoroastrianism, Gupta, Heian, Dhows, Confucius, Popol Vuh, Monsoons
1- The White Huns occupied Bactria and prepared to cross the Hindu Kush into India during the 4th and 5th centuries. Their invasions reduced the _______ Empire into an empty name. The cost of self-defense drained the financial resources of the empire and the weakened dynasty could no longer sustain itself. Initially, this empire repelled the Huns, but by the end of the 5th century, the empire was too weak to organize resistance and the Huns moved across the Hindu Kush almost at will, establishing several kingdoms in northern and western India. This Indian Empire had risen to power in Magadha and unlike the Maurya Empire, was relatively decentralized. However, a golden age had occurred during this empire with significant advances in mathematics and science.
2- It is known as "the greater vehicle" and spread to central and east Asia. Its notion of a bodhisattva or "enlightened being" made it attractive to new converts. A bodhisattva was an individual who intentionally delayed entry into nirvana to help others struggling to get there. Theologians in this tradition began to teach that bodhisattvas could perform good deeds on behalf of others, thus opening up the possibility of salvation to the masses. Yes, _______ literally meant "the greater vehicle," so called because it could carry more people to salvation. In later centuries, it also became established in central Asia, China, Korea, and Japan. It is one of the two major schools of Buddhism (the other school is Theravada or Hinayana) but both schools share basic concepts of Buddhist doctrine such as the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, and nirvana.
3- The _______, a Mayan creation myth, taught that the gods created humans out of maize and water. The Mayas believed that the gods maintained agricultural cycles in exchange for honors and sacrifices. Besides sacrificing captives, the Mayas also engaged in voluntary bloodletting. The Mayas developed an accurate calendar and created the most sophisticated of all early systems of writing in the Americas. Their script contained both ideographic elements and symbols for syllables. Tikal was the most important political center of the Mayas with its plazas, pyramids, and palaces. But in 800 C.E., the Mayas began to desert their cities for reasons still unknown to historians.
4- ________ was a Persian religion that honored Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord"). Followers believed in a cosmic struggle between Ahura Mazda and the Angra Mainyu ("the destructive spirit"). This important religion in the history of religions developed significant religious concepts such as a future judgment and of heavenly paradise or hell as reward or punishment. It allowed followers to enjoy the world and its fruits, so long as individuals abided by the moral teachings of "good words, good thoughts, good deeds." Its teachings had a substantial influence on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
5- _______ were highly specialized historians of Africa who, as counselors of kings, were commissioned to memorize the past and transmit it orally from generation to generation. The lengthy epic of Sundiata, the founder of the Mali Empire of the 13th century, was preserved by these "oral historians". The epic relates Sundiata’s great victory over another kingdom as well as his grand celebration and his return to his hometown, the capital city at Niani. Besides the capital Niani, many other cities of this prosperous kingdom existed on important caravan routes (Trans-Saharan trade routes).
6- ______, seasonal winds, were vital in Indian agriculture. Indeed Indian agriculture depended on the rains these winds brought in the spring and summer. The rains, supplemented by irrigation during the dry months, made food production possible in much of the subcontinent.
7- _______, a significant Chinese philosopher, believed in Ren or a sense of humanity; Li or a sense of propriety, and Xiao or filial piety. He concentrated on the formation of Junzi or "superior individuals". Mencius (372-289 B.C.E.) was a principal spokesman for the Confucian school and he advocated government by benevolence and humanity.
8- Under persecution, Muhammad and his followers fled to Medina. Muhammad’s flight is known as the _______ and is the starting point of the Islamic calendar. Muhammad eventually returned to Mecca and imposed a government dedicated to Allah. He destroyed the pagan shrines and built mosques. However, the Ka’ba shrine was not destroyed. In 632, Muhammad led the first Islamic pilgrimage to the Ka’ba which had been rededicated to the one God, Allah with all other idols being destroyed.
9- During the _______ period in Japan (794-1185 C.E.), the capital was moved to this city (modern Kyoto) in 794. The Japanese emperors became ceremonial figureheads and symbols of authority but effective power was in the hands of the Fujiwara family. The emperor did not rule and Chinese learning dominated Japanese education and political thought. The Tale of the Genji, a novel, was published and it is important to note that women contributed most to Japanese literature and writing during this time period.
10- _______ and junks dominated Indian Ocean trade in the post-classical era. The first ship in this sentence was a lateen-rigged ship with one or two masts, used in the Indian Ocean. A lateen is a triangular sail. These ships averaged 100 tons in 1000 C.E. and 400 tons in 1500. Larger ships plied Indian Ocean and no longer needed to follow coastal lines. Large Chinese and southeast Asian junks also sailed the Ocean.