Unit 4: Civilizations of Persia, India, and China

Virginia Standard of Learning WHI. 4 - The students will demonstrate knowledge of the civilizations of Persia, India, and China in terms of chronology, geography, social structure, government, economy, religion, and contributions to later civilizations by:
a) describing Persia, including Zoroastrianism and the development of an imperial bureaucracy.
b) describing India, with emphasis on the Aryan migrations and the caste system.
c) describing the origins, beliefs, traditions, customs, and spread of Hinduism.
d) describing the origins, beliefs, traditions, customs, and spread of Buddhism.
e) describing China, with an emphasis on the development of an empire and the construction of the Great Wall.
f) describing the impact of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism.

Essential Understandings: Read the essential understandings and then click on the link following each one to see a visual explanation of each SOL's content.
SOL WHI 4a: Link 4a
  • Built on earlier Central Asian and Mesopotamian civilizations, Persia developed the largest empire in the world.

SOL WHI 4b: Link 4b
  • Classical Indian civilization began in the Indus River Valley and spread to the Ganges River Valley, then through the Indian subcontinent. It continued with little interruption because of its geographic location.
  • The Indo-Aryan people migrated into the area, creating a structured society (caste system) and blended their beliefs with those of the indigenous people.
• During the Golden Age of classical Indian culture, Indian people made significant contributions to world civilization.

SOL WHI 4c: Link 4c
  • Hinduism was an important contribution of classical India.
• Hinduism influenced Indian society and culture and is still practiced in India today.

SOL WHI 4d: Link 4d
• Buddhism was founded by Siddhartha Gautama in a part of India that is in present-day Nepal.

  • Buddhism became a major faith when Asoka sent missionaries throughout Asia.

SOL WHI 4e: Link 4e
  • Classical China was centered on the Huang He (Yellow River) and was geographically isolated. Invaders entered China from the North. The Great Wall was built for China’s protection.

SOL WHI 4f: 4f Confucianism 4f Taoism

  • Chinese culture began around 1500 B.C.E. Of Chinese contributions to civilization, Confucianism and Taoism are among the most noted.

Unit Vocabulary: Read the important terms and definitions for this unit. Click on any links that follow the definitions for additional information.

Imperial bureaucracy: large organizational structure based on hierarchy and division of labor that carried out the policies of the ruler

Khyber Pass: mountain pass through the Hindu Kush Pass
10484-004-F4E95F3B.jpg (Source: www.m.eb.com)

Harrapa: early city of the Indus River Valley Harrapa
WebPage-ImageF.00002.jpeg(Source: http://instructional1.calstatela.edu/bevans/art101/art101b-0-india/WebPage-Full.00002.html)

Himalayas: mountain range rising up from the Ganges River basin to the Tibetian plateau Himalayas
FigS8-2.gif(Source: http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/dynamic/himalaya.html)

Hindu Kush: mountain range in Northern Pakistan Hindu Kush
800px-Kuran_wa_Munjan_valley,_looking_to_the_south.png(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_Kush)

Indus River: river flowing from Tibet to Arabian Sea
the-indus-river0.gif(Source: howstuffworks.com)

Ganges River: located in northern India, flows to the Bay of Bengal (world's largest delta). Regarded as sacred to the Hindus. (Read about the Ganges by clicking on this link. Ganges)
Lanloi1.jpg(Source: web.bryant.edu)

Mohenjo-Daro("Mound of the Dead") : early city of the Indus River Valley. Read the National Geographic article about this city. Article
Six part illustrated essay: Essay and Pictures

Caste system: social ranking one is born into and can not change in this lifetime.
caste-system.jpg(Source: wfhschinaindia.wikispaces.com)

Golden Age: period of time when an area is prosperous

Hinduism: Hinduism is the world's oldest extant religion, with a billion followers, which makes it the world's third largest religion.
Hinduism is a conglomeration of religious, philosophical, and cultural ideas and practices that originated in India, characterized by the belief in reincarnation, one absolute being of multiple manifestations, the law of cause and effect, following the path of righteousness, and the desire for liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. Hunduism

Reincarnation: the rebirth of a soul into a new body

Karma: behavior in this life determines fate for future lives

Vedas: the most ancient Hindu scriptures, written in early Sanskrit. It contains hymns, philosophy, and guidance on ritual for the priests of Vedic religion. It is believed to have been directly revealed to seers among the early Aryans in India, and preserved by oral tradition. The four chief collections are the Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda. Vedas
Vyasa.jpg(Source: wikipedia.com)

Veda Vyasa (वेद व्यास, veda vyāsa), (the one who classified the Vedas in to four parts.

Upanishads: Hindu sacred treatises written in Sanskrit. Upanishads
upanishad_sayings.jpg(Source: wikipedia.com)
Buddhism: Buddhism was founded in Northern India by Siddhartha Gautama in the sixth century BCE. However, Buddhists believe that there were countless Buddhas before him and that there will be many more after him. Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment and assumed the title Lord Buddha (one who has awakened). Buddhism shares with Hinduism belief in karma, dharma, and reincarnation. Buddhism
402px-Kamakura-buddha-2.jpg(Source: wikipedia.com)

Siddhartha Gautama: founder of Buddhism Founder

Four Noble Truths: beliefs of Buddhists Click on the link for an explanation. Four

Eightfold Path: beliefs of Buddhists The Eightfold Path is explained in this link. Path
600px-Dharma_Wheel.svg.pngDharma Wheel, symbol of the eightfold path (Source: wikipedia.org)

Asoka (Ashoka): Mauryan ruler, converted to Buddhism and spread the religion into China Ashoka
Maurya_Dynasty_in_265_BCE.jpg(Source: wikipedia.com)

Qin Shi Huandi (Qin Shi Huangdi): emperor who ordered the Great Wall to be built Qin Shi Huangdi
Chinamap.GIF(Source: Enchantedlearning.com)
Dynasty: ruling family
The following link shows the ancient dynasties of China, the dates of their rule, and various contributions to society during each dynasty. Dynasties

Mandate of Heaven:right to rule, granted by the gods. Rule must be just.
The Mandate of Heaven (Chinese: ; pinyin: Tiānmìng) is a traditional Chinese philosophical concept concerning the legitimacy of rulers.
Silk Road: trade route linking China to Europe Silk Road
Silk_Road.jpg(Source: http://library.thinkquest.org/13406/sr/)

Civil service exam: move up in rank. The Imperial examination was an examination system in Imperial China designed to select the best administrative officials for the state's bureaucracy. This system had a huge influence on both society and culture in Imperial China and was directly responsible for the creation of a class of scholar-bureaucratsirrespective of their family pedigree.

Confucius: Confucius (551-479 BCE), according to Chinese tradition, was a thinker, political figure, educator, and founder of the Ru
School of Chinese thought. His teachings, preserved in the Lunyu or Analects, form the foundation of much of subsequent Chinese speculation on the education and comportment of the ideal man, how such an individual should live his live and interact with others, and the forms of society and government in which he should participate. Confucius
confucius2.jpg(Source: historyforkids.org)

Taoism: Tao is Chinese for "Way" or "Path," and forms the basis for Taoist philosophy. Tao is the natural order of the cosmos, the
path of equilibrium or enlightenment. In early days, before it received its present name, Taoism was often called 'the Way'. The 'Way' that Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism, had in mind is not easy to define. "The Tao principle is what happens of itself," wrote Lao Tzu. Tao is really Nature's way: the order, course of pattern of all things created. Taoism

Lao-Tzu: founder of Taoism
laotzu.jpg(Source: historyforkids.org)

Yin/Yang: represents opposites for ancient Chinese

Zor0astrianism: the dualistic religion founded by the Persian prophet Zoroaster in the late 7th or early 6th centuries bc and set forth in the sacred writings of the Zend-Avesta. Zoroastrianism

Ancient PersiaRead this short history of Persia. PersiaThis link gives a short time line of Persian history. Persian Time LineClick on the link to view a power point about Persia. When you click, it will download to your desktop for viewing. (Source: http://schools.nycenet.edu)
persian_emp_map.jpgCyrus the Great ruled Persia from around 576 BCE to 530 BCE.cyrusmap.jpg
Darius ruled Persia from 550 BCE to 486 BCE.

Ancient India: logo1.gifRead this short history of Ancient India. IndiaThese interactive links from the British Museum discusses the early Indus Valley civilization. Indus Early Hinduism Hindu The Buddha BuddhaThis Wikipedia Link outlines topics covering Ancient India India OutlineInteractive map of India: The first map shown below has a link to an online interactive map. Link to Mapgeog_of_India.jpg

622px-India_topo_big.jpg(Source: Wikipedia.org)

Ancient India Webquest: Click to participate in the webquest or to read about Ancient India. India WebquestPowerpoint of Ancient India's Indus Valley Civilization:

Ancient China:Read this political history of China. Concise political history of China ConciseThis link goes to a short history of Ancient China. Other links on the page take you to information about the Chinese dynasties. ChinaExcellent time line plus maps and pictures from the University of Washington Time LineMap puzzle of China from the Asia Society: MapAncient China For Kids: Covers people, daily life, and religions. China LinkThree Ancient Chinese Dynasties: DynastiesGeography: River Systems China
Maps:Anc_China_map.jpgTo access this interactive map online, click on the link. Map Link
China_geog_natl_geog.jpgThis map also has an interactive web link. Map of ChinaMany links to information about Ancient China are found in this link from Catawba College: Many Links