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UNIT 2: 600 CE TO

1450
The Post-Classical Period
Why This Periodization?
 Great civilizations of Foundations have
fallen.
 Period of recovery.
 China and Europe experience
decentralization
 New player—Islam
Difference between Europe and
China after the fall of the
Europe China

 Roman Empire  Eventually reunites


never successfully as an imperial
reunites empire
 Regional kingdoms
develop
Similarities between Europe
and China
 Both go through a time of
decentralization in their recovery.
Islam
 Islam is growing
during this period
and will have far-
reaching
consequences
culturally,
politically,
economically, and
intellectually
throughout the
period.
New World Integration
 The world is now
more integrated
than ever
 Why?
 Nomads move a lot!
 Major nomads-
 Turks
 Mongols

 Increase in long-
distance trade
 Continuing spread
of religion
Closing of this period
 The world shifts once again as Europeans
look outward and explore the world with
the help of “southern” technology and
ideas.
Post-Classical Political
Developments
Post-Classical Political
Developments
“New” Empires
“New” Empires
 After fall of Han and Rome, political
centralization will eventually come back
 Where?
 China
 Byzantine Empire (formerly Eastern Rome)
 Islamic Caliphates
Sui Dynasty
 Political Development
 Afterfall of Han, China returns to small
regional kingdoms for 400 years
 In 451, Sui dynasty reunites China
 Short lived but influential
 Used Buddhism and Confucian Civil Service
Exams
 Began construction of Grand Canal (connects
north and south)
 Numerous military campaigns to expand empire
 Overthrown by rebellions
Tang Dynasty (618 to 907
CE)
 Political Development
 More interested in scholars than soldiers
 Expands territory
 Completes Grand Canal
 Supported Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism
 Changan—Capital
 Major political center
 Foreign diplomats visited from Byzantium and Arab worlds
 Confucian beliefs solidified by examinations
 Decline
 High taxation caused tension within population
 Peasant rebellions led to regional rule and emperor’s
abdication
 After this came a period of rule by regional warlords
Tang Dynasty (618 to 907
CE)
 Economic Development
 Had military very far out which protected Silk
Roads
 Equal Field System-peasants given land in return
for tax in grain and corvee and returned it at
death
 Tang had difficulty breaking power of large
landowners
 Changan-major trading center and cosmopolitan
city
 Traders from around the world traded there
 In 640, population reached 2 million—largest city in
Tang Dynasty (618 to 907
CE)
 Cultural Developments
 Heavilyinfluenced by Buddhism
 Empress Wu, originally a concubine,
amassed power
 Had thousands of concubines killed to get rid of
threat to power
 Started school dedicated to Buddhist and
Confucian scholarship
 Supported Buddhism led to greater influence in
China
Tang Dynasty (618 to 907
CE)
 Cultural Developments
 Buddhism
 “foreign religion” started being attacked
 Anti-Buddhist campaign destroyed many monasteries
 Backlash led to NeoConfucianism
 New form of Confucianism that limited foreign influence
 Was an incorporation of Buddhist and Confucian ideals
 Women
 Arranged marriages within social class
 Upper-class women could own property, move about
in public, and remarry
 Poetry flourished
 Li Bai and Du Fu
Tang Dynasty (618 to 907
CE)
 Influence
 NeoConfucianism now at the forefront in
China as well as Japan and Korea
 Neighboring states were now tributary states
 Outsiders had to show deference to Chinese
emperor
 China thinks they are superior to everyone
else
Song Dynasty (960 to 1279
CE)
 Political Developments
 Reestablished control
 Civil Service Exam remains prominent
 Powerful landowners were matched by moral
elite
 Upward mobility existed with exams, but
didn’t usually happen
 Deemphasized military
 Tribute system to others (paid off nomads)
Song Dynasty (960 to 1279
CE)
 Political Developments
 Military and economic weakness
 Ineffective,
scholar-led army
 Too much paper money—inflation
 Lost much of north to nomads
 Decline
 SouthernSong flourishes until Mongols absorb
them in 1200s
Song Dynasty (960 to 1279
CE)
 Economic Development
 Economic Revolution
 Rice production doubled (new fast-ripening rice)
 Grand Canal increases internal trade
 Increased number or merchants
 Growth in population
 Kaifeng (capital) becomes major manufacturing
center
 Cannons, moveable type, water-powered mills, looms,
porcelain
 Minted copper coins replace paper currency
 Collected taxes in cash (not goods)
 Flying cash—letters of credit
Song Dynasty (960 to 1279
CE)
 Economic Development
 Southern Song
 Hangzhou—capital
 Commerce soared
 Cottonsails and magnetic compasses lead to
most powerful navy in the world
 Leads to availability of more goods for sale
 Become leaders in Afro-Eurasian trade
 Goods traveled to Southeast Asia, India, Persia, and
East Africa
 Power shifts from north to south
Song Dynasty (960 to 1279
CE)
 Cultural Developments
 Women
 Can keep dowries and could now be merchants
 Footbinding—originated with aristocracy to copy
emperor’s concubines
 Sign of wealth and status
 Bound at age 6 or 7 to secure marriage
 Led to an increase in the restriction of freedom of
women
Innovations of Tang and
Song
 First compass
 Water-powered clock
 Invented gunpowder
 NeoConfucianism-mix of Confucianism,
Daoism, and Buddhism
 Urbanization-first cities with over 1 million
inhabitants
 Printing press with moveable type
 Paper money
 Flying cash
Islamic Caliphates
 Islam: The Religion
 Before
 Arabs lived in separate, loyal, tribal groups
 Involved in overland and maritime trade
 Mecca was an important religious site with large
influx of traders and pilgrims
 Kaaba was in the center of the city
 Most practiced animist religions that worshipped
idols
Islamic Caliphates
 Mohammed
 Gabriel appeared to him
and told him he was to
receive divine inspiration
 Message from all-knowing
God, Allah
 Now God’s messenger
 Preached that all were to
submit to Allah
 Everyone was equal in
Allah’s eyes
 Final day of judgment
 Those who submitted would
go to heaven; those who
didn’t would go to hell
 Fled to Medina after not
accepted in Mecca
 Journey called the hegira
Islamic Caliphates
 Mohammed’s message was popular in
Medina
 Viewed as a prophet and political leader
 Taught that he was the last of a long line of
prophets from Jewish and Christian scriptures
(Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus)
 He and his followers returned to Mecca in
630, captured the city and destroyed the
idols
 After his death, his revelations were written
down in the Quran
 Believedto be the actual words of God as
revealed to Mohammed
 Islam means submission
Islamic Caliphates
 Five Pillars that defined the faith
1. There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed
is his messenger
2. Pray five times a day facing Mecca
3. Give alms (charity) to the poor
4. Fast during the holy month of Ramadan
5. Make a pilgrimage or hajj to Mecca during
one’s lifetime if able
Islamic Caliphates
 Islam is a universal religion that is open
to everyone
 Promises salvation to all who believe and
follow the easy-to-understand rules
 Appealed to women because they had
equal status to men before God, could
keep dowries as wives, and prohibition of
female infanticide
 LIKE CHRISTIANITY, appealed to the poor
and powerless and gave a strong sense of
brotherhood
Islamic Caliphates
 After Mohammed’s death
 Almostall of Arabia under Islamic control
 Who succeeds him?
 Shia—believe leader should be descendant
 Sunni—believed leader should be wisest
member of strongest tribe
Islamic Caliphates
 First Four Caliphs very successful
 Umayyad Clan
 Took control in 661 CE
 Transformed into hereditary monarchy
 Government centered in Damascus
 Conquered more territory
 Syria, Egypt, Persia, Byzantine territory in West
Africa, North Africa, and Spain
 How could they do this?
 Military skills, soldier’s commitment to Islam, and
promise of plunder
Islamic Caliphates
 Umayyad Clan
 Bureaucratic structure
 Local administrators governed areas
 All cultures tolerated as long as they:
 Obeyed rules, paid taxes, and didn’t revolt
 Arabicbecomes language of administration,
business, law, and trade
Islamic Caliphates
 Abbasid Caliphate
 Moved capital to Baghdad
 A political and commercial center
 2nd largest city in the world (after Changan)
 Size made it difficult to control
 Slavery weakened the empire
 These slaves, the Mamluks, served in the army and
weakened Abbasid rule
 Political authority becomes symbolic
 Caliphate broken into smaller states
 Islam still united the area
 Dar-al-Islam—all under Islam
 Areas with Islam as a basis for society
Islamic Caliphates
 Economic Developments
 Trade flourished because of uniformity
across caliphate
 Improved irrigation=growth in agriculture
and increase in tax revenues
 Artisans flourished
 Paper was imported from China
Islamic Caliphates
 Cultural Developments
 Mosques, hospitals, schools, and orphanages
built
 Intellectual developments
 Algebra, concept of longitude and latitude, study of
Greek philosophy
 House of Wisdom—Baghdad—translated Greek and
Persian texts to Arabic
 Universities established in Cordoba, Toledo, and
Granada
 Use of images forbidden in art and architecture
(idol worship)
 Geometric shapes and calligraphy were used
Islamic Caliphates
 Influence
 Declined and ended with Mongol invasions
 Islam continued to spread even after the fall
 Moved to West Africa through Trans-Saharan
trade routes and to East Africa and
Southeast Asia through Indian Ocean trade
 At the end of this period, Dar-al-Islam
became dominant influence in eastern
hemisphere
Byzantine Empire (4th Century to 1453
CE)
 A continuation of
the Eastern Roman
Empire
 Only survivor from
the Classical Age
 Why?
 Rome officially
divided in 375 CE
 Western half was
severely weakened
because the east
produced the majority
of grain and
controlled the major
trade routes
Byzantine Empire (4th Century to 1453
CE)
 Justinian  Strong central government
 Most famous emperor
—hereditary monarchy
 Everything answered to the
 Tried unsuccessfully to
emperor
reconquer Western  Emperor was considered a
Rome. friend and imitator of Christ
 Created the Body of Civil  Emperor was head of
Law (Justinian Code) Church and appointed
Patriarch
 Based on the Roman
 Empire was divided into
Twelve Tables of Law themes, or military districts
 Replaced Latin with  Military generals were
Greek as the official appointed to rule
language  Free peasants were given
land for military service
Byzantine Empire (4th Century to 1453
CE)
 Economic Developments
 Location contributed to strong trade
 Silk worms were smuggled out of China
 Allowed Byzantine silk industry to develop
 Artisansproduced glassware, linen, jewelry,
gold, and silversmithing
Byzantine Empire (4th Century to 1453
CE)
 Cultural Developments
 Most spoke Greek, but it wasn’t forced on
the people
 Social mobility in theory, but not common
 How?
 Through bureaucracy, army, trade, or service to
Church
 Constantinople was political, commercial,
and intellectual center with libraries
containing Greek, Latin, Persian, and Hebrew
texts
Byzantine Empire (4th Century to 1453
CE)
 Churches
 Byzantine and Roman Christian churches
had been growing apart since fall of Rome
 Disagreement over worshiping of icons was
the final straw
 Pope and Patriarch excommunicated each
other
 1054—Christian Church splits into Roman
Catholic and Eastern Orthodox
 Eastern Orthodox spreads to the Slavs and
Russia
Decentralized States

Decentralized States
Western Europe—Early Middle Ages

 Political Development
 Compared to Byzantium, China, and Islamic world, Europe
was severely backward
 Remained very decentralized in contrast to them
 Franks came closest to reestablishing imperial control with
leadership of Clovis, and later Charlemagne and the
Carolingian Empire
 Both leaders used the Church to strengthen their legitimacy
 Developed a feudal system
 Land was given to vassals in exchange for military service and
loyalty
 Various lords and vassals competed for power, but central
authority was still weak
 The Church was the one centralizing power and owned 1/3
of all the land in Europe
Western Europe—Early Middle Ages

 Economic Developments
 Absence of strong central authority so peasants
seek protection on large estates
 Then they become serfs
 Had rights to work the land and pass it on to children
but couldn’t leave it
 Majority of earnings went to lord
 These estates became manors
 Economically self-sufficient
 Maintained mills, bakeries, and breweries
 Owned private armies with knights
 Heavy plow led to increase in agricultural production
 Not enough surplus to create cities
Western Europe—Early Middle Ages

 Cultural Developments
 Birth
determined status
 Women
 Noblewomen held more power than peasant women
and could inherit land
 Marriage was key to political power
 Marital alliances crucial to family’s success
 Nunneries were a way for women to escape
traditional duties, and also gave them leadership
 Chivalry developed in 12th century
 Stressed honor, modesty, loyalty, and duty
 As warfare decreased, it incorporated courtly
romance and knight participation in tournaments to
prove their skills
Western Europe—Early Middle Ages

 Christianity was principal source of


religious, moral, and cultural authority
throughout the period
 Pope was very strong
 Monasteries dominant and held much
land
 Monks preserved classical knowledge by
hand-copying great literature and
philosophical works
Political and Social Institutions
in Western and Eastern Europe
Western Europe Eastern Europe
 Political  Political
 Local authority of lord of  Absolute power of
manor
emperor as
 Weak central authority
centralizing authority
 Social supported by
 Church as social and bureaucracy
cultural unifier
 Pope is spiritual head  Social
and strong centralizing  Emperor and Patriarch
figure
are co-heads of Church
 Latin is the language of
the Church  Greek is language of
the Church