Wednesday, September 10, 2014

HWH Unit 2 Focus Questions

Honors World History

Early Empires, Unit 2

Focus Questions


1)      Given the physical environment in which the Fertile Crescent lies, why would Mesopotamia be a reasonable place for civilization to arise?

2)     What geographic challenges did early Sumerians face?

3)     In Sumer, which group was larger – artisans or peasant farmers?

4)     What does the answer in number 3 indicate about how the society supported itself?

5)     How did religion shape the daily activities of Sumerians?

6)     Which of the following was the largest: Sumer, Akkadian, or Babylonian Empires?

7)     Where did the largest lie in relationship to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers?

8)    How do you think the establishment of a codified law helped Hammurabi control such a large territory?

9)     Do you think there were advantages to dividing Babylonian law into two categories, civil and criminal?

10) About how much larger was the Persian empire than the Assyrian empire?

11)  Who do you think it would be important to respect the customs or laws of those you have conquered?

12) Where did the Phoenicians carry and spread Middle Eastern civilization?

13) What piece of culture passed from the Phoenicians to the Greeks and still influences us today?

14) How did the presence of the Nile help people farm successfully?

15)  What other aspects of life did the Nile affect?

16) How did the pharaoh’s religious role affect his role as head of government?

17)  What challenges caused the pharaohs to lose control fo Egypt at the end of the Old Kingdom and the Middle Kingdom?

18) With which neighbors did Egypt trade?

19) With which neighbor did Egypt engage in warfare?

20)                        How do you think these alliances and conflicts helped Egypt reach its greatest extent by 1450 BCE?

21) Besides construction workers, what types of workers played a key role in building the pyramids?

22)Why would cooks, bakers, butchers, physicians, and priests be important to the construction?

23) Given the enormity of the task of building a single pyramid, what does it tell you about Egypt that pharaoh after pharaoh had them built?

24) Which god ruled over the dead?

25) Which god was associated with the sun?

26)Which one was associated with the daily lives of women?

27) Given that Egyptians associated each god with separate aspects of life, why do you think Akhenaton failed to replace all gods with just one, Aton?

28)                        What does the structure of Egypt’s class system tell you about the importance of religion in that society?

29) What does the much greater size of the lowest class tell you about the need for laborers in Egyptian society?

30)                        How did the social structure change because of increased warfare and trade?

31) What does this indicate about the connection between economic opportunity and social structure?

32)For what purpose fid the Egyptians use hieroglyphs?

33) Why did they also use hieratic and demotic?

34)What subject matters were common in Egyptian art? In literature?

35) How can studying these remnants today help us learn more about Egyptian values and culture?

36)Why did the Israelites migrate to Egypt?

37) How did they finally reach their “promised land,” Canaan?

38)                        What is the importance of law and morality to Judaism?

39) What distinct characteristics did the early civilizations and empires of the Middle East and Egypt develop?

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