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Qno1. Discuss in detail the development of tools by humans from the earlier times in the Paleolithic period.  OR.  Give a brief account of the periodisation of Paleolithic cultures.  OR.  Discuss in brief the evolution of hominids to Homo sapiens stage.   OR. How did pre-agricultural societies take to agriculture in different parts of the world?  OR.  Write a short note on the upper Paleolithic people.   OR.  Trace the silent features of hunting gathering societies.


A hunter-gatherer society is one whose primary subsistence method involves the direct procurement of edible plants and animals from the wild, foraging and hunting without significant recourse to the domestication of either. Hunter-gatherers obtain most from gathering rather than hunting; up to 80% of the food is obtained by gathering. The demarcation between hunter-gatherers and other societies which rely more upon domestication (see agriculture and pastoralsm and Neolithic revolution) is not a clear-cut one, as many contemporary societies use a combination of both strategies to obtain the foodstuffs required to sustain themselves.

Hunting and gathering was presumably the subsistence strategy employed by human societies for more than two million years, until the end of the Mesolithic period. The first hunter-gatherers may have lived in mixed habitats which allowed them to collect seafood, eggs, nuts, and fruits and scavenge the occasional dead animal and in this sense were more meat scavengers than actual hunters. Rather than killing large animals themselves for meat, they used carcasses of large animals killed by other predators or carcasses from animals that died by natural causes (disease). Starting in the Middle or Upper Paleolithic period, some hunter-gatherers bands began to specialize – concentrating on hunting a smaller selection of (often larger than had previously been hunted) game and gathering a smaller selection of food. This specialization of work also involved creating specialized tools like fishing nets and hooks and bone harpoons. The transition into the subsequent Neolithic period is chiefly defined by the unprecedented development of nascent agricultural practices. Agriculture originated and spread in several different areas including the Middle East, Asia, Mesoamerica, and the Andes beginning as early as 10,000 years ago.

Many groups continued their hunter-gatherer ways of life, although their numbers have perpetually declined partly as a result of pressure from growing agricultural and pastoral communities. Many of them reside in arid regions and tropical forests in the developing world. Areas which formerly were available to hunter-gatherers were -and continue to be- encroached upon by the settlements of agriculturalists. In the resulting competition for land use, hunter-gatherer societies either adopted these practices or moved to other areas. In addition, Jared Diamond has blamed a decline in the availability of wild foods, particularly animal resources. In North and South America, for example, most large mammal species had gone extinct by the end of the Pleistocene, according to Diamond, because of overexploitation by humans, although the overkill hypothesis he advocates is strongly contested.

As the number and size of agricultural societies increased, they expanded into lands traditionally used by hunter-gatherers. This process of agriculture-driven expansion led to the development of complex forms of government in agricultural centers such as the Fertile Crescent, Ancient India, Ancient China, Olmec, and Norte Chico.

As a result of the now near-universal human reliance upon agriculture, the few contemporary hunter-gatherer cultures usually live in areas seen as undesirable for agricultural use.

Hunter-gatherer societies tend to be relatively mobile or “nomadic”, given their reliance upon the ability of a given natural environment to provide sufficient resources in order to sustain their population and the variable availability of these resources owing to local climatic and seasonal conditions. Individual band societies tend to be small in number (10-30 individuals), but these may gather together seasonally to temporarily form a larger group (100 or more) when resources are abundant. In a few places where the environment is especially productive, such as that of the Pacific Northwest coast or Jomon-era Japan, hunter-gatherers are able to settle permanently.

Hunter-gatherer settlements may be permanent, temporary, or some combination of the two, depending upon the mobility of the community. Mobile communities typically construct shelters using impermanent building materials, or they may use natural rock shelters, where they are available.

Hunter-gatherer societies also tend to have relatively non-hierarchical, egalitarian social structures. This might have been more pronounced in the more mobile societies, which generally are not able to store surplus food. Thus, full-time leaders, bureaucrats, or artisans are rarely supported by these societies. In addition to social and economic equality in hunter-gatherer societies there is often, though not always, sexual parity as well. Hunter-gatherers are often grouped together based on kinship and band (or tribe) membership.

One way to divide hunter-gatherer groups is by their return systems. James Woodburn uses the categories “immediate return” hunter-gatherers for egalitarian and “delayed return” for no egalitarian. Immediate return foragers consume their food within a day or two after they procure it. Delayed return foragers store the surplus food (Kelly 31). Some Marxists have theorized that hunter-gatherers would have used primitive communism, and anarcho-primitivists elaborate the mechanics further by asserting it would have been a gift economy,  (although this would not have applied for all hunter-gatherer societies). Mutual exchange and sharing of resources (i.e., meat gained from hunting) are important in the economic systems of hunter-gatherer societies.

There is far too much variability among hunter-gatherer cultures across the world to be able to illustrate a “typical” society in anything but the broadest strokes. The “hunter-gatherer” category roughly circumscribes an extremely diverse range of societies who happen to share certain traits. It is therefore important not to mistake common characteristics of hunter-gatherer societies for a universal description.

On the other hand, that hunter-gatherer societies seem to manifest significant variability as studies in relatively modern times clearly support, does not allow us to generalize about the extent of variability characteristic of the human Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness (EEA) that is so important to the development of evolutionary psychological theory.

In fact, it is sometimes difficult to draw a clear line between agricultural and hunter-gatherer societies, especially since the widespread adoption of agriculture and resulting cultural diffusion that has occurred in the last 10,000 years. Many hunter-gatherers consciously manipulate the landscape through cutting or burning undesirable plants while encouraging desirable ones, some even going to the extent of slash-and-burn to create habitat for game animals. These activities are on an entirely different scale than those associated with agriculture, but they are nevertheless domestication on some level.

In their hunting gathering mode of life humans underwent through a process of change and development. This period has been divided into three phases. Lower Paleolithic, Middle Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic with distinctive features. Paleolithic period the tools used by humans passed through various stages of development. Oldovian, acheulian Mousterian and upper Paleolithic are main tool types. Stone tools represented the dominant tool type throughout the period. However, bones, ivory, horns and wood also came to be used in later phases. Discovery and use of fire had a lot of impact on food consumption and way of life during the Paleolithic period.

In the Paleolithic cultures we come across arts in various forms. Some important ones were cave paintings, decorative arts and statues which have come down to us from various Paleolithic settlements. During the long Paleolithic period the changes were slow but significant and exhibit a steady growth of hunting gathering cultures.

Qno2.Write a short note on the Domestication of animals. OR. What do you understand by pastoral nomadism? Give an account of the society economy of pastoral nomads.  OR. What do you understand by nomadic pastoralism? How it is different from pastoralism.

Ans: The Domestication of animals probably began about 12,000 years ago & involves more than simply taming. Domestication or taming is the process whereby a population of animals or plants through a process of selection becomes accustomed to human provision & control. The domestication of animals is based on an ancient contract, with benefits on both sides, between man & the ancestors of the breeds familiar to us. Domestication of animals by the humans was the first step in the direction of adoption of pastoralism as a distinct mode of production of food. The domestication of animals was taking place side by side with the domestication of plants. This context the one was not a pre-stage of the other in the process of evolution of human cultures.

Nomadic pastoralism or nomadic transhumance is a form of agriculture where livestock are herded either seasonally or continuously in order to find fresh pastures on which to graze. The herded livestock may include cattle, yaks, sheep, goats, reindeer, horses, donkeys or camels, or mixtures of species. Nomadic pastoralism is commonly practiced in regions with little arable land, typically in the developing world. Of the estimated 30–40 million nomadic pastoralists worldwide, most are found in central Asia and the Sahel region of West Africa. Increasing numbers of stock may lead to overgrazing of the area and desertification if lands are not allowed to fully recover between one grazing period and the next. Increased enclosure and fencing of land has reduced the amount of land available for this practice.

Nomadic pastoralism was a result of the Neolithic Revolution. During the revolution, humans began domesticating animals and plants for food and started forming cities. Nomadism generally has existed in symbiosis with such settled cultures trading animal products (meat, hides, wool, cheeses and other animal products) for manufactured items not produced by the nomadic herders.

Historically nomadic herder lifestyle has led to warrior-based cultures that have made them fearsome enemies of settled people. Tribal confederations built by charismatic nomadic leaders have sometimes held sway over huge areas as incipient state structures, whose stability is dependent upon the distribution of taxes, tribute and plunder taken from settled populations. In the past it was asserted that Pastoral nomads left no presence archaeologically but this has now been challenged. Pastoral nomadic sites are identified based on their location outside the zone of agriculture, the absence of grains or grain-processing equipment, limited and characteristic architecture, a predominance of sheep and goat bones, and by ethnographic analogy to modern pastoral nomadic peoplesJuris Zahrins has proposed that pastoral nomadism began as a cultural lifestyle in the wake of the 6200 BC climatic crisis when Harifian huntergatherers fused with PPNB agriculturalists to produce a nomadic lifestyle based on animal domestication developing a Circum Arabian nomadic pastoral complex, and spreading Proto-Semitic languages.

Often traditional nomadic groups settle into a regular seasonal pattern, which has been described by some anthropologists as a form of transhumance. An example of a normal nomadic cycle in the northern hemisphere is:

  • Spring (early April to the end of June) — transition
  • Summer (end of June to late September) — a higher plateau
  • Autumn (mid-September to end of November) — transition
  • Winter (from December to the end of March) — desert plains


Camel caravan transporting goods in northern Somalia between Hargeisa and Berbera.

The movements in this example are about 180 to 200 km. Camps are established in the same place each year; often semi-permanent shelters are built in at least one place on this migration route.

In subtropical regions such as Chad, the nomadic pastoralist cycle is as follows:

  • In the rainy season, the groups live in a village intended for a comfortable stay. The villages are often made of sturdy material as clay. Old men and women remain in this village when the other people move the herds in the dry season.
  • In the dry season, the people move their herds to southern villages with a more temporary character. They then move inland, where they stay in tent camps.

In Chad, the sturdy villages are called hillé, the less sturdy villages are called dankhout and the tents ferik.

By contrast, pastoral nomads follow a seasonal migratory pattern which varies from year to year depending on grazing needs. Such nomadic societies create no permanent settlements, but live in tents or other movable dwellings the year round. Pastoralist nomads are often self-sufficient, producing their own food, shelter and other needs.

Nomadic pastoralism was historically widespread throughout less fertile regions of Earth. It is found in areas of low rainfall such as the Arabian Peninsula inhabited by Bedouins and Northeast Africa inhabited by Somalis. Nomadic transhumance is also common in areas of harsh climate, such as Northern Europe and Russia inhabited by the indigenous Sami people, Nenets people and Chukchis.

There are an estimated 30-40 million nomads in the world. Seminomadic pastoralists and pastoral nomads form a significant but declining minority in such countries as Saudi Arabia (probably less than 3%), Iran (4%), and Afghanistan (at most 10%). They comprise less than 2% of the population in the countries of North Africa except Libya and Mauritania.

The Mongols in what is now Mongolia, Russia and China, and the Tatars or Turkic people of Eastern Europe and Central Asia were nomadic peoples who practiced nomadic transhumance on harsh Asian steppes. Some remnants of these populations are nomadic to this day. In Mongolia, about 40% of the population continues to live traditional nomadic lifestyle.

In the Middle Hills and Himalaya of Nepal, people living above about 2,000 meters practice transhumance and nomadic pastoralism because settled agriculture becomes less productive due to steep slopes, cooler temperatures and limited irrigation possibilities. Distances between summer and winter pasture may be short, for example in the vicinity of Pokhara where a valley at about 800 meters elevation is less than 20 km. from alpine pastures just below the Annapurna Himalaya, or distances may be 100 km or more. For example in Rapti zone some 100 km west of Pokhara the Kham Magar move their herds between winter pastures just north of India and summer pastures on the southern slopes of Dhaulagiri Himalaya. In far western Nepal, ethnic Tibetans living in Dolpo and other valleys north among the high Himalaya moved their herds north to winter on the plains of the upper Brahmaputra basin in Tibet proper, until this practice was prohibited after China took over Tibet in 1950-51. The nomadic Sami people, an indigenous people of northern Finland, Sweden, Norway, and the Kola Peninsula of Russia, practice a form of nomadic transhumance based on reindeer. In the 14th and 15th century, when reindeer population was sufficiently reduced that Sami could not subsist on hunting alone, some Sami, organized along family lines, became reindeer herders. Each family has traditional territories on which they herd, arriving at roughly the same time each season. Only a small fraction of Sami have subsisted on reindeer herding over the past century; as the most colorful part of the population, they are well known. But as elsewhere in Europe, transhumance is dying out.

Qno3. What extent do climatic and demographic factors explain the adoption of agriculture?  OR. How in the early phase wild plants were domesticated?  OR.  Give a brief account of early agriculture in South-West Asia.  OR.  Write a short note on the beginning of agriculture in America and Mexico.

Ans: Domestication (from Latin domesticus) or taming is the process whereby a population of animals or plants, through a process of selection, becomes accustomed to human provision and control. A defining characteristic of domestication is artificial selection by humans. Some species such as the Asian Elephant, numerous members of which have for many centuries been used as working animals, are not domesticated because they have not normally been bred under human control, even though they have been commonly tamed. Humans have brought these populations under their care for a wide range of reasons: to produce food or valuable commodities (such as wool, cotton, or silk), for help with various types of work (such as transportation or protection), for protection of themselves and livestock, to enjoy as companions or ornamental plant, and for scientific research, such as finding cures for certain diseases.

Plants domesticated primarily for aesthetic enjoyment in and around the home are usually called house plants or ornamentals, while those domesticated for large-scale food production are generally called crops. A distinction can be made between those domesticated plants that have been deliberately altered or selected for special desirable characteristics and those domesticated plants that are essentially no different from their wild counterparts (assuming domestication does not necessarily imply physical modification). Likewise, animals domesticated for home companionship are usually called pets while those domesticated for food or work are called livestock or farm animals.

The transition to agriculture was a harbinger of very significant in some ways an irreversible pace of cultural change. Two features associated with agriculture both as cause and effect demographic increase and greater seventies encouraged people to explore newer strategies to cope with changing needs. It will be incorrect to observe that the beginning of agriculture immediately revolutionized the life of early farmers, yet there is no doubt about the fact that the potentialities inherent in irrigation farming with possibility of a surplus, greater exchange etc, encouraged formation of a more complex society.

The Pleistocene Period was a time of hunting and gathering, experimenting with tools, and traveling in the direction of edible plants and animals. The ability to adapt to changing environments and resources was their most important survival mechanism. Evidence has shown that approximately 10,000 years ago, agriculture was being practiced. Archaeologists suggest that plant domestication began because of rising populations and changes in exploitation of local resources. Human consumption and being constantly in contact with plants then gradually brought about plant domestication. Because of agriculture’s ability to provide a stable and large quantity of produce, population densities then grew even more.

Plants became a major factor during this period as well. The first cultivation of plants began during this time span. The plants which were first cultivated were weed plants, such as Lambs Quarters and Marsh Elder. Many of these plants were cultivated by stone and bone tools. The cultivation of Sunflowers also developed during this time span. Sunflowers were the plants most often grown following the Archaic period. The domestication of small animals such as dogs also happened during this time.

In Mesoamerica five or more plant species were well on their way to being domesticated a few thousand years before the first permanent communities appeared. Maize first appears in southern Mexico about 7000 years ago. Also beans, squash, pumpkins and peppers have been found. Initial domestication began after 8000 B.C., perhaps accidentally. Maize was a main staple and the plant of which significant evolutionary history has been studied. It was first thought to have evolved from wild maize that had small cobs and tassels growing out of it. Then in the 1960’s Richard MacNeish was excavating a site near Tehuacan, Mexico and found remains of this so called wild maize. He realized it looked very similar to another wild grass common to this semi arid, sub temperate area of Mesoamerica, called, Teosinte. Later George Beadle, a plant geneticist argued that maize was descended from Teosinte. It is still found in subtropical regions of Mexico and Guatemala and grows easily in old cornfields, often found with beans and squash. Corn, beans and squash are still grown together today. The beans grow up the corn stalk and the squash provides protective ground cover.

If Teosinte is the true ancestor of corn today then according to Robert Wenke, the important adaptations in the domestication process were, 1)”the development of a less brittle rachis, followed by the evolution of the cob; 2) the development of a soft fruit case, so the kernels could be shelled free of the cob; 3) the evolution of larger cobs and more rows of kernels”.

In Tehuacan, around 5000 B.C. the average cob size was about 2 centimeters and by 3400-2300 B.C. they were 4.3 cm. Not until 700 A.D.- 1536 did they reach averages of 13 cm. Beans were also being domesticated at the same time as corn. Nutritionally beans provided lysine, something corn lacked and humans needed for a healthy diet. Domesticated beans don’t appear until 4000-3000 B.C. The changes it underwent include, 1)”increased seed permeability, so that beans need not be soaked so long in water before being processed; 2) a change from a corkscrew shaped, brittle pod that shatters easily, to straight, limp, non-shattering pods and; 3) in some cases a shift from perennial to annual growth patterns. Little is known today about the evolution of squash or pumpkin”

Qno4. Is it correct to describe the transition to agriculture as a Neolithic-Revolution?  OR.  Write a note on the significance of the Neolithic Revolution.   OR.  In what ways did the settled agriculture affected food habits and habitats of humans during Neolithic Period.   OR.  How are Neolithic tools different from late Paleolithic?    OR.  How was Neolithic society more complex than the Paleolithic?

Ans: The Neolithic Revolution is the transition from a hunter-gatherer mode of subsistence to one based more upon the cultivation of crops, which first began in several centers dating from approximately 12,000-10,000 years ago. This transition also saw a change from a largely nomadic lifestyle to a more settled, agrarian-based one, with the onset of the domestication of plants and (later) animals. In the refinement of archaeological and historical dating systems, the Neolithic Revolution broadly defines the transition from the late Upper Paleolithic to the succeeding Neolithic ages; this demarcation is particularly applied to cultures in the Old World, and less frequently to others.

The term was first coined in the 1920s by the Australian archaeologist Vere Gordon Childe, to describe the first of a series of agricultural revolutions that have punctuated human history. It is described as a “revolution” not so much in the sense that its uptake or spread was rapid, but rather to denote the great significance and degree of change brought about to the communities in which these practices were gradually adopted and refined.

During the 2nd Ice Age around 12,500 years ago as water became scarcer, hunter gatherers were forced to turn to alternative methods of obtaining food. Changes in the climate over time forced some people to work much harder and travel longer distances in search of food as the world became drier. Over thousands of years, hunter-gatherers unconsciously adjusted to their surroundings. Hunter gatherers began to stay near reliable sources of water and bring wild seeds back to their base camp to plant nearby.

Once agriculture started gaining momentum, humans were unknowingly altering the genetic make-up of certain cereal grasses (wheat and barley) that would favour greater caloric returns through larger seeds. Plants that possessed traits such as small seeds, or bitter taste would have been seen as undesirable. This process known as domestication allowed crops to adapt and eventually become larger and more useful to the human population.

Once early farmers perfected their agricultural techniques, their crops would yield surpluses which needed storage. Hunter gatherers could not easily store anything as they were on the move constantly, whereas those with a sedentary dwelling could store their surplus grain. Eventually granaries were developed that allowed villages to store their seeds for longer periods of time. So with more food, the population flourished and communities could afford to have specialized workers. This idea led to more advancement in tools, ultimately making life easier for the community as a whole.

Agriculture gave humans more control over their food supply, but required settled occupation of territory and encouraged larger social groups. A key factor in this change, Childe considered, was that global climates at the end of the last ice age were warmer and drier, making plants more efficient at producing crops but encouraging settlement near water sources. Pale climatology and the study of sub-fossil pollen demonstrated that climates had actually turned wetter, and the forces governing Child’s “Neolithic Revolution” were revised.

These sedentary groups were able to reproduce at a faster rate due to the added convenience of raising children in such societies. The children accounted for a denser population, and introduced specialization by providing diverse forms of labour. The development of larger societies called for a means of governmental organization. Food surpluses made this possible by feeding chieftains as they focused on work, rather than producing sustenance. In addition, domesticated animals provided means of transportation and clothing.

Believed to have occurred somewhere in southwest Asia around 8000 BC 7000 BC, the Neolithic Revolution has been called the single most important change in the history of humanity. Women were in essence responsible for the Neolithic revolution. Before agriculture, people got their food by hunting or gathering. The men were the ones that hunted while the women gathered food. This was due to the necessity of protecting women, who are more important for survival in the sense that it is they who birth and nurse offspring. If women hunted, they wouldn’t have been able to look after the babies who need constant attention. As a result of thousands of years of gathering, the gatherers (women) were the ones who realized that when the seeds of plants were dropped, those same crops grew up in that location. This began the use of agriculture and started the Neolithic revolution.

Living in one spot would have more easily permitted the accrual of personal possessions and an attachment to certain areas of land. From such a position, it is argued, prehistoric people were able to stockpile food to survive lean times and trade unwanted surpluses with others. Once trade and a secure food supply were established, populations could grow, and society would have diversified into food producers and artisans, who could afford to develop their trade by virtue of the free time they enjoyed because of a surplus of food. The artisans, in turn, were able to develop technology such as metal weapons. Such relative complexity would have required some form of social organization to work efficiently and so it is likely that populations which had such organization, perhaps such as that provided by religion were better prepared and more successful. In addition, the denser populations could form and support legions of professional soldiers. Also, during this time property ownership became increasingly important to all people.

The agricultural revolution was partially inspired by the spreading of domesticated plants and animals and the growth of complex societies. The origin of plant and animal domestication was in China’s yellow river valley, and the Fertile Crescent, before it spread in Eurasia. Since Eurasia isn’t separated by major geographical boundaries, and there were open trade routes in that region, it was easy for agricultural methods to be adopted by neighboring communities. The same latitudes of the Eurasian continent meant that plants wouldn’t have to evolve to cope with severe climate changes. This way, they had a more productive yield. Either the neighboring hunter gathers adopted these new methods or they were displaced. The change over to the agrarian way of life lead to more developed technology, organized society, and increased populations which requires sedentary lifestyles to spread, therefore the indigenous hunter-gatherers either adapted to this new way of life or were killed off.

Agriculture first arose in the Fertile Crescent because of many factors. The Mediterranean climate has a long, dry season with a short period of rain, which made it suitable for small plants with large seeds to grow, like wheat and barley. These were the most suitable for domestication because of the ease of harvest and storage and the wide availability. In addition, the domesticated plants had especially high protein content. The Fertile Crescent had a large area of varied geographical settings and altitudes. The variety given made agriculture more profitable for former hunter-gatherers. Other areas with a similar climate were less suitable for agriculture because of the lack of geographic variation within the region and availability of plants for domestication.

Yet, the Revolution developed independently in different parts of the world, not just in the Fertile Crescent. On the African continent, three areas have been identified as independently developing agriculture: the Ethiopian highlands, the Nile River Valley and West Africa.

When hunter-gathering began to be replaced by sedentary food production it became more profitable to keep animals close at hand. Therefore, it became necessary to bring animals permanently to their settlements. The animal’s size, temperament, diet, mating patterns, and life span were factors in the desire and success in domesticating animals. Animals that provided milk, such as cows and goats, offered a source of protein that was renewable and therefore quite valuable. The animal’s ability as a worker (for example ploughing or towing), as well as a food source, also had to be taken into account. Besides being a direct source of food, certain animals could provide leather, wool, hides, and fertilizer. Some of the earliest domesticated animals included sheep, goats, cows, and pigs. Out of the millions of species of animals only fourteen eventually became domesticated for agricultural purposes.

Throughout the development of sedentary societies, disease spread even more rapidly than it had during time in which hunter-gatherer societies existed. The domestication of animals may explain the rise in deaths and sickness during the Neolithic Revolution from disease as diseases jumped from the animal to the human population. Some examples of diseases spread from animals to humans are influenza, smallpox, and measles.

Surprisingly, the humans who first domesticated the wild animals quickly built up immunities to the diseases. Although the humans who built up immunities to the new diseases survived their sickness, others were not so fortunate. According to Jared Diamond civilizations which had not domesticated any wild animals nor been exposed to the diseases were not immune at all and the epidemics resulted in which up to 99 percent of the population was killed (92).

Ultimately, Childe argued that this growing social complexity, all rooted in the original decision to settle, led to a second Urban Revolution in which the first cities were built. Recently, Ian Hodder, who is directing the excavations at Çatalhöyük has suggested that the earliest settled communities, and the Neolithic revolution they represent, actually preceded the development of agriculture, He has been developing the ideas first expressed by Jacques Cauvin, the excavator of the Natufian settlement at Mureybet in northern Syria. Hodder believes that the Neolithic revolution was the result of a revolutionary change in the human psychology, a “revolution of symbols” which led to new beliefs about the world and shared community rituals embodied in corpulent female figurines and the methodical assembly of aurochs horns.

Qno5. Give a brief account of development Homo sapiens.  OR. What role did language play in the process of human development? 

Ans: Homo sapiens is the description of mankind in his present state of evolution. It means wise man. Nowadays with biological and nuclear bombs etc. being developed some of us might see this name as a bit of a joke, but, think about how much mankind has developed. We may not be wise, but we have certainly developed our thinking power.

In ancient times man lived in the wild, they were very independent and fended for themselves at all times. They had no fixed homes, it was necessary for them to move from place to place so that they could always be sure of food. They spent all day long hunting and fishing in order to get food. When food in one area was used up (this usually took less than a week) they had to move on to somewhere else. This meant that most of their time was taken up trying to find food which they could not do without. As a result they lived a very primitive lifestyle and didn’t have time to think about anything but getting enough food to satisfy Man’s most basic need.

However this era came to an end when the first settlements came about. No longer were lives one of constant travelling and work gathering wild crops, man now had time to sit back and think of new ways to improve their lifestyles. Gradually, over the years customs and pastimes formed and since people had more time, they became interested in learning. They had the opportunity to ponder the world around them, and they began to form ideas and theories of the world in which they lived.

Eventually the first schools were founded and this concept of education was essential for mankind to progress. These first schools were centers of excellence where there were amazing advances in science, philosophy, maths, etc.

Just think of what man has achieved. From the basic but essential discoveries of metals, tools, successful farming methods to people in space, satellites, and computers. From the beginning of the Homo sapiens era man has shown increasing intellectual ability. Life never remains the same for too long, new methods will always evolve.

Some people think that this food surplus has left man thinking too hard and given too much of an opportunity for mistakes. We have already borne the brunt of many of these such as the two world wars. If man were to be still hunting for their food today we might not have all the problems we have to deal with today. But we have learnt and will continue to learn from our mistakes, hopefully.

Around 250,000 years ago Homo erectus disappears from the fossil record, to be followed in the Middle Paleolithic period by humans with brains which again have increased in size. They are the first to be placed within the same genus as ourselves, as Homo sapiens (‘knowing man’).

By far the best known of them is Neanderthal man — named from the first fossil remains to be discovered, in 1856, in the Meander valley near Dusseldorf, in Germany. The scientific name of this subspecies is Homo sapiens neanderthalensis.

The Neanderthals are widely spread through Europe and the Middle East, and they thrive for an extremely long period (from about 230,000 to 35,000 years ago). Bones of animals of all sizes, up to bison and mammoth and sophisticated stone tools are found with their remains.

There is inconclusive evidence that the Neanderthals may have buried their dead (in one case, it has been suggested, even with flowers on the corpse). If they did have burial customs, that implies religion. Yet they have left no other trace of it.

There are skeletons of Neanderthals who lived for several years after serious injury, suggesting a social cohesion strong enough to protect the weak. But if they were so advanced socially, it seems odd to us that they should have left no art, decoration or jewelers. On the other hand a recent discovery of a Neanderthal flute surprised archaeologists, suggesting a more advanced level of culture than had been suspected.

It may be that the sense of uncertainty about Neanderthal man stems largely from our own eagerness to find early reflections of ourselves. It is perhaps only the lack of clear answers in that context which seems to blur Homo sapiens neanderthalensis.

Looked at in a different perspective, as small groups of interdependent humans subsisting in very difficult circumstances, the Neanderthals are an unprecedented success story.

Like Homo erectus before them, they seem to slip fairly suddenly out of the fossil record. About 35,000 years ago has been the conventional date for their demise, but recent finds of Neanderthal bones in Croatia suggest that they survived until 28,000 years ago. By that time they have long shared parts of the globe with anatomically modern humans.

Qno6. Discuss in brief the consequences of agriculture.

Ans: Agriculture is the production of food and goods through farming. Agriculture was the key development that led to the rise of human civilization, with the husbandry of domesticated animals and plants (i.e. crops) creating food surpluses that enabled the development of more densely populated and stratified societies. The study of agriculture is known as agricultural science. Central to human society, agriculture is also observed in certain species of ant and termite.

Agriculture encompasses a wide variety of specialties and techniques, including ways to expand the lands suitable for plant rising, by digging water-channels and other forms of irrigation. Cultivation of crops on arable land and the pastoral herding of livestock on rangeland remain at the foundation of agriculture. In the past century there has been increasing concern to identify and quantify various forms of agriculture. In the developed world the range usually extends between sustainable agriculture (e.g. perm culture or organic agriculture) and intensive farming (e.g. industrial agriculture).

Modern agronomy, plant breeding, pesticides and fertilizers, and technological improvements have sharply increased yields from cultivation, and at the same time have caused widespread ecological damage and negative human health effects. Selective breeding and modern practices in animal husbandry such as intensive pig farming (and similar practices applied to the chicken) have similarly increased the output of meat, but have raised concerns about animal cruelty and the health effects of the antibiotics, growth hormones, and other chemicals commonly used in industrial meat production.

The major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers, fuels, and raw materials. In the 2000s, plants have been used to grow bio fuels, biopharmaceuticals, bio plastics, and pharmaceuticals. Specific foods include cereals, vegetables, fruits, and meat. Fibers include cotton, wool, hemp, silk and flax. Raw materials include lumber and bamboo. Other useful materials are produced by plants, such as resins. Bio fuels include methane from biomass, ethanol, and biodiesel. Cut flowers, nursery plants, tropical fish and birds for the pet trade are some of the ornamental products.

In 2007, about one third of the world’s workers were employed in agriculture. The services sector has overtaken agriculture as the economic sector employing the most people worldwide. Despite the size of its workforce, agricultural production accounts for less than five percent of the gross world product (an aggregate of all gross domestic products).

Consequences of Agricultural

‘Agriculture’ is the cultivation of soil in order to produce food and raw materials useful for human beings.

This production takes place in technical-organizational units we call farms or agricultural holdings. Depending on natural and socioeconomic circumstances, we have a great variety of types of farms. But the most widespread one in the past and, so to speak, the prototype in ‘agriculture’ is the family farm. Characteristic of this family farm is that the family members use their labour capacity on the farm and live off the products of the farm. This family farm has proven a great ability to adjust to the changing relations between labour and land. Renting land or leasing it out, enlargement or reduction of livestock, intensification or extensiftcation of cropping are strategies of adjustment. Since ALBRECHT THAER, every student of agricultural economics learns that the highest profit is the goal of the farmer. This proves true for large farms but as well for family farms, only that here some other goals play a role, too, like self-sufficiency, risk aversion, etc.

If one remembers the different socioeconomic types of holdings mentioned above, then one must say that the notion of the farm, on which the cultivator’s family applies its labour and lives off the farm product does not hold true as prototype of agriculture.

Rather, in most cases the farm family member’s work on a variety of jobs, whatever seems profitable to them, and the family lives on the total income from agricultural and non-agricultural sources. Chayanov in his theory of peasant economy was the first to emphasize this difference. From family to family (depending on age), from place to place (depending on economic location), from farm to farm (depending on size and productivity) and from time to time, the combination of incomes may vary widely. The smaller the farm, the larger usually is the share of non-agricultural income.

It appears that farm management went the wrong way or, at least, has generalized its results too much. Farm management originated and developed in north-western Europe and in the United States, i.e. in regions with relatively large farms and indeed these larger farms are technical-economic units, for whom socioeconomic aspects can be neglected. For the large number of small holdings in southern Europe, as well as in most of the Third’ World, the situation is quite different. Here, the household is the centre, and the household members try by optimal input of available resources to assure their survival and to improve their livelihood.

This is possible in several ways, and most often by combining several forms:

  • by cultivation of the available land,
  • by labouring for other farmers,
  • by taking up non-agricultural work,
  • by assuming commercial activities,
  • by avoiding expenses through production and services within the household or on an exchange basis with the neighbours.

Qno7. Compare the cultural and natural settings of the early civilizations in Mesopotamian and Egyptian.  OR. Discuss the main features of Egyptian civilization during the Bronze Age.  OR. Outline the changes in Mesopotamia in Uruk period from the Ubaid period. 

Ans: Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris-Euphrates river system, along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, largely corresponding to modern Iraq, as well as some parts of northeastern Syria, some parts of southeastern Turkey,and some parts of the Khūzestān Province of southwestern Iran.

Widely considered as the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the Akkadian, Babylonian and Assyrian empires. In the Iron Age, it was ruled by the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian empires. The indigenous Sumerians and Akkadians (including Assyrians & Babylonians) dominated Mesopotamia from the dawn of written history circa 3100 BC to the fall of Babylon in 539 BC. It was then conquered by the Achaemenid Empire. It fell to Alexander the Great in 332 BC and after his death it became part of the Greek Seleucid Empire, by around 150 BC Mesopotamia was under the control of the Parthian. Mesopotamia became a battle ground between the Romans and Parthian, with parts of Mesopotamia (particularly Assyria) coming under periodic Roman control. In 226 AD it fell to the Sassanid Persians, and remained under Persian rule until the 7th century AD Arab Islamic conquest of the Sassanid Empire. A number of primarily Christian native Mesopotamian states existed between the 1st Century BC and 3rd Century AD; Adiabene, Oshroene and Hatra.

The history of ancient Mesopotamia begins with the emergence of urban societies during the Ubaid period, from ca. 5300 BCE. The history of the Ancient Near East is taken to end with either the arrival of the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BCE, or with the arrival of the Islamic conquest of Mesopotamia and the establishment of the Caliphate, from which point the region came to be known as Iraq.

Mesopotamia housed some of the world’s most ancient states with highly developed social complexity. The region was famous as one of the four reverie civilizations where writing was first invented, along with the Nile valley in Egypt, the Indus Valley in the Indian subcontinent and Yellow River valley in China (Although writing is also known to have arisen independently in Mesoamerica).

Mesopotamia housed historically important cities such as Uruk, Nippur, Nineveh, and Babylon as well as major territorial states such as the city of Ma-asesblu, Akkadian kingdom, Third Dynasty of Ur, and Assyrian empire. Some of the important historical Mesopotamian leaders were Ur-Nammu (king of Ur), Sargon (who established the Akkadian Kingdom), Hammurabi (who established the Old Babylonian state), and Tiglath-Pileser I (who established the Assyrian Empire).

Mesopotamian and Egyptian Civilizations

Geography played a central role in the formation, organization and nature of the Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations and culture. Both civilizations were dependent on agriculture and both were located in fertile regions near major waterways.

Both “were dependent on rivers and the rich soil deposited by periodic floods; both had to develop and maintain organized systems of irrigation and flood control.” Perhaps in part because of the relative stability both civilizations were able to enjoy, related to their geographical advantages, both “eventually had powerful kings and a priestly caste” and “believed in all-powerful gods who played an active role in the world”

On the other hand, there were important differences between the two cultures, again related to geography:

Mesopotamia was not as well protected geographically as Egypt and was thus more open to attack. Her rivers were not as navigable, nor were the floods as regular as the Nile’s. Her culture and religion reflected a sense of instability and pessimism in comparison to the stability and optimism that characterized Egyptian civilization.

In other words, the geography of these two civilizations was a central factor in not only their basic survival and success, but also in the way they envisioned the world and the nature of the universe.

The geographical realities of the two civilizations affected almost every aspect of the two societies. For example, in Egypt, a more secure society economically, militarily, politically, and religiously, expressed that security by giving its citizens more rights and responsibilities. Mesopotamia, less secure in these realms because of its geography, did not grant such relatively universal freedom to most of its citizens. In Egypt, for example, women’s rights were greater than in Mesopotamia. In Egypt, “where internal disputes were effectively handled by the strong, centralized government [and] where wars usually took place beyond the borders, women continually shared the burdens, full rights, and obligations of citizens” (26). 2. The traditional Indian caste system and the Imperial bureaucracy in China operated “successfully” (i.e. enjoyed mass-popular persistence and majority support) in their respective societies. In large part, both these approaches (with their social, political, economic, and even philosophical/religious ramifications) were means of structuring and controlling society. Clearly, the Indian caste system was designed to keep stability in the nation.

Qno8. How was the irrigation system in Harappa different from Mesopotamia? OR. Write a short note on Harappa civilization.

Ans: Harappa is an archaeological site in Punjab, northeast Pakistan, about 20 km (12 mi) west of Sahiwal. The site takes its name from a modern village located near the former course of the Ravi River, some 5 km (3 mi) southeast of the site.

The site contains the ruins of a Bronze Age fortified city, which was part of the Cemetery H culture and the Indus Valley Civilization, centered in Sindh and the Punjab. The city is believed to have had as many as 23,500 residents—considered large for its time.

In 2005 a controversial amusement park scheme at the site was abandoned when builders unearthed many archaeological artifacts during the early stages of construction work. A plea from the prominent Pakistani archaeologist Ahmed Hasan Dani to the Ministry of Culture resulted in a restoration of the site.

The Indus Valley Civilization (also known as Harappan culture) has its earliest roots in cultures such as that of Mehrgarh, approximately 6000 BC. The two greatest cities, Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, emerged circa 2600 BC along the Indus River valley in Punjab and Sindh. The civilization, with a writing system, urban centers, and diversified social and economic system, was rediscovered in the 1920s after excavations at Mohenjo-daro (which means “mound of the dead”) in Sindh near Sukkur, and Harappa, in west Punjab south of Lahore. A number of other sites stretching from the Himalayan foothills in east Punjab, India in the north, to Gujarat in the south and east, and to Baluchistan in the west have also been discovered and studied. Although the archaeological site at Harappa was partially damaged in 1857 when engineers constructing the Lahore-Multan railroad (as part of the Sind and Punjab Railway), used brick from the Harappa ruins for track ballast, an abundance of artifacts has nevertheless been found.

Indus Valley civilization was mainly an urban culture sustained by surplus agricultural production and commerce, the latter including trade with Sumer in southern Mesopotamia. Both Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa are generally characterized as having “differentiated living quarters, flat-roofed brick houses, and fortified administrative or religious centers.” Although such similarities have given rise to arguments for the existence of a standardized system of urban layout and planning, such similarities are largely due to the presence of a semi-orthogonal type of civic layout, and a comparison of the layouts of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa shows that they are in fact, arranged in a quite dissimilar fashion. The chart weights and measures of the Indus Valley Civilization, on the other hand, were highly standardized, and conform to a set scale of gradations. Distinctive seals were used, among other applications, perhaps for identification of property and shipment of goods. Although copper and bronze were in use, iron was not yet employed. “Cotton was woven and dyed for clothing; wheat, rice, and a variety of vegetables and fruits were cultivated; and a number of animals, including the humped bull, were domesticated.” Wheel-made pottery—some of it adorned with animal and geometric motifs—has been found in profusion at all the major Indus sites. A centralized administration for each city, though not the whole civilization, has been inferred from the revealed cultural uniformity; however, it remains uncertain whether authority lay with a commercial oligarchy. There appears to be a complete lack of priestly “pomp or lavish display” that was common in other civilizations.

Qno9. Compare the burial methods in Egyptian and Shang Civilization.  OR.  Write a short note on Shang civilization.

Ans: The Shang Dynasty or Yin Dynasty was, according to traditional sources, the second Chinese dynasty, after the Xia Dynasty. They ruled in the northeastern regions of the area known as “China proper”, in the Yellow River valley. According to the chronology based upon calculations by Liu Xin, the Shang ruled between 1766 BC and 1122 BC, however according to the chronology based upon the Bamboo Annals, it is between 1556 BC and 1046 BC. The results of the Xia Shang Zhou Chronology Project places them between 1600 BC and 1046 BC. According to historical tradition the Shang Dynasty followed the (possibly mythical) Xia Dynasty and preceded the Zhou Dynasty. Direct information about the Shang Dynasty comes from Shang inscriptions on bronze artifacts, but mainly from oracle bones—turtle shells, cattle scapulae or bones on which were written the first significant corpus of recorded Chinese characters. Other sources on the Shang come from historical records of the later Zhou Dynasty and the Han Dynasty Shiji by Sima Qian.

The Shang Dynasty and ancient Egypt had many similarities during their times such as, religion, as both these civilization worshipped different kinds of gods in somewhat the same ways, writing, their writing system developed similarly and was created by writing on stone and found on fossils which are still found today and clothing, which was a main impact on both of their cultural societies, allowing each of the civilians to express their cultural in their own different way while still remaining on the cultural level.   These three topics fell into one category, culture. Although the Shang dynasty and ancient Egypt were two completely different societies and took place during two complete different eras of time, they maintained to the follow similar aspects of culture which grew similar and similar as time passed.

Religion was an important aspect for both of these societies. Both Ancient Egypt and the Shang Dynasty believed in worshipping god like figures. Ancient Egyptians worshipped many gods who often represented the natural world such as sky, earth, wind or sun.   It was sometimes difficult to tell apart the gods. The civilians of ancient Egypt usually performed rituals to keep harm away and to assure bountiful crops. One of the ways they kept danger away was using magical charms or amulets.   As for the Shang Dynasty, their civilians worshipped a figure called “Shang Ti”.   This god believed in the afterlife and its ancestors. As the ancestors watched over their families, and if anyone of their family member were to fail one of their duties the ancestors would bring all sorts of different disaster towards them.   Both these societies differed yet had some similarities in the worshipping of gods.

Ancient Egypt and the Shang Dynasty expressed their culture through clothing. The Shang Dynasty represented their costumes as symbols of Chinese tradition, which lasted for more than three thousand years.


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Qno10. Discuss various techniques used to extract copper from Ore.

Ans: The most common source of copper ore is the mineral chalcopyrite (CuFeS2), which accounts for about 50% of copper production. The focus of this article is on the process of copper extraction from chalcopyrite ore into pure metal. Processes for other minerals are mentioned.

For economic and environmental reasons, many of the byproducts of extraction are reclaimed. Sulfur dioxide gas, for example, is captured and turned into sulfuric acid — which is then used in the extraction process.

Most copper ores contain only a small percentage of copper metal bound up within valuable ore minerals, with the remainder of the ore being unwanted rock or gangue minerals, typically silicate minerals or oxide minerals for which there is often no value. The average grade of copper ores in the 21st century is below 0.6% Cu, with a proportion of ore minerals being less than 2% of the total volume of the ore rock. A key objective in the metallurgical treatment of any ore is the separation of ore minerals from gangue minerals within the rock.

The first stage of any process within a metallurgical treatment circuit is combination, where the rock particles are reduced in size such that ore particles can be efficiently separated from gangue particles, thereafter followed by a process of physical liberation of the ore minerals from the rock. The process of liberation of copper ores depends upon whether they are oxide or sulfide ores.

For oxide ores, a hydrometallurgical liberation process is normally undertaken, which uses the soluble nature of the ore minerals to the advantage of the metallurgical treatment plant. For sulfide ores, both secondary (supergene) and primary (un weathered), froth flotation is utilized to physically separate ore from gangue. For special native copper bearing ore bodies or sections of ore bodies rich in supergene native copper, this mineral can be recovered by a simple gravity circuit.

Oxidized copper ore bodies may be treated via several processes, with hydrometallurgical processes used to treat oxide ores dominated by copper carbonate minerals such as azurite and malachite, and other soluble minerals such as phosphates like chrysocolla, or sulfates such as atacamite and so on.

Such oxide ores are usually leached by sulfuric acid, usually using a heap leach or dump leach process to liberate the copper minerals into a solution of sulfuric acid laden with copper sulfate in solution. The copper sulfate solution (the pregnant leach solution) is then stripped of copper via a solvent extraction and electro winning (SX-EW) plant, with the barred sulfuric acid recycled back on to the heaps. Commonly sulfuric acid is used as a lea chant for copper oxide, although it is possible to use water, particularly for ores rich in ultra-soluble sulfate minerals.

In general froth flotation is not used to concentrate copper oxide ores, as oxide minerals are not responsive to the froth flotation chemicals or process (i.e.; they do not bind to the kerosene-based chemicals). Copper oxide ores have occasionally been treated via froth floatation via suffixation of the oxide minerals with certain chemicals which react with the oxide mineral particles to produce a thin rime of sulfide (usually chalcocite), which can then be activated by the froth floatation plant.

Secondary sulfides – those formed by supergene secondary enrichment – are resistant (refractory) to sulfuric leaching. These ores are a mixture of copper carbonate, sulfate, phosphate, and oxide minerals and secondary sulfide minerals, dominantly chalcocite but other minerals such as digenite can be important in some deposits.

Supergene ores rich in sulfides may be concentrated using froth flotation. A typical concentrate of chalcocite can grade between 37% Cu to 40% Cut in sulfide, making them relatively cheap to smelt compared to chalcopyrite concentrates.

Some supergene sulfide deposits can be leached using a bacterial oxidation heap leach process to oxidize the sulfides to sulfuric acid, which also allows for simultaneous leaching with sulfuric acid to produce a copper sulfate solution. As with oxide ores, solvent extraction and electro winning technologies are used to recover the copper from the pregnant leach solution.

Supergene sulfide ores rich in native copper minerals are refractory to treatment with sulfuric acid leaching on all practicable time scales, and the dense metal particles do not react with froth flotation media. Typically, if native copper is a minor part of a supergene profile it will not be recovered and will report to the tailings. When rich enough, native copper ore bodies may be treated to recover the contained copper via a gravity separation circuit where the density of the metal is used to liberate it from the lighter silicate minerals. Often, the nature of the gangue is important, as clay-rich native copper ores prove difficult to liberate.

Qno11. Give a brief account of the objects of copper and its alloys in activities other than wars.


Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu (Latin: cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is rather soft and malleable, and a freshly-exposed surface has a pinkish or peachy color. It is used as a thermal conductor, an electrical conductor, a building material, and a constituent of various metal alloys.

Copper metal and alloys have been used for thousands of years. In the Roman era, copper was principally mined on Cyprus, hence the origin of the name of the metal as Cyprium, “metal of Cyprus”, later shortened to Cuprum. There may be insufficient reserves to sustain current high rates of copper consumption. Some countries, such as Chile and the United States, still have sizable reserves of the metal which are extracted through large open pit mines.

Copper compounds are known in several oxidation states, usually 2+, where they often impart blue or green colors to natural minerals such as turquoise and have been used historically widely as pigments. Copper metal architectural structures and statuary eventually corrode to acquire a characteristic green patina. Copper as both metal and pigmented salt, has a significant presence in decorative art.

Copper 2+ ions are soluble in water, where they function at low concentration as bacteriostatic substances, fungicides, and wood preservatives. For this reason, copper metal can be used as an anti-germ surface that can add to the anti-bacterial and antimicrobial features of buildings such as hospitals. In sufficient amounts, copper salts can be poisonous to higher organisms as well. However, despite universal toxicity at high concentrations, the 2+ copper ions at lower concentrations is an essential trace nutrient to all higher plant and animal life. In animals, including humans, it is found widely in tissues, with concentration in liver, muscle, and bone. It functions as a co-factor in various enzymes and in copper-based pigments.

Copper, as native copper, is one of the few metals to occur naturally as an un-compounded mineral. Copper was known to some of the oldest civilizations on record, and has a history of use that is at least 10,000 years old. Some estimates of copper’s discovery place this event around 9000 BC in the Middle East. A copper pendant was found in what is now northern Iraq that dates to 8700 BC. It is probable that gold and meteoritic iron were the only metals used by humans before copper. By 5000 BC, there are signs of copper smelting: the refining of copper from simple copper compounds such as malachite or azurite. Among archaeological sites in Anatolia, Çatal Höyük (~6000 BC) features native copper artifacts and smelted lead beads, but no smelted copper. Can Hasan (5000 BC) had access to smelted copper but the oldest smelted copper artifact found (a copper chisel from the chalcolithic site of Prokuplje in Serbia) has pre-dated Can Hasan by 500 years. The smelting facilities in the Balkans appear to be more advanced than the Turkish forges found at a later date, so it is quite probable that copper smelting originated in the Balkans. Investment casting was realized in 4500–4000 BC in Southeast Asia.

Copper smelting appears to have been developed independently in several parts of the world. In addition to its development in the Balkans by 5500 BC, it was developed in China before 2800 BC, in the Andes around 2000 BC, in Central America around 600 AD, and in West Africa around 900 AD. Copper is found extensively in the Indus Valley Civilization by the 3rd millennium BC. In Europe, Otzi the Iceman, a well-preserved male dated to 3300–3200 BC, was found with an axe with a copper head 99.7% pure. High levels of arsenic in his hair suggest he was involved in copper smelting. Over the course of centuries, experience with copper has assisted the development of other metals; for example, knowledge of copper smelting led to the discovery of iron smelting.

In the Americas production in the Old Copper Complex, located in present day Michigan and Wisconsin, was dated back to between 6000 to 3000 BC.

Alloying of copper with zinc or tin to make brass or bronze was practiced soon after the discovery of copper itself. There exist copper and bronze artifacts from Sumerian cities that date to 3000 BC, and Egyptian artifacts of copper and copper-tin alloys nearly as old. In one pyramid, a copper plumbing system was found that is 5000 years old. The Egyptians found that adding a small amount of tin made the metal easier to cast, so copper-tin (bronze) alloys were found in Egypt almost as soon as copper was found. Very important sources of copper in the Levant were located in Timna valley (Negev, now in southern Israel) and Faynan (biblical Punon, Jordan).

By 2000 BC, Europe was using bronze.  The use of bronze became so widespread in Europe approximately from 2500 BC to 600 BC that it has been named the Bronze Age. The transitional period in certain regions between the preceding Neolithic period and the Bronze Age is termed the Chalcolithic (“copper-stone”), with some high-purity copper tools being used alongside stone tools. Brass (copper-zinc alloy) was known to the Greeks, but only became a significant supplement to bronze during the Roman Empire.

During the Bronze Age, one copper mine at Great Orme in North Wales, extended for a depth of 70 meters. At Alderley Edge in Cheshire, carbon dates have established mining at around 2280 to 1890 BC (at 95% probability).

Qno12. Compare the urban plan of Egyptian and Harappan cities.  OR. Compare the urban plan of Mesopotamia and Shang cities. OR. Discuss the pattern of trade of Egyptian and Harappan civilization.   OR.  Analyze the development of urbanism during the Bronze Age Civilizations. How did trade influence urban centers.

Ans: The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization (mature period 2600–1900 BCE) which was centered mostly in the western part of the Indian Subcontinent and which flourished around the Indus river basin. Primarily centered along the Indus and the Punjab region, the civilization extended into the Ghaggar-Hakra River valley and the Ganges-Yamuna Doab, encompassing most of what is now Pakistan, as well as extending into the westernmost states of modern-day India, southeastern Afghanistan and the easternmost part of Balochistan, Iran.

The mature phase of this civilization is known as the Harappan Civilization as the first of its cities to be unearthed was the one at Harappa, excavated in the 1920s in what was at the time the Punjab province of British India (now in Pakistan). Excavation of IVC sites have been ongoing since 1920, with important breakthroughs occurring as recently as 1999.

The Early Harappan Ravi Phase, named after the nearby Ravi River, lasted from circa 3300 BCE until 2800 BCE. It is related to the Hakra Phase, identified in the Ghaggar-Hakra River Valley to the west, and predates the Kot Diji Phase (2800-2600 BCE, Harappan 2), named after a site in northern Sindh, Pakistan, near Mohenjo Daro. The earliest examples of the Indus script date from around 3000 BCE.

The mature phase of earlier village cultures is represented by Rehman Dheri and Amri in Pakistan. Kot Diji (Harappan 2) represents the phase leading up to Mature Harappan, with the citadel representing centralised authority and an increasingly urban quality of life. Another town of this stage was found at Kalibangan in India on the Hakra River.

Trade networks linked this culture with related regional cultures and distant sources of raw materials, including lapis lazuli and other materials for bead-making. Villagers had, by this time, domesticated numerous crops, including peas, sesame seeds, dates and cotton, as well as various animals, including the water buffalo. Early Harappan communities turned to large urban centers by 2600 BCE, from where the mature Harappan phase started.

A sophisticated and technologically advanced urban culture is evident in the Indus Valley Civilization making them the first urban centers in the region. The quality of municipal town planning suggests the knowledge of urban planning and efficient municipal governments which placed a high priority on hygiene, or, alternately, accessibility to the means of religious ritual.

As seen in Harappa, Mohenjo-daro and the recently partially excavated Rakhigarhi, this urban plan included the world’s first known urban sanitation systems. Within the city, individual homes or groups of homes obtained water from wells. From a room that appears to have been set aside for bathing, waste water was directed to covered drains, which lined the major streets. Houses opened only to inner courtyards and smaller lanes. The house-building in some villages in the region still resembles in some respects the house-building of the Harappans.[35]

The ancient Indus systems of sewerage and drainage that were developed and used in cities throughout the Indus region were far more advanced than any found in contemporary urban sites in the Middle East and even more efficient than those in many areas of Pakistan and India today. The advanced architecture of the Harappans is shown by their impressive dockyards, granaries, warehouses, brick platforms and protective walls. The massive walls of Indus cities most likely protected the Harappans from floods and may have dissuaded military conflicts.

The purpose of the citadel remains debated. In sharp contrast to this civilization’s contemporaries, Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt, no large monumental structures were built. There is no conclusive evidence of palaces or temples—or of kings, armies, or priests. Some structures are thought to have been granaries. Found at one city is an enormous well-built bath, which may have been a public bath. Although the citadels were walled, it is far from clear that these structures were defensive. They may have been built to divert flood waters.

Most city dwellers appear to have been traders or artisans, who lived with others pursuing the same occupation in well-defined neighborhoods. Materials from distant regions were used in the cities for constructing seals, beads and other objects. Among the artifacts discovered were beautiful glazed faïence beads. Steatite seals have images of animals, people (perhaps gods) and other types of inscriptions, including the yet un-deciphered writing system of the Indus Valley Civilization. Some of the seals were used to stamp clay on trade goods and most probably had other uses as well.

Although some houses were larger than others, Indus Civilization cities were remarkable for their apparent, if relative, egalitarianism. All the houses had access to water and drainage facilities. This gives the impression of a society with relatively low wealth concentration, though clear social leveling is seen in personal adornments.

Qno13. What were the various mediums used for writing in different civilizations.  OR. Give a brief account of the topics covered in early writing samples available to us.

Ans: Writing is an extension of human language across time and space. Writing most likely began as a consequence of political expansion in ancient cultures, which needed reliable means for transmitting information, maintaining financial accounts, keeping historical records, and similar activities. Around the 4th millennium BC, the complexity of trade and administration outgrew the power of memory, and writing became a more dependable method of recording and presenting transactions in a permanent from. In both Mesoamerica and Ancient Egypt writing may have evolved through calendrics and a political necessity for recording historical and environmental events. Jump to: navigation, search

The history of writing follows the art of expressing words by letters or other marks.  In the history of how systems of representation of language through graphic means have evolved in different human civilizations, more complete writing systems were preceded by proto-writing, systems of ideographic and/or early mnemonic symbol. Language expresses thought, preserves thought, and also suggests or creates thought. It has been considered obvious that, so long as language is unwritten, it can accomplish these ends only in a very imperfect measure. Hence it may well be supposed that, at a very early stage of man’s history, attempts were made to present in some way to the eye the thought which spoken language conveyed to the ear, and thus give it visible form and permanence. However, this understanding does not necessarily go unquestioned. True writing, or phonetic writing, records were developed independently in four different civilizations in the world, namely Sumer, Egypt, China, and Mesoamerica.

Writing systems are distinguished from other possible symbolic communication systems in that one must usually understand something of the associated spoken language to comprehend the text. By contrast, other possible symbolic systems such as information signs, painting, maps, and mathematics often do not require prior knowledge of a spoken language. Every human community possesses language, a feature regarded by many as an innate and defining condition of mankind. However the development of writing systems, and the process by which they have supplanted traditional oral systems of communication has been sporadic, uneven and slow. Once established, writing systems on the whole change more slowly than their spoken counterparts, and often preserve features and expressions which are no longer current in the spoken language. The great benefit of writing systems is their ability to maintain a persistent record of information expressed in a language, which can be retrieved independently of the initial act of formulation.

The kinds of writing which have been in use in different ages and in different parts of the world may be classified in two great divisions, based on how their users attempted to represent ideas:

Directly and immediately, as with pictures or picture-like symbols.  Indirectly, via words, the way that spoken language does.

Scholars make reasonable definition between prehistory and history with writing. Scholars have disagreed concerning when prehistory becomes history and when proto-writing became “true writing”; the definition is largely subjective. Writing, in its most general terms, is just a drawn device to indicate a message and is composed of glyphs.

The emergence of writing in a given area is usually followed by several centuries of fragmentary inscriptions. With the presence of coherent texts (such that is from the various writing systems and the system’s associated literature), historians mark the “historicity” of that culture. The sacred writing of the Egyptians may be regarded as forming a stage of transition between the ideographic and the phonetic sorts of writing described. Regarding the ancient Mexican writing and the ancient Chinese writing, see the articles of Mesoamerican writing systems and written Chinese respectively. Till the 20th century, the received opinion was that the ancient Egyptian was an exclusively ideographic writing, and to this conclusion the testimonies of those ancient writers who have given any account of it seemed to point. But the labors of various scholars, during the end of the 19th-century, threw light on those ancient characters; and, though very possibly a picture writing originally, the hieroglyphic, in the form in which it appears on the most ancient monuments, and which it retains unchanged down to the early centuries CE, bears a composite character, being in part ideographic, in part phonetic.

Literature and writing

Literature and writing, though obviously connected, are not synonymous. The very first writings from ancient Sumer by any reasonable definition do not constitute literature — the same is true of some of the early Egyptian hieroglyphics or the thousands of logs from ancient Chinese regimes. The history of literature begins with the history of writing and the notion of “literature” has different meanings depending on who is using it. Scholars have disagreed concerning when written record-keeping became more like “literature” than anything else and is largely subjective. It could be applied broadly to mean any symbolic record, encompassing everything from images and sculptures to letters. The oldest literary texts that have come down to us date to a full millennium after the invention of writing, to the late 3rd millennium BC. The earliest literary authors known by name are Ptahhotep and Enheduanna, dating to ca. the 24th and 23rd centuries BC, respectively. In the early literate societies, as much as 600 years passed from the first inscriptions to the first coherent textual sources (ca. 3200 to 2600 BC).

Qno14. Describe the transition from oral tradition to early written literature.


Oral tradition, oral culture and oral lore are messages or testimony transmitted orally from one generation to another. The messages or testimony are verbally transmitted in speech or song and may take the form, for example, of folktales, sayings, ballads, songs, or chants. In this way, it is possible for a society to transmit oral history, oral literature, oral law and other knowledge’s across generations without a writing system.

For the purposes of some disciplines, a narrower definition of oral tradition may be appropriate. Sociologists might also emphasize a requirement that the material is held in common by a group of people, over several generations, and might distinguish oral tradition from testimony or oral history. In a general sense, “oral tradition” refers to the transmission of cultural material through vocal utterance, and was long held to be a key descriptor of folklore (a criterion no longer rigidly held by all folklorists).  As an academic discipline, it refers both to a set of objects of study and a method by which they are studied the method may be called variously “oral traditional theory,” “the theory of Oral-Formulaic Composition” and the “Parry-Lord theory” (after two of its founders; see below) The study of oral tradition is distinct from the academic discipline of oral history, which is the recording of personal memories and histories of those who experienced historical eras or events. It is also distinct from the study of morality, which can be defined as thought and its verbal expression in societies where the technologies of literacy (especially writing and print) are unfamiliar to most of the population.

Oral tradition as a field of study had its origins in the work of the Serb scholar Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic (1787-1864), a contemporary and friend of the Brothers Grimm. Vuk pursued similar projects of “salvage folklore” (similar to rescue archaeology) in the cognate traditions of the Southern Slavic regions which would later be gathered into Yugoslavia, and with the same admixture of romantic and nationalistic interests (he considered all those speaking Serbo-Croat as Serbs). Somewhat later, but as part of the same scholarly enterprise of nationalist studies in folklore, the turcologist Vasily Radlov (1837-1918) would study the songs of the Kara-Kirghiz in what would later become the Soviet Union; Karadzic and Radloff would provide models for the work of Parry.

The theory of oral tradition would undergo elaboration and development as it grew in acceptance. While the number of formulas documented for various traditions proliferated, the concept of the formula remained lexically-bound. However, numerous innovations appeared, such as the “formulaic system” with structural “substitution slots” for syntactic, morphological and narrative necessity (as well as for artistic invention). Sophisticated models such as Foley’s “word-type placement rules” followed. Higher levels of formulaic composition were defined over the years, such as “ring composition,” “responsion” and the “type-scene” (also called a “theme” or “typical scene”). Examples include the “Beasts of Battle” and the “Cliffs of Death” Some of these characteristic patterns of narrative details, (like “the arming sequence;” “the hero on the beach;” “the traveler recognizes his goal” would show evidence of global distribution.

Qno15. Give brief account of social structure in Mesopotamia and Egypt.

Ans: Ancient Egypt was built to the southeast of Mesopotamia. Egypt was built in the fertile area on both sides of the Nile River. The basis for Mesopotamia was in the Fertile Crescent, specifically the area between the Tigris and Euphrates River. Both of these civilizations were created around a very important source, water.

Water is a very important basis of life. It is only natural that civilization start around such an essential source. The water was important for many reasons. The most important reason was agriculture. As many of Egyptian’s paintings show, grain was a very important element in society. In Mesopotamia the planting wasn’t limited to just the riverbank where it flooded. Mesopotamians used canals.

The social structure of Mesopotamia and Egypt were different. In Mesopotamia there was no gender equality. However, in ancient Egypt, as exampled in female pharos, females had more opportunities to rise in life. In Mesopotamia, although they had different classes of slaves, they were still treated like property. In both societies the very few elite held enormous wealth, while the common people normally just got by day-by-day.

One aspect that was very different in both Egypt and Mesopotamia was the government. In Egypt, most of the time they had just one leader–the pharaoh. Egypt would have needed this strong central government for projects such as organizing and overseeing of the pyramid buildings. The early Mesopotamians used a city-state type government. Each area was controlled by its own political and economical center. Each area was a separate political unit.

Mesopotamia had advanced metallurgy techniques for working with bronze, lead, silver, and gold. Because examples of the pottery spun on a wheel were found from about 3000 B.C., the invention wheel is credited to Mesopotamia. We still don’t know all of the technology that Egypt use used to build the pyramids. The architecture and engineering skills involved still have modern experts amazed. While the Mesopotamian’s didn’t have anything quit scaling with the pyramids, they did use and build ziggurats.

Both civilizations were centered on religion. Egypt believed in many gods. Even the pharaohs were believed to be gods. The gods Mesopotamia believed in tended to be absolute rulers to whom the people owed total devotion. In both civilizations religious leaders were given very high status and held in high regard.

Cities, architecture, and lots of small inventions are credited from having come from these two civilizations. One of the most noticeable achievements we received was writing. Mesopotamia also created the earliest recoded rules for improving life ever found. We have barely even begun to realize and understand all the legacies that were handed down from these two civilizations.

Qno16. Write a note on the pyramids and discuss whether you accept the statement that bronze age rulers exercised power over people rather than resources. OR. Write a note on burial practices followed in different early civilization.


A pyramid is a building where the outer surfaces are triangular and converge at a point. The base of a pyramid can be trilateral, quadrilateral, or any polygon shape, meaning that a pyramid has at least three outer surfaces (at least four faces including the base). The square pyramid, with square base and four triangular outer surfaces, is a common version.

A pyramid’s design, with the majority of the weight closer to the ground,[1] means that less material higher up on the pyramid will be pushing down from above: this distribution of weight allowed early civilizations to create stable monumental structures.

For thousands of years, the largest structures on earth were pyramids: first the Red Pyramid in the Dashur Necropolis and then the Great Pyramid of Khufu, both of Egypt, the latter the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still remaining. It is still the tallest pyramid. The largest pyramid in the world ever built, by volume, is the Great Pyramid of Cholula, in the Mexican state of Puebla. This pyramid is still being excavated.

The Mesopotamians built the earliest pyramidal structures, called ziggurats. In ancient times, these were brightly painted. Since they were constructed of sun-dried mud-brick, little remains of them.

The most famous pyramids are the Egyptian pyramids — huge structures built of brick or stone, some of which are among the world’s largest constructions. The age of the pyramids reached its zenith at Giza in 2575-2150 B.C.[2] As of 2008, some 138 pyramids have been discovered in Egypt.[3][4] The Great Pyramid of Giza is the largest in Egypt and one of the largest in the world. Until Lincoln Cathedral was built in 1400 AD, it was the tallest building in the world. The base is over 52,600 square meters in area. While pyramids are associated with Egypt, the nation of Sudan has 220 extant pyramids, the most numerous in the world.[5]

The Great Pyramid of Giza was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is the only one to survive into modern times. The Ancient Egyptians covered the faces of pyramids with polished white limestone. Many of the facing stones have fallen or have been removed and used to build the mosques of Cairo.

Burial also called interment and inhumation, is the act of placing a person or object into the ground. This is accomplished by excavating a pit or trench, placing an object in it, and covering it over.

Intentional burial, particularly with grave goods, may be one of the earliest detectable forms of religious practice since, as Philip Lieberman suggests, it may signify a “concern for the dead that transcends daily life.” Though disputed, evidence suggests that the Neanderthals were the first hominids to intentionally bury the dead, doing so in shallow graves along with stone tools and animal bones. Exemplary sites include Shanidar in Iraq, Kebara Cave in Israel and Krapina in Croatia. Some scholars however argue that these bodies may have been disposed of for secular reasons.

The earliest undisputed human burial dates back 130,000 years. Human skeletal remains stained with red ochre were discovered in the Skhul cave at Qafzeh, Israel. A variety of grave goods were present at the site, including the mandible of a wild boar in the arms of one of the skeletons.[4]

Prehistoric cemeteries are referred to by the more neutral term grave field. They are one of the chief sources of information on prehistoric cultures, and numerous archaeological cultures are defined by their burial customs, such as the Urn field culture of the European Bronze Age.

Qno17. Write a brief note on the background of the emergence of empires.  OR. Discuss the main characteristic features of early empires. OR. Analyze the administrative and military apparatus developed under Assyrians. OR. Write a short notes on the following: 1. The Babylonian Empire. 2. The Assyrian Empire.

Ans: The term empire derives from the Latin imperium. Politically, an empire is a geographically extensive group of states and peoples (ethnic groups) united and ruled either by a monarch (emperor, empress) or an oligarchy. Geopolitically, the term empire has denoted very different, territorially-extreme states — at the strong end, the extensive Spanish Empire (16th c.) and the British Empire (19th c.), at the weak end, the Holy Roman Empire (8th c.–19th c.), in its Medieval and early-modern forms, and the Byzantine Empire (15th c.), that was a direct continuation of the Roman Empire, that, in its final century of existence, was more a city-state than a territorial empire.

Etymologically, the political usage of “empire” denotes a strong, centrally-controlled nation-state, but, in the looser, quotidian, vernacular usage, it denotes a large-scale business enterprise (i.e. a transnational corporation) and a political organization of national-, regional- or city scale, controlled either by a person (a political boss) or a group authority (political bosses).

Early empires

The first empire, comparable to Rome in organization, was the Assyrian empire (2000–612 BC). The successful, extensive, and multi-cultural empire that was the Persian Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BC), absorbed Mesopotamia, Egypt, part of Greece, Thrace, the rest of the Middle East, much of Central Asia, and Northwest India.

The Babylonian Empire was the most powerful state in the ancient world after the fall of the Assyrian empire (612 BCE). Its capital Babylon was beautifully adorned by king Nebuchadnezzar, who erected several famous buildings. Even after the Babylonian Empire had been overthrown by the Persian king Cyrus the Great (539), the city itself remained an important cultural center.

The city of Babylon makes its first appearance in our sources after the fall of the Empire of the Third Dynasty of Ur, which had ruled the city states of the alluvial plain between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris for more than a century (2112-2004?). An agricultural crisis meant the end of this centralized state, and several more or less nomadic tribes settled in southern Mesopotamia. One of these was the nation of the Amorites (“westerners”), which took over Isin, Larsa, and Babylon. Their kings are known as the First Dynasty of Babylon (1894-1595?).

The area was reunited by Hammurabi, a king of Babylon of Amorite descent (1792-1750?). From his reign on, the alluvial plain of southern Iraq was called, with a deliberate archaism, Mât Akkadî, “the country of Akkad”, after the city that had united the region centuries before. We call it Babylonia. It is one of the most fertile and rich parts of the ancient world.

First, Babylon and its ally Larsa fought a defensive war against Elam, the archenemy of Akkad. After this war had been brought to a successful end, Hammurabi turned against Larsa, and defeated its king Rim-Sin. This scenario was repeated. Together with king Zimrilim of Mari, Hammurabi waged war against Aššur, and after success had been achieved, the Babylonians attacked their ally. Mari was sacked. Other wars were fought against Jamšad (Aleppo), Elam, Ešnunna, and the mountain tribes in the Zagros. Babylon now was the capital of the entire region between Harran in the northwest and the Persian Gulf in the southeast.

The Neo-Assyrian Empire was a period of Mesopotamian history which began in 934 BC and ended in 608 BC. During this period, Assyria assumed a position as possibly the most powerful nation on earth, and vying with Babylonia and other lesser powers for dominance of the region, though not until the reforms of Tiglath-Pileser III in the 8th century BC, did it become a powerful and vast empire. In the Middle Assyrian period of the Late Bronze Age, Assyria had been a minor kingdom of northern Mesopotamia (modern-day northern Iraq), competing for dominance with its southern Mesopotamian rival Babylonia. Beginning with the campaign of Adad-nirari II, it became a great regional power, growing to be a serious threat to 25th dynasty Egypt.

The Neo-Assyrian Empire succeeded the Middle Assyrian period (14th to 10th century BC). Some scholars, such as Richard Nelson Frye, regard the Neo-Assyrian Empire to be the first real empire in human history. During this period, Aramaic was also made an official language of the empire, alongside the Akkadian language.

Assyria finally succumbed to a coalition of Babylonians, Medes, Scythians and others at the Fall of Nineveh in 612 BC,and the sacking of its last capital Harran in 608 BC. More than half a century later, the Babylonians and Assyrians both became provinces of the Persian Empire. Though the Assyrians during the reign of Ashurbanipal destroyed the Elamite civilization, the Assyrians’ culture did influence the succeeding empires of the Indo-Iranian tribes of the Medes and the Persians.

The Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550–330 BC), also known as the Persian Empire, was the successor state of the Median Empire, ruling over significant portions of what would become Greater Iran. The Persian and the Median Empire taken together are also known as the Medo-Persian Empire, which encompassed the combined territories of several earlier empires.

At the height of its power, the empire encompassed approximately 8 million km2.The empire was forged by Cyrus the Great, and spanned three continents: Asia, Africa and Europe. At its greatest extent, the empire included the territories of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, parts of Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace and Macedonia, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and all significant population centers of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya. It is noted in western history as the foe of the Greek city states during the Greco-Persian Wars, for emancipation of slaves including the Jews from their Babylonian captivity, and for instituting the usage of official languages throughout its territories. The Achaemenid Persian empire was invaded by Alexander III of Macedon, after which it collapsed and disintegrated in 330 BC into what later became the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Seleucid Empire, in addition to other minor territories which gained independence after its collapse.

In universal history the role of the Persian empire founded by Cyrus the Great lies in their very successful model for centralized administration and a government working to the advantage and profit of all.

Qno18. How Cyaraxes did strengthened the Median Kingdom.

Ans: The Median Empire, was the first Iranian dynasty corresponding to the northeastern section of present-day Iran, Northern-Khvarvarana and Asuristan (now days known as Iraq), and South and Eastern Anatolia. The inhabitants, who were known as Medes, and their neighbors, the Persians, spoke Median languages that were closely related to Aryan (Old Persian). Historians know very little about the Iranian culture under the Median dynasty, except that Zoroastrianism as well as a polytheistic religion was practiced, and a priestly caste called the Magi existed.

Traditionally, the creator of the Median kingdom was one Deioces, who, according to Herodotus, reigned from 728 to 675 BCE and founded the Median capital Ecbatana (Hâgmatâna or modern Hamadan). Attempts have been made to associate Daiaukku, a local Zagros king mentioned in a cuneiform text as one of the captives deported to Assyria by Sargon II in 714 BCE, with the Deioces of Herodotus, but such an association is highly unlikely. To judge from the Assyrian sources, no Median kingdom such as Herodotus describes for the reign of Deioces existed in the early 7th century BCE; at best, he is reporting a Median legend of the founding of their kingdom.

Beginning as early as the 9th century, and with increasing impact in the late 8th and early 7th centuries, groups of nomadic warriors entered western Iran, probably from across the Caucasus. Dominant among these groups were the Scythians, and their entrance into the affairs of the western plateau during the 7th century may perhaps mark one of the important turning points in Iron Age history. Herodotus speaks in some detail of a period of Scythian domination, the so-called Scythian interregnum in Median dynasty history. His dating of this event remains uncertain, but traditionally it is seen as falling between the reigns of Phraortes and Cyaxares and as covering the years 653 to 625 BCE. Whether such an interregnum ever actually occurred and, if it did, whether it should not be dated later than this are open questions. What is clear is that, by the mid-7th century BCE, there were a great many Scythians in western Iran, that they, along with the Medes and other groups, posed a serious threat to Assyria, and that their appearance threw previous power alignments quite out of balance.

Herodotus reports how, under Cyaxares of Media (625-585 BCE), the Scythians were overthrown when their kings were induced at a supper party to get so drunk that they were then easily slain. It is more likely that about this time either the Scythians withdrew voluntarily from western Iran and went off to plunder elsewhere or they were simply absorbed into a rapidly developing confederation under Median hegemony. Cyaxares is a fully historical figure who appears in the cuneiform sources as Uvakhshatra. Herodotus speaks of how Cyaxares reorganized the Median army into units built around specialized armaments: spearmen, bowmen, and cavalry. The unified and reorganized Medes were a match for the Assyrians. They attacked one of the important Assyrian border cities, Arrapkha, in 615 BCE, surrounded Nineveh in 614 BCE but were unable to capture it, and instead successfully stormed the Assyrian religious capital, Ashur. An alliance between Babylon and the Medes was sealed by the betrothal of Cyaxares’ granddaughter to Nabopolassar’s son, Nebuchadrezzar II (605-562 BCE). In 612 BCE the attack on Nineveh was renewed, and the city fell in late August (the Babylonians arrived rather too late to participate fully in the battle). The Babylonians and the Medes together pursued the fleeing Assyrians westward into Syria. Assyrian appeals to Egypt for help came to nought, and the last Assyrian ruler, Ashur-uballit II, disappeared from history in 609 BCE.

The problem, of course, was how to divide the spoils among the victors. The cuneiform sources are comparatively silent, but it would seem that the Babylonians fell heir to all of the Assyrian holdings within the Fertile Crescent, while their allies took over all of the highland areas. The Medes gained control over the lands in eastern Anatolia that had once been part of Urartu and eventually became embroiled in war with the Lydians, the dominant political power in western Asia Minor. In 585 BCE, probably through the mediation of the Babylonians, peace was established between Media and Lydia, and the Halys (Kizil) River was fixed as the boundary between the two kingdoms. Thus a new balance of power was established in the Middle East among Medes, Lydians, Babylonians, and, far to the south, Egyptians. At his death, Cyaxares controlled vast territories: all of Anatolia to the Halys, the whole of western Iran eastward, perhaps as far as the area of modern Tehran, and all of south-western Iran, including Fars. Whether it is appropriate to call these holdings a kingdom is debatable; one suspects that authority over the various peoples, Iranian and non-Iranian, who occupied these territories was exerted in the form of a confederation such as is implied by the ancient Iranian royal title, king of kings.

Astyages followed his father, Cyaxares, on the Median throne (585-550 BCE). Comparatively little is known of his reign. All was not well with the alliance with Babylon, and there is some evidence to suggest that Babylonia may have feared Median power. The latter, however, was soon in no position to threaten others, for Astyages was himself under attack. Indeed, Astyages and the Medians were soon overthrown by the rise to power in the Iranian world of Cyrus II the Great.

Qno19. Give a brief account of  the expansion of the Persian Empire under the rule of Cyrus Darious.  OR. Analyze the system of satrapies in the Achaemenid Empire.  OR. Write a brief note on the standardization of coinage in the Persian Empire.

Ans: The Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550–330 BC), also known as the Persian Empire, was the successor state of the Median Empire, ruling over significant portions of what would become Greater Iran. The Persian and the Median Empire taken together are also known as the Medo-Persian Empire, which encompassed the combined territories of several earlier empires.

At the height of its power, the empire encompassed approximately 8 million km2.The empire was forged by Cyrus the Great, and spanned three continents: Asia, Africa and Europe. At its greatest extent, the empire included the territories of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, parts of Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace and Macedonia, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and all significant population centers of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya. It is noted in western history as the foe of the Greek city states during the Greco-Persian Wars, for emancipation of slaves including the Jews from their Babylonian captivity, and for instituting the usage of official languages throughout its territories. The Achaemenid Persian empire was invaded by Alexander III of Macedon, after which it collapsed and disintegrated in 330 BC into what later became the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Seleucid Empire, in addition to other minor territories which gained independence after its collapse.

In universal history the role of the Persian empire founded by Cyrus the Great lies in their very successful model for centralized administration and a government working to the advantage and profit of all.


The Persian domination by the Achaemenid empire over the Iranian people started by an extension of the Achaemenid dynasty who expanded their earlier ruling clan over the Persians going, possibly, back to the 9th century BC. The eponym of this dynasty was Achaemenes (Old Persian: Haxāmaniš, a bahuvrihi compound translating to “having a friend’s mind”). Achaemenes even if he was a historical personage, may have built the state Parsumash. Teispes (Cišpi) who was the first to take the title King of Anšān after seizing Anšān city from the Elamites and enlarging his kingdom to include Persis. The early Teispid rulers of Achaemenids, consistently identified themselves with the indigenous name of Elamite highlands, Anshanite. Furthermore, there is no mention of Achaemenes in genealogy of Teispids, in Cyrus Cylender.  According to Cyrus Cylinder and other inscriptions, Teispes had a son called Cyrus succeeding his father as “King of Anshan”.

There are no arguments in favor of the previously held view that the kingdom of Teispes may have been divided between Cyrus and his brother Ariaramnes (Ariyāramna, ‘Having the Iranians at Peace’), who were succeeded by their respective sons Cambyses I of Anshan (Kambūjiya, “the Elder”), and Arsames (Aršāma “Having a Hero’s Might”) of Persis, thus forming two branches of the Achaemenid royal house.

The empire took its unified virgin form with a central administration around Pasargadae erected by Cyrus the Great. The empire ended up conquering and enlarging the Median empire to include in addition Egypt and Asia Minor. During the reigns of Darius I and his son Xerxes I it engaged in military conflict with some of the major city-states of Ancient Greece, and although it came close to defeating the Greek army this war ultimately led to the empire’s overthrow. However evidences of elements of continuity including restoration of the empire almost to the exact limits given to it by Darius the Great and the maintenance of system of satrapies has made some modern scholars to reconsider Alexander as the “last of the Achaemenids“.

In 559 BC, Cambyses I the Elder was succeeded as king of Anšān by his son Cyrus II the Great, who also succeeded the still-living Arsames as King of Persia, thus reuniting the two realms. Cyrus is considered to be the first true king of the Persian empire, as his predecessors were subservient to Media. Cyrus II conquered Media, Lydia, and Babylon. Cyrus was politically shrewd, modeling himself as the “savior” of conquered nations. To reinforce this image, he instituted policies of religious freedom, and restored temples and other infrastructure in the newly acquired cities. (Most notably the Jews of Babylon, as recorded in the Cyrus Cylinder and the Tanakh).

His immediate successors were less successful. Cyrus’ son Cambyses II conquered Egypt, but died in July 522 BC as the result of either accident or suicide, during a revolt led by a sacerdotal clan that had lost its power following Cyrus’ conquest of Media. These priests, whom Herodotus called Magi, usurped the throne for one of their own, Gaumata, who then pretended to be Cambyses II’s younger brother Smerdis (Pers. Bardiya), who had been assassinated some three years earlier. Owing to the despotic rule of Cambyses and his long absence in Egypt, “the whole people, Perses, Medes and all the other nations,” acknowledged the usurper, especially as he granted a remission of taxes for three years (Herodotus iii. 68).

The claim that Gaumata had impersonated Smerdis, is derived from Darius. Historians are divided over the possibility that the story of the impostor was invented by Darius as justification for his coup. Dr. Ranajit Pal holds that Gaumata was the same as Gotama Buddha. In his view, Davadatta, the adversary of Gotama was Zoroaster. Darius made a similar claim when he later captured Babylon, announcing that the Babylonian king was not, in fact, Nebuchadnezzar III, but an impostor named Nidintu-bel.

According to the Behistun Inscription, pseudo-Smerdis ruled for seven months before being overthrown in 522 BCE by a member of a lateral branch of the Achaemenid family, Darius I (Old Persian Dāryavuš “Who Holds Firm the Good”, also known as Darayarahush or Darius the Great). The Magi, though persecuted, continued to exist, and a year following the death of the first pseudo-Smerdis (Gaumata), had a second pseudo-Smerdis (named Vahyazdāta) attempt a coup. The coup, though initially successful, failed.

Herodotus writes that the native leadership debated the best form of government for the Empire. It was agreed upon that a oligarchy would divide them against one another, and democracy would bring about mob rule resulting in a charismatic leader resuming the monarchy. Therefore, they decided a new monarch was in order, particularly since they were in a position to choose him. Darius I was chosen monarch from among the leaders. He was cousin to Cambyses II and Smerdis, claiming Ariaramnes as his ancestor.

The Achaemenids thereafter consolidated areas firmly under their control. It was Cyrus the Great and Darius the Great who, by sound and farsighted administrative planning, brilliant military maneuvering, and a humanistic world view, established the greatness of the Achaemenids and, in less than thirty years, raised them from an obscure tribe to a world power. It was during the reign of Darius I that Persepolis was built (518–516 BC) and which would serve as capital for several generations of Achaemenid kings. Ecbatana (Hagmatāna “City of Gatherings”, modern Hamadan) in Media was greatly expanded during this period and served as the summer capital.

Darius I attacked the Greek mainland, which had supported rebellious Greek colonies under his aegis; but as a result of his defeat at the Battle of Marathon, he was forced to pull the limits of his empire back to Asia Minor.

Qno20. Write short notes on: 1. Aramaic. 2. Zoroastrianism.

Ans: Aramaic is a Semitic language belonging to the Afro-asiatic language family. Within this family, Aramaic belongs to the Semitic subfamily, and more specifically, is a part of the Northwest Semitic group of languages, which also includes Canaanite languages such as Hebrew and Phoenician. Aramaic script was widely adopted for other languages and is ancestral to both the Arabic and Hebrew alphabets.

During its 3,000-year history, Aramaic has served variously as a language of administration of empires and as a language of divine worship. It was the day-to-day language of Israel in the Second Temple period (539 BCE – 70 CE), was the original language of large sections of the biblical books of Daniel and Ezra, was the language spoken by Jesus, and is the main language of the Talmud.

Aramaic’s long history and diverse and widespread use has led to the development of many divergent varieties which are sometimes treated as dialects. Therefore, there is no one singular Aramaic language, but each time and place has had its own variation. Aramaic is retained as a liturgical language by certain Eastern Christian sects, in the form of Syriac, the Aramaic variety by which Eastern Christianity was diffused, whether or not those communities once spoke it or another form of Aramaic as their vernacular, but have since shifted to another language as their primary community language.

Modern Aramaic is spoken today as a first language by many scattered, predominantly small, and largely isolated communities of differing Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups of West Asia most numerously by the Assyrians in the form of Assyrian Neo-Aramaic and the Chaldeans in the form of Chaldean Neo-Aramaic—that have all retained use of the once dominant lingua franca despite subsequent language shifts experienced throughout the Middle East. The Aramaic languages are considered to be endangered.

Zoroaster (aka Zarathustra, in Avestan) founded in the early part of the 5th century BCE. The term Zoroastrianism is, in general usage, essentially synonymous with Mazdaism, i.e. the worship of Ahura Mazda, exalted by Zoroaster as the supreme divine authority.

In Zoroastrianism, the Creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil originates from Him. Thus, in Zoroastrianism good and evil have distinct sources, with evil (druj) trying to destroy the creation of Mazda (asha), and good trying to sustain it. Mazda is not imminent in the world, and His creation is represented by the Amesha Spentas and the host of other Yazatas, through whom the works of God are evident to humanity, and through whom worship of Mazda is ultimately directed. The most important texts of the religion are those of the Avesta, of which a significant portion has been lost, and mostly only the liturgies of which have survived. The lost portions are known of only through references and brief quotations in the later works of (primarily) the 9th-11th centuries.

Zoroastrianism is of great antiquity. In some form, it served as the national- or state religion of a significant portion of the Iranian people for many centuries before it was gradually marginalized by Islam from the 7th century onwards. The political power of the pre-Islamic Iranian dynasties lent Zoroastrianism immense prestige in ancient times, and some of its leading doctrines were adopted by other religious systems.

It has no major theological divisions (the only significant schism is based on calendar differences), but it is not monolithic. Modern-era influences have a significant impact on individual/local beliefs, practices, values and vocabulary, sometimes complementing tradition and enriching it, but sometimes also displacing tradition entirely.

Qno21. Give an account of polity and society during the Archaic and classical period of Greece. OR.  Give a brief account of the early Greek civilizations. OR. Analyze the relationship between slavery and democracy in Ancient Greece.

Ans: Ancient Greece is the civilization belonging to the period of Greek history lasting from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to 146 BC and the Roman conquest of Greece after the Battle of Corinth. At the center of this time period is Classical Greece, which flourished during the 5th to 4th centuries BC, at first under Athenian leadership successfully repelling the military threat of Persian invasion. The Athenian Golden Age ends with the defeat of Athens at the hands of Sparta in the Peloponnesian War in 404 BC.

Classical Greek culture had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire, which carried a version of it to many parts of the Mediterranean region and Europe, for which reason Classical Greece is generally considered to be the seminal culture which provided the foundation of Western civilization.

The Minoan civilization, a Bronze Age civilization, arose on the island of Crete and flourished from approximately 2700 to 1450 BC. It was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century through the work of the British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans. Will Durant referred to it as “the first link in the European chain.”

The Mycenaean civilization flourished during the period roughly between 1600 BC, when Helladic culture in mainland Greece was transformed under influences from Minoan Crete, and 1100 BC, when it perished with the collapse of Bronze-Age civilization in the eastern Mediterranean. The collapse is commonly attributed to the Dorian invasion, although other theories describing natural disasters and climate change have been advanced as well. The major Mycenaean cities were Mycenae and Tiryns in Argolis, Pylos in Messenia, Athens in Attica, Thebes and Orchomenus in Boeotia, and Iolkos in Thessaly. In Crete, the Mycenaeans occupied Knossos. In addition there were some sites of importance for cults, such as Lerna, typically in the form of house sanctuaries, for the Mycenaeans did not build free-standing temples of the familiar kind. Mycenaean settlement sites also appeared in Epirus, Macedon, on islands in the Aegean, on the coast of Asia Minor, and then in Cyprus. Mycenaean artifacts with Linear B inscriptions have been also found as far away as Germany and Mycenaean swords as far away as Georgia in the Caucasus.

Mycenaean civilization was dominated by a warrior aristocracy. Around 1400 BC, the Mycenaeans extended their control to Crete, center of the Minoan civilization, and adopted a form of the Minoan script (called Linear A) to write their early form of Greek in Linear B.

The Greek Dark Age or Ages (ca. 1200 BC–800 BC) are terms which have regularly been used to refer to the period of Greek history from the presumed Dorian invasion and end of the Mycenaean Palatial civilization around 1200 BC, to the first signs of the Greek city-states in the 9th century BC. These terms are gradually going out of use, since the former lack of archaeological evidence in a period that was mute in its lack of inscriptions (thus “dark”) has been shown to be an accident of discovery rather than a fact of history.

The archaeological evidence shows a widespread collapse of Bronze Age civilization in the eastern Mediterranean world during the same period, as the great palaces and cities of the Mycenaean’s were destroyed or abandoned. Around this time, the Hittite civilization suffered serious disruption and cities from Troy to Gaza were destroyed. Following the collapse, fewer and smaller settlements suggest famine and depopulation. In Greece the Linear B writing of the Greek language used by Mycenaean bureaucrats ceases. The decoration on Greek pottery after ca 1100 BC lacks the figurative decoration of Mycenaean ware and is restricted to simpler, generally geometric styles. It was previously thought that all contact was lost between foreign powers during this period, yielding little cultural progress or growth; however, artifacts from excavations at Lefkandi on the Lelantine Plain in Euboea show that significant cultural and trade links with the east, particularly the Levant coast, developed from c 900 BC onwards, and evidence has emerged of a migration of Hellenes to sub-Mycenaean Cyprus and the Syrian coast (at Al Mina).

The archaic period in Greece (800 BCE – 480 BCE) is a period of Ancient Greek history. The term originated in the 18th century and has been standard since. This term arose from the study of Greek art, where it refers to styles mainly of surface decoration and sculpture, falling in time between Geometric Art and the art of Classical Greece. In the sense that it contained the seeds of Classical art it is considered “archaic.” Since the Archaic period followed the Greek Dark Ages, and saw significant advancements in political theory and the rise of the polis, and the beginnings of classical philosophy, theatre, poetry, as well as the reintroduction of the written language, which had been lost during the Dark Ages, the term archaic was extended to these aspects as well.

The Archaic Period is thus a rapprochement of various threads and is not just an “archaic” stage but “a complete episode in its own right.”[1] Michael Grant also objects to the term archaic “because it possesses the dictionary significance of ‘primitive’ and ‘antiquated.’ No such pejorative epithets are appropriate for the early Greeks, whose doings and sayings added up to one of the most creative periods in world history.”

Classical Greece was a culture that was highly advanced and which heavily influenced the cultures of Ancient Rome and still has an enduring effect on European civilization. Much of modern politics, artistic thought, scientific thought, literature, and philosophy derive from this ancient society. In the context of the art, architecture, and culture of Ancient Greece, the classical period corresponds to most of the 6th, 5th and 4th centuries BC (the most common dates being the fall of the last Athenian tyrant in 510 BC to the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC).

Traditionally, classical Greek history begins with the first Olympiad, which occurred in 776 BC, although Greek culture did not truly flourish until later.

From the perspective of Athenian culture in classical Greece, the period generally referred to as the 5th century BC encroaches slightly on the 4th century BC. This century is essentially studied from the Athenian outlook because Athens has left us more narratives, plays, and other written works than the other Greek states.

Qno22. Write short notes on the following topics: 1. Lliad and Odyssey. 2. Linear B Script. 3. Delian League. 4. Deme.

Ans: The Iliad is an epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set in the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of Ilium by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles. Although the story covers only a few weeks in the final year of the war, the Iliad mentions or alludes to many of the Greek legends about the siege.

Along with the Odyssey, also attributed to Homer, the Iliad is among the oldest extant works of Western literature, and its written version is usually dated to around the eighth century BC. The Iliad contains approximately 15,700 lines, and is written in a literary amalgam of several Greek dialects. The authorship of the poem is disputed.

The Odyssey (Greek: Ὀδύσσεια, Odýsseia) is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work traditionally ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the modern Western canon. Indeed it is the second—the Iliad being the first—extant work of Western literature. It was probably composed near the end of the eighth century BC, somewhere in Ionia, the Greek-speaking coastal region of what is now Turkey.

The poem mainly centers on the Greek hero Odysseus (or Ulysses, as he was known in Roman myths) and his long journey home following the fall of Troy. It takes Odysseus ten years to reach Ithaca after the ten-year Trojan War. In his absence, it is assumed he has died, and his wife Penelope and son Telemachus must deal with a group of unruly suitors, the Mnesteres competing for Penelope’s hand in marriage.

It continues to be read in the Homeric Greek and translated into modern languages around the world. The original poem was composed in an oral tradition by an aoidos (epic poet/singer), perhaps a rhapsode (professional performer), and was intended more to be sung than read. The details of the ancient oral performance and the story’s conversion to a written work inspire continual debate among scholars. The Odyssey was written in a region less poetic dialect of Greek and comprises 12,110 lines of dactylic hexameter. Among the most impressive elements of the text are its strikingly modern non-linear plot, and the fact that events are shown to depend as much on the choices made by women and serfs as on the actions of fighting men. In the English language as well as many others, the word odyssey has come to refer to an epic voyage.

Linear B is a syllabic script that was used for writing Mycenaean Greek, an early form of Greek. It predated the Greek alphabet by several centuries (ca. 13th but perhaps as early as late 15th century BC) and seems to have died out with the fall of Mycenaean civilization. Most of the tablets inscribed in Linear B were found in Knossos, Cydonia, Pylos, Thebes and Mycenae. The succeeding period, known as the Greek Dark Ages, provides no evidence of the use of writing.

The script appears to be related to Linear A, an undeciphered earlier script used for writing the Minoan language, and the later Cypriot syllabify, which recorded Greek. Linear B consists of around 87 syllabic signs and a large repertory of semantographic signs. These ideograms or “signifying” signs stand for objects or commodities, but do not have phonetic value and are never used as word signs in writing a sentence.

The application of Linear B seems to have been confined to administrative contexts. In all the thousands of tablets, a relatively small number of different “hands” have been detected: 45 in Pylos (west coast of the Peloponnese, in southern Greece) and 66 in Knossos (Crete). From this fact it could be thought that the script was used only by some sort of guild of professional scribes who served the central palaces. Once the palaces were destroyed, the script disappeared.

The script

Linear B has roughly 200 signs divided into syllabic signs with phonetic values and ideograms with semantic values. The representations and naming of these signs has been standardized by a series of international colloquia starting with the first in Paris in 1956. After the third meeting in 1961 at the Wingspread conference center in Racine, Wisconsin, a standard proposed primarily by Emmett L. Bennett, Jr., became known as the Wingspread Convention, which was adopted by a new organization, the Comité International Permanent des Études Mycéniennes (CIPEM), affiliated in 1970 by the fifth colloquium with UNESCO. Colloquia continue: the 13th is scheduled for 2010 in Paris.

Many of the signs are identical or similar to Linear A signs; however, Linear A, which encoded the unknown Minoan language, remains undeciphered and we cannot be sure that similar signs had similar values.

Delian League was an association of 173 5th-century BC Greek city-states under the leadership of Athens, whose purpose was to continue fighting the Persian Empire after the Greek victory in the Battle of Plataea at the end of the Greco–Persian Wars. Founded in 478 BC, the League’s modern name derives from its official meeting place, the island of Delos, where congresses were held in the temple and where the treasury stood until Pericles moved it to Athens in 454 BC. Shortly after its inception Athens began to exploit the League’s navy for its own benefit. This behavior would frequently lead to conflict between Athens and the less powerful members of the League. By 431 BC Athens’ heavy-handed control of the Delian League would prompt the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War; the League was dissolved upon the war’s conclusion in 404 BC.

A deme was a subdivision of Attica, the region of Greece surrounding Athens. Demes as simple subdivisions of land in the countryside seem to have existed in the 6th century BC and earlier, but did not acquire particular significance until the reforms of Cleisthenes in 508 BC. In those reforms, enrollment in the citizen-lists of a deme became the requirement for citizenship; prior to that time, citizenship had been based on membership in a phratry, or family group. At this same time, demes were established in the city of Athens itself, where they had not previously existed; in all, at the end of Cleisthenes’ reforms, Attica was divided into 139 demes. The establishment of demes as the fundamental units of the state weakened the gene, or aristocratic family groups, that had dominated the phratries.

A deme functioned to some degree as a polis in miniature, and indeed some demes, such as Eleusis and Acharnae, were in fact significant towns. Each deme had a demarchos who supervised its affairs; various other civil, religious, and military functionaries existed in various demes. Demes held their own religious festivals and collected and spent revenue.

Demes were combined with other demes from the same area to make trittyes, larger population groups, which in turn were combined to form the ten tribes, or phyles of Athens. Each tribe contained one trittys from each of three regions, the city, the coast, and the inland area.

Qno23. What were the main features of the institution of slavery in ancient Greece?

Ans: Slavery is a form of forced labour in which people are considered to be the property of others. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand wages. In some societies it was legal for an owner to kill a slave; in others it was a crime.

The organization Anti-Slavery International defines slavery as “forced labour.” By this definition there are approximately 27 million slaves in the world today, more than at any point in history and more than twice as many as all African slaves brought to the Americas combined.

The International Labour Organisation, however, does not equate forced labour with slavery. According to ILO, there are estimated 12 million people around the world still working under coercion in forced labour, slavery and slavery-like practices.

Most are debt slaves, largely in South Asia, who are under debt bondage incurred by lenders, some for generations. Human trafficking is mostly for prostituting women and children into the sex trade. It is described as “the largest slave trade in history” and is the fastest growing criminal industry, set to outgrow drug trafficking.

We proceed to a closer study of the institution of slavery as it existed in the Greek and Roman societies respectively.

We find it already fully established in the Homeric period. The prisoners taken in war are retained as slaves, or sold (Il. xxiv. 752) or held at ransom (Il. vi. 427) by the captor. Sometimes the men of a conquered town or district are slain and the women carried off (Od., ix. 40). Not infrequently free persons were kidnapped by pirates and sold in other regions, like Eumaeus in the Odyssey. The slave might thus be by birth of equal rank with his master, who knew that the same fate might befall himself or some of the members of his family. The institution does not present itself in a very harsh form in Homer, especially if we consider (as Grote suggests) that “all classes were much on a level in taste, sentiment, and instruction.” The male slaves were employed in the tillage of the land and the tending of cattle and the females in domestic work and household manufactures. The principal slaves often enjoyed the confidence of their masters and had important duties entrusted to them; and, after lengthened and meritorious service, were put in possession of a house and property of their own (Od., xiv. 64). Grote’s idea that the women slaves were in a more pitiable condition than the males does not seem justified, except perhaps in the case of the aletrides, who turned the household mills which ground the flour consumed in the family, and who were sometimes overworked by unfeeling masters (Od., xx. 110-119). Part of the agricultural work was sometimes done by poor hired freemen (thetes), who are spoken of as a wretched class (Od., xi. 490), and were perhaps employed almost exclusively by the smaller landholders. Having no powerful protector to whom they could look up, and depending on casual jobs, they were probably in a less desirable position than the average slave. Homer conceives the lot of the latter as a bitter one (Od., viii. 528; Il., xix. 302); but it must be remembered that the element of change from a former elevated position usually enters into his descriptions. He marks in a celebrated couplet his sense of the moral deterioration commonly wrought by the condition of slavery (Od., xvii. 322).

The sources of slavery in Greece were:—1. Birth, the condition being hereditary. This was not an abundant source, women slaves being less numerous than men, and wise masters making the union of the sexes rather a reward of good service than a matter of speculation (Xen., Aecon., ix. 5). It was in general cheaper to buy a slave than to rear one to the age of labour. 2. Sale of children by their free parents, which was tolerated, except in Attica, or their exposure, which was permitted, except at Thebes. The consequence of the latter was sometimes to subject them to servitude worse than death, as is seen in the plays of Plautus and Terence, which, as is well known, depict Greek, not Roman, manners. Freemen, through indigence, sometimes sold themselves, and at Athens, up to the time of Solon, an insolvent debtor became the slave of his creditor. 3. Capture in war. Not only Asia tics and Thracians thus became slaves, but in the many wars between Grecian states, continental or colonial, Greeks were reduced to slavery by men of their own race. Thus Spartans were slaves at Tegea, and Gelon sold out of their country the commonalty of Hyblaean Megara.

Qno24. Write a brief note on the expansion of Roman Empire in the early phases. OR. Write a short note on the institution of slavery in the Roman Republic. OR. Discuss in detail the political structure of Roman Empire.


The Roman Empire was the post-Republican phase of the ancient Roman civilization, characterized by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean. The term is used to describe the Roman state during and after the time of the first emperor, Augustus.

The Roman Republic, which preceded it, had been weakened and subverted through several civil wars. Several events are commonly proposed to mark the transition from Republic to Empire, including Julius Caesar’s appointment as perpetual dictator (44 BC), the Battle of Actium (2 September 31 BC), and the Roman Senate’s granting to Octavian the honorific Augustus (4 January 27 BC). Roman expansion began in the days of the Republic, but reached its zenith under Emperor Trajan. At this territorial peak, the Roman Empire controlled approximately 6.5 million km² of land surface. Because of the Empire’s vast extent and long endurance, Roman influence upon the language, religion, architecture, philosophy, law, and government of nations around the world lasts to this day.

In the late 3rd century AD, Diocletian established the practice of dividing authority between four co-emperors, in order to better secure the vast territory. During the following decades the empire was often divided along an East/West axis. After the death of Theodosius I in 395 it was divided for the last time.

The Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476 as Romulus Augustus was forced to abdicate by Odoacer. The Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire endured until 1453 with the death of Constantine XI and the capture of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks led by Mehmed II.

Political structure of Roman Empire

The major expansion of the Roman Empire took place over a long period of time with first phase up to 280BC and the second till the middle of the 2nd century BC. The main emphasis was given to the political structure and social organization in the Roman Empire. The social order, the Senate and the Assembly was analyzed. The conflict of social orders led to the empowerment of the plebeians in Roman society. The Roman political structure was very efficient, yet elaborate. The Basic Roman political structure was different in some ways than the common governments of other civilizations at that time. The Roman government got its start as a monarchy, but later developed into a republic, for which it is remembered. During the republic times of Rome, the majority of the officials were elected. Also, citizens had more power than they had ever experienced before (Dilke 39). The Roman Republic Political Structure included: Popular Assemblies, the Aristocracy- known as the Senate, and the Magistracy (or elected officials) who controlled the affairs of the assemblies.

The Magistracy was the highest branch of government in the Roman political structure, almost equivalent to the Emperor. Today the Magistracy would be viewed as the Executive branch of government. This branch of government consisted of six offices, three being the most important: Consuls, Praetors, and Tribunes in order of importance (McManus 2).

Roman Empire, political system established by Rome that lasted for nearly five centuries. Historians usually date the beginning of the Roman Empire from 27 BC when the Roman Senate gave Gaius Octavius the name Augustus and he became the undisputed emperor after years of bitter civil war. At its peak the empire included lands throughout the Mediterranean world. Rome had first expanded into other parts of Italy and neighboring territories during the Roman Republic (509-27 BC), but made wider conquests and solidified political control of these lands during the empire. The empire lasted until Germanic invasions, economic decline, and internal unrest in the 4th and 5th centuries AD ended Rome’s ability to dominate such a huge territory. The Romans and their empire gave cultural and political shape to the subsequent history of Europe from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to the present day.

In 44 BC Gaius Julius Caesar, the Roman leader who ruled the Roman Republic as a dictator was assassinated. Rome descended into more than ten years of civil war and political upheaval. After Caesar’s heir Gaius Octavius (also known as Octavian) defeated his last rivals, the Senate in 27 BC proclaimed him Augustus, meaning the exalted or holy one. In this way Augustus established the monarchy that became known as the Roman Empire. The Roman Republic, which had lasted nearly 500 years, was dead, never to be revived. The empire would endure for another 500 years until AD 476

The Roman Empire encompassed a huge amount of territory, but also allowed people of many different cultures to retain their heritage into modern times. The empire helped to perpetuate the art, literature, and philosophy of the Greeks, the religious and ethical system of the Jews, the new religion of the Christians, Babylonian astronomy and astrology, and cultural elements from Persia, Egypt, and other eastern civilizations. The Romans supplied their own peculiar talents for government, law, and architecture and also spread their Latin language. In this way they created the Greco-Roman synthesis, the rich combination of cultural elements that for two millennia has shaped what we call the Western tradition.

The Romans formed that synthesis during the longest continuous period of peaceful prosperity that the Mediterranean world has ever known. Even after a German invader in AD 476 deposed Romulus Augustulus, the last emperor residing in Rome, emperors who called themselves “Roman” (although they are known historically as Byzantine) continued to rule in Constantinople until AD 1453 (See  Byzantine Empire). The impact of the Roman people endures until the present day.

Qno25.  Discuss the main features of the Maya civilization. OR. What was a remarkable feature of the Maya settlements?

Ans : The Maya is a Mesoamerican civilization, noted for the only known fully developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas, as well as its art, architecture, and mathematical and astronomical systems. Initially established during the Pre-Classic period (c. 2000 BC to 250 AD), according to the Mesoamerican chronology, many Maya cities reached their highest state development during the Classic period (c. 250 AD to 900 AD), and continued throughout the Post-Classic period until the arrival of the Spanish. At its peak, it was one of the most densely populated and culturally dynamic societies in the world.

The Maya civilization shares many features with other Mesoamerican civilizations due to the high degree of interaction and cultural diffusion that characterized the region. Advances such as writing, epigraphy, and the calendar did not originate with the Maya; however, their civilization fully developed them. Maya influence can be detected from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and to as far as central Mexico, more than 1000 km (625 miles) from the Maya area. Many outside influences are found in Maya art and architecture, which are thought to result from trade and cultural exchange rather than direct external conquest.

The Maya peoples never disappeared, neither at the time of the Classic period decline nor with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores and the subsequent Spanish colonization of the Americas. Today, the Maya and their descendants form sizable populations throughout the Maya area and maintain a distinctive set of traditions and beliefs that are the result of the merger of pre-Columbian and post-Conquest ideas and cultures. Many Mayan languages continue to be spoken as primary languages today; the Rabinal Achí, a play written in the Achi’ language, was declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2005.

The Maya collapse

The Maya centers of the southern lowlands went into decline during the 8th and 9th centuries and were abandoned shortly thereafter. This decline was coupled with a cessation of monumental inscriptions and large-scale architectural construction. Although there is no universally accepted theory to explain this collapse, current theories give either non-ecological or ecological explanations.

Non-ecological theories of Maya decline are divided into several subcategories, such as overpopulation, foreign invasion, peasant revolt, and the collapse of key trade routes. Ecological hypotheses include environmental disaster, epidemic disease, and climate change. There is evidence that the Maya population exceeded carrying capacity of the environment including exhaustion of agricultural potential and overhunting of mega fauna. Some scholars have recently theorized that an intense 200 year drought led to the collapse of Maya civilization. The drought theory originated from research performed by physical scientists studying lake beds, ancient pollen, and other data, not from the archaeological community.

Political structures

A typical Classic Maya polity was a small hierarchical state (ajawil, ajawlel, or ajawlil) headed by a hereditary ruler known as an ajaw (later k’uhul ajaw). Such kingdoms were usually no more than a capital city with its neighborhood and several lesser towns, although there were greater kingdoms, which controlled larger territories and extended patronage over smaller polities. Each kingdom had a name that did not necessarily correspond to any locality within its territory. Its identity was that of a political unit associated with a particular ruling dynasty. For instance, the archaeological site of Naranjo was the capital of the kingdom of Saal. The land of the kingdom and its capital were called Wakab’nal or Maxam and were part of a larger geographical entity known as Huk Tsuk. Interestingly, despite constant warfare and eventual shifts in regional power, most kingdoms never disappeared from the political landscape until the collapse of the whole system in the 9th century AD. In this respect, Classic Maya kingdoms are highly similar to late Post Classic polities encountered by the Spaniards in Yucatán and Central Mexico: some polities could be subordinated to hegemonic rulers through conquests or dynastic unions and yet even then they persisted as distinct entities.


Maya architecture spans many thousands of years; yet, often the most dramatic and easily recognizable as Maya are the stepped pyramids from the Terminal Pre-classic period and beyond. There are also cave sites that are important to the Maya. These cave sites include Jolja Cave, the cave site at Naj Tunich, the Candelaria Caves, and the Cave of the Witch. There are also cave-origin myths among the Maya. Some cave sites are still used by the modern Maya in the Chiapas highlands.

Through observation of the numerous consistent elements and stylistic distinctions, remnants of Maya architecture have become an important key to understanding the evolution of their ancient civilization.


The Maya believed in a cyclical nature of time. The rituals and ceremonies were very closely associated with celestial and terrestrial cycles which they observed and inscribed as separate calendars. The Maya priest had the job of interpreting these cycles and giving a prophetic outlook on the future or past based on the number relations of all their calendars. They also had to determine if the heavens were propitious for performing certain religious ceremonies.

The Maya practiced human sacrifice. In some Maya rituals people were killed by having their arms and legs held while a priest cut the person’s chest open and tore out his heart as an offering. This is depicted on ancient objects such as pictorial texts, known as codices. It is believed that children were often offered as sacrificial victims because they were believed to be pure.

Much of the Maya religious tradition is still not understood by scholars, but it is known that the Maya believed that the cosmos had three major planes, the Earth, the underworld beneath and the heavens above.

Qno26. How did the inkas preserve their food?  OR. What role did Mitmaq play in economic life of the Inkas.

Ans: The Inka or Inca civilization began as a tribe in the Cuzco area, where the legendary first Sapa Inca, Manco Capac founded the Kingdom of Cuzco around 1200. Under the leadership of the descendants of Manco Capac, the Inca state grew to absorb other Andean communities. In 1442, the Incas began a far-reaching expansion under the command of Patchacuti. He founded the Inca Empire (Tawantinsuyu), which became the largest empire in pre-Columbian America.

The empire was split by a civil war to decide who would be Inca Hanan and who would be Inca Hurin (Hanan and Hurin represent the families of the higher parts of the city (Hanan) and those of the lower parts (Hurin) it is believed that one of the brothers was from Hanan Cuzco and the other from Hurin Cuzco as they were part of the family of their mothers), which pitted the brothers Huascar and Atahualpa against each other. In 1533, Spanish Conquistadores led by Francisco Pizarro, took advantage of this situation and conquered much of the existing Inca territory. In succeeding years, the invaders consolidated power over the whole Andean region, repressing successive Inca resistance and culminating in the establishment of the Viceroyalty of Perú in 1542. The militant phase of Inca liberation movements ended with the fall of resistance in Vilcabamba during 1573. Though indigenous sovereignty was lost, Inca cultural traditions remain strong among surviving indigenous descendants, such as the Quechua and Aymara people.


According to myth, Incan civilization began with Manco Capac, who carried a golden staff called the ‘tapac-yauri’. The Inca were instructed to create a Temple of the Sun in the spot where the staff sank into the earth, to honor their celestial father. After a long journey, including a tour of the underworld, the Inca arrived at Cuzco, where they built the temple. During the journey, one of Manco’s brothers, and possibly a sister, was turned to stone (huaca) = “sacred/holy”. In another version of this legend, instead of emerging from a cave in Cuzco, the siblings emerged from the waters of Lake Titicaca.


In Cuzco in 1589, Don Mancio Serra de Leguisamo — the last survivor of the original conquerors of Peru — wrote in the preamble of his will not without exaggeration, the following (in parts):

We found these kingdoms in such good order, and the said Incas governed them in such wise [manner] that throughout them there was not a thief, nor a vicious man, nor an adulterous, nor were a bad woman admitted among them, nor were there immoral people. The men had honest and useful occupations

Politics and government

The Inca Empire was separated into four sections together known as ‘Ttahuantin-suyu’ or “land of the four quarters” each ruled by a governor or viceroy called ‘Apu-cuna’ under the leadership on the central ‘Sapa Inca’. Cuzco was the central capital of the Inca Empire from where the Sapa Inca ruled. According to the oral traditions of the Inca the empire was ruled by 14 kings in succession. The earliest kings are likely either local leaders of ayllus around Cuzco or possibly mythical figures.


While the Inca often tolerated or incorporated the religions of their conquered ayllus they also imposed a state religion upon them. The Inca empire was a theocracy in which the Inca king, Sapa Inca, was the descendant of Inti, the sun god. The Inca required tribute, especially before and after battle, to certain gods. Regular and general festivals punctuated the labors of the empire’s subjects with food drink and entertainments. Inti Raymi, the festival of the sun god, lasted nine nights, during which Sapa Inca would provide Aqhachicha, a maize beer, to first Into, then himself, then the nobles, and finally to all people who attended.


The Inca used quipu (bundled knotted strings), for accounting and census purposes. Much of the information on the surviving quipus has been shown to be numeric data; some numbers seem to have been used as mnemonic labels, and the color, spacing, and structure of the quipu carried information as well. How to interpret the coded or non-numeric data remains unknown. However, some scholars still harbor hope that quipus recorded spoken language like a writing system.

Despite accounts kept on quipus, the Inca depended on oral transmission to maintain and preserve their culture. Inca education was divided into two distinct categories: vocational education for common Inca, and formalized training for the nobility.

Monumental architecture

Inca architecture was by far the most important of the Inca arts, with pottery and textiles reflecting motifs that were at their height in architecture. The main example is the capital city of Cuzco. The breathtaking site of Machu Picchu was constructed by Inca engineers. The Inca constructed stone temples without using mortars yet the stones fit together so well that one could not fit a knife through the stonework. The rocks used in construction were sculpted to fit together exactly by repeatedly lowering a rock onto another and carving away any sections on the lower rock where the dust was compressed. The tight fit and the concavity on the lower rocks made them extraordinarily stable.

Qno27. Write a note on the Aztec civilization.

Ans: The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period referred to as the late post-classic period in Mesoamerican chronology.

Often the term “Aztec” refers exclusively to the Mexica people of Tenochtitlan, situated on an island in Lake Texcoco, who referred to themselves as Mexica Tenochca or Colhua-Mexica. Sometimes the term also includes the inhabitants of Tenochtitlan’s two principal allied city-states, the Acolhuas of Texcoco and the Tepanecs of Tlacopan, who together with the Mexica formed the Aztec Triple Alliance which has also become known as the “Aztec Empire”.

In other contexts, Aztec may refer to all the various city states and their peoples, who shared large parts of their ethnic history as well as many important cultural traits with the Mexica, Acolhua and Tepanecs, and who like them, also spoke the Nahuatl language. In this meaning it is possible to talk about an Aztec civilization including all the particular cultural patterns common for the Nahuatl speaking peoples of the late post classic period in Mesoamerica.


The Aztec economy can be divided into a political sector, under the control of nobles and kings, and a commercial sector that operated independently of the political sector. The political sector of the economy centered on the control of land and labor by kings and nobles. Nobles owned all land, and commoners got access to farmland and other fields through a variety of arrangements, from rental through sharecropping to serf-like labor and slavery. These payments from commoners to nobles supported both the lavish lifestyles of the high nobility and the finances of city-states. Many luxury goods were produced for consumption by nobles. The producers of feather work, sculptures, jewelry, and other luxury items were full-time commoner specialists who worked for noble patrons. In the commercial sector of the economy several types of money were in regular use. Small purchases were made with cacao beans, which had to be imported from lowland areas.

Mythology and religion

The Mexica made reference to at least two manifestations of the supernatural: tēōtl and teixiptla. Teotl, which the Spaniards and European scholars routinely mistranslated as “god” or “demon”, referred rather to an impersonal force that permeated the world. Teixiptla, by contrast, denoted the physical representations (“idols”, statues and figurines) of the tootle as well as the human cultic activity surrounding this physical representation. The Mexica “gods” themselves had no existence as distinct entities apart from these teixiptla representations of tootle (Boone 1989).

Veneration of Huitzilopochtli, the personification of the sun and of war, was central to the religious, social and political practices of the Mexicas. Huitzilopochtli attained this central position after the founding of Tenochtitlan and the formation of the Mexica city-state society in the 14th century. Prior to this, Huitzilopochtli was associated primarily with hunting, presumably one of the important subsistence activities of the itinerant bands that would eventually become the Mexica.

According to their own history, when the Mexicas arrived in the Anahuac valley (Valley of Mexico) around Lake Texcoco, the groups living there considered them uncivilized. The Mexicas borrowed much of their culture from the ancient Toltec whom they seem to have at least partially confused with the more ancient civilization of Teotihuacan. To the Mexicas, the Toltecs were the originators of all culture; “Toltecayōtl” was a synonym for culture. Mexica legends identify the Toltecs and the cult of Quetzalcoatl with the mythical city of Tollan, which they also identified with the more ancient Teotihuacan.


Until the age of fourteen, the education of children was in the hands of their parents, but supervised by the authorities of their calpōlli. Part of this education involved learning a collection of sayings, called huēhuetlàtolli (“sayings of the old”), that embodied the Aztecs’ ideals. Judged by their language, most of the huēhuetlatolli seemed to have evolved over several centuries, predating the Aztecs and most likely adopted from other Nahua cultures.

There were two types of schools: the telpochcalli, for practical and military studies, and the calmecac, for advanced learning in writing, astronomy, statesmanship, theology, and other areas. The two institutions seem to be common to the Nahua people, leading some experts to suggest that they are older than the Aztec culture.

Aztec teachers (tlatimine) propounded a spartan regime of education with the purpose of forming a stoical people.

Girls were educated in the crafts of home and child rising. They were not taught to read or write. All women were taught to be involved in religion; there are paintings of women presiding over religious ceremonies, but there are no references to female priests.

Qno28. Write a brief account of the history of Africa. OR. Trade was the mainstay of the state formation in West Africa. Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer.  OR. Give a brief account of the nature of kingship and government in Egypt.  OR. Discuss in brief the economy of the region of South Africa.

Ans: Africa is the world’s second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² (11.7 million sq mi) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth’s total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area. With a billion people in 61 territories, it accounts for about 14.72% of the World’s human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, both the Suez Canal and the Red Sea along the Sinai Peninsula to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent has 54 states, including Madagascar, various island groups, and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, a member state of the African Union whose statehood is disputed by Morocco.

Africa, particularly central eastern Africa, is widely regarded within the scientific community to be the origin of humans and the Hominidae clade (great apes), as evidenced by the discovery of the earliest hominids and their ancestors, as well as later ones that have been dated to around seven million years ago – including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Australopithecus Africans, A. aphaeresis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster – with the earliest Homo sapiens (modern human) found in Ethiopia being dated to ca. 200,000 years ago.

Africa straddles the equator and encompasses numerous climate areas; it is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones.

History of North Africa

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North Africa is a relatively thin strip of land between the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean, stretching from Moroccan Atlantic coast to Egypt. The region comprises the modern countries, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Libya and Egypt. The history of the region is a mix of influences from many distinct cultures. The development of sea travel firmly brought the region into the Mediterranean world, especially during the classical period. In the first millennium AD the Sahara became an equally important area for trade as the camel caravans brought goods and people from the south. The region also has a small but crucial land link to the Middle East, and that area has also played a central role in the history of North Africa.

The earliest known hominids in North Africa arrived around 200,000 BC. Through most of the Stone Age the climate in the region was very different than today, the Sahara being far moister and savanna like. Home to herds of large mammals, this area could support a large hunter-gatherer population and the Aterian culture that developed was one of the most advanced Paleolithic societies.

In the Mesolithic, the Capsian culture dominated the region with Neolithic farmers becoming predominant by 6000 BC. Over this period, the Sahara region was steadily drying, creating a barrier between North Africa and the rest of the African continent.

The Nile Valley on the Eastern edge of North Africa is one of the richest agricultural areas in the world. The desiccation of the Sahara is believed to have increased the population density in the Nile Valley and large cities developed. Eventually Ancient Egypt unified in one of the world’s first civilizations.

Classical period

The expanse of the Libyan Desert cut Egypt off from the rest of North Africa. Egyptian boats, while well suited to the Nile, was not usable in the open Mediterranean. Moreover the Egyptian merchant had far more prosperous destinations on Crete, Cyprus and the Levant.

Greeks from Europe and the Phoenicians from Asia also settled along the coast of Northern Africa. Both societies drew their prosperity from the sea and from ocean-born trade. They found only limited trading opportunities with the native inhabitants, and instead turned to colonization. The Greek trade was based mainly in the Aegean, Adriatic, Black, and Red Seas and they only established major cities in Cyrenaica, directly to the south of Greece. In 332 BC, Alexander the Great conquered Egypt and for the next three centuries it was ruled by the Greek Ptolemaic dynasty.

The Phoenicians developed an even larger presence in North Africa with colonies from Tripoli to the Atlantic. One of the most important Phoenician cities was Carthage, which grew into one of the greatest powers in the region. At the height of its power, Carthage controlled the Western Mediterranean and most of North Africa outside of Egypt. However, Rome, Carthage’s major rival to the north, defeated it in a series of wars known as the Punic Wars, resulting in Carthage’s destruction in 146 BC and the annexation of its empire by the Romans. In 30 BC, Roman Emperor Octavian conquered Egypt, officially annexing it to the Empire and, for the first time, unifying the North African coast under a single ruler.

The Carthaginian power had penetrated deep into the Sahara ensuring the quiescence of the nomadic tribes in the region. The Roman Empire was more confined to the coast, yet routinely expropriated Berber land for Roman farmers. They thus faced a constant threat from the south. A network of forts and walls were established on the southern frontier, eventually securing the region well enough for local garrisons to control it without broader Imperial support.

When the Roman Empire began to collapse, North Africa was spared much of the disruption until the Vandal invasion of 429 AD. The Vandals ruled in North Africa until the territories were regained by Justinian of the Eastern Empire in the 6th century. Egypt was never invaded by the Vandals because there was a thousand mile buffer of desert.

History of West Africa

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The partial history of West Africa can be divided into five major periods:

  1. Its prehistory, in which the first human settlers arrived, agriculture developed, and contact made with the Mediterranean civilizations to the north.
  2. The Iron Age empires that consolidated trade and developed centralized states.
  3. The slave-trading kingdoms, jihads, and colonial invaders of the eighteenth and nineteenth
  4. The colonial period, in which France and Great Britain controlled nearly the whole of the region.
  5. The post-independence era, in which the current nations were formed.


Archaeological studies at Mejiro Cave have found that early human settlers had arrived in West Africa around 12,000 B.C.E. Microlithic stone industries have been found primarily in the region of the Savannah where pastoral tribes existed using chiseled stone blades and spears. The tribesmen of Guinea and the forested regions of the coast were without microliths for thousands of years, but prospered using bone tools and other means. In the fifth millennium, as the ancestors of modern West Africans began entering the area, the development of sedentary farming began to take place in West Africa, with evidences of domesticated cattle having been found for this period, along with limited cereal crops. Around 3000 BCE, a major change began to take place in West African society, with microliths becoming more common in the Sahel region, with the invention of primitive harpoons and fish-hooks.

Ancient West Africa included the Sahara, as the Sahara only became a desert in around 3000 BCE (see Sahara).

A major migration of Sahel cattle farmers took place in the third millennium BCE, and the pastoralists encountered the developed hunter-gatherers of the Guinea region. Flint was considerably more available there and made the use of microliths in hunting far easier. The migration of the Sahel farmers was likely caused by the final desiccation of the Sahara desert in this millennium, which contributed greatly to West Africa’s isolation from cultural and technological phenomena in Europe and the Mediterranean Coast of Africa.

Iron industry, in both smelting and forging for tools and weapons, appeared in Sub-Saharan Africa by 1200 BCE. The increased use of iron and the spread of ironworking technology led to improved weaponry and enabled farmers to expand agricultural productivity and produce surplus crops, which together supported the growth of urban city-states into empires.

By 400 BCE, contact had been made with the Mediterranean civilizations, including that of Carthage, and a regular trade in gold being conducted with the Sahara Berbers, as noted by Herodotus. The trade was fairly small until the camel was introduced, with Mediterranean goods being found in pits as far south as Northern Nigeria. A profitable trade had developed by which West Africans exported gold, cotton cloth, metal ornaments, and leather goods north across the trans-Saharan trade routes, in exchange for copper, horses, salt, textiles, and beads. Later, ivory, slaves, and kola nuts were added to the trade.

History of Southern Africa

The region of South Africa was inhabited by different communities. A few of these communities were fully pastoralits while some were involved informing. The History of Africa commences with the first emergence of Homo sapiens in East Africa, continuing into its modern present as a patchwork of diverse and politically developing nation states.

The History of Africa has been a challenge for researchers in the field of African studies due to the scarcity of written sources in large parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. Scholarly techniques such as the recording of oral history, historical linguistics, archeology and genetics have been crucial.

According to paleontology, early hominid skull anatomy was similar to their close cousins, the great African forest apes, gorilla and chimpanzee but they had adopted a bipedal locomotion and freed hands, giving them a crucial advantage, as this enabled them to live in both forested areas and on the open savanna at a time when Africa was drying up, with savanna encroaching on forested areas. This occurred 10 million to 5 million years ago.

By 3 million years ago several australopithecine (southern ape) hominid species had developed throughout Southern, Eastern and Central Africa. They were tool users not makers of tools. They scavenged for meat and were omnivores.

By approximately 2.3 million BC primitive stone tools were first used to scavenge kills made by other predators, and harvest carrion for their bones and marrow. In hunting, Homo habilis was probably not capable of competing with large predators, and was still more prey than hunter, although Homo habilis probably did steal eggs from nests, and may have been able to catch small game, and weakened larger prey (cubs and older animals). The tools were classed as Oldowan.

Around 1.8 million years ago Homo ergaster first appeared in the fossil record in Africa. From Homo ergaster, [Homo erectus] (upright man) evolved 1.5 million years. Some of the earlier representatives of this species were still fairly small brained and used primitive stone tools, much like H. habilis. The brain later grew in size and H. erectus eventually developed a more complex stone tool technology called the Acheulean. Possibly the first hunters, H. erectus mastered the art of making fire, and were the first hominids to leave Africa, colonizing the entire Old World, and perhaps later giving rise to Homo floresiensis. Although some recent writers suggest that H. georgicus, a H. habilis descendant, was the first and most primitive hominid to ever live outside Africa, many scientists consider H. georgicus to be an early and primitive member of the H. erectus species.

The fossil record shows Homo sapiens living in southern and eastern Africa at least 100,000 and possibly 150,000 years ago. Around 40,000 years ago, their expansion out of Africa launched the colonization of our planet by modern human-beings. By 10,000 BC, Homo erectus has spread to all corners of the world Their migration is indicated by linguistic, cultural and (increasingly) computer-analyzed genetic evidence.

Qno29. Write a short note on the nature of Nomadic Empires.  OR. Discuss the geographic features of the regions from where the Nomadic migrations started.  OR. Give a brief account of the pattern of migration from the steppes.  OR. Distinguish between Nomadism as a stage of development in evolution of civilizations and as an alternate social formation.

Ans: searchNomadic Empires, sometimes also called Steppe Empires, Central or Inner Asian Empires, are the empires erected by the bow wielding, horse riding, Eurasian nomads, from Classical Antiquity (Scythia) to the Early Modern era (Dzungars).

Not all nomadic cultures were able to erect empires. Warrior peoples like the Cimmerians, Avars, Magyars, Pechenegs and Kipchaks have conquered vast areas and founded kingdoms but did not subjugate other nations in order to be considered as empires. The Comanche’s and other Native American horse cultures ruled large areas, but never produced any sort of state apparatus.

The Nomadic Empires were essentially weak in terms of economy. This is so because the nomadic economy is in inherently weak in terms of economic strength. The nomad economy requires an infusion of resources from time to time sustain the political structure that it strives to construct.

Xiongnu Empire

The Xiongnu were a confederation of nomadic tribes from Central Asia with a ruling class of unknown origin and other subjugated tribes. They lived on the steppes north of China between the 3rd century and the 460s, their territories including modern day Mongolia, southern Siberia, western Manchuria, and the modern Chinese provinces of Inner Mongolia, Gansu, and Xinjiang. Relations between early Chinese exchanges of tribute and trade, and marriage treaties. They were considered so dangerous and disruptive that the Qin Dynasty ordered the construction of the Great Wall to protect China from Xiongnu attacks.

Hunnic Empire

The Huns were a confederation of Eurasian tribes from the Steppes of Central Asia. Appearing from beyond the Volga River some years after the middle of the 4th century, they conquered all of eastern Europe, ending up at the border of the Roman Empire in the south, and advancing far into modern day Germany in the north. Their appearance in Europe brought with it great ethnic and political upheaval and may have stimulated the Great Migration. The empire reached its largest size under Attila between 447 and 453.

Rouran Empire

The Rouran, Juan Juan, or Ruru were a confederation of nomadic tribes on the northern borders of China from the late 4th century until the late 6th century. They controlled the area of Mongolia from the Manchurian border to Turpan and, perhaps, the east coast of Lake Balkhash, and from the Orkhon River to the China Proper.

Uyghur Empire

The Uyghur Empire was a Turkic empire that existed in present day Mongolia and surrounding areas for about a century between the mid 8th and 9th centuries. It was a tribal confederation under the Orkhon Uyghur nobility. It was established by Özmish Khan in 744, taking advantage of the power vacuum in the region after the fall of the Gökturk Empire. It collapsed after a Kyrgyz invasion in 840.

Mongol Empire

The Mongol Empire was the largest contiguous land empire in history at its peak, with an estimated population of over 100 million people. The Mongol Empire was founded by Genghis Khan in 1206, and at its height, it encompassed the majority of the territories from Southeast Asia to Eastern Europe.

After unifying the Mongol–Turkic tribes, the Empire expanded through conquests throughout continental Eurasia. During its existence, the Pax Mongolica facilitated cultural exchange and trade on the Silk Route between the East, West, and the Middle East in the period of the 13th and 14th centuries.

After the death of Möngke Khan in 1259, the empire split into four parts (Yuan Dynasty, Il-Khans, Chagatai Khanate and Golden Horde), each of which was ruled by its own Khan, though the Yuan rulers had nominal title of Khagan. After the disintegration of the western khanates and the fall of the Yuan Dynasty in China in 1368, the empire finally broke up.

Timurid Empire

The Timurids, self-designated Gurkānī, were a Turko-Mongol dynasty, established by the warlord Timur in 1370 and lasting until 1506. At its zenith, the Timurid Empire included the whole of Central Asia, Iran and modern Afghanistan, as well as large parts of Mesopotamia and the Caucasus.

Nomadic migration

Nomadic migration is the movement of animals not between known areas, but it looks to us more like wandering. Grazing animals will move across larger expanses as the grasses get eaten and they travel to greener pastures. Nomadic Migration is when a group of nomads (people who do not live in a permanent home) move. They move according to season, animal herds, or due to movement of other resources so that they live. A good example would be the Plains Indians who followed buffalo herds.

Qno30. Give a brief account of social structure in the Late Roman World. What was the attitude of state and Roman people towards religion?  OR. Discuss the Growth of Christianity in the Roman World. What was the attitude of the state towards it.  OR discuss in brief the extent of the Roman World till the 3rd century A, D. OR. Give a brief account of the state and administration in the late Roman Empire.

Ans: The Roman Empire was the post-Republican phase of the ancient Roman civilization, characterized by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean. The term is used to describe the Roman state during and after the time of the first emperor, Augustus.

The Roman Republic, which preceded it, had been weakened and subverted through several civil wars. Several events are commonly proposed to mark the transition from Republic to Empire, including Julius Caesar’s appointment as perpetual dictator (44 BC), the Battle of Actium (2 September 31 BC), and the Roman Senate’s granting to Octavian the honorific Augustus (4 January 27 BC). Roman expansion began in the days of the Republic, but reached its zenith under Emperor Trajan. In the late 3rd century AD, Diocletian established the practice of dividing authority between four co-emperors, in order to better secure the vast territory. During the following decades the empire was often divided along an East/West axis. After the death of Theodosius I in 395 it was divided for the last time.

The Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476 as Romulus Augustus was forced to abdicate by Odoacer. The Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire endured until 1453 with the death of Constantine XI and the capture of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks led by Mehmed II.


In theory, the emperor and the senate were two equal branches of government, but the actual authority of the senate was negligible and it was largely a vehicle through which the emperor disguised his autocratic powers under a cloak of republicanism. Still prestigious and respected, the Senate was largely a glorified rubber stamp institution which had been stripped of most of its powers, and was largely at the emperor’s mercy.

Many emperors showed a certain degree of respect towards this ancient institution, while others were notorious for ridiculing it. During senate meetings, the emperor sat between the two consuls, and usually acted as the presiding officer. Higher ranking senators spoke before lower ranking senators, although the emperor could speak at any time. By the third century, the senate had been reduced to a glorified municipal body.

Military Legions

During and after the civil war, Octavian reduced the huge number of the legions (over 60) to a much more manageable and affordable size (28). Several legions, particularly those with doubtful loyalties, were simply disbanded. Other legions were amalgamated, a fact suggested by the title Gemina (Twin).

In AD 9, Germanic tribes wiped out three full legions in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. This disastrous event reduced the number of the legions to 25. The total of the legions would later be increased again and for the next 300 years always be a little above or below 30.

Augustus also created the Praetorian Guard: nine cohorts ostensibly to maintain the public peace which were garrisoned in Italy. Better paid than the legionaries, the Praetorians also served less time; instead of serving the standard 25 years of the legionaries, they retired after 16 years of service.


While the Auxillia (Latin: auxilia = supports) are not as famous as the legionaries, they were of major importance. Unlike the legionaries, the auxilia were recruited from among the non-citizens. Organized in smaller units of roughly cohort strength, they were paid less than the legionaries, and after 25 years of service were rewarded with Roman citizenship, also extended to their sons. According to Tacitus  there were roughly as many auxiliaries as there were legionaries. Since at this time there were 25 legions of around 5,000 men each, the auxilia thus amounted to around 125,000 men, implying approximately 250 auxiliary regiments.


The Roman Navy (Latin: Classis lit. “Fleet”) not only aided in the supply and transport of the legions, but also helped in the protection of the frontiers in the rivers Rhine and Danube. Another of its duties was the protection of the very important maritime trade routes against the threat of pirates. Therefore it patrolled the whole of the Mediterranean, parts of the North Atlantic (coasts of Hispania, Gaul, and Britannia), and had also a naval presence in the Black Sea. Nevertheless the army was considered the senior and more prestigious branch.


While Judaism was largely accepted, it was on occasion subject to (mostly) local persecution.

Until the rebellion in Judea in AD 66, Jews were generally protected. To get around Roman laws banning secret societies and to allow their freedom of worship, Julius Caesar declared Synagogues were colleges. Tiberius forbade Judaism in Rome but they quickly returned to their former protected status. Claudius expelled Jews from the city however the passage of Suetonius is ambiguous: “Because the Jews at Rome caused continuous disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus he [Claudius] expelled them from the city”. Chrestus has been identified as another form of Christus; the disturbances may have been related to the arrival of the first Christians, and that the Roman authorities, failing to distinguish between the Jews and the early Christians, simply decided to expel them all.


Christianity, originally a Jewish religious sect, emerged in Roman Judea in the first century AD. The religion gradually spread out of Judea, initially establishing major bases in first Antioch, then Alexandria, and over time throughout the Empire. For the first two centuries, the imperial authorities largely viewed Christianity simply as a Jewish sect rather than a distinct religion. Suetonius mentions passingly that: “[during Nero’s reign] Punishments were also inflicted on the Christians, a sect professing a new and mischievous religious belief” but he does not explain for what they were punished.

Persecution of Christians would be a recurring theme in the Empire for the next two centuries. Eusebius and Lactantius document the last great persecution of the Christians under Diocletian at the beginning of the 4th century at the urging of Galerius. This was the most vicious persecution of Christians in the Empire’s history.

As the 4th century progressed, Christianity had become so widespread that it became officially tolerated, then promoted (Constantine I), and in 380 established as the Empire’s official religion (Theodosius I). By the 5th century Christianity had become the Empire’s predominant religion rapidly changing the Empire’s identity even as the Western provinces collapsed. This would lead to the persecution of the traditional polytheistic religions that had previously characterized most of the Empire.


The imperial government was, as all governments, interested in the issue and control of the currency in circulation. To mint coins was a political act: the image of the ruling emperor appeared on most issues, and coins were a means of showing his image throughout the empire. Also featured were predecessors, empresses, other family members, and heirs apparent. By issuing coins with the image of an heir his legitimacy and future succession was proclaimed and reinforced. Political messages and imperial propaganda such as proclamations of victory and acknowledgements of loyalty also appeared in certain issues.

Legally only the emperor and the Senate had the authority to mint coins inside the empire. However the authority of the Senate was mainly in name only. In general, the imperial government issued gold and silver coins while the Senate issued bronze coins marked by the legend “SC”, short for Senates Consulto “by decree of the Senate”. However, bronze coinage could be struck without this legend. Some Greek cities were allowed to mint bronze and certain silver coins, which today are known as Greek Imperials (also Roman Colonials or Roman Provincials). The imperial mints were under the control of a chief financial minister, and the provincial mints were under the control of the imperial provincial procurators. The Senatorial mints were governed by officials of the Senatorial treasury.

Crisis of the Third Century and the later emperors (235–395)

The Crisis of the Third Century is a commonly applied name for the crumbling and near collapse of the Roman Empire between 235 and 284. During this time, 25 emperors reigned, and the empire experienced extreme military, political, and economic crises. Additionally, in 251, the Plague of Cyprian broke out, causing large-scale mortality which may have seriously affected the ability of the Empire to defend itself. This period ended with the accession of Diocletian, who reigned from 284 until 305, and who solved many of the acute problems experienced during this crisis.

However, the core problems would remain and cause the eventual destruction of the western empire. Diocletian saw the vast empire as ungovernable, and therefore split the empire in half and created two equal emperors to rule under the title of Augustus. In doing so, he effectively created what would become the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire. In 293 authorities was further divided, as each Augustus took a junior Emperor called a Caesar to provide a line of succession. This constituted what is now known as the Tetrarchy (“rule of four”). The transitions of this period mark the beginnings of Late Antiquity.

Western Roman Empire (395–476)

After 395, the emperors in the Western Roman Empire were usually figureheads, while the actual rulers were military strongmen. The year 476 is generally accepted as the formal end of the Western Roman Empire. That year, Orestes refused the request of Germanic mercenaries in his service for lands in Italy. The dissatisfied mercenaries, led by Odoacer, revolted, and deposed the last western emperor, Romulus Augustus. This event has traditionally been considered the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

The Empire became gradually less Romanised and increasingly Germanic in nature: although the Empire buckled under Visigothic assault, the overthrow of the last Emperor Romulus Augustus was carried out by federated Germanic troops from within the Roman army rather than by foreign troops. In this sense had Odoacer not renounced the title of Emperor and named himself “King of Italy” instead, the Empire might have continued in name. Its identity, however, was no longer Roman—it was increasingly populated and governed by Germanic peoples long before 476.

The Roman people were by the fifth century “bereft of their military ethos” and the Roman army itself a mere supplement to federated troops of Goths, Huns, Franks and others fighting on their behalf. Many theories have been advanced in explanation of the decline of the Roman Empire, and many dates given for its fall, from the onset of its decline in the third century to the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

Eastern Roman Empire (476–1453)

As the Western Roman Empire declined during the 5th century, the richer Eastern Roman Empire would be relieved of much destruction, and in the mid 6th century the Eastern Roman Empire (generally today called the Byzantine Empire) under the emperor Justinian I reconquered Italy and parts of Illyria from the Ostrogoths, North Africa from the Vandals, and southern Hispania from the Visigoths. The recon quest of southern Hispania was somewhat ephemeral, but North Africa served the Byzantines for another century, parts of Italy for another five centuries, and parts of Illyria even longer.

Of the many accepted dates for the end of the classical Roman state, the latest is 610. This is when the Emperor Heraclius made sweeping reforms, forever changing the face of the empire. Greek was readopted as the language of government and Latin influence waned. By 610, the Eastern Roman Empire had come under definite Greek influence, and could be considered to have become what many modern historians now call the Byzantine Empire. However, the Empire was never called thus by its inhabitants, who used terms such as Romania, Basileia Romaion or Pragmata Romaion, meaning “Land of the Romans” or “Kingdom of the Romans”, and who still saw themselves as Romans, and their state as the rightful continuation of the ancient empire of Rome.

Following the rise of the Islam in the 7th century, the Empire lost most of its lands to the Arab-Islamic Caliphate during the Byzantine-Arab Wars, reducing Byzantine lands to the Balkans and western Anatolia. The sack of Constantinople at the hands of the Fourth Crusade in 1204 is sometimes used to date the end of Eastern Roman Empire: the destruction of Constantinople and most of its ancient treasures, total discontinuity of leadership, and the division of its lands into rival states with a Catholic-controlled “Emperor” in Constantinople itself was a blow from which the Empire never fully recovered.

Barracks and Illyrian emperors (235-284) and Dominate (284–395)

Although the exact historicity is unclear, some mix of Germanic peoples, Celts, and tribes of mixed Celto-Germanic ethnicity were settled in the lands of Germania from the first century onwards. The essential problem of large tribal groups on the frontier remained much the same as the situation Rome faced in earlier centuries; the third century saw a marked increase in the overall threat.

The assembled warbands of the Alamanni frequently crossed the border, attacking Germania Superior such that they were almost continually engaged in conflicts with the Roman Empire. However, their first major assault deep into Roman territory did not come until 268. In that year the Romans were forced to denude much of their German frontier of troops in response to a massive invasion by another new Germanic tribal confederacy, the Goths, from the east. The pressure of tribal groups pushing into the Empire was the end result of a chain of migrations with its roots far to the east.

Qno31. Trace the advent of Islam and its impact on society in Arabia. OR. How Umayyads succeeded in establishing centralized rule? Why Umayyad dynasty declined. OR. How Umar consolidated the Islamic state. OR. Why were the powerful tribes of Mecca opposed to the masseage of Prophet Muhammad ?  OR. How Prophet Muhammadsaw succeeded in establishing his control over Mecca.  OR. Write short note on the conflict between Husayn Umayyads.


The Arab World refers to Arabic-speaking countries stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the east, and from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean in the southeast. It consists of 25 countries and territories with a combined population of 358 million people straddling North Africa and Western Asia.

The Arab World in context with the spread of Islam in the Arabian peninsula and outside it. The rise of Islam brought about a change in state and society. The predominately Bedouin tribe structures transformed into Islamic state and society. After Prohets death the period of first four Caliphs witnessed the consolidation of polity.


The term caliphate refers to the first system of governance established in Islam, and represented the political authority and unity of the Muslim Ummah. It was initially led by Muhammad’s disciples as a continuation of the political authority the prophet established, known as the ‘Rashidun Caliphate’. It represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah, not the theological unity as this was a personal matter, and was the world’s first major welfare state. A “caliphate” is also a state which implements such a government.

Sunni Islam dictates that the head of state, the caliph, should be selected by Shura – elected by Muslims or their representatives. Followers of Shia Islam believe the caliph should be an imam descended in a line from the Ahl al-Bayt. After the Rashidun period until 1924, caliphates, sometimes two at a single time, real and illusory, were ruled by dynasties. The first dynasty was the Umayyad. This was followed by the Abbasid, the Fatimid, and finally the Ottoman Dynasty.


Under the Umayyads the Caliphate grew rapidly in territory. Islamic rule expanded westward across North Africa and into Hispania and eastward through Persia and ultimately to the ancient lands of Indus Valley, in modern day Pakistan, and Abhisara, present-day Kashmir. This made it one of the largest unitary states in history and one of the few states to ever extend direct rule over three continents (Africa, Europe, and Asia). Although not ruling all of the Sahara, homage was paid to the Caliph by Saharan Africa, usually via various nomad Berber tribes. However, it should be noted that, although these vast areas may have recognized the supremacy of the Caliph, de facto power was in the hands of locals sultans and emirs.

There were numerous rebellions against the Umayyads, as well as splits within the Umayyad ranks (notably, the rivalry between Yaman and Qays). Eventually, supporters of the Banu Hashim and the supporters of the lineage of Ali united to bring down the Umayyads in 750. However, the Shi at Ali, “the Party of Ali”, were again disappointed when the Abbasid dynasty took power, as the Abbasids were descended from Muhammad’s uncle, `Abbas ibn `Abd al-Muttalib and not from Ali. Following this disappointment, the Shiˤat ˤAlī finally split from the majority Sunni Muslims and formed what are today the several Shiˤa denominations.

End of the Caliphate

On March 3, 1924, the first President of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, as part of his reforms, constitutionally abolished the institution of the Caliphate. Its powers within Turkey were transferred to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, the parliament of the newly formed Turkish Republic. The title was then taken up by King Hussein bin Ali of Hejaz, leader of the Arab Revolt, but his kingdom was defeated and annexed by Ibn Saud in 1925. The title has since been inactive.

A summit was convened at Cairo in 1926 to discuss the revival of the Caliphate, but most Muslim countries did not participate and no action was taken to implement the summit’s resolutions.

Though the title Ameer al-Mumineen was adopted by the King of Morocco and by Mullah Mohammed Omar, former head of the now-defunct Taliban regime of Afghanistan, neither claimed any legal standing or authority over Muslims outside the borders of their respective countries. The closest thing to a Caliphate in existence today is the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), an international organization with limited influence founded in 1969 consisting of the governments of most Muslim-majority countries.

Umar Umar ibn al-Khattāb, was the most powerful of the four Rashidun Caliphs and one of the most powerful and influential Muslim rulers. He was a sahabi (companion) of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He succeeded Caliph Abu Bakr (632–634) as the second Caliph of Rashidun Caliphate on 23 August 634. He was an expert jurist and is best known for his justice, that earned him the title Al-Farooq (The one who distinguishes between right and wrong) and his house as Darul Adal (house of justice). Also, Umar was the first Caliph to be called Amir al-Mu’minin (Commander of the Faithful or Prince of the Believers).

Under Umar the Islamic empire expanded at an unprecedented rate ruling the whole Sassanid Persian Empire and more than two thirds of the Eastern Roman Empire. His legislative abilities, his firm political and administrative control over a rapidly expanding empire and his brilliantly coordinated multi-prong attacks against Sassanid Persian Empire that resulted in conquest of Persian empire in less than two years, marked his reputation as a great political and military leader. It was Umar who for the first time in 500 years since expulsion of Jews from the Holy Land allowed them to practice their religion freely and live in Jerusalem.

Religiously a controversial figure in the Muslim world, Umar is regarded by Sunni Muslims as one of four Rashidun or rightly guided caliphs who were true successors of Muhammad; in stark contrast, regarded by Shi’a Muslims as unjust in his usurpation of Ali’s right to the caliphate, indeed as the principal political architect of opposition to Ali.

Ali ibn Abi Ṭalib was the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661. Sunni Muslims consider Ali the fourth and final of the Rashidun (rightly guided Caliphs), while Shi’a Muslims regard Ali as the first Imam and consider him and his descendants the rightful successors to Muhammad, all of which are members of the Ahl al-Bayt, the household of Muhammad. This disagreement split the Muslim community into the Sunni and Shi’a branches.

Most records do indicate that during Muhammad’s time, Ali was the only person born in the Kaaba sanctuary in Mecca, the holiest place in Islam. His father was Abu Talib ibn Abd al-Muttalib and his mother was Fatima bint Asad[1] but he was raised in the household of Muhammad, who himself was raised by Abu Talib, Muhammad’s uncle. When Muhammad reported receiving a divine revelation, Ali was among the first to accept his message, dedicating his life to the cause of Islam.

The Umayyad dynasty was overthrown by another family of Mecca origin, the Abbasids, in 750. The Abbasids had an unbroken line of Caliphs for over three centuries, consolidating Islamic rule and cultivating great intellectual and cultural developments in the Middle East. By 940, however, the power of the Caliphate under the Abbasids was waning as non-Arabs, particularly the Berbers of the Maghrib, the Turks, and later, in the latter half of the 13th century, the Mamluks in Egypt, gained influence, and the various subordinate sultans and emirs became increasingly independent.

However, the Caliphate endured as a symbolic position. During the period of the Abbasid dynasty, Abbasid claims to the caliphate did not go unchallenged. The Shiˤa Ubayd Allah al-Mahdi Billah of the Fatimid dynasty, which claimed descent from Muhammad through his daughter, claimed the title of Caliph in 909, creating a separate line of caliphs in North Africa.

Initially controlling Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, the Fatimid caliphs extended their rule for the next 150 years, taking Egypt and Palestine, before the Abbasid dynasty was able to turn the tide, limiting Fatimid rule to Egypt. The Fatimid dynasty finally ended in 1171. The Umayyad dynasty, which had survived and come to rule over the Muslim provinces of Spain, reclaimed the title of Caliph in 929, lasting until it was overthrown in 1031.

Usman ibn ‘Affān or ‘Uthmān ibn ‘Affān was one of the sahaba (companions of Islamic prophet Muhammad). An early convert to Islam, he played a major role in early Islamic history, most notably as the third Caliph of the Rashidun Empire, prophet’s son-in-law and the compilation of the Uthman was born in Ta’if, which is situated on a hill, and the presumption is that Uthman was born during the summer months, since wealthy Meccans usually spent the hot summers in the cooler climate of Ta’if. He was born into the wealthy Umayyad (Banu Umayya) clan of the Quraysh tribe of Mecca, seven years after Muhammad. Uthman’s father, Affan, died young while traveling abroad but left a large inheritance to Uthman. Uthman followed the same profession as his father, and his business flourished, making him one of the richest men among the Qurayshi tribe.

Qno32. What is the nature of the society and state in ancient China?  OR.  Can the empire be considered as an autocratic head of the Chinese State?  OR. How the bureaucracy in China was unique? What role did it play in running the state? OR. Write short notes on: 1. Speared of Buddhism in China. 2. Family in China.

Ans: China was a vast country of great diversity, and it is not easy to  make generalizations about its traditions and institution. These were by no means stagnant, and evolved considerably over the course of her long history. Nevertheless, one cannot help being struck by the remarkable continuity and coherence of its traditions and institutions, and the way in which they interacted with an reinforced each other.  China is an ancient civilization located in a cultural region and, depending on perspective, a national or multinational entity extending over a large area in East Asia. In 1949, when major combat ended Chinese civil War, two political entities emerged having the term China in their names: the people’s republic of China, established in 1949, commonly known as China, has control over mainland China and the largely self-governing territories of Hong Kong (since 1997) and Macau (since 1999).

Society in China

Society Gold detailing on a throne used by the Qianlong Emperor. The Chinese dragon was a symbol reserved for the Emperor of China or high level imperial families during the Qing Dynasty. China since the three sovereigns & Five Emperors period, some form of Chinese monarch has been the main ruler above all. Different periods of history have different names for the various positions within society.

Conceptually each imperial or feudal period are similar, with the government & military officials ranking high in the hierarchy, & the rest of the population under regular Chinese Law? Since the late Zhon Dynasty (1046-256 BCE), traditional. Chinese society was organized into a hierarchic system of socio-economic classes known as the four occupations. However, this system did not cover all social groups while the distinctions between all groups became blurred ever since the commercialization of Chinese culture in the Song Dynasty (1960-1279CE). Educated candidates prepared for the Imperial examination which & made people get drafted exam graduates into government as scholar bureaucrats. Trades & crafts were usually taught by a shift. Chinese marriage & Taoist sexual practices are some of the customs & rituals found in society.

Religion in China

China is a country with a great diversity of religious beliefs. The main religions are Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism. Citizens of China may freely choose and express their religious beliefs, and make clear their religious affiliations. According to incomplete statistics, there are over 100 million followers of various religious faiths, more than 85,000 sites for religious activities, some 300,000 clergy and over 3,000 religious organizations throughout China. In addition, there are 74 religious schools and colleges run by religious organizations for training clerical personnel.

China has the following national religious organizations: Buddhist Association of China, Taoist Association of China, Islamic Association of China, Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, Chinese Catholic Bishops’ College, Three-Self Patriotic Movement Committee of the Protestant Churches of China, and China Christian Council.

Religious leaders and leading organs of the various religious bodies are selected and ordained in accordance with their own regulations.

Religious organizations in China run their own affairs independently and set up religious schools, publish religious classics and periodicals, and run social services according to their own needs. As in many other countries, China practices the principle of separating religion from education; religion is not a subject taught in schools of the popular education in China,

The “cultural revolution” (1966 to 1976) had a disastrous effect on all aspects of the society in China, including religion. But in the course of correcting the errors of the “cultural revolution” governments at all levels made great efforts to revive and implement the policy of freedom of religious belief, redressed the unjust, false or wrong cases imposed on religious personages, and reopened sites for religious activities.

The various religions in China have become part of the traditional Chinese thinking and culture. It is traditional for Chinese religious believers to love their country and religions.

In China all religions have equal status and coexist in tranquility. Religious disputes are unknown in China. Religious believers and non-believers respect each other, are united and have a harmonious relationship.

Chinese Bureaucracy Jump to: navigation, search

Scholar-bureaucrats or scholar-officials (Chinese) were civil servants appointed by the emperor of China to perform day-to-day governance from the Sui Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty in 1912, China’s last imperial dynasty. These officials mostly came from the well-educated men known as the scholar-gentry . These men had earned academic degrees (such as xiucai, juren, or jinshi) by passing rigorous civil service examinations. The scholar-bureaucrats were schooled in calligraphy and Confucian texts. They dominated the politics of China at the time.

As a small fraction of them could become officials, the majority of the scholar-gentry stayed in local villages or cities as social leaders. The scholar-gentry carried out social welfare measures, taught in private schools, helped decide minor legal disputes, supervised community projects, maintained local law and order, conducted Confucian ceremonies, assisted in the government’s collection of taxes, and preached Confucian moral teachings. As a class, these scholars represented morality and virtue. Although they received no official salary and were not government officials, their contributions and cooperation were much needed by the district magistrate in governing local areas, and received contributions from the imperial dynasty as well.

The system of scholar-bureaucrats and Imperial examinations was adopted and adapted by several tributary states of China, in particular the Ryūkyū Kingdom (Okinawa), which sent students to China on a regular basis, and maintained a center of Chinese learning at Kumemura from which administrators and officials of the kingdom’s government were selected.

The Emperor of China refers to any sovereign of Imperial China reigning since the founding of China, united by the King of Qin in 221 BC until the fall of Yuan Shikai’s Empire of China in 1916. When referred to as the Son of Heaven , a title that predates the Qin unification, the Emperor was recognized as the ruler of “All under heaven” (i.e., the world). In practice not every Emperor was the holder of the highest power of his land, though this was largely the case.

Emperors from the same family are generally classified in historical periods known as Dynasties. Most of China’s imperial rulers have commonly been considered members of the Han ethnicity, although recent scholarship tends to be careful about the dangers of applying current ethnic categories to historical situations. During the Yuan and Qing dynasties China was ruled by ethnic Mongolians and Manchurians respectively. A prominent historical view over the years sees these dynasties as non-native dynasties that were sanitized (i.e. made Chinese) over time, though some more recent writers argue that the interaction between politics and ethnicity was far more complex.[1]

Qno33. Write a brief note on Pirenne’s Thesis about the rise of Feudalism Europe.  OR. What according to Marc Bloch, were the ties of dependence in feudalism?  OR. What do you understand by feudal revolution? Jump to: navigation, search

Ans: Feudalism is a decentralized sociopolitical structure in which a weak monarchy attempts to control the lands of the realm through reciprocal agreements with regional leaders. In its most classic sense, feudalism refers to the Medieval European political system composed of a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility, revolving around the three key concepts of lords, vassals, and fiefs. Although derived from the Latin word feodum (fief), then in use, the term feudalism and the system it describes were not conceived of as a formal political system by the people living in the Medieval Period.

Pirenne Thesis

Henri Pirenne first expressed ideas on the formation of European towns in articles of 1895; he further developed the idea for the Pirenne Thesis while imprisoned in Germany during World War I. He subsequently published it in a series of papers from 1922 to 1923 and spent the rest of his life refining the thesis with supporting evidence. The most famous expositions appear in Medieval Cities: Their Origins and the Revival of Trade (1927, based on a series of lectures of 1922), and in his posthumous Mohammed and Charlemagne (1937).

In brief, Pirenne’s Thesis notes that in the ninth century long-distance trading was at low ebb; the only settlements that were not purely agricultural were the ecclesiastical, military and administrative centers that served the feudal ruling classes as fortresses, Episcopal seats, abbeys and occasional royal residences of the peripatetic palatium. When trade revived in the late tenth and eleventh centuries, merchants and artisans were drawn to the existing centers, forming a suburb in which trade and manufactures were concentrated. These were “new men” outside the feudal structure, living on the peripheries of the established order. The feudal core remained static and inert; a time came when the developing merchant class was strong enough to throw off feudal obligations or bought out the prerogatives of the old order, which Pirenne contrasted with the new element in numerous ways. The leaders among the mercantile class formed a bourgeois patriciate, in whose hands economic and political power came to be concentrated.

Pirenne’s thesis takes as axiomatic that the natural interests of the feudal nobility and of the urban patriciate, which came to well-attested frictions in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, were in their origins incompatible. This aspect of his thesis has been challenged in detail.

Traditionally, historians have dated the middle ages from the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century, a theory Edward Gibbon famously put forward in the 18th century. Pirenne challenged the notion that Germanic barbarians had caused the Roman Empire to end and he challenged the notion that the end of the Roman Empire should equate with the end of the office of Emperor in Europe, which occurred in 476. He pointed out the essential continuity of the economy of the Roman Mediterranean even after the barbarian invasions that the Roman way of doing things did not fundamentally change in the time immediately after the “fall” of Rome. Barbarians came to Rome not to destroy it, but to take part in its benefits; they tried to preserve the Roman way of life.

According to Pirenne the real break in Roman history occurred in the 8th century as a result of Arab expansion. Islamic conquest of the area of today’s south-eastern Turkey, Syria, Palestine, North Africa, Spain and Portugal ruptured economic ties to Europe, cutting the continent off from trade and turning it into a stagnant backwater, with wealth flowing out in the form of raw resources and nothing coming back. This began a steady decline and impoverishment so that by the time of Charlemagne Europe had become entirely agrarian at a subsistence level, with no long-distance trade.

Pirenne used statistical data regarding money in support of his thesis. Much of his argument builds upon the disappearance of items from Europe, items that had to come from outside Europe. For example, the minting of gold coins north of the Alps stopped after the 7th century, indicating a loss of access to wealthier parts of the world. Papyrus, made only in Egypt, no longer appeared north of the Alps after the 7th century: writing reverted to using animal skins, indicating isolation from wealthier areas.

He stressed the continuity of Roman civilization in transalpine Europe after the fall of Rome, arguing real change in Europe came from the rise of Islam, not barbarian invasions. His famous summary said, “Without Islam, the Frankish Empire would have probably never existed, and Charlemagne, without Muhammad, would be inconceivable.” That is, he rejected the notion that barbarian invasions in the 4th and 5th centuries caused the collapse of the Roman Empire. Instead the Muslim conquest of North Africa made the Mediterranean a barrier, cutting Western Europe off from the east, enabling the Carolingians, especially Charlemagne to create a new, distinctly western form of government.

Pirenne’s Thesis has not entirely convinced all historians of the period. One does not have to entirely accept or deny his theory. It has provided useful tools for understanding the period of the Early Middle Ages, and a valuable example of how periodization schemes are provisional, never axiomatic. According to Marc Bloch, the feudalism from the point of view of ties dependence of feudalism. Duby called the rise of feudalism as feudal revelation which altered the entire social process.

Qno34. Give a brief account of the concept of feudalism as a mode of production.

Ans: The feudal mode of production is usually typified by the systems of the West between the fall of the classical European culture and the rise of capitalism, though similar systems existed in most of the earth. The primary form of property is the possession of land in reciprocal contract relations: the possession of human beings as peasants or serfs is dependent upon their being entailed upon the land. Exploitation occurs through reciprocated contract (though ultimately resting on the threat of forced extractions). The ruling class is usually a nobility or aristocracy. The primary forces of production include highly complex agriculture (two, three field, Lucerne fallowing and manuring) with the addition of non-human and non-animal power devices (clockwork, wind-mills) and the intensification of specialization in the crafts–craftsmen exclusively producing one specialized class of product.

Marx’s definition of the feudal mode of production rests largely on the concept of feudal rent, which characterizes both relations of production and ways to extract surplus from the direct producers. The feudal rent requires the existence of large agricultural productive units (manors, demesne) owned by a landlord who, through coercive means, is able to force peasants to pay a rent in the form of labor (corvée), produce, or monetary tributes. In exchange, peasants living in villages are allowed to possess small individual landholdings (strips, virgates) and to access forests and pastures as common land. Surplus extracted as feudal rent reveals a relation of personal subordination between the peasant and the landlord, which is confirmed by the fact that the landlord is the supreme political authority over the geographical unit (the fief) that contains the demesne, peasants’ plots, and common land.

At the same time, the landlord is also a vassal, a personal subordinate of a higher-level noble or of the sovereign, who recognizes the landlord’s feudal authority in exchange for military services. Traditional customs—a theme touched on in Engels’s Socialism: Utopian and Scientific (1892)—play a decisive role in sustaining these webs of hierarchies, obligations, and subjection, which appear natural and immutable. Finally, for Marx and Engels, the feudal mode of production reflects a radical opposition between the countryside and the city, which remains economically marginal and undeveloped.

Engels’s discussion of feudalism, especially in the Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the State (1884), balanced Marx’s emphasis on economic causal relations with the significance of communal landowner-ship as a source of peasant resistance to the landlord. Such themes also surfaced in debates on the feudal mode of production in revolutionary Russia. Nikolai Bukharin (1888–1938) and especially Lenin’s The Development of Capitalism in Russia (1899) describe czarist Russia as a feudal society where the oppressed peasants constitute a serfdom that retains strong connections with communal forms of property. In Lenin, moreover, Russian feudalism is not a single mode of production but rather a “social formation” where other modes, including a rising capitalism, exist alongside feudal landholding under the authority of a strong, centralized absolutist state. As in other parts of eastern Europe, feudal landlords show for Lenin the tendency to evolve and become bourgeois agrarian Junkers who, in what Lenin calls the Prussian road, start hiring waged laborers to produce for the market.

Qno35. What were the rights and obligations of Lords and Vassal in feudatory relations? OR. What was the nature of Fief? How was it inherited? How did it change? OR. Analyze the conditions of different kinds of cultivators in a Monar. OR. Who were Knights? what was their significance in a feudal set up?

Ans: Feudalism is a decentralized sociopolitical structure in which a weak monarchy attempts to control the lands of the realm through reciprocal agreements with regional leaders. In its most classic sense, feudalism refers to the Medieval European political system composed of a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility, revolving around the three key concepts of lords, vassals, and fiefs. Although derived from the Latin word feodum (fief), then in use, the term feudalism and the system it describes were not conceived of as a formal political system by the people living in the Medieval Period.

Lords, vassals and fiefs

Three primary elements characterized feudalism: lords, vassals, and fiefs; the group of feudalism can be seen in how these five elements fit together. A lord granted land (a fief) to his vassals. In exchange for the fief, the vassal would provide military service to the lord. The obligations and relations between lord, vassal and fief form the basis of feudalism.

Before a lord could grant land (a fief) to someone, he had to make that person a vassal. This was done at a formal and symbolic ceremony called a commendation ceremony composed of the two-part act of homage and oath of fealty. During homage, the lord and vassal entered a contract in which the vassal promised to fight for the lord at his command.

Fealty comes from the Latin fidelities and denotes the fidelity owed by a vassal to his feudal lord. “Fealty” also refers to an oath that more explicitly reinforces the commitments of the vassal made during homage. Such an oath follows homage. Once the commendation was complete, the lord and vassal were now in a feudal relationship with agreed-upon mutual obligations to one another.

The vassal’s principal obligation to the lord was to “aid”, or military service. Using whatever equipment the vassal could obtain by virtue of the revenues from the fief, the vassal was responsible to answer to calls to military service on behalf of the lord. This security of military help was the primary reason the lord entered into the feudal relationship. In addition, the vassal sometimes had to fulfill other obligations to the lord. One of those obligations was to provide the lord with “counsel”, so that if the lord faced a major decision, such as whether or not to go to war, he would summon all his vassals and hold a council. The vassal may have been required to yield a certain amount of his farm’s output to his lord. The vassal was also sometimes required to grind his own wheat and bake his own bread in the mills and ovens owned and taxed by his lord.

The land-holding relationships of feudalism revolved around the fief. Depending on the power of the granting lord, grants could range in size from a small farm to a much larger area of land. The size of fiefs was described in irregular terms quite different from modern area terms (see medieval land terms). The lord-vassal relationship was not restricted to members of the laity; bishops and abbots, for example, were also capable of acting as lords.

There were thus different ‘levels’ of lordship and vassalage. The King was a lord who loaned fiefs to aristocrats, who were his vassals. The aristocrats, through subinfeudation, were lords to their own vassals, Knights who were in turn lords of the manor to the peasants who worked on the land. Ultimately, the Emperor was a lord who loaned fiefs to Kings, who were his vassals.


The fief (alternatively, fee, feoff, fiefdom), under the system of medieval European feudalism, often consisted of inheritable lands or revenue-producing property granted by a lord, generally to a vassal (who holds seisin), in return for a form of allegiance (usually given by homage and fealty), originally to give him the means to fulfill his military duties when called upon. However, anything of value could be held in fief, such as an office, a right of exploitation (e.g., hunting, fishing) or any other type of revenue, rather than the land it comes from.

Originally, vassalage did not imply the giving or receiving of landholdings (which were granted only as a reward for loyalty), but by the eighth century the giving of a landholding was becoming standard. The granting of a landholding to a vassal did not relinquish the lord’s property rights, but only the use of the lands and their income; the granting lord retained ultimate ownership of the fief and could, technically, recover the lands in case of disloyalty or death. By the middle of the tenth century, fiefs had largely become hereditary. Eventually, great feudal lords sought also to seize governmental and legal authority (the collection of taxes, the right of high justice, etc.) in their lands, and some passed these rights to their own vassals.


A knight was a “gentleman soldier” or member of the warrior class of the Middle Ages in Europe. In other Indo-European languages, cognates of cavalier or rider are more prevalent (e.g. French chevalier and German Ritter) suggesting a connection to the knight’s mode of transport. Since antiquity a position of honour and prestige has been held by mounted warriors such as the Greek hippeus and the Roman eques, and knighthood in the Middle Ages was inextricably linked with horsemanship.

The Franco-British legend of King Arthur was popularized throughout Europe in the Middle Ages by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Historia Regum Britanniae (“History of the Kings of Britain”), written in the 1130s. Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur (“The Death of Arthur”), written in 1485, was important in defining the ideal of chivalry which is essential to the modern concept of the knight as an elite warrior sworn to uphold the values of faith, loyalty, courage, and honour. During the Renaissance, the genre of chivalric romance became popular in literature, growing ever more idealistic and eventually giving rise to a new form of realism in literature popularized by Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote. This novel explored the ideals of knighthood and their incongruity with the reality of Cervantes’ world. In the late medieval period, new methods of warfare began to render classical knights in armor obsolete, but the titles remained in many nations.

Some orders of knighthood, such as the Knights Templar, have themselves become the stuff of legend; others have disappeared into obscurity. Today, a number of orders of knighthood continue to exist in several countries, such as the English Order of the Garter, the Swedish Royal Order of the Seraphim, and the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav. Each of these orders has its own criteria for eligibility, but knighthood is generally granted by a head of state to selected persons to recognize some meritorious achievement.


Manor  an essential ingredient of feudal society, was the organizing principle of rural economy that originated in the villa system of the Late Roman Empire, was widely practiced in medieval western and parts of central Europe, and was slowly replaced by the advent of a money-based market economy and new forms of agrarian contract. Manorialism was characterized by the vesting of legal and economic power in a lord, supported economically from his own direct landholding and from the obligatory contributions of a legally subject part of the peasant population under his jurisdiction. These obligations could be payable in several ways, in labor (the French term corvée is conventionally applied), in kind, or, on rare occasions, in coin.

In examining the origins of the monastic cloister, Walter Horn found that “as a manorial entity the Carolingian monastery… differed little from the fabric of a feudal estate, save that the corporate community of men for whose sustenance this organization was maintained consisted of monks who served God in chant and spent much of their time in reading and writing” .

Manorialism died slowly and piecemeal, along with its most vivid feature in the landscape, the open field system. It outlasted serfdom as it outlasted feudalism: “primarily an economic organization, it could maintain a warrior, but it could equally well maintain a capitalist landlord. It could be self-sufficient, yield produce for the market, or it could yield a money rent.” The last feudal dues in France were abolished at the French Revolution. In parts of eastern Germany, the Rittergut manors of Junkers remained until World War II.

Qno36. List the major changes in economy during the second phase. OR. Analyze the two phases of feudalism. OR. In what ways is the feudal system of the first phase of Feudalism different from the second phase?  OR. Compare the organization of agricultural production between two phases of feudalism.

Ans: Feudalism as a form of political, economic and social system dominated Europe from around 9th to 14th century A.D. However, during this entire period the political, economic and social structures were not static and uniform. A number of changes were taking place and new relations were emerging. the first phase, which began with the establishment of the barbarian successor states on the collapsed political system of the Roman Empire and lasted until the middle of the eleventh century, substantially preserved the basic social relations which characterized the late Empire. This phase corresponds to the organization of a fairly stable rural territory where trade was insignificant and uncommon, coins were rare, and a wage-earning class almost non-existent The second phase, from the mid-eleventh to the early fourteenth century, was the result of the substantial growth of population, the great land clearances, the considerable technical progress, the revival of trade, the diffusion of a monetary economy, and the growing social superiority of the merchant over the producer in the words of Bloch,  the evolution of society and the evolution of the economy began to move in opposite directions: the former, which was slowing down, tended to hone the class structure into closed groups, while the latter, which was accelerating, eventually led to freedom from serfdom and the relaxation of restrictions on trade and commerce

Production was largely for consumption rather than for the market. The productivity of land remained highly restricted in this phase owing to the limited effectiveness and inadequacy of the tools and of farming techniques. The practice of ploughing three or four times was common as the heavy clay soils, the most fertile when properly worked, put up a stiff resistance. It was necessary to use hands, forks, sickles, spades and harrows for breaking clods, cutting thistles and weeds, and digging up the field deeply.  Technical shortcomings of subsistence agriculture kept it still highly vulnerable to bad weather. Wet springs could reduce ploughing time, rot seed in the ground, and so diminish the harvest. Fall rains could wet the grain before harvesting and make it impossible to dry and thresh.

The ninth and tenth centuries when many villages began to divide their two fields into three, and plant them in rotating sequence of beans, winter wheat, summer wheat, and fallow. With good planning, this could result in three annual harvests in place of the traditional one. The replacement of the biennial crop rotation with triennial rotation succeeded in leaving land infertile one year out of three rather than one year out of two, or rather in using two-thirds of the cultivable surface area instead of only half. The villages had been primarily organized for the growing of grain – wheat in most places, but also oats, rye, barley or whatever the soil and climate permitted. Peasants started using peas and beans as a complement to their grain crops

The technical level of agricultural production, transport and distribution remained quite low and the amount of surplus tiny. Human portage remained an essential form of transport. Roads were in a poor state. Carts and wagons were very few and very expensive.

The second phase witnessed a number of dynamic changes in the feudal structures. The most significant change that took place was phenomenal rise.

In agricultural productivity and growth in population. This growth led to the extension of cultivated area and increased agricultural production. The organization of production also underwent change and the community based production gave way to individual peasant production increasingly destined for the market. The non agricultural production increased leading to the growth of economy. The social structures changed and especially growing stratification of the peasantry was a new element.

The growth of population at a noticeable rate is evident from the 11th Century.

This increase continued till the middle of 14th century. Before taking into account the quantum of overall growth of population it is important to understand the factors that gave rise to this phenomenon. The main reason can be traced to the sharp decline in tribal attacks in the tenth century. The creation of feudal institutions for providing peace and security was also contributory factor. Relaxation of legal restraints on peasant households helped in the process. Another important reason was the gradual improvement InTechnology and organization of agricultural production without which it would not have been possible to meet the demand of food for growing numbers.

In this question I have discussed in two major phases – the first from 9th to 11th century and the second from 11th to 14th century A.D. These phases are not identifiable distinctly in all regions at the same time. There were variations in developments in terms of periods and specific areas of change. These changes in the area of agricultural production, technology, pattern of cultivation and organization of production between the two phases since land was the main source of wealth in feudal system. The demographic changes during the period influenced economic and social structures.

Qno37. How was the expansion of trade and growth of urban centers linked to the decline of feudalism Henri Pirennes view? OR. What was the rule of peasant differentiation in the decline the feudalism? OR. Maurice Dobb and Georges Duby both emphasize internal developments within feudalism for its decline rather than trade; yet there is a substantial difference between them. Can you locate differences?

Ans: The rise of feudalism and its decline was established by the Belgian historian Henri Pirenne in the 1920s and 30s in his books, Medieval Cities: Their Origin and the Revival of Trade, Economic and Social History of Medieval Europe and Mahomet and Charlemagne. For Pirenne, long distance trade, or ‘grand trade’ as he called it, was the driving force of all flourishing civilizations and its disruption, for whatever reason, brought the onward march of civilization to a halt.

Pirenne’s thesis altered history-writing altogether by widening its canvas so extensively as to encompass the whole society, whereas hitherto only small scale, particular causes were sought out to explain the rise and decline of feudalism. One theory in the nineteenth century even traced the origin of feudalism to the horse stirrup! The discussion of the Pirenne thesis understandably led to its questioning, and ultimately its complete rejection, especially its centre piece, the trade/feudalism dichotomy.

Henri Pirenne established the centrality of trade in rise and decline of feudalism.

He believed that the revival of trade and urban centers marked the beginning

of the decline of feudalism. Maurice Dobb challenged the position of Pirenne and said that trade on its own did not have the force to alter any economic system. He felt that the cause of decline was the internal crisis of feudalism. Dobb the very hallmark of feudalism. Trade and feudalism were in his view thus quite compatible with each other. Dobb did concede that the urban centers were rising but he did not link it with the growth of trade. Dobb saw the collapse of feudalism a result of migration of peasantry to towns to escape feudal oppression which left landlords helpless.

A form of class struggle ensued between the lords and serfs and between the lords and urban bourgeoisie. Kochuru Takahashi added another dimension to bit and felt that the capitalism did not rise on the ruins of feudalism through the agency of bourgeoisie but state created capitalist economy; he referred to the case of Meiji Japan to make his point.

The improvement in technology increased the productivity with more surplus available giving rise to social stratification of peasantry. Many small peasants lost their lands and became labourers while richer peasants turned into contractors acquiring rights to collect rents. Capital intensive cultivation also crept in with large holdings of lords which were cultivated through hired labour.

For Georges Duby this transformation of rural scenario led to the decline of feudalism. Rober Brenner was of the opinion that expansion of trade does not fully explain the decline and reiterated the Marxian theory of class struggle between the lords and the peasants as the cause for decline.

Qno38. What was the role of Oceanic Trade in the economic life of the medieval world? OR. How did the rise of Islam affect the Oceanic Trade till the 10th century? OR. What was the pattern of European trade between 11th and 15th centuries? OR. That was the impact of Portuguese  on Indian overseas trade.

Ans: Oceanic Trade in medieval world gave rise to large scale interaction between the Europe and Asia. The trading activities greatly influenced the society, economy and polity in the two regions. The oceanic trade in medieval world start, from around the seventh century to the mid eighteenth century. The period under discussion starts with the advent of Islam in Arabian world and ends with the British conquest Bengal. The rise of Islam towards the beginning of the seventh century, The British conquest of Bengal had changed the prevailing earlier. The rise of Islam had a great influence on oceanic trade not only in the Indian Ocean, but also in the Mediterranean. The Portuguese also played a vital role in the oceanic trade of Indian Ocean, though their presence was spectacular and significant, they were not able to make major changes in the Indian Ocean trade. The structure, dimension and organization of trade in the region remain unaltered until the coming of the European companies, especially the Dutch and the English. India’s overseas trade was greatly influenced by their presence.

The European companies were involved in the export trade of three commodities mainly textiles, raw silk and saltpeter. These products had a great demand in the European market since Bengal was the main producer of these commodities; naturally it turned into an important commercial centre and the main centre of Asiatic trade, of the two major companies. In the beginning the Indian merchants dominated the trade in the eastern archipelago. In the later period they are forced to abandon it and concentrate on the westerly trade. In the medieval period Arab and Muslim merchants build a vast commercial network. The coastal regions of the Indian Ocean between east Africa and the China Sea constituted a zone of intense commercial exchanges.

From the middle of 7th century to the end of the 15th, the direction and structure of the Indian Ocean trade are remarkably clear, the transcontinental traffic going all the way from south china to the eastern Mediterranean. Up to the beginning of the 10th century Arab and Muslim ships traded across the Indian Ocean to south Asia and china. The twin channels of the transcontinental trade of Asia. Constituted of the seaborne traffic through the red sea, the combined sea, river, and overland journey across the Persian Gulf, Iraq and the Syrian Desert. In medieval period trade of Asia was centered on four great products of eastern civilization-silk, porcelain, sandal wood and black pepper. In exchange for incense, thoroughbred horses, ivory, cotton textiles and metal goods were given. The Persian Gulf ships were sailed to canton in the late 7th and early 8th centuries. In 1280 Mongols conquered china. The two city parts of Hangchow and Zaiton flourished during the period. However there occurred important remarkable changes in the direction of the Indian Ocean trade from the end the 10th century to the middle of 15th. The decline of Abbasid caliphate and the rise of the Fatimid’s in Egypt shifted the routing of long-distance trade away from Baghdad and Damascus to Aden and fustat.

In India, the Turkish sultans of Delhi conquered Gujarat in A.D. 1303-4, and its maritime towns were now within the reach of Islamic social and political influence. In the early medieval period continental Europe witnessed two great commercial movements, The One in the western Mediterranean and the Adriatic, the other in the Baltic and the North Sea. The trade of north Europe was not primarily based on oriental and Mediterranean commodities. At various times traders and warriors brought goods from the extreme north of Europe. The main currents of trade across northern Europe and between northern Europe and other countries flowed with products of northern hemisphere, cruder, bulkier and altogether more indispensable than the luxuries and the fineries. Indian maritime trade in the medieval period was also characterized by both continuity and change.

In the past the products which had a good demand in the western market includes drugs, spices, the teak-wood of Malabar, precious stones and a great variety of exotic luxuries passed westwards. In lieu Indian markets were crowded with strategic war-animals, spices and medicaments, toys and exotic textiles. The trade between India and Indonesia was mainly concerned around various products including spices and raw materials of Indonesia. The rein of trade in Indonesia and Malay Peninsula was largely in the hands of Muslim merchants in the Indian Ocean. The Indonesian littoral was mainly inhabited by migrant Muslims from Gujarat. Cloths from Bengal were remarkably exported to Indonesian markets. There is also evidence to Indian trade with the horn of Africa and other communities of Arab peninsula. The discovery of direct maritime route to Asia round the Cape of Good Hope by the Portuguese under Varco d agama in 1498 marked the beginning of a new era in the history of euro-Asian trade, to monopolize the supply of Asian spices to European market and to control. Asian trade by force and to collect tax Portuguese formed a strong naval force and established some key outposts which would act as strategic bases. The capture of Goa from the bijapur sultan laid the foundation of future Portuguese maritime empire in the Indian Ocean.

Qno39. Give a brief account of the business communities in India. OR. Give a brief account of the trading network of Armenian merchants. OR. In what ways the Jews dominated the business activities in medieval world. OR. Discuss in brief various business groups of Baniyas in India. OR. Write a short note on Karimi merchants.

Ans: The major communities in medieval period who dominated the trading and business activities. We covered the social organization, business expertise and trading organizations of these business communities. The Armenian Highland. It is estimated that there are 8 million Armenians around the world. There is a large concentration of Armenians in the Caucasus, especially in Armenia, and there is a significant presence in Georgia, Iran, Russia, and Ukraine. As a result of the Armenian genocide, a large number of survivors fled to many countries throughout the world, such as France, the United States, Argentina and the Levant. The first state that was called Armenia by neighboring peoples (Hecataeus of Miletus and Behistun Inscription) was established in the early sixth century BC under the Orontid dynasty. At its zenith (95–65 BC), the state extended from the Caucasus all the way to what is now central Turkey, Lebanon, and northern Iran. The imperial reign of Tigranes the Great is thus the span of time during which Armenia itself conquered areas populated by other peoples. Later it briefly became part of the Roman Empire (AD 114–118).

The Arsacid Kingdom of Armenia was the first state to adopt Christianity as its religion (it had formerly been adherent to Hellenistic paganism – the Ancient Greek religion and then the Ancient Roman religion). In the early years of the 4th century, likely AD 314. This ushered a new era in the history of the Armenian people (see Religion). Later on, in order to further strengthen the Armenian national identity, Mesrop Mashtots invented the Armenian alphabet. This event ushered the Golden Age of Armenia, during which many foreign books and manuscripts were translated to Armenian by Mesrop’s pupils. Armenia lost its sovereignty in 428 to the Byzantine and Persian Empires.

In 885 the Armenians reestablished themselves as a sovereign entity under the leadership of Ashot I of the Bagratid Dynasty. A considerable portion of the Armenian nobility and peasantry fled the Byzantine occupation of Bagratid Armenia in 1045, and the subsequent invasion of the region by Seljuk Turks in 1064. They settled in large numbers in Cilicia, an Anatolian region where Armenians were already established as a minority since Roman times. In 1080, they founded an independent Armenian Principality then Kingdom of Cilicia, which became the focus of Armenian nationalism. The Armenians developed close social, cultural, military, and religious ties with nearby Crusader States, but eventually succumbed to the Mamluk invaders.

In the 16th century, Eastern Armenia was conquered by the Turco-Persian Safavid Empire, while Western Armenia fell under Ottoman rule. In the 1820s, parts of historic Armenia under Persian control centering on Yerevan and Lake Sevan were incorporated into the Russian Empire, but Western Armenia remained in the Ottoman Empire. During these tumultuous times, Armenians depended on the Church to preserve and protect their unique identity.

The ethnic cleansing of Armenians during the final years of the Ottoman Empire is widely considered a genocide, an estimated 1.5 million victims, with one wave of persecution in the years 1894 to 1896 culminating in the events of the Armenian Genocide in 1915 and 1916. With World War I in progress, the Turks accused the (Christian) Armenians as liable to ally with Imperial Russia, and used it as a pretext to deal with the entire Armenian population as an enemy within their empire.

Turkish governments since that time have consistently rejected charges of genocide, typically arguing either that those Armenians who died were simply in the way of a war or that killings of Armenians were justified by their individual or collective support for the enemies of the Ottoman Empire. Passage of legislation in various foreign countries condemning the persecution of the Armenians as genocide has often provoked diplomatic conflict. Armenian trading communities have existed outside of Armenia for centuries. For example, a community has existed for over a millennium in the Holy Land, and one of the four quarters of the walled old city of Jerusalem has been called the Armenian Quarter.[17] There are also remnants of formerly populous communities in India, Myanmar, South East Asia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.

The Diaspora Armenian community, there is an unofficial classification of the different kinds of Armenians. For example, Armenians who originate from Iran are referred to as Parskahay ,while Armenians from Lebanon are usually referred to as Lipananahay . Armenians of the Diaspora are the primary speakers of the Western dialect of the Armenian language. This dialect has considerable differences with Eastern Armenian, but speakers of either of the two variations can usually understand each other. Eastern Armenian in the Diaspora is primarily spoken in Iran, Russia and former Soviet states such as Ukraine and Georgia (where they form a majority in the Samtskhe-Javakheti province). In diverse communities (such as in Canada and the U.S.) where many different kinds of Armenians live together, there is a tendency for the different groups to cluster together.

The Jews of India aren’t one singular community. Among themselves they are divided into different communities. Each community has its own different culture, background and origin. Each community claims its arrival in India in different ways and it is not always clear how they really came to India. The three main Jewish communities of India are: Bene Israel, Cochini which claim Israeli origin and call themselves Bne Menashe. The first three communities had some social religious connections with each other but most of the social religious connections of each community were within their own community and they regarded the other as ‘outsiders’.

The role played by the Jewish business communities in the field of international trade and finance was almost as important as the one played by Armenians. Jewish communities could be found in almost every society and the Jews participated in trade ventures far beyond the frontiers of the Islamic State. The ability of the Armenians and Jews as also the Indians to thrive on low profit margin, their readiness to deal in any commodity and move into even remote producing centers when there was the prospect of a profit, their ability to adapt themselves to the language and culture of their trading country without losing their own identity were some of the important factors behind their phenomenal success in inter-regional and international trade in the medieval period. The decline of three great Muslim empires-the Mughal, Persian and Ottoman in the early eighteenth century was a great setback to the Jewish and Armenian business communities in the whole of the Eurasian continuum.

The Banjars were quite important for in land trade, they represented only a subordinate sector in the commercial world. Medieval India had a very large mercantile class, the bulk of it composed of castes, or endogamous communit ies, which had been so marked a feature of Indian society. Among these communites, the sub-castes grouped under the name Baniya were prominent. It is possible that a sense of solidarity among members of a sub-caste may have helped in maintaining its prosperity, where as another similar group might decline for lack of it. The sub-caste identity existed alongside a very real sense of oneness of the entire Baniya caste. There was, first of all, no bar to members of different sub-castes of Baniyas forming close business relations. Thus in addition to sub-caste solidarity, there was a larger sense of fraternity among the Baniyas, enabling them to join together in commercial enterprises irrespective of sect or sob-caste.

The “Karimis”, an early enterprise and business group controlled by entrepreneurs, came to dominate much of the Islamic world’s economy. The group was controlled by about fifty Muslim merchants labelled as “Karimis” who were of Yemeni, Egyptian and sometimes Indian origins. Each Karimi merchant had considerable wealth, ranging from at least 100,000 dinars to as much as 10 million dinars. The group had considerable influence in most important eastern markets and sometimes in politics through its financing activities and through a variety of customers, including Emirs, Sultans, Viziers, foreign merchants, and common consumers. The Karimis dominated many of the trade routes across the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, and Indian Ocean, and as far as Francia in the north, China in the east, and sub-Saharan Africa in the south, where they obtained gold from gold mines. Strategies employed by the Karimis include the use of agents, the financing of projects as a method of acquiring capital, and a banking institution for loans and deposits. Another important difference between the Karimis and other entrepreneurs before and during their time was that they were not tax collectors or landlords, but their capitalism was due entirely to trade and financial transactions.

Though medieval Islamic economics appears to have somewhat resembled a form of capitalism, some Orientalists also believe that there exist a number of parallels between Islamic economics and communism, including the Islamic ideas of zakat and riba. Others see Islamic economics as neither completely capitalistic nor completely socialistic, but rather a balance between the two, emphasizing both “individual economic freedom and the need to serve the common good.”

Qno40. What role did new Commercial practices play in the growth of trade? OR. Give a brief account of the pattern of trade in Europe. OR. How did merchants arranged funds for trading activities. OR. Write short note on: 1. Trade Routes and 2. Personnel of Trade.

Ans: A broad survey of commercial practices & activities in the medieval world shows that the commercial transactions were in a wide range of commodities like spices, textiles, silk, precious metals, minerals, weapons slaves & a host of luxury items. In ancient times, transporting commodities over any significant distance was an expensive and risky enterprise. Thus, commerce was restricted mainly to local markets, and the most commonly traded articles were foodstuffs and clothing. Most people spent the bulk of their resources on food, and what they neither grew nor gathered themselves they obtained through trade. The same was true of clothing: Garments were either produced and handed down within the family or acquired through trade. In addition to food, clothing, and shelter, the rich devoted their income to conspicuous attire, jewelry, and works of art. As a result, an important trade in luxury items developed.

After a decline following the breakup of the Roman Empire, European commerce expanded gradually during the Middle Ages, especially during the 12th and 13th centuries. Long-distance trade became safer once merchants began to form associations for the protection of travelers who journeyed abroad. The main long-distance trade routes were from the Baltic and the eastern Mediterranean to central and northern Europe. From the forests of the Baltic came raw materials: timber, tar, furs, and skins. From the East came luxury goods: spices, jewelry, and textiles. In exchange for these goods, western Europe exported raw materials and processed goods. The English sold woolen garments, the Dutch offered salted herring, Spain produced wool, and France exported salt; southern Europe was also rich in wine, fruit, and oil. The Italian and German cities straddling these routes promoted and financed the trade. Nonetheless, throughout the Middle Ages, commerce between Europe and Asia was limited, because overland transport was expensive and because Europe possessed little of value for export to the East.

The development of oceangoing warships and efficient merchant carriers in the 15th and 16th centuries led to a rapid expansion of commerce. As the cost of transporting bulky cargoes over long distances fell, grain was imported on a large scale from the Baltic to the Netherlands and other parts of Europe. New ocean routes between Europe and the East allowed imports from Asia at lower prices and in greater volume than had been possible by overland caravan. The discovery of the Americas created trade in such new commodities as tobacco and logwood. Spanish exploitation of the rich gold and silver deposits in Mexico and Peru transformed the character of international commerce.

Europe finally possessed a commodity-precious metal-for which ample demand existed in the Far East. In return for Asian imports, Europe exchanged silver coin minted in Mexico, Spain, Italy, and Holland. Using technology and skills developed in transoceanic navigation, the Europeans captured the Asian shipping trade. European vessels transported Japanese copper to China and India, Indian cotton textiles to southern Asia, and Persian carpets to India. Trade in certain staple commodities grew with incredible speed. Imports of tobacco into England from Virginia and Maryland, for example, increased more than a thousand fold in the 17th century. As long-distance trade continued to grow, new forms of commercial organizations appeared.

At first, informal associations gave way to legal partnership. In Holland, for example, it was not uncommon after 1500 that shareholders, rather than captains, be the proprietors of ships. Shareholding broke down the social barriers among different classes of merchants and enabled individuals to divide their goods among ships destined for different ports. No longer was international trade limited to those who could afford to travel. After the 16th century, the chartered trading company replaced the temporary partnership as the customary way for merchants to organize their affairs. These great companies, created by the state but privately owned and managed, held national monopolies over trade with certain regions.


A trade route is a logistical network identified as a series of pathways and stoppages used for the commercial transport of cargo. Allowing goods to reach distant markets, a single trade route contains long distance arteries which may further be connected to several smaller networks of commercial and non commercial transportation.

Historically, the period from 1532 BCE–1 CE saw the Western Asian, Mediterranean; Chinese and Indian societies develop major transportation networks for trade. Europe’s early trading routes included the Amber Road, which served as a dependable network for long distance trade. Maritime trade along the Spice route became prominent during the Middle Ages; nations resorted to military means for control of this influential route. During the Middle Ages organizations such as the Hanseatic League, aimed at protecting interests of the merchants and trade, also became increasingly prominent.

With the advent of modern times, commercial activity shifted from the major trade routes of the Old World to newer routes between modern nation states. This activity was sometimes carried out without traditional protection of trade and under international free trade agreements, which allowed commercial goods to cross borders with relaxed restrictions. Innovative transportation of the modern times includes pipeline transport, and the relatively well known trade using rail routes, automobiles and cargo airlines.

The Commercial transaction of commodities was carried through specific centers of exchange & trade. The growing commercial activities in the medieval period saw fast growth of markets & towns. Almost all the towns had a market & in case of bigger towns there were more than one market. To begin with fairs were mainly related to religious & ritual festivals & celebrations. With the expansion of trading activities most of them became centers of commercial activities also. These fares were of varying sizes attracting people of only particular religion, across regions & across countries. The frequency of holding fairs was not uniform. It could be monthly, once in a few months, twice a year or once a year. The range of commodities in periodic markets & fairs was very wide. These included slaves, cattle of all sorts, grains, arms, crafts products to precious or luxury goods. The large scale commercial activities gave rise to new commercial practices. Financing & money lending became an integral part of international trade. The instruments of exchange facilitated the large scale trade & dispensed the need of carrying large amounts of cash for trading purposes. The merchants of various hues & nationalities could be found settled in regions distant from their place of origin. Need for funding for large scale trade led to the forming of partnership firms & family enterprises & organizations of merchants.

Qno41. Give a brief account of various operations involved in the production of woollen textiles. OR. Discuss in brief the metallurgy in Europe. OR. How was the production organized during the medieval period? OR. Write a short note on working conditions of craftsmen.

Ans: The term Craft production refers to a manufacturing technique applied in the hobbies of Handicraft but was also the common method of manufacture in the pre-industrialized world. For example, the production of pottery uses methods of craft production.

A side effect of the craft manufacturing process is that the final product is unique. While the product may be of extremely high quality, the uniqueness can be detrimental as seen in the case of early automobiles. In the medieval period different regions emerged as the main centers of various types of textiles production. Europe dominated in the area of woolens, China in Skills, India & some other regions of Asia & Africa in cotton textiles while Central Asia & parts of Arabian in carpet weaving. Large scale trade across regions in textiles contributed in the increase in quantities produced.

A textile is a flexible material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibers often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw wool fibers, linen, cotton, or other material on a spinning wheel to produce long strands. Textiles are formed by weaving, knitting, crocheting, knotting, or pressing fibers together (felt).

The words fabric and cloth are used in textile assembly trades (such as tailoring and dressmaking) as synonyms for textile. However, there are subtle differences in these terms in specialized usage. Textile refers to any material made of interlacing fibres. Fabric refers to any material made through weaving, knitting, crocheting, or bonding. Cloth refers to a finished piece of fabric that can be used for a purpose such as covering a bed.

The production of textiles is a craft whose speed and scale of production has been altered almost beyond recognition by industrialization and the introduction of modern manufacturing techniques. However, for the main types of textiles, plain weave, twill or satin weave, there is little difference between the ancient and modern methods.

Incas have been crafting quipus (or khipus) made of fibers either from a protein, such as spun and plied thread like wool or hair from camelids such as alpacas, llamas and camels or from a cellulose like cotton for thousands of years. Khipus are a series of knots along pieces of string. They have been believed to only have acted as a form of accounting, although new evidence conducted by Harvard professor, Gary Urton, indicates there may be more to the khipu than just numbers. Preservation of khipus found in museum and archive collections follow general textile preservation principles and practice.

Textiles can be made from many materials. These materials come from four main sources: animal (Wool, Silk), plant (Cotton, Flax, Jute), mineral (Asbestose), and synthetic (Nylon, Polyester, Acrylic). In the past, all textiles were made from natural fibers, including plant, animal, and mineral sources. In the 20th century, these were supplemented by artificial fibers made from petroleum.

Textiles are made in various strengths and degrees of durability, from the finest gossamer to the sturdiest canvas. The relative thickness of fibers in cloth is measured in deniers. Microfibre refers to fibers made of strands thinner than one denier.

Mining and metallurgy in medieval Europe

The Middle Ages in Europe cover the time span from the 5th c. AD, marked by the decay of the Roman Empire, to the 16th c. AD, when social and economic factors shifted Europe towards the Modern Era. During the millennium between classical antiquity and the modern period, a series of technological innovations and inventions, which led to the industrial era, took place. Such technological achievements affected directly the extraction of raw materials, such as metal ores and coal, and the growth of the metal output in terms of quantity, as well as quality.

Metal production in medieval Europe may have been affected, decreased or increased, by different factors, but it was never ceased, as different kinds of metal objects were always in demand either in periods of war (e.g. arms and armour) or peace (e.g. implements and tools, coinage, building construction, decoration, bells, ecclesiastical and status items, etc.). Metallurgical activities were also encouraged by central political power, regional authorities, monastic orders and ecclesiastical overlords, who always tried to have control and claimed Regalian rights over the mines and a share in the output, both in private lands and regions belonging to the Crown. They were particularly interested in the extraction of the precious metal ores, but not only, and for this reason the mines in their territories were open to all miners (Nef 1987, 706-715).

Metallurgy was practiced to some extent in all Parts of the world but this was mainly true of the iron only other metals were not as widely available. Changes in organization of production are noticeable during the period. The individual artisanal production was dominant in most of the crafts. Through putting out system the quantum of production increased but craftsmen lost control over procurement of raw material & marketing the products. These were taken over by the merchants who controlled the two processes. This was most evident in textile production. In certain sectors large numbers of craftsmen were engaged for the production activity. Ship building, mining & building construction were the main spheres where such a process dominated. Guides & other similar organizations were formed to have a better control in various trades. These organizations mainly helped the craftsmen of substance only. The growth of production mainly benefited the state, merchants & bigger craftsmen. Large mass of Craftsmen continued to struggle to maintain their hold on the production process & earn their living.

Qno: 42 What was the contribution of N. Copernicus in the field of astronomy?

Ans: The history of science and technology is a field of history which examines how humanity’s understanding of the natural world (science) and ability to manipulate it (technology) have changed over the millennia. This academic discipline also studies the cultural, economic, and political impacts of scientific innovation.

Nicolaus Copernicus was the first astronomer to formulate a scientifically-based heliocentric cosmology that displaced the Earth from the center of the universe. His epochal book, “De Revolution bus Orbium Coelestium” – On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres – is often regarded as the starting point of modern astronomy and the defining epiphany that began the Scientific Revolution.

Although Greek, Indian and Muslim savants had published heliocentric hypotheses centuries before Copernicus, his publication of a scientific theory of heliocentrism, demonstrating that the motions of celestial objects can be explained without putting the Earth at rest in the center of the universe, stimulated further scientific investigations and became a landmark in the history of modern science that is known as the Copernican Revolution.

Among the great polymaths of the Renaissance, Copernicus was a mathematician, astronomer, physician, classical scholar, translator, Catholic cleric, jurist, governor, military leader, diplomat and economist. Among his many responsibilities, astronomy figured as little more than an avocation – yet it was in that field that he made his mark upon the world.

Copernicus proposed that the planets have the Sun as the fixed point to which their motions are to be referred; that the Earth is a planet which, besides orbiting the Sun annually, also turns once daily on its own axis; and that very slow, long-term changes in the direction of this axis account for the precession of the equinoxes.

This representation of the heavens is usually called the heliocentric, or “Sun-centered,” system–derived from the Greek helios, meaning “Sun.” Copernicus’s theory had important consequences for later thinkers of the scientific revolution, including such major figures as Galileo, Kepler, Descartes, and Newton.

One of the most well-known people to bear the name astronomer was the 16th century astronomer, Nicolaus Copernicus. Copernicus developed a heliocentric model of our solar system, placing the sun at the center and the Earth orbiting it, and in doing so turned most of the predominant world views of the time on their heads. Although a heliocentric model had been put forth by various brilliant minds from the world of Islam, India, and Greece, Copernicus laid his out in the West in such a way that it was impossible for the world to ignore.

Not long after Copernicus, the astronomer Galileo Galilei expanded on Copernicus’ views. He made the telescope substantially more effective than it had been, allowing the astronomer to make much more detailed observations, including viewing craters on the moon, sunspots, and four of the moons of Jupiter. Galileo was a devout Catholic, and in fact traveled to Rome to show the moons of Jupiter to the Jesuit Collegio Romano as evidence of the Copernican heliocentric model. The Church rejected Galileo’s views, and eventually found him highly suspected of heresy and placed under house arrest.

Sir Isaac Newton, in addition to his many other accomplishments, was an influential astronomer. Many of his observations led him to develop some of his grand theories of motion, gravitation, and physical dynamics. Edmond Halley, an 18th century astronomer, conceived of a theory of orbits for comets. He used this theory to predict a comet in 1682, which would eventually be named in his honor, as Halley’s Comet.

One of the fundamental historical distinctions of an astronomer is his or her reliance on observation to come up with theories. It is likely for this reason that the astronomer is such a romantic figure for most people. The heavens at night are awe inspiring for most, and a lifetime spent gazing into them and trying to plumb their mysteries is one that appeals too many. Although the romantic ideal of a wizened old man with his eye to a telescope may no longer truly exist, it has nonetheless inspired generation after generation to become excited about science.

In the modern age, two wonderful things have happened for the field of astronomy: quality has gone up, and price has gone down. This has allowed for a whole new wave of astronomers to crop up, but these are often amateurs. With a relatively small investment now, anyone can be an astronomer. In fact, some important discoveries over the past two decades have been by those who are far from professional astronomers. As technology continues to improve, it is likely that the role the amateur astronomer plays in identification of celestial phenomena with only increase.

Qno: 43 How did Galileo contribute to the development of experimental method in science?

Ans: Galileo Galilei  was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations, and support for Copernicanism. Galileo has been called the “father of modern observational astronomy,” the “father of modern physics,” the “father of science,” and “the Father of Modern Science.” Stephen Hawking says, “Galileo, perhaps more than any other single person, was responsible for the birth of modern science.”

The motion of uniformly accelerated objects, taught in nearly all high school and introductory college physics courses, was studied by Galileo as the subject of kinematics. His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus, the discovery of the four largest satellites of Jupiter (named the Galilean moons in his honour), and the observation and analysis of sunspots. Galileo also worked in applied science and technology, inventing an improved military compass and other instruments.

Galileo’s championing of Copernicanism was controversial within his lifetime, when a large majority of philosophers and astronomers still subscribed (at least outwardly) to the geocentric view that the Earth is at the centre of the universe. After 1610, when he began publicly supporting the heliocentric view, which placed the Sun at the centre of the universe, he met with bitter opposition from some philosophers and clerics, and two of the latter eventually denounced him to the Roman Inquisition early in 1615. In February 1616, although he had been cleared of any offence, the Catholic Church nevertheless condemned heliocentrism as “false and contrary to Scripture”, and Galileo was warned to abandon his support for it—which he promised to do. When he later defended his views in his most famous work, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, published in 1632, he was tried by the Inquisition, found “vehemently suspect of heresy,” forced to recant, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest.

Galileo made original contributions to the science of motion through an innovative combination of experiment and mathematics. More typical of science at the time were the qualitative studies of William Gilbert, on magnetism and electricity. Galileo’s father, Vincenzo Galilei, a lutenist and music theorist, had performed experiments establishing perhaps the oldest known non-linear relation in physics: for a stretched string, the pitch varies as the square root of the tension. These observations lay within the framework of the Pythagorean tradition of music, well-known to instrument makers, which included the fact that subdividing a string by a whole number produces a harmonious scale. Thus, a limited amount of mathematics had long related music and physical science, and young Galileo could see his own father’s observations expand on that tradition.

Galileo showed a remarkably modern appreciation for the proper relationship between mathematics, theoretical physics, and experimental physics. He understood the parabola, both in terms of conic sections and in terms of the ordinate (y) varying as the square of the abscissa (x). Galilei further asserted that the parabola was the theoretically ideal trajectory of a uniformly accelerated projectile in the absence of friction and other disturbances. He conceded that there are limits to the validity of this theory, noting on theoretical grounds that a projectile trajectory of a size comparable to that of the Earth could not possibly be a parabola, but he nevertheless maintained that for distances up to the range of the artillery of his day, the deviation of a projectile’s trajectory from a parabola would only be very slight. Thirdly, he recognized that his experimental data would never agree exactly with any theoretical or mathematical form, because of the imprecision of measurement, irreducible friction, and other factors.

According to Stephen Hawking, Galileo probably bears more of the responsibility for the birth of modern science than anybody else, and Albert Einstein called him the father of modern science.

It was on this page that Galileo first noted an observation of the moons of Jupiter. This observation upset the notion that all celestial bodies must revolve around the Earth. Galileo published a full description in Sidereus Nuncius in March 1610.

Based only on uncertain descriptions of the first practical telescope, invented by Hans Lippershey in the Netherlands in 1608, Galileo, in the following year, made a telescope with about 3 x magnifications. He later made others with up to about 30x magnification. With this improved device he could see magnified, upright images on the earth – it was what is now known as a terrestrial telescope, or spyglass. He could also use it to observe the sky; for a time he was one of those who could construct telescopes good enough for that purpose. On 25 August 1609, he demonstrated his first telescope to Venetian lawmakers. His telescopes were a profitable sideline. He could sell them to merchants who found them useful both at sea and as items of trade. He published his initial telescopic astronomical observations in March 1610 in a brief treatise entitled Sidereus Nuncius (Starry Messenger).

On 7 January 1610 Galileo observed with his telescope what he described at the time as “three fixed stars, totally invisible by their smallness,” all close to Jupiter, and lying on a straight line through it.Observations on subsequent nights showed that the positions of these “stars” relative to Jupiter were changing in a way that would have been inexplicable if they had really been fixed stars. On 10 January Galileo noted that one of them had disappeared, an observation which he attributed to its being hidden behind Jupiter. Within a few days he concluded that they were orbiting Jupiter: He had discovered three of Jupiter’s four largest satellites (moons): Io, Europa, and Callisto. He discovered the fourth, Ganymede, on 13 January. Galileo named the four satellites he had discovered Medicean stars, in honour of his future patron, Cosimo II de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Cosimo’s three brothers. Later astronomers, however, renamed them the Galilean satellites in honour of Galileo himself.

Galileo continued to observe the satellites over the next eighteen months, and by mid 1611 he had obtained remarkably accurate estimates for their periods—a feat which Kepler had believed impossible.

From September 1610, Galileo observed that Venus exhibited a full set of phases similar to that of the Moon. The heliocentric model of the solar system developed by Nicolaus Copernicus predicted that all phases would be visible since the orbit of Venus around the Sun would cause its illuminated hemisphere to face the Earth when it was on the opposite side of the Sun and to face away from the Earth when it was on the Earth-side of the Sun. On the other hand, in Ptolemy’s geocentric model it was impossible for any of the planets’ orbits to intersect the spherical shell carrying the Sun. Traditionally the orbit of Venus was placed entirely on the near side of the Sun, where it could exhibit only crescent and new phases. It was, however, also possible to place it entirely on the far side of the Sun, where it could exhibit only gibbous and full phases. After Galileo’s telescopic observations of the crescent, gibbous and full phases of Venus, therefore, this Ptolemaic model became untenable. Thus in the early 17th century as a result of his discovery the great majority of astronomers converted to one of the various geo-heliocentric planetary models, such as the Tychonic, Capellan and Extended Capellan models, each either with or without a daily rotating Earth. These all had the virtue of explaining the phases of Venus without the vice of the ‘refutation’ of full heliocentrism’s prediction of stellar parallax. Galileo’s discovery of the phases of Venus was thus arguably his most empirically practically influential contribution to the two-stage transition from full geocentrism to full heliocentrism via geo-heliocentrism.

Galileo also observed the planet Saturn, and at first mistook its rings for planets, thinking it was a three-bodied system. When he observed the planet later, Saturn’s rings were directly oriented at Earth, causing him to think that two of the bodies had disappeared. The rings reappeared when he observed the planet in 1616, further confusing him.

Galileo was one of the first Europeans to observe sunspots, although Kepler had unwittingly observed one in 1607, but mistook it for a transit of Mercury. He also reinterpreted a sunspot observation from the time of Charlemagne, which formerly had been attributed (impossibly) to a transit of Mercury. The very existence of sunspots showed another difficulty with the unchanging perfection of the heavens posited by orthodox Aristotelian celestial physics, but their regular periodic transits also confirmed the dramatic novel prediction of Kepler’s Aristotelian celestial dynamics in his 1609 Astronomia Nova that the sun rotates, which was the first successful novel prediction of post-spherist celestial physics. And the annual variations in sunspots’ motions, discovered by Francesco Sizzi and others in 1612–1613’ provided a powerful argument against both the Ptolemaic system and the geoheliocentric system of Tycho Brahe. A dispute over priority in the discovery of sunspots, and in their interpretation, led Galileo to a long and bitter feud with the Jesuit Christoph Scheiner; in fact, there is little doubt that both of them were beaten by David Fabricius and his son Johannes, looking for confirmation of Kepler’s prediction of the sun’s rotation. Scheiner quickly adopted Kepler’s 1615 proposal of the modern telescope design, which gave larger magnification at the cost of inverted images; Galileo apparently never changed to Kepler’s design.

Galileo was the first to report lunar mountains and craters, whose existence he deduced from the patterns of light and shadow on the Moon’s surface. He even estimated the mountains’ heights from these observations. This led him to the conclusion that the Moon was “rough and uneven, and just like the surface of the Earth itself,” rather than a perfect sphere as Aristotle had claimed.

Galileo made a number of contributions to what is now known as technology, as distinct from pure physics, and suggested others. This is not the same distinction as made by Aristotle, who would have considered all Galileo’s physics as techne or useful knowledge, as opposed to episteme, or philosophical investigation into the causes of things. Between 1595–1598, Galileo devised and improved a Geometric and Military Compass suitable for use by gunners and surveyors. This expanded on earlier instruments designed by Niccolò Tartaglia and Guidobaldo Del Monte. For gunners, it offered, in addition to a new and safer way of elevating cannons accurately, a way of quickly computing the charge of gunpowder for cannonballs of different sizes and materials. As a geometric instrument, it enabled the construction of any regular polygon, computation of the area of any polygon or circular sector, and a variety of other calculations. Under Galileo’s direction, instrument maker Marc’Antonio Mazzoleni produced more than 100 of these compasses, which Galileo sold (along with an instruction manual he wrote) for 50 lire and offered a course of instruction in the use of the compasses for 120 lire.

About 1593, Galileo constructed a thermometer, using the expansion and contraction of air in a bulb to move water in an attached tube.

In 1609, Galileo was, along with Englishman Thomas Harriot and others, among the first to use a refracting telescope as an instrument to observe stars, planets or moons. The name “telescope” was coined for Galileo’s instrument by a Greek mathematician, Giovanni Demisiani, at a banquet held in 1611 by Prince Federico Cesi to make Galileo a member of his Accademia dei Lincei. The name was derived from the Greek tele = ‘far’ and skopein = ‘to look or see’. In 1610, he used a telescope at close range to magnify the parts of insects. By 1624 he had perfected a compound microscope. He gave one of these instruments to Cardinal Zollern in May of that year for presentation to the Duke of Bavaria, and in September he sent another to Prince Cesi. The Linceans played a role again in naming the “microscope” a year later when fellow academy member Giovanni Faber coined the word for Galileo’s invention from the Greek words (micron) meaning “small,” and(spoken) meaning “to look at.” The word was meant to be analogous with “telescope. Illustrations of insects made using one of Galileo’s microscopes, and published in 1625; appear to have been the first clear documentation of the use of a compound microscope.

In 1612, having determined the orbital periods of Jupiter’s satellites, Galileo proposed that with sufficiently accurate knowledge of their orbits one could use their positions as a universal clock, and this would make possible the determination of longitude. He worked on this problem from time to time during the remainder of his life; but the practical problems were severe. The method was first successfully applied by Giovanni Domenico Cassini in 1681 and was later used extensively for large land surveys; this method, for example, was used by Lewis and Clark. For sea navigation, where delicate telescopic observations were more difficult, the longitude problem eventually required development of a practical portable marine chronometer, such as that of John Harrison. In his last year, when totally blind, he designed an escapement mechanism for a pendulum clock, a vectorial model of which may be seen here. The first fully operational pendulum clock was made by Christiaan Huygens in the 1650s. Galilei created sketches of various inventions, such as a candle and mirror combination to reflect light throughout a building, an automatic tomato picker, a pocket comb that doubled as an eating utensil, and what appears to be a ballpoint pen.

Qno.44. Describe A.Vesalius roles in development of modern Anatomy? Jump to: navigation, search


Ans: History of Anatomy

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Andreas Vesalius, Father of Modern Anatomy

Today we take for granted our knowledge of human anatomy. For that we can thank early scientists such as the 16th-century anatomist Andreas Vesalius, who struggled to discover record and publish the inner structure and fabric of the human body.

Vesalius revolutionized the science of anatomy by basing his findings on direct observation of the body itself, rather than on centuries-old received wisdom. Until Vesalius’ day, the study of anatomy consisted of expounding the texts of Galen, an ancient Greek physician. We know now that Galen based much of his knowledge on animal dissection, and so his description of human anatomy was inaccurate. Yet his texts were considered infallible, even sacred, and were the main source of knowledge about the human body for 1,500 years. To question their authority required great courage.

This Vesalius did. In teaching anatomy, he immediately departed from custom, which dictated that he should sit in an elevated chair, read from a text of Galen and watch while an unskilled barber-surgeon conducted the dissection. Instead, Vesalius descended from the chair and he handled the body and dissected the organs.

Vesalius also prepared new teaching aids for his students — large anatomical charts — to use when a body to dissect was not available. No one before him had used this graphic method of teaching.

A lack of cadavers suitable for dissection and study hampered the study of anatomy in Vesalius’ day. The only bodies legally available for dissection were those of executed criminals. Vesalius seized every opportunity he could to gather specimens. One day, he found on a country road a poor soul among many others who had been burned at the stake, and whose remains were in a condition ideal for study.

The history of anatomy as a science extends from the earliest examinations of sacrificial victims to the sophisticated analyses of the body performed by modern scientists. It has been characterized, over time, by a continually developing understanding of the functions of organs and structures in the body. The field of Human Anatomy has a prestigious history, and is considered to be the most prominent of the biological sciences of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Methods have also improved dramatically, advancing from examination of animals through dissection of cadavers to technologically complex techniques developed in the 20th century.

Anatomy teaching is one of the cornerstones of a doctor’s medical education. Despite being a persistent portion of teaching from at least the renaissance, the format and the amount of information being taught has evolved and changed along with the demands of the profession. What is being taught today may differ in content significantly from the past but the methods used to teach this have not really changed that much. For example all the famous public dissections of the Middle Ages and early renaissance were in fact prosecutions. Prosecution is the direction in which many current medical schools are heading in order to aid the teaching of anatomy and some argue that dissection is better. However looking at results of post graduate exams, medical schools (specifically Birmingham) that use prosecution as opposed to dissection do very well in these examinations [1]. This would suggest that prosecution can fit very well into the structure of modern medical training.

The first challenges to the Galenic doctrine in Europe occurred in the 16th century. Thanks to the printing press, all over Europe a collective effort proceeded to circulate the works of Galen and Avicenna, and later publish criticisms on their works. Vesalius was the first to publish a treatise, De humani corporis fabrica, that challenged Galen “drawing for drawing” travelling all the way from Leuven[11] to Padua for permission to dissect victims from the gallows without fear of persecution. His drawings are triumphant descriptions of the, sometimes major, discrepancies between dogs and humans, showing superb drawing ability. Many later anatomists challenged Galen in their texts, though Galen reigned supreme for another century.

A succession of researchers proceeded to refine the body of anatomical knowledge, giving their names to a number of anatomical structures along the way. The 16th and 17th centuries also witnessed significant advances in the understanding of the circulatory system, as the purpose of valves in veins was identified, the left-to-right ventricle flow of blood through the circulatory system was described, and the hepatic veins were identified as a separate portion of the circulatory system. The lymphatic system was also identified as a separate system at this time.

Modern Anatomy

Anatomical research in the past hundred years has taken advantage of technological developments and growing understanding of sciences such as evolutionary and molecular biology to create a thorough understanding of the body’s organs and structures. Disciplines such as endocrinology have explained the purpose of glands that anatomists previously could not explain; medical devices such as MRI machines and CAT scanners have enabled researchers to study the organs of living people or of dead ones. Progress today in anatomy is centered in the development, evolution, and function of anatomical features, as the macroscopic aspects of human anatomy have been largely catalogued. The subfield of non-human anatomy is particularly active as modern anatomists seek to understand basic organizing principles of anatomy through the use of advanced techniques ranging from finite element analysis to molecular biology.

With increasing demands on the healthcare system and what could be deemed chronic under-training of doctors (numbers of doctors per capita compared to other industrialized countries) during the latter half of the 20th century, medical schools are now facing massive pressure to train as many doctors as possible. This has meant in recent years cohort sizes have doubled and more in size, in order to try and meet the demand. This has resulted in increased pressure of the facilities at all medical schools in the country. Anatomy is one department in particular that has had to evolve to accommodate the number of students. At Birmingham dissection was once essential to the teaching of anatomy but since the end of the 1980s the medical school has adopted prosecution over dissection. At the time new directives from the General Medical Council (GMC) on the direction medical education was the major factor according the current head of anatomy. There are also many other reasons why prosecution maybe favoured (discussed below). It has probably now become near impossible to restart dissection at Birmingham even if one wanted to. This is due to the fact that current prosecution uses a very similar number of cadavers as dissection previously did. If dissection was to be brought back the number of cadavers would be very large due the current cohort size. To increase provision of prosecution the medical school is currently investing in the region of £800,000-900,000 on a new prosectorium. This will allow up to about 40 students to observe prosecuted material in any one session. The vast amount of money required just to increase the amount of prosecution demonstrates that it is no longer possible to carry out dissection at Birmingham (and is the case for many other universities). Prosecution makes more efficient use of a cadaver when compared to dissection. A single cadaver when dissecting would be used by up to 5 students whereas prosecution allows if necessary and entire cohort to observe the prosecuted cadaver. Prosecution also allows students to observe more than one cadaver whereas in dissection you would tend to just use a single one. Logistically prosecution allows more flexibility than dissection as there is no commitment to provide a cadaver per a certain number of students, this in fact create opportunities for cadavers to be used, for example at Birmingham, for Special Study Modules (SSMs) and postgraduate teaching.

Qno.45. describe the main ills afflicting Church in late 15th and early 16th century that gave birth to Protestantism.  OR. Describe the social-intellectual milieu of Luther’s times. What are the basic content of Ninety -five Theses of Luther? OR. What do you understand by the Magisterial Reformation?

Ans: The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world’s largest Christian church, with more than a billion members. The Church’s leader is the Pope who holds supreme authority in concert with the College of Bishops of which he is the head. A communion of the Western (Latin Rite) church and 22 autonomous Eastern Catholic churches (called particular churches) comprise a total of 2,795 dioceses in 2008. The Church defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity. It operates social programs and institutions throughout the world including schools, universities, hospitals, missions, shelters and charities.

The Catholic Church teaches that it is the original Church founded by Jesus upon the Apostles, among whom Simon Peter was chief. The Church teaches that its bishops, through apostolic succession, are consecrated successors of these apostles, and that the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) as the successor of Peter possesses a universal primacy of jurisdiction and pastoral care. Church doctrines have been defined through 21 ecumenical councils, following the example set by the first Apostles in the Council of Jerusalem. On the basis of reports in the Gospels of promises made by Jesus to his apostles, the Church maintains that it is guided by the Holy Spirit and so protected from falling into doctrinal error. Catholic beliefs are based on the deposit of Faith (containing both the Holy Bible and Sacred Tradition) handed down from the time of the Apostles, which are interpreted by the Church’s teaching authority. Those beliefs formally detailed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Formal Catholic worship is called the liturgy. The Eucharist is the central component of Catholic worship.

With a history spanning almost two thousand years, the Church is the western world’s oldest and largest institution, having played a prominent role in the politics and history of Western civilization since the 4th century. It maintains that it is the “One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church” founded by Jesus Christ, although it also believes that the Holy Spirit can make use of other Christian communities to bring people to salvation and that it is called to work for unity among Christians.

According to its doctrine, the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ. The New Testament records the activities and teaching of Christ’s group of sectarian Jews, his appointing of the twelve Apostles and giving them authority to continue his work. The Church teaches that Jesus designated Simon Peter as the leader of the apostles by proclaiming “upon this rock I will build my church …I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven …” The Church teaches that the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, in an event known as Pentecost, signaled the beginning of the public ministry of the Church. All duly consecrated bishops since then are considered the successors to the apostles.

There is a tradition about the early history of the Church, traceable from late antiquity, which places Peter in Rome where he founded a church and served as the first bishop of the See of Rome, consecrating Linus as his successor and beginning the line of Popes. The only element of this which the Catholic Encyclopedia presents as historical is Peter’s martyrdom at Rome. (The crucial steps towards cenralised power were taken 30 years after Constantine’s death. It was during the time of Pope Damasus I that the Bishop of Rome was established in unbroken succession from Saint Peter. According to the historian Diarmaid MacCulloch – ” you would be hard put to find anyone before the time of Damasus who made the claim that Peter was Bishop of Rome. But as successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome became the Holy Father, Pope of all Christians of the West. Damasus then took his good news, not to the poor and downtrodden to whom Jesus had preached, but to the Roman nobility. “)

Martin Luther and Birth Of Protestantism

Thesis statement: Martin Luther was responsible for the break-up of the Catholic Church
Martin Luther was a representative during the 16th century of a desire widespread of the renewal and reform of the Catholic Church. He launched the Protestant reform a continuation of the medieval religious search.

From the Middle ages, the church faced many problems such as the Babylonian Captivity and the Great Schism that hurt the prestige of the church. Most of the clergy lived in great luxury while most people were poor and they set an immoral example. The clergy had low education and many of them didn’t attend their offices. Martin Luther had witnessed this himself, “In 1510 he visited Rome and was shocked to find corruption on high ecclesiastical places”

During Luther’s early life he faced a severe inner crisis. When he sinned he looked for comfort in confession and followed the penance, the fasting, prayer and observances that the church directed him. But, he found no peace of mind and worried about his salvation. But reading St. Paul’s letters he came to believe that salvation came though faith in Christ. Faith is a free gift, he discovered, it cannot be earned. His studies led him to a conclusion that, “Christ was the only mediator between God and a man and that forgiveness of sin and salvation are given by god’s grace alone” (Martin Luther, 01).   Historians agree that,   “this approach to theology led to a clash between Luther and the Church officials, precipitating the dramatic events of Reformation”.

To construct Saint Peters Basilica, Archbishop Albert borrowed money from the Fuggers (wealthy banking family). To pay for this loan Pope Leo X gave permission to Archbishop Albert to sell indulgences in Germany. An indulgence is a way to reconcile with God, by confessing your sins to a priest and perform a penance. By the later Middle Ages people believed that indulgence removed all their sins and ensured entry to heaven. The selling of indulgence troubled.

The Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences (Latin: Disputatio pro declaratione virtutis indulgentiarum), commonly known as The Ninety-Five Theses, were written by Martin Luther in 1517 and are widely regarded as the primary catalyst for the Protestant Reformation. Luther protested against what he considered clerical abuses, especially in regard to indulgences.

The background to Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses centers on agreements within the Catholic Church regarding baptism and absolution. Significantly, the Theses offer a view on the validity of indulgences (remissions of temporal punishment due for sins which have already been forgiven). They also view with great cynicism the practice of indulgences being sold, and thus the penance for sin representing a financial transaction rather than genuine contrition. Luther’s theses argued that the sale of indulgences was a gross violation of the original intention of confession and penance, and that Christians were being falsely told that they could find absolution through the purchase of indulgences.

The Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, in the Holy Roman Empire, where the Ninety-Five Theses famously appeared, held one of Europe’s largest collections of holy relics. These had been piously collected by Frederick III of Saxony. At that time pious veneration, or viewing, of relics was purported to allow the viewer to receive relief from temporal punishment for sins in purgatory. By 1509 Frederick had over 5,000 relics, purportedly “including vials of the milk of the Virgin Mary, straw from the manger [of Jesus], and the body of one of the innocents massacred by King Herod.”

Reaction to the Ninety-Five Theses

According to some, the Ninety-Five Theses gained enormous popularity over a very short period of time. Luther’s ideas resonated with people regardless of class, status, or wealth, at a time when such concepts were crucial to the social order.

On June 15, 1520, Pope Leo X issued a rebuttal to Luther’s 95 Theses; a papal encyclical entitled Exsurge Domine. This document outlined the Magisterium of the Catholic Church’s findings of where Luther had erred.

Some of the theological concepts which Luther raised still divide the Christian Church today. These questions plagued Luther, who often resorted to mortification of the flesh so as to attempt to be perfectly contrite before God. Erasmus counseled Luther to wait until scholarship was sufficient to permit reform to be more accurate than a total dependence on the Bible, which generated Anabaptism, Protestantism, and, in the modern era, evangelicalism. Meanwhile, Luther’s Theses became a declaration of independence in Northern Europe, around which rallied enormous social changes, like the decline of feudalism, the rise of commercialism, and the discovery of the Western Hemisphere.

As early as October 27, 1521, the chapel at Wittenberg suppressed private Masses. In 1522, much of the city began celebrating Lutheran services instead of Roman Catholic. Luther’s popularity grew rapidly, mostly due to the general Roman Catholic Church member’s dissatisfaction with the corruption and “worldly” desires and habits of the Roman Curia.

Magisterial Reformation

The Magisterial Reformation is a phrase that “draws attention to the manner in which the Lutheran and Calvinist reformers related to secular authorities, such as princes, magistrates, or city councils”, i.e. “the magistracy”.  While the Radical Reformation rejected any secular authority over the Church, the Magisterial Reformation argued for the interdependence of the church and secular authorities, i.e. “The magistrate had a right to authority within the church, just as the church could rely on the authority of the magistrate to enforce discipline, suppress heresy, or maintain order.”

Qno46. Critically examine Weberian Thesis that links Protestantism with the rise if Capitalism.  

Ans: The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism is a book written by Max Weber, a German sociologist, economist, and politician, in 1904 and 1905 that began as a series of essays. The original edition was in German and has been released. Considered a founding text in economic sociology and sociology in general, the book was translated into English for the first time by Talcott Parsons and appeared in 1930.

In the book, Weber wrote that capitalism in northern Europe evolved when the Protestant (particularly Calvinist) ethic influenced large numbers of people to engage in work in the secular world, developing their own enterprises and engaging in trade and the accumulation of wealth for investment. In other words, the Protestant ethic was a force behind an unplanned and uncoordinated mass action that influenced the development of capitalism. This idea is also known as “the Weber thesis”. Weber, however, rejected deterministic approaches, and presented the Protestant Ethic as merely one in a number of ‘elective affinities’ leading toward capitalist modernity. Weber’s term Protestant work ethic has become very widely known. The work relates significantly to the cultural “rationalization” and so-called “disenchantment” which Weber associated with the modern West.

The book is not a detailed study of Protestantism but rather an introduction into Weber’s later studies of interaction between various religious ideas and economics.

In the book, Weber argues that Puritan ethics and ideas influenced the development of capitalism. Religious devotion, however, is usually accompanied by a rejection of worldly affairs, including the pursuit of wealth and possessions. Why was that not the case with Protestantism? Weber addresses this apparent paradox in the books.

To illustrate and provide an example, Weber quotes the ethical writings of Benjamin Franklin:

Remember, that time is money. He that can earn ten shillings a day by his labor, and goes abroad, or sits idle, one half of that day, though he spends but sixpence during his diversion or idleness, ought not to reckon that the only expense; he has really spent, or rather thrown away, five shillings besides. … Remember, that money is the prolific, generating nature. Money can beget money, and its offspring can beget more, and so on. Five shillings turned is six, turned again is seven and three pence, and so on, till it becomes a hundred pounds. The more there is of it, the more it produces every turning, so that the profits rise quicker and quicker. He that kills a breeding sow destroys all her offspring to the thousandth generation. He that murders a crown, destroys all that it might have produced, even scores of pounds. (Italics in the original)

Weber notes that this is not a philosophy of mere greed, but a statement laden with moral language. Indeed, Franklin claims that God revealed to him the usefulness of virtue.

To emphasize the work ethic in Protestantism relative to Catholics, he notes a common problem that industrialists face when employing precapitalist laborers: Agricultural entrepreneurs will try to encourage time spent harvesting by offering a higher wage, with the expectation that laborers will see time spent working as more valuable and so engage it longer. However, in precapitalist societies this often results in laborers spending less time harvesting. Laborers judge that they can earn the same, while spending less time working and having more leisure. He also notes that societies having more Protestants are those that have a more developed capitalist economy.

It is particularly advantageous in technical occupations for workers to be extremely devoted to their craft. To view the craft as an end in itself or as a “calling” would serve this need well. This attitude is well-noted in certain classes which have endured religious education, especially of a Pietist background.

He defines spirit of capitalism as the ideas and esprit that favour the rational pursuit of economic gain: “We shall nevertheless provisionally use the expression ‘spirit of capitalism’ for that attitude which, in the pursuit of a calling [berufsmaßig], strives systematically for profit for its own sake in the manner exemplified by Benjamin Franklin.” The rationalization is partially a product of the fact that Luther and his religious descendents read the Old Testament and New with equal weight, and so is due to greater influence of Jewish thought. Weber points out that such a spirit is not limited to Western culture if one considers it as the attitude of individuals, but that such individuals — heroic entrepreneurs, as he calls them — could not by themselves establish a new economic order (capitalism). He further noted that the spirit of capitalism could be divorced from religion, and that those passionate capitalists of his era were either passionate against the Church or at least indifferent to it. The most common tendencies were the greed for profit with minimum effort and the idea that work was a curse and burden to be avoided especially when it exceeded what was enough for modest life

Qno47. What do you understand by the term modern world? OR. What different agricultural developments with those of China & the Arabs. OR Bring out the salient features of the European commercial transformation. OR when did the modern period begin in China? OR Bring out the chief features of the cultural transformation that changed Europe from medieval age to modern.

Ans: The concept of the modern world as distinct from an ancient or medieval world rests on a sense that the modern world is not just another era in history, but rather the result of a new type of change. This is usually conceived of as progress driven by deliberate human efforts to better their situation.

Advances in all areas of human activity—politics, industry, society, economics, commerce, transport, communication, mechanization, automation, science, medicine, technology, and culture—appear to have transformed an Old World into the Modern or New World. In each case, the identification of the old Revolutionary change can be used to demarcate the old and old-fashioned from the modern.

Portions of the Modern world altered its relationship with the Biblical value system, revalued the monarchical government system, and abolished the feudal economic system, with new democratic and liberal ideas in the areas of politics, science, psychology, sociology, and economics.

Modern history, or the modern era, describes the historical timeline after the Middle Ages. Modern history can be further broken down into the early modern period and the late modern period. Contemporary history describes the span of historic events that are immediately relevant to the present time.

The beginning of the modern era started approximately in the 1500s. Many major events caused the Western world to change around the turn of the 16th century, starting with the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, the fall of Muslim Spain and the discovery of the Americas in 1492, and Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation in 1517. In England the modern period is often dated to the start of the Tudor period with the victory of Henry VII over Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485]Early modern European history is usually seen to span from the turn of the 15th century, through the Age of Reason and Age of Enlightenment in the 17th and 18th centuries, until the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century.


In contrast to the pre-modern era, Western civilization made a gradual transition from premodernity to modernity when scientific methods were developed which led many to believe that the use of science would lead to all knowledge, thus throwing back the shroud of myth under which pre-modern peoples lived. New information about the world was discovered via empirical observation.[

The term “modern” was coined shortly before 1585 to describe the beginning of a new era. The European Renaissance (about 1420–1630) is an important transition period beginning between the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Times, which started in Italy.

The term “Early Modern” was introduced in the English language in the distinguish the time between what we call Middle Ages and time of the late Enlightenment (1800) (when the meaning of the term Modern Ages was developing its contemporary form). It is important to note that these terms stem from European History. In usage in other parts of the world, such as in Asia, and in Muslim countries, the terms are applied in a very different way, but often in the context with their contact with European culture in the Age of Discoveries.

Postmodern and Contemporary

“Postmodernism”, coined 1949, on the other hand, would describe rather a movement in art than a period of history, and is usually applied to arts, but not to any events of the very recent history. This changed, when postmodernity was coined to describe the major changes in the 1950s and 1960s in economy, society, culture, and philosophy. Sometimes distinct from the modern periods themselves, the terms “modernity” and “modernism” refer to a new way of thinking, distinct from medieval thinking. “Contemporary” is applied to more recent events because it means “belonging to the same period” and “current”.

The modern period has been a period of significant development in the fields of science, politics, warfare, and technology. It has also been an age of discovery and globalization. During this time that the European powers and later their colonies, began a political, economic, and cultural colonization of the rest of the world.

By the late 19th and early 20th century, modernist art, politics, science and culture has come to dominate not only Western Europe and North America, but almost every civilized area on the globe, including movements thought of as opposed to the west and globalization. The modern era is closely associated with the development of individualism, capitalism, urbanization and a belief in the positive possibilities of technological and political progress.

The brutal wars and other problems of this era, many of which come from the effects of rapid change, and the connected loss of strength of traditional religious and ethical norms, have led to many reactions against modern development. Optimism and belief in constant progress has been most recently criticized by postmodernism while the dominance of Western Europe and North America over other continents has been criticized by postcolonial theory.

Modern as post-medieval

One common use of the term is to describe the condition of Western history since the mid-1400s, or roughly the European development of moveable type and the printing press. In this context the “modern” society is said to develop over many periods, and to be influenced by important events which represent breaks in the continuity.

The “Early modern period”

The modern era includes the early period, sometimes called the early modern period, which lasted from c. AD 1500 to around c. AD 1800 (most often 1815). Particular facets of early modernity include:

  • The Renaissance
  • The Reformation and Counter Reformation.
  • The Age of Discovery
  • Rise of capitalism

Important events in the development of early modernity period include:

  • The Arrival of the Printing Press
  • The English Civil War

The “Late modern period”

This combination of epoch events totally changed thinking and thought in the late modern period, and so their dates serve as well as any to separate the old from the new modes. Particular ways to categorize late modernity include:

  • The Age of Reason
  • The Enlightenment
  • the Romantic era
  • the Victorian era

As an Age of Revolutions dawned, beginning with those revolts in America and France, political changes were then pushed forward in other countries partly as a result of upheavals of the Napoleonic Wars and their impact on thought and thinking, from concepts from nationalism to organizing armies. The early period ended in a time of political and economic change as a result of the Industrial Revolution, the American Revolution, the first French Revolution; other factors included the redrawing of the map of Europe by the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna and the peace established by Second Treaty of Paris which ended the Napoleonic Wars. The Modernism worldview’s emergence and the industrialization of many nations was initiated with the industrialization of Britain. Particular facets of the late modernity period include:

  • Increasing role of science and technology
  • Mass literacy and proliferation of mass media
  • Spread of social movements
  • Institution of representative democracy
  • Individualism
  • Industrialization
  • Urbanization

 Modern events

Some events, though born out of context not entirely new, show a new way of perceiving the world. The concept of modernity interprets the general meaning of these events and seeks explanations for major developments. Historians analyze the events taking place in Modern Times, since the Middle Ages between the present and ancient times.

The early modern period is a term used by historians to refer to the period from approximately 1500 AD to 1800 AD. Follows the Late Middle Ages period, and is marked by the first European colonies, the rise of strong centralized governments, and the beginnings of recognizable nation states that are the direct antecedents of today’s states.

In Africa and the Ottoman Empire, the Muslim expansion took place in North and East Africa. In West Africa, various native nations existed. The Indian Empires and civilizations of Southeast Asia were a vital link in the spice trade. On the Indian subcontinent, the Great Mughal Empire existed. The archipelagic empires, the Sultanate of Malacca and later the Sultanate of Johor, controlled the southern areas.

Concerning the Asian dynasties and politics, various Chinese dynasties and Japanese shogunates controlled the Asian sphere. In Japan, the Edo period from 1600 to 1868 is also sometimes referred to as the early modern period. And in Korea, from the rising of Joseon Dynasty to the enthronement of King Gojong is referred to as the early modern period. In the Americas, Native Americans had built a large and varied civilization, including the Aztec Empire and alliance, the Inca civilization, the Mayan Empire and cities, and the Chibcha Confederation. In the west, the European kingdoms and movements were in a movement of reformation and expansion.

Later religious trends of the period saw the end of the expansion of Muslims and the Muslim world. Christians and Christendom saw the end of the Crusades and end of religious unity under the Roman Catholic Church. It was during this time that the Inquisitions and Protestant reformations took place.


During the early modern period, an age of discovery and trade was undertaken by the European nations. European powers went on a colonial expansion and took possession throughout the world. There was a conquest of the Americas and exploitation of its resources. Various European powers set up colonies in North America and Latin America.

Toward the end of the early period, Europe was dominated by the evolving system of mercantile capitalism in its trade and the New Economy. European states and politics had the characteristic of Absolutism. The French power and English revolutions dominated the political scene. There eventually evolved an international balance of power that held sways a great conflagration till years later.

The end date of the early modern period is usually associated with the Industrial Revolution, which began in Britain in about 1750. Another significant date is 1789, the beginning of the French Revolution, which drastically transformed the state of European politics and ushered in the Prince Edward Era and modern Europe.

      The Decline of Feudalism

The Medieval Feudal system, feudalism, worked well for many hundreds of years. The decline of feudalism occurred due to a number of events which occurred during the Medieval era of the Middle Ages. Feudalism was based on the division of land by the king to nobles and vassals in return for their military service under the Feudal Levy. Land was the main source of the economy and was dependent on the peasants who worked on the land.

Reasons for the Decline of Feudalism

The reasons for the decline of Feudalism during the Medieval period of the Middle Ages included:

§  The Crusades and travel during the Middle Ages opened new trade options to England

§  England started to move from land based economy to a money based economy

§  The Black Death – this reduced the population of England by one third. Labour became a valuable commodity

§  The Peasants Revolt – Peasants realized their worth and demanded changes. Charters were granted but ignored by nobles

§  More trade saw the growth of more towns

§  Peasants moved away from the country into towns they were eventually allowed to buy their freedom

§  Land was rented and the rights of lords over labour decreased

§  The Feudal Levy was unpopular and as time went by Nobles preferred to pay the King rather than to fight and raise troops

§  Armed men were paid a wage and Medieval warfare was financed by taxes and loans

§  Nobles became weaker – the Kings took back their lands and power

§  A centralized government was established

The Decline of Feudalism – the Standing Armies

The decline of feudalism came when rich nobles were allowed to pay for soldiers rather than to fight themselves. Life changed and Mercenaries were hired from all over Europe. The Mercenaries had few allegiances, except to money, and these paid fighting men were feared throughout Europe. The threat of the Mercenaries led on to the employment of professional, trained soldiers – the Standing Armies and ultimately the end of Middle Ages feudalism in England.

Decline of Feudalism – the end of Feudalism in England

Under feudalism the King was answerable to the Pope. At the end of the Middle Ages King Henry VIII clashed with the Pope and England subsequently broke with the Catholic church of Rome and the power of the Pope. This led to the establishment of the Church of England and the Dissolution of the Monasteries. It was the final ‘nail in the coffin’ of the Medieval Feudal System, feudalism, in England.

Decline of Feudalism

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§  Decline of Feudalism – the end of Feudalism in England

Qno. 48. What were the sources of computing populations in the medieval world? OR. What were the shifts in the population graph of Europe and Asia from early to the late medieval period? Discuss briefly. OR. In what ways factors like birth rate, death rate, family and marriage figure in population shifts.

Ans: A population is the collection of inter-breeding organisms of a particular species; in sociology, a collection of human beings. Statistical study of human populations occurs within the discipline of demography. The important aspects of demographic changes in the medieval period are as under.

The Demographic transition model (DTM) is a model used to represent the transition from high birth and death rates to low birth and death rates as a country develops from a pre-industrial to an industrialized economic system. The theory is based on an interpretation of demographic history developed in 1929 by the American demographer Warren Thompson. Thompson observed changes, or transitions, in birth and death rates in industrialized societies over the previous 200 years.

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Stage One

In pre-industrial society, death rates and birth rates were both high and fluctuated rapidly according to natural events, such as drought and disease, to produce a relatively constant and young population. Family planning and contraception were virtually nonexistent; therefore, birth rates were essentially only limited by the ability of women to bear children. Emigration depressed death rates in some special cases (for example, Europe and particularly the Eastern United States during the 19’th century), but, overall, death rates tended to match birth rates, often exceeding 40 per 1000 per year. Children contributed to the economy of the household from an early age by carrying water, firewood, and messages, caring for younger siblings, sweeping, washing dishes, preparing food, and working in the fields.

During this stage, the society evolves in accordance with Malthusian paradigm, with population essentially determined by the food supply. Any fluctuations in food supply (either positive, for example, due to technology improvements, or negative, due to droughts and pest invasions) tend to translate directly into population fluctuations. Famines resulting in significant mortality are frequent. Overall, the population dynamics during stage one is highly reminiscent of that commonly observed in animals.

Stage Two

This stage leads to a fall in death rates and an increase in population. The changes leading to this stage in Europe were initiated in the Agricultural Revolution of the 18th century and were initially quite slow. In the 20th century, the falls in death rates in developing countries tended to be substantially faster. Countries in this stage include Yemen, Afghanistan, the Palestinian territories, Bhutan and Laos and much of Sub-Saharan Africa (but do not include South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, Kenya and Ghana, which have begun to move into stage 3).

A consequence of the decline in mortality in Stage Two is an increasingly rapid rise in population growth (a “population explosion”) as the gap between deaths and births grows wider. Note that this growth is not due to an increase in fertility (or birth rates) but to a decline in deaths. This change in population occurred in northwestern Europe during the 19th century due to the Industrial Revolution. During the second half of the 20th century less-developed countries entered Stage Two, creating the worldwide population explosion that has demographers concerned today.

Another characteristic of Stage Two of the demographic transition is a change in the age structure of the population. In Stage One, the majority of deaths are concentrated in the first 5–10 years of life. Therefore, more than anything else, the decline in death rates in Stage Two entails the increasing survival of children and a growing population. Hence, the age structure of the population becomes increasingly youthful and more of these children enter the reproductive cycle of their lives while maintaining the high fertility rates of their parents. The bottom of the “age pyramid” widens first, accelerating population growth. The age structure of such a population is illustrated by using an example from the Third World today.

Stage Three

Stage Three moves the population towards stability through a decline in the birth rate. Several factors contribute to this eventual decline, although some of them remain speculative:

In rural areas continued decline in childhood death means that at some point parents realize they need not require so many children to be born to ensure a comfortable old age. As childhood death continues to fall and incomes increase parents can become increasingly confident that fewer children will suffice to help in family business and care for them in old age.

Increasing urbanization changes the traditional values placed upon fertility and the value of children in rural society. Urban living also raises the cost of dependent children to a family. A recent theory suggests that urbanization also contributes to reducing the birth rate because it disrupts optimal mating patterns. A 2008 study in Iceland found that the most fecund marriages are between distant cousins. Genetic incompatibilities inherent in more distant out breeding make reproduction harder.

In both rural and urban areas, the cost of children to parents is exacerbated by the introduction of compulsory education acts and the increased need to educate children so they can take up a respected position in society. Children are increasingly prohibited under law from working outside the household and make an increasingly limited contribution to the household, as school children are increasingly exempted from the expectation of making a significant contribution to domestic work. Even in equatorial Africa, children now need to be clothed, and may even require school uniforms. Parents begin to consider it a duty to buy children books and toys. Partly due to education and access to family planning, people begin to reassess their need for children and their ability to raise them.

Increasing female literacy and employment lower the uncritical acceptance of childbearing and motherhood as measures of the status of women. Working women have less time to raise children; this is particularly an issue where fathers traditionally make little or no contribution to child-raising, such as southern Europe or Japan. Valuation of women beyond childbearing and motherhood becomes important.

Improvements in contraceptive technology are now a major factor. Fertility decline is caused as much by changes in values about children and sex as by the availability of contraceptives and knowledge of how to use them.

Stage Four

This occurs where birth and death rates are both low. Therefore the total population is high and stable. Some theorists consider there are only 4 stages and that the population of a country will remain at this level. The DTM is only a suggestion about the future population levels of a country. It is not a prediction.

Countries that are at this stage (Total Fertility Rate of less than 2.5 in 1997) include: United States, Canada, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, most of Europe, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Brazil, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Singapore, Iran, China, Turkey, North Korea, Thailand and Mauritius.

Stage Five

The original Demographic Transition model has just four stages; however, some theorists consider that a fifth stage is needed to represent countries that have sub-replacement fertility. Most European and many East Asian countries now have higher death rates than birth rates.

There may be a further stage of demographic development. In an article in the August 2009 issue of Nature, Myrskyla, Kohler and Billari show that previously negative relationship between national wealth (as measured by the human development index (HDI) and birth rates has become J-shaped. Development promotes fertility decline at low and medium HDI levels, but advanced HDI promotes a rebound in fertility. In many countries with very high levels of development (around 0.95) fertility rates are now approaching two children per woman – although there are exceptions, notably Canada and Japan.

McNicoll (2006) examines the common features behind the striking changes in health and fertility in East and Southeast Asia in the 1960s-1990s, focusing on seven countries: Taiwan and South Korea (“tiger” economies), Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia (“second wave” countries), and China and Vietnam (“market-Leninist” economies). Demographic change can be seen as a byproduct of social and economic development together with, in some cases, strong governmental pressures. The transition sequence entailed the establishment of an effective, typically authoritarian, system of local administration, providing a framework for promotion and service delivery in health, education, and family planning. Subsequent economic liberalization offered new opportunities for upward mobility – and greater risks of backsliding – but these opportunities were accompanied by the erosion of social capital and the breakdown or privatization of service programs.

Qno49. Give a brief history of Urbanization? OR. Write a note on the growth of towns in Europe during medieval period. OR. Write a short note on towns as centers of trade and commerce. OR. Discuss the main features of society, economy and administration of medieval towns in Europe.

Ans: Urbanism is a focus on cities and urban areas, their geography, economies, politics, social characteristics, as well as the effects on, and caused by, the built environment. Urbanism is distinct from new urbanism in that it shies away from Greenfield development in favor of revitalizing existing urban areas.

Urbanism played a very important role not only in Europe but in other parts of medieval world also. The rise of towns and cities had been significant in different societies in all periods through the history but the urbanism of the medieval period was quite different than the earlier phases of urbanism. The urbanism of medieval period had remarkable continuity in the process of transition to the modern world. It gave rise to a number of significant administrative, social and economic institutions.

During medieval period number of urban centers increased, their physical size and population grew at a faster pace especially during the sixteenth century and seventeenth century.  Culturally urban centers were quite different from the surrounding countryside. The cities and towns Europe enjoyed a higher degree of autonomy as compared to their counterparts in Asia. In spite of physical separation from the countryside there was a lot of economic and social interaction between the towns and rural areas. The economy and society represented by towns dominated the societies they were located in. they emerged especially in Europe as the main centers which led the way for the transition to modern world.

The history of urbanization focuses on the processes of by which existing populations concentrate themselves in urban localities over time, and on the social and cultural contexts of cities and towns.

This includes examinations of demographics concentration, urban structures or systems approach, and behavioral aspects of urbanization. At least four major approaches to the field of urban history can be identified.

Urban Biography

Urban biography is the history of one particular place. This is the most popular form of urban history as far as the general public is concerned. Urban biographies attempt to relate the many complex facets of a city – such as transportation, municipal government, physical expansion, society and social organization – to the larger context of the whole city. The city itself gains a distinct collective personality, and becomes more than just a setting for historical events.

Thematic Urban History

A variety of themes (economic, social, architectural, etc) can be examined in the context of cities. Much like micro history, thematic studies often investigate a larger historical question by examining one city.

Urban Culture

The study of the culture of cities and the role of cities in culture is a more recent development which provides untraditional ways of “reading” cities. The basis for much of this approach stems from an post-modern theory including the literary theory of Jacques Derrida and the cultural anthropology of Clifford Geertz.

Qno50. What was the significance of infantry in the military organization of early modern Europe? OR. How did the Gun-Powder revolution affect design of forts? OR. How the military revolution of early modern times affected military logistics?

Ans: ‘The notion of a “military revolution” distorted the study of early modern military history for decades from the 1950s.’ This blunt comment by the distinguished military historian of eighteenth-century Europe, Christopher Duffy, in his Through German Eyes: the British and the Somme 1916 (2006), contrasts markedly with the views of those who still find the thesis useful, indeed fundamental. Geoffrey Parker, a key figure in the debate, is preparing a third edition of his seminal book Military Revolution 1500-1800, a work he first published in 1988, but sees the need for relatively few changes.

The concept of an early modern European military revolution first came to prominence in the inaugural lecture of the specialist on Sweden, Michael Roberts, at Queen’s University, Belfast in 1955 (published in 1956). Focusing on the period 1560-1660 but as part of the longer-term process in military change that stemmed from the introduction of portable firearms, Roberts drew connections between military technology and techniques, and larger historical consequences. He specifically argued that innovations in tactics, drill and doctrine by the Dutch and Swedes in the century 1560-1660, which were designed to maximize the benefit of firearms, led to a need for more trained troops and thus for permanent forces; and that this had major political and social consequences in the level of administrative support and the supply of money, men and provisions, producing new financial demands.Jump to: navigation, search

Gunpowder, also called black powder, is a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate. It burns rapidly, producing a volume of hot gas and a solid residue. Because of its burning properties and the amount of heat and gas volume that it generates, gunpowder has been widely used as a propellant in firearms and as a pyrotechnic composition in fireworks. The term gunpowder also refers broadly to any propellant powder. Modern firearms do not use the traditional gunpowder (black powder) described in this article, but instead uses smokeless powder. Antique firearms or replicas of antique firearms are often used with black powder substitute.

Gunpowder is classified as a low explosive because of its relatively slow decomposition rate and consequently low brisance. Low explosives deflagrate at subsonic speeds. High explosives detonate, producing a supersonic wave. The gases produced by burning gunpowder generate enough pressure to propel a bullet, but not enough to destroy a gun barrel. This makes gunpowder less suitable for shattering rock or fortifications, where high explosives such as TNT are preferred.

Gunpowder was invented, documented and used in ancient China where the Chinese military forces used gunpowder based weapons technology (i.e. rockets, guns, cannons) and explosives (i.e. grenades and different types of bombs) against the Mongols when the Mongols attempted to invade and breach the Chinese city fortifications on the northern borders of China. After the Mongols conquered China and founded the Yuan Dynasty, they used the Chinese gunpowder-based weapons technology in their invasion of Japan. Chinese also used gunpowder to fuel rockets. However, it has also been argued that, like the wheel, gunpowder was “coinvented” or “co-discovered” prior to, simultaneously or slightly after the Chinese, by cultures separated from the Chinese by vast distances, with minimal direct contact between one another.

The Military Revolution refers to a radical change in military strategy and tactics. The concept was introduced by Michael Roberts in the 1950s as he focused on Sweden 1560-1660 searching for major changes in the European way of war caused by introduction of portable firearms, Roberts linked military technology with larger historical consequences, arguing that innovations in tactics, drill and doctrine by the Dutch and Swedes in the century 1560-1660, which maximized the utility of firearms, led to a need for more trained troops and thus for permanent forces. These changes in turn had major political consequences in the level of administrative support and the supply of money, men and provisions, producing new financial demands and the creation of new governmental institutions. Thus, argued Roberts, the modern art of war made possible — and necessary — the creation of the modern state.

The concept was further expanded by Geoffrey Parker in Parker (1976) and Parker (1996) to cover the ‘artillery fortress’ capable of withstanding the new siege artillery, the growing Spanish army, and such naval innovations as capital ships firing broadsides. Parker also stressed the worldwide implications, linking the Military Revolution inside Europe to the rise of the West to global dominance. Some historians have found the concept exaggerated or misleading, including Christopher Duffy.

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Military logistics is the art and science of planning and carrying out the movement and maintenance of military forces. In its most comprehensive sense, it is those aspects or military operations that deal with:

  • Design, development, acquisition, storage, distribution, maintenance, evacuation, and disposition of materiel.
  • Transport of personnel.
  • Acquisition or construction, maintenance, operation, and disposition of facilities.
  • Acquisition or furnishing of services.
  • Medical and health service support.

Origins of military logistics

The word “logistics” is derived from the Greek adjective logistikos meaning “skilled in calculating”. The first administrative use of the word was in Roman and Byzantine times when there was a military administrative official with the title Logista. At that time, the word apparently implied a skill involved in mathematical computations.

Research indicates that its first use in relation to an organized military administrative science was by the Swiss writer, Antoine-Henri Jomini, who, in 1838, devised a theory of war on the trinity of strategy, ground tactics, and logistics. The French still use the words logistique and loger with the meaning “to quarter”.

The military activity known as logistics probably is as old as war itself. In the early history of man when the first wars were fought, each man had to find his own food, stones, and knotted clubs. Each warrior was responsible for foraging for his own food and firewood.

Not until later, when fighters joined as groups and fighting groups became larger, was there any basis for designating certain men to specialize in providing food and weapons to the combatants. The men who provided support to the fighters constituted the first logistics organization.

By the seventeenth century, the French were using a magazine system to keep a network of frontier towns supplied for sieges and to provide for campaigns beyond their borders. The American Civil War saw the introduction of railways for transport of personnel, supplies and heavy field pieces.

During the Seven Weeks War, railways enabled the swift mobilization of the Prussian Army, but the problem of moving supplies from the end of rail lines to units at the front resulted in nearly 18,000 tons trapped on trains unable to be unloaded to ground transport. The Prussian use of railways during the Franco-Prussian War is often cited as a prime example of logistic modernizations, but the advantages of maneuver were often gained by abandoning supply lines that became hopelessly congested with rear-area traffic.

During World War I, unrestricted submarine warfare had a significant impact on the ability of Britain’s allies to keep shipping lanes open, while the great size of the German Army proved too much for its railways to support except while immobilized in trench warfare.

Qno51. Explain the transition in families and kinship pattern in late medieval Europe. OR. What type of controls religious authorities and state impose on the family in the 16th and 17th centuries..

Ans: Kinship is a relationship between any entities that share a genealogical origin, through biological, cultural, or historical descent. Kinship is one of the most basic principles for organizing individuals into social groups, roles, categories, and genealogy. Family relations can be represented concretely (mother, brother, grandfather) or abstractly after degrees of relationship. A relationship may have relative purchase (e.g., father is one regarding a child), or reflect an absolute (e.g., status difference between a mother and a childless woman). Degrees of relationship are not identical to heir ship or legal succession. Many codes of ethics consider the bond of kinship as creating obligations between the related persons stronger than those between strangers, as in Confucian filial piety.

The first step to unraveling the tangle of kinship nomenclature and its use is the realization that Medieval kinship identification term use often disregarded consanguine connections between individuals. Twentieth century people assume that kinship terminology is limited to genetic connections or a fictional duplication of those genetic ties. Such an assumption invariably leads one into a morass of conflicting kinship that often appears impenetrable. Medieval kinship, contrary to contemporary biases, did not and was not used solely to describe the genetic connections between family members. Whether or not people happened to be related was not the point since the terminology was used descriptively. The descriptive use bridged widely differing kinship systems and continued for over a thousand years.

Medieval kinship terms were dependent upon a variety of situations: 1. an acknowledgement of common experiences between individuals; 2. a description of the current status of relationships for individuals or political entities; 3. a description of relative rank between people. All common experiences were classified and often discussed in intimate familial terminology. Kinship terminology may best be viewed as common legal language of the period which described relationships of safety, reciprocity, personal support, and familiarity.

We can find the language of reciprocity in many documents. Correspondence, public, legal sources all have the language. So too do literary sources. Kinship terms were retained in the language as archaic holdovers, particularly among the powerful. Some of the literary sources, while written long after the events portrayed continued the old use of familial terms.

Kinship terminology, while indicating clear genetic connections or those relationships within a society which mimic genetic connections, can also be used by a group descriptively. We need go no further than our own culture’s past to find many examples of such use. It is imperative to uncover the cultural definitions and uses of a term, whether that term is for cattle or kinsmen. In the Middle Ages kinship terminology indicated specific relationships of trust, reciprocity, and safety. At no time were those people in any doubt as to the actual genetic, affinal, or fictive connections between themselves and others. However, the importance of kin to Medieval folk was indicated by the wealth of different descriptive uses they made of kinship terminology. Those uses in and of themselves are a clear indication of what the average person a thousand years ago thought was important. So important were those reciprocal contractual connections that the sources of the period are full of consistent formulae and references to those relationships.

In many ways the power of the medieval reality still influences our images and perceptions of ideal relationships, since we still use those same images. Medieval people were obsessed with safety and stability in an extremely unsafe and unstable world. Safety during the Middle Ages was most likely in the context and intricate connections of the family and kindred. In the family one expected support, nurturing, and a haven from the world. Thus, people described many different relationships in a universally understood cultural image, the image of the family. The thread through each of the situations, which used kinship terminology, was this: in each case the relationship was ideally safe and it was ideally reciprocal, just as the family was ideally safe and ideally reciprocal. So each situation where kinship terms were used was to be based on that ideal. Even though the reality was different the legal fictions, legal language, and cultural expectations remained. Safety equals kin, kin equals reciprocity, reciprocity is mutual, mutuality is safety, and safety equals kin.

Qno52. Explain the canonical view of marriage.

Ans: Marriage is that individual union through which man and woman by their reciprocal rights form one principle of generation. It is affected by their mutual consent to give and accept each other for the purpose of propagating the human race, of educating their offspring, of sharing life in common, of supporting each other in undivided conjugal affection by a lasting union.

For most of European history, marriage was more or less a business agreement between two families who arranged the marriages of their children. Romantic loves, and even simple affection, were not considered essential. Historically, the perceived necessity of marriage has been stressed. In Ancient Greece, no specific civil ceremony was required for the creation of a marriage – only mutual agreement and the fact that the couple must regard each other as husband and wife accordingly. Men usually married when they were in their 20s or 30s  and expected their wives to be in their early teens. It has been suggested that these ages made sense for the Greek because men were generally done with military service by age 30, and marrying a young girl ensured her virginity. Married Greek women had few rights in ancient Greek society and were expected to take care of the house and children. Time was an important factor in Greek marriage. For example, there were superstitions that being married during a full moon was good luck and, according to Robert Flacelière, Greeks married in the winter. Inheritance was more important than feelings: A woman whose father dies without male heirs can be forced to marry her nearest male relative—even if she has to divorce her husband first.



  • Hunting and Gathering.
  • Pastoral Nomadism.
  • Transition to Agriculture.
  • The Neolithic Revolution.
  • Implications for the World.
  • Cultural and Natural Settings of the Early Civilizations.
  • Technological Foundations and Socio-Economic Parameters.
  • Writing and Artistic Expression.
  • The Social Structure Reconstructed.
  • Formation of States and Empires.
  • The Persian Empire.
  • Ancient Greece.
  • The Roman Empire.
  • Latin America.
  • Nomadic Empires.
  • The Late Roman World.
  • The Arab World.
  • Debates on Feudalism.
  • Feudalism: Forms and Structures.
  • Phases of Feudalism.
  • Trade and the Decline of Feudalism.
  • Oceanic Trade.
  • Business Communities.
  • Commercial Practices.
  • Craft Production.
  • Science and Technologies and Expansion of Knowledge.
  • Religious Establishment.
  • Transition to Modern World.
  • Trends and Transition in Population.
  • Technologies of Welfare and communication.
  • Kinship Pattern and family Structure.



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