1. The definition and characteristics of civilization.
2. While studying the social, cultural, and economic characteristics of early civilizations in Mesopotamia,
Egypt, North India, China, and the Aegean region. Compare and contrast the Mesopotamians and Egyptians in
regards to their world-view (religions.) What factors help to explain any differences that might have
existed between the two?
3. Learn how the concept of the Mandate of Heaven became part of the political rationale for every dynasty
from the Zhou to the 20th century in China. Make sure you understand the, Dynastic Cycle in China, basic
principles of Confucianism and how they are linked to the concept of the Mandate of Heaven.
4. Explain why democracy occurred in Greece, particularly in Athens, and not any other places in the
ancient world. Make sure you compare and contrast the ancient Athenian and Spartan cultures, including
5. How did the Achaemenid state rule over a long period of time? What were the main aspects of government
control that enhanced the power base? What was the role of the Zoroastrian religion in this development?
6. Learn all about Hinduism and Caste system and discuss why the Caste system only occurred in India, but
no other places in ancient world.
7. Marius, Sulla, Pompey, Caesar and Augustus all tried to achieve and maintain more or less absolute power.
However, in the end, only Augustus was successful. How can the success of Augustus and the failure of the
others be explained? What answers did Augustus provide for the problems that had plagued the republic?
8. Discuss the role that Qin Shihuangdi played in the unification of China. What were some of his main
achievements and the foundations of his political philosophy?
9. Learn about which factors contributed to the economic productivity and prosperity (inventions and
manufacturing) of the Chinese during the Han Dynasty. Also explain what factors caused the economic and
social difficulties during this period.
10 Explain in details what the Civil Service Examination was in China and how it was different than most bureaucracy of the world.
11. Learn first the richness and complexity of the Olmec and the Mayan civilizations in terms of politics and economy, then study about their accomplishments in economy, writing, astronomy and math.
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