Cultural Chapters 2,3,4,&5


Chapters 2,3,4,&5


You need to consider the following

• How does religion influence the different developing cultures?

• How does cultural tie into what we have already learned about politics?

• Did the culture of these places affect the fall of the empire?

Is it a religion or a philosophy??????

Culture and Politics

• Key: Religion/Culture is a major component to the political landscape

• Obedience to the State rather than to a god.

▫ Harmonious earthly life

▫ Balance

▫ Ceremony

▫ Tradition

3 Major Religions develop





• Confucian ideas

▫ Fundamentally moral and ethical in character

▫ Restore political and social order; stress ritual

▫ Government is an extension of family relationships

• Primarily a system of ethics

• Gave bureaucracy a common belief system

▫ Emphasis on individual virtuous behavior both by the ruler and the ruled

• Education:

▫ accessible to all talented and educated members of society

Confucius (Kung Fuzi) 551-478 BCE


If people could be taught to emphasize personal virtue a solid political life would naturally result

• Respect for one’s superiors

• Wrote: The Analects

▫ Principle of Jen :

 “Do not do to others what you would not like them to do to you”


▫ promoted Confucius’s teachings and slightly modified them

5 Relationships of Confucianism


Father and Son


Elder brother and younger brother


Husband and wife


Older friend and younger friend


Ruler and subject


Arose about the same time as Confucianism during the Zhou dynasty

Prominent critics of Confucian thought

Laozi (Lao-tsu)- furthered Daoism


▫ traditional Chinese beliefs in nature’s harmony

▫ added a sense of nature’s mystery

General conditions of the world unimportant; harmony with nature is more important

Han rulers persuaded Daoist priests to stress loyalty to the emperor


• The doctrine of statecraft

▫ Promoted a practical and ruthlessly efficient approach

▫ No concern with:

 ethics and morality

 the principles governing nature

▫ Discouraged art, and literature

• Doctrine used by Qin dynasty

• Called for harsh penalties even for minor infractions

• Disdained Confucian values in favor of an authoritarian state ruled by force

Culture is more than religion

• China’s culture evolved with very little from the outside world

▫ Surrounded by barbarians with little to offer

 Didn’t want much from them anyway

▫ Didn’t want to teach others their culture


▫ China is not without cultural diffusion

 Buddhism


• Art was created in a detailed, proportional, and balanced manner

▫ Nature was emphasized

▫ Often very decorative

▫ Jade, pottery, ivory, bronze, and silk

▫ Calligraphy


• Many innovations

▫ 364.5 days per year

▫ Movement of the planets

▫ Seismographs

▫ Advanced medical knowledge

▫ Acoustics

▫ Architecture

▫ Inventions

 Paper, compass, water mills, porcelain, silk, plows

You have how many gods?????

Vedic and Epic Ages

• Aryans (Indo-European) migrants- hunting and herding peoples originally from central Asia

• Vedas- sacred books of the Aryans

▫ Rig-Veda- 1028 hymns dedicated to the Aryan gods

▫ Mahabharata- India’s greatest epic poem

▫ Ramayana

▫ Upanishads- epic poems with a more mystical religious flavor

• Encouraged tight levels of village organization

• Indian caste system takes shape- partly because

Aryan invaders saw indigenous people as inferior


• Unlike all/most other world religions

• Can encourage both political/economic goals and worldly pleasures

• No founder, no central figure so it unfolded gradually

• Very tolerant of different religions

• Provided several channels for the good life

• Supplied some unity

• Allowed people to hold on to some older rituals


• C. 563 BCE Siddhartha Gautama was born

▫ Buddha is divine

• Started as a rebellion against Hinduism

▫ It was a threat to the Hindu way of life

• Argued for the individual and went against the caste system and the priests

• Wasn’t able to hold a strong portion of India ultimately

• The Four Noble Truths + Noble Eightfold Path =

Religious goal of Nirvana

The Spread


• Allowed many people to keep old beliefs

• Gave lower class people hope of a better life through reincarnation

• Eventually all of India but not strong anywhere else


• Unlike Hinduism the spread of

Buddhism travelled out of


▫ Monks

▫ As it spread it stayed relatively universal with some variation


• Believe in Karma, Dharma and Moksha

• Expected to following five principle of living:

▫ Non Violence

▫ Speak the truth

▫ No stealing

▫ Only one spouse

▫ Avoid excess

Cultural Developments

• Some great pieces of literature were written

▫ Common themes of love and heroics

• Science and Math

▫ One of the worlds 1 st university

▫ Sterilization and clean

▫ Small pox vaccine

▫ Number system still in use (0)

• Art

▫ Stupa: spherical shrines to Buddha


Religion of Greece and Rome

• Both were polytheistic

• Gods used to explain nature and human action

• Rome borrowed from the Greeks

• Christianity is going to develop during the

Roman Empire

• Christians would not put the emperor before God

• Didn’t create a Formal/Significant World Religion


Socrates: one of the founders of Western Philosophy, virtue, justice, and piety. Question

Plato: student of Socrates,

Teacher of Alexander the Great, founded the first higher learning institution in the western world.

Understand true, good and beauty. The Republic

Aristotle: student of Plato, wrote about many subjects such as politics, logic, music, biology, ethics etc.

Math and Science

Pythagoras and Euclid:


Galen: Anatomy

Ptolemy: Sun around the


Art and Architecture

• Great achievements in Architecture

▫ Columns, Aqueducts

• Theater:

▫ Drama and Comedy


• Seemed to have skipped the Bronze age:

▫ Stone  Iron

• Shinto

▫ Provided for both worship of political leaders and natural spirits

The Americas

• Olmec

▫ Beginnings of major artistic developments in the


▫ Polytheistic

A new religious map

• Outside the 3 core areas

▫ Shamanism and animism continues to hold strong

• Death rates increasing+ Political Instability=

New faith developing

• Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam Spreading across the known world



• Christianity spread West

▫ Jesus is the son of God

▫ There is a single God who loved human kind despite their sins

▫ Paul important in the spreading of “the word”

• Buddhism Spread East


• Talk about and make a list of all the ways culture affected politics in these place.

▫ Look back through your notes from the other days lecture to make connections.