First Age of Empires

First Age of
Honors World History
Chapter 4
Room 220
The Empires of Egypt and
Nubia Collide
 Because of weak pharaohs and power
struggles between rival nobles, the middle
kingdom of Egypt declined.
 A group of invaders known as the Hyksos
ruled Egypt from 1640-1570 BC
 Queen Ahhotep takes over as Pharaoh
when her husband dies in battle. She drives
the Hyksos from Egypt.
 After the Hyksos leave, Egypt begins the
New Kingdom in 1570 BC. Both men and
women will be pharaohs during the New
New Kingdom
From 1570 – 1365 BC
Under the rule of Thutmose III Egypt’s kingdom
will push into Syria and Palestine to the East
and Nubia in the south.
Rulers of the New Kingdom will build large
monuments, palaces, temples and tombs.
Many of these will reflect their belief in the
Ramses II will be the most powerful of the New
Kingdom pharaohs.
Decline of the Empire
 After
the reign of Ramses II the Egyptians
and Hittites were attacked from several
groups including the “people of the sea”
that are an uncertain group – possibly the
 Egypt will break up into several regional
units and various kingdoms independent
of each other. Including Kush.
Kush/ Golden Age of Meroe
In 671 BC the Assyrians force the Kushite royal
family to move south to Meroe.
Because of its abundant iron ore Meroe
became a major center for the
manufacturing of iron weapons and tools.
As the mineral wealth flowed out, luxury
goods from India and Arabia flowed in.
After death of a king, the succession of a
Kushite king was determined by agreement of
the leaders and nobles.
Assyria dominates the Fertile
Around 580 BC Assyria acquired a large
It was through there ability to defeat
opponents in battle that they were so
Assyria glorified military strength
Soldiers were covered in leather and metal
Weapons included spears, archers and large
Assyrian Kingdom
 Between
850-650 BC the Assyrian Kingdom
included Syria, Palestine, Babylonia, the
Fertile Crescent and Egypt.
The Empire Crumbles
As with many empires, Assyria grew too big.
Additionally, the Assyrians were very cruel to those
they conquered, this caused many to grow as
The Assyrians fell to the Medes and Chaldeans
who destroyed the capital city of Nineveh.
After defeating the Assyrians, the Chaldeans
made Babylon their capital. Around 600 BC it
became the center of a new empire under
Unlike the Assyrians, the Persians would rule
from tolerance and diplomacy rather from
fear and destruction.
In 550 BC, Cyrus conquered several
neighboring kingdoms in Iran. The eventual
empire would span over 2 thousand miles.
Once conquered, Cyrus would show kindness
to the vanquished. A great deal of freedom
was enjoyed by the people of his kingdom.
Persia Rule and Religion
After the death of Cyrus, his son extends the
Persian empire to include Egypt. However,
unlike his father Cambyss scorns the Egyptian
religion and has the images of Egyptian gods
Rebellion breaks out and the empire is in a
rather fragile state.
After a short reign, Darius takes over and
spends the first few years quelling rebellion in
the empire. He then established a well-run
and efficient administration
Darius’ Rule
Darius divides the sprawling empire into 20
In each province the people are allowed to
practice their own religion, speak their own
language and follow their own laws.
He does, though, install a satrap, or governor
in each province as well as a military leader
and tax collector.
Finally, he issues standard money for all
provinces and builds excellent roads
connecting the provinces.
An Empire Unifies China
 With
the decline of the Zhou Dynasty in
around 500 BC, many of China’s values of
social order, and respect for authority
were cast aside.
 Philosopher and scholar, Confucius,
believed that social order could be
restored if society followed through 5
basic relationships…
 These
5 basic relationships were
1. Ruler and subject
2. Father and son
3. Husband and wife
4. Older brother and younger brother
5. Friend and friend…
He also stressed filial piety by children –
respect for parents and elders.
 The
social order of family and government
was very important to Confucius.
 Another Chinese thinker was Laozi – he
believed the only important order was
He believed that a natural force called the
Dao, “The Way” guides all things. Of all
creatures – only humans fail to follow the
Dao. His philosophy became to known as
Qin Dynasty
 The
first leader in the new dynasty was 13.
He is a surprisingly good emperor
He quells much of the internal strife
Named Shi Huangdi, he was also good at
stopping invading armies and attacked
both to the north and the south.
 He
demands that all noble families move
to the capital city – uprooting 120,000
Establishing an Autocracy
Has critics murdered
Burns books – but spares books on medicine
and farming.
“Strengthening the trunk and weakening the
branches” is his phrase to show his desire for a
centralized government.
Builds a highway network of 4,000 miles
Standardized Chinese writing, establishes
official weights and measures including cart
axel width.
The Great Wall
 Peasants
were forced into labor or suffer
the consequence – death.
 It was a completion of a wall built under
the Zhou dynasty
 Contrary to popular belief – not able to
see it from space…
End of Qin Dynasty
 The
son of Shi Huangdi was less capable
than his father – a trend we will see
throughout history…
 Peasants rebelled just three years into
new emperors rule
 Led by a leader from Han area.
 Han Dynasty takes over in 202 BCE