|World Jewish History I|
Review for December History Test
Heinrich Schliemann- in 1871 began excavating sites the Homer mentioned in his epics. He found artifacts and remains of palaces that belonged to a lost Greek civilization. This civilization was named after Mycenae, the most important city. Because of him, people finally knew about the period before the Dark Age.
Barbarians- was the name that Greeks used to refer to non-Greeks.
Iliad- is the Trojan War, written in poetic form by Homer. The Iliad deals specifically with the last year of the war, and the conflict between Achilles and Agamemnon. The poem brings up themes of areté, honor, heroism, the pursuit of glory, and wars exhilaration. Homer also looked at the darker side of warfare: grief, enslavement, and death. The Iliad is now a very well known poem.
Achilles- is one of the main characters of the Iliad, who leave the war for a while because he is angry with Agamemnon for taking his war prize from him. His leave causes the Greeks to suffer greatly in the war. After his closest friend dies in the war, he decides to come back. Achilles was also one of the characters that Alexander the Great admired the most.
Odyssey- is the story of Odysseuss long return from Troy to Ithaca, the island of which he is the king, in the form of a poem. Although it is generally thought that Homer wrote this, some say that someone else wrote it, and others say that others edited it.
Areté- is excellence. This term is used mostly for militaristic uses, especially when describing the Spartan soldiers. A similar term is political areté, the skill to formulate the right laws and policies for cities and the art of eloquence and persuasion need for success in public life, which the Sophists taught to ambitious young men, especially in Athens.
Dionysus- was the Greek god of wine and agricultural fertility. People who belonged to his cult were known for performing ecstatic dances and frenzied prayers for abundant harvests.
Periokoi- were Greeks conquered by the Spartans, who were free but had no political rights. They did all the trade and crafts for the Spartans.
Syracuse- is the largest city in Sicily. It is known for its role in the Peloponnesian War. In 415, when the Peloponnesian was at a stop, Athens tried to launch a campaign to conquer Sicily, but it could not conquer Sicily. After a while, Athens sent a whole other group of reinforcements to help. When the Athenians decided to finally retreat, the commander saw a lunar eclipse, seers advised him to remain for another 27 days. During that time, the Syracusians blocked off the harbor. When the Athenians attempted to escape by land, the Syracusians captured them and kept them in rock quarries in Sicily. All 50,000 men died from hunger, thirst, and disease. Afterwards, the Spartans took advantage, continued the war, and eventually won the war.
Thirty Tyrants- were a group of oligarchs who took control in 404 after Athens was defeated. They trampled Athenians rights, confiscated property, and condemned many people to death. Their rule ended in 403, when returned exiles led an uprising.
Philip of Macedonia- was the king of Macedonia from 359-336. Before he came to the throne, he spent three years as a hostage in Thebes. There, he learned the latest military tactics and witnessed the weaknesses of the warring Greek states. With this information, at the age of 23, he rose to become king of Macedonia, and converted this civilization into a first-rate military power, and launched a campaign to conquer the Greeks. He was successful, and conquered all of the city-states by 338. When he died, his son Alexander, now know as Alexander the Great, one of the greatest military leaders ever, rose to power.
Critias- was an extreme antidemocratic who let the council know as the Thirty Tyrants from 404-403, the years that this council existed. He gained power after Athens lost to the Spartans, and he, as well as the other oligarchs, were backed by Sparta. During the winter of 404-403, the Thirty Tyrants were overthrown.
Ionia- is the area of Attica and western Asia Minor where the Ionian Greeks settled in 800, after the Dark Age. Some of the more famous cities in Ionia are Athens, Thebes, and Troy. Also, the first Greek philosophers emerged in the Asia Minor region of Ionia.
Oligarchy- is a type of government in which land-owning aristocrats rule the people. This type of government usually emerged in the city-states after monarchy.
Themistocles- was a Greek statesman and general who helped defeat the Persians at the key naval battle of Salamis in 480 after Athens was burnt to the ground. He lured the Persian ships into the narrows of the Bay of Salamis where they had no room to deploy, and he then destroyed the Persian ship with his fleet.
Herodotus- was an Athenian historian who lived from 484-424. He wrote a history of the Persian wars. The central theme of what he wrote was the contrast between the Near Eastern despotism and the Greek democratic city-state. He considered the lack of freedom in the Persians to be barbarian. He also drew universal moral principles from human behavior. He is known for being more of a historian than a story-teller from the fact that he recognized the value of preserving the past, asked questions about the past, and was very cautious in selecting his sources, trying to keep away from legends.
Troy- was a city near the coast of western Asia Minor in Ionia. This city is most well known as the city that Athens and Sparta and others fought against in the Trojan War.
Darius I- was the king of Persia when the Ionians of Asia Minor rebelled against Persia in 499. Athens assisted this cause, and the Ionians caused the Persians to retreat. He tried to conquer Attica soon after in 490, but the Persians lost at the historic battle of Marethon.
Draco- was an aristocrat who was appointed to draw up a code of law in 621. Unfortunately, the penalties enforced by this code of laws were severe and it did not provide relief for the peasants economic problems, and therefore Athens began to move towards civil war.
Ostracism- is the practice in which the people vote to force a person to leave the city for a certain period of time, ten years in Athens case. This practice was enforced to make sure that anyone who tries to take away democracy will be able to be sent away if the people believe that he is a threat.
Pisistratus- was a tyrant who ruled from 546-527. He took control when the oligarchy was falling apart. He gained popular support by constructing conduits to increase the water supply, and gave the peasants land that was confiscated from exiled aristocrats, and he also concerned himself with the problems of the people. His greatest achievement was the promotion of cultural life.
Polis- is another word used for the city-states, which the Greek society consisted of from 750 until 323, the death of Alexander the Great. The polis, which was tribal-based, was the first political association during the early stages of civilization. Greeks natural barriers made it easier to conduct society in this type of format.
Tragedy- is the name given to plays in which either something bad happens to the main character at the end, or the main character dies at the end.
Plato- who lived from 429-347, is one of the most well known of the Greek philosophers. As a youth, Socrates taught him. He used Socrates teachings to create his own comprehensive system of Philosophy that touched both the natural and the social worlds. His philosophy mainly tried to arrange political life to rational rules. Plato raised most of the problems that are discussed by Western philosophers today.
Socrates- who lived from 469-399, when he was executed, was one of the greatest philosophers of all time. Like the Sophists, he held that knowledge of the individual and society is more important than knowledge of nature, but unlike the Sophists, he held that people should regulate their behavior in accordance with universal values. His central concern was the perfection of individual character. He stated that moral values were attained when a person regulated his life according to objective standards arrived at through reason. He was executed because people said that he corrupted the youth. He was probably used as a scapegoat for the Athenians loss to Sparta in the Peloponnesian War, which ended five years before his execution.
Thales- of Miletus, an Ionian city, lived from 624-548. He was one of the original philosophers from that region. He concerned himself with understanding the order of nature. He stated the water was the basic element of life. He revolutionized thought because he came to this conclusion by omitting the gods from his research.
Anaximander- was another Ionian philosopher, who lived from 611-547. He rejected Thales philosophy that water was the basic element. He believed the universe is made of two powers: heat and cold. He stated that the cold and wet condensed to form the earth and its cloud cover, while the hot and dry formed the rings of fire that we see as the moon, the sun, and the stars. After all this was created, the heat from the fire in the sky dried the earth and shrank the seas, Life emerged from warm slime that existed on Earth after the subsiding of the seas, forming sea creatures, who eventually evolved into land creatures.
Philosopher King- is a philosopher who is given power. According to Platos The Republic, the philosophers should be entrusted with power, and not the aristocrats or the common people.
Anaximenes- was an early Ionian philosopher who died in 525. He was the first to make a full transition from myth to reason. He maintained that air was the primary substance, is the basis of reality, and accounted for natures orderliness. He added that air that was rarefied became fire, wind and clouds were formed from condensed air, and if the process continued, water, earth, and eventually stones would form. He was also the first to hod that a rainbow is the consequence of the sunt rays falling on dense air, and not the goddess Iris.
Demosthenes- one of the greatest orators of Greece, lived from 384-322. When Philip of Macedonia was preparing to invade Greece, the Greeks underestimated the Macedonians strength. Demosthenes urged the Greeks to unite against Philips forces. He told Greeks that Philip wanted to conquer Athens and put an end to Athenian democracy. He was able to negotiate an alliance between Thebes and Athens, but both were defeated at the battle of Chaeronea in 338. In 323, after the death of Alexander the Great, he helped to organize Greek resistance to Macedonian rule. The following year, 322, Antipater, the Macedonian governor to Greece, ordered the execution of Demosthenes.
Peloponnesian War- was a war between the Peloponnesian League, lead by Sparta, and the Delian League, lead by Athens. What prompted it was fear in Sparta and the Peloponnesian States caused by Athens complete control over the Delian League. It lasted from 431-404, with a break from 421-414. It started with the Spartans invading Attica and setting fire to the countryside. In 430, a plague broke out in Athens, killing 1/3 of the population, including the leader Pericles, who died in 429. This first stage of war ended in with a stalemate, and the combatants concluded a peace treaty in 421. After the doomed expedition to Sicily, Sparta commenced the fighting in 414, strengthened with financial support from Persia. Finally in 404, Athens, with its navy almost destroyed and its food supply nearly gone, surrendered to Sparta. Sparta dissolved the Delian League and forced Athens to take down its walls, but did not massacre the men and enslave the women and children.
Delian League- was a confederation that consisted of more than 150 city-states, including Athens. Athens assumed leadership of it because of its wealth, powerful fleet, and the restless energy of its citizens. Although it had begun as a voluntary association to protect independent city-states against Persia, Athens gradually dominated over the other city-states by prohibiting anyone from withdrawing, crushing revolts, and stationing garrisons in the territory of other city-states. Athens also used the tribute from members and the leagues treasury to finance public works in Athens.
Epicurianism- is a philosophy that was created by Epicurus, who lived from 342-270. He taught the values of passivity and withdrawal from civic life, but also that a wise person should also try to live justly. He held that the gods probably did exist, but they could not influence human affairs, and therefore it is pointless to worry about them, and that individuals should order their own lives with relaxation and pleasue, but in moderation. He also adopted Democritus idea that all things consist of atoms in motion.
Cosmologists- were the Ionian philosophers, such as Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Pythagoras, Parmenides, and Democritus, sought knowledge concerning the universe. They believed that some single, eternal, imperishable substance gave rise to all phenomena in nature.
Parthenon- was a temple the Athenians built from 447-332 under the leadership of Pericles. It was a temple dedicated to Athena Parthenos, the goddess of the city. It was constructed to reflect symmetria, which is commensurability of parts, and rhythmos, which is a patterning that conveyed a sense of motion. The temple also built in a way to present many optical illusions. For example, although the temple appears as a rectangular box placed on a horizontally level base, neither the base, the columns, nor the architrave follow strraght lines. The horizontal lines are all slightly curved upward toward the center, like a very subtle dome.
Stoicism- is a philosophy that was created by Zeno, who live from 335-263. He taught that the world constituted a single society, and gave the world-mindedness of the age. The belief that the universe contained a principle order, variously called the Divine Fire, God and Divine Reason. Zeno held that one law of nature applies to all, and everyone is subject to the same moral requirements. Like Socrates, he believed that individuals should perfect character in accordance with divine principle, and that everyone has possibility.
Lysistrata- is an anti-war play that was written by Aristophanes. In this play, the women of Greece agree to abstain from having sexual relations with their husbands to compel the men to make peace. In the end, many women begin to miss their husbands and desert the temple where they have gathered, but the men suffer, too. However, the women were able to achieve their goal, peace.
Logos- is divine principle that resides in everyone. This idea is taught as a part of stoicism by Zeno, who stated the principle of order contained in the universe is God and Logos (or, the Divine Fire and Divine Reason).
Xenophon- was a Greek philosopher who lived from 428-354. He was and Athenian soldier, historian, and friend of Socrates, the philosopher. He in known for writing Oeconomicus, a depiction of a conversation between Socrates and Ischomachus discussing a wifes role in the Greek household.
Skepticism- is the belief that was taught by people known as Skeptics. They held that one could achieve spiritual comfort by recognizing that none of the beliefs by which people lived were true or could bring happiness. Some taught indifference to all theory and urged conformity to accepted views whether or not they were true, so that arguments and explanations can be avoided. They held that judgement should be suspended, ideas should be rejected, and that there is never certainty, so we should never bother with theories and beliefs.
Seleucids- was the empire that had control over western Asia. It broke off from Macedonia, as did two other kingdoms, after the death of Alexander in 323. The Seleucid Monarchy stretched from the Mediterranean to the frontiers of India, and encompassed many different groups. In the third century, the Seleucids established control over Phoenicia and Palestine, taking it from the Ptolemies.
Cosmopolitanism- is a society that contains elements from other parts of the world. Alexanders monarchy and each of the monarchies in the Hellenistic period were cosmopolitan. The opposite of cosmopolitanism is parochialism, which would describe the Hellenic city-states.
Koure- is the Greek word for youths. This term was brought up while looking at Hellenic art in class. In Hellenic art, the young males were idealized in terms of strength and athleticism. The young females, however, had some sense of modesty, and were always clothed.
Persian Wars- were a series of battles fought between Greece and Persia from 499 until 479. Before the first battles, Persia already had control over the Ionian Greeks on Asia Minor. In 499, these Greeks began a rebellion against Persia. Athens sent 20 ships to help them, which were able to help them drive the Persians out of Ionia. Nine years later, Darius I, who was king over Persia when the Ionians rebelled against them, sought revenge against the Greeks at the battle of Marathon in 490. The citizen army of Athens defeated the Persians in this battle too. In 480, Xerxes, Darius son, sent 250,000 men and more than 500 ships to invade Greece. The ships were able to sail through Hellespont, and invaded northern Greece from there. They then faced 300 Spartans in the battle of Thermopylae, where each of the soldiers fought to the death until they were entirely overwhelmed by the Persians. Then they descended deeper into Greece, and burned Athens to the ground. Soon after, the Athenian general Themistocles was able to lure the Persian ships into the bay of Salamis, where they had no room to deploy, and then he destroyed them. A year later in 479, the Spartans defeated the Persians in the land battle of Platea, ending the Persian Wars.
Alexandria- is a ctiy built in the late third century by Alexander. He ordered the building of this city after the Egyptians made him Pharaoh as gratitude for liberating them from under Persian rule. Alexandria became the greatest city of the Hellenistic Age, as it became a center of commerce and culture. It also contained a population of 300,000 only fifty years after Alexander founded it. Besides being a beautiful city, it also contained a library and a museum, which contained an astronomical observatory, and botanical and zoological gardens. Some of the greatest poets, philosophers, physicians, and scientists of the Mediterranean used these facilities.
Polybius- was a Greek who lived from 200-118, and was the leading historian of the Hellenistic Age. His most famous work was the history of the rise of Rome. In this work, he explained how Rome had progressed from a city-state to a world conqueror. Like Thucydides, who he was a disciple of, he sought rational explanations for human events; therefore he relied on eyewitness accounts, checked sources, and strove for objectivity.
Cynicism- was a rebellious belief taught by people known as the Cynics. They were not theoretical philosophers but supreme individualists who rebelled established values and conventions and every barrier of society that restrained individuals from following their own natures. They regarded laws and public opinion, private property and employment, and wives and children as hindrances to the free life.
Hellenistic Age- is the period of time that lasted from the death of Alexander in 323 until 30 CE, when the last major Hellenistic State fell to Rome. This period had a different government structure, different styles of literature and art, new scientific discoveries, a different philosophy, and a cosmopolitan view of the world.
Council of 500- was a group of elected officials who served in the Athenian democracy. This council managed the ports, military installations, and other state properties and prepared the agenda for the Assembly. Members were chosen annually by a lot, and no one could serve more that twice in a lifetime so that the Council would never supersede the Assembly.
Menander- was an Athenian Hellenistic playwright who lived from 342-291. He depicted Athenian life at the end of the fourth century. His plays dealt with his fellow Athenians, who were bored with public affairs, had accepted their loss of freedom to Macedonia, and were preoccupied with their own private lives. His plays dealt with stock characters like the clever slave, the young playboy, the elderly seducer, or the heroine in trouble. Unlike Aristophanes plays, his plays dealt very little with politics.
Pericles Funeral Oration- was a speech delivered by Thucydides after Pericles died from a plague during the Peloponnesian War. This speech was intended to bolste the morale of the Athenian society, which was locked in a brutal war. It mentions chief characteristics of a democratic society, the attitude of the Athenians to things such as wealth, learning, and public affairs, and how the Athenians differ from the Spartans in their views on education and military training. Although Athenians did not always behave in accordance with Pericles high principles, Athenian democracy was still an extraordinary achievement.
Euclid- was an Alexandrian Hellenistic mathematician who lived around 300. He is known for his contributions to geometry. Using reason alone, he was able to develop over a hundred geometrical proofs.
Mercenaries- are men who are paid for being soldiers. Mercenaries would usually be needed as soldiers under governments such as Oligarchies when the people would not want to be soldiers for the aristocrats.
Hellenization- is the transition of society in to a more Hellenistic one. This is what happened in Israel after the Seleucids took Palestine from the Ptolemies. Examples of this were the building of the gymnasium in Jerusalem, the writing of the Septuagint, a reduction in circumcisions, and prohibitions against practicing Judaism, which were enforced by Antiochus IV.
Solon- was a traveler and poet with a reputation for being wise, who lived from 640-559. In 594, he was elected the chief executive in Athens. He was asked to work out the problems between the aristocrats and the peasants, between whom a civil war was about to break out. His main principle in ruling was justice, and in doing this he took religion out of human affairs. He canceled debts, freed those enslaved for debts, and brought back people who were sold abroad. He also instated many political and economic reforms. The political reforms included the council of 400, and the economic reforms included fathers having to teach sons a trade. These reforms did not eliminate factional disputes the aristocratic clans or relieve discontent of the poor, however.
Hasmoneans- were the members of the Hasmonean family, which lived during the Hellenistic period. This family consisted of Judah the Maccabee, his brothers, and their descendants. This family led the fight for freedom against the Seleucids. The Hasmonean State, which existed from 142-65 was the last period of independent Jewish sovereignty in Palestine until today. The rulers during the Hasmonean period were Jonathan, Simon, John Hyrcanus, Alexander Jannai, and Salome Alexandria.
Oedipus- was the mythological king of Thebes, son of King Laius and Queen Jocasta. When he was born, it was prophesized that he would one day kill his father and sleep with his mother. Because of this, Laius handed him over to a shepherd to kill the boy. However, the shepherd had pity on the boy, and handed him to a messenger, who gave the child to the king of Corinth, where he was raised as prince and given the name Oedipus. One day, he was walking toward Thebes, where he bumped into a man who was walking away from the city. This man happened to be King Laius. They got into an argument, and then Oedipus killed the man, his father, fulfilling half of the prophecy. When he got to the city, he solved the riddle of the Sphinx, and the Sphinx killed herself due to the shame of someone solving her riddle. The people made him king as a debt of gratitude, and married the Queen, who happened to be his mother, and slept with her, completely fulfilling the prophecy. When he found this out, he blinded himself and was banished from Thebes.
Antiochus IV- was a Ptolemic king during the second century. As a ruler, he took away the religious rights of all the Jews in Palestine and Jerusalem, and also built the gymnasium there. Doing this was the main cause of the Maccabean revolt, which was a fight for religious freedom.
Diké- is a principle of justice, which Solon maintained during his rule. This principle supposedly underlies the human community, and when people violate this standard of justice they bring ruin upon the city. Before Solon, justice had been conceived in religious terms as the will of Zeus. However, Solon withdrew justice from the province of religion and gave it a secular foundation.
Humanism- is a system of beliefs that revolve around humans as opposed to religion and the gods. Most of the Hellenic philosophers emphasized these principles in their own system of beliefs. Some philosophers did not even mention anything having to do with the gods in their system of beliefs, such as Socrates or Plato.
Salome Alexandria- was a Hasmonean queen, and last Hasmonean monarch altogether. Her greatest achievement was the establishment of peace between the Hasmoneans and the Pharisees. When she died, her two sons, Hyrcannus and Aristobulus. Eventually, Hyrcanus calls for help from Pompeii, who puts Hyrcannus as ruler, but at Pompeiis pleasure.
Ptolemy- was the general who took control of Egypt, Cyprus, islands in the Aegean Sea, cities off the cost of Asia Minor, and southern Syria, including Palestine, in the Third Century. His kingdom was known as the Ptolemic Monarchy. When it began, it was the most powerful of the four monarchies that existed after the death of Alexander the Great in 323. However, internal revolts, court intrigues, and wars with the Seleucid Kingdom weakened its power in the second century. The Seleucid ruler Antiochus III took advantage of this and took Phoenicia and Palestine from Ptolemic forces. From 169-168, Seleucid Syria invaded Egypt, hoping to annex it into the Seleucid Empire. However, this could not occur because of the intervention of Rome, a new power at the time.
Septuagint- is a Greek translation of the bible written from 285-284. Changes were made in it that tried to avoid anthropomorphism. Although the writing of the Septuagint may have been joyous because of the way that the translation was so accurate that it almost seemed miraculous, it was also a sign of increased hellenization in Judaism.
Philo of Alexandria- was a Jewish philosopher who lived from 20 BCE-50 CE. Coming from an aristocratic Jewish family, Philo was familiar with the Greek cultural tradition and greatly admired Plato. He believed that Platos view of God was compatible with Hebrew Scripture. However, he disagreed with Greek philosophy on points such as eternity of Ideas or Forms, or laws of nature were inexorable. Philo, however, was able to skillfully use the tools of Greek logic to harmonize differing viewpoints, and was also able to blend Platonism with Scripture.
Ecclesiastes- is a book that is part of the writings section of the bible. Many people believe that this book was written during the Hellenistic Age, but tradition ascribes the writing of this book to King Solomon.
Maccabean Revolt- took place after Jason bought the priesthood and hellenized Jerusalem, Menelaus tried to turn Jerusalem into a Greek polis, and Antiochus IV took away the Jews religious freedom. The rebellion consisted of two stages. The first, which lasted from 167-163, was a fight for religious freedom. The second stage was not nearly as successful. The second stage was a fight for political freedom. It was during this stage that many broke away from the Hasmoneans because many people thought that they had gone too far and that religious freedom was enough. Also, Judah and two of his brothers died during this stage of the revolt. In his last fight, Judah had only 800 soldiers. Jonathan, however, turned to diplomacy to achieve peace, and he also had the will of Rome on his side. After he died in 142, a Jewish State was proclaimed as Simon, the last surviving Hasmonean, became king. Complete sovereignty was obtained under the rule of his son, John Hyrcanus.
Gymnasium- was an institution in which men could exercise physically. However, the men were naked, and this promoted themes such as homosexuality, which is against Judaism. Also, the Greeks saw circumcisions as a physical degradation. Therefore, some Jews did not circumcise their children, which is enough cause for a Jew not to be a part of the Jewish society.
Antiochus III- was the Seleucid king who conquered Phoenicia and Palestine from the Ptolemics. Unlike his son, he urged the Jews to live in accordance with the law of their ancestors, and did not emphasize hellenization in Jerusalem in his rule.
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