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Nate Rodriguez

Review Questions: Ch 4
1. The Achaemenid Empire was successful for so long because of several factors, the first
being the type of rule that they had over their conquered states. Instead of demanding the
conquered states to worship the same gods as the Persians, the Persians allowed the states
to practice their own religious and culture traditions. This would create less tension
between the Persians and the states, which would lead to less revolt. Another factor was
that the Persians didnt send a governor there to rule over the states, but allowed local
elites to rule, which would cause less unfair treatment. Another factor was their powerful
army that they had built. Their armies consisted of professionals and not just farmers and
blacksmiths. Their armies were, however, led by elite Persian forces. Also, the book
mentions that a majority of their success laid in their adminsstative abilities and
willingness to borrow from predecessors. Other factors that could have helped their
successful campaign are the highways that they built, which allowed for rapid military
deployment and an unsettled capital. Their political basis for power evolved from a tribal
confederation to a sophisticated monarchy.
2. The Maurya Empire was created by an adventure, Chandragupta Maurya, who seized the
Magadha and the Ganges basin. He than began to march westward into the vacuum
created by Alexanders departure. There he was able to bring the Indus region and much
of the west-central India under his control. The book says the he kept substantial contact
with the Greek from which he would request wine, figs and a court philosopher. Ashoka
underwent a Buddhist religious conversion. This led him to forsake hunting and eating
meat and even war. While he did have to use aggression every once in a while, he

primarily resorted to conquest by righteousness. He also saw burdens that previous

governments has caused on his people, so he provided many beneficial public works.
3. Religion played a huge role in Maurya Empire primarly because of Ashoka. Ashoka
went as far as using little to no aggression in establishing rulers. Called the conquest by
righteousness, he sought moral example to win over others to humanitarian values. He
also established a model of the ideal king, one who ruled with righteousness, justice and
wisdom. Religion for the Acheamenid empire, however, primarily meant that the ruler
over the Persian empire was the king of kings and a universal sovereignty. The ruler
was, therefore, the priest and the sacrifice in the court rituals. Nonetheless, both empires
were tolerant of other religions.
4. The Acheamenid Empire and the Maurya Empire have great historical importance
because of the sheer size of power that they held. They, in a way, show what must be
done in order to have a great empire and be able to have control over an empire of that
size. However, the difference between the Achaemenid Empire and the Maurya Empire
compared to Rome and Han China is that they did not last as long. The Achaemenid
Empire lasted around 120 years and the Maurya Empire was around for 220 years.
5. The traditions of Buddhism and Hinduism is very similar, in fact, it is similar in the ways
that Christianity and Judaism is similar. Buddhism arose by a hindu prince. The three
primary ways that Hinduism traditions evolved are the Brahman ascendancy, and the
high culture of Sanskrit learning, the increasing dominance of theistic devotionalism,
and the intellectual reconciliation. The main tradition of Hinduism was is the devotional
cults to different Gods. Buddhism, on the other hand, is the devotion to Buddha and
focused on pilgrimages to sites where his relics were deposited too. Buddhism more than
likely spread because of the attraction that it had to merchants. Because of this attraction,

would pick up the religion and spread it across the trade routes from India to Central Asia
including China and Japan.
6. The book states that the Scythians and Kushans had a major cultural and political role in
asia for centuries and the cosmopolitan nature of Central Asia, eastern Iran, and
northwestern India are the reflection of the Scythians and Kushans. These empires could
have played important roles by the long and stable rule that they had over popular cities.
They were also able to expand their power to effect more cultures. Other than that the
book doesnt say much.
7. The key elements of the Manichaean religion are a worldview centered on a radically
dualistic and moralistic view of reality in which good and evil, spirit and matter are
always warred. Therefore, the Manichaean religion is similar to the Zoroastrian and
Christianity because they both preach against materialism, political opportunism, and
ethical indifference. They all discuss being selfless, good people in a world that is full of
8. The Sasanid Empire was able to develop after the fall of the Parthians in that the first
king, Ardashir and his son Shapur, were able to reclaim territory from the Kushans. They
were also able to defeat three Roman Emperors, and even captured one. After doing so
he was able to centralize and rationalize taxation, the civil ministries and the military.
The economy was composed of four classes: priests, warriors, scribes and the peasants.
It also consisted primarily of agricultural trade with the rich having all of the land.
However, the Sasanids also heavily taxed the caravan and sea trade. The Sasanid empire
was also know for silk and glass which was highly monopolized under the government.
9. One of the major religious issues in the Sasanid Empire was the neglecting of faith after
centuries of neglect. The Sasanids institutionalized Zoroastrian revival to restore the true
faith. Manichaeism was also a famous religion that caused Mani to be executed at the

hands of Katir. Katir said that Mani was practicing religious heresy and was, therefore,
punished. The main religious problems that the Sasanid were facing were the rising of
other religions that contradicted the Zoroastrian religion. The Zoroastrian Orthodoxy
became the backbone of the Sasanid culture. This is because, indirectly, Zoroastrian
Orthodoxy help establish a national language and because of increasing endowments,
they eventually controlled most of Irans wealth.
10. Religious ideas came to Central Asia and China because like I stated previously about
Buddhism and Hinduism is that merchants obtained a liking for certain religions. These
merchants of course traveled many trade routes including ones that went to Central Asia
and China and during their travels I would safely assume that they would spread their
religious beliefs especially if cultures obtained a liking for them. The main route that is
the primary cause of spreading religious ideas was called the Silk Road.
11. The high Gupta period can be considered a golden age because of the highly diverse
civilization that took place. They were also able to extend their influence over the whole
subcontinent and were able to do so in a relative peaceful and stable manner. The Gupta
realm extended from the Panjab and Kashmir south to the Narbada River in the western
Deccan and east to modern Assab. They were also able to influence some of the Kushan
and Saka kingdoms of the northwest and much of the eastern coast of India. Even though
they were in control of so much territory, the Gupta rule is considered one of the most
civilized and peaceful countries of the world. The collapse of Gupta was primarily
caused by invasions of the Huns, which the Gupta empire was never able to fully recover.
The final straw that broke the camels back was when the king finally died and had no
heirs to sustain his rule.
12. While the Arabs were not able to successfully invade India, they were able to invade
Persia. This is possibly due to the fact that the Persians had been fight the Byzantine

Empire for a long period of time. As a result the Persian army was dwindling in size and
the southern border was lightly defended. This allowed the Arabs to land a successful
coordinated attack and caused the country to crumble immediately.
13. The main difference that I see with Hinduism is the change of whom they worshipped.
Instead of worshipping the two main gods, Vishnu and Shiva, they worshipped the many
forms of Vishnu and Shiva. While it should not be misunderstood with polytheism but
rather an affirmation of the infinite forms that transcendence takes in the world. Also,
Hinduism began to practice bhakti or loving devotion. The major differences in
Buddhism was the solidification of the two main practices of Buddhist religion, the
Mahayana and the Theravada, and the spread of Buddhism. The Mahayana stressed the
model of Buddhas infinite compassion for all beings and the highest status that could be
obtained now was the status of bodhisattva, one who postpones his own nirvana to help
all beings to enlightenment. Theravada main focus was that of giving gifts to the monks
in order to gain merit for better rebirth.