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Roman family consisted of an entire household, including slaves, free servants, and close relatives who live together.
The eldest male rule the household as pater familias or “tather of the family.”
That had the authority to arrange marriages for his children, determine work or duties they would perform, and punishment for offenses they saw as fit.
They had the right to sell them into slavery, and even execute them.
However, women often helped them make decisions later on.
Cicero and Stoicism
Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BCE) readily adopted Stoic values.
Cicero studied both classical and Hellenistic schools of thought in Greece.
He was a persuasive orator, and in adapting Hellenistic thought to Roman needs, he drew heavily from Stoics’ moral and ethical teachings.
He emphasized individual’s duty to live in accordance with nature and reason.
Scorned those who sought to accumulate wealth or become powerful through immoral, illegal, or unjust means.
Helped establish Stoicism as most prominent school of moral philosophy in Rome.
Jesus of Nazareth
Christians formed their community around Jesus of Nazareth, a Jewish teacher who they recognized as their savior.
Born around 4 BCE, grew up at a time of high tension between Roman overlords and their Jewish subjects.
He was a peaceful man, and taught devotion to God and love for fellow human beings.
Attracted large crowds because of reputation for wisdom and miraculous powers, especially the ability to heal the sick.
His messages carried political overtones, and was a threat to Roman rule in Palestine.
Roman administrators executed Jesus by fixing him to a cross in the early 30s CE.
Crucifixion did not put an end to his movement.
Followers felt his presence and proclaimed he overcame death by rising from his grave. They called him “Christ,” the son of God, and that his sacrifice served to offset the sins of those who had faith in him.
Faithful would survive death and experience eternal life in the spiritual kingdom of God.
Demanded moral code and devoted themselves uncompromisingly to God.
Jews’ Hebew Scripture and the new Testament became the holy book of Christianity.
Paul of Tarsus
Jesus and his earliest followers were all Jews.
The principal figure in the expansion of Christianity beyond Judaism was Paul of Tarsus, a Jew from Anatolia who passionately preached his faith.
His doctrine called for individuals to observe high moral standards and to place their faith ahead of personal and family interest.
Explained the world and human history as the results of God’s purposeful activity so that it provided a framework of meaning for individual’s lives.
His doctrine also promised a glorious future existence for those who conscientious observed the faith.
Left home at the age of thirty to seek salvation by escaping from the cycle of incarnation.
For 12 years, he led an ascetic life wandering throughout the Ganges valley, after which he gained enlightment.
He abandoned all his worldly goods.
He had disciples who formed monastic order to perpetuate and spread his message until he died in 468 BCE.
- Started Jainism.
- Believed that everything in the universe had a soul, and as long as they remained trapped in terrestrial bodies, they experienced both physical and psychological suffering.
- Only by purification from selfish behavior could souls gain release from their imprisonment and shed the burdens of karma.
Hindu prince who lived in a rich palace. Came from a kshatriya family.
Became dissatisfied with his comfortable life.
After learning about growing old and weak, he gives up all his possessions, as well as his family, and seeks salvation.
He practiced ascetic, and meditated for many hours until he reached enlightment.
An Indian emperor who found Buddhism appealing as a faith.
In honor of ahimsa, the doctrine of nonviolence, Ashoka banned animal sacrifices in Pataliputra, stopped animal hunting, and eliminated most meat dishes at the tables of his court.
He rewarded Buddhists with grants of land, and had them spread their faith throughout India.
He built monasteries and stupas and made pilgrimages to hold sites of Buddhism.
Lived in China during the Warring States period and sought to restore order to China.
A strong-willed man, who often disagreed with the Chinese government.
Left province of Lu in search of a chance at promotion, traveled for 10 years, and returned fruitless and died five years later.
An educator and a political adviser.
Students recorded his teaching in the Analects, which has had a large impact on Chinese government and culture.
Thought the best way to promote good government is to hire people who were well educated and conscientious.
Focused on formation of Junzi which looked at public affairs from many different angles and with unclouded judgment and were able to bring order and stability to society.
- Thought Junzi possessed personal qualities such as:
- -Ren: courteous, respectfulness, diligentce, loyalty
- -Li: a sense of propriety, traditionally appropriate behavior
- -Xiao: filial piety, respect by children for parents and other elders
Thought learning was important, but also stressed importance of moral integrity and fair judgment.
Founder of Daoism.
Wrote the Daodejing (Classic of the Way and of Virtue), basic exposition of Daoist traditional beliefs.
Came up with an alternative solution to end the Warring States period -contrary to Confucian beliefs, and reflected in an effort to understand natural principles that governed the world and to acieve harmony with nature.
Dao: seen as a passive force and usually referenced in a negative connotation.
Thought humans should stop trying to achieve personal goals and live very simply in order to achieve harmony with nature.
Wuwei: Important moral trait whereby people remove themselves from worldly affairs -translates in political affairs as "less is more."
Idea societal structure would consist of tiny, self-sufficient communities.
Served as chief minister to the duke of the Qin state.
Though a clever and efficient administrator, people despised and feared him because of his power and mercilessness.
Evolved legalism, that was based on the goal of expanding and strengthening the state at all costs (described as ruthless and efficient).
Strict laws with harsh punishments lessen number and severity of crimes.
Government strength lies in its agriculture and military, therefore those two areas demanded the highest number of recruits; government discouraged other career paths.
Community has a collective responsibility for the law. People should watch each other closely.
Helped end Warring States period.
The Maya Calendar and Writing
Calculated the solar year (365 days) that set agricultural patterns, and ritual year (260 days) set daily activities/governing affairs and divided the year into 13 months with 20 days each.
Writing was expanded upon Olmec’s written inscriptions.
Contained both ideographic elements and symbols for syllables.
Maya scribes wrote works of history, poetry, and myth, along with logical, administrative, and astronomical records.
Many were lost/destroyed due to Spanish conquerors and missionaries that arrived in the sixteenth century.
Mayan Bloodletting Rituals
Most important sacrifices involved the shedding of human blood, which they thought would prompt the gods to send rain to water their crops of maize.
Centered on war captives, as opportunities to torture their enemies.
Frequently had voluntary shedding of royal blood.