World History


Ancient Mesopotamia


15,000 BCE

Hunter-gatherers of the near and middle east, wh, after the Younger Dryas Event, were forced to establish semi-permanent villages along rivers and adopted farming and domesticating crops


8000 BCE

A small city located in the West Bank, Palestinian Territory, whose ruins date back to about 8000 BCE, making it one of the oldest Neolithic cities in the world


5000 BCE

Stepped temples that supposedly housed the gods; these were places of worship


5000 BCE

The belief in a pantheon of multiple gods and goddesses


3500 BCE

One of the earliest know forms of written expression; started as pictographs and became a language of wedge-shaped characters

Epic of Gilgamesh

3000 BCE

The oldest known literature; written about Gilgamesh, who seeks immortality

Sargon the Great

2300 BCE

Semitic Akkadian emperor famous for his conquest of the Sumerian city-states in the 23rd century BCE. He founded the dynasty of Akkad.


1700 BCE

The emperor who ruled Babylon from 1792-1750 BCE; he made stone pillars that held laws from the gods, and the laws had the basis of "an eye for an eye"

Ancient Egypt

Old Kingdom

3100 BCE - 2200 bce

The most successful era of ancient Egypt. During this era, Giza, and much of the other things that come to mind when thinking of Egypt, was constructed. Most things afterwards tried to copy the Old Kingdom.


3100 BCE

The first Pharaoh of Egypt who was also known as Menes. He unified Upper and Lower Egypt in 3050 BCE


3000 BCE

The goddess of order, regularity, and fertility; to the Egyptians, farming and the gentle flooding of the Nile was because of her


3000 Bce

The falcon headed god of war. Pharaohs were said to be an incarnation of Horus, and they were depicted with falcon heads


3000 BCE

Pictographic system of writing for Ancient Egyptians. Pictures symbolized words.


3000 BCE

A chief Egyptian god; ruler of the dead and the underworld


3000 BCE

Osiris's consort; the god (sometimes goddess) who weighs the souls of the dead against the Feather of Truth in Egyptian mythology


3000 BCE

The city from which the Pharaoh governed during the Old Kingdom; the capital

Middle Kingdom

2100 BCE - 1650 Bce

Trade exanded, control expanded further south, working class conditions worsened, and so entrance into the afterlife was given more often and religion was more democratic


1650 BCE - 1570 BCE

A mysterious people who tried to invade Egypt. They ruled during the Second Intermediate Period and then left.

New Kingdom

1550 BCE - 700 BCE

Began after second intermediate period. The first 300 years were spent trying to invade Mesopotamia, but it didn't work.


1300 BCE

Pharaoh who tried to change Egypt's belief to monotheism. It worked until he died, and then Egypt went back to its normal ways.

Ancient India


2500 BCE

One of the ancient cities with the culture Dravidian. Along with Harappa, archaeologists found the earliest remnants of India here.

Caste System

1500 BCE

The social unit of India. Individuals are born into different levels of society called castes. There are four castes: Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Shudra.


1500 BCE

Five oral epics of the Aryans. The oldest is rigveda. These epics contain prayers, spells, stories, and more.

Laws of Manu

1500 BCE

An ancient compilation of teachings from Hinduism. These laws describe the duties and behaviors of each caste. They also describe the role of women.

Siddhartha Gautama

500 BCE

Also known as the Buddha, or Enlightened One. His life is well documented, and he taught the eightfold path and the four truths of life, which involve much meditation.

Chandragupta Maurya

330 BCE

The founder of the Mauryan empire; ruled and united northern India


260 BCE

Ruler who had good policies and promoted trade (this provided unprecedented prosperity). He converted to Buddhism after the bloody battle of Kalinga.

Ancient Assyrian, Phoenician, Persian, and Hebrew Empires

Chapter 5

Tyre and Sidon

1000 BCE

Important cities in the Old and New Testaments in Phoneicia; now Lebanon.


970 bce - 935 bce

David's son, most renowned king of the Hebrews


800 BCE

The main city that later becomes the capital of the Assyrian Empire; on the Eastern bank of the Tigris River.

First Diaspora

722 BCE

"Scattering" of Jews, which occurred after Assyrians attacked the Hebrew empire.


685 BCE - 627 bce

Assyrian king; last strong king of the Empire who had a big library (with heads decorating the trees) where we get Epic of Gilgamesh.


586 BCE - 539 bce

The new interpretation of the Covenant, written by the Jews. The Talmud made precise the relationship of God with His people: He would protect them if they followed His rules.

Cyrus the Great

580 BCE - 529 BCE

The first great Persian ruler. He was very successful because of his idea to allow the captured people to keep their own ways of life as long as they were loyal to him. Cyrus also freed the Jews from Babylonian Captivity.

Darius I

549 bce - 486 BCE

The third great ruler of the Persians; Darius I made coinage and calendar uniform, and the empire reached its greatest size under his reign.


500 BCE

Also known as Zoroaster, this man was the founder of Zoroastrianism, an ancient religion that brought moral ethics into religion and the afterlife. Ahura Mazda symbolized good, and Ahriman symbolized evil.


300 BCE

The writings/teachings of Zarathustra.

Ancient China

Chapter 6

Hsia Dynasty

2100 BCE - 1700 BCE

The first dynasty of Ancient China, founded by Yu the Great. A system of levees and canals was made.

Shang Dynasty

1700 BCE - 1100 bce

The second dynasty of Ancient China, during which writing and bronze casting were developed. Oracle bones were also used.

Oracle bones

1500 BCE

Used during the Shang Dynasty, these were turtle shells that were written on and heated. The cracks made were used to interpret the will of the ancestors.

Zhou Dynasty

1100 BCE - 400 BCE

The third dynasty, when the size of the empire increased and the mandate of heaven (a highly influential idea that involved human rulers being given a mandate to rule by the gods) was developed. Extensive literature survives from this era.

Mandate of Heaven

1100 BCE

An idea that rulers are given a mandate to rule from the gods. If the ruler's people are happy, the ruler keeps the mandate, but if the people are angry, he does not, and he is replaced by another ruler. This idea came about in the Zhou Dynasty.


550 BCE - 479 bce

The founder of Confucianism, a religion where the model for the government is the ideal Chinese family (patriarchal, and everyone has duties to follow). Everyone should use gentility, and men should be in the government. His ideas were used for years.

Lao Zi

500 BCE

The founder of Daoism and the writer of "Dao de Jing" or "The Way of the Dao." He believed the true way to be happy was to have less government and be in harmony with natural surroundings.


440 BCE - 225 BCE

A theory that came about during the Era of Warring States. Legalism was the idea that the government should restrict its people as much as possible, for people could easily become evil, and the government must keep them from having their own ideas.


400 BCE

Also known as "shi," mandarins were people who made sure Confucius's rules were being followed. They were the governing class for years.

Ancient Greece

Chapter 8

Minoan Culture

2000 BCE - 1400 BCE

The Minoans were people who lived mainly on the island of Crete, but also on other islands in the Aegean Sea. They were a seafaring people who were good traders and shipbuilders. The Minoans wrote in the undeciphered writing called Linear A.


2000 bce

The capital city of Crete, where a beautiful palace was built. This city was eventually taken by the Mycenaeans.

Mycenaean Culture

1450 BCE - 1100 BCE

The Mycenaeans lived on mainland Greece. People thought of themselves as poleis first, then as the country of Greece. Eventually, the Mycenaeans went to Crete and adopted the Minoan culture. The Mycenaeans used a form of writing called Linear B.


1300 bce

A city where the Trojan War was fought between the Mycenaeans and the Trojans. The war was fought over Helen, who Paris had supposedly kidnapped.


1100 BCE - 800 bce

Invaders of Greece who came from the north. After the invasion, the empire entered the Dark Ages, when literature and the arts became rare. Political organization collapsed, and nomadic life made a reappearance.


800 BCE

The possibly blind writer of the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey," two epic poems about Odysseus's time in the Trojan war and his return home.


800 BCE

Today's equivalent of a city-state. Greece was made up of many "poleis." Two examples are Athens and Sparta. Unfortunately, Greeks thought of themselves as first from their polis and then from Greece, and so they sometimes had difficulty working together.


800 BCE

The hero and protagonist of Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey," two epic poems written about the Trojan War and Odysseus's difficult return from Troy. Odysseus was supposedly the smartest man on earth and had the idea of the famous Trojan Horse.


700 BCE

People who the Spartans captured and made helots, or slaves.


638 BCE - 558 BCE

The most important oligarch of Greece who wrote a Constitution to balance the needs of the rich and the poor. The plan didn't work very well, but he at least made the first Constitution.


508 BCE

A ruler who came into power after Pisistratus's sons were removed. He established Athenian democracy and replaced executions with ostracism, or exile.


500 BCE

An idea brought about by Cleisthenes, in which wrongdoers could be exiled for ten years rather than executed.

Battle of Salamis

479 BCE

A famous battle of the Persian Wars where the Athenian Navy (which was smaller than the Persian Navy) lured the Persian Navy into a small harbor where the Persian ships could not maneuver easily. The Persians were defeated horribly, so they never seriously threatened the Greeks again.

Peloponnesian War

431 BCE - 404 bce

A war between Athens and Sparta (two very different poleis) that was won by Sparta after the Athenians decided to attack Cicily (which was Spartan) and the Spartans got the help of Persia to defeat their opponent polis.

Battle of Chaeronea

338 BCE

The battle between the Macedonians and the Greeks. The Macedonians were people from the North who had been slowly taking over Greek poleis, and, led by Philip, they took over Greece at this battle.

Alexander the Great

336 BCE - 323 bce

A Macedonian ruler during the Hellenistic Era of Greece. He took the empire as far as India, and on his way back, he died. He was a self-proclaimed son of Zeus. His most important achievement was that he spread Greek Culture all over Asia.

Greek Philosophers

Chapter 9

Alexandria, Egypt

900 BCE

The most advanced city in terms of literature and economy in Hellenistic Greece. It was the site of the Mediterranean's best ancient library.


500 BCE

A large temple on the Acropolis Hill dedicated to Athena. It used to have a giant statue of Athena inside, but the statue is now gone. Years of war and rough weather have eroded the temple, which was originally painted. It was built during the Golden Age of Athens. The architecture can be seen all over the world today.


490 BCE - 430 bce

A freed Phoenician slave who started the philosophy of Stoicism, which emphasized unity of humans and neglect for social conventions. Humans are to be noble, for virtue was its own reward. Stoicism had large following.


470 BCE - 399 bce

A rationalist philosopher who found truth through questioning. Eventually, he was executed for corrupting the youth of Athens. He gives us the idea of Socratic lectures, etc. where much questioning is done to find answers.


427 BCE - 322 BCE

The rationalist student of Socrates who insisted that humans were living an unreal life and had to graduate to the real life. The reason an object was an object was because of its essence or soul, not a perception of the senses. To illustrate his ideas, he made the Simile of the Line and the Metaphor of the Cave.


412 BCE - 323 BCE

The founder of Cynicism, where all divisions were rejected. He was a bold, seemingly strange man who lived in a barrel to show everyone his point. There were few followers.


384 BCE - 322 BCE

The empiricist student of Plato. He disagreed with his teacher and said that an object exists because it can be perceived through the senses. He taught students at Lyceum, his school, to find answers through careful observation. He made the basis of the scientific method, and also brought about the idea of the Golden Mean: everything in moderation.

Metaphor of the Cave

350 BCE

An idea of Plato's in which humans are merely watching shadows on a wall (this life is unreal) and have to get out of the cave to see real things and life a real life.


341 BCE - 271 BCE

The founder of Epicureanism, a philosophy in which humans are to pursue pleasure and avoid pain in life. Inner peace is found through rejecting prejudices and turning inward to find one's own interests. Humans are to ignore the world and find their own peace of mind.