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Archive for history

The World of The Romans


  • The Han Chinese (Central Asia to Pacific Ocean) and Roman Empires (Mediterranean, Middle East, and western & central Europe) were the most extensive empires the world had yet seen.
  • Roman history consists of how a group of Latin-speaking people who established a small community on a plain called Latium in central Italy went to conquer all of Italy and the entire Mediterranean world.
  • Early Roman history is filled with legendary tales of the heroes who made Rome great- one of the best known is Horatius at the bridge.

Ancient China Short Answer Questions


  1. First of all, the geography of ancient China involves the two core regions of development- the Yellow and Yangtze River valleys. Since mountains and deserts ring the northern and western frontiers of China, there is a strong sense of isolation from other societies in Asia. The arid and forbidding landscape also was a hindrance to invading forces, unwelcoming and a harsh climate. Other than the northern fault line of conflict, there was a lair for pirates and the source of powerful typhoons that lay east in the China Sea. As a result, the geography created an ideal area for Chinese civilization to prosper and flourish.

Ancient China Vocabulary 2

  1. Yellow and Yangtze Rivers
    1. Two great river valleys
    2. Considered the core regions in development of Chinese civilization
  2. Fu Xi, Shen Nong, and the Yellow Emperor
    1. Fu Xi- Ox tamer who “knotted cords for hunting and fishing,” domesticated animals, and introduced the beginnings of family life
    2. Shen Nong- Divine farmer who “ben wood for plows and hewed wood for plowshares” and taught agriculture
    3. Yellow Emperor- Huang Di who “strung a piece of wood for the bow, and whittled little sticks of wood for arrows,” created Chinese system of writing, and invented the bow and arrow

The Byzantine Empire

  • In the 4th century, there was a separation between the western and eastern parts of the Roman Empire.

The Reign of Justinian (527-565)

  • In the 6th century, empire in east under control of emperor Justinian. He was well trained in imperial administration and married a strong-willed Theodora, daughter of a circus trainer. Justinian was determined to reestablish the Roman Empire and began to reconquer the west.
  • His army under Belisarius, best general in late Roman world, presented a force. He destroyed Vandals in North Africa and occupied Sicily. Justinian achieved goals and restored imperial Mediterranean world.

Ancient Egypt Facts and Figures


1. Mastabas were early, single tier burial tombs, with sloping walls, so the flat roof area was smaller than that of the base.
2. Mastaba comes from the arabic word. ‘mastabah’, and means ‘stone bench’.
3. A mastaba basically consisted of two parts. A deep unground burial area, and a chapel area within the structure itself where offerings could be made to the deceased.
4. The earliest were made of unfired mud bricks. (Most commonly used construction material in ancient Egypt)
5. The very large mastabas have stone walls around them, which often took the form of a palace-facade.
6. Later mastabas became more complex with numerous chambers.
7. In the mastaba of Mereruka, at Saqqara, there are 32 chambers.
8. The interiors also became more ornate, with coloured bas-reliefs.
9. Decorative scenes would include; feasting, hunting, dancing, music, argriculture, fishing, boats etc.
10. The scenes ensured that the deceased would want for nothing in the afterlife.
11. The mastabas would also have false doors, known as Stelae, through which the deceased could magically leave his tomb to make use of the offerings left to him by his relations and friends.
12. Royal mastabas were rectangle with the longest sides being between 40-60 metres. The smaller were approximately 20 metres.
13. The serdab, was a sealed room within the mastaba in which a statue of the deceased was placed.
14. The serdab has a small opening, through which the deceased could magically communicate with the living world.
15. When Pharaoh turned to the Pyramid as his favoured burial place, mastabas continued to be used by the elite.
16. Many mastabas are found around the royal pyramids.
17. There are hundreds to the east and west of the Great Pyramid at Giza, arrranged in precise parallel rows.

Ancient China Vocabulary

Loess- A dusty, fine, yellow soil that is easily carried by wind and rain, which is found in China.



Dike- an artificial watercourse usually used for irrigation and to prevent floods.


Philosophy- love and pursuit of wisdom by intellectual means and moral self-discipline.



Civil Service- 1. Those branches of public service that are not legislative, judicial, or military and in which employment is usually based on competitive examination. 2. The entire body of persons employed by the civil branches of a government.


Ancient China

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is the longest structure ever built. It is about 4,000 miles long and 1,200-1,500 miles of the Great Wall was built during the reign of Emperor Shihuangdi (from Qin Dynasty). The Great Wall crosses northern China from the east coast to the central part of China. It was made by connecting older walls and its purpose was to keep the Mongols from attacking the empire, which lived in the north. About 1 million people were marched north to build it. Since so many people died while building the wall, it is sometimes called the “Long Graveyard.”

The Silk Road

Jiayuguan Pass


Jiayuguan Pass had a location that benefited China.  The Jiayuguan Tower was cunningly placed between the Qinlian and Mazong Mountains, and near the Taolai River.  This way the fortress could overlook both the east-western passageway and to the west the Great Wall.  Jiayuguan Pass became a useful stronghold for military defense.





Samarkand was just one of the cities that flourished during the time of the Silk Road.  Samarkand had a great many exports and therefore many imports and ideas came in.  Chinese painting became a role model for the Islamic painting.  Beautiful porcelain ceramics came from China in blue and white.

Greece Report, Part 2


Polynices has been denied burial rites.  Can Antigone manage to give her brother a proper burial?
Oedipus the King
A plague will end when the murderer of King Laius is caught.  What will become of Oedipus?
Oedipus at Colonus
When an oracle predicts that the burial city of Oedipus will have a good fortune, both of his warring sons want Oedipus.
Lysistrata is frustrated with the Peloponnesian War and the weaknesses of women.  Can she bring peace to the world and prove her point?

Greece Report, Part 1


Comparing with Today’s Structural Design

Much of today’s architecture originated from ancient Greece.  It is easy to make a comparison with any building.  For example, our basic post and lintel construction, we need to give credit to the Greeks.  Don’t stop there, for there are many more architectural features to explore!

The bottom-resting place of the upright timbers is a sill.  The sill outlines the foundation of a building.  It is made of heavy, strong timber.

A proud cap stood at the top of a column.  A cap is generally a simple block of wood though.