1. In what way do we see the expansion of the Byzantine Empire (or the Muslim Caliphates) facilitating Trans-Eurasian trade & communication? answer: give examples of conquered people being drawn into their conquerors’ economies & trade networks) * Byzantine Empire – use of the gold coin, the bezant, facilitated trade and communication by creating a standard currency by which all peoples could expect to trade with; Balkan Slavic peoples came under Byzantine rule and was drawn into the trade network; became trading partners with other towns that were smaller in size such as Florence of Italy, facilitating long-distance trade * Muslim Caliphates – everywhere, there was a huge incentive to convert to Islam because of the massive trade arena that was created as a result of the religion – in various countries, Islamic religion provided links for trading partners (such as in West Africa); when Islamic empire conquered India, new products were introduced (crops) which later spread into Africa and Uerope 2. What examples do you see of cross-cultural interactions resulting in the diffusion of scientific & technological traditions? Byzantine Empire – when China finally opened its doors, many Europeans such as Marco Polo visited there and absorbed many ideas about Chinese culture, writing about them and eventually bringing those ideas back to Europe * Muslim Caliphates – Greek thinking (science and medical texts, as well as philosophy) contributed towards Arab scholarship, and its thinking about the natural sciences and philosophy 3. Following the collapse of empires (most notably Roman), the Byzantine Empire constituted a new government. Give examples of the way that traditional sources of power & legitimacy combined with innovations in governance to produce a gov’t better suited to its circumstances (ie: patriarchy, religion, or land-owning elites combining with new methods of taxation, tributary systems, or adaptation of religious institutions). Byzantine Empire – it maintained a Roman style of centralized imperial court that was based in Constantinople; it set up a caesaropapism where the emperor was both the head of the state as well as the head of the church as appointed by God; maintained many social systems such as taxation and the church; in the 11-13th centuries, there was a leap in urbanization and economic growth, which led to many new chances for women to leave their domestic lifestyles to seek more urban professions * Western Europe – the Roman Catholic Church was separate from the state; the pope held religious authority while the emperor headed the state – system of feudalism ensured loyalty in the chaos-ridden world of that time * China – centralized, individual cities; landowners were given privileges by the government rather than merchants, as merchants were viewed as lazy people who gained profit through the works of others 4. Do you see any examples of innovations in agriculture or industrial production? ie: foreign luxury goods & crops like sugar & citrus being grown in new regions) * Byzantine Empire – adopted various mathematical, scientific and philosophical theories of the Arabs and India; adopted the technology from China – papermaking, gunpowder, as well as the compass and much nautical technology; heavy wheeled plow that was adapted to suit the environment – could handle the thicker soil of Northern Europe; relied on horses and used horseshoes probably from China or Central Asia; system of three field crop rotation; adopted silk making techniques and became one of the main producers of silk; developed cannons as a result of the introduction of gunpowder * Muslim Caliphates – new crops introduced in India which were spread around the empire such as cotton and sugarcane (two crops had a very complex production process, and in the rush to produce it, slavery quickly intensified; adopted ancient Persian water-drilling techniques, rockets from China, and papermaking techniques all from China; developed a series of math concepts such as algebra, scientific advances such as in medicine and pharmacology 5.
What factors do you see that contributed to the decline of urban areas (possible answers: little ice age, invasions, disease, decline of agricultural activity – give examples of this) * western Christendom – around 476, much that had characterized Roman civilization also weakened, declined or disappeared in the several centuries before and after; any semblance of large-scale centralized rule vanished, disease and warfare reduced Western Europe’s population by more than 25%; land being cultivated shrunk, while wasteland expanded; urban life diminished as Europe reverted to a largely rural existence; buildings crumbled from lack of care, and outside Italy, trade routes died out * eastern Christendom – decline in urbanization because of the threat of attack of outsiders; slavs, arabs, latin crusaders and turks progressively disrupted the empire through simple penetration or military conquests – swelling of Constantinople’s population was not growth, but because many people chased from their region by Byzantium’s enemies sought refuge in Constantinople 6. Do you see continuities & changes in social structures, labor management? (labor: free peasant agriculture, nomadic pastoralism, craft production, guild organization, unfree labor & gov’t enforced labor taxes, military obligations? * China – built a bureaucracy that managed public works; Tang and Song dynasty experienced a revolution that made it the richest, most skilled and most populous country on earth; industrial production soared in both small and large scale enterprises, China’s iron input increased dramatically; produced things for the market rather than for local consumption; growing use of paper money led to the increase in output, population, skills and led to a burst of inventiveness * Byzantine Empire – agriculture – production arranged around two centers – estate and village; distinctions between landholders and tenant farmers; guilds of specified jobs introduced a new and more productive division of labor * Roman Empire – coercive labor system (slavery) 7. Give examples of new forms of coerced labor. Give examples of free peasants resisting attempts to raise dues & taxes (ie: revolts in Byzantine empire or China). Give examples of the increased demand for slaves (for both military & domestic purposes) within Central Eurasia, & Eastern Mediterranean. within the new, fragmented and decentralized kingdoms of the Western Christendom, a social system known as feudalism emerged – lesser lords and knights swore allegiance to greater lords or kings; Roman style slavery gave way to serfdom – unlike slaves, serfs were not the personal property of their masters, couldn’t be thrown off land and were allowed to live in families, but they were bound to their master’s estates as peasant laborers and owed various payments and services to the lord of the manor * Byzantine Empire highly regulated slavery – natural state of humanity is freedom, but law of nations may supersede natural law and reduce certain people to slavery – basic definition of a slave was – anyone whose mother was a slave, anyone who has captured in battle, and anyone who has sold himself to pay a debt, but it was possible to become free * Abbasid Empire had an army dominated by slave soldiers – mamluks – originally soldiers captures in central Asia, but later boys specifically taken or bought to be trained as soldiers – later dissolved their loyalty to their masters and established themselves as the ruling dynasty * Islamic slaves directed at the service sector – concubines, cooks, porters and soldiers – form of consumption rather than a factor of production – many more female than male slaves 8. In what ways do we see gender relations and family life being affected by religious conversion? may not be many examples in Europe, but several in other areas we’ve already studied) * Song dynasty, reviving Confucianism tightened patriarchal restriction on women to emphasize images of female submission and passivity; emphasized the subordination of women and men and the need to keep them separate * Spread of Christianity opened new opportunities for women – to become nuns/join a convent, offered relative freedom from male control; where women could exercise authority and gain some semblance of education * What rise of Islam meant for women is highly controversial – on a spiritual level, the Quran states explicitly that women and men are equals, but on a social level, they were viewed as subordinate, especially in marriage; sometimes it helped women – banned infanticide, gave women control over property/inheritance, required a women’s consent for marriage etc. , but also diminished their social roles as there were growing restrictions on women
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