Test Prep #2: Age of Empires

Updated for 2014-15

  • Over the course of this unit, we have looked at the interactions among the dominant civilizations of the ancient Near East during the period c.1900-1200 BC, that is the Hittites, Assyrians, Egyptians, and the Hebrews, and we began a discussion about the Minoans and Greeks (Mycenaeans).
  • Distinguishing Correlation from Causation has been major academic skill emphasized. Read this Wiki on one of the essential logical fallacies associated with correlation/causation to add a bit to your knowledge.
  • Writing a succinct historical thesis based upon evidence was also covered.
  • We have asked important questions about evidence regarding historical interpretation. Discussions of Hebrew Scripture in particular focused on differing types of documents — including myth, legend, poetry, laws, and histories — that historians sift through in order to reach conclusions about the era ca.2000-1200 BC. YOU SHOULD BE PREPARED TO USE TEXTUAL EVIDENCE TO MAKE VALID INFERENCES ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO PRODUCED THEM.

Here are some specific questions based on thematic content of our class discussions to help direct your preparation:

  • What types of evidence have we used to assess the era? What can and can’t they tell us about the history of the period?
  • How might stories — mythos and legenda — inform us of actual historical events, or provide glimpses of a civilization’s value system?
  • What are the more important events that occurred during the period that can be placed on a time-line?
  • What was the power relationship among the three great Empires that intersected in modern Syria, Jordan, and Israel between about 1900-1100 BC.E? What was the situation? How does Hebrew Scripture (Old Testament) reflect the history of the era?
  • What distinguished the major civilizations from each other? What cultural attributes did these civilizations use to identify themselves.

Primary Sources: Hammurabi’s Code, Hittite Sources (handout), The Book of Genesis; The Silver Peace Treaty. [We’ve also discussed some of the stories from the Book of Exodus but you did not read it.]

Secondary Reading: #9 Clash of Civs, and Paul Johnson’s ‘History of the Jews’

PowerPoint from Class: Three Empires- crescent-Part2

Some major dates:

  • c.2000 BCE – Enuma Elis rewritten by Babylonians
  • c.1900 BCE
  • c.1750  BCE
  • c.1625 BCE
  • 1531 BCE
  • c. 1525 BCE
  • 1457 BCE
  • c,1450 BCE – obelisks of Thutmosis III
  • c.1300 BCE
  • 1274 BCE
  • 1258 BCE
  • c.1250 BCE
  • c.1180 BCE
  • c.950/550 BCE – Book of Genesis written



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