An Eye Of The Past
Flashback to the Ancient Asian Civilization
THE INDIAN CIVILIZATION
Asian countries show huge historical identity through its living tales, site, beliefs of the past. China, India, and Mesopotamia contribute a lot about Asian civilization. Its culture shows excellent effect of today’s human existence. Its creativity and were oriented people convinced the other continents to have a sight of what these countries could offer in terms of tourism.
Wanna know about Indian Civilization?
The Indian civilization is one of the most ancient civilizations of the world. It is known as the Sindhu civilization or the Indus Valley civilization or the Aryan civilization. Sometimes it is also referred to as the Vedic civilization. The Aryans kindled the light of this civilization on the banks of the river Sindhu (Indus) in the Northern India, thousands of years ago. Later, they helped spread it across some other parts of the country. The historians can not ascertain the precise period when this great civilization flourished. The scholars differ on the period of its development. Even the origin of the Aryan race has been debatable. Some historians believe that the Aryans migrated from the North Central Asia and settled in India. Some other historians contend that the Aryans have been the natives of India. In the opinion of Lokmanya Tilak and other Indian scholars, the Aryan civilization is 4000 to 8000 years old.
India's Religious Legacy
Question: How did the religions of India affect other cultures?
Hinduism and Buddhism Today
• Today four out of
five people in India are Hindus
- Hindus also live in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, other countries
- one million Hindus live in United States
• Today less than one percent of Indians are Buddhists
- but Buddhism is popular in Asia, Western Europe, United States
Hindu and Buddhist Influences
•Mohandas Gandhi—mid-1900s Indian leader
- used ahimsa to fight against British rule
• His life inspired U.S. civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
- in 1950s, 1960s, led nonviolent protests for African-American rights
• Hindu and Buddhist in
fluences continue today
- yoga, meditation are popular with people of many different religions
India's Artistic Legacy
Literature, Art, and Architecture
• Indian arts have influenced the world
• Southeast Asians perform plays based on Sanskrit epic Mahabharata
•Bhagavad Gita has been translated and read around world
• Ancient artistsʼ visual symbols for Buddhaʼs holiness still used
• Indian influences in design of Cambodiaʼs Hindu temple, Angkor Wat
Legacy of Indian Mathematics
How does the mathematical knowledge of ancient India affect our lives today?
• Numerals we use—Hindu-Arabic numerals—came from India
- numerals 1 to 9 are 2,000 years old; Arab traders took them to the West
• Indians developed decimal system, based on tens
- each numeral is worth 10 times the numeral to its right
• Decimal system requires symbol for zero, to show empty places
- zero used in India for 1,400 years
CONTRIBUTION OF INDIA
Once upon a time India was described as a land of heavenly life…; every man and woman who lived here was equivalent to divine beings. The mention of 33 billion manifestations of Gods in the Indian scriptures refers to these inhabitants of ancient India. It is a country of golden heritage and glorious past. All branches of knowledge and civilization are said to have emanated from the Indian Philosophy and Culture which were disseminated across the globe through the dedicated altruist endeavors of the Rishis. India was supposed to be the eminent guide of the entire world in pre and post vedic age. The scientific and socio-economic development here was so advanced those days that India was often referred as a “Dimond Bird” – a symbol of immense prosperity. The periphery of the Indian culture was so vast that practically the whole world was lying in its domain of influence until several thousands years ago.
CONTRIBUTION OF INDIA TO THE WORLD
- Sanskrit is the mother of all the European languages. Sanskrit is the most suitable language for computer software - a report in Forbes magazine, July 1987.
- Although modern images of India often show poverty and lack of development, India was the richest country on earth until the time of British invasion in the early 17th Century. Christopher Columbus was attracted by India's wealth.
- India invented the Number System. Zero was invented by Aryabhatta.
- Algebra, trigonometry and calculus came from India. Quadratic equations were by Sridharacharya in the 11th century. The largest numbers the Greeks and the Romans used were 106 whereas Hindus used numbers as big as 10**53(10 to the power of 53) with specific names as early as 5000 BCE during the Vedic period. Even today, the largest used number is Tera 10**12(10 to the power of 12).
- The value of "pi" was first calculated by Budhayana, and he explained the concept of what is known as the Pythagorean Theorem. He discovered this in the 6th century long before the European mathematicians.
Albert Einstein says...
Do you want to know about the China?
It is recorded that Yuanmou man is the oldest hominoid in China and the oldest dynasty is Xia Dynasty. From the long history of China, there emerge many eminent people that have contributed a lot to the development of the whole country and to the enrichment of her history. Among them, there are emperors like Li Shimin (emperor Taizong of the Tang), philosophers like Confucius, great patriotic poets like Qu Yuan and so on.
Chinese society has progressed through five major stages - Primitive Society, Slave Society, Feudal Society, Semi-feudal and Semi-colonial Society, and Socialist Society. The rise and fall of the great dynasties forms a thread that runs through Chinese history, almost from the beginning. Since the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1st, 1949, China has become a socialist society and become stronger and stronger.
Man has lived for a very long time in what is now China, according to archaeological finds. In many parts of the country, for instance, fossil remains of primitive ape men have been unearthed. Among them are the fossil remains of the Yuanmou Ape Man who lived in Yunnan Province some 1.7 million years ago.
Research findings show that the Peking Man, who lived about 500,000 years ago, was able to make and use simple implements and knew the use of fire.
Chinese civilization was one of seven major ones to emerge indepen-dent from others.
Its origins go back to agricultural villages in the Yellow River valley of northern China around 5,000 BC. It eventually spread to include today’s China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore (three fourths ethnic Chinese) and influenced Korean and Japanese society and culture. China coalesced politically in the Qin (Ch’in) Dynasty (221 to 206 BC), from which came its name in English. It often surprises Westerners to hear about early Chinese technological advancements (gunpowder, block printing, paper, magnetic sailing compass, complex pest control systems) that predate exposure to Western science (Needham, 1954). There were grandiose public works projects such as the Grand Canal (1,200-mile north–south waterway, part natural, part constructed), started in the 6th century AD, stretching from Tianjin in the north nearly to Shanghai; there was the Great Wall (about 1,500 miles long) in the north, begun in 220 BC. Early Chinese traders traveled the Silk Road to Central Asia, and fleets reached India, the Arabian peninsula, and east Africa before the Spanish and Portuguese crossed the Atlantic (The Explorers Map, 1998; History of China, 1991).
or the Yin Era (殷代, Yīn dài)
First recorded Chinese dynasty for which there is both documentary and archaeological evidence.
The latter part of the Shang dynasty, from the reign of P'an-k'ang on, is also called the Yin dynasty.
It was in the Shang period that Chinese writing began to develop.
(Chinese: 周朝; pinyin: Zhōu cháo),
The Zhou ruled ancient China for almost a millennium, establishing the distinctive political and cultural characteristics that were to be identified with China for the next 2,000 years. The Zhou coexisted with the Shang for many years, living just west of the Shang territory in what is now Shaanxi province. In mid-11th century the Zhou solidified their reign over all of China. An array of feudal states was created within the empire to maintain order and the emperor's hold on the land.
also known as the Ch'in dynasty, established the first great Chinese empire. The Ch'in (Qin), from which the name China is derived, established the approximate boundaries and the basic administrative system that all subsequent Chinese dynasties were to follow for the next 2,000 years. They also standardized the writing system, standardized the measurements of length and weight and the width of highways/roads and they built the precursor version of the Great Wall. But under its Emperor Qin Shi Huang and his chief adviser Li Si, the Qin also instituted a rigid, authoritarian government based on the principles of the Legalists: human beings were fundamentally base and selfish and had to be strictly controlled through laws. The Qin abolished all feudal privileges, and in 213, to halt subversive thought, they ordered all books burned.
founded by the Li (李) family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire. The capital of the dynasty was Chang'an (present-day Xi'an), the most populous city in the world at that time. The Tang period is regarded by historians as a high point in Chinese civilization - equal to or surpassing that of the earlier Han Dynasty - as well as a golden age of cosmopolitan culture. Its territory, acquired through the military campaigns of its early rulers, was greater than that of the Han period, and rivaled that of the later Yuan Dynasty and Qing Dynasty. The Tang Dynasty was largely a period of progress and stability, except during the An Shi Rebellion and the decline of the central authority in the latter half of the dynasty.
The Yuan Dynasty
The dynasty's official title 'Da Yuan' (Chinese: 大元, "Great Yuan") originates from 'I Ching'. It was the first non-Han dynasty to rule all of China. It was a khanate of the Mongol Empire, a political entity ruled by a Khan, namely Kublai Khan (Chinese: 忽必烈; pinyin: Hū bì liè). He became the first Yuan emperor, his reign dominated over Mongolia, Inner China, and some adjacent areas. Kublai Khan proclaimed the capital to be at Dadu (today Beijing). After some years of hard work, he finally defeated the Han-Dynasty of Southern Song in 1279. As emperor he also worked hard to minimize the influences of regional lords who had held immense power before and during the Song Dynasty. Almost all important central posts were monopolized now by Mongols. Unlike his predecessors Kublai Khan had decided to become the first absolute monarch.
The Empire of the Great Ming followed the collapse of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty. Rivalry among the Mongol imperial heirs, natural disasters, and uprisings of Han Chinese groups against the Yuan Dynasty led to its collapse.
The Ming dynasty was founded by the Han Chinese Zhu Yuanzhang, a former Buddhist monk from a peasant family.
In 1356 Zhu Yuanzhang's rebel force captured the city of Yingtian (Nanjing), where he established his own military base.
In 1368, after Zhu Yuanzhang's army captured the Yuan capital Dadu (today Beijing), Zhu Yuanzhang officially proclaimed himself Emperor of China and founded the Ming Dynasty.
Under Zhu Yuanzhang the Chinese government established a standing army of 1,000,000 warriors and ordered the construction of a vast navy.
The era saw enormous projects of construction, including the restoration of the Grand Canal, the Great Wall and the construction of the Imperial Palace (Forbidden City) in Beijing.
The Ming was the last imperial dynasty in China ruled by ethnic Hans.
The Great Qing (also called the Later Jin) was the last ruling dynasty of China. The dynasty was founded by Manchus (Jurchen tribes), who are today an ethnic minority in northeast China. By 1646 the Manchus ruled over most of present-day China.
The dynasty was founded by Nurhaci (Chin.: 努尔哈赤 pinyin: Nǔ ěr hā chì) a former vassal of the Ming emperors. In 1616 he proclaimed himself Khan of "Great Jin", after he had consolidated the Jianzhou region to unify the Jianzhou Jurchen tribes. Two years later Nurhaci openly renounced the sovereignty of Ming overlordship. Under his command he united the loosely joined Jurchen tribes into a nation. He also confederated with various Mongol tribes. After Nurhaci's dead his son Hung Taiji (皇太極) continued to fight the Ming dynysty. He laid the groundwork for the conquering of the Ming in China, although he died before this was accomplished.
In June 1644 the Manchus seized control of Beijing and proclaimed the Qing dynasty to be the legitimate successor to the Ming Dynasty. Its first emperor Shunzhi Emperor was the second emperor of the Manchu Qing dynasty, and the first Qing emperor to rule all over China from 1644 to 1661. In the course of time under Emperor Kangxi, the Qing dynasty defeated Taiwan and Tzarist Russia. The dynasty lasted until 1911 after its decline in the mid-19th century. Following the Xinhai Revolution the Qing Dynasty was overthrown.
Chinese culture is called Confucian in reference to its early, long- revered, and oft-cited sage Confucius (Kung Fu-tzu, c. 500 BC), whose thinking and teaching influenced its social value system (Leys, 1997). Confucian tradition draws mainly from custom rather than from religion, ideology, or law, and with the following features. The social structure values order, hierarchy, and deference to authority, as reflected in long-standing wu-lun rules of deference (e.g., of child to parent, student to teacher, young to old, wife to husband, citizen to ruler, and, by extension, employee to employer or boss). In this respect, Chinese culture is high on Hofstede’s power distance, that is, it readily accepts interpersonal differences in power. Group consciousness is strong (high collectivism, low individualism); daily life, including business, relies heavily on personal connections and trust, based variously on family and kinship ties, community, geographic region, language dialect, school, or other bonds.
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Contributions of Ancient China to the World
For the nation that uses some 80,000 different symbols in their language, it was just natural to invent the paper. Papers were produced from 3 different kinds of sources, namely, the silk rags, wooden strips and bamboo, hemp or clothes.
The ancient China also pioneered the concept of ink (206B.C.-A.D.220) and they were the first to invent printer (618-906A.D) and print a book (868 AD).
It was a tool that was invented to fulfill religious purposes. A compass was used to examine whether an under-construction building was facing the right direction so that it could be in perfect harmony with nature. For example, the scientists of ancient China believed; if the house faces north, the inhabitants will be perfectly getting along with the nature. The earliest compass made by the ancient Chinese inventors, resembled a wooden circle which had a number of marks on it along with a magnetic spoon on the top.
Probably the most significant contribution of the ancient china was the fine variety of silk that goes by the name of Chinese silk. The ancient Chinese were the one who taught the rest of the world how to harvest silk from silk worms. They also coined the techniques of creating clothes, fans, kites, paper, and many other articles from it.
Historical Sites In China
Xi'an City Wall
Located in the center of Xi'an City, the Xi'an City Wall (西安城墙) measures 12 meters high, 18 meters wide at the base and 15 meters wide at the top. It is 13.7 kilometers long and the length of the east, west, south and north walls are, respectively, 2590 m, 2631.2 m, 3441.6 m and 3241 m. It has four gates; Changle Gate in the east, Anding Gate in the west, Yongning Gate in the south and Anyuan Gate in the north.
The existing wall was built between 1374 and 1378, making it over 600 years old. It is the oldest and most well preserved city wall in all of China.
There are 5948 battlements on the outer side of the city wall, once used by archers to defend against enemies. Every 120 meters, there are ramparts that extend off the main wall. About every 40 or 60 meters, there are water channels made of green bricks used for drainage. The channels were very important for long term protection of the wall. The Xi'an City Wall is a complete and perfected defense system including a moat, suspension bridge, draw bridge and turrets.In 1961, the State Council announced that the Xi'an City Wall was in the first batch of national important historical sites that should receive special protection.
The layout of this palace is strictly according to Chinese fengshui theory. China’s best-preserved imperial palace is the world’s largest ancient palatial structure (720,000 square meters, and more than 9,000 halls), and the essence and culmination of traditional Chinese architectural accomplishment.
Today, the palace is a large museum. There are thousands of historical relics, and the most precious two are the scroll painting of 'A Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival' (清明上河图) and a gold cup with three pillars used by Emperor Qianlong (金瓯永固杯).
Beijing is the city with the most historical sites in the world, including the Great Wall, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, and the Forbidden City. Check out our information on over 70 Beijing’s attractions.
The Terracotta Army: First Emperor Qin's Buried Battalions
The museum exhibiting this life-size terracotta army lies about 1.5 kilometers east of the Mausoleum of First Emperor of Qin, which is believed to be a magnificent mausoleum (it has not been unearthed). The museum, with three pits containing the Terracotta Army, covers an area of 22,780 square meters. Over 8,000 terracotta soldiers and horses, and more than 10,000 bronze weapons were unearthed in these three pits.
The Terracotta Army was included on the World Heritage List by UNESCO in 1987, candidate for the title “eighth wonder of the world” and the largest military museum underground. An interesting fact is that all the terracotta soldiers were made to face east towards Emperor Qin's enemies.
Xi’an, where the Terracotta Army is located, is one of the two greatest ancient cities in China. The Ancient City Wall is another highlights of the city. You can check out more historical sites in Xi’an.
The Great Wall: the Longest Defensive System in the World
The Great Wall of China is one of the greatest sights in the world. The entire Great Wall includes defensive systems built in the Warring States Period (475–221 BC), the Qin Dynasty (221–206 BC), the Han Dynasty (202 BC–220 AD), the Northern Wei Dynasty (386–557), the Jin Dynasty (1115–1234), and the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644).
In ancient China the Great Wall was used as defense against the invasion of nomadic tribes (mainly Mongolians) in northern China. Today, the Great Wall is a symbol of China, together with Tian’anmen and the five stars or the Communist flag.
The entire Great Wall of China zigzags across the mountains of northern China. We highly recommend hiking along the best-protected sections of the Great Wall: Shanhai Pass, Juyong Pass, Badaling, Mutianyu and Yumen Pass. Check out our customizable Great Wall tours.
The Potala Palace: Masterpiece of Tibetan Architecture
If you are interested in Tibetan culture, the Potala Palace is an attraction which you should not miss. The Potala Palace was first built as a palace of Songtsen Gampo (617–650), the founder of the Tu-Bo Dynasty (吐蕃王朝).After being rebuilt in the 17th century, it was the residence of Dalai Lamas.
There are plenty of precious historical relics in the palace, including over 10,000 Buddha statues made of gold, silver, jade, wood, or clay, and about 10,000 tangkas (scroll paintings related to Budhhism). The gorgeous mural paintings, wooden carvings, and color paintings used for decoration are outstanding.
The Potala Palace is located in the northwest of Lhasa city. Other top attractions in Lhasa are: Norbulingka (“the Summer Palace” of Lhasa), Jokhang Temple (a Tibetan Buddhist temple with more than 1,350 years of history), and Drepung Monastery (the largest monastery in the world, with about 10,000 monks).
SOURCES ( China )
Do you want to know the classes of people in Mesopotamia?
Next came the middle class of Mesopotamia. These were the people that had paying jobs to feed their families. Often these people owned slaves, but were not slaves themselves. Common jobs for these people were merchants, teachers, and farmers.
The very top social class in Mesopotamia were the kings, rulers, and priests. Priests were the doctors of the time, and made sure that all the people didn't do things to upset the gods. The kings made all of the laws and controlled the military.
The social classes of people in Mesopotamia were different from those in the U.S. In the U.S, we have presidents instead of kings. There are no slaves in the U.S, and everyone is allowed to live their life the way they want to. In Mesopotamia, your social class really couldn't change that much: if you were a slave, you would probably stay a slave. However, in the US, you can change your social class by getting a better or worse job and earning more or less money.
Assyrians practiced two religions throughout their history. First they practiced Ashurism, and then they practiced Christianity.
Babylonians believed that different gods controlled different parts of nature: one controlled the earth, one controlled the ocean, on controlled the air, the sun, the mountains, the rivers, etc. They believed that if they annoyed one of the gods, the part of nature that it controlled would bring bad luck. For example, if you annoyed the river god, a river might flood.
CONTRIBUTIONS OF MESOPOTAMIA
These stepped towers we call ziggurats. By 2000 B.C. mud-brick ziggurats were being constructed in many Sumerian cities. Later, ziggurats were constructed in Babylonian and Assyrian cities.