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Page history last edited by matthew.jason@... 6 years ago

World History:

Living in a Connected World

M. Jason, Lansing Eastern High School




                    Recycle Man                                                       Shanghai (Pudong District)


Historical Investigation Survey



September 9th Leadership Survey!



Winter 2011:

Chinese History Homeschool Class



IREX TEA Final Portfolio Materials



May 2010 MSA Conference Materials

Click here to download materials from "Who Created Our Global World," a session at the May 2010 Tampa Magnet Schools of America Conference:

MSA Presentation Materials




PowerPoint presentations from both Michigan Council for the Social Studies and National Council for History Education conferences can be found here.



June 2009 MGA Workshops


Biographical links for Zheng He: 





ENTER HERE for student exhibits of artifacts from China during the Song Dynasty: 

Digital Artifacts of the Song Dynasty 960 - 1279 CE

During the Song Dynasty, China underwent enormous economic and cultural change.  Mr. Jason's and Mr. Abel-Pype's classes have been researching different topics from Song history.  Check out student research from the different classes by following the link. 




For more information on the connections between Song China and the rest of the world, check out:

The Song Dynasty and Its Place in the World




The Silk Routes (aka, The Silk Road), 2nd Century BCE - 14th Century CE


The Routes 



The Belief Systems (Religions) of the Area

To view original versions of the maps, go to The Silk Road Project Maps.  

Maps from "The Silk Road Project," http://www.silkroadproject.org


Cultural Transmission Along the Silk Routes



Greco-Buddhist Art




The "Great" Emperors of Ancient Persia, 550 - 486 BCE


Cyrus the Great (about 590 -- 530 BC)


In 539 Cyrus defeated the Babylonians in an amazing way:


"The Persians diverted the Euphrates river into a canal so that the water level dropped "to the height of the middle of a man's thigh," which allowed the invading forces to march directly through the river bed to enter at night. On October 29, Cyrus himself entered the city of Babylon and arrested Nabonidus. He then assumed the titles of "king of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four sides of the world."  Read more at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_the_great


Before this, the Babylonians had themselves conquered many lands, including Syria and Palestine, near the Mediterranean Sea.  Therefore, when the Persians defeated the Babylonians, they also acquired all of their lands.


Cyrus' Death

It is not known exactly how Cyrus died, but a few stories explain that he was killed in battle.  One story tells of how Cyrus and his men tricked Spargapises, leader of the Massagetae, a tribe from an area northeast of Persia:


"Learning that the Massagetae were unfamiliar with wine and its intoxicating effects, Cyrus ordered that his troops leave their camp with plenty of it behind, making it appear that they had hastily retreated. Finding the abandoned camp and the wine, Spargapises and his troops became drunk, when they were then overtaken by a surprise attack. They were subsequently slaughtered, and although he was taken prisoner, Spargapises killed himself once he regained sobriety. Upon learning of what had transpired, Spargapises' wife, the Queen Tomyris claimed that Cyrus' tactics were underhanded and swore vengeance, leading a second wave of troops into battle herself. Cyrus was ultimately killed and the Persian forces suffered heavy casualties. When the battle was over, Tomyris ordered the body of Cyrus brought to her, then decapitated him and dipped his head in blood in a symbolic gesture of revenge for Spargapises' death."


Importance of Cyrus

Cyrus created a truly new kind of government, one that ruled over huge areas that included many different kinds of people.  He also created an administration that lasted for centuries, one that ruled over many people, and did so while respecting different cultures and beliefs.


Many people have thought Cyrus' example was an important one to follow, including some of the founders of the United States of America.  Thomas Jefferson was known to have thought Cyrus' Cyropaedia was one of the greatest books for a leader to read.  Cyrus also set one of the earliest examples in Human Rights, for leaders to follow.


**Much of the above information came from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_the_great


Darius the Great (549 -- 485 BC)


Darius worked to strengthen the Persian during his long rule.  When he became king in 522 BC, the empire was filled with rebellions due to the ineffective of Cyrus' sons.  Darius brought order to the empire through military campaigns, and then changed the way the government worked in some areas to make the empire stronger.


Darius divided Persia into twenty provinces, called satraps.  Each had a governor, military leader, and head tax collector.  The provinces could rule themselves in some ways, but had to pay a certain yearly tax to the emporer.  In return, the provinces benifitted from the protection of the empire, and the wealth from trade which was brought to the area.  Not all subjects were happy however.  Some areas like Babylon were unable to pay the tax amounts and suffered economically.


During his 37 year rule, Darius ordered the building of a large road system, centered on the Royal Road, a 1,600 mile long road that streched from central Persia (Susa) to Lydia in the far west of the empire.  In addition, Darius ordered a single currency be used across the empire.  Before, trade had to be done based on a more complicated system of weights and measurements of precious metals.  After Darius, specific coins were used that were easily recognized across the empire, no matter what language was spoken.


See a map of the Persian Empire, also known as the Arcaemenid Empire, after the line of kings that ruled it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Achaemenid_Empire.jpg


Lastly, Darius is also known, like Cyrus, for allowing cultural differences within the empire.  While he was known to be a believer in Ahuramazda, he allowed different beliefs among his people.  Darius was also reported to be against slavery, and made a strong effort to pay the workers involved in building the projects he ordered.


For more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darius_the_Great_of_Persia


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