Brief Review in Global History and Geography

Achievements of the Ancient Empires

Document-Based Essay

This task is designed to test your ability to work with historical documents and is based on the accompanying documents (1–6). Some of the documents have been edited for the purposes of this question. As you analyze the documents, take into account both the source of each document and any point of view that may be presented in the document.

Directions: Read the documents in Part A and answer the questions after each document. Then, read the directions for Part B and write your essay.

Type in your answers in the text boxes following each question below. You can then e-mail them to your teacher.

Your first name only:

Your teacher's e-mail address:

Obtain the correct e-mail address from your teacher
(e.g., "teachers_name@somewhere.com")

Historical Context: Empires of the ancient world contributed to the history of humankind.

Task: Using information from the documents and your knowledge of global history and geography, write an essay in which you describe three contributions of the empires of the ancient world. Then, choose one contribution that you think is the most significant to the history of humankind and explain why.

PART A: SHORT ANSWER

Document #1

"Whoever honors his own [religion] and disparages another man's whether from blind loyalty or with the intention of showing his own [religion] in a favorable light, does his own [religion] the greatest possible harm. Concord is best, with each hearing and respecting the other's teachings. It is the wish of the [king] that members of all religions should be learned and should teach virtue."
—From the Edicts of Asoka (268 B.C.)

1. What did the Mauryan ruler, Asoka, say about religious tolerance?

Document #2

Empires of Ancient India

  Maurya Gupta
Dates 321 B.C.–185 B.C. A.D. 320–550
Location Northern and southern India Northern India
Government
  • Harsh rule
  • Organized government
  • Officials collect taxes
  • Government- owned factories
  • Mild rule
  • Organized government
  • Villages and cities had power
Learning
  • Schools and libraries in capital
  • Missionaries spread Buddhism
  • Golden age of learning
  • Number system we use today, decimal system
  • Plastic surgery, vaccines for smallpox
  • Carvings of gods and animals
2. What contributions were made in math and science during the Gupta Empire?

Document #3

"We differ from other states in regarding the man who holds aloof from public life not as 'quiet' but as useless; we decide or debate, carefully and in person, all matters of policy, holding, not that words and deeds go ill together, but that acts are foredoomed to failure when undertaken undiscussed."
—Speech of Pericles (431 B.C.) in Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War

3. According to Pericles of Athens, what is the responsibility of a citizen in a democracy?

Document #4

The Roman Rule of Law and Justice
The Roman Rule of Law and Justice

4. What principle of Roman law shows that the Romans were concerned with protecting the rights of the defendant?

Document #5

"It [the Inca road system] passes over deep valleys and lofty mountains by snowy heights, over falls of water, through living rocks and edges of tortuous currents. In all these places, it is level and paved, along mountain slopes well excavated, by the mountains well terraced … along the river bank supported by walls, in the snowy heights with steps and resting places.
—Pedro Cieza de Leon

5. What aspects of Incan road-building impressed Pedro Cieza de Leon?

Document #6

Wheelbarrow
Wheelbarrow
Compass
Compass
The ladle, which was carved from lodestone, swivels on the polished bronze base so that the handle always points to the south.
Paper Making
Paper Making
Wet pulp was dried on screens to make paper.
Stirrup
Stirrup
6. Give one example of how the Chinese used technology to improve their quality of life.

PART B: ESSAY

Directions: Using information from the documents provided and your knowledge of United States history, write a well-organized essay that includes an introduction, several paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Historical Context: Empires of the ancient world contributed to the history of humankind.

Task: Using information from the documents and your knowledge of global history and geography, write an essay in which you:

Describe three contributions of the empires of the ancient world. Then, choose one contribution that you think is the most significant to the history of humankind and explain why.

Guidelines: When writing your essay, be sure to

  • address all aspects of the Task by accurately analyzing and interpreting at least four documents.
  • incorporate information from the documents in the body of the essay.
  • incorporate relevant outside information throughout the essay.
  • richly support the theme with relevant facts, examples, and details.
  • write a well-developed essay that consistently demonstrates a logical and clean plan of organization.
  • introduce the theme by establishing a framework that is beyond a simple restatement of the Task or Historical Context and conclude the essay with a summation of the theme.

When you're done, your answers to your teacher.