Survey of World History
Western Governors University
A.1. Impact of Geographical Factor
Persia, which is located in Southwest Asia, was the world’s largest empire hitherto. It was a region with very blistering, hot, and dry deserts, with a large plateau that was found between the Indus, Tigris, and Euphrates River Valleys. The Caucasus Mountains, the Zagros Mountains, the Taurus Mountains, the Persian Gulf, and the Mediterranean Sea are all natural barriers that also surround Persia. More than half of Persia is made up of mountains. The great mountain peaks set restrictions with just about everything. They made it hard for trade with the bordering states, because the land was so poor for agriculture, until the Persians gained fertile land. The land then made the region an economic power allowing trade throughout areas of Mesopotamia and trade routes in every direction all because of the rich agriculture. The mountains have enclosed plateaus where the main agricultural villages are located. Persia’s mountains have helped shape the political and economic history that is now called Iran and Afghanistan. Persia is one of the most mountainous countries in the world with no major systems of rivers.
China expanded mostly in isolation. Early China had an almost impassable border stretching from the Himalayan Mountains to the south and the southeast, that kept the area isolated from several other empires. The Himalayan Mountains were private and important to the Chinese religion. To the Northwest of Ancient China, the Gobi and the Taklimakan Deserts offered borders that kept early China isolated. Through trade with Persia and India, the spread of agriculture connected China with other civilizations and helped bring China out of isolation. The Yellow River and the Yangtze River were two major rivers that flowed in the same direction through central China. They were two of the most geographical factors that provided many resources like food, fresh water, fertile soil and transportation. The rich fertile soil, made it easy to grow millet. Along the Yellow River, little villages were built by the farmers of Ancient China. The Yangtze River, similar to the Yellow River, helped the development of civilization and supported the culture of Ancient China. The warm climate and rainy weather allowed the Chinese farmers to grow rice along the Yangtze River. The land also provided a border between northern and southern China. The land located along the Yangtze River became a very important geographical factor to Ancient China.
B. Cultural Characteristics
The Persian Empire consisted of Hellenistic culture which was formed by Alexander the Great. Hellenistic culture was spread throughout Alexander’s empire and beyond. Gymnasiums were created which contained swimming pools, stadiums, tracks, libraries, and lecture rooms. Gymnasiums were used for both military and physical training. Different styles of Hellenistic art was...