EAST MEETS WEST
Rome – Expansion and decline
Silk Road - trade
Baghdad - culture
Crusades - religion
Our key critical thinking for this unit is to draw out the benefits and challenges of increased expansion and interaction in this period.
Lesson 1: Why do Civilisations expand?
https://school.bighistoryproject.com/pages/console#units/Unit-8Activity 1: Watch the following clip from Big History and answer the following questions. Your teacher may ask you to do this as a class discussion after you have watched it a second time or on the worksheet file below:
- What do we mean by a civilisation?
- What is a major process that occurred in many early agricultural/agrarian civilizations?
- Name 3 agricultural/agrarian civilizations that saw great expansion?
- What happened when agricultural civilizations no-longer expanded?
- Why was geographical expansion so important to a civilizations survival?
- Why were expanding civilizations so expensive?
- What was an economic limit to increasing wealth and power in a civilization?
- What did most civilizations do in order to continue to increase their wealth?
- As territotial expansion occurred militaries increased in order to protect the new territories, why were militaries so expensive?
- How did the growth of militaries during this period help facilitate the growth of trade and commerce and the spread of ideas?
- On the borders of civilizations what happened? What is this process called?
- What happened in Europe after the fall of Rome to increase collective learning and what was its impact?
- As a result of the increase in commerce in Europe during the Early Modern Period (1500-1750) what happened to many of the agricultural civilizations around the world
Lesson 2: Why did interconnection occur within the roman empire?
big idea - political unity as a driver of interconnectedness
Case Study 1: Political interconnection - the roman empire 250Ad
Watch the video of the expansion of the Roman Empire and think about the following questions;
1. What do you notice about the pattern of growth?
2. What period sees the most growth?
3. What reasons can you think of to explain the growth?
4. Explain how the following might encourage expansion;
What factors were responsible for the expansion of the Roman Empire?
The benefits and costs of Roman expansion
Most Divine, across the seas from Gaul the land of the Britons exists...
Your great uncle the divine Julius temporarily invaded the land of the Britons almost a century ago, you will know that the Britons are...
However the benefits that this conquest and the further expansion can bring our empire are many fold...
Politically the land of the Britons is...
Economically the land can bring many benefits to our empire...
The Social benefits to our empire and to the Britons should we expand include...
I advise you divine princeps that the land of the Britons.... (evaluate whether Rome should invade Britain and the most important benefits it will bring)
REFLECTION: To be successful it is expected that you use all of the ancient sources and secondary evidence above.
Your evaluation should balance the benefits of expansion and costs of expansion and give a reasoned conclusion.
Additional reading and resources
Lesson 3: Why had the Roman Empire become so fragile by the 5th century ad?
- Political, Social and Economic Causes (PSE)
- Short Term and Long Term Causes
Downfall of the Roman EMpire game
8 Reasons Why Rome Fell
The most straightforward theory for Western Rome's collapse pins the fall on a string of military losses sustained against outside forces. Rome had tangled with Germanic tribes for centuries, but by the 300s "barbarian" groups like the Goths had encroached beyond the Empire's borders.
lESSON 4: East meets West – contemporary perspectives on the Silk Road – how do we know?
big idea- economies and Trade as a driving factor of interconnection
Case Study 2: The silk road - How significant was trade in connecting the East and West?
In this activity your teacher will give you a travel-log to record a fictional journey along parts of the Silk route. You will find out information and record experiences of what this network was like during the period between 1000- 1400AD.
You will take details of the following things along the way: names of the cities, goods traded, geography and terrain, political rulers, music and culture. You are encouraged to use all of the sources of information below.
You may decide to represent your journey in a number of ways using technology, there are some ideas and links at the bottom of this lesson. You should record your main ideas in the table below:
Mapping the Silk road
Maritime traders had different challenges to face on their lengthy journeys. The development of sailing technology, and in particular of ship-building knowledge, increased the safety of sea travel throughout the Middle Ages.
What were the benefits of the Silk Route?
In Activity 2 you will use your background knowledge and understanding of Polo and the Silk Road to develop your skills as an historian in dealing with primary source material .
A historian needs to develop their skills over time to be able to confidently:
- Infer meaning from sources deductively and inductively
- Corroborate sources for agreement and disagreement
- Analyse the usefulness of sources for answering an enquiry question.
Your teacher may decide to read the sources below with you in order and discuss the skills above with you as they go. Be prepared to annotate ideas on your own copy that you can download below the gallery. You should then write answers to each of the 4 questions.
Lesson 5: How far does Baghdad demonstrate the benefits of interconnection and collective learning?
You are going to write a piece of travel writing from Baghdad in the 8-12th centuries AD and author a piece of travel writing that will describe to the reader what Baghdad was like at this time. Baghdad was at a junction of the Silk Road lying on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. As such it benefited from being highly interconnected not only with the Silk Road but the rest of the Arab Peninsular, North Africa and the Black Sea. It was also a cross roads for ideas and knowledge and as such a place for the dispersion of collective learning. In this piece of travel writing you should exhibit your flair and imagination for describing the city and most importantly stay true to the historical sources below:
The silk road now and in the future?
China's $900 billion New Silk Road. What you need to know
It's perhaps the biggest infrastructure project the world has ever see. It's also controversial. So why is China doing it?
Evaluation Task: How beneficial was the silk road?
Cultural Exchange on the Silk Road
Information about the Cultural Exchange on the Silk Road
interconnection - the idea and the individual as a driving factor
case study 3: mohammed and ghenghis khan two drivers of interconnectedness
Lesson 6: How can religion create interconnections?
Mohammed and the rise of islam
Lesson 7: How can individuals drive interconnection? (Ghenghis Khan)
The Mongol Empire under Genghis Khan
Task 1: The life and achievements of Genghis Khan- Understanding the story
Task 2: Watch the following documentary on the life of Genghis Khan
Task 3: The role of the individual: Leadership of Genghis Khan
lESSON 8 How did religion drive people apart? What were the causes and consequences of the First Crusade for East and West interactions?
lESSON 9: Who benefited from the Crusades AND WHY?
How do we write good essays?
Essay Title: How beneficial was the relationship between east and west?
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