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Eastern Empires & Leaders
Persia: Topic Page
The country which is now present-day Iran.
Khmer Empire: Topic Page
Ancient kingdom of SE Asia established in the 6th cent. by the Cambodians, or Khmers.
Byzantine Empire: Topic Page
The Eastern Roman Empire 395–1453, with its capital at Constantinople (formerly Byzantium, modern Istanbul). It was the direct continuation of the Roman Empire in the East, and inherited many of its traditions and institutions.
Justinian I: Topic Page
Byzantine emperor (527-65). Justinian's greatest accomplishment was the codification of Roman law, commonly called the Corpus Juris Civilis. It gave unity to the centralized state and greatly influenced all subsequent legal history.
Attilla the Hun: Topic Page
king of the Huns (445-53). The fear Attila inspired is clear from many accounts of his savagery, but, though undoubtedly harsh, he was a just ruler to his own people.
Saladin (1138 - 1193)
Arabic Salah ad-Din, 1137?–1193, Muslim warrior and Ayyubid sultan of Egypt, the great opponent of the Crusaders, b. Mesopotamia, of Kurdish descent.
Genghis Khan: Topic Page
Mongol conqueror, ruler of all Mongol peoples from 1206. He conquered the empires of northern China 1211–15 and Khwarazm 1219–21, and invaded northern India in 1221, while his lieutenants advanced as far as the Crimea. When he died, his empire ranged from the Yellow Sea to the Black Sea; it continued to expand after his death to extend from Hungary to Korea. Genghis Khan controlled probably a larger area than any other individual in history. He was not only a great military leader, but the creator of a stable political system.
Mongol: Topic Page
Mongols live in Mongolia, Russia, Inner Mongolia (China), Tibet, and Nepal. In the early 13th century, united under Genghis Khan, the Mongols from 1206 to 1226 conquered central Asia, attacked Eastern Europe and established the Mongolian Empire, a rather loosely constructed federation of tribal groups.
Ottoman Empire: Topic Page
Vast state founded in the late 13th cent. by Turkish tribes in Anatolia and ruled by the descendants of Osman I until its dissolution in 1918.
Sassanid: Topic Page
The last dynasty of native rulers to reign in Persia before the Arab conquest.
Indochina: Topic Page
A former federation of states in SE Asia.
Religion and Philosophy
Islam: Topic Page
Islam, one of the world’s great monotheistic religions, was founded (or restored) by the Prophet Muhammad (570-632 CE), who lived in Mecca and Medina on the Arabian Peninsula.
Qur'an: Topic Page
The Qur'an is the Holy Book of Islam. Muslims treasure the text in its original Arabic as the literal word of God, the last of God's books revealed to humanity, transmitted by the Prophet Muhammad.
Buddha: Topic Page
[Skt.,=the enlightened One], usual title given to the founder of Buddhism. He is also called the Tathagata [he who has come thus], Bhagavat [the Lord], and Sugata [well-gone]. He probably lived from 563 to 483 B.C.
Buddhism: Topic Page
Religion and philosophy founded in India c.525 B.C. by Siddhartha Gautama, called the Buddha. The basic doctrines of early Buddhism include the "four noble truths": existence is suffering (dukhka); suffering has a cause, namely craving and attachment (trishna).
Confucianism: Topic Page
Moral and religious system of China. Its origins go back to the Analects, the sayings attributed to Confucius, and to ancient commentaries. In its early form (before the 3d cent. B.C.) Confucianism was primarily a system of ethical precepts for the proper management of society.
Bhagavad Gita: Topic Page
Sanskrit poem incorporated into the Mahabharata, one of the greatest religious classics of Hinduism.
Hinduism: Topic Page
The Western term for a religious tradition developed during the first millennium and intertwined with the history and social system of India.
Mahabharata: Topic Page
Classical Sanskrit epic of India, probably composed between 200 B.C. and A.D. 200.
From The Columbia Encyclopedia
Ancient native religion of Japan still practiced in a form modified by the influence of Buddhism and Confucianism.
Taoism: Topic Page
The philosophical system stems largely from the Tao-te-ching, a text traditionally ascribed to Lao Tzu but probably written in the mid-3d cent. B.C.
Vedas: Topic Page
The term Veda, derived from the root vid, “to know,” means “knowledge.” The Veda functions in Hindu traditions as an authoritative category that is ascribed the status of transcendent knowledge and has both textual and supratextual dimensions.
From Britannica Concise Encyclopedia
Ancient religion of India that was contemporary with the composition of the Vedas and was the precursor of Hinduism.
Yin and Yang: Topic Page
The Chinese concept that everything is explicable in terms of two complementary but opposing principles.
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Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend
Provides accessible, informative and authoritative entries to answer any major question about Hinduism, its mythology, practices, customs and laws.
A Concise History of the Middle East by
An introduction to the history of this turbulent region from the beginnings of Islam to the present day, this widely acclaimed text by Arthur Goldschmidt Jr. is distinguished by its clear style, broad scope, and balanced treatment. This book explores the evolution of Islamic institutions and culture, the influence of the West, the modernization efforts of Middle Eastern governments, the struggle of various peoples for political independence, the Arab–Israeli conflict, the reassertion of Islamic values and power, the issues surrounding the Palestinian Question, and the post-9/11 Middle East. The eleventh edition has been fully revised to reflect the most recent events in, and concerns of, the region, including an expanded and more nuanced discussion of the “War on Terrorism” and the Arab uprisings, coverage of the rise of ISIS, and a new chapter on the growing environmental problems of the region. In addition, the authors have incorporated new scholarship on the early history to provide a fuller picture of the political shifts and socioeconomic concerns of that time. With updated bibliographical sketches, chronology and glossary, A Concise History of the Middle East remains an essential text for students of Middle East history.