The Greek Legacy Spreads

 

As we move to our second chapter of material on Ancient Greece, we begin to focus on the rich culture that developed in Greece – mainly in Athens, which was very instrumental in shaping Western Civilization as we know it today. Greek mythology is legendary and gives us insight into an early literary style as well as the religious beliefs of the Greeks. Greek writers, such as Homer and Aesop used their creativity and wisdom to create epics (Homer) like the Iliad and the Odyssey, and fables (Aesop). Dramatists, such as Aeschylus, Euripides, Aristophanes and Sophocles created both tragedies and comedies that use both actions and words to tell a story. Finally, no study of Greek culture would be complete without a look at the great works of art and architecture that were produced by the early Greeks, some of which survive until today. This unit gives us insight into how the Greeks shaped their own world, but also influenced the world in which we live today.

This chapter also deals with the spread of Greek culture through the known world at the time. This was done mainly by Alexander the Great. So, we will be spending some time looking at his leadership and journeys, conquering much of what was the Persian Empire.

Welcome to 7th Grade World History

Hello new students and parents.

We are beginning a fast-paced journey through about 2500 years of human history as we begin the 2017-2018 School Year. As the Ohio Department of Education describes it:

The seventh-grade year is an integrated study of world history, beginning with ancient Greece and continuing through global exploration. All four social studies strands are used to illustrate how historic events are shaped by geographic, social, cultural, economic and political factors. Students develop their understanding of how ideas and events from the past have shaped the world today.

Please check back to this website often for updates and information. It’s great to have you all aboard. Do not hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns.

The Seventh Grade Social Studies Team

The Middle Ages

Early Christianity

At last, we return to Western Europe to study the period known as the Middle Ages. History calls this period of time the “Middle Ages”, because it marks a middle period between the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of the Modern World, which begins with the Renaissance.

The Middle Ages begin with a step back from the somewhat advanced civilization built by the Romans. The Dark Ages represent a time when cities become unhealthy, unsafe, and undesirable places to live, and people tended to move to the countryside seeking food, shelter and protection. Europe experienced invasions of various tribes, such as the Franks, Huns, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Lombards and many other groups of people, affectionately known today as “barbarians”. Most people found themselves exchanging hard labor and a share of their crops for the protection from a knight. Thus developed a system of government and society known as the Feudal System.

The Roman Catholic Church was both a source of stability and support for many in Middle Ages Europe. For Medieval serfs, the Church provided education, rest, and a sense of hope to people whose lives were very hard. In fact, because clergy were often the only educated people of the time, often both government and religious leadership was provided by church officials. The corruption that results from this merger of government and religion will eventually lead to the Reformation that we will cover in our Renaissance unit.

Christian History

The Beginnings and Spread of Christianity

Perhaps no two units are linked together more than the Roman Empire and the rise of Christianity in Europe. The beginnings of Christianity served to unify common people throughout the empire and eventually spread to Roman leaders. This unity between the empire and religious movement allowed the Roman Empire to be sustained for several hundred years after it had begun to decline.

A study of early Christianity also provides a bridge to the Middle Ages, in which the Christian Church served as a stabilizing force politically and religiously throughout what had been the Roman Empire. During the Dark Ages, many people looked toward their faith for reason to hope, a system of laws, and leadership not provided by a central government. The Christian Church filled a void and preserved much of what had seemed to disappear when Rome fell. This included works of literature, architectural styles and political structures not shared by invading Germanic tribes.

We will be studying Christianity from an historical perspective, not a faith perspective. The aim is to understand and appreciate the historical significance of Christianity as a religious movement and unifying force throughout Europe, leading eventually to the formation of nation-states, including England, France and Spain, but inhibiting the formation of nations in Germany and Italy.

African History

African History

Much of the history of Africa is based on oral tradition and legend rather than written historical accounts of people, places and events. However, a brief study of African history can reveal much and help to make connections with the wider topic of “World History”.

Over the couple of weeks, we will look at the “trading states” of Africa, including Ghana, Mali, and Songhai in the west, and the Zimbabwe culture that developed in the east. The western civilizations tend to resemble the kind of dynastic civilizations that remind us of Alexander the Great, the Romans, the Egyptians and other empires that we have studied so far. In the east, we will see that the small, independent city-states resemble the civilizations that we studied from Ancient Greece, and even the beginnings of the Roman civilization.

What the east and west have in common is that great trading civilizations developed over time along trade routes, making Africa a very important contributor to the spread of both commercial goods and world religions.

Rome – From Republic To Empire

Roman Forum

Perhaps one of the strongest, most effective, and most famous empires in Western History is the Roman Empire.

Studying the Roman Empire provides us with many chances to explore how people of long ago paved the way for our current civilization. The Romans established a republican form of government before they became an empire. They built paved roads, aqueducts to provide running water, and elaborate houses and buildings, both public and private. Innovations in engineering and technology brought people together and drew citizens toward urban centers. While the world was much different for the citizens of Rome than our world today, many comparisons can be made and connections established to understand how we get our current way of life.

Greek Civilization Spreads

The_Parthenon_in_Athens

As we move to our second chapter of material on Ancient Greece, we begin to focus on the rich culture that developed in Greece – mainly in Athens, which was very instrumental in shaping Western Civilization as we know it today. Greek mythology is legendary and gives us insight into an early literary style as well as the religious beliefs of the Greeks. Greek writers, such as Homer and Aesop used their creativity and wisdom to create epics (Homer) like the Iliad and the Odyssey, and fables (Aesop). Dramatists, such as Aeschylus, Euripides, Aristophanes and Sophocles created both tragedies and comedies that use both actions and words to tell a story. Finally, no study of Greek culture would be complete without a look at the great works of art and architecture that were produced by the early Greeks, some of which survive until today. This unit gives us insight into how the Greeks shaped their own world, but also influenced the world in which we live today.

This chapter also deals with the spread of Greek culture through the known world at the time. This was done mainly by Alexander the Great. So, we will be spending some time looking at his leadership and journeys, conquering much of what was the Persian Empire.

Happy New Year!

Hello!

Welcome to 7th Grade World History with Mr. Barr and Dr. Bates. We are excited to begin a new year with you as we travel back in time more than 3500 years to see the world as our ancient ancestors saw it. We will begin with Ancient Greek civilization and end the year with the Renaissance and the Age of Exploration. As we study the different periods of World History – mainly focused on Western Civilization (with brief looks at Africa, Asia and Islam) – we will examine the building blocks of the world as we know it in 21st Century America.

 

Middle Ages Europe

Early Christianity

At last, we return to Western Europe to study the period known as the Middle Ages. History calls this period of time the “Middle Ages”, because it marks a middle period between the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of the Modern World, which begins with the Renaissance.

The Middle Ages begin with a step back from the somewhat advanced civilization built by the Romans. The Dark Ages represent a time when cities become unhealthy, unsafe, and undesirable places to live, and people tended to move to the countryside seeking food, shelter and protection. Europe experienced invasions of various tribes, such as the Franks, Huns, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and many other groups of people, affectionately known today as “barbarians”. Most people found themselves exchanging hard labor and a share of their crops for the protection from a knight. Thus developed a system of government and society known as the Feudal System.

The Roman Catholic Church was both a source of stability and support for many in Middle Ages Europe. For Medieval serfs, the Church provided education, rest, and a sense of hope to people whose lives were very hard. In fact, because clergy were often the only educated people of the time, often both government and religious leadership was provided by church officials. The corruption that results from this merger of government and religion will eventually lead to the Reformation that we will cover in our Renaissance unit.

The Beginnings and Spread of Christianity

The Rise and Spread of Christianity

Early Christianity

Within 300 years of the beginning of the Common Era (C.E.), Christianity had become not only the main religion of the Western Hemisphere, it was serving as the basis for Western Civilization. The influence of the Roman Empire allowed Christianity to spread with great speed across both western and eastern Europe. In turn, it might be said that Christianity allowed the Roman Empire to survive long after it had reached its peak and began to decline. In less than 300 years, Christianity went from a small sect of Judaism, based in Jerusalem, to an outlawed and persecuted separate relgious movement, to the official religion of the Roman Empire, even surviving the split into East and West.

Christianity also serves as a bridge between our study of the Romans and Byzantines to our study of the Middle Ages. In fact, after Rome officially fell in 476 C.E. it was the Christian Church that preserved much of the literature and legacy left behind by the empire. When Europe took a step back to a more simple way of life, a time we typically call the “Dark Ages”, it was Christianity that provided some sense of stability, security and hope to many.