The New Science

Reflecting Telescope

The 1600s was a golden age for science, with astonishing advance in many areas from astronomy to medicine, and from biology to mathematics.

Student genius  

In 1665, following a new outbreak of plague, universities were closed and the student sent home. Young Isaac Newton of Cambridge University used his long holiday to work out the ideas which were buzzing round his head. First, he uncovered the secrets of light and color. He passed a beam of sunlight through an angled glass ‘prism’. This split the white light into a rainbow band of colors. When he passed the rainbow through a second prism, it was mixed back into the white light again. Next, Newton watched the way an apple falls to the ground. He realized that objects were pulled towards the Earth by a force he named gravity.

Looking at the heavens

Newton became the first person to use a telescope to see the moons orbiting the planet Jupiter. He also used theories about gravity to show why the planets orbit the Sun. Edmond Hally was greatly influenced by his friend Newton,s work. In 1676 he made a catalogue of the stars which can be seen from the southern half of the world. He also studied the way objects such as comets move.

Microscopes and medicines

Other scientist were looking inwards at the secrets of the human body. They were able to use a new instrument to help them. The two-lens microscope which had been invented in about 1590. During the 1670s, Italian physician Marcello Malpighi made a close study of the lungs, liver and other organs. Dutchman Antonie van Leeuwenhoek made the most powerful microscope of the time, which could make objects appear up to 270 times bigger. He was the first to identify red corpuscles in blood.

New Year Resolution

New Year Resolution

Millions of people around the world make resolution on 1 January, for the new year and before the month end, most will broken them. Still we follow it every year.

History of New Year Resolution:

The tradition of making New Year’s Resolution was first coined by early Babylonians. They believe that new year resolution is promise made to the Gods, in believe that Gods would grant them favor and fulfill their wishes in return. They also believe that breaking of New year’s resolution brought bad luck on the individual hence one was advised to be careful while making New Year’s Resolution.

Out of many the most common New Year Resolutions are as follows:

1. Healthy Diet

2. Work on Good Looks

3. Good Relationship with Spouse

4. I will never lie

5. I will left smoking and drinking habits

ideas.time.com has describe new year resolution as:

“One simple answer is to take advantage of these moments of clarity at the start of the New Year and take actions that would commit us to making good decisions in the future. Much like Ulysses and the sirens, this way, even if our future will tempt us to misbehave, we will not be able to act on our temptations.”

many of us make these common resolutions and fail to fulfill it but the good part is we keep on trying it every year :)

The best resolution which I suggest to my readers is “Reading”. Reading has following advantages:

1. It keeps us informative and knowledgeable

2. It refresh our minds keep us motivated toward our goals and achievement (goals related reading)

3. It creates self esteem, improve our communication skills and interpersonal skills

4. It helps us to understand human behaviors and much more..

My resolution for this year is “Reading”. Whats yours?

Please spare 1 minute to share your resolution:)

Thanks for reading.

The Persian Empire

thepersianempire

In 550 BC the Persian king Cyrus defeated the Medes and made himself ruler of a new empire. It was known as the Achaemenid Empire, after and ancestor of Cyrus who was named Achaemenes.

The Persians

The Persians were Iranians, whose ancestors had ridden on horses from the plains of central Asia. Many Persians lived as nomads, but their rulers built mighty cities with stone palaces. The greatest Persian city was Persepolis, built to the orders of the king, Darius I, in about 518 BC. A Persian man could have several wives, but the king could marry only women selected from six noble families.

The God of Light

The Persians believed in sun and sky gods, and gods of nature. They built no temples, but worshipped on the tops of mountains. The chief god of Persia was Ahura Mazda, a winged god of light. Many people followed the teachings of the Prophet Zarathustra (Zoroaster), who lived between 1400 and 1000 BC. He taught that life was a struggle between good (light) and evil (darkness).

War and Empire

The Persians were good fighters, with cavalry and iron weapons, and their military energy proved too strong for their neighbors. The great soldier Cyrus conquered Lydia and the Greek colonies in Asia Minor, and won control of Babylon, too. When he died, his son Cambyses conquered Egypt. Civil war broke out after Cambyses’ death, but order was restored by Darius, a relative of Cambyses.

The Wars with Greece

Darius was able administrator. He organized the empire into provinces, each governed by a satrap. A satrap was like a king, but the king of kings was the emperor himself, whose word was final. Darius and his son Xerxes tried to bring Greece within the empire, but failed. The Greeks beat the Persians at the battle of Marathon in 490 BC, and naval defeat at Salamis was a major setback. But Persia stayed rich and powerful until 331 BC, when it was conquered by Alexander the Great.

Human Empires East and West

empireseastandwest

People moved overland with their animal herds or set sail in ships to settle in new lands. In Egypt, China, India and Mesopotamia civilization had introduced new ways of life. These involved farming, living in towns, trade, organized religion and government by kings.

The people who shared these common experiences were more likely to adapt to life under a common ruler, and this encouraged the growth of new empires.

Building Empires

These empires brought together different peoples who spoke different languages and sometimes lived far apart. Strong rulers, backed by powerful armies, struggle to win empires and then hold them together. Sometimes the unifying force in building an empire was the will of a dynamic ruler, such as Alexander the Great. At other times it was the power of armies’ religious zeal or the attraction of a way of life that offered greater peace and prosperity for all.

America, Australia and Africa south of the Sahara were still untouched by the civilizations of Europe and Asia. However, as contacts between the empires of the East and the West grew, the chain of civilization added new links. By about AD 100, when the Roman Empires was at its height, civilization in none forms or another existed from Western Europe across to China in the East.

Cultural Areas

The empires of Greece, Asoka’s India, Han China and Rome created cultural areas that were larger than any in earlier history. Inside these empires ideas, knowledge, religious beliefs and culture could spread and take root. Their effect on the history of the world has been to leave behind a cultural legacy that is still very much part of our lives today.

The Americas

Many of these first Americans continued to live as hunter gatherers. Some became farmers, and settled in villages which grew into towns. Two groups developed America’s earliest civilizations in Mesoamerica (Mexico and Central America) and in Peru on the west coast of South America.

The Olmecs of Meso america

The Olmecs flourished between about 1200 and 400 BC. They made pottery; and cleared the jungle to grow crops. They traveled along rivers on rafts and canoes and settled near rivers. These villages grew to become the first towns in Mexico and Central America. The Olmecs believed in nature gods of the forest and of fertility, and in their towns they built earth mounds with straw and mud temples on top to worship these gods.

Farmers grew corn, chilies, beans and squash. People also collected shellfish and hunted forest animals with spears and nets. Olmec society was ruled by a small group of priest nobles, who carried out temple ceremonies, owned the best farmland, and controlled trade in valuable raw materials, such as jade.

Stone Heads and Sacrifices

The most remarkable Olmec remains are huge stone heads, some two meters high, and other carvings of human figures with flattened features.They may represent human sacrifices. Prisoners taken in war, or contestants in a ritual ball game, may have been killed as sacrifices to the Olmec jaguar god.Carvings show priests wearing jaguar masks. Some symbols cut into stones may be numbers, suggesting the Olmecs perhaps had a calendar.

Civilizations of Peru

In South America, people living in the Anders foothills had become farmers by about 1000 BC. They built the first towns in South America.One of the earliest civilizations of the Andes was Chavin de Huanter in Peru.

Like the Olmec, the Chavins were ruled by priests, who later became nobles serving a king. They setup rows of stone pillars that look like ceremonial routes. They also carved stone heads and sculptures of jaguars,snakes and condors. The Chavins used wool from alpacas and vicunas to weave textiles. Although they had only stone tools, they made beautiful gold, silver and copper jewellery.

 

African Civilizations

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Before 6000 BC, the Sahara had a wetter climate than now. The herders and hunters who lived among its lakes left rock paintings showing a Saharan grassland and wildlife very different from the desert of today. About 3500 BC, the Sahara began to dry up, but people still followed old trade routes across the spreading desert.

A network of trade routes linked the peoples of West Africa with others in the Nile Valley and in North Africa. In Africa, the Stone Age and Iron Age overlapped. Herders became iron smiths, moving with their herds and tools and spreading the use of iron across Africa.

Kingdom of Kush

The kingdom of Kush was In Nubia (modern Sudan). It lay in the shadow of Egypt and was at first ruled by Egyptians. Its chief cities were Napata on the River Nile, and later Meroe, a city which grew in importance because iron was mined close by. Meroe was impressive, with stone and brick palaces, baths and the temple of the Kush lion-god Apedemeck. Kushite kings were buried in pyramid-shaped tombs beside the Nile.

The Nok People

South and west of the great desert, trade caravans carrying salt and slaves across the Sahara gathered at small towns. The market towns grew into cities and some, such as Djenne in Mali, still thrive.

The Niger River valley was the home of the Nok people. Their society developed from about 500 BC. Most people were farmers, but others were merchants, iron smiths and craft workers. Each town had its own king. He ruled over a community of large family groups, in which three or four generations lived together. Temples honored ancestors and heroes. Nok artists made elegant clay heads and figures of people.

The City Stat of Carthage

Before the rise of Rome, the city state of Carthage, in what is now Tunisia, ruled the Mediterranean. Traditionally founded in 814 BC by Phoenicians from Tyre, Carthage grew rich on trade.

The Carthaginians were daring seamen, sailing their oared ships across the Mediterranean and into the Atlantic. An explorer named Hannois said to have sailed as far south as the Guinea coast of West Africa.Carthage remained rich and powerful for 600 years, until it challenged Rome in three costly wars and lost.

 

War and Weapons

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The discovery of bronze in about 3500 BC brought the first revolution in weaponry. Bronze swords and spear points were sharper than stone and bone weapons. Iron was even stronger still. People of the Near East, such as the Hittites, were the first to master iron making.

Armies and Armor

Each of the ancient Near East superpowers rounded up civilians to serve in armies for the conquest of other countries, and for defense against enemies. To protect themselves, soldiers began wearing armor on their bodies. By the time of the Trojan War, about 1200 BC, armor was made from metal plates fastened with leather thongs. Soldiers wore scorned armor the Greeks and Celts sometimes fought practically naked.

The First Organized Armies

Kings had small bodyguards of trained soldiers, including chariot drivers, but they still relied on untrained peasants as foot soldiers.The Assyrians organized the first ‘Professional’ army, and were greatly feared because of its ferocity. An Assyrian army included cavalry (soldiers on horses)and infantry (soldiers on foot).

Assyrian soldier wore chain mail armor, and fought with irons words and spears. Archers rode into battle on chariots, and then sheltered behind basketwork shields to fire and reload. Slingers hurled stones, often farther than a javelin.

Infantry and Cavalry

In China, soldiers traditionally fought on foot, and in huge armies (as many as 100,000 men). Facing marauders on horseback, the Chinese had to become horse-soldiers too. The Chinese composite bow of wood and bone had longer range than a simple bow. Chinese archers also used crossbows.

 

China’s Early Rulers

chinarulers

From a hazy mixture of history and legend, we learn that China’s first ruling family was the Hsia. The legendary first emperors are said to have tamed to rivers, so that farmers could grow millet and wheat.

The first rulers know from archaeological evidence was the Shang From about 1500 BC, they controlled the best farmland around the Huang He valley and from here their power spread.

Shang splendor

The Shang kings were cruel, ruling in barbaric splendor.They built China’s first cities. Shang bronze smiths were expert at making cooking pots, tools and weapons. Slave workers sweated to dig enormous pit tombs for dead kings, who were buried with treasures, chariots and horses, anddozens of slain servants and soldiers to accompany their master into the next world. Farmers supplied food to the local nobleman, in return for protection.

The Zhou invaders

Shang rule lasted until 1122 BC. By then, according to Chinese histories, the rulers had become tyrants. The Zhou from the west invaded and overthrew the last Shang king. The new kings were backed by powerful nobles. Nobles built fort and walled towns to defend their lands against one another. They also fought off fierce nomads who swept down from the northern steppers on sturdy horses.

Warring states

No Zhou ruler was strong enough to control all China. For500 years small warring states fought for power. Yet still China prospered.Farmers grew more food and metalworkers mastered the new skills of making iron tools. Potters, jewelers, tailors and chariot-makers were kept busy. Scholars attended the nobles’ courts, seeking work as government officials. Trade grew and people began to use money.

The First Emperor

The Qin ruler Shih Huang-di fought his way to power as first emperor of all China in 221 Bc. He crushed the power of the nobles, handing over the government to hired officials (who did what he told them). He ordered everyone to speak the same language, and to use the same weights and measures.Thousands of people were forced into work gangs to build new roads and canals,and the emperor also built the Great Wall, which linked up older walls to create the biggest frontier defense on the Earth.

 

Phoenicia and Assyria

panda

The Phoenicians built strong, single-masted ships, with a large sail, and oars for use in windless conditions or river estuaries. When in unfamiliar territory, the Phoenicians would anchor offshore, land and set out their goods in silent trade with local people.

Their voyage took them beyond the Mediterranean, into the Atlantic Ocean. As explorer and traders, they helped to spread geographical and scientific knowledge. Their fleet was a powerful war weapon, and Phoenician ships were hired by the Persians to attack Greece.

Phoenician Colonies

The most famous Phoenician colony was Carthage, in North Africa. Founded some time before 750 BC, Carthage was one of the great cities of the ancient world, with a harbor big enough for hundreds of ships. Its downfall came after a series of wars against the Greeks, and final defeat by the Romans in the Punic Wars (264 – 146 BC).

The Assyrians

The Assyrians lived in the northern part of Mesopotamia(what is now northern Iraq). Their homeland was around the upper Tigris River.They were farmers who dug irrigation ditches to water their crops, the most important of which was barley. Numbers of people roamed the land more or lasses bandits, and many more fought as soldiers. The Assyrians were feared throughout the Middle East as conquerors.

The rise of Assyrians began in the 1800s BC. They expanded their trade networks as far as the Mediterranean, but were checked by the strength of the Babylonian king Hammurabi. By about the 800s BC, they had a formidable army of cavalry, infantry and archers. The Assyrians were expert at capturing towns, using wooden siege towers from which to scale or batter down the walls. They earned a reputation for extreme cruelty, slaughtering captives and looting from the peoples they defeated.

The Assyrian chief god was Assur, and the king was Assur’s representative on Earth. The king was in charge of the army and the government,and he also controlled the temples and their priests. The Assyrians built on an impressive scale, constructing magnificent temples and palaces in cities such as Assur and Nineveh. Their greatest building was probably the citadel of King Sargon II, in Khorsabad, built in the late 700s BC.

 

The Jews

jews

According to the Bible Abraham had two sons, Ishmael (the ancestor of the Arabs) and Isaac. Isaac had two sons, Esau and Jacob (also called Israel) had 12 sons. These sons became the heads of the Twelve Tribes, the Israelites of the Bible.

Exile in Egypt and Moses

One of Jacob’s sons, Joseph, led the Israelites into Egypt after famine struck the land of Canaan. The Israelites became wealthy and influential, but under the rule of successive Egyptians pharaohs the Israelites were forced into slavery. This slavery lasted until about 1250 BC, when Moses was commanded by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt in what became known as the Exodus.

Moses was the great law giver of Jewish history and religion. Jews believe that he received the Ten Commandments from God, and taught his people to believe in on God. This belief in on God became the central pillar of the Jewish faith (and later of Christianity and Islam). Moses led the Israelites through the desert to Canaan, where they settled with local Canaanites and Philistines. For a time, chosen men and women called judges led the tribes, but in about 1020 BC the judge Samuel chose Saul to be the first kind of Israel.

Israel and Judah

The Israelites settled in the hills of Canaan. The towns were held by their enemies, the Canaanites and Philistines. The Israelites,under Kind David, defeated the Philistines. After the death of Solomon, David’s son, the kingdom split. Two southern tribes formed their own kingdom, Judah.The northern kingdom of Israel was more powerful, but was weakened by royal squabbles and fierce religious disputes. The Assyrians overran Israel in 721BC. It was crushed by Babylon in 604 BC, and of the people was taken as slaves.

Exile and Conquest

During this exile in Babylon much of the Bible (Old Testament) took on the form it takes today. In 538 BC the Persian kind Cyrus,conqueror of Babylon, allowed the exiles to leave. Later Judah became part of Greek Empire. In 63 BC the Romans conquered Judah, calling it Judea. In AD 66the Jews rose in revolt, and the Romans retailed by destroying the Temple.