Encyclopedia of World History Volume 1 by Ackermann, Marsha E

By Ackermann, Marsha E

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Aesop was the creator or popularizer of the genre of  African city-states fables that bear his name. Little about him is known: More than half a dozen places have claimed him as a native son, and although Herodotus records that he was killed by citizens of Delphi, he gives no indication of motive. Aesop’s fables were brief stories, appropriate for children and structured around a simple moral lesson. Most of them featured anthropomorphized animals— animals who spoke and acted like humans, often motivated by some exaggerated human characteristic.

Similarly Chang’an, ancient capital of China, was protected by nearby mountain passes that held back nomadic invaders. Even cities that did not have natural defenses could survive, for example, Sparta, located on a plain, or Rome, whose seven hills above the Tiber River were not adequate for protection, because both developed formidable armies. Protective Walls and Impressive Monuments. Walls and fortifications protected most ancient cities. ), Jericho was known in the Bible for its reputedly impenetrable walls that protected the 2,000 people who lived there, making it a large settlement for its day.

Reputedly had 570 towers and a moat. e. Rulers decorated their capital cities with monuments and public works to flaunt their power and impress their residents and visitors. ), located near modern-day Mexico City. It had 200,000 residents and 600 pyramid temples (the largest one 700 feet long at its base, 215 feet high) in the city. ” The bas-relief monumental art of Nineveh showed foreigners cringing in fear before Sennacherib, Assyria’s king. The Egyptian pyramids of Giza were intended to solidify pharaoh’s image as the keeper of maat, or cosmic balance.

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