52. Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?

52 Days.  1,248 Hours.  74,880 Minutes.

No, coconuts are non-migratory. But, people are migratory.

We’ve covered the Empires and the Trade routes (keep in mind that there are other empires out there, but they are just not mentioned in the AP curriculum).  Trade routes are often used for trade (hence the name).  But there are two examples of peoples in this era that left home, not to trade; but to migrate.

 These are the Post-Classical Migrations…


There are two notable migrations.  

POLYNESIAN:  The people of Polynesia, using trial/error, ventured out across the south Pacific on a more peaceful version of Island Hopping.  They brought with them flaura/fauna (plants/animals) that transformed the islands to which they migrated.  New research posits that they even reached the east coast of South America.  This is a migration.  They didn’t travel here.  They didn’t visit here.  They MIGRATED here.  That means that they moved there and lived there and stayed there.  The best example of the Polynesian Migrations is Hawaii.  The Polynesians made it all the way to Hawaii! So, when you order a Hawaiian pizza (Ham/Pineapple), just know that the reason both pigs and pineapples (and a lot of other things) made it to Hawaii, was on a Polynesian boat.
(Of course, Lin-Manuel wrote a song about it... So, if you've seen Moana... sing along:)


BANTU: The Bantu Migrations are very similar to the Polynesian Migrations.  They were a west African group that migrated… (not travelled) into southern Africa.  Similar to the Polynesian migrations, the Bantu migration is evident from the impact of the spread of their language.  The Bantu language is common throughout central and southern Africa.  It even blended with arabic arriving on the east coast of Africa to create the Swahili language.  The Bantus also migrated with knowledge of irrigation and iron working to an area that was lacking in both. 

Tomorrow, we look at the impact of the movements of Post Classical Peoples.

Posted on March 25, 2019 .

53. Rome 2.0

53 Days.  1,272 Hours. 76,320 Mintues.

The last of the major empires that formed around these Post-classical trade routes is the Byzantine Empire.  Byzantine is a relatively new word, as they would have just referred to themselves as ‘Roman’.


The Byzantine Empire may be the last of the major trade empires we will discuss in this era, but it is still a major empire.  It was never conquered by the Caliphates or the Mongols.  So, if you need more Byzantines, HERE they are…

Posted on March 24, 2019 .

54. Renaissance China

54 Days. 1,296 Hours.  77,760 Minutes.

The last two days have brought up the two largest players in the era (Muslims & Mongols).  But, just underneath those two historical behemoths,  lies China.  China is always important.  It’s time to start the next verse of our China song…

Sui, Tang, Song

Sui, Tang, Song

(But, also the Yuan & the beginning of the Ming)


Imperial China (as its referred to by the College Board) covers multiple dynasties (including the Yuan, or Mongol Dynasty).  I refer to it as Renaissance China.  It’s China’s comeback after the fall of the Han.  Again, this is meant to be a brief review so, HERE is a page devoted to these dynasties with videos, notes, etc.

Tomorrow, we find out what ever happened to that Eastern part of the Roman Empire that didn’t fall in the 5th century… The Byzantines. 

Posted on March 23, 2019 .

55. Wait for it...

55 Days.  1,320 Hours.  79,200 Minutes.

There are two groups that essentially came from nowhere during this period.  One was the Arabs.  The next, The Mongols.


This era has SEVEN empires to know.  However, not all empires are created equal.  The two most important in this era are the Muslims & Mongols.  


The Mongols created the most impressive land based empire in the history of the planet.  There is too much to say about them here. 
OR... If you want to know EVERYTHING about the Mongols and have several hours to spare. Go to the G.O.A.T. : DAN CARLIN's HARDCORE HISTORY

Posted on March 22, 2019 .

56. Voluntary Submission to God

56 Days.  1,344 Hours.  80, 640 Minutes

After the Trade Routes bit, the College Board turns to the major Empires that are built in this period.  There are two of the usual suspects (Byzantine (Rome) and China).  But there are also two rookies: Islam and Mongols.  We're starting with the Islamic Caliphates.


As-salamu alaykum (Peace be upon you).  The most important thing to happen in this era?; the most impactful thing to happen in this era?; the most earth changing thing to happen in this era?; the most spiritual thing to happen in this era?

These are all the same thing.  An angel visited a merchant in a cave outside of the town of Mecca.  Earth changed.  Forever.  


Islam.  It is earth’s fastest growing and currently second largest religion.  The story of it’s birth, rise, and fall (in terms of the Caliphate) is the most important story of this era.  There is not enough room in all of the Around the AP World in 80 Days Countdown to write about this faith.  Luckily, a traveling scribe has created a portal with everything you need to know when it comes to Islam.  He inscribed his research HERE.  

(EDITOR's NOTE: DOUBLE DOWN HERE.  Islam is important from here on out and is the last major world religion introduced.  Don't just memorize the Five Pillars and move on.  These people have an important, lasting impact.  DON'T SKIP THIS.  Look back over this chapter in your text, your teacher's notes, etc.   :)

Posted on March 21, 2019 .

57. IMPACT of these Trade Routes


57 Days. 1,368 Hours. 82,080 Minutes.

We’ve seen the routes.  We’ve seen what was going along those routes.  So, before we look at the Empires doing all the work; let’s look at the impact that these trade routes will have in the long run…

3.1: Expansion & Intensification of Communication and Exchange Networks:

Long distance travel is new to this era.  Here are some of the impacts:

LONG DISTANCE TRAVEL: Vikings (longships), Arabs, Berbers (Camels), Central Asians (horseback) travelled long distance using new methods.


ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT: Bantu migrations changed sub saharan Africa by bringing both farming and iron working.  While the Polynesians brought plants and domestic animals as far as Peru!

LANGUAGE: As people come together, languages change.  This era was no different.  Bantu led to Swahili in Africa.  Also, Arab and Turkic languages were spread by… Arabs and Turks.


CULTURE: There is one gigantic addition to the religious world at this time. It’s Islam and it spread as far as Portugal to the West and Indonesia to the East (via trade and war). Also, Toltec/Aztec and Inca traditions around Latin America and Hinduism/Buddhism into Southeast Asia.


DIASPORA: Not new, but there are some examples of people living away from their homelands:  Muslims in the Indian Ocean; Chinese Merchants in Southeast Asia; Jewish Communities throughout the Mediterranean.


TRAVELERS: Did anyone actually walk the length of these trade routes? Yes.  And, here they are in order of importance.

  1. Ibn Battuta (AfroEurasia)

  2. Marco Polo (Italy to China)

  3. Xuanzang (China to India)


KNOWLEDGE: Greek & Indian math was re-discovered and improved by the Muslims of the Islamic Caliphates.  Greek philosophy was rediscovered by the Cordoba Caliphate (Spain).  

CROPS: Bananas.  This is relatively new historiography here, but bananas are actually from Southeast Asia.  Not Africa.  That happened in this era. Also; Champa rice from Vietnam to Song China.


DISEASE: Open the trade route, and you never know what’s gonna show up at your door.  SPOILER ALERT: It’s bubonic plague and you’re all gonna die. 

OK.  Trade routes were super important.  You’re gonna find each era has a focus.  This one is trade.  Next one is european exploration.  After that? Industrialization. The last one=Science.  So, don’t overlook these trade routes.  Tomorrow we start in on the Empires of the Post Classical.  And, we start with the big one: ISLAMIC CALIPHATES.

Posted on March 20, 2019 .

58. Aspects of the Newly Intensified Trade

58 DAYS. 1,392 HOURS. 83,520 MINUTES.

The trade routes truly shape this era.  They exacerbate (fancy word for increase) the scope of everything that happens.  They carry the travelers.  They spread the religions.  They carry the militaries.  They carry the goods.  They carry the ideas.  They lead to the world’s major cities (which spring up alongside them). Let’s see what’s being traded…

3.1: Expansion & Intensification of Communication & Exchange Networks:

After the AP introduces you to the new cities, and re-mention the trade routes.  They get into what’s being traded.  Here’s what was up:

  • LUXURY GOODS: Silk, Textiles, Porcelain (China), Spices, Exotic Animals

  • TECHNOLOGY: Compass, Astrolabe for navigation

  • TRAVEL: Camelserai (roadside inns) & Camel Caravans (safety in numbers)

  • BANKING: Banks, Credit, Checks to finance the trade. Also, minting of coins and paper money

  • TRADE ORGANIZATIONS: They only mention one. The Hanseatic League.

Hanseatic League today? It’s Europe’s largest airline. Luft”hansa”.

Hanseatic League today? It’s Europe’s largest airline. Luft”hansa”.


  • GOVERNMENT SPONSORED COMMERCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE: This is code for the government spending money to help our trade routes. This is where the Sui Dynasty in China steps in. Besides reuniting China, this is really all they did…(Here's a map of a few other examples:)


There it is.  That’s what’s being moved around.  So, before we jump into the bulk of the Post Classical Era (the required Empires), tomorrow we will look at the impact of all this new trade.  

Posted on March 19, 2019 .

59. Trade Networks INTENSIFIED!

59 DAYS. 1,416 HOURS. 84,960 MINUTES.

CONGRATULATIONS.  We have now covered the first two periods (FOUNDATIONS & CLASSICAL).  Remember, this only covers 20% of the overall information you need to konw on the test.  Now we turn to the first full period:

I like to call this period MUSLIMS & MONGOLS.  These are definitely the two big topics covered during this period.  However, there are obviously a ton of other stuff to know beyond M&M (China, Feudalism, etc.)

New Era? New map:


New Era? New TIMEGRID:


 But, let's start at the beginning; TRADE ROUTES:

A local cartographer put this thing together.  THese are the old and new trade routes for the era.  Notice how all of these trade routes connect to the new cities they want you to knowfor this period.  Cities flourish under trade.   What comes along with this intensified trade network?  Tomorrow, we find out.

Posted on March 18, 2019 .

60. Trade Tech

60 DAYS. 1,440 HOURS. 86,400 MINUTES.

We've met the Classical Civilizations.  We've then connected them.  What technology aided this connection?

KEY CONCEPT 2.3: The Emergence of Transregional Networks of Communication & Exchange

  • TECHNOLOGY: Stirrups, saddles and yokes all allow more goods, people, ideas, etc. to be spread over longer distances

  • ANIMALS: Strap those technologies from above to horses, cattle, llamas, camels, or oxen and you've harnessed some serious power.


  • MARITIME TECHNOLOGY: Lateen sails (triangular) and Dhow ships allowed for a massive increase in Maritime Trade

  • NEW CROPS: Exchange of goods and ideas also led to the spread of new farming techniques. For the College Board/AP, this means all of the water gathering devices seen above.


  • DISEASE: Animals carry disease. People carry disease. On these trade routes, you have both! SOme of earth's deadliest diseases were spread along with everything else (including the diseases that rocked the Roman and Han Empires).


  • RELIGION: One of the big idease to spread around the trade routes during the Classical Period is Religion. For this Period, that means Christianity & Buddhism.

Posted on March 17, 2019 .

61. Get Classically Connected

61 DAYS. 1,464 HOURS. 87,840 MINUTES

We've looked at the different major empires of the Classical era (and their belief systems).  But, how were they connected? The Classical era is technically called, "Organization and Reorganization of Human Societies"  Part of the reorganization involves interconnectivity between them.  Let's look at the Classical Trade routes:

Key Concept 2.3: Emergence of Transreagional Networks of Communications and Exchange

Translation: All those civilizations are trading back and forth.  With real global trade eing non-existent in the previous era, this is the first time large scale trade (in the Eastern Hemisphere) was taking place.  

  1. EURASIAN: This trade route connects Europe to the rest of Afro-Eurasia.

  2. SILK ROAD: Not one road; and not just delivering silk; this is THE major trade route until Columbus hits America.

  3. TRANSAHARAN: Connecting the people of West Africa (and their Gold/Salt) to the Mediterranean & Asia.

  4. INDIAN OCEAN: AKA The Maritime Silk Road. This trade route (unlike the others in this era) will remain important for the rest of history.

  5. MEDITERRANEAN SEA LANES: This is how the Phoenecians, Greeks, Carthaginians, and Romans moved/traded around.

These are the trade routes that they want you to know for 600BCE-600CE. Most will stay intact until the Early Modern Period (Columbus, Da Gama, etc.)  Tomorrow, we look at the technology that faciliated these trade routes.

Posted on March 16, 2019 .

62. Classical Mediterranean


62 DAYS. 1,488 HOURS. 89,280 MINUTES.

See that?  That number up there? 2 months.  2 months from yesterday is TEST DAY!  Starting to get real yet?  

OK. We've got one more Classical Civilzation left to discuss.  I'm gonna spend less time on this one because guaranteed your teacher wouldn't shut up about the Greeks/Romans.  Most of the state end of course exams are pretty heavy on these guys.  So, of everything we've discussed thus far; this is probably the thing you're familiar with the most, the West.  This means the following groups: PHOENICIANS, ATHENs, SPARTA, ROMAN REPUBLIC, ROMAN EMPIRE.  

This is meant to be a daily review.  And, (as you're probably noticing in your class right now) there is not enough time to cover everything in great detail.  So, look back over your notes, classwork, etc. on this. 

Here are some wrap up videos that could help you out:

(Sorry, multiple today...)

(Sorry, multiple today...)

Beyond John Green, here are the specifics that the AP mentions in the curriculum:

  1. BELIEF SYSTEMS: The Med. is home to TWO of the belief systems that are crucial to this era (for that matter... China (Conf/Dao) and India (Hindu/Buddhism) each have two). The big ones are Greco-Roman philosophy & Christianity. Arguably, these are the two most important things to know about the Classical Mediterranean.

  2. ARTS/LITERATURE: Know the Greeks for the concept of Drama. Tragedy and Comedy are both theirs.

  3. ARCHITECTURE: Columns. Your teacher may have been obsessed with columns. "Memorize the different types of columns." - Your Teacher... Don't. Just be able to recgonize the Colisseum, Parthenon, Aqueducts, etc. Greek and Roman stuff should stick out as distinctly Mediterranean.

  4. GRECO-BUDDISM: The big syncretic event of the Classical period is Greco-Buddhism. Syncretism is just when two ideas come together and start to blend/share ideas. Like when you sync your phone with something. Greco-Buddhism is when the Greeks moved easward (Alexander) moved ean

  5. GOVERNMENT: Know these people for DEMOCRACY (Athens/Rome) and centralization of a large empire. Diplomacy and Army building are also associated with the Classical Mediterranean. Don't forget. "All roads lead to Rome." (Road building)

  6. CITIES: There are a few Classical cities that are required for you. The Mediterannean ones are: ROME, ATHENS, CARTHAGE, ALEXANDRIA, & CONSTANTINOPLE. By far the most cities of any Classical Civilization.

  7. THE FALL: The Fall of Rome happened for a myriad of reasons. Again, check back over your notes. But, the AP does want you to specifically know one reason: DEFORESTATION. Oh, and invasions. Don't forget about the Germanic Invasions from the north and east.

Is there more to know than this? Yes.  Will the AP probably ask you more than just these points? Probably.  But, the above are specifically mentioned.

If you want more, HERE's  my page on the Classical Mediterranean.

On a sad note... this is the end of the Classical Civilizations... So, I give you the Classical Civilizations: IN MEMORIUM:

Posted on March 15, 2019 .

63. Classical China

63 DAYS. 1,512 HOURS. 90,720 MINUTES.

Classical China laid the foundations for arguably the single most important civilization in the history of the planet. Any stereotypical ideas you have about the way China is from borders, language, writing, technology, empires, rulers, etc. come from this era. From the point where the region was first unified under the legalist Qin Shi Huangdi to the fall of the Han empire, what we know as China today took shape.

Western schools often overlook the importance of Han China (instead focusing on Greece and Rome). Don't fall into this trap. According to the AP, Europe cannot be more than 20% of the exam. In my opinion, China should garner your attention more than any other culture over the span of history. So... pay attention.

Grandaddy of them all China.  I know China can be intimidating.  It’s on the other side of the planet, different beliefs, different culture, different writing.  But, for AP World History; there is no better place to spend your time studying/reviewing.  China may seem to be overshadowed by the West in recent history.  However, for the majority of human history, it’s the other way around.  China “begins” in the Classical era.  So, let’s look at Classical China.


You may have heard of the song to help you memorize the Chinese Dynasties:

Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han

Shang, Zhou, QIn, Han

Sui, Tang, Song

Sui, Tang, Song

Yuan, Ming, Qing, Republic

Yuan, Ming, Qing, Republic

Mao Zedong

Deng Xioping


The classical portion of this song deals mainly with the Qin & Han (Zhou as well, but they were not nearly as centralized as the Qin & Han).  CLICK HERE for my page devoted to these societies.

Here are what the AP expects you to specifically know about China:

BELIEF SYSTEMS: Both Daoism & Confucianism sprang up during the 6th century BCE.  They will impact China going forward.  Look them over.

ANCESTOR VENERATION: Worship of Ancestors plays a huge role in China.  It is also done in the Americas as well as Africa.  But, when I think of Ancestor Veneration, I think of China.

BUREAUCRACY: Civil Service Exam.  Can’t stress this enough.  It is a major difference from the rest of the planet, is developed here, and will be around for centuries!

TRADE ROUTES: Don’t forget about the Silk Road!

Posted on March 14, 2019 .

64. Classical India

64 DAYS.  1,536 HOURS. 92, 160 MINUTES.

So, we’ve seen the lesser of the Classical Civilizations over the past few days (Persia, America).  Now, let’s talk about the major classical societies.  In fact, if you refer to the Classical era, you are referring to an era who’s entire existence rises and falls with them.  600 BCE-600 CE is code.  Translation: What were the Mediterranean, Indian, and Chinese people up to?

Let's start with India... 

Easily the most overlooked of the "Classical Civilizations", the Mauryan, and later Guptan Empire laid the foundation for what is quickly becoming the largest civilization on the planet today. When looking at Classical India, focus more on the social and religious; both of which were tied directly to the world's oldest religion: Hinduism.

Classical India really means two dynasties: MAURYAN & GUPTAN.  The Mauryans took power after the retreat of Alexander the Great out of India.  They are most famous for their ruler Ashoka Maurya.  He famously built his rock and pillar edicts.  These tell the story of how he converted to Buddhism after winning a bloody battle (Battle of Kalinga).  

The Guptan Empire is the dominant Classical Period empire in India.  It's often shown to be a contemporary of both Han China and the Roman Empire.  This isn't really true.  The Guptans took over in 375 CE.  At that point, the Han have been gone for almost 200 years and the Romans are in really bad shape at this point (Constantine had been dead for 40 years!).  The real contemporary of the Han and Romans was the Kushans (who for some reason get no love).  

Anyway, the Guptans are the people to focus on (besides Ashoka and the Mauryans).  They are near the epicenter of world trade, built huge buddhist monasteries, and had many scientific/technological  breakthroughs (Zero, Heliocentricity, Chess, base-10 numerals, etc. etc.)  

CLICK HERE for my page devoted to Classical India.

Posted on March 13, 2019 .

65. Coming to America

65 DAYS.  1,560 HOURS. 93,600 MINUTES. 

So, the MAIN civilizations to know in this period are the Mediterranean, Chinese, and Indian.  But, besides the Persians, they also want you to know about the Classical Americans.  The Americans you're thinking of (Incans and Aztecs) are both in the next era.  So, this is more of a foundational look at the American civilizations...

The Americans are descendants of those who crossed the Ice Bridge from Asia to America via Alaska 20,000 years ago (Side Note: Recent studies suggest all of the Native Americans are descendants of only 70 of these people! 70!… Anyway…)  Not just people migrated.  Horses and camel-like creatures too; but, they went extinct.

When the AP asks you to know the “Classical American Civilization”, they’re really asking you to look at the ancestor states of the much larger Inca and Aztec civilizations.  For the Inca, that means the Moche people.  For the Aztecs, that means Teotihuacan & the Mayans.

Moche:  The Moche are probably most famous for leaving behind the trap that almost got Indiana Jones (the giant rolling ball after he picked up that gold head?).  But, they existed during the second half of this era (100 BCE-750 CE).  They were farmers with pyramids, temples, pottery, etc.  We don’t know too much about them (City-States? or Empire?).  These people may have invented the famous Quipu knot tying record system later used by the Inca.  My favorite Moche fact? They had a Spider God named the Decapitator.  So, they’re probably pretty warlike.

Teotihuacan: Located just 30 miles east of Mexico City today, Teotihuacan is often confused with Tenochtitlan.  Don’t confuse them.  They’re separated by 30 miles and 600 years.  It was located near an obsidian (volcanic rock) mine and they used the rock to create everything from tools to weapons.  Built on a grid, it was surrounded by Meso-America’s best farmland.  It had all of the American-style temples and pyramids one tends to associate with this time period.  Think of this as the prequel to Tenochtitlan.  

Mayans: The book we use in my AP World class doesn’t give much love to the Mayans.  I’m not sure why.  They were the first civilization to use chocolate!  I mean… Chocolate! Anyway, they were located all around the Yucatan Peninsula (Seen in yellow here). It was a collection of large city states (Largest- Tikal with 100,000 people).  They were polytheistic and practiced human sacrifice (not Aztec level human sacrifice, but human sacrifice nonetheless).  They are also famous for the Ball game.  How do you play the ball game?  Watch these guys.  They had huge pyramids and a system of hieroglyphics.  

Tomorrow, we head to China!

CLICK HERE for a page devoted to the Classical Americans.

Posted on March 12, 2019 .

66. The Largest Empire in the History of the Planet*


66 DAYS. 1,584 HOURS. 95,040 MINUTES.

The next big chunk of the Classical Period (2.2) involves the Major Empires.  So, this week is dedicated to those Empires.  The AP gives us 6 to know...


We will start with the largest*.

*Ok, Ok... It is not the largest empire in the history of the planet physically.  BUT, it is the largest empire in the history of the planet in terms of % of earth's population. Under Darius the I, the empire was made up of 44% of all of the humans on earth...  That Empire?


The Persian Empire of Cyrus the Great is one of history’s most impressive.  Cyrus was religiously tolerant (allowing the Jews to return from exile gaining him the title Savior).  He also built the famous Royal Road that connected the empire.  He is also the most important Zoroastrian you need to know.  Here is the important info to know on the Persians. 

While you're here; might as well take a quick look back at the Qanat irrigation system.  

CLICK HERE for a page devoted to the Persian Empire. 

(There are 6 Classical Empires to know.  All empires are equal but some are more equal than others.  Focus more on Rome, Gupta, and Han China.)

Posted on March 11, 2019 .

67. Wrapping Up 2.1

67 DAYS.  1,608 HOURS. 96,480 MINUTES

We've covered the major belief systems of the Classical Period.  And, don't worry; this is the bulk of the religion for the entire course.  The only other MAJOR religion that will show up is Islam (in the Post Classical Period).  There will be variations of the religions we've covered, but no other huge new belief systems (besides Islam).  So, here are the remaining tidbits of Classical Belief Systems:


Both Buddhism and Christianity encourage Monasticism.  Monsasticism is the Monk Life.  Monks live religious lives away from the rest of the world.  Think of Buddhist monks meditating to reach Nirvana or Christian monks following Monastery rules to attain eternal life in Jesus's model.


Confucianism is THE Filial Piety belief system.  It's the main idea of Confucianism.  Filial Piety is respect for both elders and ancestors. 


Shamanism/Animism is the name given to the belief systems that exist outside of the "core civilizations".  Shamanism refers to a plethora of belief systems that are led by a Shaman (religious leader with access to spirit world) who leads the followers in spiritual activities.  Animism refers to the beliefs that non-human things here on earth that possess spiritual qualities.  Both of these are prevelent in the Classical Period outside of the core civilizations.


Remember Mulan.  What was her dad doing at the beginning?  He was praying at a shrine to his ancestors. Praying and respecting your ancestors in the after life affects your life here on earth.  This is not just a Chinese thing.  It is also present in the Americas,as well as Africa.


At this point, 2.1 takes a turn and looks at more cultural than religious ideas.  They want you to know that distinct forms of literature (writing) and drama (theater/plays) began in this era.  These will have cultural repercussions on these cultures in the future.


Think about architecture (buildings) in different parts of the world.  If you have an idea as to the stereotypical styles of a certain region... Those begin in this period.  Luckily, someone made a handy chart:



Greco-Buddhism is the most literaly thing on the AP Exam.  As Alexander the Great moved East into India, Greek culture blended with Buddhist culture to create... GRECO-BUDDHISM! It is seen in the architecture and art forms throughout the Middle East and India.  

Tomorrow, we begin our week of Classical Cultures with Persia.

Posted on March 10, 2019 .

68. The Good News


68 DAYS.  1,632 HOURS.  97,920 MINUTES.

Good News. Bad News.  I'll go wih the Bad News first.  You got about two months before you have to slay this beast.  The Good News? Well, that's what the Christians call the words, stories, ideas, etc. of their founder, Jesus of Nazareth...

See what I did there? With the crosses for "t"s?  Just checking.  Anyways...

This is the biggest religion on earth.  There are over 2 billion Christians out there (there's a billion Catholics!).  The whole thing started in the Middle East as a local Jewish carpenter claimed to be the son of god.  He was later crucified by the Romans.  According to the Christians, he came back from the dead and then went to heaven.  This story has had a massive influence on the rest of history.  If you live in the United States, you can't miss this story as Christianity is the predominant religion here.  This is also (besides Buddhism with Ashoka and Siddhartha) the only religion that requires you to know TWO people in this era: Jesus and Constantine.

CLICK HERE for a page devoted to this belief system. Your best bet? Watch John Green's clip at the bottom.  As usual, he does a nice job with this topic.

Posted on March 9, 2019 .

69. Love of Wisdom

69 DAYS. 1,656 HOURS. 99,360 MINUTES.

See that? We are now officially under 100,000 minutes until the AP test.  Don't worry.  You've come to the right place.  We've got you covered.  Stick with the Around the AP World in 80 Days blog and you'll be fine.  It's been a Classic week.  Today, we wrap up our Belief System Week with a look at Greco-Roman Philosophy (also, save your criticism of the banner... I know that it makes no sense mixing up the letters... So, what... It looks cool... Deal with it).

Going back to the 5th Century BCE; you know, the one where Confucius, Buddha, and Lao Tzu all walked the earth professing there certain brand of philosophy?  At the same time, another man walked the streets of Athens espousing his views.

His name was Socrates and he created Western Philosophy.

The College Board wants you to know that Greco-Roman Philosophy emphasized logic, empirical observation and the nature of political power and hierarchy.  Think of it as Confucianism for Mediterranean people.  

Philosophy (Greek for ‘Love of Wisdom’) is the foundation of Western thought.  Be sure to be able to recognize the Big Three Philosophers: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. 

Logically, someone created a lovely page summary of the basics of Greco-Roman Philosophy.  Your best bet: watch the first video at the bottom of the page.  It gives you a nice wrap up.  Hopefully, by the end of today; you will have left your cave.  CLICK HERE to get to this page.

Posted on March 8, 2019 .

70. The Way

70 DAYS. 1,680 HOURS. 100,800 MINUTES.

Part II of our II part series on East Asian Classical Belief Systems lands us squarely in the world of Daoism.  

Where Confucianism is all about hard work, respect for others and responsibility; Daoism is just the opposite.  Lao Tzu was a Zhou librarian who became fed up with society and left China.  But, on his way out, he wrote the Tao Te Ching.  It’s a 25 page complex book about Daoism.  To be brief, Daoism follows that everyone has and should follow their own Dao (the way).  This Dao is the guiding principle for all things.  Simply put, one should “go with the flow” of the Universe.  Follow your Dao, not your ancestors, parents, etc.’s Dao.  

I like to compare them like this.  Confucianism is a loyal German Shepherd. Trained.  Obedient.  Loyal.  Loving. Helpful.  Daoism is like a cat.  Aloof. Distant. Unpredictable. Doing-whatever-it-wants.  

Don’t think Daoists are anarchists.  In fact, Daoists can be of other religions.  If your Dao is to obey your elders, work hard, study, etc. then you are Confucianist… but, you’re still following your Dao… Daoists have had a profound impact Asian medicine, poetry, and architecture.

For notes, maps, videos, etc. on Daoism CLICK HERE.

Tomorrow, we follow our Dao to the Mediterranean.  All of the belief systems we've been covering this week are recognizable religions. You probably know Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc.  But, the 4th of our 5 part series on Classical Belief systems is slightly different.  Tomorrow= GRECO-ROMAN PHILOSOPHY.

Posted on March 7, 2019 .

71. Teaching of the Scholars

71 DAYS. 1704 HOURS. 102,240 MINUTES.

As we continue on our journey to spiritual understanding, we will take a two day layover in China.  China is truly a land of three belief systems.  The two home grown belief systems are both born in China around the same time (the two founders actually met).  Confucianism and Daosim do as much to shape the East Asian world (China/Japan) as Hinduism and Buddhism shaped the South Asian world (India).  The third belief system is Buddhism (see yesterday).  Today we focus on Confucianism... Tomorrow=Daoism.

If I was playing Civilization or Age of Empires-style game, and I had to enter at the beginning of the game what type of belief system my people should follow... I would choose Confucianism.  It's great (if you are a man).  Everyone knows their place in society.  There are respectful relationships from father-to-son all the way up to the Emperor.  Everyone works hard and does as their elders tell them.  I'm assuming you're a teenager.  If so, this must sound terrible.  You're probably Daoist.  We'll cover them tomorrow...

For everything you need to know about Confucianism... CLICK HERE.

Posted on March 6, 2019 .