Part One: Informational Readings
Read the excerpts below.
(1)Rivers became the heart of many ancient civilizations. It was discovered that along rivers, populations were not only able to maintain their communities, but they were able to prosper. Creating a life along rivers allowed civilizations to evolve out of their nomadic lifestyles, that previously caused them to move frequently from place to place based on season and food supply. But, once settled among the rivers, people were able to take on a new, stable habits that allowed them to remain in one place for a long period of time.
(2)Particularly, the Egyptians took to life among the Nile River as an easy means of survival. By 5000 B.C.E, people along the Nile were taking advantage of the now fertile soils created as a result of previous flooding. Along the Nile, they were capable of creating irrigation systems to help sustain their large community’s food supply. And, because they were able to sustain themselves, their community’s government became more stable and advanced.
(3)By 3000 B.C.E, the Egyptian civilization prospered under a pharaoh, who was an Egyptian king. Egyptians believed that pharaoh’s were part god-part human. In homage to the pharaohs, Egyptians built pyramids, which they believed would house their gods in the after death. Building the pyramids was an intensive and laborious project. It required more people than the city was able to offer. In time, many of the builders were actually slaves. These people, who were being punished for their debts or other offenses, gave the country an inexpensive solution for completely their massive project.
Greece and Rome
(4)Ancient Greece prospered around the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. In fact, they not only prospered, but they were able to build an entire empire! Greek communities were able to establish large communities along the sea, which allowed them to import food and supplies from colonies. Athens, a Greek city-state, established the first political democracy. The rest of Greece, however, was not as politically sound and agreeable. There were often battles of power and land that led to wars among city-states.
(5)Eventually, the Greek Empire fell to its Roman conquerors. Rome was an incredibly strong and advanced empire. They used the seas to their full advantage, pursuing city-states along waterways and then pushing on inland. The leaders of Rome, further used the land to the best of their power by creating roadways, bridges, schools, hospitals and then putting these advancements onto surrounding city-states with the strength of their growing army.The Roman Empire remained in power until 476 BCE.
Part Two:A Practice Questions
1. What can you infer from the passage about the use of slaves to build the pyramids in Egyptian society?
A. The society needed more help than they could afford to tackle such an endeavor and so requiring slaves to build the pyramids offered a cheap solution for finishing the project.
B. There was an overflow in the jails that would not allow all of the slaves to stay there full time. Forcing slave labor created a place for them to go during the day.
C. Because of their nomadic lifestyles, slaves were too difficult to transport from town to town, so needed a place to stay in the city. The government was able to house the slaves cheaply after working all day.
Answer:A. A. The society needed more help than they could afford to tackle such an endeavor and so requiring slaves to build the pyramids offered a cheap solution for finishing the project.
2. Based on the information provided in the passage, which of the following statements can you determine about the Egyptian and Greek civilizations?
A. They enjoyed traveling and meeting other cultures.
B. Overflow from rivers caused the land to become fertile, and allowed the perfect conditions for a prosperous community.
C. They were stronger than the Roman empire because they both successful democratic systems in place.
Answer:B. Overflow from rivers caused the land to become fertile, and allowed the perfect conditions for a prosperous community.
3. Which of the following best summarizes the main idea of the reading?
A. The use of slaves devalues and dehumanizes a cultural, despite the advancements they are able to make with a larger population.
B. Despite success in the early years, contaminated water would eventually lead to the demise of cultures along rivers.
C. Life along bodies of water allowed cultures to prosper and advance in ways earlier nomadic cultures could not.
Answer:C. Life along bodies of water allowed cultures to prosper and advance in ways earlier nomadic cultures could not.