Indo-Europeans and the Roots of Hinduism VBQ 2019-2020
Read the documents and watch the video below, listening actively, and answer the questions that follow. Probably the best way to do this is to read first question, start watching, pause once you encounter the information you need to respond to the question, then read next question before pressing play again.
Period you have History...
Source: World History: Patterns of Interaction, Linda Black & Roger Beck
The Indo-Europeans were a group of nomadic peoples who came from the steppes (dry grasslands) that stretched north of the Caucasus (KAW•kuh•suhs). The Caucasus are the mountains between the Black and Caspian seas. These primarily pastoral people herded cattle, sheep, and goats. The Indo-Europeans also tamed horses and rode into battle in light, two-wheeled chariots. They lived in tribes that spoke forms of a language that we call Indo-European.
The languages of the Indo-Europeans were the ancestors of many of the modern languages of Europe, Southwest Asia, and South Asia. English, Spanish, Persian, and Hindi all trace their origins back to different forms of the original Indo-European language. All these languages are considered part of the Indo-European Language Family.
Historians can tell where Indo-European tribes settled by their languages. Some Slavic speakers moved north and west. Others, who spoke early Celtic, Germanic, and Italic languages, moved west through Europe. Speakers of Greek and Persian went south. The Aryans (AIR•ee•uhnz), who spoke an early form of Sanskrit, penetrated the mountain passes of the Hindu Kush and entered India.
No one knows why these people left their homelands in the steppes. The lands where their animals grazed may have dried up. Their human or animal population may have grown too large to feed. They may also have tried to escape from invaders, or from disease.
Whatever the reason, Indo-European nomads began to migrate outward in all directions between 1700 and 1200 B.C. These migrations, movements of a people from one region to another, happened in waves over a long period of time.
The dry grasslands that stretch from modern Ukraine to Mongolia is described as the Eurasian
Hint: The Indo-Europeans originated from the western end of this climate zone...
This should help if you weren't sure about the last question.
The Indo-Europeans left their homeland and migrated far and wide. Which of the following is LEAST likely to be a reason for why they left?
The lands where their animals grazed may have dried up.
Their human or animal population may have grown too large to feed.
They may also have tried to escape from invaders, or from disease.
Their devotion to the thunder-sky god led them to conquer other lands.
Indo-European Migrations Map
According to the map, the Indo-Europeans probably originated in the area north of the
Which Indo-Europeans spread the furthest West into Europe?
Indo-European Language Tree
Examine the language tree to see the proposed (not 100% agreed upon) relationships between the languages that evolved from Proto-Indo-European. What did you find surprising, or learn that you didn't know before?
Note: The prefix "proto" means an earlier, often not fully formed version of something.
Look again at the tree. Which of the following languages is genetically closest to English?
Check out the sound of the ancient language of the Hittites, one of the earliest recorded Indo-European languages!
Try to listen for ways in which the language sounds similar to Indo-European languages you have heard, such as English, Spanish, Polish, Hindi, etc, in terms of the flow of the sentences and phonemes (letter sounds) used, as opposed to non-Indo-European languages like Mandarin or Arabic.
In your opinion, how similar is the Hittite language to modern IE languages, including English?
Not at all similar
ALERT!!! Anti-Nomadic Bias Detected!!!
As you well know, historians have a bad habit of prioritizing (focusing more on, considering more important) groups of people that are sedentary (settled) and ignoring people who are nomadic. In the text, it only talks about the Indo-Europeans who left their homeland on the Steppe, but makes no mention of those who stayed and even spread throughout the Steppe as nomads. If you look at the map, you will notice an arrow pointing East that has no name attached to it. Do you see it? That's as close as they get to telling you about the powerful nomadic confederations of the Eurasian Steppe, the most famous of which were the Scythians! Watch the video below to learn about these Indo-Europeans who didn't sell out their nomadic ways. Their fighting style in particular will be SUPER important throughout the year, as others will learn from their example...
The Scythians: Fierce Warriors
The neighboring sedentary civilizations and empires found it very difficult to fight against the Scythian Warriors. What was it about the Scythians, what quality did they have it battle, that gave them such an advantage?
Numerous and Overwelming
Quick and Mobile
Horse Archers were mounted warriors using what kind of weapons?
Bow and Arrow
What domesticated animal gave them a huge advantage?
OPTIONAL: If you're interested in hearing about Scythians getting drunk and smoking weed for 49 seconds, check out this video.
Time to learn about the ARYANS!!! This time, you only have to watch PART of a video!
The video below covers a wide range of information about Indian religion and history, going further than our current place in the course. Therefore, you only need to watch up to the 5:18 mark. We will probably watch the rest during the next unit.
Crash Course: The Vedas and Early Hinduism
Keep in mind that you can turn on captions and adjust the speed of playback. If you want a text transcript of the video to read along, click here:
[1:00-1:30] After the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization, which group of Indo-Europeans migrated into India, specifically the Indo-Gangetic Plain?
[1:00-1:30] The Vedas are holy texts of the Aryans that eventually became an important part of which religion?
[1:30-2:30] According to the myth, the Brahmins (Priests) were made of which body part of the god Purusha?
[1:30-2:30] The Caste System is a system of social stratification (inequality) but it was given what kind of justification in Vedic Indian society?
[1:30-2:30] In the Caste System, merchants would be included in which caste?
[2:30-3:30] The term in Vedic India for your social and religious role and responsibility in life is called
[3:30-5:00] According to the Hindu belief in Samsara, when you die, what happens?
Nothing. You are just dead. Worms eat you.
You go to heaven if you were good or hell if you were bad.
You get reborn as a new person, with a better life if you were good and a worse life if you were bad.
You turn into a ghost and get to haunt your old friends for fun.
[3:30-5:00] According to Hindu belief, the goal of all this rebirth is to eventually...
Get reincarnated as a bird so you can fly because flying is cool
Get reincarnated to the best life ever, like being super rich and have fun all the time.
Get reincarnated as an elephant so that other people have to scoop YOUR dung.
To be release from the cycle of rebirth entirely, and that release is called MOKSHA.
[4:00-5:00] The term Karma is best defined as
The sum of your good and bad actions, which impact you in the next life.
Your social and religious role and responsibility in life.
The cycle of rebirth/reincarnation.
A mildly abrasive substance, often mint-flavored, used for cleaning teeth.
OK YOU CAN STOP WATCHING NOW!
We'll learn more about the Indo-Europeans, and especially the new Aryan civilization in India from which Hinduism develops, in class. I hope you found this interesting and informative!
How long did this homework take you (not counting breaks)?
Less than 10 min
More than 40 min
A copy of your responses will be emailed to the address you provided.
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