Brookdale Community College History Essay

1. Religion and Philosophy:  Compare the religions and philosophies of China (yin and yang, legalism, Confucianism, Daoism);  India (ahimsa, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism); Persia (Zoroastrianism); Israel (Judaism); and Greece.  Which ones seemed to have the most “faith” in humans to be good?  Which ones distrusted them the most?  Which ones looked to “improve” the conditions of human life and not just focus on “heavenly” salvation?  Which one appeals to you the most and why?

2. Social Order:  The cultures of China, India, and Rome demonstrated marked systems of social control and in some ways inequality.  In what ways does each of the cultures have a system that seems to uniquely match its history and society?  Which ones seem to be the “toughest” on people?  Which ones seem to be the most “effective”?  Under which system would you personally choose to live?  Why?  Finally, compare the existence of patriarchy within the three cultures.

3. Africa vs. America:     The cultures of Africa (Nubia, Meroe, Axum, Niger River) make for a good comparison with the cultures of Mesoamerica (Maya, Teotihusacan).  Can you find ways in which they are similar?  Different?  Consider areas such as class, specialization, trade, scholarship, writing, state vs. city-state vs. non-state, relationship to neighboring cultures, and the role of women, including leadership.  Which one of these do you envision yourself living in?