Development of the Aztec, Akkadian and Hittite Empires Essay

Chris Scarre ( 2013, p.198 ) suggests that the development of imperiums was driven by the desire for security, or for economic addition or by the mere personal aspiration of swayers and elites. To what extent do you hold with this statement? Answer utilizing grounds from, and doing mention to, at least three of the undermentioned imperiums: the Aztec, the Roman, the Chinese, the Akkadian and the Hittite.

The purpose of this paper is to find as to whether I agree or disagree with the above statement. In order to find the extent of agreement/disagreement, a scope of goaded forces will be explored environing the imperiums of the Aztecs, the Akkadians and the Hittites.

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To get down with, the word imperium will be defined to give a unequivocal apprehension and how it fits into the three aforementioned imperiums. Empire is defined as:

‘a group of states or peoples ruled over by an emperor, empress, or other powerful crowned head or authorities: normally a district of greater extent than a land, as the former British Empire, Gallic Empire, Russian Empire, Byzantine Empire, or Roman ‘ . ( Oxford Companion to Archaeology, 2012 )

Evidence of suggested forces behind the constitution of imperiums and their possible death will be used to back up any agreement/disagreement. The first imperium to be covered is the Aztecs, which existed during the late Post-Classic period, and located in the dumbly populated basin of Mexico. The Aztecs came to command big countries of Mesoamerica North of the Gulf of Tehuantepec and were the last of the Chichimec folk to go forth their place at Aztlan by drouth or overaˆ?population which my have been the driving force to the constitution of the imperium. The desire for wealth seem to hold progressed when the Aztecs served as soldier of fortunes through which a series of confederations and rebellions formed, ensuing in growing of wealth and metropoliss. To farther confirm the rise of an imperium, the Aztecs took control of an country of 200 000 square kilometers with a public of about 10 million. This demonstrates the push for growing in set uping a powerful imperium. Having explored the development affecting the growing of the Aztec imperium. The societal complexness every bit good as the handiness of historical grounds of stuff remains are found amongst the ruins stating the narrative as it unfolded at the clip. To confirm archeological grounds I shall concentrate on the capital, Tenochtitlan ( C. AD 1325 ) , which grew to be the largest and most complex metropolis in the new universe. Archaeological grounds suggests that much of Tenochtitlan was destroyed in 1521 or subsequently demolished by the colonial Spaniards. It was non until the terminal of the fourteenth century that several twelve warring metropolis provinces existed, one in peculiar which demonstrates the desire for wealth is that of Mexica-Tenocha having a portion of testimonial from combined military triumphs. Further grounds of the desire for power and aspiration by the swayers during the twelvemonth 1519 whereby the mature Aztec imperium dominated some 400 antecedently independent civil orders through bullying, confederation, and outright conquest. Such procedures of military, wealth, confederation and land size is for me a requirement to the formation of an imperium.

The Aztec imperium at the clip showed no marks of failing, was extremely organised, hierarchal and warlike. With the rise of an imperium came its autumn from grace as the imperium proved delicate and did non last the reaching of aggressive European incomers who efficaciously disrupted the top degree of the societal hierarchy and so broke the coercive forces that held the imperium together. ‘The Aztec Empire came to an disconnected terminal on 13 August 1521, when Hernan Cortes and his Spanishconquistadorstook the Aztec capital and its emperor Montechzuma ( Montezuma ) II ‘ (The Aztec Empire: Guggenheim Museum, 2012 ) .Having explored factors impacting a scope of driving forces, I am certain that Scarre has provided a grade of simplification and has non omitted any factors that do non back up the development of imperiums.

Not limited to the Aztecs, the rise of imperiums occurred on a planetary footing which brings us on to the second of the imperiums to be discussed which is the Akkadians. The Akkadians were initiated by the swayer Sargon, who was driven by pitiless aspiration through the conquering of the metropolis of Sumer, developing into an enlargement into the universe beyond. It can besides be argued that the Akkadians were besides driven by economic addition through the connexions with the lands of Dilmun, Magan, and Meluhha. Within this desire for economic addition it can be a plausible and a simplified procedure of economic growing and security for the people. Although the imperium was established, the capital, Akkad, has non been located archaeologically. The statement made by Scarre relies on driving forces and taking into history the Akkadian imperium, the readings made through archeological surveies seem to carry through the procedures required in the development of an imperium. Sargon and his replacements besides conquered the great city state of Elba, to obtain goods and natural stuffs. The cardinal site of Troy where a great trade of activity was seen from seven consecutive metropoliss, Troy I to Troy VII clearly demonstrates to lift and autumn of an imperium through natural to warfare. The wealth of Troy was apparent when a monolithic cache of about 9000 objects that have become known as the Treasure of Priam connoting power and wealth but fell merely as the Akkadian imperium did.

‘Archaeological grounds has shown that the Akkadian civilisation collapsed suddenly near 4170 ± 150 calendar year B.P. , possibly associating to a displacement to more waterless conditions ‘ ( Cullen, 2000 ) . Although records detailing this are rare, the alterations in regional fruitlessness are preserved in next ocean basins. There is besides grounds of volcanic ash sherds which may hold held a direct but temporal nexus between Mesopotamian aridification and societal prostration. With this sudden displacement to a more waterless status within the part, this may hold besides been a lending factor to the autumn of the Akkadian Empire. Not merely did the imperium prostration from environmental factors but besides by occupying forces from the E. Although I tend to hold with the procedures of imperiums lifting and the drive force behind them, it is more hard to confidently support factors imputing to their ruin. The Akkadian imperium is known to hold risen through conquering and economic addition but with two changing factors of natural and semisynthetic forces, we can non presume that warfare or environmental factors played a remarkable portion in the prostration of that imperium. I am non convinced that warfare brought down the Akkadian imperium and am non convinced that environmental factors played a exclusive portion in their death. A cardinal site which besides reinforces the desire for wealth and power.

Small is known about the following imperium, the Hittites who were lost to history. What we do know are found on clay tablets (Explore/World Cultures: Hittities British Museum, 2013 ) . It was during the periods from approximately 1650/1600 to 1200 BC that the male monarchs of Hattusha ruled an imperium that reached across the wide lands of Anatolia, widening at times even into the North of Syria. ‘They conquered Babylon, and Troy was seemingly one of their vasals. Besides Egypt and Assyria/Babylonia, the Hittites were the 3rd world power of the Ancient Near East ‘ ( The Excavations at Hattusha, 2011 )

The Hittites as with any other imperium established the capital Hattusa which comprised beginnings of both written and archeological grounds, nevertheless, research into this part is still ongoing. As small is known, one thing nevertheless does come into light which surrounds the aspiration of the male monarch. It was Hattusili I who at the clip became the first male monarch to establish a run in Northern Syria. Such a run implies that the king knew of the importance environing the desire to hold entree to the sea and for the take-over of trade paths. It was through this run that the male monarch was driven strictly by economic addition through trade and power. Due to little other grounds, there is small to indicate to any concrete informations on the degrees of societal complexness either through archeological findings. From what grounds we have, there is no indicant of any complexness of growing giving the feeling of simpleness in the constitution of the imperium.

Although the prostration of the Hittites is non really clear, grounds does demo devastation and forsaking which occurred around 1200-1185 BC at the terminal of the bronze age. One other indicant points to about 1200 BC when the imperium was overwhelmed by encroachers, the individuality of whom is unsure but who were likely portion of the general motions of people in the period of agitation in the Mediterranean at the clip.

To reason, I can see no disagreement in Scarres statement and to the full support and agree that imperiums were and are still driven by power, economic addition, security and personal aspiration. If we take into history the procedures involved, I do non believe that there are any complexness. Social and proficient ability does nevertheless find the advancement of a civilisation but as with any other imperium, the leading determines its stableness and length of service. The greater the leader, the greater the imperium. Archaeological grounds exists sing imperiums through the Roman and Greek ruins foregrounding the desire for wealth and the push for power through warfare. I can flatly state that I agree with the statement in that imperiums do lift and fall as evidenced with the Roman imperium, the British imperium in India and the three listed above and that all are driven by one manner or another even to this twenty-four hours.

( 1588 words )


Asher, N. ( 2012 )The Oxford Companion to Archaeology( 2nd Ed ) Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // s=t Accessed: 31 January 2014

Cullen H.M. et Al ( 2000 ) A scholarly article on the prostration of the Akkadian imperium from Geology, April 2000, volume 28, no. 4 ; pp.379–382. Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // ( Accessed: 1 January 2014 )

Scarre, J. ( Ed. ) ( 2013 )The Human Past: World Prehistory and the Development of Human Societies3rdEdition London: Thames and Hudson, pp. 454, 455, 456, 457

Scarre, J. ( Ed. ) ( 2013 ) The Human Past: World Prehistory and the Development of Human Societies 3rd Edition London: Thames and Hudson, p. 198

The Guggenheim Museum, Exhibitions-The Aztec Empire-Overview Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // ( Accessed 1 January 2014 )

The British Museum, Explore/World Cultures ( 2013 ) [ Hittites ] Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // ( Accessed 28 December 2013 )

The Excavations at Hattusha – A undertaking of the German ArchaeoIogical Institute ( 2011 ) Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // ( Accessed 31 January 2014 )



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