II. Ancient and Classical Periods, 3500 B.C.E.–500 C.E. > A. Global and Comparative Dimensions > 3. Classical Civilizations, 300 B.C.E.–500 C.E.
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  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
 
 
3. Classical Civilizations, 300 B.C.E.–500 C.E.
300 B.C.E.–200 C.E
 
THE ECUMENE, a continuous belt of urban societies and networks of trade and ideas, emerged in the Eastern Hemisphere. Important features of this ecumene were the great empires, which provided large, secure areas for trade and the wealth and power necessary for basic economic development and political stability.  1
 
300 B.C.E.–500 C.E
 
GREAT CLASSICAL EMPIRES. Regional civilizations in the Eastern Hemisphere were politically unified by major imperial systems in the classical era. Commercial and technological developments had made such large political systems feasible, while shared cultures both facilitated and benefited from the empires. These empires provided a foundation in most regions for a sense of civilizational identity.  2
 
 
 
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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