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List of Benchmarks for World History

Standard 12.Understands the Imperial crises and their aftermath in various regions from 300 to 700 CE
  Level II (Grade 5-6)
   1. Understands possible reasons for the decline of the Roman and Han Empires (e.g., possible factors that motivated nomadic peoples to move into the Roman Empire and China, common patterns of decline and fall in the Roman and Han Empires, the chronological order of significant historical events for Rome from the late Empire through the reign of Justinian, how differences in architecture can illustrate unity and alienation between the Eastern and Western halves of the Roman Empire)
   2. Understands various characteristics of Christianity and Buddhism (e.g., methods used to spread the two religions to new areas and people; possible aspects of Christianity and Buddhism that appealed to people living between the 3rd and 5th centuries CE; the approximate geographical realms of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Confucianism until the 5th century CE)
   3. Understands fundamental Hindu beliefs (e.g., how the concept of dharma reflects a social value for the ideal king, husband and wife, brother and friend; the concepts of Brahma, dharma, and karma, the caste system, ritual sacrifice, and reincarnation)
   4. Understands significant religious and cultural features of the Gupta era (e.g., Gupta achievements in art, literature, and mathematics; the relationship among various religions in India during Gupta times)
   5. Understands the influence of Hinduism and Buddhism in East and Southeast Asia (e.g., the role of trade in spreading these religions; the geographical limits of Hindu and Buddhist influence; the presence and influence of Hinduism and Buddhism in India, Malaysia, and Southeast Asia; how ocean currents affected cultural contact between India and Southeast Asia, and the evidence for this contact)
  Level III (Grade 7-8)
   1. Understands political events that may have contributed to the decline of the Roman and Han Empires (e.g., the consequences of nomadic military movements in China and the western part of the Roman Empire; the nomadic invasions of the Roman Empire as described in the accounts of Orosius, Ammianus Marcellinus, Priscus, and secondary sources; significant battles, internal divisions, political changes, and invasions between the 3rd and 7th centuries CE that led to the fall of the Roman and Han Empires; the relative strengths and weaknesses of the Roman, Byzantine, and Han Empires)
   2. Understands how the spread of Buddhism and Christianity influenced different regions (e.g., the spread of the two religions in the context of change and crisis in the Roman and Han empires; the importance of monasticism in the growth of Christianity and Buddhism and the participation of men and women in monastic life and missionary activity; the importance of universal salvation to the early history of these two religions; the locations of new centers of Buddhism and Christianity and the major routes used to spread the faith beyond these centers; the efforts and successes of Ashoka and Constantine to legitimize Buddhism and Christianity and spread them throughout India and Europe respectively)
   3. Understands political events that shaped the Gupta Empire (e.g., factors that contributed to the Gupta Empire's stability and economic prosperity, how Hinduism prevailed as the dominant faith in India, possible reasons for the alliance of the Gupta Empire with Brahmanism and the fall of the Mauryan-Buddhist power, how and why Guptan kings promoted Hinduism while simultaneously fostering Buddhist culture and integrating marginal groups into the political system)
   4. Understands the basis of social relationships in India during the Gupta era (e.g., the social and legal position of women and men, restrictions upon women and their place within the caste system, different social perspectives on the advantages and disadvantages of the caste system)
   5. Understands how the spread of trade and religion influenced Southeast Asia and Polynesian areas (e.g., the impact of Indian civilization on state-building in mainland Southeast Asia and the Indonesian archipelago, the nature of monumental religious architecture as evidence for the spread of Buddhist and Hindu belief and practice in Southeast Asia, the function of Hindu and Buddhist clerics in the spread of their religions and trade to Southeast Asia and Malayo- Polynesia by the end of the 1st millennium BCE, the locations and geographic challenges of potential and actual trade routes in the Southeast Asian and Polynesian areas)
   6. Understands the changing status of women in early Christian and Buddhist societies
   7. Understands major achievements in technology, astronomy, and medicine in the Gupta period
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   1. Understands political and social elements during the decline of the Roman and Han Empires and the rise of the Byzantine Empire (e.g., the strengths and weaknesses of the Eastern and Western Roman Empires and the factors that enabled the Byzantine Empire to continue as Rome fell; how Constantine selectively supported aspects of Western rule with Eastern institutions to create a new, independent, Byzantine state in the 4th century CE; the links between military, social, and economic causes for the decline in the Han and Roman Empires; the impact of barbarian movements on the regions of Europe, China, and India by the end of the 7th century CE; the life of Germanic peoples and society including the status and role of women)
   2. Understands the significant social, political, and cultural characteristics of Gupta society (e.g., the Gupta decline and the importance of Hun invasions in the empire's disintegration; the Gupta golden age under Chandragupta II; centers of learning in India in the 4th and 5th centuries CE, and the role of Buddhist monks in education and higher learning; types of evidence available for understanding Gupta India; the route of the Hun invasion of India, and the revival of the golden age of the Guptas)
   3. Understands Indian contributions to Southeast Asia (e.g., the adaptation of Buddhist-Hindu culture in Southeast Asia , how art and architecture revealed the spread of Indian influence in Southeast Asia, the Indian concept of ideal kingship and its introduction and spread throughout the emerging states of Southeast Asia)
   4. Understands how the spread of different religions influenced political and social conditions in various regions (e.g., the spread of religious Daoism and Buddhism in China; possible causal relationships between the spread of Christianity and Buddhism, and the expansion of international trade; royal patronage of religion and the desires of a growing middle class for "peace" to enable commercial expansion)
   5. Understands shifts in the status of women from pagan Roman society to Christian society (e.g., the shifting importance of social class, marital status)
   6. Understands the resurgence of Hinduism in India and its spread to South India (e.g., as reflected in the growth of temple towns and the development of South Indian temple architecture such as the temple of Maduri)
   7. Understands the significance of Pandyas and Pallavas (e.g., the history of Pandyas and Pallavas in South India; trade relationships with West Asia, Greece, Rome, and Southeast Asia; how Pallavas helped spread Hindu and Buddhist thought to Southeast Asia)