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Ancient Civilizations of the World

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In this course, the student will study the emergence of the major civilizations of the ancient world, beginning with the Paleolithic Era (about 2.5 million years ago) and finishing with the end of the Middle Ages in fifteenth century A.D. The student will pay special attention to how societies evolved across this expanse of time - from fragmented and primitive agricultural communities to more advanced and consolidated civilizations. By the end of the course, the student will possess a thorough understanding of important overarching social, political, religious, and economic themes in the ancient world, ranging from the emergence of Confucian philosophy in Asia to the fall of imperial Rome. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: Identify and define the world's earliest civilizations, including the Neolithic Revolution, and describe how it shaped the development of these early civilizations; Identify, describe, and compare/contrast the first advanced civilizations in the world - Mesopotamia and Egypt; Identify and describe the emergence of the earliest civilizations in Asia: the Harappan and Aryan societies on the Indian subcontinent and the Shang and Zhou societies in China; Identify and describe the emergence of new philosophies - Daoism and Confucianism - during the Warring States period in China. Identify and describe the subsequent rise of the Qin and Han dynasties; Identify and describe the different periods that characterized ancient Greece - Archaic Greece (or the Greek Dark Ages), classical Greece, and the Hellenistic era; Identify and describe the characteristics of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic, and Imperial Rome; Analyze the emergence of the Mauryan and Gupta empires during the 'classical age' in India; Identify and analyze the Buddhist and Vedic (Hindu) faiths; Identify and describe the rise of civilizations in the Americas, particularly in Meso and South America; Analyze and describe the rise of Islam in the Middle East; Identify and describe the emergence of the Arab caliphate, the Umayyad dynasty, and Abbasid dynasty; Identify and describe the rise and fall of the Byzantine Empire; Identify and analyze key facets of medieval society in Western EuropeĺÎĺĚ_ĺÜthe Catholic Church, feudalism, and the rise of technology and commerce; Analyze and interpret primary-source documents that elucidate the exchanges and advancements made in civilizations across time and space. (History 101)
Community College / Lower Division
Material Type:
Assessment, Full Course, Lecture, Reading, Syllabus
The Saylor Foundation
Date Added:
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
Media Format:
Downloadable docs, Text/HTML, Video




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