HIST& 126: World Civilization I

Class Program
Degree Code
Social Science
Credits 5 Lecture Hours 55
From the emergence of Buddhism in India to the fall of the Roman Empire, this course provides a general overview of major developments in ancient world history. Students investigate major historical developments as exemplified by the traditional cultures of Africa, Southwest Asia (Middle East), China, Japan, India, Oceania, the Americas, and Europe. Employing the same thinking skills and methods used by historians, students draw on a variety of disciplines and sources to piece together an informed and coherent view of the past and think critically about essential questions including How do humans interact with their environments? and How do belief systems reveal how major groups in society view themselves and others?
Quarters Offered
Course Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to demonstrate the following knowledge or skills:

  1. Identify important people, developments, and ideas that have shaped human history between the Paleolithic era to the fall of Rome, including ways historical events and processes have been organized into definable but often tenuous chronological periods
  2. Critically examine change over time, specifically identifying the consequences of those changes in the diverse responses of people and societies that emerged throughout the ancient world.
  3. Analyze the relationship between humans and their environment, comparing and contrasting how early peoples and societies adapted to and affected their natural surroundings.
  4. Examine the origins, uses, dissemination, and adaptation of ideas, beliefs, and artistic expressions within and between societies, specifically assessing ways that these cultural approaches reflect how major groups in society viewed themselves and others.
  5. Examine the processes by which hierarchical systems of rule have been constructed and maintained, with particular emphasis on the comparative study of different state forms, productive strategies, and various social and gender structures.
  6. Analyze the diverse patterns and systems that human societies have developed to exploit their environments to produce, distribute, and consume desired goods and services across time and space.
  7. Examine and compare how human societies developed ways of organizing their members, particularly social stratification based on kinship systems, ethnic associations, and hierarchies of wealth, class, gender, and race.
  8. Identify and articulate parallels between challenges of the past and the issues of today in order to provide a better basis for personal responsibility, critical analysis, and empathy for other members of contemporary society.
  9. Analyze, synthesize, and present information and knowledge pertaining to the ancient world.
  10. Demonstrate communication skills, both written and oral, by employing primary evidence in support of carefully formed conclusions regarding the historical record of the ancient world.
Course Content Outline
Human Origins and Human Cultures (to 10,000 B.C.E.)
  1. 1.1. Human Origins in Myth and History
    1.2. Early Fossils (e.g. African origins, Neanderthals, homo erectus, Paleolithic era)
    1.3. Humans Create Culture (e.g. cave art)
    1.4. Turning Point: Agricultural Village and the Neolithic Revolution
  2. From Village Community to City-State (10,000 B.C.E. – 750 B.C.E.)
    2.1. Neolithic Revolution and the Agricultural Village
    2.2. Sumer and Growth of City-States
  3. River Valley Civilizations (7000 B.C.E. – 750 B.C.E.)
    3.1. Egypt
    3.2. Indus Valley
  4. Cities and States in East Asia, the Americas, and West Africa (1700 B.C.E. – 1000 C.E.)
    4.1. China: The Xia, Shang, and Zhou Dynasties
    4.2. Mesoamerica and South America
    4.3. West Africa: Niger River Valley
  5. Dawn of Empires (2000 B.CE. – 300 B.C.E.)
    5.1. The Meaning of Empire
    5.2. Earliest Empires (e.g. Mesopotamia and Fertile Crescent)
    5.3. Persian Empire
    5.4. Greek City-States
    5.5. Empire of Alexander the Great
  6. Rome and the Barbarians (753 B.C.E. – 550 C.E.)
    6.1. Roman Republic: Expansion and End
    6.2. Roman Principate
    6.3. Decline of Roman Empire
  7. China (200 B.C.E. to 900 C.E.)
    7.1. Qin Dynasty
    7.2. Han Dynasty
    7.3. Sui and Tang Dynasties
    7.4. Imperial China (e.g. Vietnam, Korea, Japan)
  8. Indian Empires (1500 B.C.E. – 1100 C.E.)
    8.1. Aryan Immigrants
    8.2. The Vedas
    8.3. Maurya Empire
    8.4. Gupta Empire
    8.5. Invasions End the Age of Legacies (e.g. the Hunas)
  9. The Rise of World Religions (2500 B.C.E. – 1000 C.E.)
    9.1. Hinduism and Buddhism
    9.2. Judaism and Christianity
    9.3. Islam
  10. Establishing World Trade Routes
    10.1. World Trade in the Americas before 1500
    10.2. Trade in Sub-Saharan Africa
    10.3. Asia’s Complex Trade Patterns
    10.4. China: A Magnet for Traders
    10.5. Central Asia: The Mongols and the Silk Routes
Department Guidelines

PO4 should be assessed: Students will be able to recognize or articulate personal/interpersonal aspects of, or connections between, diverse cultural, social, or political contexts.

PO5 should be assessed: Students will be able to solve problems by gathering, interpreting, combining and/or applying information from multiple sources.