HIST 208: Introduction to World History

Tikal, Guatamala

Introduction to World History provides a basic examination of the earliest civilizations of Asia, North Africa, the Americas and Europe — Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, India, China, Greece, the Maya, and Rome — from development of settled agricultural communities until 1500 CE, with focus on rise of cities, organization of society, nature of kingship, writing and growth of bureaucracy, varieties of religious expression, the global connections among cultures and societies.

The course looks cultures individually and comparatively. Special units will focus on creation myths as reflections of the pre-modern cultures that authored them; the importance of agriculture in the development of empires; and the role of trade as a driver of economic and political activities.