National University




HIS431 The Ancient World

Lead Faculty: Dr. Daniel R. Thorburn

Course Description

Examines ancient world history from 10,000 B.C.E. to 500 B.C.E., including Neolithic revolution; rise of settled agriculture; complex societies and organized states in North Africa, Southwest Asia, South and East Asia, Mesoamerica, and South America; rise and decline of great powers in those areas; formation of Aegean civilization in Greece.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify the peoples who inhabited different regions of the ancient world.
  • Explain the processes by which settled agriculture, state structure, and civilization arose in different parts of the world at different times.
  • Outline the major similarities and differences between ancient Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Nubian, Indian, Chinese, and Native American civilizations.
  • Elucidate the rise and fall of Babylonian, Hittite, Assyrian, and Egyptian Empires.
  • Analyze the rise and decline of the Xia, Shang and Zhou dynasties in China.
  • Clarify the origins and characteristics of early civilizations in lowland and highland Mesoamerica and the Andes.
  • Analyze primary sources for information, bias, values, and tone.