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General Course Information for HIS433: The Post-Classical World

Course: HIS433 - The Post-Classical World
Textbook: For the correct edition of the textbook assigned to a specific class, go to:

Course Prerequisite(s):
Course Description: Examines expansion and collapse of Byzantium; nomadic invasions of Europe and development of feudalism; rise of militant Christianity; diffusion of militant Islam; spread of Indian classical culture; Chinese reunification, commercial revolution, and cultural revival; Japanese feudalism; development of African states; civilizations of Mesoamerica; settlement of Polynesians throughout Pacific.
Course Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify the main peoples that inhabited the different regions of the world from the post-classical through the medieval period.
  • Outline the integration of Byzantium under the Emperor Justinian, highlighting the role of the military and the church.
  • Explain the social, cultural, military, political, and economic system known as feudalism in Western Europe.
  • Explain the rise of Islam from its roots in the Judeo-Christian world to its spread through merchant cities to become an international civilization centering on the Mediterranean and linking Europe, Asia, and North Africa.
  • Describe the unification of China under the Sui and Tang dynasties, the commercial revolution of the Sung dynasty, and the cultural revival of the Ming dynasty.
  • Understand the main characteristics of Japanese feudalism, comparing it with that of Western Europe.
  • Explain the variety of polities of sub-Saharan Africa, highlighting the Muslim caravans, the migration of the Bantu peoples, the city-states of the western coast, and the continuing existence of hunting/gathering peoples in isolated localities.
  • Identify the main civilizations of the Americas, including the Mayas, Aztecs, and Incas, the formation of those empires and the variety of agricultural and cultural practices that sustained them.
  • Describe the settlement of the Polynesian peoples across the Pacific islands.
  • Assess the value of primary sources in constructing historical understanding.
Specified Program Learning Outcomes:
  • Analyze a variety of primary sources.
  • Analyze secondary sources for their argument and use of supporting evidence, including how the argument may be influenced by the incompleteness of evidence or by biases that are part of surviving evidence.
  • Analyze secondary sources for their arguments and use of supporting evidence.
  • Assess the significance of major trends in World History.
  • Conduct historical research and support with appropriate primary and secondary source materials.
  • Conduct research in history and the social sciences supported by appropriate primary and secondary source materials.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of World History.
  • Discuss current concerns, new theories, new evidence and issues that shape the history of historical interpretation.
  • Discuss current concerns, new theories, new evidence, and issues that shape interpretation in history and the social sciences.
  • Employ a variety of reasoning skills and effective strategies for solving problems both within the disciplines of social science and in applied settings that include social science methods of inquiry and theoretical frameworks.
  • Employ social science ideas and concepts as a base of a fundamental language of social science research and communication.
  • Use current technology tools, such as computers, video, and interactive programs that is appropriate for the research and study in social science
  • Use language and concepts to communicate social science ideas in the connections and interplay among various social science topics and their applications that cover range of phenomenon across appropriate disciplines.

Students with Disabilities:
Students seeking special accommodations due to a disability must submit an application with supporting documentation, as explained under this subject heading in the General Catalog. Instructors are required to provide such accommodations if they receive written notification from the University.

Writing Across the Curriculum:
Students are expected to demonstrate writing skills in describing, analyzing and evaluating ideas and experiences. Written reports and research papers must follow specific standards regarding citations of an author's work within the text and references at the end of the paper. Students are encouraged to use the services of the University's Writing Center when preparing materials.

The following website provides information on APA, MLA, and other writing and citation styles that may be required for term papers and the like:

National University Library:
National University Library supports academic rigor and student academic success by providing access to scholarly books and journals both electronically and in hard copy. Print materials may be accessed at the Library in San Diego or through document delivery for online and regional students. Librarians are available to provide training, reference assistance, and mentoring at the San Diego Library and virtually for online or regional students. Please take advantage of Library resources:


Contact the Library:

  • (858) 541-7900 (direct line)
  • 1-866-NU ACCESS x7900 (toll free)

Use the Library Training Tools (on the Library Homepage) for additional help

  • Recorded class presentations
  • Tutorials & Guides (APA/MLA, Peer-Review, and more)

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's ideas or work as one's own. Students must give credit for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. If a student borrows ideas or information from another author, he/she must acknowledge the author in the body of the text and on the reference page. Students found plagiarizing are subject to the penalties outlined in the Policies and Procedures section of the University Catalog, which may include a failing grade for the work in question or for the entire course. The following is one of many websites that provide helpful information concerning plagiarism for both students and faculty:

Ethical behavior in the classroom is required of every student. The course will identify ethical policies and practices relevant to course topics.

Students are expected to be competent in using current technology appropriate for this discipline. Such technology may include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Use of the internet and e-mail may also be required.

Learning to work with and value diversity is essential in every class. Students are expected to exhibit an appreciation for multinational and gender diversity in the classroom.

As a diverse community of learners, students must strive to work together in a setting of civility, tolerance, and respect for each other and for the instructor. Rules of classroom behavior (which apply to online as well as onsite courses) include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conflicting opinions among members of a class are to be respected and responded to in a professional manner.
  • Side conversations or other distracting behaviors are not to be engaged in during lectures, class discussions or presentations
  • There are to be no offensive comments, language, or gestures