World Civilizations I

Course Description

Discusses how distinctive cultures, economies and societies of the world developed from prehistoric times to the European conquest of the Americas (ca. 1500 C.E.). Explores issues of gender, class, personal identity, war, religion, urban life, and ecology pertaining to the history of civilizations in Asia, Africa,the Americas, and Europe.

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain the importance of the agricultural and urban revolutions in world history.
  • Clarify the role of gender and class in the development of the first cities.
  • Differentiate the civilizations of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, and India.
  • Illustrate how the world’s major religions regarded old age, the family, and salvation.
  • Explain classical Greek, Roman, and Indian conceptions of the self.
  • Describe urban life in ancient Greece, Rome, and India.
  • Distinguish the classical Greek, Roman, and Indian conceptions of the self and love.
  • Analyze the linkage between war and social structure in classical Rome and China.
  • Assess the place of violence, love, and devotion in Islam and medieval Christianity.
  • Distinguish medieval Christian, Indian, and Japanese conceptions of love.
  • Describe urban life in medieval Europe, Islam, and China.
  • Explain the contribution of Christianity and science to Western views of nature.


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