Back to Top
Skip to Site Search Skip to Utility Nav Skip to Top Nav Skip to Left Nav Skip to Content
Close Main Menu

World History: Cultures, States, and Societies to 1500

Cover for Contribute a Verse

Contributors Editors

Eugene Berger, PhD
George L. Israel, PhD
Charlotte Miller, PhD
Brian Parkinson, PhD
Andrew Reeves, PhD
Nadejda Williams, PhD

ISBN: 978-1-940771-10-6     

Digital Version: Free
Print Version: 29.99

World History: Cultures, States, and Societies to 1500 offers a comprehensive introduction to the history of humankind from prehistory to 1500. Authored by six USG faculty members with advance degrees in History, this textbook offers up-to-date original scholarship. It covers such cultures, states, and societies as Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Israel, Dynastic Egypt, India’s Classical Age, the Dynasties of China, Archaic Greece, the Roman Empire, Islam, Medieval Africa, the Americas, and the Khanates of Central Asia. It includes 350 high-quality images and maps, chronologies, and learning questions to help guide student learning. Its digital nature allows students to follow links to applicable sources and videos, expanding their educational experience beyond the textbook. It provides a new and free alternative to traditional textbooks, making World History an invaluable resource in our modern age of technology and advancement.

Download a sample chapter.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter One: Prehistory

1.1 Chronology

1.2 Introduction

1.3 Questions to Guide your Reading

1.4 Key Terms

1.5 Human Beginnings in Africa

1.6 Agriculture and the “Neolithic Revolution”

1.7 Summary

1.8 Works Consulted and Further Reading

1.9 Links to Primary Sources

Chapter Two: Early Middle Eastern and Northeast African Civilizations

2.1 Chronology

2.2 Introduction

2.3 Questions to Guide Your Reading

2.4 Key Terms

2.5 Ancient Mesopotamia

2.6 Sumerian City-States

2.7 Mesopotamian Empires

2.8 The Significance of Mesopotamia for World History

2.9 The Israelites and Ancient Israel

2.10 Early Israelites

2.11 The United Kingdom of Israel

2.12 The Importance of the Israelites and Ancient Israel

2.13 Ancient Egypt

2.14 Dynastic Egypt

2.15 Nubia: the Kingdoms of Kerma and Kush

2.16 Summary

2.17 Works Consulted and Further Reading

2.18 Links to Primary Sources

Chapter Three: Ancient and Early Medieval India

3.1 Chronology

3.2 Introduction

3.3 Questions to Guide Your Reading

3.4 Key Terms

3.5 What is India? The Geography of South Asia

3.6 India’s First Major Civilization: The Indus Valley Civilization

3.7 The Long Vedic Age

3.8 Transition to Empire: States, Cities, and New Religions

3.9 The Mauryan Empire

3.10 Regional States, Trade, and Devotional Religion

3.11 The Gupta Empire and India’s Classical Age

3.12 India’s Early Medieval Age and the Development of Islamic States in India

3.13 Conclusion

3.14 Works Consulted and Further Reading

3.15 Links to Primary Sources

Chapter Four: China and East Asia to the Ming Dynasty

4.1 Chronology

4.2 Introduction

4.3 Questions to Guide Your Reading

4.4 Key Terms

4.5 Geography of East Asia

4.6 China from Neolithic Village Settlements to the Shang Kingdom

4.7 The Long Zhou Dynasty

4.8 The Qin Dynasty and the Transition from Ancient to Imperial China

4.9 The Han Dynasty

4.10 The Period of Division

4.11 The Tang Dynasty and the Emergence of East Asia

4.12 The Song Dynasty

4.13 The Yuan Dynasty

4.14 Conclusion

4.15 Works Consulted and Further Reading

4.16 Links to Primary Sources

Chapter Five: The Greek World from the Bronze Age to the Roman Conquest

5.1 Chronology

5.2 Introduction

5.3 Questions to Guide Your Reading

5.4 Key Terms

5.5 Geography and Topography

5.6 Periods of Greek History

5.7 Methodology: Sources and Problem

5.8 From Mythology to History

5.9 Archaic Greece

5.10 The Classical Period

5.11 Hellenistic Period

5.12 Conclusion

5.13 Works Consulted and Further Reading

5.14 Links to Primary Sources

Chapter Six: The Roman World from 753 BCE to 500 CE

6.1 Chronology

6.2 Introduction

6.3 Questions to Guide your Reading

6.4 Key Terms

6.5 Geography and Topography of Rome and the Roman Empire

6.6 Basic Chronology and Periods of Roman History

6.7 Sources and Problems

6.8 Early and Middle Republic

6.9 Fall of the Roman Republic

6.10 The Early Empire

6.11 The Third-Century Crisis, and Late Antiquity

6.12 Conclusion

6.13 Works Consulted and Further Reading

6.14 Links to Primary Sources

Chapter Seven: Western Europe and Byzantium Circa 500 - 1000 CE

7.1 Chronology

7.2 Introduction

7.3 Questions to Guide your Reading

7.4 Key Terms

7.5 Successor Kingdoms to the Western Roman Empire

7.6 Byzantium: The Age of Justinian

7.7 Perspectives: Post-Roman East and West

7.8 The British Isles: Europe’s Periphery

7.9 Byzantium: Crisis and recovery

7.10 Western Europe: The Rise of the Franks

7.11 Global Context

7.12 Daily Life in Western Europe and the Byzantine Empires

7.13 Carolingian Collapse

7.14 The Tenth-Century Church

7.15 Byzantine Apogee: The Macedonian Emperors

7.16 Conclusion

7.17 Works Consulted and Further Reading

7.18 Links to Primary Sources

Chapter Eight: Islam to the Mamluks

8.1 Chronology

8.2 Introduction

8.3 Questions to Guide Your Reading

8.4 Key Terms

8.5 Geography of the Middle East

8.6 Rise of Islam

8.7 The Expansion of Islam

8.8 The Rashidun Caliphs

8.9 The Umayyad Caliphate

8.10 The ‘Abbasid Caliphate

8.11 The Fatimid Caliphate

8.12 The Crusades

8.13 The Mamluk Sultanate

8.14 Conclusion

8.15 Works Consulted and Further Reading

8.16 Links to Primary Sources

Chapter Nine: African History to 1500

9.1 Chronology

9.2 Introduction

9.3 Questions to Guide Your Reading

9.4 Key Terms

9.5 Writing the History of Ancient and Medieval Africa

9.6 Aksum and Ethiopia

9.7 The Western Sudanic States

9.8 The Spread of Agriculture and Great Zimbabwe

9.9 The Swahili City-States (East Africa)

9.10 Conclusion

9.11 Works Consulted and Further Reading

Chapter Ten: The Americas

10.1 Chronology

10.2 Introduction

10.3 Questions to Guide Your Reading

10.4 Key Terms

10.5 Mesoamerica

10.6 The Maya

10.7 The Aztec

10.8 Early Andes

10.9 North America

10.10 Conclusion

10.11 Works Consulted and Further Reading

10.12 Links to Primary Sources

Chapter Eleven: Central Asia

11.1 Chronology

11.2 Introduction

11.3 Questions to Guide Your Reading

11.4 Key Terms

11.5 Geography of Central Asia

11.6 Turkic Migrations

11.7 Islam

11.8 The Mongol Era

11.9 The Khanate of Chagatai

11.10 The Khanate of the Ilkhans

11.11 Timur

11.12 Conclusion

11.13 Works Consulted and Further Reading

11.14 Links to Primary Sources

Chapter Twelve: Western Europe and Byzantium Circa 1000 - 1500 CE 426

12.1 Chronology

12.2 Introduction

12.3 Questions to Guide Your Reading

12.4 Key Terms

12.5 The Emergence of a Feudal Order in Western Europe

12.6 Growth of Towns and Trade

12.7 Growth in Agriculture

12.8 A Roman Empire?

12.9 The Holy Roman Empire’s Peripheries

12.10 Expansion of Christendom

12.11 Church Reform in the Eleventh Century

12.12 The Crusades

12.13 The Twelfth Century in Western Europe

12.14 Empires: Recovery and Collapse

12.15 The Twelfth-Century Renaissance

12.16 The Third Crusade

12.17 The Fourth Crusade

12.18 The states of Thirteenth-Century Europe

12.19 Later Crusades and Crusading’s Ultimate Failure

12.20 Scholasticism

12.21 Daily Life at the Medieval Zenith

12.22 Fourteenth Century Crises

12.23 War

12.24 Southeastern Europe in the Late Middle Ages

12.25 The Late Medieval Papacy

12.26 The European Renaissance

12.27 States in the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance

12.28 Iberia and the Atlantic: New Worlds

12.29 Conclusion

12.30 Works Consulted and Further Reading

12.31 Links to Primary Sources 

This text can be ordered via:

Basics of American Government | History in the Making: A History of the People of the United States of America to 1877 | Compact Anthology of World Literature

UNG follows Section 508 Standards and WCAG 2.0 for web accessibility. If you require the content on this web page in another format, please contact the ADA Coordinator.

Back to Top