Note: All chapters close with a Conclusion, Resources for Research, and a full-page Review section.
PART 1: The Ancient World, from Human Origins to 500 C.E.
1. Peopling the World, to 4000 B.C.E.
Major Global Development: The adaptation of early humans to their environment and their eventual domestication of plants and animals.
Paleolithic Food Gatherers, 2,000,000–9000 B.C.E.
The First Neolithic Farmers, 9000–4000 B.C.E.
COUNTERPOINT: Gatherer-Hunters By Choice: Aborigines of Australia
READING THE PAST: Fossil Hunting
SEEING THE PAST: Paleolithic Statuettes of Women
SEEING THE PAST: Saharan Rock Art
LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS: The People of Çatal Höyük
2. Temples and Palaces: Birth of the City, 5000–1200 B.C.E.
Major Global Development: The rise of urban society and the creation of states in Southwest Asia.
Origins of Urban Society: Mesopotamia, 5000–3200 B.C.E.
The First Cities, 3200–1600 B.C.E.
City Life and Learning
The First International Order, 1600–1200 B.C.E.
COUNTERPOINT: Egypt’s Distinct Path to Statehood
SEEING THE PAST: The Uruk Vase
READING THE PAST: Royal Inscriptions from Early Mesopotamia
SEEING THE PAST: The Palette of Narmer
LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS: The Pyramid Builders of the Pharaohs
3. Settlers and Migrants: The Creation of States in Asia, 5000–500 B.C.E.
Major Global Development: The rise of large urban states in Asia and the interactions between nomadic and settled peoples that shaped them.
Early Agricultural Societies of South and East Asia, 5000–1000 B.C.E.
The Indus Valley Culture, 2600–1900 B.C.E.
Indo-European Migrations, 3000–1000 B.C.E.
India’s Vedic Age, 1500–500 B.C.E.
The Early Chinese Dynasties, 2000–771 B.C.E.
COUNTERPOINT: The Oxus People: A Short-Lived Culture in Central Asia, 2100–1700 B.C.E.
SEEING THE PAST: Inscribed Seals from the Indus Valley
READING THE PAST: The Upanishads
LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS: Chinese Diviners
READING THE PAST: The Chinese Book of Songs
4. Creation of Empire: North Africa and Southwest Asia, 1550–330 B.C.E.
Major Global Development: The rise of empires and the variety and consequences of imperial rule.
Imperial Egypt and Nubia, 1550 B.C.E.–330 C.E.
Rise and Fall of the Assyrian Empire, 900–612 B.C.E.
The Persian Empire, 550–330 B.C.E.
COUNTERPOINT: Assimilation and Resistance: The Peoples of Israel and Judah
READING THE PAST: Akhenaten Praises His God, Aten
SEEING THE PAST: The Queen of Meroe in Battle
LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS: Mesopotamian Astronomers
READING THE PAST: The God Yahweh and the People of Israel Form a Covenant
5. The Greeks and the Wider World, 1200–30 B.C.E.
Major Global Development: The cultural and political innovations of the ancient Greeks and the expansion of Greek ideals and institutions.
The Development of Ancient Greek Culture, 1200–500 B.C.E.
The Persian Wars, Classical Greece, and the Concept of Cultural Difference 500–338 B.C.E.
Hellenism: The Expansion of Greek Ideals and Institutions, 323–30 B.C.E.
COUNTERPOINT: The Celtic Peoples of the Atlantic Zone
READING THE PAST: Pericles Praises the Democratic Ideal
LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS: Philosophers of Athens’s Golden Age
READING THE PAST: Semonides Catalogs the Evils of Women
SEEING THE PAST: The Vix Crater: A Greek Vessel in Northern France
6. Peoples and World Empires: Classical India, the Kushan Empire, and China, 500 B.C.E.–500 C.E.
Major Global Development: The revolutionary religious and cultural developments in India and China that took place between 500 B.C.E. and 500 C.E. and remained fundamental to the history of Asia.
India: Thinkers, Traders, and Courtly Cultures, 500 B.C.E.–500 C.E.
The Kushan Peoples of Central Asia, 100 B.C.E.–233 C.E.
China’s First Empires: The Qin and Han Dynasties, 500 B.C.E.–200 C.E.
COUNTERPOINT: Tamil Kingdoms of South India
READING THE PAST: A Family of Chinese Historians Trace Early Kushan History
SEEING THE PAST: Kushan Coins
LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS: Papermakers
READING THE PAST: Women in Han China
7. The Unification of Western Eurasia, 500 B.C.E.–500 C.E.
Major Global Development: The unification of western Eurasia under the Roman Empire.
Rome: A Republican Center of Power, 500–27 B.C.E.
Rome: The Empire, 27 B.C.E.–212 C.E.
Christianity: From Jewish Sect to Imperial Religion
Transformation of the Roman Empire, 200–500 C.E.
COUNTERPOINT: Rome’s Iranian Rivals in the Middle East
LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS: Roman Engineers
SEEING THE PAST: The Augustan Cameo Gem
READING THE PAST: A Young Woman Laments Her Premature Death
READING THE PAST: A Sasanid Account of the Wars with Rome
8. Reading the Unwritten Record: Peoples of Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific Islands, 3000 B.C.E.–500 C.E.
Major Global Development: The evolution of ancient cultures without writing and their fundamental role in world history.
Peoples of Sub-Saharan Africa
Peoples of the Americas
Peoples of the Pacific Islands
COUNTERPOINT: The Voiced and Voiceless in Ancient Literate Societies
LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS: Potters of Antiquity
READING THE PAST: The La Mojarra Stele
SEEING THE PAST: Early Maya Frescoes
SEEING THE PAST: The Archaeological Site of Talepakemalai
PART 2: The Formation of Regional Societies, 500–1450 C.E.
9. The Worlds of Christianity and Islam, c. 400–100
Major Global Development: The spread of Christianity and Islam and the profound impact of these world religions on the societies of Western Eurasia and North Africa.
Multiple Christianities, 400–850
Social and Political Renewal in the Post-Roman World, 400–850
The Rise and Spread of Islam, 610–750
From Unified Caliphate to Islamic Commonwealth, 750–1000
COUNTERPOINT: The Norse Vikings: The New Barbarians
SEEING THE PAST: Mary as Mother of God
LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS: Constantinople’s Silk Producers
READING THE PAST: Women and Property in Islam
READING THE PAST: The Pact of Umar
10. Religion and Cross-Cultural Exchange in Asia, 400–1000
Major Global Development: The cultural and commercial exchanges during the heyday of the Silk Road that transformed Asian peoples, cultures, and states.
Steppe Peoples and Settled Societies of Central Asia
The Shaping of East Asia
Consolidation of Hindu Society in India
The Diffusion of Indian Traditions to Southeast Asia
COUNTERPOINT: Sogdian Traders in Central Asia and China
LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS: Tea Drinkers in Tang China
READING THE PAST: A Copper-Plate Land Grant Inscription
SEEING THE PAST: Borobudur: The World’s Largest Buddhist Monument
READING THE PAST: Letters from a Sogdian Castaway
11. Societies and Networks in the Americas and the Pacific, 300–1200
Major Global Development: The formation of distinctive regional cultures in the Americas and the Pacific Islands between 300 and 1200.
The Classical Age of Mesoamerica and Its Aftermath
City and State Building in the Andean Region
Agrarian Societies in North America
Habitat and Adaptation in the Pacific Islands
COUNTERPOINT: Social Complexity in Bougainville
READING THE PAST: The Maya Hero Twins Vanquish the Lords of the Underworld
SEEING THE PAST: Images of Power in Tiwanaku Art
LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS: The North American Mound-Builders
SEEING THE PAST: Symbols of Fertility in Cahokian Sculpture
12. The Rise of Commerce in Afro-Eurasia, 900–1300
Major Global Development: The sustained economic expansion that spread across Eurasia and Africa between the tenth and fourteenth centuries.
Agricultural Innovation and Diffusion
Industrial Growth and the Money Economy
Merchants and Trade Networks in Eurasia and Africa
COUNTERPOINT: Production, Tribute, and Trade in the Hawaiian Islands, 800–1650
SEEING THE PAST: Imitation and Innovation in Islamic Coinage
READING THE PAST: The Commenda Partnership Among Venetian Merchants
READING THE PAST: A Chinese Official’s Reflections on Managing Family Property
LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS : The Mande Blacksmiths
13. Centers of Learning and the Transmission of Culture, 900–1300
Major Global Development: The expansion of learning and education across Eurasia in the period from 900 to 1300 and its relationship with the rise of regional and national identities.
Church and Universities in Latin Christendom
Students and Scholars in Islamic Societies
The Cosmopolitan and Vernacular Realms in India and Southeast Asia
Learning, Schools, and Print Culture in East Asia
COUNTERPOINT: Writing and Political Power in Mesoamerica
LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS: Medical Professionals of Latin Christendom
READING THE PAST: Ibn Khaldun on Study and Learning
SEEING THE PAST: A Revolution in Islamic Calligraphy
READING THE PAST: Lady Murasaki on Her Peers Among Women Writers
14. Crusaders, Mongols, and Eurasian Integration, 1050–1350
Major Global Development: The Eurasian integration fostered by the clashes of culture known as the Crusades and the Mongol conquests.
The Crusades and the Imperial Papacy, 1050–1350
The Making of Christian Europe, 1100–1350
The Mongol World-Empire, 1100–1368
The Mongol Khanates and the Islamic World, 1240–1350
COUNTERPOINT: The “New Knighthood” of the Christian Military Orders
READING THE PAST: A Muslim Courtier’s Encounters with the Franks
SEEING THE PAST: The Mappaemundi of Latin Christendom
READING THE PAST: Bernard of Clairvaux’s Summons to the Wendish Crusade
LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS: Mongol Women in the Household Economy and Public Life
15. Collapse and Revival in Afro-Eurasia, 1300–1450
Major Global Development: Crisis and recovery in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Afro-Eurasia.
Fourteenth-Century Crisis and Renewal in Eurasia
Islam’s New Frontiers
The Global Bazaar
COUNTERPOINT: Age of the Samurai in Japan, 1185–1450
READING THE PAST: A French Theologian’s View of the Black Death
READING THE PAST: A Spanish Ambassador’s Description of Samarqand
LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS: Urban Weavers in India
SEEING THE PAST: Leonardo da Vinci's Madonna of the Rocks
PART 3: The Early Modern World, 1450–1750
16. Empires and Alternatives in the Americas, 1430–1530
Major Global Development: The diversity of societies and states in the Americas prior to European invasion.
Many Native Americas
Tributes of Blood: The Aztec Empire, 1325–1521
Tributes of Sweat: The Inca Empire, 1430–1532
COUNTERPOINT: The Peoples of North America's Eastern Woodlands, 1450–1530
SEEING THE PAST: An Aztec Map of Tenochtitlán
SEEING THE PAST: The Coyolxauhqui Stone
LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS: The Aztec Midwife
READING THE PAST: An Andean Creation Story