Hist 1110: Introduction to World History



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Hist 1110: Introduction to World History

Masako N. Racel, Ph.D. Instructor



Unit 1 Study Guide

Lesson 1: Introduction and Prehistory



  • history, primary and secondary sources, BCE/ CE, circa

  • prehistory,

  • Paleolithic Era vs Neolithic Era

  • Neolithic Revolution

  • Urban Revolution, complex societies, “civilizations”

Lesson 2: Nile River Valley



  • Political History of Egypt: Narmer, Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, Hyksos, New Kingdom

  • Egypt Geography and its implications

  • Egyptian culture and society: religion, cult of Osiris; science and technology; art and literature, and law; hieroglyphics and hieratic; Pharaoh and his role in society.

  • Origin of Monotheism; The Hebrews, Abraham and Moses, Akhenaton

  • Nubia

  • Ethiopia, Axum, Monoliths, Queen of Sheba, Ark of the covenant

Lesson 3: Mesopotamia



  • fertile crescent

  • Political History: Sumerians, Sargon and Akkadian Emp, Hammurabi and Babylonian Emp, the Hitties and Kassites, Assyrian Emp, Chaldean Emp

  • Mesopotamian Geography and its implications

  • Mesopotamian Culture and Society: Cuneiform, Epic of Gilgamesh, religion, ziggurats, science and technology, code of Hammurabi

Lesson 4: South Asia



  • Indian Subcontinent Geography

  • Indus Valley Civilization, the Dravidians, Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, Indus scripts

  • Aryan Migration

  • varna and jati

  • Hinduism and its features, scriptures, and goal; Ways of knowledge, action and devotion.

  • Buddhism; Gautama Siddhartha, Four Noble Truth, Nirvana, Theravada and Mahayana

  • Jainism; Mahavira, ahimsa.

  • Maurya Empire; Asoka

  • Period of political disunity / regional kingdoms

  • Gupta Empire

Lesson 5: East Asia



  • Middle Kingdom

  • Shang Dynasty; oracle bones

  • Zhou (Chou) dynasty; Mandate of Heaven, decentralized system, warring states, age of philosophers.

  • Confucianism; Confucius, Analects, Way of Antiquity, Ren and Li, Five Cardinal relationship, Junzi and idealized social hierarchy.

  • Daoism, Laozi, Daodejjing

  • Legalism, Hanfeizi

  • Qin (Ch’in) Dynasty, The First Emperor (Qin Shih Hungdi) and his policies

  • Han Dynasty; Han Gaozi (Han Kao-tsu) , Emperor Wu

Lesson 6: Mediterranean Basin



  • Greece: Geography and its implications. Polis (Poleis). Sparta and Athens.

  • Greek Colonization, Hoplites Revolution/ phalanx of hoplites

  • Persia, Cyrus, Strap and Satrapies, qanats, Zoroasterianism, Ahura Mazda and Angra Maiynu

  • Greco-Persian Wars, Battle of Marathon, Battle of Salamis

  • Age of Pericles, council of 500, Socrates, Delian League

  • Peloponnesian War

  • Phillip of Macedon

  • Alexander of Macedon, Hellenistic Culture,

  • Hellenistic Kingdoms: Antigonids, Ptolemies, and Selucids.

  • Rome: Geography and its implications.

  • Monarchy, Romulus and Remas, Virgil, the Aeneids

  • Early Republic: Senate, Consuls, Dictator, Class Struggle between patricians and Plebeians, Tribunes, Plebeian Assembly. Control of Italian Peninsula.

  • Late Republic: Punic Wars. Hannibal, Scipio Africanus,

  • First Triumvirate, Julius Caesar

  • Second Triumvirate

  • Early Empire, Augustus, Princeps, Pax Romana

  • Third century Crisis

  • Late Empire, Diocletian, Tetrarchy, Constantine, Theodosius

  • Early Christianity: Jesus of Nazareth, Paul, Edict of Milan, Council of Nicaea, Arianism, Theodosius

Lesson 7: Cross-Cultural Encounters and Spread of Ideas and Technologies



  • patterns of cross-cultural encounters, adopt and adapt, syncretism,

  • emergence of Empires and development of trade routes.

  • Silk Roads,

  • Indian Ocean trades and Monsoon.

  • chariot,

  • Spread of religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Manichaeism

  • Spread of disease, and collapse of classical empires.


Sample Essay Questions
2 Questions will be chosen from those below to as part of your test. You may not bring a finished essay or outline with you on the test day. All essays will be written in class during the test.



  1. What is the Neolithic Revolution? How did the lifestyles of the people change from before to after this event? Do you think the Neolithic Revolution represented progress for humanity, or do you feel it was a step backwards?




  1. Explain how geography and historical experiences affected the civilizations of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Pay special attention to the influence of geography and history on the people’s mindset. Use examples to illustrate your argument.




  1. Compare and Contrast Hindu and Confucian philosophies. Where did these two philosophies develop, and in what kind of historical context? What problems and issues did they address, and what solution did they propose?




  1. Explain the role of wars in the transformation of Athens and Rome. Make sure to identify the major wars in which these two societies were involved. How were these societies transformed before and after their respective wars?


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