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World History Vol. 1 : A Concise Thematic Analysis



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This is the 2nd edition with a publication date of 1/22/2013.

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World History: A Concise Thematic Analysis presents the highly anticipated second edition of the most affordable and accessible survey of world history designed for use at the college level. An engaging narrative that contextualizes history and does not drown students in a sea of facts Offers a comparative analysis of the great civilizations of Eurasia, Africa, and the Americas Addresses themes of population dynamics, food production challenges, disease history, warfare, and other major issues for civilizations Features new interior design and organization to enhance user experience Instructor's test bank available online

Author Biography

Steven Wallech is the senior Professor of World History at Long Beach City College. He developed the world history program there, and integrated the world history curriculum with community colleges and universities throughout California.

Craig Hendricks is Emeritus Professor of History at Long Beach City College. He has written on Latin America for history journals and edited four books of American social history readings.

Touraj Daryaee is theHoward C. Baskerville Professor of Iran and the Persianate World and the Associate Director of the Dr. Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture at the University of California, Irvine. He is editor of the Name-ye-Iran-e Bastan: The International Journal of Ancient Iranian Studies and the creator of Sasanika: The Late Antique Near East Project.

Anne Lynne Negus received her Ph.D. in Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, specializing in Egyptology. Currently she is Professor of History at Fullerton College and Co-Coordinator of the Honors Program.

Peter P. Wan received his B.A. from East China Normal University and taught American literature in China until he came to the United States on a Harvard-Yanching fellowship. He received his Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization from Harvard University. His major interests are American history, East Asian history, and U.S.-China relations.

Gordon Morris Bakken earned his degrees at the University of Wisconsin and joined the faculty of California State University, Fullerton, in 1969. He teaches courses on American legal history, women in American history, westward movement, and American military heritage.

Table of Contents

Volume 1

Introduction x

Unit One The Ancient World 1


The artificial existence of civilization  
The biology of civilization
The geography of civilization
The climate of civilization
The relationship between belief and action

Chapter 1: Biology and World History

Civilization and Nomads 5

Climate / 12
The Geography of Cultivation / 14
The Domestication of Animals / 20
Urban Development / 24
The Nomads / 27
Disease History / 28
Suggested Reading / 31

Chapter 2: Mesopotamia

The Land between the Rivers 33

A Temple Economy / 34
The Causes of Trade / 35
Kings, War, and Ecocide / 37
The Art of Writing and Hammurabi’s Code / 39
The General Matrix of Civilization / 41
The Dawn of Religion: Creation Myths / 42
Iron and Mesopotamia / 44
The Hebrews / 47
The Emergence of Monotheism / 48
Suggested Readings / 51

Chapter 3: Pre-islamic africa

Egyptian, Nilotic, and Sub-Saharan Africa 52

Egypt, the Gift of the Nile / 52
The Archaic Period (ca. 3100–2700 bce) and the Pyramid Age
 of the Old Kingdom (ca. 2700–2200 bce) / 57
The First Intermediate Period (ca. 2200–2000 bce)
 and the Middle Kingdom (ca. 2000–1786 bce) / 59
The Hyksos and Second Intermediate Period (ca. 1786–1575 bce)
 and the New Kingdom (ca. 1575–1050 bce) / 60
special topic: The Distant but Powerful Link between Pacific Currents
 and Egyptian Floods / 61
Egypt and the Iron Age / 65
Nilotic Africa / 66
Sub-Saharan Africa / 70
Iron / 73
Suggested Reading / 75

Chapter 4: India

From the Indus to the Ganges 76

Iron, Rice, and India  / 80
Indian Religions / 83
Religious Opposition / 87
The Maturation of India’s Faiths / 89
Suggested Reading / 90 Chapter

Chapter 5: China

The Yellow River Civilization 91

The Land and the People / 91
Mythological China / 93
The Bronze Age: The Xia, Shang, and Zhou Dynsties / 94
The Iron Age: Economic, Military, and Commercial Revolutions / 97
The Golden Age of Classical Chinese Philosophy / 98
China’s First Empire: The Qin and Han Dynasties / 102
Centers of Power within and beyond the Han Empire / 107
special topic: Lady Lu: Empress Dowager / 108
Suggested Reading / 110

Chapter 6: The Nomads’ trade
and the Great Migrations 111

The First Wave of Mass Migrations: The Wheel, the Chariot, and Nomads / 112
A Second Wave of Migrations: The Iron Age / 118
Cavalry: The Third Wave of Migrations / 123
Suggested Reading / 126

Chapter 7: Greece

The Rainfall Zone 127

Network Cities and the Special Case of Athens / 128
The Role of Coins in Athenian History / 131
The Limits of Democracy / 133
Sparta / 134
The Failure of Greek Politics / 135
Philip of Macedon, Alexander the Great, and the Hellenistic World / 136
Greek Philosophy / 138
Physics / 139
Math and Logic: Metaphysics / 140
Socrates and his Followers / 141
Drama / 143
The Origins of History / 145
Suggested Reading / 146

Chapter 8: The Hellenistic East and Persia

A Cultural Bridge 147

The Hellenistic East / 147
Diffusion of Hellenism to the East / 149
Kings, Cities, and Soldiers / 151
Hellenistic Philosophy / 154
The Stoics / 157
One God, One Lord / 158
The Persians / 160
The Persian Sassanian Empire (224–651 ce)  / 164
Khusro I and the Height of the Sassanian Empire  / 168
Suggested Reading / 169

Chapter 9: Rome

From Citizenship to Imperial Rule 170

Part One: The Republic / 170
Part Two: The Empire / 176
Roman Society / 179
Roman Philosophy / 181
Christianity / 183
Suggested Reading / 188

Chapter 10: Origins of Native American Cultures

Geographic Isolation 189

Origins of the Americas’ First Cities / 192
Mesoamerica / 193
Teotihuacán / 195
The Maya / 196
South America / 198
Elsewhere in the Americas / 200
Suggested Reading / 201

Chapter 11: The Fall of the Ancient Eurasian World

Rome, Han China, and Gupta India 203

Trade, Disease, and Religious Ideas / 204
special topic: Manichaeism / 207
Internal Decay: The Roman Story / 207
special topic: Malaria / 210
special topic: Smallpox / 211
The Han Dynasty, 206 bce–220 ce / 214
Chaos and Religion: Buddhism and Daoism / 219
The Last Days of the Han / 221
Gupta India: The Great Exception / 222
The Nomads / 224
Suggested Reading / 227

Unit two The Middle Years 229



Chapter 12: The Rise of Islam

The Ancient Near East Becomes the Middle East 233

The Prophecy / 233
The Pillars of Islam / 235
The Umma / 239
The Caliphs / 240
Suggested Reading / 245

Chapter 13: China in an Era of Recovery and Cultures

on the fringe

Korea, Japan, and the Mongols 246

China’s Second Empire: Sui and Tang Dynasties / 247
The Tang Dynasty, 618–907 / 248
The Song Dynasty, 960–1127 / 254
The Yuan Dynasty, 1279–1368: The Mongol Conquest of China / 259
Sinicization: The Influence of Chinese Culture on Korea, Japan, and Mongolia / 262
Korea / 263
Japan / 266
The Mongols: The End of Nomadism / 275
Suggested Reading / 279

Chapter 14: India and Islam

An Era of Political Chaos 280

Internal Fragmentation / 282
The Arrival of Islam / 285
Hindu Revival / 287
Delhi Sultanate / 289
Dhimmis, Being Cared for by the Faithful / 290
Suggested Reading / 293

Chapter 15: The European Middle Ages

The Failure of Tradition 294

Part One: The Early Middle Ages, 500–1000 / 295
Part Two: The Byzantine Empire / 300
Part Three: Europe and the High Middle Ages, 1000–1300 / 303
special topic: The Magna Carta / 311
Part Four: The Late Middle Ages, 1300–1450 / 319
special topic: The Bubonic Plague / 321
special topic: Joan of Arc / 325
Part Five: The Renaissance / 328
Suggested Reading / 337

Chapter 16: Islamic Africa

A Complex Pattern of Cultures 339

Corporate Lineage and State Formation after 500 / 340
Muslim Africa / 341
special topic: Abu Abdullah Mohammed Battuta / 343
South Africa / 352
Suggested Reading / 353

Chapter 17: The Americas

A Time of Trouble 355

The Toltecs / 357
The Aztecs / 359
special topic: Ixiptla: An Aztec God-Representative / 362
The Incas / 363
North America / 366
The Unmistakable Influence of Isolation / 370
Suggested Reading / 370

Credits / C-1
Index / I-1


Original Agricultural Sites / 4  
The World from the Death of Mohammed, 632–750 CE / 232
The World from 200 BCE–200 CE / 32 
World Civilizations and Empires (circa 1500 CE) / 354
The World from 200 CE–500 CE / 202


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