The Humanities Culture, Continuity and Change, Volume I: Prehistory to 1600

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-12-29
  • Publisher: Pearson

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For an undergraduate introductory level course in the humanities. Humanities narrated in a story-telling approach. The Humanities: Culture, Continuity & Change helps students see context and make connections across the humanities by tying together the entire cultural experience through a narrative storytelling approach. Written around Henry Sayre#x19;s belief that students learn best by remembering stories rather than memorizing facts, it captures the voices that have shaped and influenced human thinking and creativity throughout our history.

Author Biography

Henry M. Sayre is Distinguished Professor of Art History at Oregon State University-Cascades Campus in Bend, Oregon. He earned his Ph.D. in American Literature from the University of Washington. He is producer and creator of the 10-part television series, A World of Art: Works in Progress, aired on PBS in the fall of 1997; and author of seven books, including A World of Art, The Visual Text of William Carlos Williams, The Object of Performance: The American Avante-Garde since 1970; and an art history book for children, Cave Paintings to Picasso.

Table of Contents

Book I: The Ancient World and the Classical Past: Prehistory to 200 CE

1 The Rise of Culture: From Forest to Farm
The Beginnings of Culture [as in 1e]
The Rise of Agriculture
Neolithic Megaliths [as in 1e]
Neolithic Cultures of the Americas [with expanded section on emergence tales, including discussion of the Japanese Kojiki]

Focus: Stonehenge
C & C:  Representing the Power of the Animal World

2 Mesopotamia: Power and Social Order in the Early Middle East
Mesopotamia [Sumeria, Akkad, Babylon, Assyria, and Mesopotamian Literature]
The Hebrews and Neo-Babylonia

Focus:  The Invention of Writing: Cuneiform Writing in Sumeria and Calligraphy in China
C & C: The Stability of Egyptian Culture

3 The Stability of Ancient Egypt: Flood and Sun 

The Nile and Its Culture [Old, Middle and New Kingdoms]

Focus: Reading The Palette of Narmer
C & C: Egyptian and Greek Sculpture

4 The Aegean World and the Rise of Greece: Trade, War, and Victory

The Cyclades
Minoan Culture in the Peloponnese
Aegean Languages and the Phoenician Alphabet
The Homeric Epics
Hesiod and Rural Greek Culture
The Polis
The Athens  of Peisistratus
Persepolis and the Persian Wars

Focus: The Classical Orders
C & C:  Egyptian and Greek Sculpture

5 Golden Age Athens and the Hellenic World: The School of Hellas

 The Politics of Athens
 Rebuilding the Acropolis
 Philosophy and the Polis
 The Theater of the People
 The Hellenistic World
 Alexander and the Early Maurya India

 Focus: The Parthenon
 C & C: Golden Age Athens as an Ideal in Western Thought

6 Rome: Urban Life and Imperial Majesty
Origins of Roman Culture
Republican Rome
Imperial Rome

Focus : The Roman Forum
C & C: The Roman Legacy

7 Other Empires: Urban Life and Imperial Majesty in China and India

Early Chinese Culture
Imperial China
Hinduism and the Vedic Tradition in India
Buddhism: “The Path of Truth”

Focus: The Tomb of Shihuanghui
C & C: The Silk Road


Book 2:  The Medieval World and the Shaping of Culture: 200 CE to 1400

8 The Flowering of Christianity: Faith and the Power of Belief in the Early First Millennium

Developments in Judaic Culture
The Rise of Christianity
The Byzantine Empire and the Church

Focus: The Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus
C & C: Iconoclasm and the Threat of Islam

9 The Rise and Spread of Islam: A New Religion

The Prophet Muhammad
The Spread of Islam
Islam in Africa and Spain
The Arts of the Islamic World

 Focus: The Bismillah and the Art of Calligraphy
 C & C: The Islamic Heritage

10 Fiefdom and Monastery, Pilgrimage and Crusade: The Early Medieval World in Europe

The Merging of Germanic and Roman Styles in Anglo-Saxon Culture
The Growing Refinement of Carolingian Culture
Pilgrimage Churches and the Romanesque
The Crusades and the Culture of Romance

Focus: The Bayeux Tapestry
C & C: Pilgrimage and Culture: The Monastery at Cluny and the Ise Shrine

11 Centers of Culture: Court and City in the Larger World

Courtly Refinement in the Heian Period in Japan
The Tang Dynasty in Chang’an [expanded from 5e]
The Song Dynasty and Hangzhou, “The City of Heaven”
Southeast Asia: Trade and the Confluence of Cultures [based on current exhibition of Vietnamese art at the Houston Museum of Fine Art]
The Cultures of Mesoamerica in the Classic Era [connect with analogy between Chang’an and Teotihuacán as urban centers]
The Cultures of Africa

Focus: Guo Xi’s Early Spring
C & C: Toward a New Urban Style: The Gothic in Europe

12 The Gothic Style: Faith and Knowledge in an Age of Inquiry
The Gothic Cathedral
The Rise of the University
The Radiant Style and the Court of Louis IX

Focus: The Stained Glass at Chartres
C & C: Representing the Human

13 Siena and Florence in the Fourteenth Century: Toward a New Humanism

Civic and Religious Life in Siena and Florence
Painting in Italy: A  Growing Naturalism
Painting in China: The Two Schools
The Spread of Vernacular Literature in Europe
The Black Death and Its Aftermath

Contemporary Perspectives:  Pat Steir’s Yellow and Blue One-Stroke Waterfall, 1992 
Focus: Giotto’s Arena Chapel
C & C: The Influence of Zen Buddhism

Book 3:  The Renaissance and the Age of Encounter: 1400 to 1600

14 Florence and the Early Renaissance: Humanism in Italy
Scientific Perspective and Naturalistic Representation
The Medici Family and Humanism
Beyond Florence: The Ducal Courts and the Arts
Women in Italian Humanist Society
Florence after the Medici: The New Republic
From Florence to Rome: The High Renaissance
The Cosmopolitan City: Venice and the Collision of Cultures

Focus:  Brunelleschi’s Dome
C & C: Michelangelo in Rome

15 The High Renaissance in Rome and Venice: Papal Patronage

The Arts of the Papal Court
The Medici Popes and the Perfect Prince
The Scuole,  Painting, and the Venetian Style
Literature and Music of the Venetian High Renaissance
Andrea Palladio and the New Rural Architecture

Focus: Raphael’s School of Athens
C & C: The Self-Portrait

16 The Renaissance in the North: Between Wealth and Want

Art, Commerce, and Merchant Patronage
The Literature of Ambiguity
Tapestry, Dance, and Music in Northern Europe
The German Tradition

Focus: Bosch’s Garden of Early Delights
C&C: The Modern Devotion and a New Austerity in Art

17 The Reformation: A New Church and the Arts

Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation
The Spread of the Reformation
The Printing Press: A Force for Ideas and Art
From Religious to Secular Art

Contemporary Perspectives:  Bill Viola’s Observance, 2002 [based on Dürer’s Four Apostles]
Focus: Dürer’s Adam and Eve
C & C: The Catholic Church Strikes Back

18 Encounter and Confrontation: The Impact of Increasing Global Interaction

The Spanish, the Aztec, and the Inca Empires
West African Culture and the Portuguese
The Mughal Empire in India
The Rise of the Ming Dynasty under Zhu Di [expanded from Chap. 23]
The Muromachi, the Momoyama, and the Closing of Japan

Focus: Cover page of the Codex Féjervárt-Mayer
C & C: The “Other” and the Imperial Imagination

19 England in the Tudor Age: “This Other Eden”
The Reign of Henry VIII
Erasmus and the Humanist Impulse in England
Elizabethan England and the Elizabethan Stage
The English, French, and Dutch in North America

Focus: Holbein’s The Ambassadors
C & C: The New Universe

20 The Early Counter-Reformation and Mannerism: Restraint and Invention

The Counter-Reformation
Michelangelo and the Rise of Mannerisim
Mannerism and the Question of Decorum
Inquisition and Innovation

Focus: Bronzino’s Allegory with Venus and Cupid
C & C: The Frenzy of Inspiration

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