The West Encounters & Transformations, Volume 1, Books a la Carte Plus MyHistoryLab -- Access Card Package

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Package
  • Copyright: 2010-03-26
  • Publisher: Pearson
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Designed for introductory-level survey courses in the History of Western Civilization. The West: Encounters & Transformationstakes a new approach to telling the story of Western civilization. Rather than looking at Western civilization only as the history of Europe from ancient times to the present, this groundbreaking book examines the changing nature of the Westhow the definition of the West has evolved and has been transformed throughout history. It explores the ways Western civilization has changed as a result of cultural encounters with different beliefs, ideas, technologies, and peoples, both outside the West and within it. Presenting a balanced treatment of political, social, religious, and cultural history, this text emphasizes the ever-shifting boundaries of the geographic and cultural realm of the West.

Author Biography

Brian Levack received his Ph.D. from Yale and is the John Green Regents Professor in History at University of Texas at Austin. The winner of several teaching awards, Levack teaches a wide variety of courses on British and European history, legal history, and the history of witchcraft.  His books include The Civil Lawyers in England, 1603—1641: A Political Study (1973), The Formation of the British State: England, Scotland and the Union, 1603—1707 (1987), The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe (3rd edition, 2006), and Witch-Hunting in Scotland: Law, Politics, and Religion (2008).


Edward Muir received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University, where he specialized in the Italian Renaissance and did archival research in Venice and Florence, Italy. He is now the Clarence L. Ver Steeg Professor in the Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University and former chair of the history department. At Northwestern he has won several teaching awards. His books include Civic Ritual in Renaissance Venice (1981), Mad Blood Stirring: Vendetta in Renaissance Italy (1993 and 1998), Ritual in Early Modern Europe (1997 and 2005), and The Culture Wars of the Late Renaissance: Skeptics, Libertines, and Opera (2007).


Meredith Veldman received a Ph.D. in modern European history, with a concentration in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Britain, from Northwestern University. As an Associate Professor of history and award-winning instructor at Louisiana State University, she teaches courses in nineteenth- and twentieth-century British history and twentieth-century Europe, as well as the second half of “Western Civ.” Veldman is also the author of Fantasy, the Bomb, and the Greening of Britain: Romantic Protest, 1945–1980 (1994).

Table of Contents

“What Is the West?”

The Shifting Borders of the West

Changing Identities within the West

Western Values

Asking the Right Questions

1. The Beginnings of Civilizations, 10,000-2000 BCE.

Defining Civilization, Defining Western Civilization

Mesopotamia: Kingdoms, Empires, and Conquests

Egypt: The Empire of the Nile

Conclusion: Civilization and the West.

2. The International Bronze Age and its Aftermath: Trade, Empire, and Diplomacy, 1600-550 BCE.

The Dynamism of the International Bronze Age

Recovery and Rebuilding: Empires and Societies in the Aftermath of the International Bronze Age

The Civilization of the Hebrews

Conclusion: International Systems, Ancient Empires, and the Roots of Western Civilization.

3. Persians, Hebrews, and Greeks:  The Foundations of Western Culture, 1100-336 BCE.

Greece Rebuilds, 1100–479 b.c.e

The Greek Encounter with the Persian Empire

The Classical Age of Greece, 479–336 b.c.e.

Conclusion: Classical Foundations of the West.

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4.  Hellenistic Civilization

The Impact of Alexander the Great

Hellenism in the East and West

Hellenistic Society and Culture

Hellenistic Philosophy and Science

Conclusion: Defining the West in the Hellenistic Age


5.  The Roman Republic

The Nature of the Roman Republic

Roman Territorial Expansion

The Culture of the Roman Republic

Social Life in Republican Rome

The End of the Roman Republic

Conclusion: The Roman Republic and the West


6. Enclosing the West: The Early Roman Empire and Its Neighbors: 31 BCE-235 CE.

The Imperial Center

Life in the Roman Provinces: Assimilation, Resistance and Romanization

The Frontier and Beyond

Society and Culture in an Imperial Age

Conclusion: Rome Shapes the West.

7. Late Antiquity: The Age of New Boundaries, 250-600.

Crisis and Recovery in the Third Century.

Christianizing the Empire.

New Christian Communities and Identities.

The Break-Up of the Roman Empire.

Conclusion: The Age of New Boundaries.

8. Medieval Empires and Borderlands:  Byzantium and Islam.

Byzantium: The Survival of the Roman Empire.

The New World of Islam.

Conclusion: Three Cultural Realms.


9. Medieval Empires and Borderlands: The Latin West

The Birth of Latin Christendom

The Carolingians

Invasions and Recovery in the Latin West

The West in the East:  The Crusades

Conclusion: An Emerging Unity in the Latin West

10. Medieval Civilization:  The Rise of Western Europe

Two Worlds:  Manors and Cities

The Consolidation of Roman Catholicism

Strengthening the Center of the West

Medieval Culture: The Search for Understanding

Conclusion: Asserting Western Culture

11. The Medieval West in Crisis

A Time of Death

A Cold Wind from the East

Economic Depression and Social Turmoil

An Age of Warfare

A Troubled Church and the Demand for Religious Comfort

The Culture of Loss

Conclusion: Looking Inward


12. The Italian Renaissance and Beyond: The Politics of Culture

The Cradle of the Renaissance: The Italian City-States

The Influence of Ancient Culture

The Early Modern European State System

Conclusion: The Politics of Culture

13. The West and the World: The Significance of Global Encounters, 1450-1650.

Europeans in Africa

Europeans in the Americas

Europeans in Asia

The Beginnings of the Global System

Conclusion: The Significance of the Global Encounters

14. The Reformation of Religion

Causes of the Reformation

The Lutheran Reformation

The Diversity of Protestantism

The Catholic Reformation

Conclusion: Competing Understandings

15. The Age of Confessional Division

The Peoples of Early Modern Europe

Disciplining the People

The Confessional States

States and Confessions in Eastern Europe

Conclusion: The Divisions of the West

16. Absolutism and State-Building in Europe, 1618-1715

The Nature of Absolutism.

The Absolutist State in France and Spain.

Absolutism and State Building in Central and Eastern Europe.

Resistance to Absolutism in England and the Dutch Republic

Conclusion: The Western State in the Age of Absolutism


17. The Scientific Revolution

The Discoveries and Achievements of the Scientific Revolution

The Search for Scientific Knowledge

The Causes of the Scientific Revolution

The Intellectual Effects of the Scientific Revolution

Humans and the Natural World

Conclusion: Science and Western Culture




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