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Discovering the Humanities, 2nd Edition

By Henry M. Sayre

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Dec 28, 2011


See Context and Make Connections across the Humanities


Discovering the Humanities 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’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.


With a stronger focus on critical thinking, and coupled with the new MyArtsLab to personalize learning for each student, the second edition enables students to deepen their understanding of how cultures influence one another. It also shows how ideas are exchanged and evolve over time, and how this collective process has led us to where we stand today.


A better teaching and learning experience

This program will provide a better teaching and learning experience– for you and your students. Here’s how:

  • Personalize Learning – The new MyArtsLab delivers proven results in helping students succeed, provides engaging experiences that personalize learning, and comes from a trusted partner with educational expertise and a deep commitment to helping students and instructors achieve their goals.
  • Improve Critical Thinking – The second edition includes features that focus on applying concepts and building critical thinking skills in the beginning and at the end of each chapter.
  • Engage Students – Henry Sayre engages students like no other with his storytelling approach and the MyArtsLab Challenge  which guides students through the ages as they master the study of Humanities.
  • Support Instructors – New MyArtsLab with streaming audio, ClassPrep, Instructor’s Manual and Test Item File, and MyTest are available.

Note: MyArtsLab does not come automatically packaged with this text. To purchase MyArtsLab, please visit or you can purchase a ValuePack of the text + MyArtsLab (at no additional cost): ValuePack ISBN-10: 0205883680 / ValuePack ISBN-13: 9780205883684.

Table of Contents

In this Section:

1. Brief Table of Contents

2. Full Table of Contents



Chapter 1   The Prehistoric Past and the Earliest Civilizations

Chapter 2   The Greek World

Chapter 3   Empire

Chapter 4   The Flowering of Religion

Chapter 5   Fiefdom and Monastery, Pilgrimage and Crusade

Chapter 6   The Gothic and the Rebirth of Naturalism

Chapter 7   The Renaissance

Chapter 8   Renaissance and Reformation in the North

Chapter 9   Encounter and Confrontation

Chapter 10 The Counter-Reformation and the Baroque

Chapter 11 Enlightenment and Rococo

Chapter 12 The Age of Revolution

Chapter 13 The Working Class and the Bourgeoisie

Chapter 14 The Modernist World

Chapter 15 Decades of Change



Chapter 1:   The Prehistoric Past and the Earliest Civilizations

The Beginnings of Culture

The Role of Myth in Prehistoric Cultural Life

Mesopotamia: Power and Social Order in the Early Middle East

The Stability of Ancient Egypt: Flood and Sun


Chapter 2:   The Greek World

Bronze Age Culture in the Aegean

The Rise of the Greek City-States

The Golden Age

The Hellenistic World


Chapter 3:   Empire



Ancient India


Chapter 4:   The Flowering of Religion

Faith and the Power of Belief in the Early First Millennium

Developments in Judaic Culture

The Rise of Christianity

The Byzantine Empire and Its Church

The Rise and Spread of Islam

The Spread of Buddhism


Chapter 5:   Fiefdom and Monastery, Pilgrimage and Crusade

The Early Medieval World in Europe

Anglo-Saxon Artistic Style and Culture

Carolingian Culture

Pilgrimage Churches and Romanesque

The Crusades and the Culture of Romance


Chapter 6:   The Gothic and the Rebirth of Naturalism

Civic and Religious Life in an Age of Inquiry

The Gothic Cathedral

The Rise of the University

The Radiant Style and the Court of Louis IX

The Gothic in Italy

Civic and Religious Life in Siena and Florence

The Spread of Vernacular Literature in Europe


Chapter 7:   The Renaissance

The State as a Work of Art: Florence and the Medici

Beyond Florence: The Ducal Courts and the Arts

From Florence to Rome and Venice: The High Renaissance

The High Renaissance in Venice

Women in Italian Humanist Society


Chapter 8:   Renaissance and Reformation in the North

Art, Commerce, and Merchant Patronage

The German Tradition

Humanism and Reformation in the North


Chapter 9:   Encounter and Confrontation

The Spanish in the Americas

West African Culture and the Portuguese

India and Europe: Cross-Cultural Connections

China and Its Influence

Japan: Court Patronage and Spiritual Practice


Chapter 10: The Counter-Reformation and the Baroque

Mannerism and the Early Counter-Reformation

The Baroque in Italy

The Secular Baroque in the North

Absolutism and the Baroque Court


Chapter 11: Enlightenment and Rococo

The English Enlightenment

The Enlightenment in France

Cross-Cultural Contact


Chapter 12: The Age of Revolution

The American and French Revolutions

The Neoclassical Spirit

The Romantic Imagination

From Classical to Romantic Music


Chapter 13: The Working Class and the Bourgeoisie

The New Realism

In Pursuit of Modernity: Paris in the 1850s and 1860s

Impressionist Paris

The American Self

The Challenge to Cultural Identity


Chapter 14: The Modernist World

The Rise of Modernism in the Arts

The Great War and Its Impact


Chapter 15: Decades of Change

Europe after the War: The Existential Quest

America after the War: Triumph and Doubt

The Winds of Change

The Postmodern Era