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World Civilizations: The Global Experience, Volume 1, Books a la Carte Edition

By Michael B. Adas, Stuart B. Schwartz, Marc Jason Gilbert

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Jan 3, 2010


Designed for introductory-level survey courses in World History.


The primary goal of World Civilizations is to present a truly global history—from the development of agriculture and herding to the present. Using a unique periodization, this book divides the main periods of human history according to changes in the nature and extent of global contacts.


This global world history text emphasizes the major stages in the interactions among different peoples and societies, while at the same time assessing the development of major societies.  Encompassing social and cultural as well as political and economic history, the book examines key civilizations in world history.  World Civilizations balances this discussion of independent developments in the world's major civilizations with comparative analysis of the results of global contact.

Table of Contents

Maps xi

Preface xiii

Supplements xix

About the Authors xxi

Prologue xxiii




CHAPTER 1 The Neolithic Revolution and the Birth

of Civilization 10

Human Life in the Era of Hunters and Gatherers 11

DOCUMENT: Tales of the Hunt: Paleolithic Cave Paintings

as History 15

Agriculture and the Origins of Civilization: The Neolithic

Revolution 17

VISUALIZING THE PAST: Representations of Women

in Early Art 21

The First Towns: Seedbeds of Civilization 22

THINKING HISTORICALLY: The Idea of Civilization in World

Historical Perspective 24

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: The Neolithic Revolution

as the Basis for World History 26

Further Readings 26

On the Web 26

CHAPTER 2 The Rise of Civilization in the Middle

East and Africa 28

Early Civilization in Mesopotamia 28

Later Mesopotamian Civilization: A Series of Conquests 33

VISUALIZING THE PAST: Mesopotamia in Maps 34

DOCUMENT: Hammurabi’s Law Code 35

Ancient Egypt 36

THINKING HISTORICALLY:Women in Patriarchal Societies 38

Egypt and Mesopotamia Compared 40

Civilization Centers in Africa and the Eastern

Mediterranean 41

The Issue of Heritage 44

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: The Early Civilizations

and the World 45

Further Readings 45

On the Web 46

CHAPTER 3 Asia’s First Civilizations: India

and China 48

The Indus Valley and the Birth of South Asian

Civilization 50

Aryan Incursions and Early Aryan Society in India 53

DOCUMENT: Aryan Poetry in Praise of a War Horse 56

A Bend in the River and the Beginnings of China 56



The Decline of the Shang and the Era of Zhou

Dominance 60


and the Endurance of Asia’s First Civilizations 62


of Civilizations 64

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: Contrasting Legacies: Harappan

and Early Chinese Civilizations 66

Further Readings 66

On the Web 66




CHAPTER 4 Unification and the Consolidation

of Civilization in China 80

Philosophical Remedies for the Prolonged Crisis of the

Later Zhou 81

DOCUMENT: Teachings of the Rival Chinese Schools 85

The Triumph of the Qin and Imperial Unity 85

The Han Dynasty and the Foundations of China’s

Classical Age 89

THINKING HISTORICALLY: Xunzi and the Shift from Ritual

Combat to “Real”War 90

VISUALIZING THE PAST: Capital Designs and Patterns

of Political Power 96

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: Classical China and the World 100

Further Readings 100

On the Web 101

CHAPTER 5 Classical Civilizations in the Eastern

Mediterranean and Middle East 102

The Persian Empire: A New Perspective

in the Middle East 104

The Political Character of Classical Greece 106

The Hellenistic Period 110

VISUALIZING THE PAST: Political Rituals in Persia 113

Greek and Hellenistic Culture 113

THINKING HISTORICALLY: Defining Social History 114

Patterns of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Society 118

DOCUMENT: The Power of Greek Drama 119

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: Persia, Greece, and the World 121

Further Readings 122

On the Web 122

CHAPTER 6 Religious Rivalries and India’s

Golden Age 124

The Age of Brahman Dominance 125

An Era of Widespread Social Change 127

THINKING HISTORICALLY: Inequality as a Social Norm 129

Religious Ferment and the Rise of Buddhism 132

The Rise and Decline of the Mauryas 134

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Brahmanical Recovery and the Splendors

of the Gupta Age 136

VISUALIZING THE PAST: The Pattern of Trade in the Ancient

Eurasian World 138

Intensifying Caste and Gender Inequities

and Gupta Decline 141

DOCUMENT: A Guardian’s Farewell Speech to a Young

Woman About to Be Married 142

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: India and the Wider World 143

Further Readings 144

On the Web 144

CHAPTER 7 Rome and Its Empire 146

The Development of Rome’s Republic 147

Roman Culture 151

DOCUMENT: Rome and a Values Crisis 153

How Rome Ruled Its Empire 153

VISUALIZING THE PAST: Religions in Rome 156

The Evolution of Rome’s Economic

and Social Structure 156

THINKING HISTORICALLY: The Classical Civilizations

in Comparative Perspective 158

The Origins of Christianity 159

The Decline of Rome 161

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: Rome and the World 162

Further Readings 162

On the Web 163

CHAPTER 8 The Peoples and Civilizations

of the Americas 164

Origins of American Societies 166

Spread of Civilization in Mesoamerica 171

DOCUMENT: Deciphering the Maya Glyphs 175

THINKING HISTORICALLY: Different Times for Different

Peoples 176

The Peoples to the North 177

The Andean World 180

VISUALIZING THE PAST: Ancient Agriculture 183

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: American Civilizations

and the World 184

Further Readings 184

On the Web 185

CHAPTER 9 The Spread of Civilizations

and the Movement of Peoples 186

The Spread of Civilization in Africa 188

DOCUMENT: Myths of Origin 194

THINKING HISTORICALLY: Language as a Historical

Source 198

Nomadic Societies and Indo-European Migrations 198

VISUALIZING THE PAST: Varieties of Human Adaptation

and the Potential for Civilization 204

The Spread of Chinese Civilization to Japan 204

Political and Social Change 208

The Scattered Societies of Polynesia 209

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: The Emerging Cultures 214

Further Readings 214

On the Web 215

CHAPTER 10 The End of the Classical Era:World

History in Transition, 200—700 C.E. 216

Upheavals in Eastern and Southern Asia 217

DOCUMENT: The Popularization of Buddhism 219

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 221


and Fall 225

The Development and Spread of World Religions 226

VISUALIZING THE PAST: Religious Geography 229

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: The Late Classical Period

and the World 230

Further Readings 230

On the Web 231




CHAPTER 11 The First Global Civilization:

The Rise and Spread of Islam 244

Desert and Town: The Pre-Islamic Arabian World 245

The Life of Muhammad and the Genesis of Islam 250

The Arab Empire of the Umayyads 253

THINKING HISTORICALLY: Civilization and Gender

Relationships 260

From Arab to Islamic Empire: The Early Abbasid Era 262

VISUALIZING THE PAST: The Mosque as a Symbol of Islamic

Civilization 264

DOCUMENT: The Thousand and One Nights as a Mirror

of Elite Society in the Abbasid Era 266

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: Early Islam and the World 267

Further Readings 268

On the Web 268

CHAPTER 12 Abbasid Decline and the Spread

of Islamic Civilization to South and Southeast

Asia 270

The Islamic Heartlands in the Middle

and Late Abbasid Eras 271

DOCUMENT: Ibn Khaldun on the Rise and Decline

of Empires 276

An Age of Learning and Artistic Refinements 276

The Coming of Islam to South Asia 280

VISUALIZING THE PAST: The Patterns of Islam’s

Global Expansions 281

THINKING HISTORICALLY: Conversion and Accommodation

in the Spread of World Religions 286

The Spread of Islam to Southeast Asia 288

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: Islam: A Bridge Between

Worlds 290

Further Readings 290

On the Web 290

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CHAPTER 13 African Civilizations and the Spread

of Islam 292

African Societies: Diversity and Similarities 293

Kingdoms of the Grasslands 297

DOCUMENT: The Great Oral Tradition and the Epic

of Sundiata 300

VISUALIZING THE PAST: The Architecture of Faith 303

The Swahili Coast of East Africa 303

Peoples of the Forest and Plains 305

THINKING HISTORICALLY: Two Transitions in the History

of World Population 306

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: Internal Development

and Global Contacts 310

Further Readings 310

On the Web 311

CHAPTER 14 Civilization in Eastern Europe:

Byzantium and Orthodox Europe 312

Civilization in Eastern Europe 312

The Byzantine Empire 314


in Byzantium 317

The Split Between Eastern and Western Christianity 318

THINKING HISTORICALLY: Eastern and Western Europe:

The Problem of Boundaries 321

The Spread of Civilization in Eastern Europe 321

The Emergence of Kievan Rus’ 323

DOCUMENT: Russia Turns to Christianity 324

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: Eastern Europe and the World 326

Further Readings 326

On the Web 326

CHAPTER 15 A New Civilization Emerges in Western


Stages of Postclassical Development 329


DOCUMENT: European Travel: A Monk Visits Jerusalem 337

THINKING HISTORICALLY:Western Civilization 339

Western Culture in the Postclassical Era 340

Changing Economic and Social Forms in the Postclassical

Centuries 342

The Decline of the Medieval Synthesis 346


and the World 348

Further Readings 349

On the Web 349

CHAPTER 16 The Americas on the Eve of Invasion 350

Postclassic Mesoamerica, 1000—1500 C.E. 351

Aztec Society in Transition 357

DOCUMENT: Aztec Women and Men 359

Twantinsuyu:World of the Incas 360

VISUALIZING THE PAST: Archeological Evidence of Political

Practices 362

THINKING HISTORICALLY: The “Troubling” Civilizations

of the Americas 364

The Other Peoples of the Americas 367

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: The Americas and the World 370

Further Readings 370

On the Web 370

CHAPTER 17 Reunification and Renaissance

in Chinese Civilization: The Era of the Tang

and Song Dynasties 372

Rebuilding the Imperial Edifice in the Sui-Tang Era 373

DOCUMENT: Ties That Bind: Paths to Power 378

Tang Decline and the Rise of the Song 380

Tang and Song Prosperity: The Basis of a Golden Age 384

VISUALIZING THE PAST: Footbinding as a Marker of Male

Dominance 388


and Social Values 390

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: China’s World Role 392

Further Readings 392

On the Web 393

CHAPTER 18 The Spread of Chinese Civilization:

Japan, Korea, and Vietnam 394

Japan: The Imperial Age 395

The Era of Warrior Dominance 400

THINKING HISTORICALLY: Comparing Feudalisms 402

Korea: Between China and Japan 406

Between China and Southeast Asia: The Making

of Vietnam 409

VISUALIZING THE PAST:What Their Portraits Tell Us:

Gatekeeper Elites and the Persistence of Civilizations 412

DOCUMENT: Literature as a Mirror of the Exchanges

Between Civilized Centers 415

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: In the Orbit of China: The East

Asian Corner of the Global System 415

Further Readings 416

On the Web 416

CHAPTER 19 The Last Great Nomadic Challenges:

From Chinggis Khan to Timur 418

The Transcontinental Empire of Chinggis Khan 420

DOCUMENT: A European Assessment of the Virtues

and Vices of the Mongols 424

The Mongol Drive to the West 426

VISUALIZING THE PAST: The Mongol Empire as a Bridge

Between Civilizations 429

The Mongol Interlude in Chinese History 430


of the Nomadic Warrior Culture 434

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: The Mongol Linkages 436

Further Readings 437

On the Web 437

CHAPTER 20 The World in 1450: Changing Balance

ofWorld Power 438

Key Changes in the Middle East 439

The Rise of the West 442

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VISUALIZING THE PAST: Population Trends 443

DOCUMENT: Bubonic Plague 444

Western Expansion: The Experimental Phase 447

Outside the World Network 448


of Ethnocentrism 450

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: 1450 and the World 451

Further Readings 451

On the Web 452




CHAPTER 21 The World Economy 466

The West’s First Outreach:Maritime Power 466

THINKING HISTORICALLY: Causation and the West’s

Expansion 471

Toward a World Economy 472

VISUALIZING THE PAST:West Indian Slaveholding 475

Colonial Expansion 477

DOCUMENT:Western Conquerors: Tactics and Motives 478


And the World 483

Further Readings 484

On the Web 484

CHAPTER 22 The Transformation of the West,

1450—1750 486

The First Big Changes: Culture and Commerce,

1450—1650 487

The Commercial Revolution 492

The Scientific Revolution: The Next Phase of Change 495


Political Change 497

THINKING HISTORICALLY: Elites and Masses 498

The West by 1750 500

DOCUMENT: Controversies About Women 501

GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: Europe and the World 504

Further Readings 504

On the Web 505

Purchase Info

ISBN-10: 0-205-65966-7

ISBN-13: 978-0-205-65966-1

Format: Alternate Binding

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