What's posted here?
Schedule of readings, notes, slides, tests, and due dates: Shows what you should read before the class on each date. Some readings are in the textbook. Others are links to online material. The schedule also shows dates of tests, assignment due dates, and so on. Lecture notes for each class are usually posted in advance, while the Powerpoint slides are usually posted after it. Some people print the the lecture notes and bring them to class to take notes on, rather than trying to write everything down. The notes are useful for studying and preparing assignments, but they do not necessarily make sense on their own, and they do not cover everything in the readings. They are no substitute for reading the assigned material and attending class. I adjust the schedule during the semester, so check it frequently to be sure of current readings and deadlines.
Handouts: The syllabus, assignment details, study guides, and so on.
Links: Links to other web pages about subjects we cover. These are completely optional, but may help you study or pursue questions raised by the course. Many have good photos or maps that add a visual element to the readings. All are recommended, and many are fun.
Email: Click the "email" button to ask me a question or make a comment, or to turn in the computer version of an assignment. If you are not using your own computer, be sure to include your email address in the message so I can reply.
Everything on this site has been scanned for viruses and is safe to the best of my knowledge.
So why come to lectures?
First, hearing me explain the notes and slides will be far clearer than trying to figure them out without help. Second, numerous studies show that you understand and remember things better if you get the information in various different ways, like reading, hearing, and seeing. Third, you can ask questions, and listen as others ask questions that you might not have thought of. Finally, I fill in details, explain arguments, and highlight the important points, which should make it easier to see the big picture rather than getting lost in the details.
Schedule of readings, notes, slides, tests, and due dates
This schedule will grow and change, so don't rely on a printed copy. Read the assignments before the class session. Scroll down for more. Most items are PDF (Adobe Acrobat) files and should open in a new window to view, save, or print. Move it aside or close it to see this one again. If the PDF files do not open, install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.
The slides are the Powerpoint presentations you see in class. They do not include all the information in the notes. They should open in a new window. Navigate with PageUp/Down, Arrow Left/Right, Space/Backspace, Mouse clicks and scroll wheel, and Home/End to jump to the start or end of the presentation. Esc or close the window to quit. If your browser downloads the file, just double-click the file to open it. If your computer does not have Powerpoint, install the free Powerpoint viewer for Windows or Impress, part of the free OpenOffice for Macintosh.
User ID and Password: Due to copyright restrictions, many items require the class user ID and password. These are different from your Peoplesoft ID and password. If you can't recall them, email me.
Be patient: Some items may take many seconds or minutes to load, especially with a telephone modem.
- Tuesday, Jan. 27: Introduction to the course
- No notes for this classNo Slides for this class
- No reading
- Thursday, Jan. 29: A framework for world history
- Notes (23 Kb)Slides (0.5 Mb)
- Toynbee 1948 - Extract from "My View of History", in Civilization on Trial (3 pgs, 25 Kb)
- Concepts related to chronology and dates (1 pg, 9 Kb)
- Interactive timelines of world history. Click "History" on the left, then "Before 1000 BC" on the right as a start. Click around for more periods, details, etc. Just get an idea of what is there and start exploring. Superficial but excellent for a broad, comparative view.
- Instuctions for Assignment 1: Active reading (1 pg, 8 Kb)
- Tuesday, Feb. 3: What is history?
- Notes (36 Kb)No Slides for this class
- Due in class: Assignment 1: Active reading
- Arnold 2000 - Ch. 1, "Questions about murder and history", in History: A Very Short Introduction. A modern discussion of history with an example (14 pgs, 108 Kb)
- Dawood 1958 - Extract from "Introduction", in The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History. Background on Ibn Khaldun. (3 pgs, 25 Kb)
- Ibn Khaldun 1377 - Extracts from "Foreword" and "Book One", in The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History. A modern definition of history in 1377 CE. (6 pgs, 50 Kb)
- Thursday, Feb. 5: Grand Narratives and Grand Theories
- Notes (39 Kb)Slides (89 Kb)
- Arnold 2000 - Ch. 5, "Journeys of a thousand miles", in History: A Very Short Introduction. Explaining: giving meaning to events. (14 pgs, 120 Kb)
- Carlyle 1840 - Extract from On Heroes, Hero-worship, and the Heroic in History. The great man theory. (1 pg, 8 Kb)
- Spencer 1873 - Extract from The Study of Sociology. Social evolution, in opposition to the great man theory. (3 pgs, 15 Kb)
- Russell 1934 - Extract from Freedom and Organization, 1814-1914. Brief summary of materialism and dialectical materialism, with quotations from Engels. (3 pgs, 39 Kb)
- Geyl and Toynbee 1948 - Extract from Can We Know the Pattern of the Past? - A Debate. Geyl summarizes Toynbee's challenge and response theory in order to attack it. (3 pgs, 25 Kb)
- Tuesday, Feb. 10: Grand Narrative and big questions in Guns, Germs, and Steel, and revised course format (Actually Thurs, Feb 19)
- Notes (30 Kb)Slides (724 Kb)
- Diamond 1999 - Preface, "Why is World History Like an Onion?", in Guns, Germs, and Steel. Setting up for some big questions. (3 pgs, 31 Kb)
- Diamond 1999 - Prologue, "Yali's Question", in Guns, Germs, and Steel. Asking some big questions. (20 pgs, 124 Kb)
- Thursday, Feb. 12: Grand Theory and exemplary cases in Guns, Germs, and Steel (Actually Feb 19 & 26)
- Notes (30 Kb)Slides (2.9 Mb)
- Diamond 1999 - Epilogue, "The future of human history as a science", in Guns, Germs, and Steel. Answering some big questions with environmental determinism. (21 pgs, 147 Kb)
- Diamond 1999 - Chapter 2, "A natural experiment of history", in Guns, Germs, and Steel. Polynesian prehistory supports environmental determinism. (14 pgs, 208 Kb)
- Diamond 1999 - Chapter 3, "Collision at Cajamarca", in Guns, Germs, and Steel. Proximate causes of the conquest of Peru. (15 pgs, 94 Kb)
- Tuesday, Feb. 17: Peopling the world with foragers (Actually Mar 3)
- Notes (22 Kb)Slides (1.4 Mb)
- Diamond 1999 - Chapter 1, "Up to the starting line", in Guns, Germs, and Steel. Humans up to 11,000 BCE (18 pgs, 217 Kb)
- Please review the previous readings from Guns, Germs, and Steel
- Please bring Guns, Germs, and Steel or printed online versions to class, with your notes, for an in-class exercise
- Instuctions for Assignment 2: Abstracting an argument Due Tues. Feb 24. (1 pg, 7 Kb)
- Thursday, Feb. 19: The importance and spread of farming (Actually Mar 3 & 5)
- Notes (40 Kb)Slides (220 Kb)
- Diamond 1999 - Chapter 4, "Farmer power", in Guns, Germs, and Steel. Why farming matters. (8 pgs)
- Diamond 1999 - Chapter 5, "History's haves and have-nots", in Guns, Germs, and Steel. (11 pgs)
- Concepts related to foraging and society (1 pg, 8 Kb)
- Concepts related to agriculture and society (2 pgs, 12 Kb)
- Tuesday, Feb. 24: Library session in Schulz 2050: How to do historical research (Rick Robison)
- NOTE: Today's class meets in the library, in room 2050!
- Due in class: Assignment 2: Outline and abstract
- Andrea & Overfield 1994 - "Prologue: How to Read the Evidence", in The Human Record, Sources of Global History. Practical instructions for using primary sources, with an example. (16 pgs, 302 Kb)
- Marius 1999 - "The Essay in History", in A Short Guide to Writing About History. Practical instructions for writing a history paper. (17 pgs, 111 Kb)
- Thursday, Feb. 26: How and why agriculture spread
- Notes (24 Kb)Slides (998 Kb)
- Diamond 1999 - Chapter 6, "To farm or not to farm", in Guns, Germs, and Steel. (10 pgs)
- Diamond 1999 - Chapter 7, "How to make an almond", in Guns, Germs, and Steel. (17 pgs)
- Diamond 1999 - Chapter 8, "Apples or Indians", in Guns, Germs, and Steel. (26 pgs)
- Tuesday, Mar. 3: Approaching the Neolithic: Life got complicated at Jericho, Çatal Hüyük, and Göbekli Tepe
- Gowlett 1984 - "Jericho" in Ascent to Civilization (2 pgs, 1.2 Mb)
- Balter 1998 - The First Cities: Why Settle Down? The Mystery of Communities, Science 282(5393):1442 (7 pgs, 43 Kb)
- Scham 2008 - The World's First Temple: Göbekli Tepe: Short news story with the basics and some good photos.
- Curry 2008 - Seeking the Roots of Ritual: Göbekli Tepe: A more complete presentation. (3 pgs, 353 Kb)
- Optional online: This Old House: Ian Hodder describes Çatal Hüyük and current thinking about it.
- Thursday, Mar. 5: Domesticating animals
- Diamond 1999 - Chapter 9, "Zebras, unhappy marriages, and the Anna Karenina principle", in Guns, Germs, and Steel. (19 pgs)
- Diamond 1999 - Chapter 10, "Spacious skies and tilted axes", in Guns, Germs, and Steel. (16 pgs)
- Diamond 1999 - Chapter 11, "Lethal gift of livestock", in Guns, Germs, and Steel. (20 pgs)
- Tuesday, Mar. 10: Catch-up: Food production
- Class discussion will cover readings assigned for February 26.
- No additional readings assigned for today; no quiz.
- Thursday, Mar. 12: Approaching the Neolithic: Life got complicated at Jericho, Çatal Hüyük, and Göbekli Tepe
- Class discussion will cover readings assigned for March 3. The quiz will cover the readings listed below.
- Notes (59 Kb)Slides (7.8 Mb)
- Diamond 1999 - Chapter 14, "From egalitarianism to kleptocracy", in Guns, Germs, and Steel. (28 pgs)
- Concepts related to social and economic organization (3 pgs, 21 Kb)
- Tuesday, Mar. 17: Catch-up: Early Neolithic and domestication of animals
- Notes (18 Kb)Slides (850 Kb)
- Class discussion will finish readings assigned for March 3 and March 5. The quiz will cover the reading listed below.
- Diamond 1999 - Chapter 12, "Blueprints and borrowed letters", in Guns, Germs, and Steel. (24 pgs)
- Thursday, Mar. 19: Writing, technology, kleptocracy
- Class discussion will cover readings assigned for March 12, 17, and today. The quiz will cover the reading listed below.
- Notes (70 Kb)Slides (737 Kb)
- Diamond 1999 - Chapter 13, "Necessity's mother", in Guns, Germs, and Steel. (26 pgs)
- Tuesday, Mar. 24: Midterm exam (in class)
- Bring a large blue book, and writing (and erasing) implements.
- Thursday, Mar. 26: Catch-up: Diffusion and how society got complex
- Relax after the midterm. No additional reading; no quiz. Class discussion will cover Diamond chapters 12, 13, and 14. Yes, you reviewed these for the midterm, but the ideas are too important to skip over.
- Tuesday, Mar. 31: Cesar Chavez Day: No class
- Appreciate the fruits of Chavez's fight for workers' rights (pun intended)
- Thursday, Apr. 2: Rise of complex society in Mesopotamia and Egypt
- Notes on Mesopotamia (46 Kb)Slides on Mesopotamia (8.2 Mb)
- Notes on Egypt (46 Kb)Slides on Egypt (6.5 Mb)
- Bentley & Ziegler 2008:31-52. Mesopotamia (22 pgs)
- Bentley & Ziegler 2008:59-84. Egypt (26 pgs)
- Tuesday, Apr. 7: Early written sources in Mesopotamia and Egypt
- Notes (22 Kb)Slides (2.0 Mb)
- The introduction (first tablet) of the Epic of Gilgamesh. Presumably oral stories ranging from realistic to supernatural, compiled into a single written epic between 2000-1000 BCE, set roughly 2750-2500 BCE.
- The law code of Hammurabi. Complete text of an early Mesopotamian law code. Scroll up for historical commentary. Written around 1780 BCE.
- Tales from the Westcar papyrus Read through "Djedi the magician". Revealing tales of the Egyptian royal court in the Old Kingdom, written between 2000 and 1800 BCE, set around 2600 BCE.
- Thursday, Apr. 9: Rise of complex society in the Indus region and China
- No classroom discussion, notes, or slides. You are responsible for the readings.
- Bentley & Ziegler 2008:87-93. Indus region (7 pgs)
- Bentley & Ziegler 2008:109-130. China (22 pgs)
- Tuesday, Apr. 14: Spring break: No class
- Get some sun!
- Thursday, Apr. 16: Spring break: No class
- Go for a walk!
- Tuesday, Apr. 21: The Greek Mediterranean world and Herodotus, the first historian
- Notes (20 Kb)Slides (6.7 Mb)
- Bentley & Ziegler 2008:231-240. The Greek Mediterranean world of Herodotus (10 pgs)
- Arnold 2000 - Ch. 2, "From the tails of dolphins to the tower of politics", in History: A Very Short Introduction, pp15-34. (20 pgs)
- Herodotus - Extracts from The Histories King Croesus of Lydia tests the oracles and incites war with King Cyrus of Persia. (5 pgs, 30 Kb)
- Thursday, Apr. 23: The Greek Mediterranean world and Thucydides, political historian
- Notes (15 Kb)Slides (1.6 Mb)
- Bentley & Ziegler 2008:240-255. Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic world (10 pgs)
- Thucydides - Extracts from Book One of The Peloponnesian War Ancient times, approach, and explanations (4 pgs, 26 Kb)
- Thucydides - Extracts from Book Two of The Peloponnesian War Triple-cross at Plataea sparks the war (4 pgs, 25 Kb)
- Tuesday, Apr. 28: The Roman Mediterranean World
- Thursday, Apr. 30: Globalization and collapse in the classical world
- Notes (30 Kb)Slides (3.2 Mb)
- Bentley & Ziegler 2008:287-312. Classical globalization and collapse (26 pgs)
- Tuesday, May. 5: A different literate world: Central America
- Notes (58 Kb)Slides (9.3 Mb)
- Bentley & Ziegler 2008:133-146. Olmecs, Mayas, Teotihuacanos (14 pgs)
- Bentley & Ziegler 2008:539-548. Toltecs and Mexicas (Aztecs) (10 pgs)
- Carrasco 2004 - Translation of limestone panels in the Temple of the Inscriptions at Palenque. Click "magnify" below the images for a better look, then scroll down to the translation. It describes rituals performed by Pacal (603-683 CE), King of Palenque, at the end of each of the 20-year "k'atun" calendar periods during his reign. "Stone-seating" fell at the end of each 360-day calendar year. "Bundles" are offerings.
- Thursday, May. 7: Islam
- Tuesday, May. 12: Travelers, connections, crises, and changes
- Notes (15 Kb)Slides (2.9 Mb)
- Bentley & Ziegler 2008:565-591. Trade, travel, plague, and renaissance. (27 pgs)
- The following items are entertaining, and shorter than the page numbers suggest.
- Ibn Battutah 1300 - Extracts from The Travels of Ibn Battutah Travelling in the dar al-Islam in 1325 CE. Don't sweat the placenames. Read through the section "A dream of travels to come".
- Oviedo1535 - Extract from Book II, Chapter 2 of General and natural history of the Indies. Oviedo rejects a popular story about Columbus getting information from a dying sailor. (3 pgs, 17 Kb)
- Oviedo1535 - Extract from Book II, Chapter 4 of General and natural history of the Indies. Columbus's special techniques of navigation and the political context of his royal patrons. (5 pgs, 26 Kb)
- Bartolome de las Casas - Extracts from digest of Columbus's 1492 logbook. Columbus's account of the political context of his journey, the first days of the trip, and the day they reach land. (6 pgs, 39 Kb)
- Columbus 1493 - Columbus - Letter of Columbus to various persons describing the results of his first voyage and written on the return journey. Columbus's own account of his discoveries. Different from the letter in an earlier reading. (9 pgs, 43 Kb)
- Thursday, May. 14: Catch-up, review, evaluations, preparation for the test
- Notes (20 Kb)
- Arnold 2000 - Ch. 7, "The telling of truth", in History: A Very Short Introduction, pp110-123. Truth, uncertainty, and the reasons for history. (14 pgs)
Final exam week:
- Thursday, May 21: Final exam
- 2:00-3:50, in our usual rooom
- Due: Assignment 4: Writing an historical argument
Scroll down if you don't see what you need. Click on the Handout that you want. If you have been here before, press your browser's "reload" button to see the latest additions.
- Old syllabus - no longer valid Foundations of World Civilization, History 201.1, Spring 2009 (24 Kb)
- What plagiarism is and how to avoid it (6 Kb)
- Instuctions for Assignment 1: Active reading (8 Kb)
- Instuctions for Assignment 2: Abstracting an argument Due Tues. Feb 24. (7 Kb)
- Revised syllabus for Hist 201, Spring '09 with a new grading scheme that includes reading quizzes at most class sessions (24 Kb)
- Instuctions for Assignment 3: Using a primary source Due Tues. Apr. 7 (12 Kb)
- Study guide for the midterm exam Test in class on Tues. Mar. 24 (15 Kb)
- Instuctions for Assignment 4: Writing an historical argument Due at final exam, Thurs. May 21 (14 Kb)
- Study guide for the final exam Thursday May 21 2:00-3:50 (18 Kb)
- Blank map of the Old World to mark places on (782 Kb)
- Blank map of the Mediterranean to mark places on (491 Kb)
- Blank map of Mesoamerica to mark places on (283 Kb)
Links to useful history sites
Interesting, often illustrated, from easy to challenging... check these out. Many of these make excellent study aids for preparing for tests. All are optional unless they are shown as assigned readings in the reading schedule. If you have been here before, press your browser's "reload" button to see the latest additions.
- Interactive timelines of world history. Click around for more periods, details, etc. Just get an idea of what is there and start exploring. Superficial but excellent for a broad, comparative view.
- Timeline Index. Links to many different timelines of different periods and subjects. Variable quality, so use your judgement.
...Primary sources, full text online
- Internet Ancient History Sourcebook. Huge collection of primary and secondary sources on many regions, periods, and subjects, ranging in quality from excellent primary source translations to amateurish website links. Very rich, but use your judgement.
- City College of New York World Civilizations Reader. A collection of mostly primary sources on many regions, periods, and themes.
- Reading About the World, volume 1. A collection of primary sources on various regions and periods before about 1500 from a class reader. A sampling are available online.
- Translations of Akkadian Cuneiform Texts. Some are very short. Many have scholarly commentary.
- ETCSL: Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature. Raw translations of Sumerian cuneiform texts. Many have gaps and untranslatable words. Hard to read, but more exactly faithful to the original texts than more edited translations.
- ETANA: Electronic Tools and Near Eastern Archives. Primary and secondary sources on Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, Anatolia, etc.
- Annotated Ancient Egyptian Texts. Excellent collection of translations with explanatory notes in the margins.
- Internet Medieval History Sourcebook. A big collection of primary sources. Very rich. Well organized by subject matter.
- Internet East Asian History Sourcebook. A large collection of primary and secondary sources. Especially strong for China and Japan. Well organized by subject matter.
- Internet Indian History Sourcebook. A big collection of primary sources. Heavy on religious texts, but scroll down for social and political themes. Well organized by subject matter.
- Internet Islamic History Sourcebook. A big collection of primary and secondary sources. Well organized by subject matter.
- Internet Jewish History Sourcebook. A big collection of primary and secondary sources. Well organized by subject matter.
- Online Guide to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans* History. A big collection of primary sources. Well organized by subject matter.
- Internet Women's History Sourcebook. A big collection of primary and secondary sources. Well organized by subject matter.
- Project Gutenberg. Full text of many classic works and historical sources. Often from old publications, so interpretations, dates of ancient documents, etc. may have been corrected by more recent scholarship. While most texts here were written after 1500 CE, it is still worth searching or browsing by author, region, period, etc.
...Citation format guides and examples
- SSU library's guide to Chicago/Turabian citation style. How to properly cite sources in history papers. Looks busy, but give it a chance. Most of what you need to know is right there.
- Diana Hacker's Research and Documentation pages for History. How to find and properly cite sources in history papers. Click the "Finding sources" or "Documenting sources" buttons on the left.
Foundations of World Civilization by Bruce Owen
History 201.1, Sonoma State University, Spring 2009
Copyright (c) 2009, Bruce Owen. All rights reserved.
Please send comments on content and presentation to email@example.com.
URL of this document: http://bruceowen.com/foundworld/h201-09s.htm
Revised: 18 May 2009