Table of Contents for Western Civilization


Western Civilization

Table of Contents


Unit Components Explained


Readings: Digital essays of 8-10 pages each, reinforced with audio, video, animation, and primary sources. (Includes an adapted version edited to an 11th grade reading level.) Topical essays are 8-10 page digital essay on a specific topic in the author’s speciality.

Primary Sources: Primary source or data driven problem. Includes a context-building background section, some with video from the author, and an analytical activity (optional for grading purposes) meant to engage students, as well as polls and quiz polls.

Items in red print indicate coming in Fall 2019.

Other items on these lists are reviewable on the site. Polls and quiz polls on activities are dynamic and can be seen on the secure live site.


Overview of Western Civilization


Western Civilization 1: Prehistory to 1500 CE

Unit 1: Prehistory and the Formation of Civilization, 40,000 BCE – 4000 BCE

  • Readings
      • Reading: Beginnings
      • Reading: Migration, Farming and Settling
      • Reading: Ancient Cultural Hearths
      • Reading: Early Civilizations
  • Primary Sources
      • Activity: Archaic Human Species
      • Activity: What does an undeciphered writing system mean to the writing of history?


  • Video Library 

Unit 2: The Preclassic West, 4000 BCE – 1000 BCE

  • Readings
      • Reading: States and Empires in Mesopotamia, by Craig Patton, Alabama A&M
      • Reading: Brief History of the Ancient Egyptian Dynasties
      • Reading: Giza: The Mountains of Re (Topical)
  • Primary Sources
      • Activity: The Sumerians and the Lament of Ur
      • Activity: Epic of Gilgamesh
      • Activity: Code of Hammurabi
      • Activity: Advice from a Royal Scribe to his Apprentice
  • Video Library 

Unit 3: Formation of the Western Mediterranean to the Classic Era, 3000 BCE – 100 CE

  • Readings
      • Reading: The People
      • Reading: The City and City-State
      • Reading: Economic Structures
  • Primary Sources
      • Activity: Frescoes in Minoan Palaces
      • Activity: Greeks and Phoenicians: Does trading power generate cultural power?
  • Video Library

Unit 4: Ancient Persia and Classic Greece, 3000 BCE – 300 BCE

  • Readings
      • Reading: Ancient Persia
      • Reading: Greece in the Pre-Classic Age, 3000-450 BCE
      • Reading: Brief History of the Greco-Persian War
      • Reading: Classic Greece
      • Reading: History of the Peloponnesian War
      • Reading: Alexander the Great and Macedon, by Jeanne Reames, University of Omaha
  • Primary Sources
      • Activity: The Cyrus Cylinder
      • Activity: The Odyssey by Homer
      • Activity: Funeral Oration of Pericles
      • Activity: The Ptolemaic Dynasty of Egypt, 305-30 BCE
  • Video Library

Unit 5: Rome, 200 BCE – 200 CE

  • Readings
      • Reading: Republican Rome
      • Reading: Crisis and Fall of the Roman Republic
      • Reading: Imperial Rome
      • Reading: Spear, Sword, and Steed (Topical Essay on Classic Age Warfare)
  • Primary Sources
      • Activity: Cicero, On Duties
      • Activity: The Twelve Tables of Rome
      • Activity: Seneca on Gladiators
      • Activity: The City of Rome: Water In, Wastewater Out
      • Activity: Han and Rome: The Suppression of Religion
  • Video Library

Unit 6: Christianity and Late Antiquity, 200 CE – 800 CE

  • Readings
      • Reading: Ancient Hebrew Civilization
      • Reading: Christianity
      • Reading: Barbarians
      • Reading: Decline or Transformation?
      • Reading: Why the Roman East Did Not Fall (Topical Essay)
  • Primary Sources
      • Activity: The Interpretation of the Conversion of Constantine
      • Activity: What seems to be the critique of women in the early Christian church?
      • Activity: Attila the Hun
      • Activity: Hagia Sophia
      • Activity: Ephesus in Late Antiquity
  • Video Library 

Unit 7: Early Medieval Europe, 800-1200

  • Readings
      • Reading: Charlemagne and the Frankish Empire
      • Reading: Islam in the West
      • Reading: The Age of Reform, 1000-1500
      • Reading: The Crusades (Topical Essay)
  • Primary Sources
      • Activity: The Viking Age
      • Activity: Islamic Cordoba
      • Activity: The Rule of the Franciscans
      • Activity: The Spanish Expulsion of the Jews
      • Activity: The Persecution of the Knights Templar
  • Video Library

Unit 8: Renewal and Crisis in the Medieval West, 1200-1500

  • Readings
      • Reading: The Rise of Towns, Trade and Universities, 1200-1300
      • Reading: The Rise of Muscovy to Peter the Great
      • Reading: Plagues and Prosperity, 1300-1500
      • Reading: The Silk Road (Topical Essay)
      • Reading: Italy and the Medieval Commercial Revolution
  • Primary Sources
      • Activity: Alexander Nevsky and Russian Historiography
      • Activity: The Black Death
      • Activity: Giovanni Villani and the New Chronicles of Florence
  • Video Library

Western Civilizations 2: 1500 to the Present

Unit 9: Renaissance and Reformation, 1450-1650

  • Readings
      • Reading: The Renaissance
      • Reading: Renaissance Art
      • Reading: The Reformation
      • Reading: The Wars of Religion, 1560-1648
  • Primary Sources
      • Activity: Aristocracy and Women in Italy and Japan
      • Activity: How do you think Machiavelli’s ideas apply to world leaders today?
      • Activity: What is the difference between Medieval and Renaissance painting?
      • Activity: Martin Luther and Peasant Violence
  • Video Library 

Unit 10: Early Modern Europe, 1550-1750

  • Readings
      • Reading: The Political Economy of Early Modern Europe
      • Reading: The Idea of Absolutism
      • Reading: Why Cross the Atlantic?
      • Reading: The Maritime Expansion of Early Modern Europe
      • Reading: A Tale of Two Discoveries: Columbus and Vespucci (Topical Essay)
      • Reading: The Scientific Revolution
      • Reading: Intellectual Revolutions and Technological Transfer
  • Primary Sources
      • Activity: How useful were images and perceptions to absolutism?
      • Activity: Louis XIV According to the Duc de Saint Simon
      • Activity: Early Maps of the New World
      • Activity: Isaac Newton and His Prism Experiment
  • Video Library 


Unit 11: Europe and Early Imperialism, 1550-1800

  • Readings
      • Reading: Initial Encounters in the Americas
      • Reading: The West Looks East, Again
      • Reading: Global Travelers, 1400-1800 (Topical Essay)
      • Reading: The African Slave Trade
  • Primary Sources
      • Activity: John White and the Image of the New World
      • Activity: European Views of Native American Women
      • Activity: Cabeza de Vaca
      • Activity: Elizabeth I’s Letter to the Islamic World
      • Activity: Sugar, Slavery and Abolition
      • Activity: Africa and the Atlantic Slave Trade
      • Activity: Revolt Aboard a Slave Ship
  • Video Library


Unit 12: Enlightenment Europe and Nationalism, 1750-1850

  • Readings
      • Reading: The Promises of Enlightenment
      • Reading: Industrialization and the Social Question
      • Reading: The French Revolution
      • Reading: Napoleon Bonaparte
      • Reading: The Rise of Nations
      • Reading: The Atlantic Revolutions: A Comparison
      • Reading: Europe, 1815-1848
  • Primary Sources
      • Activity: Mercantilism, Foreign Trade, and Adam Smith
      • Activity: Child Labor in the Industrial Revolution
      • Activity: Declarations of the Rights of Men and the Declaration of the Rights of Women
      • Activity: Robespierre and the Justification of The Terror
      • Activity: Napoleon’s Account of His Coup d’Etat
      • Activity: The Depiction of Revolutionary Heroes
      • Activity: Castas Painting
      • Activity: Alexis de Tocqueville and the Right of Association
      • Activity: Images of the Revolution of 1848
  • Video Library 


Unit 13: New Age of Imperialism, 1850-1914

  • Readings
      • Reading: The Age of Imperialism, 1870-1914 (Topical Essay)
      • Reading: The British in India, Topical Essay by Julie Tatlock, Mt. Mary University
      • Reading: Imperial Russia and the Making of a Nation, Topical Essay by Allison Katsev, San Jose State University
      • Reading: The Africa Scramble
  • Primary Sources
      • Activity: The Extent of European Imperialism
      • Activity: The Sepoy Rebellion and Photojournalism
      • Activity: Catherine the Great’s Proposals for a New Law Code
      • Activity: The African Scramble and Public Opinion
      • Activity: How did the African Scramble affect nation-building in Africa?
  • Video Library

Unit 14: Globalization, Crisis and War in the Early 20th Century, 1890-1945

  • Readings
      • Reading: The First Wave of Globalization, 1890s-1914
      • Reading: The Crisis of Meaning: Artistic, Philosophical, and Political
      • Reading: The Spanish Republic and the Spanish Civil War (Topical Essay)
      • Reading: Wars, Mass Violence and Genocide
      • Reading: The Military History of WWI
      • Reading: The History of WWII in its Great Battles
      • SMart: Topical Essay: The Idea of Modernity by Katie Sibley, St. Joseph’s University
  • Primary Sources
      • Activity: Why could the Influenza Epidemic of 1918 be considered the first pandemic?
      • Activity: Vladimir I. Lenin, “What is to be done?” (1902)
      • Activity: The Justification of Total War and World Leaders
      • Activity: Genocide
      • Activity: European and Pacific Theaters of War
      • Activity: WWI Propaganda Posters
      • Activity: The Atomic Bomb and Truman
  • Video Library 


Unit 15: Decolonization and Cold War, 1945-1980

  • Readings
      • Reading: National Liberation/Decolonization
      • Reading: The Making of the Post-War World Order, 1945-63
      • Reading: 1960: Global Institutions and Stability in the Post-War World (Topical Essay)
      • Reading: The Cold War in the Third World and the Non-Aligned Movement, 1949-93
      • Reading: Demise of the Cold War, 1973-present
      • Reading: The Vietnam War and the 1960s, by Matthew Avitable, SUNY Oneonta
  • Primary Sources
      • Activity: The Sykes/Picot Agreement/Balfour Declaration
      • Activity: The Suez Crisis
      • Activity: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and 13 Days of the Cuban Missile Crisis
      • Activity: George Kennan’s Long Telegram
      • Activity: The Idea of the “New World Order”
      • Activity: Chai Ling, Interview at Tiananmen Square
      • Activity: Apartheid and Nelson Mandela – What were the limits of non-violence in South Africa?
  • Video Library 

Unit 16: The Challenge of New Globalism to the West, 1945-present

  • Readings
      • Reading: The Second Wave of Globalization, 1945-75
      • Reading: The Third Wave of Globalization, 1991-present
      • Reading: From the National to the Global Imaginary (Topical Essay)
  • Primary Sources
      • Activity: Global Economic Inequality and Equality
      • Activity: The Growth of Global Tourism
      • Activity: What were the advantages and disadvantages of the internet to organizing the Arab Spring?
  • Video Library 



Writing: Here are examples of writing workshops using activities from Globalyceum.  We can customize any writing prompt you have to these writing workshops.

  • The Twelve Tables of Rome
  • Aristocratic Women in Medieval Japan and Italy
  • Sugar, Slavery, and Abolition
  • Justifications of Total War and World Leaders







Do you have any questions or suggestions? We’ll get back to you, asap.

Book a Demo

Book a Demo

Request a demo of the ultimate Globalyceum learning management platform. To learn how it works, please provide us with a few details.


©2012 - 2022 GLOBALYCEUM       Terms of Use     |     Privacy Policy

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?