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World Trade Routes – the Ancient World Part I: Early Civilizations

World history is as much about the links between civilizations as the civilizations themselves, and fundamental to these links is the worldwide trading system that has developed over the course of history. These have not only been conduits of trade goods, but also of ideas, religions, technologies and invasions.

The Origins and Spread of Farming: 10000 BCE to 3000 BCE  (PowerPoint unit)

This PowerPoint presentation shows the spread of farming around the world from 10000 BCE to 3000 BCE. A sequence of maps covers farming’s early development from its origins to the emergence of the first ancient civilizations.

Early Civilizations: 4000 to 500 BCE

A panoramic overview of the ancient civilizations of the Eastern Hemisphere up to 500 BC. Shows clearly when and where they flourished, and how they related to each other. The civilizations covered include the Sumerians, Egyptians, Indus Valley, Babylonian, early Chinese, Minoans, Phoenicians, Israelite, Assyrians, Persians, Indians, Greeks and Etruscans.

Ancient Middle East (short version)

A survey of ancient Middle Eastern history from c. 3500 BCE through to 500 BCE. It covers such topics as the rise of the Sumerian and Egyptian civilizations, the first empire in world history, King Hammurabi, the Israelites, and the rise and fall of the great empires of Assyria, Babylon and Persia.

Ancient Middle East I: The Bronze Age

Covers the emergence of the earliest civilizations in world history, in Mesopotamia and Egypt; the empire in history; and the great powers of the late Bronze Age. Also references the story of Abraham and his descendants, placing them in their broad historical and geographic context.

Ancient Middle East II: Age of Empires

Covers the Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian and Persian empires. Also included are the Phoenicians, the Lydians, and the Medes; and makes special reference throughout to the fortunes of the Israelites, from their settlement in the promised land to their restoration from exile by the Persians.

World Trade Routes: the Ancient World Part II: the Classical Era, 500 BCE to 500 CE

Looks at the growth of trade routes in the Classical period of world history (500 BCE to 500 CE). These include the rise of such historic trade arteries as the Silk Road and Indian Ocean routes.

Classical India: 500 BCE to 500 CE

Show the spread of Aryan civilization in the Indian subcontinent, from the time of the Buddha to that of the Gupta Empire. It covers Alexander the Great’s invasion, the Mauryan Empire, the Indo-Greek kingdoms, the huge Saka and Kushana empires, and the rise of the Gupta.

Classical China: 500 BCE to 500 CE

Covers the history of ancient China in these key centuries, from the time of the philosopher Confucius to the post-Han dynasty period. Takes in the rise and fall of the first imperial dynasty of China, the Qin; and the Han dynasty, which laid the basis for all later imperial rule in the huge country.

Greece and Persia: 500 BCE to 100 CE

Looks at the region of western Eurasia (the Middle East, Europe and North Africa) in the millennium from 500 BC to 500 AD. Includes the Persians Wars (though not yet in any military detail); the conquests of Alexander the Great; the hybrid kingdoms of the Hellenistic world; and the rise of Rome.

The Persian Wars, 499 BCE to 478 BCE (PowerPoint unit)

Focusses on the short period of intense warfare between the Persian Empire and the Greek city-states at the start of the Fifth century BCE. The famous battles of Marathon, Thermopylae and Salamis are set in their contexts.

The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire: 500 BCE to 500 CE

Follows the fortunes of Rome as it faces down threats to its very existence in its early days and goes on to dominate the Mediterranean world; then the peace and stability of the Pax Romana; and its long decline. Closes with the fall of the empire in the west.

Roman Government (PowerPoint unit)

Looks at the evolution of Roman government from the early days of Rome under the kings, right through the Republic and on into the early Empire.

World Trade Routes in the Medieval Era, 500 CE to 1453 CE

A sequence of maps looks at the development of trade routes in the Medieval Era of world history, and their impact as conduits of trans-regional influences.

Medieval China: from Sui to Song, 500 to 1450

Includes the reunification of China under the short-lived Sui dynasty, the triumph and tragedy of the Tang, the dynamism of the Song, the Mongols, and the early Ming dynasty. Sows how these centuries saw China’s identity as a Confucian, bureaucratic state confirmed and refined.

Medieval India: from Harsha to Babur, 500 to 1450

Looks at South Asian history between the fall of the Gupta dynasty and the rise of the Moghul dynasty. It shows the conquests of Harsha Vedanta, the rise of central and southern India, and the Delhi Sultanate. Also follows the decline of Buddhism, the rise of Hinduism and the intrusion of Islam.

Europe in the Middle Ages (PowerPoint unit)

This presentation offers a birds-eye view of a thousand years of European history (c. 400-1450). For more in-depth coverage, please go to the two titles below.

Medieval Europe I, 400 to 1000

Covers the period from the time of the Roman Empire to the formation of feudal Europe. Includes the fortunes of the Byzantine Empire, the spread of Christianity, the rise of the papacy as a secular power, and the emergence of feudalism.

Medieval Europe II, 1000 to 1450

Shows Europe in the high middle ages, covering such episodes as the decline of the Byzantine empire, Crusades, the Holy Roman Empire, the reconquista of Spain, the Mongol conquest of Russia and much more.

World Trade Routes in the Early Modern Era, 1453 to 1789

A sequence of maps looks at the development of trade routes in the Early Modern Era of world history, a time when Europeans pioneer maritime trade, linking all the oceans together.

China: the Late Dynasties: 1450 to 1760

Looks at the last two dynasties of imperial China, the Ming and Qing. It covers the period in the country’s long history when imperial China reached its magnificent height under the Qing – which undoubtedly ruled over one of the truly great empires in world history. The decline of Qing China is dealt with in the next section.

India: the Mughal era: 1450 to 1750

Covers the early modern period in the history of the Indian subcontinent. This is dominated by the  rise and fall of India’s most famous empire, that of the Mughals. The unit also covers the beginnings of the European presence in the region.

Early Modern Europe: 1450 to 1750

Traces the transformation of Europe from the early Renaissance, through the Reformation, the Counter-Reformation, the rise of the nation-state, the Wars of religion, the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment.

India: the British Raj: 1750 to 1900

Looks at Indian history, from the rise of British rule in India to the height of the “British Raj” .  It examines the nature of that rule and its impact on Indian society.

Modern China: the Later Imperial Period: 1760-1901 CE

Covers the Opium Wars, the Taiping rebellion, The Self-Strengthening Movement, the Sino-Japanese War and the Boxer rebellion.

Modern Europe: 1750-1900 CE

Takes in the French Revolution and Napoleon, the Industrial Revolution, the 1848 revolutions, and the unification of Italy and Germany.

Coming shortly:

The Islamic Caliphate

The Mongol Empire

The Ottoman Empire

The Expansion of Europe