Schedule of Readings, Assignments, and Topics                                                        Instructions for Papers


Required Texts                                                    Course Requirements                      General Policies


History 1113                                                 Fall 2014

Early World Civilization: Prehistory-1400


Sections 13463 & 13056: Conwill Hall 108; TTh, 9:30-10:45A, 11A-12:15P

Instructor: Doug Catterall
Office: 634 South Shepler Tower


Blackboard Portal:

Web Syllabus:


Office Hours: TTh 1-2, 3:15-4:15P; W 10A-12P, 1-4P; F 9:30-10:30A

work telephone: 581-2949

Catalog Description:

HIST 1113 - Early World Civilization

Survey of the major civilizations of the world from the earliest times to 1400. Lecture 3 hours. 
3.000 Credit hours 
3.000 Lecture hours 
0.000 Lab hours 

Goals and Approach:

As its title suggests, the purpose of this course is to give you a broad background in world historical events that unfolded from the emergence of human beings as a species to the late 14th century, the era in which human societies began to link the globe together using the world's oceans. I intend the course to familiarize you with the big picture while at the same time giving you the opportunity to look at some societies in depth.


Obviously with a task so large at hand and only one semester to work with, we will need some organizing principles and main themes to guide us. The most central concept in this course is that of culture. Rather than nations or peoples (though we will use these terms as well), this course emphasizes thinking about societies in terms of what people at all levels of all societies have done and do every day to get on. Thus while we must not and cannot ignore events, we will look at events in the context of a culture's development, rather than simply studying the events for their own sake. To understand past cultures in this course we will do two things: 1) look at how they developed practices and institutions to sustain themselves (traditions) and 2) examine their response to problems and their relationships with other cultures and peoples (i.e. their place in the world). Though we will quite literally cover the world in this term, we will give most of our attention to the places where most of the world's peoples were interacting: Eurasia and Africa.


In addition to learning about past societies and how they worked, the purpose of this course is also to teach you some skills that historians (and many who are not historians such as lawyers, doctors, and computer scientists) use all the time: critical thinking and critical reading; writing and effective oral communication; and interpretation.

Finally, the course services this crucial General Education goal in the university curriculum:

Common Syllabus Statement for Assessment of General Education Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):

Cameron University assesses student learning at several levels: general education, program, and classroom. The goal of these assessment activities is to improve student learning. As a student in this general education course, you will participate in various assessment activities. Cameron University General Education Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) can be found at:

While this class may reinforce multiple SLOs listed above, for purposes of general education assessment this course will assess:

The student will demonstrate knowledge of similarities and differences among cultures.

…and it will introduce History Majors and Social Studies Education Majors to skills associated with these learning outcomes:

1.      Students will recall, appraise, and apply the explanatory value of factual knowledge related to:
U.S. History
European History
World Histor

2.      Students will analyze historical texts for meaning.

3.      Students will construct and defend a sustained and coherent argument based on both primary and secondary sources.


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Course Materials:

Textbook & Reader:

Robert E. Strayer, Ways of the World: A Brief Global History, vol. 1, To 1500 (New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2012) [Required]; ISBN: 9780312487041 for book alone and ISBN: 9781457645082 for book with complimentary atlas.

World History in Documents: A Comparative Reader, second edition, edited by Peter Stearns (New York: NYU Press, 2008)
[Required]; ISBN: 9780814740484

Primary Sources and Other Materials:

Stewart Gordon, When Asia was the World: Traveling Merchants, Scholars, Warriors, and Monks Who Created the "Riches of the East" (Philadelphia, PA: Da Capo Press, 2008) [Required]; ISBN: 9780306817397


Online secondary and primary sources linked to the online syllabus that will be necessary for the reaction papers or other class activities [Required]

All of the above readings will be required for the course and (with the exception of the online supplemental readings) are available at the CU bookstore or online.


No editions others than those listed above by ISBN # will allow you to succeed optimally in the course and, needless to say, purchasing none or only some of these books will almost guarantee that you cannot do well.


On-line Reference Books and Helpful Resources: If you have questions that the readings, lectures, and class activities do not answer I recommend using the online resources you can access by clicking on the hypertext in this sentence.


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Participation (100 points):


a. Discussion Days (100 points): Participation in discussion is required.  I will gauge your discussion grade by your performance on particular days indicated with a *** in the schedule of assignments and readings.  On these days you can earn up to 10 points.


b. Base Points: Each of you starts with 20 points' worth of participation credit.  This is equivalent to missing two discussion days.  Thus, if you have out-of-class activities, these points will allow you to miss a few days of discussion without hurting your participation mark.


c. Credit for Participation: A perfect score in participation is 100 points, meaning that an A requires 90 points, a B 80 points, a C 70 points, a D 60 points, with anything below that an F.


Papers (200 points): You will have to write 4 preparatory papers and 1 in-class source paper in this course, each of which will be based on one or more primary sources or documents, with the preparatory papers training you to write the in-class source paper that you will all have to write at the end of the term.


a. Preparatory Papers (50 points): There will be 4 preparatory papers of 300 words in length that prepare you for the in-class source paper you will write later this term.  Each paper will emphasize the skills you need for the in-class source paper.  Each paper is worth 25 points and the lowest 2 scores will be dropped.  Word limits for these exercises will be strictly imposed and penalties applied for exceeding or not meeting these limits.  In addition, all preparatory papers are to be typed in Times New Roman font at 12-pt. pitch and all papers are to be completely in your own words unless otherwise specifically indicated.  All preparatory papers must be submitted via the appropriate portal in the Paper Submission Portals folder in the Assignments section of the class Blackboard module.


b. In-Class Source Paper (150 Points): On November 25th you will write an in-class source paper using selections that I assign from World History in Documents.  This essay will prepare you for a similar essay that will appear on the final examination.  There WILL BE NO MAKE-UPS for this essay and I will accept nothing short of a dire medical emergency with valid documentation as a reason for scheduling it later than the date set in the syllabus.  You may, however, take the essay early if you wish, but make sure that you see me about this to make the proper arrangements:


In-Class Source Paper: (follow the instructions for paper 4e): The Intercultural Zones of Eurasia.


Quizzes and Final Examination (300 points):

a. Quizzes (120 points):  There will be 3 online quizzes that you will take via the course's Blackboard module that are closed notes, closed book, and during which you may not consult any other websites, each of which is worth 60 points. The quizzes, which will entail analytical thinking and writing, will prepare you for the final examination.  I will drop the lowest of your three quiz scores and you will be allowed two attempts on each quiz, with the highest of those two scores being counted.  You will be automatically enrolled in the Blackboard module for the course, which you can access as you would other Blackboard-based courses.  For those unfamiliar with how to access Blackboard see the following web-page:

b. Final Examination (180 points):
There will be a comprehensive final examination consisting of short-answer and essay components.  Details on the final examination will be made available in the Assignments section of the course Blackboard module in a timely fashion.


Grading Standards: General guidelines for all written work (including the source-based papers listed above) are as follows:


1) Papers are to be written in clear and understandable English.
2) Papers must address the question set or the analytical tasks assigned.
3) When appropriate, papers should have a main point that is clearly expressed.

A papers will meet all of these criteria in a manner that shows mastery of the material covered.
B papers will meet all of these criteria in a manner that shows mastery of the material covered across two of the above grading criteria.
C papers will meet all of these criteria and may show mastery of the material covered in one of the above grading criteria.
D papers will fail to meet at least one of the above criteria in a fundamental way.
F papers will fail to  meet two or more of the above criteria.

Guidelines specific to a given writing assignment or examination are available in the on-line descriptions/review sheets of the assignments and examinations.

Grading Breakdown:

Course Component

Component Point Value







Final Examination


Total of All Categories


Calculation of your mark: In this course 600 points is a perfect score.  Thus an A requires a minimum of 540 points, a B at least 480 points, a C at least 420 points, a D at least 360 points.  Anyone earning less than 360 points fails the course and earns a mark of F.  PLEASE NOTE: I WILL NOT DISCUSS MARKS WITH STUDENTS ONCE REGULAR CLASSES HAVE ENDED UNTIL GRADES HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED.

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General Policies:

Classroom Environment: Talking to your classmates or others outside the context of classroom activities is rude and will not be tolerated.  Reading outside materials, listening to music, taking telephone calls or engaging with social media on your cell-phone, tablet or computer, and similar non-class related activities are equally unacceptable.  Tablets and computers may, however, be used as an aid to your learning in class, and you may make audio recordings of my lectures so long as these are not for sale to a third party.  NO VIDEO RECORDINGS of classroom activities of any sort are permitted as this is an invasion of privacy and severe consequences will result for those violating this quite reasonable rule up to and possibly including expulsion from the course.  I expect all students to be respectful of one another's right to speak and express opinions.  Disagreements and different viewpoints are welcome, but debates should not involve insults.  Finally, food and drink are permitted in class as long as courtesy is observed; e.g. if you haven't quite finished your cup of coffee, do bring it along to class, but turning the classroom into a cafeteria is not permissible.  


Attendance: Regular attendance is crucial to your success in this class.  If you miss class regularly, your grade will suffer.  You will not be as familiar with the course material and, if you miss class on discussion days, you will lose participation points.

All assignments, whether involving reading or writing, for a given day are to be completed before the class meets on that day.  I also recommend that you take notes as you read and during lectures and discussions as this will make studying for the quizzes and writing the papers for the class less of a challenge.

E-mail:  I communicate a lot via e-mail, but I use Blackboard to do so.   You will be automatically enrolled in the course Blackboard module, and all e-mail messages from me will then go to your CU e-mail account.

For those not aware of the basics of accessing student e-mail please read the following: "Students may easily access their CU email through AggieAccess by clicking on the email icon in the upper right corner after login. Please refer to for information about email addresses, usernames and passwords."

Late Preparatory Papers: The following policy applies to all late preparatory papers. All preparatory papers submitted to me at any time on the day that the paper is due will be considered on time. Preparatory papers submitted after that date, no matter what the reason may be, will not be accepted.  Since the papers with the lowest two scores are dropped, however, missing a paper will not, in and of itself, harm your grade.


Missed Quizzes and Examinations:  There will be no make-ups for quizzes.  I will, however, drop your lowest quiz score, so if you happen to miss a quiz, I will only count the scores on the other quizzes that you do take.  Make-ups for the final examination are granted to the student at the instructor's discretion and only with a legitimate (e.g. a medical emergency) and documented reason.


Extra Credit: No extra credit will be offered in this course.


Administrative Withdrawal: This instructor abides by the Cameron University Administrative Withdrawal Policy, which states that "if, during the course of the semester, a student's class average falls below a passing grade due to inadequate attendance" OR "if a student has not attended class for a sufficient period such that thirty percent of the evaluative material for the course has been missed and the drop/add period has expired," the instructor may request that you be administratively withdrawn from the course.


Early Alert: As encouraged by Cameron University, this instructor will use the Early Alert notification system.  Early Alert is a system for identifying students who are having difficulties in a given course.  The goal of the Early Alert system is not to penalize students, but rather to address problems—incomplete work, attendance, test scores, etc.—they may be experiencing. By addressing these issues early on in the semester, the hope is that students will be able to take the necessary steps to improve their standing.  Early Alert notifications will be sent to students as both an e-mail and as a physical letter.


Academic Dishonesty: The following statement encapsulates university policy on academic misconduct: "Each student is expected to engage in all academic pursuits in a manner that is above reproach.  Students are expected to maintain complete honesty and integrity in the academic experiences both in and out of the classroom. Any student found guilty of academic dishonesty¦ will be subject to disciplinary action."  Additional information is provided in the Cameron University Code of Student Conduct at:

Among the most serious offenses a student can commit is plagiarism, which is the representation of the work of another as your own. In all of the writing you do for this course you must make clear to me which ideas in a paper are your own and which come from someone else. This is especially important for any formal essays you write. In such essays you must cite all primary and secondary sources you use in accordance with the proper conventions.  Instructions on the basics of citation may be found under the general guidelines for papers and can and should be consulted before any formal essays come due.  If for some reason you do not choose to examine this page, know that you will not be exempt from following its guidelines.  In cases of plagiarism, the Department of History and Government at CU follows the policy for academic dishonesty in the CU Code of Student Conduct.  Penalties for plagiarism as defined by the Student Code of Conduct include:


a. The student may be required to perform additional academic work/project not required of other students in the course;
b. The student may be required to withdraw from the course with a grade of “W” or “F”;
c. The student’s grade in the course or on the examination or other academic work affected by the dishonesty may be reduced to any extent, including a reduction to failure.


Please heed this warning as I am quite serious about it.

Disability Statement:
As per the Office of Student Development, "It is the policy of Cameron University to accommodate students with disabilities, pursuant to federal and state law.  Students with disabilities who need classroom accommodations must make their requests by contacting the Office of Student Development at (580) 581-2209, North Shepler Room 314."


Website for this office:

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Schedule of Readings, Lecture Topics, and Assignments


List of Topics

Readings, Assignments, and Activities





Prehistory I: The First Humans and the First Human Societies

Read: Ways of the World, 1-26.
Examine: Further Paleolithic Reference Materials for the Interested (optional)**


Prehistory II: Difference in Neolithic Societies and the Role of Geography in the Origins of the First Human Societies***

Read: Ways of the World, 26-57; World History in Documents, 14-24.
Activity: Island-Hopping Through the Millennia (Excellent Prep for Quiz #1)


The Origins of Egyptian and Mesopotamian Societies

Read: Ways of the World, 66-70.


Crime and Punishment: Law and Society in Ancient Babylonia and New Kingdom Egypt

Read: Ways of the World, 57-63.


Crime and Punishment: Law and Society in Ancient Babylonia and New Kingdom Egypt

Read: World History in Documents, 25-31 and an excerpt from the Precepts of Ptah-Hotep

For a recording of someone reciting Hammurabi's Code:


Societies and Resources: the First Inter-State Conflict in the Middle East

Read: Ways of the World, 70-76; Account of the Battle of Megiddo


Writing and Religion in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia***

Read: Ways of the World, 63-66; The following web-site selections:
Egyptian Flood Story (up to chapter II)**; a Primer on Ancient Egyptian Death Practices; and the Changing Role of Osiris:

1) Old Kingdom Developments: based on a selection from the first pyramid texts composed for King Unas (c. 2375-2325 B.C.E.) of the 5th dynasty, which provided assistance to pharaoh in his journey in the afterlife.**
2) Middle Kingdom Developments: Based on selections from the Coffin Texts of the First Intermediate Period and the Middle Kingdom, which saw the rise of the Cult of Osiris and  the introduction of the notion that commoners and pharaohs could achieve eternal life through Osiris.**
3) New Kingdom Developments: Based on a text on the Ba (from an 18th-dynasty [early New Kingdom] mortuary text) and The Negative Confession from the Egyptian Book of the Dead (New Kingdom).**

Herodotus on mummification.                           
Quiz #1 Window Opens at 12:00 a.m.            


Early History to 221 B.C.E.

Read: Ways of the World, 53, 73-85, 99-108.
Pronunciation Guide for Chinese Terms
Turn In:
Preparatory Paper 1


Philosophies of Order and Conduct in Classical China***

Read: Ways of the World, 116-126, 151-158, 167-171; World History in Documents, 36-38, 59-65.
Quiz #1 Window Closes at 12:00 a.m.


Early Aegean Societies

Read: Ways of the World, 87-95; Online Lecture: The Origins of Greek Society.


Sparta compared with Athens

Read: Ways of the World, 163-167, 171-174; Online Lecture: Political Institutions and Social Order in the Greek City-States, c. 1000-400 B.C.E.


Sparta compared with Athens

Read: Ways of the World, 163-167, 171-174; World History in Documents, 48-57; Online Lecture: Political Institutions and Social Order in the Greek City-States, c. 1000-400 B.C.E.


The World of Socrates

Read: Ways of the World, 95-96; Online Lecture: The World of Socrates.


The World of Socrates

Read: World History in Documents, 38-40; Online Lecture: The World of Socrates.

Turn In: Preparatory Paper 2


Caste versus Polis: Belonging in South Asia and the Greek World and the Revolution Against Caste: The Rise of Buddhism***

Read: Ways of the World, 96-99, 111-114, 126-148, 158-162; World History in Documents, 68-78, 90-99 and Greek View of India.


The End of Civic Religion in Greece and Rome: The Path to Jewish and Christians Communities in Imperial Rome

Read: Ways of the World, 108-111 and a source on ONE of the following topics:
Jesus,** Immigrants in Rome, and Stoicism


Integration and Disintegration in the Late Classical Era

Read: Ways of the World, 226-238, 261-275.

Quiz #2 Window Opens at 12:00 a.m.      


Fall Break



The Societies of the Silk Road

Read: Ways of the World, 210-246.

Turn In:  Preparatory Paper 3


The Societies of the Silk Road

Read: When Asia was the World, 57-95.
Quiz #2 Window Closes at 11:59 p.m.

Turn In:  Preparatory Paper 3


Governance in Tang and Song China***

Read: Ways of the World, 248-277; When Asia was the World, 1-20.


The Spread of Islam and the Rise of Christian Societies in Western Europe***

Read: Ways of the World, 281-298, 304-306, 315-332; World History in Documents, 82-89 and Muslim Policy for Non-Muslims

Look At: either Map of Islam in West Africa or Map of Islam in East Africa**


Christian Responses to Islam's Expansion

Read: Ways of the World, 300-302, 304-306, 337-340; World History in Documents, 100-120.

Watch: Selections from Documentary on Islam (time permitting)


Christian Responses to Islam's Expansion

Read: Ways of the World, 300-302, 304-306, 337-340; World History in Documents, 100-120.

Watch: Selections from Documentary on Islam (time permitting)


Urban Revivals and Developments***

Read: Ways of the World, 300-312, 332-337, 340-349, 393-397; When Asia was the World, 21-56

Turn In:  Preparatory Paper 4.


Urban Revivals and Developments***

Read: Ways of the World, 298-300; When Asia was the World, 97-115.
Watch: Selection from Documentary on Islam (time permitting)
Prepare for Role-Playing Game


The Mongols***

Read: Ways of the World, 353-380; World History, 131-141.
Examine (optional): Picture of Ghengis Khan ("YuanEmperorAlbumGenghisPortrait" by unknown / (of the reproduction) National Palace Museum in Taipei - Dschingis Khan und seine Erben (exhibition catalogue), München 2005, p. 304. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons -**; Picture of Kublai Khan ("YuanEmperorAlbumKhubilaiPortrait" by Anige (also known as Araniko) of Nepal, an astronomer, engineer, painter, and confidant of Kublai Khan - Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons -**
Prepare for Role-Playing Game
Watch: Selections from Documentary on Islam (time permitting)
Quiz #3 Window Opens at 12:00 a.m.


Simulation Day

Interactive Game Day: Designing an Intercultural Zone   


Write (In Class): In-Class Comparative Source Paper
Quiz #3 Window Closes at 11:59 p.m.



No Class


Yuan China, Africa, and Europe in the 14th-Century Global System***

Read: Ways of the World, 302-303, 367-369; World History in Documents, 142-153 When Asia was the World, 117-135; An Arab View of Africans.
Examine (optional): A Depiction of Mansa Musa from The Catalan Atlas**




Final Examination

Section 13463: 12.11 @ 8-10A in Conwill 108/Section 13056: 12.9 @ 10:15-12:15P

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Note Well: The Web Syllabus is the Syllabus of Record and is Subject to Change if I Deem this Warranted.

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