World History: Cultures, States, and Societies to 1500 CE

Cover Image

Chapter One: Prehistory

Chapter Two: River Valleys, Cities, and First States

Chapter Three: The Earliest Empires and Territorial States

Chapter Four: Growing Empires and States in Afro-Eurasia

Chapter Five: The Classical Age

Chapter Six: Connecting East and West (8th Century BCE-3rd Century CE)

Chapter Seven: Imperial Anchors–The Roman Empire and Han Dynasty China (300 BCE-300)

Chapter Eight: Religious and Political Transformations (300-600)

Chapter Nine: New Faiths and New States (600-1000)

Chapter Ten: Emerging Spheres of Influence (1000-1300)

Chapter Eleven: Famine, Plague, War, and Rebirth (1300-1500)


Eugene Berger

Georgia Gwinnett College,

George Israel

Middle Georgia State University,

Charlotte Miller

Middle Georgia State University,

Brian Parkinson

Georgia Southwestern State University,

Andrew Reeves

Middle Georgia State University,


Nadejda Williams

and additional material by

Aaron Gulyas

Mott Community College,


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About this Version of the Text

For this version of World History: Culture, States, and Societies to 1500, I have reorganized the text in order to provide a more globally integrated narrative. Each chapter invites students to compare and contrast developments across regions during a period of time.

This version of the book retains the text of the original but with updated references to chapters. I verified and, if necessary, updated links to online resources. In cases where the exact illustration used in the original version was not available, I have substituted equivalent ones. I also created and edited segues and other “connective tissue” as well to (hopefully) ensure that this version of the book reads as smoothly as the original.

Additional changes include:

  • More concise lists of “key terms” in each chapter
  • Expanded coverage of the Persian Empire
  • Expanded coverage of the end of the Yuan Dynasty
  • Added brief overview of the early Ming Dynasty including the voyages of Zheng He

Work on this adaption was generously sponsored by a grant from Michigan Colleges Online, a project of the Michigan Community College Association.

Aaron Gulyas

Mott Community College