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Designed for introductory-level survey courses in the History of Western Civilization.
The West: Encounters & Transformations takes a new approach to telling the story of Western civilization.
Rather than looking at Western civilization only as the history of Europe from ancient times to the present, this groundbreaking book examines the changing nature of the West–how the definition of the West has evolved and has been transformed throughout history. It explores the ways Western civilization has changed as a result of cultural encounters with different beliefs, ideas, technologies, and peoples, both outside the West and within it. Presenting a balanced treatment of political, social, religious, and cultural history, this text emphasizes the ever-shifting boundaries of the geographic and cultural realm of the West.
“What Is the West?”
The Shifting Borders of the West
Changing Identities within the West
Asking the Right Questions
1. The Beginnings of Civilizations, 10,000-2000 BCE.
Defining Civilization, Defining Western Civilization
Mesopotamia: Kingdoms, Empires, and Conquests
Egypt: The Empire of the Nile
Conclusion: Civilization and the West.
2. The International Bronze Age and its Aftermath: Trade, Empire, and Diplomacy, 1600-550 BCE.
The Dynamism of the International Bronze Age
Recovery and Rebuilding: Empires and Societies in the Aftermath of the International Bronze Age
The Civilization of the Hebrews
Conclusion: International Systems, Ancient Empires, and the Roots of Western Civilization.
3. Persians, Hebrews, and Greeks: The Foundations of Western Culture, 1100-336 BCE.
Greece Rebuilds, 1100–479 b.c.e
The Greek Encounter with the Persian Empire
The Classical Age of Greece, 479–336 b.c.e.
Conclusion: Classical Foundations of the West.
4. Hellenistic Civilization
The Impact of Alexander the Great
Hellenism in the East and West
Hellenistic Society and Culture
Hellenistic Philosophy and Science
Conclusion: Defining the West in the Hellenistic Age
5. The Roman Republic
The Nature of the Roman Republic
Roman Territorial Expansion
The Culture of the Roman Republic
Social Life in Republican Rome
The End of the Roman Republic
Conclusion: The Roman Republic and the West
6. Enclosing the West: The Early Roman Empire and Its Neighbors: 31 BCE-235 CE.
The Imperial Center
Life in the Roman Provinces: Assimilation, Resistance and Romanization
The Frontier and Beyond
Society and Culture in an Imperial Age
Conclusion: Rome Shapes the West.
7. Late Antiquity: The Age of New Boundaries, 250-600.
Crisis and Recovery in the Third Century.
Christianizing the Empire.
New Christian Communities and Identities.
The Break-Up of the Roman Empire.
Conclusion: The Age of New Boundaries.
8. Medieval Empires and Borderlands: Byzantium and Islam.
Byzantium: The Survival of the Roman Empire.
The New World of Islam.
Conclusion: Three Cultural Realms.
9. Medieval Empires and Borderlands: The Latin West
The Birth of Latin Christendom
Invasions and Recovery in the Latin West
The West in the East: The Crusades
Conclusion: An Emerging Unity in the Latin West
10. Medieval Civilization: The Rise of Western Europe
Two Worlds: Manors and Cities
The Consolidation of Roman Catholicism
Strengthening the Center of the West
Medieval Culture: The Search for Understanding
Conclusion: Asserting Western Culture
11. The Medieval West in Crisis
A Time of Death
A Cold Wind from the East
Economic Depression and Social Turmoil
An Age of Warfare
A Troubled Church and the Demand for Religious Comfort
The Culture of Loss
Conclusion: Looking Inward
12. The Italian Renaissance and Beyond: The Politics of Culture
The Cradle of the Renaissance: The Italian City-States
The Influence of Ancient Culture
The Early Modern European State System
Conclusion: The Politics of Culture
13. The West and the World: The Significance of Global Encounters, 1450-1650.
Europeans in Africa
Europeans in the Americas
Europeans in Asia
The Beginnings of the Global System
Conclusion: The Significance of the Global Encounters
14. The Reformation of Religion
Causes of the Reformation
The Lutheran Reformation
The Diversity of Protestantism
The Catholic Reformation
Conclusion: Competing Understandings
15. The Age of Confessional Division
The Peoples of Early Modern Europe
Disciplining the People
The Confessional States
States and Confessions in Eastern Europe
Conclusion: The Divisions of the West
16. Absolutism and State-Building in Europe, 1618-1715
The Nature of Absolutism.
The Absolutist State in France and Spain.
Absolutism and State Building in Central and Eastern Europe.
Resistance to Absolutism in England and the Dutch Republic
Conclusion: The Western State in the Age of Absolutism
17. The Scientific Revolution
The Discoveries and Achievements of the Scientific Revolution
The Search for Scientific Knowledge
The Causes of the Scientific Revolution
The Intellectual Effects of the Scientific Revolution
Humans and the Natural World
Conclusion: Science and Western Culture