The West: Encounters & Transformations, Volume A (Chapters 1-11) / Edition 2 available in Hardcover
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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 transformed throughout history.
The West 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.
Table of Contents
“What Is the West?”
The Shifting Borders of the West.
Asking the Right Questions.
1. The Beginnings of Civilizations, 10,000-2000 BCE.
Culture, Agriculture, and Civilization.
The Birth of Civilization in Southwest Asia.
The Emergence of Egyptian Civilizations.
The Transformation of Europe.
Conclusion: Civilization and the West.
Justice in History: Gods and Kings in Mesopotamian Justice.
2. The International Bronze Age and its Aftermath: Trade, Empire, and Diplomacy, 1600-550 BCE.
Civilization of the Nile: The Egyptian Empire.
Civilizations of Anatolia and Mesopotamia: The Hittite, Assyrian, and Babylonian Empires.
The Civilizations of the Mediterranean: The Minoans and the Mycenaeans.
The End of the International Bronze Age and its Aftermath.
Conclusion: The International Bronze Age and the Emergence of the West.
Justice in History: Egyptian Tomb Robbers on Trial.
3. Persians, Hebrews, and Greeks: The Foundations of Western Culture, 1100-336 BCE.
Persia: An Empire on Three Continents.
Hebrew Civilization and Religions.
Greece Rebuilds, 1100-479 BCE.
The Classical Age of Greece, 479-336 BCE.
Conclusions: Classical Foundations of the West.
Justice in History: The Trial and Execution of Socrates the Questioner.
Encounters and Transformations: The Alphabet and Writing in Greece
4. The Hellenistic World and the Roman Republic, 336-31 BCE.
The Warlike Kingdom of Macedon.
Hellenistic Society and Culture.
Rome's Rise to Power.
Beginnings of the Roman Revolution.
Conclusion: Defining the Westin the Hellenistic Age.
Justice in History: A Corrupt Roman Governor Is Convicted of Extortion.
The Human Body in History: Aphrodite of Melos: The Hellenistic Portrayal of the Perfect Female.
5. 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.
Justice in History: The Trial of Jesus in Historical Perspective.
Encounters and Transformations: The Roman City: Agents of Cultural Transformation.
6. 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.
Justice in History: Two Martyrdoms: Culture and Religion on Trial.
The Human Body in History: The Ascetic Alternative.
7. Medieval Empires and Borderlands: Byzantium and Islam.
Byzantium: The Survival of the Roman Empire.
The New World of Islam.
Conclusion: Three Cultural Realms.
Justice in History: “Judgment Belongs to God Alone”: The Battle and Arbitration at Siffin.
Encounters and Transformations: Ships of the Desert: Camels from Morocco to Central Asia.
8. 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.
Justice in History: Revealing the Truth: Oaths and Ordeals.
Encounters and Transformations: Roland the El Cid.
9. 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.
Justice in History: Inquiring into Heresy: The Inquisition of Montaillou.
The Human Body in History: A Tale of Two Marys.
10. 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.
Justice in History: The Trial of Joan of Arc.
The Human Body in History: The Black Death: The Signs of Disease.
11. The Italian Renaissance and Beyond: The Politics of Culture.
The Cradle of the Renaissance: The Italian City-States.
The Influence of Ancient Culture.
Antiquity and Nature in the Arts.
The Early Modern European State System.
Conclusion: The Politics of Culture.
Justice in History: Revenge as Private Justice.
The Human Body in History: The Natural and the Ideal Body in Renaissance Art.