Ancient and Medieval History, the go-to database for thorough coverage of world history from prehistory through the mid-1500s, has been expanded with eight new Topic Centers that narrate the stories of the great empires of the past, exploring their rise and fall, spheres of influence, key events, daily life, and significant personalities. The new Topic Centers include more than 500 new images and maps, eight new timelines, more than 400 new search terms, new videos, five new slideshows, and new primary source documents.
Here Are the New Topic Centers You Can Find in Ancient and Medieval History:
Alexander and the Hellenistic Age
Alexander the Great and his armies swept across a vast region, ultimately ruling an empire that stretched across three continents. He revolutionized warfare and extended the influence of classical Greek culture far beyond the borders of Greece and his native Macedonia. Read an excerpt of a speech Alexander gave to his troops, study a map of the route of his conquests, or watch a documentary on the historic impact of his death in 323 BCE.
The empire of the Maya, located in modern Mexico and Central America, influenced civilization there for centuries. They developed the idea of the calendar, detailed a writing system, pioneered new ideas in agriculture, and built towering palaces and temples that still stand today. View a slideshow of the Maya civilization, read an excerpt from the Popol Vuh, or read a book-length introduction to the empires of the Maya.
Mesopotamia, the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, was the site of the world’s first stable civilizations, including Sumer, Babylonia, and Assyria. Mesopotamians built irrigation systems and schools, developed writing and law, and invented the wheel and the sundial. View a slideshow of the Sumerians, read an excerpt from the Babylonian Epic of Creation, or study a timeline of ancient Mesopotamia.
Founding their civilization in the Valley of Mexico, the Aztec conquered the peoples of Mesoamerica, developed far-reaching trade agreements, and built Tenochtitlan, one of the world’s largest cities at the time. Watch a video on Aztec engineering, read an excerpt from the Florentine Codex, or learn how to pronounce Nahuatl terms.
The Inca built the largest pre-Columbian civilization in the Americas. Located along the inhospitable terrain of the Andes Mountains, they built their civilization without the aid of load-bearing animals, iron tools, or the wheel. Watch a video that follows archaeologists as they map the route of the Inca road system or study a map of Inca territorial acquisition by ruler.
Medieval West Africa
The three successive medieval empires of Ghana, Mali, and Songhay flourished in West Africa under powerful leaders, including one, Mansa Musa, whose skills were celebrated in European capitals. View a slideshow on the economy and culture of the three empires; study a map of the trans-Saharan trading networks, or read an excerpt from an oral history of the Mali Empire.
Led by Chinggis Khan and his descendants, the Mongols built an empire that stretched across the largest continuous land ever controlled by one family. The empire stimulated trade, religious tolerance, and new forms of communication. Read an excerpt from William of Rubruck’s account of the Mongols, study a map of the Eurasian trade routes, or read about daily life in the empire.
For almost 1,200 years a succession of Persian dynasties—the Achaemenids, Parthians, and Sassanians—ruled a territory that stretched from Europe to India. Known as skilled administrators and builders, the Persians also developed one of the oldest world religions. Study the concept of satrapy, watch a video on Cyrus the Great, or read Darius’s inscription at the palace in Susa.
What Are Topic Centers?
Ancient and Medieval History’s editorially curated Topic Centers allow users to locate and explore relevant, authoritative content quickly and efficiently. The focused modules feature specially selected, historically accurate content covering different civilizations, eras, and regions. Students conducting research on ancient history will find everything they need to study each civilization, explore related research topics, or prepare a presentation. Educators will appreciate the hand-selected resources available for each topic, including a book-length introduction to the civilization, a selection of full-color maps, a slideshow overview, video documentaries, primary source documents, a timeline, and a list of suggested research topics, each of which leads to a cascade of additional material.
The Topic Centers can be found under “Browse Civilization” in the drop-down menu and on the right rail of the home page. Plus, the “Topic Centers” overview page provides brief summaries of all available Topic Centers, with a filter by type in the right rail. Links to this page can be found under “Browse Resources” on the home page and in the drop-down menu.
What Is Ancient and Medieval History?
Ancient and Medieval History offers thorough coverage of world history from prehistory through the mid-1500s, with a user-friendly interface and award-winning content. Key eras, civilizations, and regions are covered in depth, providing a virtual library of history for educators, students, and researchers of all ages.
Click on the links below for more information about Ancient and Medieval History:
- For more world history content, Modern World History offers a comprehensive look at world history from the mid-15th century to the present. When paired together, Ancient and Medieval History and Modern World History provide ideal resources for world history survey courses such as Global History, AP Modern World History, and college-level introductory history classes. Learn more about Modern World History for K–12 schools and districts, public libraries, and colleges and universities.
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