College of Arts and Sciences 
Department of History, Geography, and Political Science

Dr. Theron Corse

Course Description 
Outline & Readings 

COURSE SYLLABUS HIST 1210, World History I 

Semester/Year: Fall 2015 Office Location: Crouch Hall, 107
Semester Hours of Credit: 3 Office Phone: 963-7457
Instructor: Dr. Theron Corse Alternate Phone: 963-5471
Class Meeting Location: Crouch (GRD) 107 E-Mail: tcorse@tnstate.edu
Day and Time:  MWF 1:50-2:45 Office Hours: MF: 9:00-11, 12--1:50; W: 12-1:50; 3:00-5:00; TR: 9:00-11:00, 1-2:00

Final Exam Study Guide - Dec 10, Wed 12:30-2:30

Midterm Study Guide - Oct 17

If you were having trouble with the primary source links, they should all be fixed now. You may need to refresh the page to avoid loading an older cached version.

Assignments:  1. Primary Source Essays  2. Identification Quizzes

COURSE DESCRIPTION History 1210 is a survey of world history from the earliest periods of human development and the beginnings of civilization to the development of European expansionism in the sixteenth century. The course is designed to familiarize students with the distinctive cultural experiences of major civilizations of the ancient, classical, and medieval worlds; to provide students with the foundational background for their introduction to "the modern age" in HIST 2070; and to acquaint students with the methods and techniques historians and other researchers use to uncover the past and re-create the story of human development. History 1210 reflects a global emphasis in its representation of major civilizations and their contributions to the human experience. Civilizations studied include those of the ancient Middle and Near East; India and the Far East (China and Japan); the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome; the later civilizations of Europe, Central Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The course emphasizes the social history of civilizations through the ages and around the world, recreating the everyday life of ordinary people in the context of their economic, political, intellectual, cultural, religious, and geographic environment.

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GOALS AND OBJECTIVES This course is designed to enable students to achieve both content and analytical goals.  In general, the student, upon completion of the course, should have a grounding in ancient history that will enhance their cultural awareness, enable them to critically analyze texts and works of art from the period and place them in a cultural and comparative context, and to relate this knowledge to overall development of human society and culture.

Analytical and Methodological goals:

  • 1. Develop an understanding of historical analytical techniques, including an understanding of the role of change and continuity in human history. (elaborated below in Change and Continuity)
  • 2. Demonstrate an ability to apply historical analytical techniques to texts and artifacts from the pre-modern era.
  • 3. Develop and demonstrate an understanding of how texts and artifacts from the pre-modern era express the culture and values of that era.
  • 4. Be able to critically asses, within a comparative framework (elaborated below in Content Related Goals) the ideas, values, and historical forces that have shaped the development of human society.

Content Related Goals:

  • The primary content related goal is that the student develop an understanding of the diversity of global cultures in the pre-modern world, with an appreciation for how that diversity in turn helped to shape the modern era. This goal will be addressed through a series of region specific goals, discussed below.

GOAL 1: Ancient Civilizations
The learner will analyze the onset and development of cultural institutions in early civilizations.

  • 1.1 Cite major developments from human origins to the rise of early civilizations.
  • 1.2 Trace developments and assess the achievements of early civilizations in Southwest Asia and North Africa.
  • 1.3 Trace developments and assess the achievements of early civilizations in South and East Asia.
  • 1.4 Compare the achievements of early civilizations in various settings.

GOAL 2: Classical Civilizations
The learner will analyze classical Eurasian civilizations and assess their enduring legacy.

  • 2.1 Trace the roots and recognize the achievements of Greek civilization through the Hellenistic period.
  • 2.2 Describe the achievements of the Roman Empire and judge their significance for Europeans after the fall of Rome.
  • 2.3 Judge the importance of India as a hub of world trade and culture and as a religious center during its Golden Age.
  • 2.4 Elaborate on the distinctive achievements of Chinese civilization.
  • 2.5 Describe and compare major Chinese, Indian, and Judeo-Christian beliefs.

GOAL 3: Traditional Civilizations
The learner will investigate significant events in and assess characteristics of traditional civilizations (A.D. 500-1750).

  • 3.1 Describe the legacies of Byzantine civilization for both Western and Eastern Europe.
  • 3.2 Trace the rise of Islam and cite the achievements of Islamic civilization.
  • 3.3 Elaborate on the achievements of Chinese and Japanese civilizations, noting their scientific innovations.
  • 3.4 Assess the importance of geographic isolation from Eurasia on the development of African empires and trading states.
  • 3.5 Evaluate the contributions of the major civilizations of the Americas during the pre-Columbian epoch.

GOAL 4: Medieval Europe
The learner will investigate significant events in and assess characteristics of medieval Europe (476-1400).

  • 4.1 Trace events in Western Europe from the fall of Rome to the emergence of nation-states.
  • 4.2 Analyze the extent to which religion integrated economic, political, and social life in medieval Europe.
  • 4.3 Assess the influence of contacts such as the crusades on different regions of Europe as well as on other societies.
  • 4.4 Assess the influence of emerging urban centers and universities on medieval society.  
TEXTBOOK Textbook: Felipe Fernandez-Armesto: The World: A History: Volume 1: to 1500 (Penguin Academics, 2011) ISBN: 0-205-75931-9 (paper) or 0-205-03267-2 (etext)

 There are in fact a number of different versions of this book. Just make sure you get a World History book by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto that begings on or before 1500 and runs up to the present. (The seconc volume usually begins with 1300.)

Students may wish to use the textbook's companion web site, which provides a number of helpful study aids.

EVALUATION Grades will be based on the assignments listed below. Assignments will be weighted as follows:  
Grade Distribution
Two Exams 2x25% each=50%
Map Quizzes 10%
Participation\Quizzes 10%
Primary Source Essays 30%
Total 100%


Grades and their numerical equivalents are as follows:
Grading Scale
90 or above A
80-89 B
70-79 C
60-69 D
59 or below F


Office Hours: Students who seek help with instructors during office hours get better grades. Do not wait until you have major problems! Students should speak to me any time they find themselves confused about material, directions, or grades. I am always ready to help any student who needs help with any of the material or any assignment. That's my job.

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READINGS AND ASSIGNMENTS Readings are taken from the textbook and this website. The chapter numbers and page numbers in the schedule are from your textbook (Fernandez-Armesto, The World). The textbook readings are required, as are the web readings. Underlined readings are links to web sites. The primary source essay assignment will be based on the these and other web readings. 
Weeks Dates Lecture Topic and Assignments Readings and Primary Sources


Aug 25-29 Origins


  • Textbook Chapters 1-2


Sep 1-5 Origins

Labor Day Holiday - Sep 1


Sep 8-12 Rise, Fall and Recovery of Ancient Civilizations

Map Quiz 1 - Sep 12

  • Chapters 4-5


Sep 15-19 First Empires



Sep 22-26 A Revolution in Thought

ID Quiz 1 - Sep 26


Sep 29-Oct 3 The Classical Empires

Map Quiz 2 - Oct 3



Oct 6-10 The Classical Empires

ID Quiz 2 - Oct 10

8 Oct 13-17 Collapse and Reorganization

Midterm Exam: Oct 17

  • Chapters 7-8
9 Oct 20-24 World Religions



10 Oct 27-31 World Religions
  • Chapter 9
11 Nov 3-7 Expansion and Isolation

Last day to withdraw - Nov 7

12 Nov 10-14 The World Before the Mongols

ID Quiz 3 - Nov 14

  • Chapters 11-12
13 Nov 17-21 The World the Mongols Made
14 Nov 24-28 Fall Break/Thanksgiving
15 Dec 1-4 First Beginnings of Globalization

Last Day to Turn in Primary Source Essays - Dec 4
Last day of classes - Dec 4


  • Chapter 15


May 3-9 Final Exam Dec 10 (Wed) 12:30-2:30 pm    


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Stearn's site

REQUIREMENTS Assignments Assignments for this class will include reading, writing, and special projects. Readings maybe assigned not only from the text, but also from photocopied materials, library books, and Internet sources. Students are responsible for all work assigned in this class, whether or not they are present. Assignments must be completed on time. Late work will be penalized unless you have a good excuse, and no assignments will be accepted more than one week late. All students are expected to participate regularly in class discussions.  

Attendance and Punctuality

Attendance and Punctuality: Attendance and punctuality are expected of all students. Students are responsible for all material, tests and assignments, regardless of attendance or punctuality. The professor is under no obligation to give make-ups or accept late work caused by unexcused absence or tardiness. The professor reserves the right to deduct from the student's participation grade for more than three unexcused absences and to deduct up to a letter grade from the final grade for excessive unexcused absences (10% of class hours). The professor reserves the right to fail students who miss more that 20% of class hours. Thos students who know that they will have a consistent problem due to scheduling conflicts should discuss this with the professor at the beginning of the semester.


Special Note on Academic Honesty

Students should be aware that a university is a community of scholars committed to the discovery and dissemination of knowledge and truth. Without freedom to investigate all materials, scrupulous honesty in reporting findings, and proper acknowledgment of credit, such a community can not survive. Students are expected to adhere to the highest traditions of scholarship. Infractions of these traditions, such as plagiarism  and other forms of cheating, are not tolerated. Misrepresenting someone else's words or ideas as one's own constitutes plagiarism. In cases where plagiarism occurs, the instructor has the right to penalize the student(s) as he or she thinks appropriate. As a general guideline, I given students a zero on the assignment for the first offence and an "F" in the course for a second offence, but I reserve the right to give a student an "F" in the course for any offence. When in doubt as to whether use of any material or idea would constitute plagiarism, ask the instructor. 

Class Participation

Class Participation: Preparation: since students are expected to participate in class discussion, it is important to complete all the assigned readings before coming to class. Students are expected to understand the material, or to have identified what they do not yet understand in order to ask questions in class. All students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the assigned material.

Students are expected to observe normal courtesy in class. They are expected to pay attention to the instructor, to take detailed notes, to refrain from personal conversation, and to avoid any other behavior that disturbs others. A student who does not observe these courtesies maybe asked to leave the room. 
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