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Making Civilizations: The World before 600

by: Gehrke, H.-J.

Category: New Books
Code: 26579
ISBN-13: 9780674047174 / 978-0-674-04717-4
ISBN-10: 0674047176 / 0-674-04717-6
Publisher: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press
Publication Date: 2020
Publication Place: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Binding: Cloth
Pages: 1206
Book Condition: New

Distinguished historians of the ancient world analyze the earliest developments in human history and the rise of the first major civilizations, from the Middle East to India and China.

In this volume of the six-part series A History of the World, Hans-Joachim Gehrke, a noted scholar of ancient Greece, leads a distinguished group of historians in analyzing prehistory, the earliest human settlements, and the rise of the world?s first advanced civilizations.

The Neolithic period—sometimes called the Agrarian Revolution—marked a turning point in human history. People were no longer dependent entirely on hunting animals and gathering plants but instead cultivated crops and reared livestock. This led to a more settled existence, notably along rivers such as the Nile, Tigris, Euphrates, Ganges, and Yangzi. Increased mastery of metals, together with innovations in tools and technologies, led to economic specialization, from intricate crafts to deadlier weapons, which contributed to the growth of village communities as well as trade networks. Family was the fundamental social unit, its relationships and hierarchies modeled on the evolving relationship between ruler and ruled. Religion, whether polytheist or monotheist, played a central role in shaping civilizations from the Persians to the Israelites. The world was construed in terms of a divinely ordained order: the Chinese imperial title Huangdi expressed divinity and heavenly splendor, while Indian emperor Ashoka was heralded as the embodiment of moral law.

From the latest findings about the Neanderthals to the founding of imperial China to the world of Western classical antiquity, Making Civilizations offers an authoritative overview of humanity?s earliest eras.

Introduction [Hans-Joachim Gehrke]
I. Prehistory and Early History [Hermann Parzinger]
1. The Emergence of Modern Humans
2. Sedentism, a Productive Economy, and Group Identity
3. Innovations, Upheavals, and Complex Societies
4. Areas beyond Advanced Civilizations
5. On Time Axes and Axial Ages
II. Early Civilizations of the Ancient Near East: Egypt and Western Asia [Karen Radner]
1. Early States
2. Writing Everywhere: Bureaucrats, Men of Letters, and Trading Companies
3. Chariots and Glass: New Toys for Royal Brethren
4. A New Beginning: Petty States and Great Empires
III. The World of Classical Antiquity [Hans-Joachim Gehrke]
1. On the Way to a New World: The Mediterranean and Its Environs
2. Persians and Greeks: The World Divided
3. The Roman Republic
4. The Hellenistic World
5. The Zenith and Decline of the Roman Republic
6. The Roman Empire and Global Unity
IV. Ancient China [Mark Edward Lewis]
1. Geographic Background
2. The Archaic State: Shang and Zhou
3. The Warring States Transition
4. The First Empires: Qin and Han
5. Early Cities
6. The Great Families: Wei and Jin
7. The Military Dynasties: Song, Qi, Liang, Chen, and Northern Wei
8. The Institutional Religions: Daoism and Buddhism
9. Medieval Cities
10. Early Imperial China and the Outer World
11. Reunification and the Fall of the Sui Dynasty
V. South Asia and Southeast Asia [Axel Michaels]
1. Harappan Civilization, c. 2600–1900 BC
2. The Arrival of the Indo-Aryans, Second Millennium BC
3. Vedic Culture, c. 1750–500 BC
4. State Structures and Ascetic Movements, 600–200 BC
5. Between the Great Empires: Transregional Connections, c. 200 BC–AD 300
6. The Classical Age and the Formation of Hinduism, c. 300–600
7. India?s Influence in East and Southeast Asia
Selected Bibliography

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Making Civilizations: The World before 600

by: Gehrke, H.-J.

  • ISBN-13: 9780674047174 / 978-0-674-04717-4
  • ISBN-03: 0674047176 / 0-674-04717-6
  • The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2020