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The West: a Narrative Historyis a unique text in its field, as it was conceived and developed as a brief introduction to the history of theWest. It is not a reduced version of a larger study, but a fully realized project in its own right. It defines theWestin its broadest terms, encompassing all of the varied cultures that trace at least some of their ancestry to the ancient Mediterranean world. In addition, it consistently reminds its readers of the links between the people who have come to define theWestand those in other regions of the world
A. Daniel Frankforter is Professor of History at the Pennsylvania State University, where he has taught for nearly four decades. His undergraduate work was in the history of ideas and philosophy at Franklin and Marshall College. He earned a Master of Divinity degree from Drew University, did graduate work at Columbia University and the University of Göttingen and completed master’s and doctoral degrees in medieval history and religious studies at Penn State. His research has focused on the medieval English Church and on the evolving role of European women throughout the medieval period. Articles on these topics have appeared in such journals as Manuscripta, Church History, The British Studies Monitor, The Catholic Historical Review, The American Benedictine Review, The International Journal of Women’s Studies, and The Journal of Women’s History. His books include: A History of the Christian Movement: An Essay on the Development of Christian Institutions, Civilization and Survival, The Shakespeare Name Dictionary (with J. Madison Davis), The Medieval Millennium: An Introduction, The Western Heritage, Brief Edition (with Donald Kagan, Stephen Ozment, and Frank Turner), The Heritage of World Civilizations, brief third edition (with Albert Craig, William Graham, Donald Kagan, Stephen Ozment, and Frank Turner), an edition and translation of Poullain de la Barre’s De L’Égalité des deux Sexes, and Stones for Bread: A Critique of Contemporary Worship. Over the course of his career he has developed 15 courses dealing with aspects of the ancient and medieval periods of Western civilization, Judeo-Christian studies, and gender issues. His work in the classroom has been acknowledged by the Penn State Behrend Excellence in Teaching Award and the prestigious Amoco Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching Performance.
William M. Spellman is the Dean of Humanities at the University of North Carolina, Asheville. He is a graduate of Suffolk University, Boston, and holds the Ph.D. from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He is the author of John Locke and the Problem of Depravity (Oxford, 1988); The Latitudinarians and the Church of England, 1660-1700 (Georgia, 1993); John Locke (Macmillan, 1995); European Political Thought, 1600-1700 (Macmillan, 1997); Monarchies, 1000-2000 (Reaktion Press, 2000); Extraordinary Women of the Medieval and Renaissance World (Greenwood Press, 2000) co-authored with Carole Levin, et. al.; The Global Community: Migration and the Making of the Modern World, 1500-2000 (Sutton, 2002); A Concise History of the World Since 1945 (Palgrave, 2006); and Migration and the Nation State (Reaktion Press, forthcoming).
Table of Contents
Notes on Dates and Spelling
About the Authors
The Birth of Civilization
Key/Question: How do environments shape human communities and human communities alter environments?
The Evolution of Prehistoric Cultures
People in Context The Iceman
The Archaic States
The Origin of Civilization in Mesopotamia: Sumer
The Rise of Civilization in Egypt
The Rise of Empires and the Beginning of the Iron Age
Key/Question: Does civilization promote unity or intensify divisions among peoples?
The Transition States
Imperial Egypt: The New Kingdom (1550-1075 B.C.E., Dynasties XVIII-XX)
People in Context King "Tut"
The Indo-Europeans and the Clash of Empires
The Bible and History
The Classical Era 2000 B.C.E. to 30 C.E.
Key/Question: When does civilization in the West become "Western" civilization?
The Mycenaeans, Greece's First Civilization
The Aegean Dark Age
The Hellenic Era
People in Context Hesiod, The Uncommon Common Man
The Rise of the Mainland Powers
The Persian Wars: Crucible of a Civilization
The Hellenic Era
Key/Question: What did the Greeks contribute to the development of modern civilization?
Persian Wars as Catalyst
The Peloponnesian War
People in Context Aspasia, the Woman Behind the Great Man
Intellectual and Artistic Life in the Polis
The Hellenistic Era and the Rise of Rome
Key/Question: What circumstances are likely to undermine governments by the people?
The Hellenistic Era
The Origin of Rome
The Roman Republic
Rome's Civil War
People in Context Cornelia, Mother of the Gracchi
Rome's Empire and the Unification of the Western World
Key/Question: Do people prefer order to liberty?
The Augustan Era
Order and Continuity: The Dynastic Option
Order and Continuity: The Elective Option
People in Context The Imperial Aristocracy: Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger
Life in an Imperial Environment
The Decline of Rome
The Division of the West 300 to 1300
The West's Medieval Civilizations
Key/Question: Should freedom of religion be limited?
The Christian Element
The German Element
The Byzantine Empire of Constantinople
People in Context A'isha (614-678), Wife of the Prophet
The Emergence of Europe
Key/Question: How did Europe build on its legacies from the ancient world?
The Merovingian Kingdom: Europe's Nucleus
The Franks' Neighbors
People in Context Brunhild (d. 613) and Fredegund (d. 597): Powers Behind the Throne
The Carolingian Era
Retrenchment and Reorganization
The Culture of Europe's Dark Age
Europe Turns Outward
Key/Question: Was conflict among the medieval civilizations inevitable?
Islam's Crest and Byzantium's Resurgence
The Reorganization of Europe
People in Context Hroswitha of Gandersheim (fl. 935-1002)
The Eleventh-Century Turning Point
Europe's High Middle Ages
Key/Question: Why are some societies more open to change than others?
The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century
Universities and Scholasticism
Religious Revival and Diversity of Opinion
People in Context William IX, Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitou (1071-1127)
The Artistic Vision of the High Middle Ages
The Nation-States of the High Middle Ages
Challenges, Conflicts, and Departures
Challenges to the Medieval Order
Key/Question: What did the crises of the late medieval era reveal about the strengths and weaknesses of Europe's civilization?
Challenges from Nature
Turmoil in the Middle East
Political Responses: The Burdens of War
People in Context Christine de Pizan (c. 1364-1430), Professional Writer
Renaissance and Exploration
Key/Question: How should a society use its history?
The Context for the Renaissance
The Culture of the Renaissance
People in Context Elisabetta Gonzaga (1472-1526)
The Northern Renaissance
The Middle East: The Ottoman Empire
Europe and Atlantic Exploration
Reformation, Religious Wars, and National Conflicts
Key/Question: How do civilized societies justify war?
The Lutheran Reformation
The Swiss Reformation
The Catholic Reformation
The Habsburg-Valois Wars
England's Ambivalent Reformation
Convergence of Foreign and Domestic Politics: England, Spain, and France
The Final Religious Upheavals
People in Context William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
DVD Table of Contents
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