Online Class: Ancient Civilizations 101

The course focuses on Ancient Egypt Civilization, Sumerian Civilization, the Indus Valley Civilization, Ancient China Civilization, and the Aegean Civilization. The goal is to familiarize students with this time period in which five of the major ancient civilizations developed and dominated historical records.

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  • 14
  • 31
    Exams &
  • 3,176
    have taken this course
  • 10
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Course Description

Studying ancient civilizations is one of the most fascinating areas of all human history for the precise reason that it is human history. As we learn more about those who have come before us, we understand more about ourselves in this modern age and how we have come to be. From empires to city-states, the historical civilizations from around the world have each made a contribution to the development of mankind.

When we think of the major innovations that have propelled society forward: writing, the wheel, fire, brass, bronze, iron, electricity, indoor plumbing, and so forth, it is important to remember that each of these was a significant technological  innovation, discovered hundreds or even thousands of years ago. Likewise, the indelible influence of certain ancient civilizations on modern aesthetics, ethics, religion, politics, and conventions can also be felt today.

This course will provide a general introduction to several of the most prominent ancient civilizations from across the globe, introducing the student to the most salient features of each and examining its major influences on those who came later on. To paraphrase the late philosopher, George Santayana, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". So as it is with any historical study--what we can learn from earlier men and women can benefit us today.

Course Motivation

Why Study Ancient Civilizations?

Understanding the peoples and events of past millennia is critical to understanding the modern world. Nothing happens in a vacuum when it comes to the progress of the human race. As such, those that have gone before us have influenced us in much the same way that our actions will eventually affect future generations.

History is a continuum and the various events that have molded and shaped ancient societies and have changed the world forever. Can you imagine the world with no written or spoken languages? Of course not! But where did the languages and alphabetical systems of our modern world come from? Our answer, of course, is the ancients. 

Naturally, very little of what we now have and experience today is as it was centuries ago. As time goes on, adjustments are made, for better or for worse. However, with an understanding of who the ancients were and why they did the things they did, we can piece together a narrative that helps us understand who we are and why we do the things we do.

Course Structure
This course will examine a number of different ancient civilizations. Since multiple volumes of text have been written about each of these civilizations and since this course is merely an introduction to the ancients, a brief overview will be provided. Each civilization will be identified by name and their years of existence, with notations on its history, prominent rulers, and notable contributions to world history.
One of the most interesting topics to study is ancient civilizations. By looking at cultures that have come before us, we can understand more about ourselves. Why do we speak the language we do? Why do we practice the religions we do? Why do we use Indo-Arabic numerals instead of Roman ones? Who invented the wheel? These and many other questions can be resolved by a brief examination of the ancients and their world.

You've probably heard the old Proverb, "Those that don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it." In classrooms and Universities, a lot of time is spent dealing with history… American history, all of the World Wars, European history… Archaeologists and anthropologists dedicate years of their lives digging for new facts, clues and insights into the world as it was long before we were born.

But perhaps the most mysterious and fascinating civilizations on our planet were here centuries, even millennia ago. Indeed, from the period of 3,000-1,200 B.C. there were five ancient civilizations that dominated the historical records.

If you're eager to learn where and why these civilizations emerged, as well as their unique histories, cultures, the trappings of their day-to-day lives and (perhaps most importantly) the impact these ancient people have had upon our contemporary culture, make it a point to register today this self-paced course on Ancient Civilizations.

Regardless of your age or historical expertise, you'll benefit from each of the course's seven comprehensive lessons. This class is perfect for school-age students looking for a classroom advantage or adult learners interested in buffing up on their history skills.

Whatever your age or motivation, there's no need to put your education on the back burner any longer. Class enrollment is open 24/7, so enroll today to get immersed in the mystery and magic of Ancient history’s most remarkable civilizations.

When you think of Ancient Egypt, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Chances are, the first thing you thought of were the pyramids. However, there's a whole lot more to Egyptian history than their architectural wonders.

The same holds true for the other four civilizations covered in this self-paced course on Ancient Civilizations as well. Across seven in-depth lessons, not only will you get familiar with ancient Egyptians, but the Sumerians, Ancient Chinese, the Ancient people of the Indus Valley and the pivotal history of the Mediterranean region’s Aegean civilizations.

By the time you've completed the coursework, you'll be able to confidently answer questions like:

  • What was the importance of the Nile River?
  • Who were the ancient Sumerians and where did they call "Home"?
  • What was the legendary First Dynasty?
  • Who were the Aryans?
  • Who were the Mycenaean people?
There are no prerequisite courses to take, any textbooks to buy or any software applications to invest in. All of the reading materials and reference links are provided for you at the end of each lesson.

How will history change your future?

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.5 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(2,239 votes)

Lesson 1: Ancients for Moderns

One of the most interesting topics to study is ancient civilizations By looking at the cultures that have come before us, we can understand more about ourselves. Additional lesson topics: Island of No Contact; What Ancient Civilizations Teach us about Reality. 24 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video A
  • Lesson 1 Video B : Introduction Discussion
  • Lesson discussions: Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Assessment: Lesson 1 Exam

Lesson 2: Sumer and the Mesopotamian Civilizations

Most scholars agree that the city-states that arose within the Fertile Crescent, collectively known as Sumer, comprise the earliest known civilization on Earth. Additional lesson topics: First to Harness and Control the Environment 75 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video A
  • Lesson 2 Video B : Lesson Discussion Video
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
  • Complete Assignment: What Made The Sumerians Truly Unique?
  • Assessment: Lesson 2 Exam

Lesson 3: Ancient Egypt, Part I

By far, one of the most influential civilizations of the ancient world was Egypt. Their culture, architecture, and writings are well known even today, with new discoveries being made each year. 24 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video A
  • Lesson 3 Video B : Lesson Discussion Video
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 3 Exam

Lesson 4: Ancient Egypt, Part II

This lesson delves into the history of the New Kingdom as well as the significant achievements of ancient Egypt as a whole and their influence on world culture and civilization. Additional lesson topics: Battle of Kadesh; Ancient Egyptian Contributions 60 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video A
  • Lesson 4 Video B : Lesson Discussion Video
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Exam

Lesson 5: Phoenicia and Minoa

As civilizations spread westward from the fertile lands of Mesopotamia, other cultures began to emerge along the eastern Mediterranean Sea and beyond. This lesson will provide a brief overview of each of these important cultures and explain why they matte 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video A
  • Lesson 5 Video B : Lesson Discussion Video
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Exam

Lesson 6: Israelites

This lesson presents a brief history of the Israelite people and their influence on world civilization. Additional lesson topics: Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times 25 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video A
  • Lesson 6 Video B : Lesson Discussion Video
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 6 Exam

Lesson 7: Media and Persia - Peoples of Ancient Iran

This lesson focuses on the empires of the Medes and Persians and their influence on world history. Additional lesson topics: Cyrus Cylinder 24 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video A
  • Lesson 7 Video B : Lesson Discussion Video
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 7 Exam

Lesson 8: Ancient Greece, Part I

This lesson describes the beginnings of ancient Greece and the rise of the city-states of Athens and Sparta. 25 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video A
  • Lesson 8 Video B : Lesson Discussion Video
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 8 Exam

Lesson 9: Ancient Greece, Part II

This lesson is a continuation of the overview of the history of ancient Greece, focusing on the unique cultures of Athens and Sparta. We will also look at their unified struggle against the invading Persian Empire. Additional lesson topics: Ancient Athens; Ancient Sparta 22 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video A
  • Lesson 9 Video B : Lesson Discussion Video
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 9 Exam

Lesson 10: Ancient Greece, Part III

This final lesson on Ancient Greece will conclude our study of their culture and contributions to world history. The lesson will include notes regarding the wars between Athens and Sparta, as well as the major Greek deities, philosophers, playwrights, pol Additional lesson topics: Peloponnesian War; The Delian League 25 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 10 Exam

Lesson 11: Rome, Part I - Long Live the Republic!

This lesson discusses the world-wide empire of Alexander the Great, the founding of Rome and the early days of the Roman Republic. Additional lesson topics: Early Rome 25 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video A
  • Lesson 11 Video B : Lesson Discussion Video
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 11 Exam

Lesson 12: Rome, Part II - The Punic Wars and the End of the Republic

This lesson provides an overview of this period of Rome's history, along with the rise of Julius Caesar, a transformational figure that would change Rome from a Republic to an Empire. Additional lesson topics: Gaius Octavius; Julius Caesar; Hannibal 24 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video A
  • Lesson 12 Video B : Lesson Discussion Video
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 12 Exam

Lesson 13: Rome, Part III - The Roman Empire and Its Legacy

This lesson examines the golden age and fall of the Roman empire, along with its enduring legacy to world civilization. 34 Total Points
  • Lesson 13 Video A
  • Lesson 13 Video B : Lesson Discussion Video
  • Complete: Lesson 13 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 13 Exam

Lesson 14: Rome, Part IV - The Legacy of Rome

This lesson focuses on the contributions of this great ancient culture that once ruled the entirety of the known world. 86 Total Points
  • Lesson 14 Video A
  • Lesson 14 Video B : Lesson Discussion Video
  • Lesson discussions: What do you think about this course?; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course); Course Comments
  • Complete: Lesson 14 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 14 Exam
  • Assessment: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Describe the background of studying the ancients for modern people.
  • Summarize Sumer and the Mesopotamian Civilizations.
  • Describe Ancient Egypt and their civilization.
  • Summarize Phoenicia and Minoa.
  • Describe Israelites in regards to ancient civilizations.
  • Identify Media and Persia - Peoples of Ancient Iran.
  • Summarize Ancient Greece civilizations.
  • Summarize Rome and Roman ancient civilizations.
  • Describe The Roman Empire and Its Legacy.
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

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Course Title: Ancient Civilizations 101
Course Number: 7550487
Lessons Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars (2,239 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Availability: This course is online and available in all 50 states including: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and Washington.
Last Updated: January 2023
Course Type: Self-Paced, Online Class
CEU Value: 1.0 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Fee: $95.00 U.S. dollars

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Student Testimonials

  • "I enjoyed this class and gained a lot from it. Each section was just enough information to not be overwhelming but motivating to research further into areas of special interest. The instructor was very helpful and responded quickly, often posing questions tailored to the written essays. I feel now that I have a strong framework to continue my personal studies of ancient history, especially the Bronze Age." -- Wendolyn M.
  • "I think that it was very helpful and I enjoyed the course. I am especially pleased with the feedback from the instructor. I enjoyed our different point of view and debates on the lessons. He made it fun and helped me see things from a different perspective." -- Vanessa T.
  • "Wonderful instructor as usual. Have taken several courses with him and he is always outstanding. A true gem!" -- David M.
  • "This instructor understood my writing style; very attentive! A great review of ancient history! Thanks!" -- Roger Y.
  • "Overall the course was excellent and I feel that it was great to review information about ancient history I had previously forgotten. The instructor McKenna always responded quickly to my submissions, and challenged me to think more about the lessons and discuss the topics together." -- Steven S.
  • "I had a great time doing this course, loved every minute, and the instructor was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. An amazing experience." -- Cherie C.
  • "This course provided exactly what I was looking for: an overview of ancient civilizations. The instructor responded very quickly to all submitted assignments and provided helpful feedback. Great course and great instructor!" -- Sofia Z.
  • "The class was very interesting; I enjoyed learning about Ancient Civilizations. The instructor was great, provided responsive feedback and asked challenging questions." -- Dale K.
  • "Great course, great instructor." -- Maria D.
  • "The course was great! Thanks!" -- Joshua D.
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