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Ancient Civilizations 101

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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.

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Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

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Course Lessons

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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. 24 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Complete: 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. 75 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Review 3 Articles: The First Pyramidal Temples; Ancient Sumer History; The First Writing System
  • Review Video: First to Harness and Control the Environment
  • Complete Assignment: What Made The Sumerians Truly Unique?
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
  • Complete: 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
  • Review 2 Articles: Menes; Egyptian pyramids
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment
  • Complete: 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. 60 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Review 4 Articles: Battle of Kadesh; Ramses The Great; Hieroglyphs; Ancient Egyptian Contributions
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
  • Complete: 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
  • Review 5 Articles: The Phoenician culture; Phoenician alphabetic script; Minoan civilization; King Minos; Invading Mycenaeans
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Exam

Lesson 6: Israelites

This lesson presents a brief history of the Israelite people and their influence on world civilization. 25 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Review 4 Articles: History of the Israelites; Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times; The Temple of Solomon; Cultural Influences of the Israelites
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment
  • Complete: 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. 24 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Review 5 Articles: The History of Herodotus; Medes; The Assyrian Empire; The Persian Empire; Cyrus Cylinder
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment
  • Complete: 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
  • Review 5 Articles: The Mycenaean Civilization; Achaeans; Dorians; Greek Polis; Hesiod
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment
  • Complete: 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. 22 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Review 6 Articles: Ancient Athens; Ancient Sparta; Cleisthenes; Greco-Persian Wars; Age of Pericles; The Battle at Marathon
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment
  • Complete: 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 25 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Review 4 Articles: Peloponnesian War; The Delian League; Thirty Tyrants; Contributions of Ancient Greece
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment
  • Complete: 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. 25 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Review 5 Articles: Alexander the Great; Macedonia; Etruscans; Early Rome; Law of the Twelve Tables
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment
  • Complete: 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. 24 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Review 6 Articles: Hannibal; Quintus Fabius Maximus; Julius Caesar; Gaius Octavius; The Punic Wars; Roman Emperors
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Assignment
  • Complete: 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
  • Review Article: Writers of the Roman Empire
  • Complete: Lesson 13 Assignment
  • Complete: 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
  • Review 2 Articles: The Julian Calender; Ancient Roman Weapons
  • Take Poll: What do you think about this course?
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete: Lesson 14 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 14 Exam
  • Complete: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Additional Course Information

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Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Ancient Civilizations 101
Course Number: 7550487
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Course Type: General Education
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
Instructor: C. Michael McKenna
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Review: Read Editorial Review
Course Fee: $50.00 (no CEU Certification) || with CEU Certification: $75.00

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Learning Outcomes

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

Student Testimonials

  • "I have really been enjoying my time on the course I am taking. My instructor is very helpful and knowledgable." -- Tonya H.
  • "This course helped me earn the CEUs needed to maintain my teacher licensure." -- Melissa M.
  • "Very convienient, easy to navigate around....Please thank the Instructor for a very good course." -- David H.
  • "The instructor is most encouraging, and I felt comfortable she would be there if a needed her. I did not ask her questions. I needed to deal with the challenge myself. As I explained previously I loved the challenge of the research. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity." -- Anne S.
  • "I enroll in online courses to improve my thinking skills, to organize materials in order to answer sujective questions. I am a senior citizen, so the courses I complete are for my own benefit and my avid interest in acquiring new information.History has always been my favorite subject. This course refreshed my mind with information that I had long ago forgotten This has been a very rewarding ecxperience for me....Instructor was very prompt in grading my assignments. She has organized all the lessons in a very efficient way for the learner. I highly recommend this course for all people who wish to gain new insight into the ancient world and to acquire a deep appreciation for their many contributions. If not for these ancient cultures where would the world be today?" -- Sara H.
  • "This istructor is one of the Best. I have learned a lot, this is very uplifting and informative. Thank you very much!!!" -- Sophie S.

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