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.

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.

The seven lessons crafted to initiate you into this ancient world of wonder include:

Lesson 1: The Study & Classification of Ancient Civilizations

Lesson 2: Ancient Egyptian Civilizations

Lesson 3: Sumerian Civilization

Lesson 4: Ancient China Civilizations

Lesson 5: Indus Valley Civilizations

Lesson 6: The Aegean Civilization

Lesson 7: What Should We Know? …which focuses on the contemporary impact of ancient 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. However, you should keep in mind that each of the lessons needs to be completed sequentially. You'll be barred access to Lesson 2 until you've first finished each component of Lesson 1, and so forth.
In order to help you chart your progress in the class, each lesson will incorporate either a written assignment or a quiz that will call on you to put the information covered into direct application. Once you’ve completed all seven lessons, a final exam will be given to review the most important highlights of the Ancient Civilizations covered.
In the end, not only will you have successfully passed the class and broadened your historical background knowledge, you'll also find yourself in a unique position to wow your friends, relatives and your colleagues with your newfound wisdom of the Earth's intriguing ancient civilizations and societies.
While it may not earn you an invitation to show your stuff on Jeopardy (then again, you never know…) it will give you ample opportunity to impress your boss and plenty of other movers and shakers in your life.
Better yet, by understanding the comparative strengths and weaknesses of ancient civilizations versus modern history, you'll be in a better position to leave your own positive mark on history. Don't make the mistake of putting your education and personal development off any longer. With registration open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there's no excuse not to enroll today.

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:
    4.7 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
    "Extraordinarily Helpful"
    (1,952 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. 24 Total Points
    • Lesson 1 Video A
    • Lesson 1 Video B : Introduction Discussion
    • Review 2 Videos: Island of No Contact; What Ancient Civilizations Teach us about Reality.
    • Take Survey: Reasons for Taking this Course
    • 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 4 Articles: The Phoenician culture; 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

    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, and
    • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

    Additional Course Information

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    Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
    Course Title: Ancient Civilizations 101
    Course Number: 7550487
    Course Requirements: View Course Requirements
    Lessons Rating: 4.7 / 5 Stars (1,952 votes)
    Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
    Course Type: General Education (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
    Instructor: C. Michael McKenna
    Syllabus: View Syllabus
    Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
    Course Fee: $65.00 (no CEU Certification) || with Online CEU Certification: $90.00

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    Student Testimonials

    • "This course helped me earn the CEUs needed to maintain my teacher licensure." -- Melissa M.
    • "I have really been enjoying my time on the course I am taking. My instructor is very helpful and knowledgable." -- Tonya 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.
    • "Very convienient, easy to navigate around....Please thank the Instructor for a very good course." -- David H.
    • "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.