1. Analyze the impact of technology on the development of human civilizations. In particular, examine the difference between the adjustment of details of life and genuine technological change. Explore the impetus for each, and the effects of each.
2. Ancient Mesopotamian civilization produced a number of remarkable contributions to civilization. Explore the reasons why so many groundbreaking advancements came from one civilization, and trace the effects of that contribution.
3. Describe the characteristics and the accomplishments of the reign of Chandragupta Maurya.
4. Investigate the similarities between the pre-Aryan Indus valley civilization and other contemporary civilizations, such as the Babylonian or Egyptian.
5. Discuss the ways in which classical Chinese thought is a product of the realities of its time. Compare this with classical Greek, Roman, Indian, or Egyptian thought.
6. Investigate the origins of agriculture in China, and explore the impact of the development of agriculture on Chinese civilization.
7. Egypt and Mesopotamia. Describe each of these civilizations in terms of its political structure, religion, society, and culture.
8. Comparing the two great empires-Assyrian and Persian-that emerged after the thirteenth century B.C.E. How were they created? How were they ruled? How do historians explain the differences and similarities between them?
9. Describe and discuss the evolution of Hebrew society. What were the benefits and costs of this evolution? How did it affect the family? How would you assess the impact social evolution had on the Jewish religion?
10. Describe the evolution of Aryan society. What sources have historians used to understand Aryan society? What factors influenced this evolution? What aspects of Aryan society have had the greatest impact on the history of India?
11. The essential teachings of the Buddha. How did Buddhism modify Hinduism? How can we explain the appeal of Buddhism?
12. Confucianism had a profound impact on China. What are the basic tenets of Confucianism? How did Confucianism spread?
13. Compare and contrast the fundamental concerns of Greek thinkers of the Classical period with Chinese thinkers of the Zhou dynasty. What did Classical Greece and Zhou China have in common that might have stimulated the development of ethical and political philosophy?
14. The Hellenistic civilization. What was the role and impact of these new cities?
15. “The acquisition of empire spelled doom for the Republic.” Assess the validity of this quote. To answer this question effectively, one should consider the problems resulting from the wars of conquest and the attempts to solve these serious problems.
16. The family was a very important institution in traditional Roman society. Describe this institution. What was the daily life of a Roman family like? What was the role of religion? What was the role of women in the family? How did the family reflect Roman values?
17. One of the most important events that occurred during the time of the Roman Empire was the birth of Christianity. Describe the evolution of Christianity. How do historians explain the success of early Christianity?
18. Summarize the multiple causes of the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West.
19. Describe the impact of Chinese civilization on its neighbors in Asia. What were the salient features of the cultural phenomenon? What were the agents of the spread of Chinese civilizations? How did non-Chinese accommodate themselves (or not) to these influences from China?
20. The evolution of Japanese civilization was deeply affected by Chinese influences while at the same time retaining much of its native culture. Describe this evolution, being sure to note those aspects that were native and those that were borrowed from China.
21. Describe Germanic society in this period. What impact did the traditions, beliefs, and laws of the Germanic peoples have on the subsequent development of European civilization? How were the Germans affected by Christianity?
22. How have historians explained the rapid spread of Islam from the seventh to the eleventh centuries? How does the case of Syria provide an example?
23. Describe the trans-Saharan trade. What impact did the trans-Saharan trade have on the political, economic and social development of West Africa?