Introduction to Humanities

Sociological perspectives, inequality, race, ethnicity, gender, education, health.

This course educates students into the development of societies from prehistoric times, ancient Greece and Rome, Africa, India, China, Central and South American Empires.

Curriculum & Learning Outcomes

This course includes text book self-study, assignments, discussion group engagement, lesson quizzes and the final exam covering the following topics:

1. How Do We Know?

1.0 Module Overview
1. How Do We Know?
1a. Archaeologists and Their Artifacts
1b. Anthropologists and Their People
1c. Historians and Their Time
1d. Geographers and Their Space

2. Prehistoric Times

2.0 Module Overview
2. Prehistoric Times
2a. “I Love Lucy”
2b. Food, Clothing and Shelter
2c. A Page Right Out of History
2d. First Technologies: Fire and Tools

3. Ancient Egypt

3.0 Module Overview
3. Ancient Egypt
3a. Life along the Nile
3b. Egyptian Social Structure
3c. Dynasties
3d. Mummies
3e. Pyramids
3f. Women of Ancient Egypt

4. The Early Middle East

4.0 Module Overview
4. The Early Middle East
4a. Life in Sumer
4b. Babylonia
4c. Hammurabi’s Code: An Eye for an Eye
4d. Assyrians: Cavalry and Conquests
4e. Persian Empire
4f. Phoenicians: Sailing Away
4g. Hebrews and the Land of Milk and Honey
4h. Birth of Christianity
4i. Muhammad and the Faith of Islam

5. Ancient Greece

5.0 Module Overview
5. Ancient Greece
5a. Rise of City-States: Athens and Sparta
5b. Democracy Is Born
5c. Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes
5d. Greek Literature
5e. Art and Architecture
5f. Thinkers
5g. Alexander the Great
5h. The Olympic Games

6. Ancient Rome

6.0 Module Overview
6. Ancient Rome
6a. The Roman Republic
6b. Julius Caesar
6c. The Pax Romana
6d. Life of the People
6e. Gladiators, Chariots, and the Roman Games
6f. The Fall of the Roman Empire

7. Africa

7.0 Module Overview
7. Africa
7a. Kingdom of Ghana
7b. Mali: A Cultural Center
7c. Benin and Its Royal Court
7d. Great Zimbabwe
7e. Life on the Desert

8. South Asia: India and Beyond

8.0 Module Overview
8. South Asia: India and Beyond
8a. Early Civilization in the Indus Valley
8b. The Caste System
8c. The Rise of Hinduism
8d. The Birth and Spread of Buddhism
8e. The Gupta Period of India

9. China

9.0 Module Overview
9. China
9a. The Middle Kingdom
9b. Shang Dynasty — China’s First Recorded History
9c. Han Dynasty — Cultural Heights
9d. Tang Dynasty — The Golden Age
9e. Taoism and Confucianism — Ancient Philosophies

10. Japan: An Island Nation

10.0 Module Overview
10. Japan: An Island Nation
10a. Japanese Religion and Spirituality
10b. Early History and Culture
10c. Feudal Japan: The Age of the Warrior
10d. The Martial Arts
10e. Life During the Edo Period

11. Central and South American Empires

11.0 Module Overview
11. Central and South American Empires
11a. Blood of Kings: The World of the Maya
11b. Deciphering Maya Glyphs
11c. The Inca Empire: Children of the Sun
11d. The Aztec World
11e. Clash of Cultures: Two Worlds Collide

The content, assignments, assessments and exams have been designed to achieve the course learning outcomes.


This course has been provided through an open source initiative to make higher education learning affordable for students (see copyright details below) and was developed by Lumen Learning. Unless otherwise specified, this work by the Washington State Colleges is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. The Open Course Library is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Washington State Legislature.

Degree Credits

By completing this course you will earn 5 ECTS study credits which can be applied towards the Integrated Master’s Degree.

Accreditations & Certificates

A course certificate of attendance will be provided.

Admission Requirements

This course is open to M.A. students.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Contact us for a detailed overview of the course tuition including potential credits, financial aid and sponsorship options.

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Course Includes

  • 11 Lessons