Monday, April 24, 2017

Mongol Empire and aftermath 1218-1747

For the history of the Central Asian steppe peoples prior to the rise of the Mongols in the 12th century, see René Grousset, The Empire of the Steppes (1970), and Barthold, Turkestan down to the Mongol invasion (1968) and Svat Soucek, A history of Inner Asia (2000). A short review chapter this period is Edmund Bowsworth (2010) Among the better survey articles on the rise of the Mongol Empire to its successor dynasties and kingdoms, is Beatrice Manz’s essay in the The New Cambridge History of Islam (Vol. 3, 2010).  A discussion of the Timurid Dynasty and Empire as a successor to the Mongol Empire is found in Maria Subtelny (Subtleny 2010).
The origins of the Mongols are shrouded in the myth of its founding emperor Temüjin (1167-1227 C.E.), better known as Chinggis Khan (the new spelling) or Genghis Khan under the better known but older transliterated spelling of this name.  Temüjin’s extraordinary rise and success places him among the most fearsome but successful conquerors of world history. The lasting influence of the Mongol Empire’s form of organization and its Turkic and Mongolian ethnic influence is seen in the survival of the Chingissid Dynasty and culture that survived in Central Asia well intot he sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (McChesney 2010).
Map of Mongol Empire
Source:  The New Cambridge History of Islam: The Eastern Islamic World Eleventh to Eighteenth Centuries (2010)
The Mongolians were successor nomadic rulers to several adjoining nomadic dynasties. To their West the Qara Khitay were a powerful rival tribe that ruled in the areas adjoining the Islamic territories of Western Central Asia near Samarkand. The Mongols also bordered the area of the Tü-Chüeh Turkic empire that dominated the eastern steppe in the 6th to 8th centuries[1]. This was succeeded by the Uighur kingdoms that bordered the Mongols to their South and West. Their home territory was in the eastern and northern half of the Central Asian grassy steppe lands, south and east of Lake Baikal (see Map 2).  Most of the Mongol tribes were nomadic pastoralists who raised their horses and other livestock on the grasslands, while some were living in forested areas where they hunted and fished; some Mongol communities also were farmers.  Like most nomadic societies it was a tribal society where kinship either real or imagined played important roles in maintaining or forming alliances to hold power and cooperation between groups and tribes. The Uighurs had developed their own script that influenced or was incorporated into a unique Mongolian writing system that was used in its early dynastic period.
The rise of Temüjin (Chinggis Khan) is legendary and partly myth.  The Secret History of the Mongols, whose text was preserved and translated from Chinese, provides the mythical legend of his family, that is comparable in purpose with the mythical origin of Romulus and the founding of Rome. Few details are known other than he had been forced out of his own tribal component, the Kiyran-Borjigin section of the Mongol peoples. Tatar forces had attacked and defeated his tribe in about 1147, a generation before he was born, and he was partly orphaned at the age of eight when his father was killed by Tatars. It seems his mother was then outcaste, and she was forced to raise her sons from outside her own tribe.  This appears to have had an enormous influence on Temüjin’s upbringing for he learned to make new allegiances with the Keraits, an outlying tribe and when he grew old enough he returned to claim his bride.  He gained the trust of the Keraits whose leader To’oril (Ong Khan) had been an ally of Temüjin’s father. Both men were forced to flee under pressure from the central Mongolian tribes and each fled in different directions.  Ong Khan sought and received support from the Qara Khitay in the West, while Temüjin apparently sought safety in exile in China.  According to the classic primary source and account of this history, The Secret History of the MongolsOng Khan managed to regain control of his tribe with Temüjin’s assistance in about 1196, (Ch. V, 85-89) who as a reward was adopted and made the heir to his chieftainship. In the Secret History we read of Chinggis Khan’s serious wounds in battle and close calls, all adding to his legendary leadership (Ch. IV, p. 74). But thereafter both fell out with each other and when Ong Khan was killed in raids by the rival Naiman, Temüjin consolidated his new power, organizing a powerful military bureaucracy and reward system for his soldiers with whom he shared some power and tasks.  Taking his new title, Chinggis Khan, Temüjin was ready to establish an empire of conquest and expansion, first to the West and then toward China[2].
By 1207-1218, Temüjin’s frontier armies had pursued out the Qara Khitay and pushed on toward the Islamic dynasties in Central Asia.  By 1219 his immense armies, using swift maneuvers, deadly archery and a systematic decimal system of regimental organization had defeated the Khwārazm Shah and cleared the way for an invasion of the Transoxiana cities of Bukhara and Samarkand. The Mongols invoked terror methods of sheer intimidation. They also carried with them skilled engineers who made siege engines and batteries that bashed in walls and towers. When cities like Bukhara and Samarkand resisted, they were laid siege, that collapsed after only a few days.  A systematic butchering of the entire military armies of these cities followed, while Bukhara, the city that had raised the great physician and philosopher Ibn Sina in the late 10th century, was burned to the ground and its civilian population removed either for slavery, forced labor or execution.  The strategy was to force neighboring cities to capitulate and surrender without any resistance, which some did.  After their surrender those cities were immediately placed under Mongol administration and a strict system of taxation[3].
By 1220 the Mongols had reached Khurāsān and as far as Transcaucasia in modern day Georgia. Meanwhile, another large force of the Mongols had pushed south into Persia and trapped and forced into exile the last effective ruler of Khwārazm Shah’s, his son Jalā al-Dīn who was forced to flee into exile by crossing a river in a desperate attempt to escape the Mongols.  Over the next year Chinggis Khan had to consolidate his holdings in the West as a series of rebellions broke out in Afghanistan and Persia. Parts of Persia would resist and rebel against Mongol rule into the 1230s when Jalāl al-Dīn was killed by Kurds in 1232.  Parts of Georgia and Armenia also offered some resistance. Thereafter, Chinggis Khan returned to the East and began his invasion of China until his death in 1227 (The Secret History, Ch. XII, 209).  Upon his death this empire was divided to be ruled by his four sons of his first wife;  these were Jochi and Chaghadi, Ogedei and Tolui, Ogedai was charged as the main military Khan and directed both the Western Campaigns into Transoxiana and invasions of Korea and China, while Jochi and his sons took control of portions of Russia.
To gain revenues the Mongolian state controlled monopolies of salt, wine, beer and other liquor, as well as on yeast.  They further extended taxes on households and on trade[4].  Not all was evenhanded in this expansive empire.  Ogedai, as with many other Mongol military men was an alcoholic, for there was a cult and addiction to massive amounts of imbibing in the various forms of alcohol that the empire gained, rice wine from China and Southeast Asia, beer from the West, and grape wine and other alcoholic beverages that were brewed and consumed.  When Ogedai died of alcoholism his wife administered some of the state as a regent and the Mongol command was not reconsolidated until Möngke Khan’s installment on the throne in 1251. While Möngke’s reign was marked by internal purges within the Mongolian elite clans, particularly against the purged supporters of Ogedai’s line, Möngke was a competent administrator who instituted a progressive tax in Iran, in which the wealthy might pay a rate seven times more than the poor. He also instituted the system of a census in his new Chinese territories[5].
Möngke also sent his two younger brothers to lead new invasions of expansion.  He sent Qubilai Khan, who is mentioned in Marco Polo’s journals, to rule in China, while he sent Hülegu to rule in the Western Central and South Asian territories. By 1258 Hülegu had sacked Baghdad and continued on to invade Syria where he sacked Aleppo.  Thereafter, other Syian cities, including Homs and Damascus surrendered without a fight to spare themselves from massacre. The physical limits of Hülegu’s conquest were tested at the famous battle of Ayn Jālūt in Palestine, where his frontier forces were defeated by a combined force of Egyptian and Syrian Mamluks  Thereafter the Mongols lost hegemony over Syria, which was still in the throes of Crusader wars and divisions.
In the West, as the Mongols retreated from Syria back toward Iraq and Persia they established the Ilkhanid dynasty, while the Mamluks gained power in Egypt and Seljuks in Syria and where some Christian Crusader city-states endured as at Acre.  The Ilkhanids absorbed Persian language and culture in its administration.  Two of the earliest histories of the Mongols were written by Persian administrators who worked for the Ilkhanid state. These were Rashīd al-Dīn Hamadāni, Jami’ al-tawārīkh, (Compendium of the Chronicles) (Morgan 2012) and the earlier chronicle by ‘Alā’ al-Din Juwaynī (Juwaynī, ‘Alā’ al-Dīn ‘Aṭa Malik 1912-37).  The subsequent integration of Ilkhanid state dynastic control with Persianate language and influence in Persia, Tajikistan and parts of Afghanistan continued, while the Timurid branch that succeeded it absorbed Turkic speaking and Turkic language influence under Timurlane’s rule and succession that made Samarkand its capital.
To the East, the reign of Qubilai Kahn intersected with that of the impressive Song Dynasty (960-1279() which the Mongols replaced with the Yuan Dynasty from 1271 onward.   Qubalai Khan integrated Confucian and Buddhist hierarchies and administration into his own dynastic rule and he gave his son both a Chinese Confucian and Buddhist based education as a process of enculturating the Mongols’ elite into Chinese.  The Yuan Dynasty ruled in China from 1271 to 1368, when after a series of failed naval invasions against Japan, natural disasters, famine and failed harvests it was finally toppled and replaced by the Ming Dynasty.
Barthold, W. 1968. Turkestan down to the Mongol Invasion. Third Edition. Vol. V. London.
Bosworth, Edmund. 2010. The steppe peoples in the Islamic World. Vol. 3, in The New Cambridge History of Islam:, edited by David O. Morgan and Anthony Reid, 21-77. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Cleaves, Francis W. ed. 1986. The Secret History of the Mongols.  Translated by Francis W. Cleaves. Cambridge, MA.
Grousset, René. 1970. The empire of the steppes: A history of Central Asia. Translated by Naomi Walford. New Brunswick, N.J.
Juwaynī, ‘Alā’ al-Dīn ‘Aṭa Malik. 1912-37. Tārikh-i jahān-gushā. Edited by Mirzā Muḥammad Qazwīnī. Vol. XVI. 3 vols. Leiden.
Manz, Beatrice Forbes. 2010. The rule of the infidels: the Mongols and the Islamic World. Vol. 3, in The New Cambridge History of Islam: The Eastern Islamic World Eleventh to Eighteenth Centuries, edited by David O. Morgan and Anthony Reid, 128-168. New York: Cambridge University Press.
McChesney, R.D. 2010. “Islamic culture and the Chinggisid restoration: Central Asia in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.” In The New Cambridge History of Islam: The Eastern Islamic World Eleventh to Eighteenth Centuries, 239-265. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Morgan, D.O. 2012. Ras̲h̲īd al-Dīn Ṭabīb. Second Edition. Edited by Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs P. Bearman. New York: E.J. Brill. Accessed 4 2, 2017. doi:
Soucek, Svat. 2000. A history of Inner Asia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Subtleny, Maria E. 2010. “Tamerlane and his descendants: from paladins to patrons.” In The New Cambridge History of Islam: The Eastern Islamic World Eleventh to Eighteenth Centuries, 169-202. New York: Cambridge University Press.
[1] Beatrice Forbes Manz, “The rule of the infidels:  the Mongols and the Islamic World,” in The New Cambridge History of Islam:  The Eastern Islamic World Eleventh to Eighteenth Centuries, ed. David O. Morgan and Anthony Reid (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010).
[2] Ibid. p. 130-31.
[3] Ibid. p 133.
[4] Ibid. 137.
[5] Ibid. 142.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Rise of Asian Literary Humanism

The Rise of Literary and Aesthetic Criticism in Asian History 250-600 CE

In this part of my World History blog I am moving away from early modern history to highlight more examples of how the Rise of the West and Western Civilization are given too much credit for the invention of culture, philosophy, science and so on. Now it is certainly true that Roman literature and history became intertextual by the Augustinian period of the late 1st c. BCE to early 1st c. CE.  This means that history writing and literature were intertwined, written histories took on rhetorical styles just as Ovid’s epic The Aenid, commissioned by the emperor Augustus, referenced Roman historical myths and legends (Conte 1999).  Comparisons of early classical Chinese and Greek literature is also worth considering as introduced in this video lecture by Professor Robert Oxnam and Stephen Owen on the Book of Songs.

Chinese Classical Literature and the Social Position of Criticism

Chinese literature provides a number of the earliest works of literary criticism.  A principal example is Liu Xie (Hsieh) The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons, written in the early 6th century CE (Hsieh 2015).  Liu Hsieh (465-522 CE) was a Chinese monk and literary critic who wrote from the Ting-lin Monastery in Southern China during the Liang Dynasty (Hsieh, XXXV).  Liu’s preference for classical forms arose from his intensive scholarship of an earlier body of literary criticism produced in the 3rd century Han Dynasty as well as the chronicles of Sima Qian (145-80 BCE) (Department of Asian Art 2000).
Liu Xie (Hsieh) compiled his works on literary criticism during a prosperous period for the Southern Chinese Liang Dynasty.  Some of his writing appeared for the court of  the Emperor Wudi (r. 502–49), who was a scholar and Buddhist and sent an emissary monk Song Yuan to India to collect texts on the origins of Buddhism (Metropolitan Museum of Art 2001). More recent studies on Lieu Xie offer appreciations of the depths of literary technique and analysis (Cai 2010).

Indian Literature and Historical Epics

Among the most developed in length of narrative and in chronological literature are the literary epics from the Indian subcontinent.  Sheldon Pollock’s study of the origins and development of Sanskrit literature as both an administrative language and as an ideology is a pioneering work (Pollock 2006). The rise of the Veda and Vedic literature dates to the end of the BCE period and among its successors, is the Mahābharāta historical epic of conquest and battle and the later Rāmāyana literature and other texts based on the Sanskrit language and writing system introduced by the landowning elite and their court society who dominated power (Pollock, 78).
Several studies note that before the codification of laws, the warrior class or caste developed their sense of ideology and ethics from stories and epics (McGrath 2004)

Early and Middle Persian Literature and History

A third source of early literary criticism is found in Western Asia and particularly in Iranian literature where a pre-Islamic secular literature arose in the late Sassanid period that flourished in the interim period of the breakup of the Roman Empire into a Greek dominated Byzantine dynasty and its Western based Latin dynasty and empire.  In around the year 600 CE we find the Kārnāmak-I Artakshēr-I Pāpakān (Book of the Deeds of Aradashir, son of Pāpak (Klíma 1968, 44).  The history informs us of the origins of the Sassanians, for it begins with the story of the son of a common shepherd Sāsān who rises from the ranks of a common soldier to become the future Sassanian king and founder of the Sassanid Dynasty. This early literature is symptomatic of a landlord and pastoral based court society that demands epics of loyalty and a privileged monopoly of knowledge held by the court.
The monopoly of the court begins to change with the rise of the merchant trade tales that surround the court but which through their hero’s adventure encounters a wider swath of society and geography.  In this genre a number of interesting literary forms of lasting value were either derived from India and passed through Iranian storytelling and eventually into the Arabic A Thousand and One Nights and the tales of Sheherezade.  The origin may have come from stories known as Hazār Afsāna (a thousand tales) that tell the story of a vizier and his servant girl (Klíma, 54). A number of other old Persian/Iranian/Sassanid literary works survive only through their translation and adaption into later Arabic literature and chronicles, including the 10th century Iranian poet Firdausi, who came from the dehqan class of Iranian landowners that likely descended from the same class that dominated the Sassanid dynasty.  Firdausi’s classic text the Shāh-nāma thus collects oral histories that date back to the landowning class’ tales and sagas from the Sassanid Dynasty and attempts to provide a dynastic interpretation that was deemed relevant to a 10th century Samanid Muslim dynasty (Dabashi 2012).  Other texts from Central Asia attest to the fusion of Buddhist and Christian Manichean traditions and texts, that include fragmentary epics of the Bodhisatva legend (Klíma 1968).


Cai, Zong-Qi. 2010. "Evolving Practices of Guan and Liu Xie's Theory of Literary Interpretation." In Interpretation and Literature in Early Medieval China, by Yuet-Keung Lo and Alan K. L. Chan, edited by edited by Yuet-Keung Lo, and Alan K. L. Chan, State University of New York Press, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central,, 103-132. Albany: State University of New York Press.
Conte, Gian Biaggio. 1999. Latin Literature: A History. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Dabashi, Hamid. 2012. The World of Persian Literary Humanism. Harvard University Press. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Department of Asian Art. 2000. Han Dynasty (206 B.C.–220 A.D.)”. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000. Accessed November 26, 2016. (October 2000).
Hsieh, Liu. 2015. The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons. Translated by Vincent Yu-Chung Shih. New York: New York Review of Books.
Klíma, Otakar. 1968. "Avesta, Ancient Persian and Middle Persian." In History of Iranian Literature, by Jan Rypka, 34-65. Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publishing Company.
McGrath, Kevin. 2004. Sanskrit Hero: Karna in Epic Mahabharata. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2001. China, 500–1000 A.D. October. Accessed November 26, 2016.
Pollock, Sheldon. 2006. The Language of the Gods in the World of Men. Berkeley: University of California Press.


Joseph Needham on Chinese Science and Civilisation

Joseph Needham (1900-1995) On Chinese Science, Culture and History

In a 1947 Conway Memorial Lecture in London, Joseph Needham, the physician and scholar of the history of Chinese science and technology,  changed the title of his talk from Science, Mysticism, and Ethics in Chinese Thought to the more bold and broader title Science and Society in Ancient China[1].  In addition to establishing his medical career and practice, Needham devoted much of his life in an undertaking of the study of ancient and pre-modern Chinese science and technology.  The result of that dedication have resulted in his now famous encyclopedic series that has grown into 9 or more volumes and that has been continued after his death.  The lecture is significant not only for its timing, for it was delivered only months before the Chinese Revolution thrust away the nationalist rule of Kuomintang government.  More importantly, Needham put forth the intriguing and major question facing scholars of Chinese and Western European civilizations:  why didn’t China invent modern science and technology?  After all, Needham noted, China had advanced far beyond its Western counterparts in most areas of science and technology from ancient times through the medieval periods.  Its advances in chemistry, agriculture and medicine held landmark advances and was credited with the key transfer of knowledge in numerous inventions and discoveries, including gunpowder, that led to the ultimate development of modern science, mathematics and technology in the early modern and industrial revolutions of Europe and the Americas.  Further, why was it that capitalism, the Renaissance, and industrial revolution was an invention of the West?
What Needham realized was that one needed to understand the underlying social structure and organization that fostered scientific and cultural development. Out of this social organization came the major products we associate with Chinese technology, including paper making, book making, block printing, the magnetic compass and navigation, and gunpowder. Indeed, the more Needham studied this phenomenon, the more he came to question why modern science and technology did not orginate in China.  To a certain extent the origins of Chinese civilization arose from its river basins and agriculture based around the Yellow River.  While this was not dissimilar to the river basin and delta societies of the Nile in Egypt, the Indus in India and the Tigris and Euphrates in Mesopotamia.  In China, the working of metal crafts and trades, particularly bronze gave a durable metal that could be poured and molded into vessels of ceremonial and utilitarian purpose, and could be used for weapons, both offensive and defensive.  Yet was seemed unique in China was the relative insularity of the Yellow Basin from its Middle Eastern and Western counterparts.  While some Western diplomatic and very limited commercial diplomacy and tentative trade contacts were made with China, for the most part China developed in relative isolation. 
In this early period we find some of the earliest poems of Shih Ching, and ancient folk songs that attribute qualities of peasant life and dances at agricultural festival seasons in the Spring and Fall.  These poems and songs enabled mating between young men and women.  It out of this milieu that we find a literature of wise sayings of wondering or semi-reclusive Taoist hermits, that are encountered by the wise sage and philosopher Confucius. Needham notes these were Taoist hermits who withdrew from society to contemplate nature, that are found in the collected writings of Tao Teh Ching, The Classic of the Virtue of the Way.  Needham rightly notes that this forms one of the earliest attempts at scientific enquiry that would become more systematic as it meets the more bureaucratic organization and rationale of the Confucian elite society. 
By the 2nd century BCE we find references to philosophers and alchemists who promise the elusive elixir of the philosopher’s stone and the ability of changing or making precious gold vessels that yield a drink of immortality.  It is about this time as well that the ascendance of the power of the feminine takes prominence, for nature is in Taoist thought has a feminine mystique and quality. This Taoist strain is in marked juxtaposition to the emphatic masculine emphasis of Confucian thought and society that is organized around the rise of the bureaucratic state and order.
The stories of Chuangtze on nature and the King of Wei who encounters a butcher who has solved how to cut up a bullock in merely three strokes of his cleaver, when others require fifteen.  The butcher claims it is his knowledge of The Way, and the lifelong study of nature that allows him this insight.  What we find Needham argues is a disputation between the Taoist Way and the Confucian system.  The former is the more philosophical and contemplative on the nature world, the latter is more systematic and based on rationale and codification of rules. There is a class difference emerging in the two systems of thought.  The Confucians write and rule without performing manual labor, while Taoism appealed to the artisan and workman whose knowledge of manual labor and the natural and material world required a markedly different philosophy.  Hence in some Taoist decrees, we find the admonition “Banish wisdom, discard knowledge,” as an attack on Confucianism. Needham then offers an original insight that suggests the Taoists sought a return to a traditional society that preempted the rise of the feudal order and state, with its military aristocracy of warriors and lords and Confucian bureaucratic elite. Over time, Needham suggests Taoism became the basis of oppositional philosophies that opposed the state.  Those in exile or out of favor could turn to Taoist practice and doctrine as a way of countering the official stance of the state.
What is also unique in Chinese society and history is the nearly complete absence of slaves, particularly captives of war or peoples of conquered nations.  What may have contributed to that choice may also have been the efficiency of Chinese agriculture and manual labor techniques.  These included the invention of the breast harness for horses that was superior to the Mesopotamian and ancient and medieval European throat and girth harness that restricted the animal’s pulling power and maneuverability.  By contrast the Chinese breast-strap harness with its curved side harness allowed greater mobility and pulling power for the horse and was invented at the beginning of the Han Dynasty in the 2nd century BCE, some 600 to 800 years before its arrival in Europe, where it shows up between 600 and 1000 CE.
Needham concluded his lecture by noting the need for more comparative and in-depth studies of Chinese and other civilizations.  In 1947, Needham was still compiling his great project and over the next half-century and more this encyclopedic endeavor has grown into separate volumes on chemistry, medicine, the manual arts, biology and pharmacy, among other fields. 
Over the next half century, Needham’s project expanded and grew from his personal initiative and dedication into a major collaborative international project between 1954 with the publication of his first volume up through the final volume on medicine Volume 6.3 that appeared shortly after his death, and subsequent volumes that have begun and appeared posthumously in an ongoing endeavor that is a tribute to his life and scholarship.  In one of these volumes on medicine, Volume 6.6, the editor Nate Silvin noted that Lu and Needham had discovered records of the existence of modern immunology for small pox emerged in China between 1500 and 1600 CE, some 100-200 years before its arrival in Turkey and Europe[2].  Thus Needham and his colleagues were extending their project and more importantly the continuing development toward modern medicine and science itself into the early modern period.  This suggest how much Needham had changed and expanded beyond the ancient and medieval periodization of this his initial lecture in 1947.   Certainly points of fusion between Western science and Chinese science occurred at various points and especially in areas of mathematics, astronomy, botany and medicine, including the role of hygiene and sanitation. 


Needham, Joseph. Science and Civilization in China:  Biology and Biological Technology.  Vol. 6 Biology and Biological Technology; Part VI Medicine, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
———. Science and Society in Ancient China. Conway Memorial Lecture.  London: Watts & Co., 1947.

[1] Joseph Needham, Science and Society in Ancient China, Conway Memorial Lecture (London: Watts & Co., 1947).
[2] Joseph Needham, Science and Civilization in China:  Biology and Biological Technology, vol. 6 Biology and Biological Technology; Part VI Medicine (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sources and Guide to Themes in World History 500-1500 CE

This website serves as a link and guide to the themes we'll pursue in the World History survey course and also the Western Civilization survey course. 

 For students in the Western Civilization survey our main texts with links to the publisher's website are below:  

Barbara Rosenwein, A Short History of the Middle Ages, 3rd edition.for the HST 102 Class
     (Note:  use the study guide and maps with the publisher website)
Merry Weisner-Hanks.  Early Modern Europe, 1450-1789 for the HST 102 Class

For students in the World History sequence: 

Peter von Sivers et al., Patterns of World History (2nd Ed.) Oxford University Press.  The main link to online publisher's website and resource materials is found here:

A helpful guide to formatting your research paper is found here: 

Mongol Empire and aftermath 1218-1747 For the history of the Central Asian steppe peoples prior to the rise of the Mongols in the 12 t...