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World in the Making

Volume One to 1500

Second Edition

Author Bonnie G. Smith, Marc Van De Mieroop, Richard von Glahn, and Kris Lane

Publication Date - 28 October 2022

ISBN: 9780197608289

720 pages
7 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches

In Stock

World in the Making examines the interactions of the world's peoples over time and space, showing the interplay between global developments and everyday lives.


Featuring a renowned author team and the best recent scholarship, World in the Making: A Global History explores both the global and local dimensions of world history. Abundant full-color maps and images, along with other special pedagogical features that highlight the lives and voices of the world's peoples, make this synthesis accessible and memorable for students--all at an affordable low price.

New to this Edition

  • Doing History. This new feature, located in the Review section at the end of each chapter, prompts students to consider the skills that world historians employ. Tied to the content in each chapter and organized around seven key concepts, Doing History shows students the reasoning processes historians use to construct the historical past.
  • New Features. The second edition presents several new Lives and Livelihoods, Seeing the Past, and Reading the Past features, including insights into religious practices in Stone Age Turkey (Chapter 1); ecology, production, and power in the Hawaiian Islands (Chapter 10); domestic life in Byzantium (Chapter 11); and views of Alexander the Great in the East and West (Chapter 12).
  • New Counterpoint sections. Many instructors have incorporated the text's unique Counterpoint sections into their teaching. These new ones are included in the second edition: The Prophets of Israel and Judah (Chapter 5); Jewish Merchant Communities in Latin Christendom; (Chapter 11); Sufism in South Asia (Chapter 13).
  • New chapter opening vignettes and new scholarship. Chapter 1 includes the latest research on human evolution and early human history, including a new vignette on the discovery of the oldest footprints outside of Africa. Chapter 3 includes substantially revised information on the Oxus people spotlighted in that chapter's Counterpoint section. Chapter 6 presents a revised discussion on the Roman Republic. Chapter 13 now opens with an account from Usamah ibn Minqidh that offers a Muslim view of Crusaders.
  • Expanded Digital Resources. Oxford Learning Link "http://www.learninglink.oup.com" www.learninglink.oup.com makes available to adopters of World in the Making, offers a wealth of teaching resources, including an enhanced eBook, a test-item file, a computerized test bank, quizzes, PowerPoint slides, videos, and primary sources.
  • Oxford Learning Link Direct (OLLD) makes the digital learning resources for World in the Making available to adopters via a one-time course integration with their LMS.
  • Adopters also have the option of delivering the learning tools for World in the Making within a cloud-based platform, Oxford Learning Cloud (OLC).


  • Lives and Livelihoods features reinforce the book's superior social and cultural coverage and unique global/local approach.
  • Author teams of world history textbooks typically divide the work based on geographic specialty, but the author team of World in the Making define their subject matter by time period. This organization enables them to see connections or parallel developments that make societies part of world history-as well as the distinctive features that make them unique. This approach also ensures a unified perspective to the many stories that each part tells.
  • Counterpoint sections reveal that alternative histories have always existed alongside "master narratives."
  • Reading the Past and Seeing the Past features provide direct exposure to important voices and ideas of the past through written and visual primary sources.
  • Opening vignettes draw students into the atmosphere of the period and introduce the chapter's main themes.
  • Backstory sections remind students of where they last encountered the peoples discussed in the chapter.
  • Overview Questions frame the main issues to consider while reading, while Focus Questions guide students' comprehension and promote close reading and dynamic class discussion.

About the Author(s)

Bonnie G. Smith (AB Smith College, PhD University of Rochester) is Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of History Emerita, Rutgers University.

Marc Van De Mieroop (PhD Yale University, 1983) is Professor of History at Columbia University.

Richard von Glahn (PhD Yale University, 1983) is Professor of History at University of California, Los Angeles.

Kris Lane (PhD University of Minnesota, 1996) holds the France V. Scholes Chair in Colonial Latin American History at Tulane University in New Orleans.

Table of Contents

    List of Maps
    Studying with Maps
    Notes on Dates and Spelling
    About the Authors

    PART 1 The Ancient World, from Human Origins to 500 CE

    CHAPTER 1 Peopling the World, to 4000 BCE
    The Major Global Development in this Chapter: The adaptation of early humans to their environment and their eventual domestication of plants and animals.
    Human Origins
    Evolution of the Human Species
    Out of Africa
    Paleolithic Food Gatherers 2,000,000-9000 BCE
    The Gatherer-Hunter Economy
    Life in Paleolithic Communities
    The First Neolithic Farmers 9000-4000 BCE
    The Origins of Agriculture
    Life in Neolithic Communities
    COUNTERPOINT Gatherer-Hunters by Choice: Aborigines of Australia
    Understanding the History of Aborigines
    A Lifestyle in Harmony with the Natural World
    The Conscious Choice to Gather and Hunt
    Religious Life and Social Organization
    Conclusion | Review
    Seeing the Past: Paleolithic Statuettes of Women
    Seeing the Past: A Stone Age Sanctuary?
    Lives and Livelihoods: The People of Çatal Höyük
    Doing History: Perspectives

    CHAPTER 2 Temples and Palaces: Birth of the City 5000-1200 BCE
    The Major Global Development in this Chapter: The rise of urban society and the creation of states in Southwest Asia.
    Origins of Urban Society: Mesopotamia 5000-3200 BCE
    The Environmental Challenge
    Irrigation and Its Impact
    The First Cities 3200-1600 BCE
    The Power of the Temple
    The Might of the Palace
    The New Order of Society
    City Life and Learning
    The Invention of Writing
    The Expansion of Knowledge
    The First International Order 1600-1200 BCE
    From City-States to Territorial States in the Eastern Mediterranean
    International Relations
    Kings and Commoners: An Unequal System
    COUNTERPOINT Egypt's Distinct Path to Statehood
    Egypt's Geography and Early History
    Egyptian Ideology of Kingship
    The New Culture of Statehood
    Seeing the Past: The Uruk Vase
    Reading the Past: Royal Inscriptions from Early Mesopotamia
    Lives and Livelihoods: The Pyramid Builders of the Pharaohs
    Doing History: Developments and Processes

    CHAPTER 3 Settlers and Migrants: The Creation of States in Asia 5000-500 BCE
    The Major Global Development in this Chapter: The rise of large urban states in Asia and the interactions between nomadic and settled peoples that profoundly shaped them.
    Early Agricultural Societies of South and East Asia 5000-1000 BCE
    Settled Farmers of the River Valleys
    Nomadic Herders of the Steppe
    The Indus Valley Culture 2600-1900 BCE
    Urban Society in the Indus Valley
    Harappan Crafts and Long-Distance Trade
    The End of the Indus Valley Culture
    The Indo-Europeans 3000-1000 BCE
    Indo-European Languages
    Indo-European Migrations
    Indo-European Speakers and Eurasian History
    India's Vedic Age 1500-500 BCE
    Vedic Origins
    Rise of a New Society: Families, Clans, and Castes
    Vedic Religion
    Developments in Vedic Ideas
    The Early Chinese Dynasties 2000-771 BCE
    Re-creating Early China: Literary Traditions and the Archaeological Record
    The Growth of States 2000-1570 BCE
    The Shang Dynasty and the Consolidation of Power 1570-1027 BCE
    The Early Zhou Dynasty and the Extension of Power 1027-771 BCE
    COUNTERPOINT The Oxus People: A Short-Lived Culture in Central Asia 2250-1700 BCE
    Seeing the Past: Inscribed Seals from the Indus Valley
    Lives and Livelihoods: Chinese Diviners
    Reading the Past: Book of Poetry
    Doing History: Sourcing and Situation

    CHAPTER 4 Empire and Resistance in the Mediterranean 1550-330 BCE
    The Major Global Development in this Chapter: The rise of empires and the variety and consequences of imperial rule.
    Imperial Egypt and Nubia 1550 BCE-350 CE
    The Imperial Might of New Kingdom Egypt 1550-1070 BCE
    Nubia's Rise and Rule of Egypt 1000-660 BCE
    The Nubian Kingdom of Meroe 400 bce-350 CE
    Rise and Fall of the Assyrian Empire 900-612 BCE
    Assyria: A Society as War Machine
    Imperial Governance
    Culture and Identity in the Assyrian Empire
    Failure of the Assyrian System
    The Persian Empire 550-330 BCE
    The Course of Empire
    Administering a Multicultural Empire
    Zoroastrianism in a Polytheistic World
    COUNTERPOINT On the Edge of Empire: The People of Ancient Greece 800-500 BCE
    Greek Colonization of the Mediterranean 800-500 BCE
    Growth of the City-State in Early Greece 800-500 BCE
    Struggle Between Persia and Greece 500-479 BCE
    The Peloponnesian War and the End of Athenian Supremacy 431-404 BCE
    Seeing the Past: The Queen of Meroe in Battle
    Lives and Livelihoods: Mesopotamian Astronomers
    Reading the Past: Pericles Praises the Democratic Ideal
    Doing History: Making Connections

    CHAPTER 5 Thinkers and World Empires of Eurasia 500 BCE-500 CE
    The Major Global Development in this Chapter: The revolutionary religious and cultural developments in India, China, and Greece that took place between 500 BCE and 500 CE and that remained fundamental to the history of Eurasia.
    India: Sages, Traders, and Courtly Cultures 500 BCE-500 CE
    Religious Ferment: The Rise of Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism
    Unity and Fragmentation: The Mauryan and Gupta Empires
    A Crossroads of Trade
    Literary and Scientific Flowering
    China: Intellectuals and the Qin and Han Empires, 221 BCE-220 CE
    Intellectual Churning: Confucians, Daoists, and Legalists
    Unification and Centralization: The Worlds of Qin and Han
    Preserving and Spreading the Written Word
    Greece: Philosophers, Scholars, and Poets, 500-30 BCE
    Athens's Golden Age 500-400 BCE
    Hellenism: The Expansion of Greek Ideals and Institutions 323-30 BCE
    COUNTERPOINT The Prophets of Israel and Judah
    Reading the Past: Women in Han China
    Lives and Livelihoods: Philosophers of Athens's Golden Age
    Seeing the Past: The Fasting Buddha
    Doing History: Claims and Evidence in Sources

    CHAPTER 6 The Unification of Western Eurasia 500 BCE-500 CE
    The Major Global Development in this Chapter: The unification of western Eurasia under the Roman Empire.
    Rome: A Republican Center of Power 500-27 BCE
    Society and Politics in the Republic
    From Village to World Empire
    Failure of the Republic
    Rome: The Empire 27 BCE-212 CE
    Emperors and Armies
    The Provincial System and the Diffusion of Roman Culture
    Christianity: From Jewish Sect to Imperial Religion
    Religions in the Roman Empire
    Christianity's Spread Outside the Jewish Community
    Toward a State Religion 50-324 CE
    Institutionalization of the Christian Church
    Transformation of the Roman Empire 200-500 CE
    Division Between East and West
    Economic Strains and Social Tensions
    Collapse in the West and Revitalization in the East
    COUNTERPOINT Rome's Iranian Rivals in the Middle East
    The Parthians 247 BCE-224 CE
    The Sasanids 224-651 CE
    A Tapestry of Cultures and Religions
    Lives and Livelihoods: Roman Engineers
    Seeing the Past: The Augustan Cameo Gem
    Reading the Past: A Young Woman Laments Her Premature Death
    Doing History: Contextualization

    CHAPTER 7 Reading the Unwritten Record: Peoples of Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific Islands 3000 BCE-500 CE
    The Major Global Development in this Chapter: The evolution of ancient cultures without writing and their fundamental role in world history.
    Peoples of Sub-Saharan Africa
    Early Hunters and Herders
    Bantu Migrations
    Bantu Society and Culture
    Peoples of the Americas
    The Olmecs 1200-400 BCE
    The Early Maya 400 BCE-250 CE
    Andean Peoples 900 BCE-600 CE
    Gatherer-Hunters of North America 800 BCE-400 CE
    Peoples of the Pacific Islands
    Agricultural Livelihoods
    Peopling the Islands
    COUNTERPOINT The Voiced and Voiceless in Ancient Literate Societies
    Uses of the Written Record
    The Voiceless Many
    Lives and Livelihoods: Potters of Antiquity
    Reading the Past: The La Mojarra Stele
    Seeing the Past: The Archaeological Site of Talepakemalai
    Doing History: Argument

    Part 2 Crossroads and Cultures 500-1450 CE

    CHAPTER 8 The Worlds of Christianity and Islam 400-1000
    The Major Global Development in this Chapter: The spread of Christianity and Islam and the profound impact of these world religions on the societies of western Eurasia and North Africa.
    Multiple Christianities 400-850
    The Christian Church in Byzantium
    Christianity in Asia and Africa
    Christian Communities in Western Europe
    Social and Political Renewal in the Post-Roman World 400-850
    Crisis and Survival of the Byzantine Empire
    The Germanic Successor States in Western Europe
    Economic Contraction and Renewal in Christendom
    Origins of the Slavs and the Founding of Rus
    The Rise and Spread of Islam 610-750
    The Prophet Muhammad and the Faith of Islam
    The Islamic Empire of the Umayyad Caliphs 661-750
    From Unified Caliphate to Islamic Commonwealth 750-1000
    Rise of the Abbasid Caliphs
    Rise of the Religious Scholars
    Collapse of the Unified Caliphate
    COUNTERPOINT The Norse Vikings: The New Barbarians
    The Viking Raids 790-1020
    Norse Emigration and Colonization
    Seeing the Past: The Franks Casket: Interweaving Christian Belief and Germanic Folklore
    Lives and Livelihoods: Constantinople's Silk Producers
    Reading the Past: Women and Property in Islam
    Doing History: Perspectives

    CHAPTER 9 Religion and Cross-Cultural Exchange in Asia 400-1000
    The Major Global Development in this Chapter: The cultural and commercial exchanges during the heyday of the Silk Road that transformed Asian peoples, cultures, and states.
    Steppe Peoples and Settled Societies of Central Asia
    Nomad Conquerors of China: The Northern Wei 386-534
    Rise of the Turks
    A Turkic Khanate in the West: The Khazars
    The Shaping of East Asia
    The Chinese Transformation of Buddhism
    Reunification of the Chinese Empire: The Sui Dynasty 581-618
    The Power of Tang China 618-907
    China and Its Neighbors
    The Consolidation of Hindu Society in India
    Land and Wealth
    Devotional Worship in Hinduism
    New Economic and Social Trends
    Court Society and Culture
    The Spread of Indian Traditions to Southeast Asia
    Commerce and Religious Change in Southeast Asia
    Religion and State Power
    Indian Religions in Southeast Asia: A Summing-Up
    COUNTERPOINT Sogdian Traders in Central Asia and China
    A Robust Commercial Economy
    Breakdown of the Trade Network
    Lives and Livelihoods: Tea Drinkers in Tang China
    Reading the Past: A Copper-Plate Land Grant
    Seeing the Past: Borobudur, the World's Largest Buddhist Monument
    Doing History: Making Connections

    CHAPTER 10 Societies and Networks in the Americas and the Pacific 300-1200
    The Major Global Development in this Chapter: The formation of distinctive regional cultures in the Americas and the Pacific Islands between 300 and 1200.
    The Classical Age of Mesoamerica and Its Aftermath
    Political Power and Ideology in Mesoamerica
    The City-State of Teotihuacán
    The Maya City-State Network
    The Passing of Mesoamerica's Classical Age
    City and State Building in the Andean Region
    States and Societies in the Coastal Lowlands
    States and Societies in the Andean Highlands
    Agrarian Societies in North America
    Pueblo Societies in the Southwestern Deserts
    Mound-Building Societies in the Eastern Woodlands
    Habitat and Adaptation in the Pacific Islands
    Polynesian Expansion
    Subsistence and Survival in the Pacific Islands
    COUNTERPOINT Social Complexity in Bougainville
    Bougainville's Diverse Peoples
    The Historical Roots of Social Difference
    Conclusion|Review X
    Reading the Past: Maya Hero Twins Vanquish the Lords of the Underworld
    Seeing the Past: Images of Power in Tiwanaku Art
    Lives and Livelihoods: Ecology, Production, and Power in the Hawaiian Islands
    Doing History: Sourcing and Situation

    CHAPTER 11 The Rise of Commerce in Afro-Eurasia 900-1300
    The Major Global Development in this Chapter: The sustained economic expansion that spread across Eurasia and Africa between the tenth and fourteenth centuries.
    Agricultural Innovation and Diffusion
    Retrenchment and Renewal in Europe and Byzantium
    Agricultural Transformation in the Islamic World
    Rice Economies in Monsoon Asia
    Industrial Growth and the Money Economy
    Technological Change and Industrial Enterprise
    Expanding Circulation of Money
    Credit and the Invention of Paper Money
    Merchants and Trade Networks in Afro-Eurasia
    Merchant Partnerships and Long-Distance Trade
    Merchants and Rulers
    Maritime Traders in the Indian Ocean
    Trans-Saharan Traders
    Mediterranean and European Traders
    COUNTERPOINT Jewish Moneylenders in Latin Christendom
    Seeing the Past: Imitation and Innovation in Islamic Coinage
    Reading the Past: A Byzantine Gentleman's Advice on Providing for One's Family
    Lives and Livelihoods: The Mande Blacksmiths
    Doing History: Developments and Processes

    CHAPTER 12 Centers of Learning and the Transmission of Culture 900-1300
    The Major Global Development in this Chapter: The expansion of learning and education across Eurasia from 900 to 1300 and its relationship to the rise of regional and national identities.
    Church and Universities in Latin Christendom
    Monastic Learning and Culture
    The Rise of Universities
    Vernacular Language and Literature
    Students and Scholars in Islamic Societies
    The Rise of Madrasas
    Sufi Mysticism and Sunni Orthodoxy
    Oral and Written Cultures in Islam
    The Cosmopolitan and Vernacular Realms in India and Southeast Asia
    The Cosmopolitan Realm of Sanskrit
    Rival States and Regional Identity
    Persianate Literary and Artistic Culture Under the Delhi Sultanate
    Learning, Schools, and Print Culture in East Asia
    Civil Service Examinations and Schooling in Song China
    The Culture of Print in Song China
    Classical and Vernacular Traditions in East Asia
    COUNTERPOINT Writing and Political Power in Mesoamerica
    Mesoamerican Languages: Time, History, and Rulership
    The Legacy of Mesoamerican Languages
    Lives and Livelihoods: Medical Professionals of Latin Christendom
    Seeing the Past: Alexander the Great (Iskandar) in Christian and Islamic Legends
    Reading the Past: Lady Murasaki on Her Peers Among Women Writers
    Doing History: Contextualization

    CHAPTER 13 Crusaders, Mongols, and Eurasian Integration 1050-1350
    The Major Global Development in this Chapter: The Eurasian integration fostered by the clashes of culture known as the Crusades and the Mongol conquests.
    The Crusades and the Imperial Papacy 1050-1350
    The Papal Monarchy
    The Crusades 1095-1291
    Papal Supremacy and the Christian People
    The Making of Christian Europe 1100-1350
    The Reconquest of Spain 1085-1248
    Christianizing Eastern Europe 1150-1350
    The Mongol World Empire 1100-1368
    Rise of the Mongols
    Creation and Division of the Mongol Empire 1206-1259
    Qubilai Khan and the Yuan Empire in China 1260-1368
    The Mongol Khanates and the Islamic World 1240-1350
    Mongol Rule in Iran and Mesopotamia
    The Golden Horde and the Rise of Muscovy
    Retrenchment in the Islamic World: The Mamluk and Ottoman States
    COUNTERPOINT Sufism in South Asia
    Reading the Past: Bernard of Clairvaux's Summons to the Wendish Crusade
    Seeing the Past: The Mappaemundi of Latin Christendom
    Lives and Livelihoods: Mongol Women in the Household Economy and Public Life
    Doing History: Claims and Evidence in Sources

    CHAPTER 14 Collapse and Revival in Afro-Eurasia 1300-1450
    The Major Global Development in this Chapter: Crisis and recovery in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Afro-Eurasia.
    Fourteenth-Century Crisis and Renewal in Eurasia
    The "Great Mortality": The Black Death of 1347-1350
    Rebuilding Societies in Western Europe 1350-1492
    Ming China and the New Order in East Asia 1368-1500
    Islam's New Frontiers
    Islamic Spiritual Ferment in Central Asia 1350-1500
    Ottoman Expansion and the Fall of Constantinople 1354-1453
    Commerce and Culture in Islamic West Africa
    Advance of Islam in Maritime Southeast Asia
    The Global Bazaar
    Economic Prosperity and Maritime Trade in Asia 1350-1450
    China's Overseas Overture: The Voyages of Zheng He 1405-1433
    Commerce and Culture in the Renaissance
    COUNTERPOINT Age of the Samurai in Japan 1185-1450
    "The Low Overturning the High"
    The New Warrior Order
    Reading the Past: A Genoese Merchant on Commercial Prospects in a Saharan Oasis Town
    Lives and Livelihoods: Urban Weavers in India
    Seeing the Past: Leonardo da Vinci's Virgin of the Rocks
    Doing History: Argument

    Part 3 The Early Modern World 1450-1750

    CHAPTER 15 Empires and Alternatives in the Americas 1430-1530
    The Major Global Development in this Chapter: The diversity of societies and states in the Americas prior to European invasion.
    Many Native Americas
    Tributes of Blood: The Aztec Empire 1325-1521
    Humble Origins, Imperial Ambitions
    Enlarging and Supplying the Capital
    Holy Terror: Aztec Rule, Religion, and Warfare
    Daily Life Under the Aztecs
    The Limits of Holy Terror
    Tributes of Sweat: The Inca Empire 1430-1532
    From Potato Farmers to Empire Builders
    The Great Apparatus: Inca Expansion and Religion
    Daily Life Under the Incas
    The Great Apparatus Breaks Down
    COUNTERPOINT The Peoples of North America's Eastern Woodlands 1450-1530
    Seeing the Past: An Aztec Map of Tenochtitlán
    Lives and Livelihoods: The Aztec Midwife
    Reading the Past: An Andean Creation Story
    Doing History: Making Connections