Classical Civilizations: The Rise of States and Empires

History is full of great empires rising to power—and falling into dust. But what does religion and a society's belief system have to do with a civilization's fate? A thorough explanation of the impact of world religions on their corresponding empires, including the Roman Empire, the Han Dynasty, and the Gupta Empire, among others, invites readers to compare the different belief systems for fundamental differences and surprising similarities. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Base a unit on world religions, creation myths, or classical civilizations on the resource and its supplemental materials
  • Use discussion questions and writing prompts as warm-up journal entries or exit tickets
Classroom Considerations
  • The series of origin stories includes the modern scientific account of the Big Bang Theory and the Judeo-Christian biblical story from the book of Genesis; both stories are presented alongside the origin stories of other classical and tribal cultures
  • Requires Internet access to view the corresponding videos
  • Connects explanatory videos with a unifying essential question about the impact of religion on the development of society
  • Provides an answer key with suggested responses to worksheets and graphic organizers
  • All necessary materials are included in both teacher and student versions of the resource
  • Includes an optional video on Oedipus Rex to augment the unit
  • None