Select ONE of the following essay topics as a starting point for your paper. Remember, you should be sure to develop an analytical thesis–do not simply describe events, but also discuss them in terms of their broader historical significance.
1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the introduction of agriculture to human cultures, using at least two of the following civilizations as examples: Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt, Mesoamerica, and ancient China.
2. Compare and contrast the empires established by the Han Dynasty and the ancient Romans. What methods did each of these cultures use to control territory? How were their approaches to rule similar or different? Which would you consider more successful, on what terms, and why?
3 Examine the spread of Islam. What areas were brought under Muslim control and how? How did Islam influence these areas? How did these areas influence Islam? In what ways did Islam work as a unifying force?
4. How and why did feudalism develop in Western Europe during the early Middle Ages, while the Byzantine Empire remained unified? What impact did this political fragmentation have on Western European culture?