6th to 15th Centuries

Byzantium and the Sassanids make way for Islam – two great empires weaken themselves with war

Islam, Power and Empire, to 677 CE – the Prophet, successions, civil wars and expansions

Islamic Empire and Disintegration, 672 to 1055 CE – more expansion, the Umayyads, the Abbasids and Fatimids

India, 501 to 1200 – Hephthalites and declining trade; Islam arrives; stagnation and economic decline

China, 501 to 1200 – dynastic rises and falls, conceit and military weakness

Europe: 501 to 1000 – darkness, Anglo-Saxons, Slavs, Bulgars, Hispania, Charlemagne, Vikings and feudalism

Europe: 1001 to 1212 – towns, intellectuality, Hispania, Norman kings in Britain, knights and chivalry

Europe: 1201 to 1500 – plague, Hundred Years' War, Machiavelli, Russia, Portugal and Spain

Turks, Conquests and the Crusades – the Seljuk Turks, crusades, Zengid dynasty, Saladin, 840 to 1212

Genghis Khan and the Great Mongol Empire – unity, law, conquest, succesion and division, 1200 to 1281

China from Mongols to the Ming – rebellion and first Ming emperor; ocean voyages, Confucianism, to 1400

Japan to 1336 CE – failed reforms; emperor figureheads; privilege and disorder; the Mongol invasions

Timur (Tamerlane), 1336 to 1405 – blood, guts and empire from Georgia to India

The Ottoman Turks, to 1500 – empire into the Balkans and their conquest of Constantinople

African Empires to 1500 – monarchs and the divine, Ethiopia, Muslim migrations and trade with Europeans

Maya, Aztec, pre-Inca, Inca, Inuit: before Columbus – people of the Americas

Religion and Philosophy

Contending Ideas in Western Europe – from a Dark Age to William of Ockham and "Aucassin and Nicolette"

Christian Organization and Confllct – monasteries, East-West schism, heresy, inquisition

Islam as Idea – core beliefs; Hadiths and the Ibadis, Mutazilites, Kharijites, Murji'ah and Sufis

Muslims, Science and Philosophy – al-Kindi, Ibn Sena (Avicenna), al-Ghazali, Omar Khayyam

Changing Hinduism – Bakhti, Krishna vs Vishnu.

Philosophy in China – Cheng-Yi, Xhu-Xi, neo-Confuciansim

Religion and Zen Buddhism in Medieval Japan – imported from China and changing with circumstances