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Intro To Ancient Civilizations

Ancient Civilizations

Ancient Civilizations is a focused course designed to pair with the course Art History: Ancient Civilizations also in the Next Level Homeschool Western Civilization Series. They do not have to be taken together, but it really enhances the learning!


Intro to Ancient Civilizations will act as an introductory course into the first major human civilizations in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. These civilizations make up the foundation of early history and Western Civilization, and knowledge of them is necessary for further study into cultures in the West. This the first half of this 12 week class will start with prehistory and the first peoples. From there we will move through the civilizations in the “Fertile Crescent” and ancient Egypt. Persia, China, and India will also play parts in this class. The last half of the class will cover the two major ancient civilizations that make up the foundation of culture in the West: Greece and Rome. This class will serve as a base for students to build future explorations into western civilizations on, both before and after the fall of Rome. This class is not a prerequisite for other classes in the Western Civilization series; but it is highly recommended, as other courses will build upon the knowledge covered in this course.

No live classes- view lessons on YOUR schedule. In general, expect 1.5-2.5 hours to work through the lesson plan each week, and an additional 2-5 hours working on assignments (it really depends what assignment your child chooses to do and how they manage their time). For classes with two levels, the material is the same for both- the depth of the assignments differs. Younger students should usually be placed in Level 1. Older students, or younger students who want more of a challenge, should be placed in Level 2. Each lesson consists of a fully narrated PowerPoint presentation with images and videos to enhance the topics. Students will have access to our learning management system, Canvas, for viewing their lesson, printing worksheets, taking quizzes, viewing/submitting assignments, participating in discussions, and viewing grades/feedback. Read more details about class format. 

Week 1: Prehistoric Peoples This week will introduce the first groups of people, those before any major civilization. First, we will examine the first humans and plot their migrations across the globe to the areas of concentration that make up the first civilizations. We will also be looking into the different types of tribes, and how those tribes formed into villages, towns, and eventually cities. This week will make up the foundation upon which we can build these ancient civilizations.

Week 2: The First Civilizations Week 2 will cover the first major civilizations, most of which fall around the “Fertile Crescent.” These civilizations provide the model for which the rest build upon. Their use of agriculture in a fertile area allowed them to build the large cities that make up this week’s focus. Sumer, Mesopotamia, Babylon, and others will all be covered with some mention of the civilization along the Indus River. This week will lead into our first major ancient civilization.

Week 3: Ancient Egypt This week introduces our first “core” civilization. Egypt set a model for civilization that many others would follow. It is most easily broken down into its four distinct periods and their interims: The Old Kingdom, the Middle Kingdom, the New Kingdom, and Hellenistic Egypt. Week 3 will cover the Old and Middle Kingdoms. It will cover ancient Egyptian mythology, burial practices and religious beliefs, the first dynasties of the Pharaohs, and the pyramids. Many of the more popular images in ancient Egyptian culture come from these two pyramids.

Week 4: Ancient Egypt (cont) This week will begin with the invasion of the Hyksos and the changes made to the Egyptian civilization as a result during the New Kingdom period. We will then study the dynasties of the New Kingdom, including a look at Ramses the Great. There will also be a review of the changing architecture of the time, especially during the 25th dynasty. The Kingdom of Kush and their influence on Egyptian culture will also be studied during this week. Hellenistic Egypt will be reviewed with ancient Greece.

Week 5: Ancient China and India While the majority of this course follows western civilizations, this week will take a look out what the eastern civilizations were doing. The study of ancient India will focus on the civilizations, the geography, and the rise of Hinduism and Buddhism. From there we will look into ancient China, including focuses on the geography, the dynasties, and Confucianism and Taoism.

Week 6: Ancient Persia This week will act as a bridge back from the East to the West. The Persian empire extended from India to Asia Minor and had much influence on the Hebrews and the Greeks. This will be a brief look into their expansive empire and how they were able to keep so many different peoples under one banner. We will also explore the ancient Hebrews and how they clashed with Persia.

Week 7: Ancient Greece Persia segues nicely into ancient Greece, as it had much influence over its development. We will begin by examining the cultures around the peninsula: the Minoans and the Mycenaeans. After that, we will examine the geography of Greece and how it affected the growth pattern of ancient Greece. Mythology and religion will also make up a large portion of this week.

Week 8: Ancient Greece (cont) This week will introduce the city-states of ancient Greece. Athens, Sparta, Delphi, Corinth, many of the major city-states will be covered including their systems of government, patron deities, and exploits. Week 8 will be a look a quintessential ancient Greek culture.

Week 9: Ancient Greece (cont) This will be the move from classical Greece into Hellenistic Greece under the Macedonians Philip and his son, Alexander the Great. Hellenistic Greece is often seen as a golden age in Greek culture, but it also represents the beginning of the end for ancient Greece. Alexander conquered regions from Macedonia to India, but after his death, his empire crumbled due to infighting. That infighting will make up the majority of the week with the empires of Seleucus, Ptolemy, and Antigonus.

Week 10: Ancient Rome Week 10 marks the beginnings of ancient Rome. This week will be an examination of how Rome came to be. We will study the Roman origin story of Romulus and Remus and how it connects to the origins of the Greeks. There will also be a section on their religion and its roots in ancient Greece. We will also be taking a look at Carthage and how it shaped the future of Rome.

Week 11: Ancient Rome (cont) This week will cover the Roman Republic. This is the first of the two major periods of study in ancient Rome. We will cover the governmental systems, the Punic Wars, and the exploits of early Rome. The week will end with the rise and death of Julius Caesar.

Week 12: Ancient Rome (cont) The final week will cover the Roman Empire, beginning with Augustus Caesar. We will examine the shifts in government from the republic to the empire. This week will focus on military campaigns to expand the empire and the emperors (both good and bad). We will finish the class covering the fall of Rome and the split between western and eastern regions.

Next Level Homeschool is a firm believer that not all learning should happen from behind a screen! That's why we give students the freedom to submit their assignments in the way THEY want to! We don't want regurgitation learning here. By allowing students to use their own talents, skills, and passions to complete assignments, they become even more engaged and retain the information. Why? Because now it's literally in their hands! We receive thousands of projects every year from our students- written reports, videos, models, posters, Scratch, minecraft, songs, poems, skits, drawings, sculptures, crafts- we've seen it ALL! And WE LOVE IT!!  Click here to view just a few projects we've received from students who have taken this class, and see what YOUR kid could be learning with Next Level Homeschool!


Course Features

  • Schedule Sep 5 - Dec 5
  • Activities History
  • Lessons 12
  • Suggested Ages 10-17 Two Levels
  • Time This class is currently closed for enrollments. Please join our mailing list to find out when it is open again.