Western Civilization: Volume I: To 1715

  • AUTHOR: Jackson J. Spielvogel
  • ISBN-13: 9781285436487 
  • Grade(s): 9 | 10 | 11 | 12
  • 576 Pages  Paperback 
  • 9th Edition  |  Previous Editions: 2012, 2009, 2006
  • ©2015     Published
  • Prices are valid only in the respective region


About The Product

Best-selling author Jackson Spielvogel has helped over one million students learn about the present by exploring the past. Spielvogel's engaging narrative weaves the political, economic, social, religious, intellectual, cultural, and military aspects of history into a gripping story that is as memorable as it is instructive. WESTERN CIVILIZATION includes 155 maps and excerpts of more than 250 primary sources that enliven the past while introducing students to the source material of historical scholarship. Additionally, the text is illustrated with 430 photographs that add visual context. A variety of pedagogical tools, including features on relevant films and end-of-chapter study aids, make this edition accessible to any learning style. Available in the following split options: WESTERN CIVILIZATION, Ninth Edition (Chapters 1-30), ISBN: 9781285436401; Volume I: To 1715 (Chapters 1-16), ISBN: 978-1-285-43648-7; Volume II: Since 1500 (Chapters 13-30), ISBN: 978-1-285-43655-5; Volume A: To 1500 (Chapters 1-12), ISBN: 978-1-285-43658-6; Volume B: 1300 to 1815 (Chapters 11-19), ISBN: 978-1-285-43661-6; Volume C: Since 1789 (Chapters 19-30), ISBN: 978-1-285-43662-3; Alternate Volume: Since 1300 (Chapters 11-30), ISBN: 978-1-285-43668-5.


  • “Opposing Viewpoints” features, which present a comparison of two or three primary sources in order to facilitate student analysis of historical documents, appear in every chapter. Topics include “The Great Flood: Two Versions” (Ch. 1, new); “Lords, Vassals, and Samurai in Europe and Japan”(Ch. 8, new).
  • “Images of Everyday Life” features, which combine two or more illustrations with a lengthy caption to provide insight into different aspects of social life, can be found in eighteen chapters. New topics include “Children in the Roman World” (Ch. 6), and “Family and Marriage in Renaissance Italy” (Ch. 12).
  • “Film and History” features, which present a brief analysis of a film's plot as well as the historical significance, value, and accuracy, appear in eighteen chapters. Featured films include “300” (Ch. 3), and “The Lion in Winter” (Ch. 10).
  • End-of-chapter review material includes an illustrated Chapter Summary, a Chapter Timeline, and Chapter Review consisting of “Upon Reflection” essay questions and Key Terms lists from the chapter.
  • The text offers global perspectives and connections. Examples include: the importance of trade in Constantinople, with a quote comparing it to Bagdad as a cosmopolitan center (Ch. 7); an “Opposing Viewpoints” comparing feudalistic societies in Europe and Japan (Ch. 8); discussion on the spread of the plague through China, the Middle East, and Europe (Ch. 11); and an “Images of Everyday Life” feature on Spices and World Trade (Ch. 14).
  • Spielvogel provides a focused, consistent narrative throughout the text. The author is an award-winning teacher and scholar whose clear, lively, and informative writing style has made this text so successful with students. Numerous testimonials state that a primary reason professors use this text is because their students can read and understand it at schools that range from Ivy League universities to two-year technical colleges.
  • Primary documents--letters, memoirs, song lyrics, official documents, diary entries, menus, poetry, plays, and the like--give students access to the kinds of materials historians use to create their interpretations of the past. Students encounter such varied sources as a Renaissance banquet menu, a student fight song in nineteenth-century Britain, letters exchanged between a woman and her fiancé in World War I, and a debate in the Reformation era. All these sources reveal in vivid fashion what Western civilization meant to the individual men and women who shaped it.
  • Maps are interspersed throughout the text, including an average of three “spot maps” in each chapter. These resources provide critical details on smaller areas not apparent in the larger maps. All maps include captions and map questions to encourage readers to make connections across eras, regions, and concepts.

About the Contributor

  • Jackson J. Spielvogel

    Jackson J. Spielvogel is Associate Professor Emeritus of History at The Pennsylvania State University. He received his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, where he specialized in Reformation history under Harold J. Grimm. His articles and reviews have appeared in journals such as Moreana, Journal of General Education, Catholic Historical Review, Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte, and American Historical Review. He also has contributed chapters or articles to THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF THE REFORMATION, THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE: A DICTIONARY HANDBOOK, the SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER ANNUAL OF HOLOCAUST STUDIES, and UTOPIAN STUDIES. His work has been supported by fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation and the Foundation for Reformation Research. At Penn State, he helped inaugurate the Western Civilization course, as well as a popular course on Nazi Germany. His book HITLER AND NAZI GERMANY was published in 1987 (7th Edition, 2014). He is the author of WESTERN CIVILIZATION, first published in 1991 (10th Edition, 2017), and the coauthor (with William Duiker) of WORLD HISTORY, first published in 1994 (8th Edition, 2016). Professor Spielvogel has won five major university-wide teaching awards. During the year 1988−1989, he held the Penn State Teaching Fellowship, the university's most prestigious teaching award. In 1996, he won the Dean Arthur Ray Warnock Award for Outstanding Faculty member, and in 2000 received the Schreyer Honors College Excellence in Teaching Award.

Table of Contents

1. The Ancient Near East: The First Civilizations.
2. The Ancient Near East: Peoples and Empires.
3. The Civilization of the Greeks.
4. The Hellenistic World.
5. The Roman Republic.
6. The Roman Empire.
7. Late Antiquity and the Emergence of the Medieval World.
8. European Civilization in the Early Middle Ages, 750–1000.
9. The Recovery and Growth of European Society in the High Middle Ages.
10. The Rise of Kingdoms and the Growth of Church Power.
11. The Later Middle Ages: Crisis and Disintegration in the Fourteenth Century.
12. Recovery and Rebirth: The Age of the Renaissance.
13. Reformation and Religious Warfare in the Sixteenth Century.
14. Europe and The World: New Encounters, 1500–1800.
15. State Building and the Search for Order in the Seventeenth Century.
16. Toward a New Heaven and a New Earth: The Scientific Revolution and the Emergence of Modern Science.

New to this Edition

  • New “Connections to Today” questions at the beginning of chapters help students appreciate the relevance of history by asking them to draw connections between the past and present.
  • New historiographical subsections briefly examine how and why historians differ in their interpretation of specific topics. Examples include: “Was There a United Kingdom of Israel?” (Ch. 2); and “Was There a Renaissance for Women?” (Ch. 12).
  • New primary source excerpts are included in document boxes and in “Opposing Viewpoints” features. New examples include: “The Great Flood: Two Versions” (Ch. 1); “Goliardic Poetry: The Archpoet” (Ch. 9); and “A Liberated Woman in the Fourteenth Century” (Ch. 11).
  • New and revised coverage of gender history includes new material on women in Sparta (Ch. 3), women in the Hellenistic world (Ch. 4); the labor of women in the Frankish society (Ch. 7); women in Byzantium, the Slavic World, and the world of Islam (Ch. 8); and the roles of peasant women and women in medieval cities (Ch. 9). Also new: a historiographical subsection, “Was There a Renaissance for Women?” (Ch. 12); and a document, “Margaret Cavendish: The Education of Women” (Ch. 16).
  • New and revised material keeps the text up to date with recent historical scholarship. Examples include new material on: Amenhotep II, Amenhotep III, and health care in ancient Egypt (Ch. 1); helots and women in Sparta, sports and violence in ancient Greece and background of Themistocles (Ch. 3); women in the Hellenistic world (Ch. 4); and the origins of the Etruscans, and Julius Caesar and Cleopatra VII (Ch. 5).
  • New content includes a new section, “Art and the Black Death” (Ch. 11); a new section on “Disease in the New World” and material on the West Indies (Ch. 14); material on Judith Leyster and Rembrandt (Ch. 15); material on Maria Merian and on Galileo's telescope (Ch. 16).
  • New topics for “Images of Everyday Life” features include: “Children in the Roman World” (Ch. 6), and “Family and Marriage in Renaissance Italy” (Ch. 12).
  • New “Film & History” features examine the historical relevance and accuracy of “Vision” (Ch. 10).


Teacher Components

  • CourseReader 0-30: Western Civilization Instant Access Code  (ISBN-10: 1111475555 | ISBN-13: 9781111475550)
    COURSEREADER: WESTERN CIVILIZATION is Cengage Learning’s easy, affordable way to build your own online customizable reader. Through a partnership with Gale, COURSEREADER: WESTERN CIVILIZATION searches thousands of primary and secondary sources, readings, and audio and video clips from multiple disciplines. Select exactly and only the material you want your students to work with. Each selection can be listened to (using the “Listen” button), to accommodate varied learning styles. Additionally, an instructor can choose to add her own notes to readings, to direct students’ attention or ask them questions about a particular passage. Each primary source is accompanied by an introduction, and questions to help students understand the reading. COURSEREADER: WESTERN CIVILIZATION is the perfect complement to any class.
    Price = 67.00

Student Supplements

  • CourseReader 0-30: Western Civilization Instant Access Code  (ISBN-10: 1111475555 | ISBN-13: 9781111475550)
    Easy-to-use and affordable access to readings, audio, and video selections for your courses with this customized online reader. COURSEREADER: WESTERN CIVILIZATION helps you to stay organized and facilitates convenient access to course material, no matter where you are.
    Price = 67.00

Alternate Formats

Choose the Format that Best Fits Your Student's Budget and Course Goals

  • Looseleaf Edition
    ISBN-10: 1305658868 | ISBN-13: 9781305658868
    Price = $90.00