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Civilization Libraries - Historical Eras

The complete Heritage History Library contains over 500 children's histories and simplified classics. In order to present our collection in an organized manner we have divided our collection into ten categories that cover recorded history from Biblical times until the early 20th century. These historical subjects provide the basis for our Curriculum CDs and Academy Courses.

Additional information about several other special-interest libraries are provided below.

Civilization Libraries     Young Readers     Independent Study    
Historical Divisions     Non Western Civilizations    

Civilization Libraries

Online libraries already exist for all ten of the following topics and Curriculum CDs are available for eight of them. We are currently developing Academy courses for each of these primary civilizations. Five courses are already released; three more will be released in 2015 and all ten should be complete by 2016. In the meantime, the books in all ten of Heritage History's civilization libraries are accessible to students who purchase a Library pass.

Our complete collection of civilization libraries include the following topics. Active Links indicate availability of Online Libraries, Curriculum CDs, and Academy Courses.

Ancient Greece
Online Library
CD   Course

Ancient Rome
Online Library
CD   Course

Brit. Mid. Ages
Online Library
CD   Course

British Empire
Online Library
CD   Course

Early America
Online Library
CD   Course

Christian Europe
Online Library
CD   Course

Modern Europe
Online Library
CD   Course

Spanish Empire
Online Library
CD   Course

Biblical Kingdoms
Online Library
CD   Course

Eastern Empires
Online Library
CD   Course

Many of these civilization libraries are organized along expected lines. Greek Roman, and American history, for example are long established fields of study. In the case of European history, however, there is so much material that we have created several divisions. Europe is not a single civilization, but a collection of unique societies that share an ethnic and religious heritage and our divisions allow appreciation of its complexity.

Another consideration was that we wanted to organize our books so that they could be used as to supplement several different classical World History programs. The following pages provide suggestions for using the Heritage History libraries described above as the foundation for a systematic study of World History.

  • The Recommended Sequence page lists all the classical history libraries and courses offered by Heritage History and provides an overview of the order in which we recommend they be taught.
  • The Curriculum Alternatives page offers suggestions for using Heritage History resources to supplement other classical programs such as Ambleside and Tapestry of Grace.

Since our libraries reflect the content of children's libraries 100 years ago they deal primarily with western history, but many of the collections listed above (especially Spanish Empire, British Empire, and Early America) include excellent histories of non-western and indigenous peoples. More information about our collection of non-Western histories is provided below.

Young Readers and Independent Study Libraries

Young Readers
Online Library
CD   Course

Independent Study
Online Library
CD   Course

In addition to the Civilization Libraries described above, there are two additional library collections. The Young Readers collection is intended for elementary school students and is composed of eighty of our easiest to read books selected from the civilization libraries described above.

The Independent Study collection includes fifteen books that cover so many diverse periods of history that they do not fall conveniently into any of the above categories. Most of the books contain historical anecdotes from many historical periods. The Independent Study library is made available to all registered Academy students.

The Young Readers Academy course is Heritage History's "Introductory" unit. It was designed for children who are reading fluently but are not ready for systematic history. The Independent Study Academy course is not associated with any particular civilization, but it allows student select books from any library and design their own study program.

Historical Sub-Divisions

The Civilization Libraries described above are useful for organizing hundreds of history classics on the Heritage History website into meaningful categories. These libraries are also the basis for our Curriculum CDs and Academy Courses. Once a student begins to focus on a particular civilization, however, it becomes necessary to define historical subdivisions within each civilization topic. These divisions serve as milestones for students enrolled in the Academy courses and the reading recommendations and study aids are organized along these lines.

Most of the Civilization topics are divided into eight subdivisions. In a few cases, one or more of these historical divisions is not yet complete. In other cases one or more of the historical divisions is provided for enrichment or special interest, but is not an essential part of the program. The list below shows the subdivisions of all of our available and pending Academy courses. Divisions that are currently incomplete are greyed out. Divisions that are not part of the 'core' assignments are indicated in brown.

Historical Divisions of Ancient Greece

Gods and Myths

Gaia and Uranus to Reign of the Olympians

Heroes and Monsters

Exploits of Perseus to Death of Hercules

Homeric Epics

Trojan War to Return of Odysseus

Early City-States
800 to 500 B.C.

Rise of Sparta to Reforms of Cleisthenes

Persian War
560 to 472 B.C.

Rise of the Persia to Aftermath of Persian War

Athenian Empire
478 to 404 B.C.

Formation of Delian League to Fall of Athens

Late Classical
404 to 338 B.C.

Thirty Tyrants in Athens to Battle of Chaeronea

Hellenistic Era
336 to 146 B.C.

Reign of Alexander to Rome Destroys Corinth

Historical Divisions of Ancient Rome

Kingdom of Rome
753 to 510 B.C.

Founding of Rome to Exile of Tarquins

Early Republic
510 to 275 B.C.

Defeat of Tarquin Superbus to Unification of Italy

Punic Wars
274 to 146 B.C.

First Punic War to Destruction of Carthage

Decline of Republic
146 to 60 B.C.

Age of Gracchi to Pompey Defeats Pirates

Age of the Caesars
60 B. C. to 14 A.D.

First Triumvirate to Death of Augustus

Height of Empire
14 to 235 A.D.

Reign of Tiberius to Last Severan Emperor

Fall of Empire
235 to 565 A.D.

Military Anarchy to Reign of Justinian I

Rise of Christianity
50 to 600 A.D.

Death of Apostles to Gregory the Great

Historical Divisions of British Middle Ages

Early Britain
43 to 800

Roman Conquest of Britain to First Viking Raid

Saxons and Normans
800 to 1154

House of Wessex to Death of Stephen

Plantagenet Kings
1154 to 1485

Henry II Plantagenet to Battle of Bosworth Field

Tudors and Reformation
1485 to 1603

Henry VII Tudor to Death of Elizabeth I

Stuarts and Civil War
1603 to 1714

James I Stuart to Death of Anne

1403 to 1707

Macalpine Unifies Scots to Act of Union

450 to 1922

Life of Saint Patrick to Irish Independence

European Middle Ages
600 to 1650

Rise of the Franks to Thirty Years War

Historical Divisions of British Empire

Foundation of Empire
1707 to 1815

Act of Union to Battle of Waterloo

Height of Empire
1815 to 1902

End of Napoleonic Wars to Second Boer War

1770 to 1907

Voyage of Captain Cook to New Zealand Dominion

1585 to 1885

Roanoke Colony to Saskatchewan Rebellion

British India
1526 to 1914

Baber founds Moghul Empire to First World War

Colonial Africa
1770 to 1910

Discovery of Blue Nile to Union of South Africa

Science and Invention
1660 to 1914

Isaac Newton to Great War

Great War
1901 to 1921

Death of Victoria to Aftermath of Great War

Historical Divisions of Early America

European Exploration
1000 to 1682

Voyage of Leif Ericson to La Salle explores Mississippi

Early Colonies
1585 to 1750

Lost Colony of Roanoke to Colony of Georgia

Revolutionary Period
1750 to 1788

French-Indian War to Constitutional Congress

Early Republic
1789 to 1850

Constitution ratified to Mexican-American War

Civil War Period
1850 to 1877

Compromise of 1850 to End of Reconstruction

Progressive Era
1869 to 1918

Transcontinental Railroad to The Great War

Westward Expansion
1770 to 1900

California Missions to Hawaii Becomes a Territory

American Indian
1540 to 1890

De Soto Expedition to Wounded Knee Massacre

Historical Divisions of Modern Europe

French Revolution
1715 to 1794

Reign of Louis XV to Death of Robespierre

Napoleonic Wars
1795 to 1815

French Directory to Battle of Waterloo

Republican France
1815 to 1914

Restoration of Bourbons to First World War

Unification of Italy
1792 to 1925

Napoleonic Wars to Mussolini

Rise of Prussia
1740 to 1848

Frederick the Great to Revolutions of 1848

German Empire
1862 to 1912

Bismarck Prime Minister to Balkan Wars

Tsarist Russia
1682 to 1917

Peter the Great to Bolshevik Revolution

Great War
1914 to 1918

Assassination of Archduke to Armistice

Historical Divisions of Young Readers

American colonies
1492 to 1883

Voyage of Columbus to Revolutionary War

United States
1883 to 1865

Washington President to Civil War

Old Testament
4000 to 400 B.C.

Garden of Eden to Nehemiah

New Testament
0 to 100 A.D.

Birth of Jesus to Acts of the Apostles

Ancient Greece
Legendary to 300 B.C.

Trojan War to Alexander the Great

Ancient Rome
750 B.C. to 450 A.D.

Romulus to Fall of Rome

500 to 1800

Baptism of Clovis to French Revolution

Legendary to 1400

Beowulf to William Tell

Non-Western Civilizations

Only one of the Historical Divisions listed above is dedicated entirely to Non-Western civilizations. The Eastern Empires collection includes histories of China, Japan, India, and Moslem Empires.

Siege of Arcot

Several of the other collections, however, provide an excellent selection of books about non-western civilizations. Dozens of books touching on the history of American Indians can be found in the Spanish Empire and Early America libraries, and the British Empire library also includes a large selection of books about the indigenous peoples of India, Africa, and Australasia.

It is true that most of our books in our collection feature Western civilization, but it also includes dozens of books published by authors who actually traveled extensively in foreign civilizations during the nineteenth century, (or even earlier) and wrote first hand accounts of their experiences. In many cases their accounts offer personal observation and contemporary insights that cannot be found in more recent histories. Some of these writers include:

  • Paul du Chaillu, the first American to explore the interior of equatorial Africa;
  • Robert Van Bergen, an American who lived in Japan for several decades shortly after it was first opened to foreigners, and wrote a first hand account of the Choshiu-Satsuma Rebellion against the Tokugawa government;
  • John Esquemeling, a pirate who actually participated in some of the most famous freebooter raids of the Spanish Main during the seventeenth century, and survived to write a famous book about them;
  • Howard Hillegas, an American who traveled with the Boer army during the war in South Africa;
  • Frederick A. Ober, an ornithologist who spent decades in the West Indies, and wrote a series of books about Spanish exploits in the region, [referring always to original, 16th century, Spanish language sources].;
  • Charles A. Eastman, (a.k.a. Ohiyesa), an American Indian who grew up among his native people on the Northern Plains before being introduced to western civilization as a young man;
  • Oliver Otis Howard, commander of Indian affairs under President Grant, who led the American forces against the Nez Perce, and negotiated treaties with many of the western Indians;
  • James Willard Schultz, an early settler of Montana who married an Indian woman and wrote about his adventures with the Blackfeet, trappers, and traders who lived in the region;
  • Demetra Vaka, a native Greek who grew up in Turkey and returned as a young woman to visit her childhood friends, who were mostly Moslem, married to living in harems, and
  • A. W. Kinglake, an Englishman who traveled throughout the middle east in the early 19th century under rather harrowing conditions.

Some of these books give very harrowing accounts of the adventures encountered by the authors do a great deal to illustrate the enormous differences between western and foreign cultures as they actually existed at the time, and to dispel a great deal of modern misrepresentations. The point of course, is that it was not narrow-mindedness that prevented many of our forefathers from learning about other world civilizations, but rather, tremendous barriers to travel and communication.

With today's, jet-setting "international community", McDonalds-ification of commerce, and sugar-coated smorgasbord approach to multiculturalism, it is easy to forget how utterly isolated and remote the farthest reaches of the world were for most of recorded history and how stark the differences in human societies truly were.

Ironically, reading histories of these diverse non-western cultures as they were written in the 19th century by writers who observed them as they were at the time, gives a unique and valuable perspective that is not possible to duplicate by reading histories written by modern scholars.

The opportunity to study an indigenous culture before the full effects of modernity transformed it is long past. There is no longer any indigenous culture anywhere in the world that has not been dramatically transformed, for good or evil, by modernity. Yet in the 19th century, the coming tsunami had not yet washed ashore on all continents, and there were still pockets of native culture in African villages, Chinese towns, Japanese hamlets, Arabian deserts, and Polynesian islands. It was the mission of most of these traveling authors to report what they actually saw and experienced in these foreign cultures, and many of their works are refreshingly frank, unsentimental, and free from modern posturing.