The Modern World, Volume 4: Civilizations of the Middle East and Southwest Asia
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Designed to meet the curriculum needs for students from grades 7 to 12, this five-volume encyclopedia explores world history from approximately 5000 C.E. to the present. Organized alphabetically within geographical volumes on Africa, Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Southwest Asia, and Asia and the Pacific, entries cover the social, political, scientific and technological, economic, and cultural events and developments that shaped the modern world. Each volume includes articles on history, government, and warfare; the development of ideas and the growth of art and architecture; religion and philosophy; music; science and technology; and daily life in the civilizations covered. Boxed features include "Turning Point," "Great Lives," "Into the Twenty-First Century," and "Modern Weapons". Maps, timelines, and illustrations illuminate the text, and a glossary, a selected bibliography, and an index in each volume round out the set.
The history of the modern Middle East and Southwest Asia goes back thousands of years. Indeed, the region was a center of civilization in prehistory and one of the areas in which agriculture originated and the world’s first cities were built. Yet the region faces a host of contentious issues—political, social, religious, and economic.
Home to numerous and diverse populations, the area has always been a crossroads between east and west, and it remains so today.
This region has been a center of human settlement for thousands of years. It was the site of the earliest urban centers, the invention and first use of the wheel, and the development of the first alphabet, number systems, lunar and solar calendars, and many more innovations. It was from here that the three major monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam began and spread. Throughout its long history, the region has experienced an impressive number of cultural diffusions: Egyptian, Sumerian, Babylonian, Canaanite, Hebrew, Aramaic, Hittite, Phoenician, Persian, Greek, Roman, Arabic, European Crusaders, Mongolian, and Turkish.