certain elements throughout history may stay relatively H u m a n i t i e s

certain elements throughout history may stay relatively H u m a n i t i e s

Objective: To assess students’ ability to recognize how the chronological order of events helps historians understand the causes of historical developments, known as change; as well as assess students ability to recognize how certain elements throughout history may stay relatively the same, known as continuity. Especially relevant in this course is to examine how certain events may happen around the same period in time across the globe and to examine the larger elements of connections across humanity and the planet.

Instructions: There are two sections to this assignment. The first part, is to create a timeline of 5 “entries” of events, people, places, or things. The second is to evaluate the similarities and differences across time and potentially across the globe.

Part A

  • Using your textbook, PowerPoint slides located on the Overview page of each Weekly Module, or other course materialno outside sources should be usedselect five events, people, places, or ideological movements that represent some sort significant impact to World Civilizations studied in the class so far (roughly the Paleolithic period to ca. 1000 CE).
  • You may focus your search on a specific category for a clearer comparison and analysis.
    • Categories:
      • Social, meaning peoples’ everyday lives
      • Political, meaning power and authority, legal rights, some wars may fall under this category.
      • Economic, meaning the exchange of money or other economic commodities
      • Technological, focusing on the development of sciences and other technological inventions             
  • Each entry should clearly answer the following the questions: who or what, when and where, and why this was important at the time or to our understanding. The inclusion of images, if appropriate are highly encouraged.
  • You can format this in any way you like—colored pencils, PowerPoint, Word, etc.

Part B

  • Evaluate your timeline and assess the content for ideas of connections, continuity, or change.
  • Then write your conclusion, your evaluation and assessment, in one to two paragraphs.
  • Example questions for assessing Change and Continuity[i]:
    • What kind of historical development are you focusing on (e.g. religious, political, economic, cultural, etc.)?
    • What was the situation like before this occurred?
    • What was clearly different after this occurred?
    • What were the direct causes of the changes?
    • What were the reasons that some things remained the same?

For more on historical methods please read over the page on Continuity and Change (Links to an external site.) from HistorySkills.com.

Example of an entry to a timeline


Tetrarchy established 293 CE by the Roman Emperor Diocletian. The Tetrarchy divided the rule of the Roman Empire into a rule of four, dividing up the territory into four sections ruled by four separate individuals—two co-emperors (augusti) and two junior co-emperors (caesars). Diocletian was trying to address the empire’s instability due to its enormous size as well as the instability of succession. While the system did allow for a peaceful succession after Diocletian retired, it did not remain in place for long. The dividing up the empire and the relocation of administrative centers away from Rome itself, may also have set in motion the transformation and fragmentation of the Roman Empire, leading to various kingdoms establishing themselves throughout the 400s and 500s.

Image credit: By Nino Barbieri (talk · contribs) – Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1697833 (Links to an external site.)