Ideas in the Making

A Sourcebook for World Intellectual History to 1300 (First Edition)
Edited by David Miano
©2014, 456 pages

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    Ideas in the Making: A Sourcebook for World Intellectual History to 1300 uses primary source material to illustrate the most important features of the world's intellectual history. The selected readings explore questions of ethics, morality, justice, community, political philosophy, and the understanding of self and humanity. Examining the way the ancients approached these issues gives students a sense of how thoughts trigger events, and teaches them that there have been, and continue to be, many different ways to look at an issue.

    The book begins in the Early Bronze Age, when literature first appeared, and ends with the Postclassical Period, the time when a new international framework produced a synthesis of ideas. Students will become exposed not only to works by writers of traditional repute, such as Homer, Plato, Virgil, Confucius, Zoroaster, Jesus, Muhammad, and the Buddha, but a host of other seminal thinkers, who deserve no less attention.

    Several features serve to place primary sources in context and to enhance comprehension and retention. Each reading begins with an introduction that identifies where, when, and by whom the source material was composed to the best of our knowledge. Questions that historians might pose about the source demonstrate methodology. Analysis questions at the end of the chapters encourage critical thinking, and can be used in class or for homework.

    Ideas in the Making is designed as a companion reader to any standard world history textbook used in introductory courses.

    David Miano earned his Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of Shadow on the Steps: Time Measurement in Ancient Israel and editor of several books, including Milk and Honey: Essays on Ancient Israel and the Bible and Ideas in the Making: A Sourcebook for World Intellectual History to 1300. Dr. Miano teaches at the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota and is a regular lecturer at Ringling College Lifelong Learning Academy.

    He can be found on Twitter (@DrDavidMiano) and Facebook ( and has a running blog at
    Other Cognella titles by David Miano:

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    David Miano’s Ideas in the Making is an encyclopedic anthology of world intellectual history from the early third millennium B.C.E. through ca. 1300 C.E. The selections are thoughtful, as are the accompanying questions. This primer gives readers an overview of what the greatest minds of many different civilizations have thought about questions of universal significance: how to live a virtuous life, how society best regulates itself, why we live, why we love, why we die, what is the supernatural, what is courage, what is the ultimate structure of reality, what are the respective roles of men and women, and many, many other subjects of perennial interest. It is to be hoped that sampling the best written, most thoughtful works from almost four-and-a-half millennia of recorded history will whet students’ appetites to pursue certain topics, periods and cultures in greater depth. Miano has assembled an ideal entrée to Civilization with a capital C.

    Professor William H. C. Propp, University of California, San Diego