HIS 1202

Sri Lanka and World History

Course Description:

Course Description:

This course will provide the first year student with a basic knowledge on important themes and aspects of Sri Lankan and world history, which will be helpful for studying history further. It will especially help them in understanding major developments, trends and events in the history of Sri Lanka in relation to the larger contexts of the developments, trends and events in the history of the world. It will discuss major developments in ancient, colonial and modern Sri Lankan history and give a brief outline of classical civilizations in the historical evolution of the modern world.

Learning Objectives:

The primary objective is to provide first year undergraduates with a basic knowledge of the major historical events of the world history and their interconnection with the history of Sri Lanka. The primary focus of this course is to demonstrate how history of Sri Lanka shaped by these major historical events of the world. This will form the foundation for students who will do History as a special subject to delve into such issues at a deeper level in the subsequent years of studying History.

Learning Outcomes:
At the end of this course, students should be able to:

• Describe the major historical events taught in the class
• Explain how the history of Sri Lanka is interconnected with the history of the rest of the world.
• Understand and interpret synchronic aspects of civilisations

Course Content:

1. Sri Lanka and its place in the world history
2. Introduction to ancient civilizations
3. Major Asian civilizational centres: China, India and Persia
4. Major state formations in Asia
5. Rajarata civilization in Sri Lanka its links with other contemporary civilizations
6. Decline of classical empires
7. Growth of centrifugal forces: feudalism
8. Collapse of Rajarata civilization
9. Emergence of Modern Europe
10. European expansion and Colonialism
11. Colonialism in South Asia
12. Decolonisation


Midterm Test 20%
Midterm Assignment 20%
Final Exam 60%

Recommended Readings:

Braudel, Fernand (1995) A History of Civilizations, Richard Mayne (translated) UK: Penguin Books.

Gombrich, E. H. (2005) A Little History of the World, US: Yale University Press.

Ray, H.C. & Paranavitana, S. (ed.) (1959) University of Ceylon History of Ceylon Vol. I Part I, Colombo: University of Ceylon.

Roberts, J. M. (1998) The Illustrated History of the World: Prehistory and the First Civilizations (vol.1) Virginia: Time-life Books.

Roberts, J. M. (1998) The Age of Diverting Traditions (vol.4) Virginia: Time-Life Books.