This engaging text offers a brief, readable description of our common Western heritage as it began in the first human societies and developed in ancient Greece and Rome, then through the Middle Ages. Providing a tightly focused narrative and interpretive structure, Brian A. Pavlac covers the basic historical information that all educated adults should know. His joined terms supremacies and diversities develop major themes of conflict and creativity throughout history. The text is also informed by five other topical themes: technological innovation, migration and conquest, political and economic decision-making, church and state, and disputes about the meaning of life. Written with flair, this easily accessible yet deeply knowledgeable text provides all the essentials for a course on Western civilization.