AP World History, Period 3: The Medieval Era 600 to 1450 CE

1. Premium Resources:

The following Premium resources are available for this Period:

World Trade in the Medieval Era

A sequence of maps traces the development of trade routes across the world in the Medieval Era between 500 CE and 1453 CE, and references the impact these have on different regions of the world.

Medieval China: from Sui to Song, 600 to 1450

This sequence includes the middle centuries of the imperial age of Chinese history, when China’s identity as a Confucian, bureaucratic state is tested, confirmed and refined.

Medieval India: from Harsha to Babur, 500 to 1450

During this period of South Asian history, great cultural changes take place: the decline of Buddhism, the rise of mature Hinduism, and the intrusion of Islam.

Medieval Europe I: 400 to 1000 CE

The formation of Europe – the fall of the Roman empire, the rise of Frankish Europe, the Vikings, the partition of Europe and the formation of France, Germany, eastern Europe and Russia.

Medieval Europe II: 1000 to 1450 CE

The High Middle Ages – includes the Norman Conquest of England, the decline of the Byzantine Empire, the Crusades, the Black Death, the Hundred Years’ War and more.

Teaching about the Medieval World using the TimeMap of World History

Suggestions on how to use the TimeMap of World History with your students.  They focus on using the free maps, but are equally relevant to the premium maps.

These suggestions are in addition to those offered in the teaching notes which accompany the other Premium units.

2. Free Resources:


Middle East
Medieval India
Imperial China and her neighbours
South East Asia
Pre-Columbian America

Lesson Idea


This page contains links to useful maps and articles within the Timemap of World History for AP World History, Period 3 (600 CE to 1450 CE): the Medieval era.

Please note: the date labels in the Timemap of World History are currently in the older notation of BC and AD rather than BCE and CE; the Timemap was originally created in the UK where the newer notation is not in general use. Also, the maps in the Timemap of World History do not quite conform to the AP periodisation; however, they are sufficiently close to them for teachers to use them effectively with only slight adjustment.



For a global perspective on this period, see:
World maps for 500 CE75097912151453


Most articles are listed under the different Big regions of the world (below), but this one just doesn’t fit:

The Mongol Empire

A short historical survey of the vast Mongol empire, which came to cover much of the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Tibet, China, Korea, and parts of South East Asia.



For a birds-eye view of European medieval history, see:

Europe 500 CE75097912151453

The above maps give access to the following individual countries of Europe:

Italy 500 CE75097912151453 (a country fragmented into many states but a fertile nursery for the Italian Renaissance)

Spain and Portugal 500 CE75097912151453 (notable for the rise and decline of Muslim Spain)

France 500 CE75097912151453 (the quintessentially feudal state)

Britain 500 CE75097912151453 (the land which gave birth to Magna Carta and Parliament)

Russia 75097912151453 (for the foundations of the largest state on earth)

Germany 97912151453  (notable for the presence of that oddity, the Holy Roman Empire)

Eastern central Europe 97912151453 (the border lands of Christendom)

Greece 500 CE75097912151453 (interesting for the ups and downs – and long-term decline – of the Byzantine empire)

Scandinavia 75097912151453 (the homelands of the Vikings, later tamed by Christendom)


Medieval Europe

This articles offers a general survey of medieval European society and culture.

For more detail, look at:
Medieval Europe: Church History

Medieval Europe: The Feudal System

Medieval Europe: Economic History

Medieval Europe: Government, Politics and War

The Middle East


For a broad perspective on the Middle East in this period, especially noteworthy for the rise and decline of the Muslim Caliphate:

Middle East 500 CE75097912151453

Follow the links in these maps to the individual countries for more detail:

Turkey 500 CE75097912151453  (for the clash between Byzantium and Islam)

Syria 500 CE75097912151453 (the setting for the Crusader states)

Iraq 500 CE75097912151453 (a period of decline, punctuated by glorious episodes)

Iran 500 CE75097912151453 (probably the greatest centre of medieval Islamic civlization)

Egypt 500 CE75097912151453 (the centre of economic gravity in the Muslim world), and

Arabia 500 CE75097912151453 (the homeland of the Arabs and of Islam)


The Islamic Caliphate

A short historical survey of the Islamic Caliphate from its inception, in the 7th century, through to the death of the last caliph at the hands of the Mongols in the 13th century.



Medieval African history is notable for the growth of the trans-Saharan trade and of West African kingdoms:

Africa 500 CE75097912151453


African Kingdoms

Focusses on the medieval West African kingdoms of Ghana, Mali and Songhay.

Medieval India


For the period of Indian history from the Gupta to the Delhi Sultanate, see:

India and South Asia 500 CE75097912151453


Medieval India

After a short historical survey covering the period from the end of the Gupta empire through to the end of the Delhi Sultanate, this article looks at the society and economy of medieval India, its religions, languages and literature, and art and architecture.

The Deccan Empires

Surveys the series of great states which emerged in the Deccan plateau of central India in ancient and medieval times. After an historical overview, it covers government, religion, art, literature and economy.

Rajput India

A short introduction of who the Rajputs were, and their role in Indian history.

The Delhi Sultanate

A brief historical survey of the rise and fall of the Delhi Sultanate, India’s first major Muslim dynasty – and surely one of the most overlooked great states in world history.

East Asia: Imperial China and neighbours


For the middle dynasties of imperial China, see:

China 500 CE75097912151453

For more detail on neighbouring countries, when both came to embrace many elements of Chinese civilization but then take their own directions, see:

Japan (of the Tokugawa period) 500 CE75097912151453

Korea (of the Koreo and Choson dynasties) 500 CE75097912151453

For a broader perspective on East Asia, showing the interactions between the major areas, see:

East Asia 500 CE75097912151453


Divided China

Looks at the period of division and weakness between the end of the Han dynasty and the rise of the Sui dynasty (220 CE to 589 CE).

Sui Dynasty China

Looks at the brief but very important period in power of the Sui dynasty, which reunited China after almost 400 years of division.

Tang Dynasty China

Looks at one of the most glorious periods in China’s long history, under the Tang dynasty.

Song Dynasty China

Looks at the Song period, one of the most dynamic periods in China’s history, a time of economic and technological progress.

Japanese civilization

After a brief history of Japan, this article surveys pre-modern Japanese government, society, economy, beliefs, literature, art and architecture.

South East Asia


This period sees the emergence of international maritime trade routes, spawning powerful kingdoms and empires:

SE Asia 500 CE75097912151453



For Oceania, the AP course requires a complete review of its earlier history, so:

Oceania 3500 BCE – 2500 BCE1500 BCE1000 BCE500 BCE200 BCE30 BCE200 CE500 CE75097912151453

Pre-Columbian America


For the Andean civilizations from its beginnings through to the rise of the Inca empire:

Peru: 1500 BCE1000 BCE500 BCE200 BCE30 BCE200 CE500 CE75097912151453

For the broader context of Andean civilization, see:

South America 3500 BCE – 2500 BCE1500 BCE1000 BCE500 BCE200 BCE30 BCE200 CE500 CE75097912151453

For Mesoamerica, including Teotihuacan, the rise and decline of the Mayan civilization, and the rise of the Aztec state, see:

Mexico and Central America 3500 BCE – 2500 BCE1500 BCE1000 BCE500 BCE200 BCE30 BCE200 CE500 CE75097912151453

For the native American cultures of North America, see:

North America 3500 BCE – 2500 BCE1500 BCE1000 BCE500 BCE200 BCE30 BCE200 CE500 CE75097912151453


Pre-Columbian Civilizations

A short summary of the civilizations in South and Central America before the Europeans arrived. Includes coverage of the Chavin, Moche, Wari, Tiwanaku, Chimor and Inca in South America, and Olmec, Zatopec, Maya, Teotihuacan, Toltec and Aztec in Central America.

Mayan Civilization

A more in-depth look at the history and civilization of the Maya of Central America.

The Inca Empire

An more in-depth look at the history and civilization of the Inca Empire.

The Aztec Empire

An more in-depth look at the history and civilization of the Aztec Empire.

The Pre-Columbian Cultures of North America

An overview of the history and cultures of Pre-Columbian North America.

Next: AP World History, Period 4: The Early Modern Era 1450 to 1750

Return to AP home page

Leave a Reply