Professional Course

A Global History of Architecture

edX, Online
13 weeks
149 USD
Next course start
Inquire for more information See details
Virtual Classroom
13 weeks
149 USD
Next course start
Inquire for more information See details
Virtual Classroom
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Course description

A Global History of Architecture

How do we understand architecture? One way of answering this question is by looking through the lens of history, beginning with First Societies and extending to the 16th century. This course in architectural history is not intended as a linear narrative, but rather aims to provide a more global view, by focusing on different architectural "moments."

How did the introduction of iron in the ninth century BCE impact regional politics and the development of architecture? How did new religious formations, such as Buddhism and Hinduism, produce new architectural understandings? What were the architectural consequences of the changing political landscape in northern Italy in the 14th century? How did rock-cut architecture move across space and time from West Asia to India to Africa? How did the emergence of corn impact the rise of religious and temple construction in Mexico?

Each lecture analyzes a particular architectural transformation arising from a dynamic cultural situation. Join us on a journey around the globe and learn how architecture has developed and interacted with the world’s culture, religion, and history.

Upcoming start dates

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  • Virtual Classroom
  • Online
  • English

Who should attend?



Training content

  • The First Societies
  • The Gravettians and the Hunting Traditions of the North
  • The Holocene and the Agro-Pastoral Emergence
  • Agricultural Emergence
  • Stone – Between Life and Death
  • Cities and Temples
  • After the Cataclysm and the Rise of the Eastern Mediterranean
  • Iron and the New World Order
  • Persia and Greece
  • India and China
  • Buddhism - India and Beyond
  • Americas - Shaping/Harvesting the Land
  • Rome
  • Roman Architecture
  • Early Christian Architecture
  • Christianity and the Roman East
  • Early Islamic Architecture
  • Early Hindu Architecture
  • Borobudur, Angkor, and SE Asia
  • The 13th Century - Inner Asia and Beyond
  • Medieval Christian Architecture
  • Italy - 13th to the 15th Century
  • Colonial Transitions
  • Time

Course delivery details

This course is offered through Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a partner institute of EdX.

5-7 hours per week


  • Verified Track -$149
  • Audit Track - Free

Certification / Credits

What you'll learn

  • History and context of the important buildings that shaped our culture
  • History of technological advances that significantly impacted the development of architecture
  • Impacts of certain cultural and religious traditions on architecture
  • History of climate and geographical changes that shaped human civilization and its architecture

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141 Portland Street
02139 Cambridge Massachusetts


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