About 2 million years ago our human ancestors were insignificant animals living in a corner of Africa. Their impact on the world was no greater than that of gorillas, zebras, or chickens. Today humans are spread all over the world, and they are the most important animal around. The very future of life on Earth depends on the ideas and behavior of our species. This course will explain how we humans have conquered planet Earth, and how we have changed our environment, our societies, and our own bodies and minds. The aim of the course is to give students a brief but complete overview of history, and to answer some basic historical questions such as: What is religion? What is an empire? What is money? What is science? What is capitalism? Why did almost all societies believe that women are inferior to men? Does history have a direction? Did people become happier as history progressed? And what is the likely future of humankind?