Western Civilization I: Ancient to 1450
Fall Semester 2005
113 Classic Hall
M W F: 10:00-11:00
866-7205 (office) (502) 451-5351 (home)firstname.lastname@example.org
Course Description and Objectives
The beginning of a four-semester sequence in Western Civilization, this course is an introduction to the history of the Mediterranean world and Europe from ancient times to the end of the Middle Ages, with particular attention given to classical Greece and Rome and the High Middle Ages. The purpose of the Western Civilization sequence is to provide students of history and the liberal arts with a solid foundation in the principal ideas, institutions, and events that have shaped Western civilization. It seeks to promote an understanding of historical context and perspective and to encourage the skills essential to historical inquiry, including the capacity to define historical questions, analyze primary documents, evaluate alternative interpretations, develop coherent arguments, and write clearly and effectively. The course is organized in chronological sequence, with emphasis given to the close relationship between economic, social, political, religious, and intellectual developments of the same immediate historical period.
1. Marvin Perry, et al, Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics, and Society 7th ed. vol. 1 (061827104X)
2. Primary Texts and Resources from the Internet.
Final grades will be based on an evaluation of the following.
1. Three exams (20% each)
The exams will consist of short-answer questions and essay questions. In your essays, you will be expected (1) to isolate key themes and concepts and (2) to explain those themes and concepts with clarity and precision.
2. Research paper (20%)
Your paper may be on any topic in early Western Civilization. The paper is to be analytical and interpretive, not simply descriptive. It should present a thesis and develop an argument (and include potential counter-arguments). The length of the paper should be 5-6 pages. You are expected to use Interlibrary Loan to obtain sources.
3. Prospectus and in-class presentation (10%)
The grade will be based on the quality of the (1) thesis and argument, (2) organization, (3) logic, (4) evidence, (5) alternative interpretations, (5) sources, and (6) writing.
The prospectus should include (1) a draft of the first paragraph of the research paper (including the thesis statement), (2) an outline of the entire research paper (no more than one page), and (3) a bibliography of the research paper consisting of at least five substantive sources (this may vary depending on the topic).
5. Class participation (10%)
The six-minute presentation functions as a first draft of the research paper. It should identify the problem addressed in the paper, develop a thesis and argument, and entertain counter-arguments. The grade will be based on the quality of the (1) thesis and argument, (2) organization, (3) logic, (4) evidence, (5) alternative interpretations, (5) sources, and (6) presentation.
The success of this class depends upon the quality of the dialogue in class. Class participation grades will reflect your attendance record, the frequency of your contributions to class discussions, and the quality of your questions, observations, and conclusions. Commentary on the presentations of others is included in the class participation grade.
Sept. 7: Perry, 5-32; The Hammurabi Code
Sept. 9: Perry, 34-49; The Hebrew Bible
Sept. 12: The Hebrew Bible
Sept. 14: Perry, 51-57; Homer; Sappho
Sept. 16: Perry, 57-66; Plutarch (Lycurgus); Herodotus
Sept. 19: Perry, 66-73, 96-98; Thucydides
Sept. 21: Perry, 75-86; Plato, Apology
Sept. 23: Plato, Republic; Plato, Phaedo
Sept. 26: Perry, 86-89; Aristotle, Ethics
Sept. 28: Aristotle, Politics; Aristotle, Physics
Sept. 30: Perry, 89-115; Greek Art and Architecture
Oct. 3: First Exam
Oct. 5: Perry, 120-130; Plutarch (Marcus Cato)
Oct. 7: Perry, 132-140; Caesar; Plutarch (Caesar)
Oct. 10: Perry, 130-132; Lucretius
Oct. 12: Perry, 142-150; Augustus; Tacitus
Oct. 14: Perry, 150-170; Marcus Aurelius
Oct. 17: Perry, 172-179; The Christian Bible
Oct. 19: The Christian Bible
Oct. 21: Perry, 179-195; Augustine
Oct. 24: Fall Break
Oct. 26: Augustine; The Rule of Benedict
Oct. 28: Perry, 199-210; John of Damascus; Iconoclastic Council; The Quran; al-Ghazali
Oct. 31: Perry, 210-227; Dionysius
Nov. 2: Second Exam
Nov. 4: Perry, 229-235; Feudalism; Commercial Revolution; Wharram Percy
Nov. 7: Perry, 236-241; Magna Carta
Nov. 9: Perry, 241-246; The Investiture Controversy
Nov. 11: Perry, 246-250; The Crusades; Prospectus Due
Nov. 14: Presentations
Nov. 16: Presentations
Nov. 18: Presentations
Nov. 21: Perry, 250-257; Inquisition
Nov. 23: Thanksgiving Break
Nov. 25: Thanksgiving Break
Nov. 28: Perry, 259-267; Abelard; Bernard
Nov. 30: Perry, 267-272; Aquinas
Dec. 2: Perry, 273-278; Dante
Dec. 5: Perry, 280-296; Boccaccio; Joan of Arc
Dec. 7: Romanesque Art and Architecture; Gothic Art and Architecture
Dec. 9: Music
Dec. 12-16: Final Exam
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