Western Civilization I: Ancient to 1450
Fall Semester 1997

Frank Luttmer
108 Classic Hall
M W F: 10-11, 12-1

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.

Required Readings

1. Lynn Hunt, et.al., The Challenge of the West
2. Primary Texts and Resources from the Internet.


Final grades will be based on an evaluation of the following.

1. Two mid-term exams (15% each) and a final exam (20%)
2. A paper submitted in two drafts (15% for the first draft and 20% for the second)

3. Class participation and daily writing assignments (15%)


First Civilizations in the West

Sept. 3:
The Ancient Middle East and Mediterranean
Hunt, xxxv-xlvi, 1-19; The Hammurabi Code

Sept. 5:
The Ancient World and the Hebrews
Hunt, 20-36; The Hebrew Bible

Sept. 8:
The Ancient World and the Hebrews
Hunt, 37-45; The Hebrew Bible

Classical Greece

Sept. 10:
Early Greek Civilization
Hunt, 44-50; Homer; Hesiod

Sept. 12:
The Rise of the Polis in the Archaic Age
Hunt, 50-60, 69-73; Sappho; Heraclitus

Sept. 15:
Sparta and Athens
Hunt, 60-69, 75-79; Plutarch (Lycurgus); Herodotus

Sept. 17:
The Golden Age of Athens
Hunt, 80-100; Thucydides; Images of Greek Art and Architecture

Sept. 19:
Socrates and Plato
Hunt, 100-118; Plato, Apology

Sept. 22:
Hunt, 118-120; Plato, Republic; Plato, Phaedo

Sept. 24:
Hunt, 120-122; Aristotle, Ethics

Sept. 26:
Aristotle, Politics; Aristotle, Physics

Sept. 29:
Alexander the Great and Hellenistic Civilization
Hunt, 122-145; Demosthenes; Isocrates

Oct. 1:

Classical Rome

Oct. 3:
The Early Republic
Hunt, 147-166; Plutarch (Marcus Cato)

Oct. 6:
Conquest of the Mediterranean and the Late Empire
Hunt, 166-183; Caesar; Plutarch (Caesar)

Oct. 8:
Literature and Culture
Hunt, 183-186; Lucretius

Oct. 10:
Politics and Culture in the Early Empire
Hunt, 187-203;Tacitus

Oct. 15:
Politics, Society and Culture during the Empire
Hunt, 203-215; Marcus Aurelius; Images of Roman Art and Architecture

Christianity and the Roman Empire

Oct. 20:
The Origins of Christianity
Hunt, 215-218; The Christian Bible

Oct. 22:
The Origins of Christianity
The Christian Bible

Oct. 23:

Oct. 27:
Christianity and Empire
Hunt, 225-241; Augustine

Oct. 29:
Christian Fathers and Brothers
Hunt, 241-247; Augustine; The Rule of Benedict

Oct. 31:
The Germans

The Early Middle Ages

Nov. 3:
Hunt, 247-265; Law of the Salian Franks

Nov. 5:
Hunt, 267-276;John of Damascus;
Iconoclastic Council

Nov. 7:
Hunt, 276-284; The Quran

Nov. 10:
The Western Kingdoms
Hunt, 284-299; Documents on the Conversion of England; Gregory I

Nov. 12:
Byzantium, Islam, and the West
Hunt, 303-323; Einhard; Capitulary

The High Middle Ages

Nov. 17:
Lords, Kings, and Merchants
Hunt, 323-348; Feudalism; Commercial Revolution; Wharram Percy

Nov. 19:
Religious Reform and the Revival of Government
Hunt, 348-363; The Investiture Controversy; The Crusades

Nov. 21:
Learning, Piety, and Art
Hunt, 364-374; Abelard; Bernard; Images of Early Medieval and Romanesque Art and Architecture

Nov. 24
An Age of Confidence
Hunt, 377-406; Magna Carta

Dec. 1:
Hunt, 409-418; Aquinas

Dec. 3:
Images of Gothic Art and Architecture

Dec. 5:
Medieval Music

Dec. 9:

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