History 101 Early Civilizations: Quest 1

History 101
Early Civilizations: Quest 1
The Ancient Near East and the Classical World
Fall 2013
Dr. Kimberly Rivers
Office: Sage Hall 3628
Phone: 424-2451
Office hours: TBA
e-mail: [email protected]
Course Description: This section of “Early Civilizations” examines the history and
development of the civilizations that grew up around the Mediterranean Sea and in Europe
between about 3000 BCE and 500 CE. We will begin with the civilizations that formed in the
Ancient Near East in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, and Israel, and then move on to classical
antiquity, examining the Greek city-states, the Hellenistic World, the Roman Republic, and the
Roman Empire, finishing with the new civilizations that grew up in the wake of the demise of
Roan unity around the Mediterranean Sea in the sixth century CE.
The University Studies Program (USP) Signature Question for this course will be
“How do people understand and engage in community life? This question addresses the USP
Essential Learning Outcome/Responsibility of Civic Knowledge and Engagement.
Civic knowledge consists of an
Civic engagement means having an
awareness and understanding of the
various political and social processes that
impact the nature and quality of life in
local, state, national, or global
communities. It also encompasses the
cultivation of skills which may be useful
in public life, like effective
communication and ethical reasoning.
appreciation for and applying the values gained
from civic knowledge in real world settings,
directed at improving the quality of life in the
communities of which one is a part. Civic
knowledge and civic engagement emphasize
learning, reflection, and action in order to create
better communities
In this course, we will concentrate on civic knowledge. The signature question fits rather
nicely with an examination of the earliest civilizations. For each civilization that we study, we
will look closely at the geographical environment, how each society organized itself around
social and economic divisions (including the roles both men and women played in their
communities), what the architecture of the society can reveal about how the community
operated, and what political systems and laws each group devised to order their lives. The
answers to these questions still shape our society today.
A liberal education: In addition, we will give some thought to the cultural and educational
aspects of these civilizations. Because several of them contributed rather heavily to our concept
of the liberal arts today, this study will add to your exploration of the question, “What is the
value of a liberal education?” The Romans saw the liberal arts, that is the study of core subjects
pertaining to language arts and mathematics, as the foundation of a free person (the basic
meaning of liberus).
In essence, the university community at UW Oshkosh has a similar understanding: the faculty
and staff have devised the University Studies Program (USP) as a way to inspire intellectual
curiosity in all students, to encourage you to understand your responsibilities as educated people,
and to lay the foundation for the skills and knowledge that will enable you to succeed not only as
a university student, but also as a free person--an engaged local and global citizen. The program
is structured around three interconnected areas: Question / Exploration / Connection. The first
part of the program is known as the Quest section and revolves around three signature questions
that contribute to the identity of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh:
USP Signature Questions at UW Oshkosh
Sustainability and Its Applications
Civic Knowledge and Engagement
Intercultural Knowledge and
Within the USP this course will serve as a
Quest I course addressing the Signature
Question of Civic Knowledge and
Within the History Department, this course
is the first half of the introductory survey of
European/World History (57-102, "Modern
Civilizations" is the second half).
Both 57-101 and 57-102 can fulfill a
requirement for the B.A. and B.S. degrees
within the College of Letters and Science, as
well as requirements for the History major
and minor.
I presume that you have taken no prior college history courses, but that you are either able to
read and write at university level or are prepared to learn these skills. If you are anxious about
your writing skills, you should come see me in my office, visit the university's writing lab in the
Student Services Center, and/or make use of some the additional resources listed toward the end
of the syllabus.
Student Learning Outcomes
A reasonable question that a student might ask is “What am I going to get out of this course?”
There are a number of answers to that question, and they constitute the learning outcomes for the
By the end of the term, you will be able to
Describe and explain the contribution of key people, groups, events, institutions, societies
and sites of the major civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean World from around
3000 BCE to about 500 CE. This outcome will help to develop your proficient in the
History Department Goal and the UWO Learning Outcome of Knowledge of Human
Discuss issues relating to ownership and custodianship of the past.
Describe the geography of the Mediterranean World in antiquity and to explain how
geographical issues affected political and economic systems.
Compare and contrast the basic components of several ancient societies and discuss why
their members arranged those components as they did.
You will also
Understand that the self, in both the present and the past, is always embedded in
relationships, a social location, and a specific historic moment.
Possess a greater appreciation for the rich resources and accumulated wisdom of diverse
communities and cultures
Recognize that knowledge is dynamic, changing, and consistently re-evaluated.
Understand the concept of primary sources, be able to establish the necessary
background knowledge to understand such sources, be able to analyze primary sources
and use them to answer historical questions.
Understand the concept of secondary sources (works by professional historians) and
learn to analyze them. These two outcomes comprise an introduction to the discipline of
history and will help to develop your proficiency in the UWO Learning Outcomes of
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving.
Enhance your writing skills by writing essays and essay exams. Your assignments will
require you to analyze material by framing questions, sifting evidence, constructing
arguments and reaching conclusions. You will practice your skills by critiquing other
students’ papers. This outcome will help to develop your proficiency in the UWO
Learning Outcome of Written Communication.
Possess a better sense of the UW Oshkosh community and its resources.
Be able to describe the value of a Liberal Education.
Become familiar with the expectations of a college-level education, the UW Oshkosh
Essential Learning Outcomes, and the University Studies Program.
After you have completed this course, you will be prepared to take upper-level history
courses in European or World History; you will also find that the course provides useful
background for religion, philosophy, education, and literature courses.
The success of this class depends not just on the instructor but on the active participation of each
class member. An active participant is present in class on time for the entire class period and is
prepared to discuss the material. I will normally lecture for three to four class sessions and then
devote one day to class discussion or to a film. Most of the lectures are designed to give you a
grasp of the main issues of each topic and assume that you have already done the reading for
each section; in the last two sections of the course, more discussion will be incorporated into the
regular lecture format. Every class member is expected to participate in class discussions and
this participation will be reflected in your final mark. There are many ways of participating, such
as answering questions, writing in-class group assignments, asking questions, and offering
comments on the material. Note that I WILL CALL ON PEOPLE IN CLASS, and I expect each
student to be able to give a thoughtful response (not necessarily a “right answer”) when asked.
Attendance policy: Attendance is required in this class. Anyone who is present in class
every single day will receive 5 pts extra credit in his/her participation grade. If you miss class,
even with an excused absence, you will not be eligible to receive this bonus. In addition,
everyone in the course is required to meet with me at least once this term, preferable before the
end of October. You may come in groups of two or three students if you prefer!
Assignments: There will be three short answer/essay examinations, five map and chronology
quizzes, and one primary source essay based on primary source readings in Brophy. Students
will also be evaluated on their participation in class and on discussion questions assigned in
preparation of class discussion. In university, professors expect students to take quizzes and
examinations on the days when they are given. A make-up examination or quiz is considered an
unusual circumstance and will be scheduled only when a student has a compelling reason for his
or her absence, such as a serious illness, a court date, military duty, a major religious holiday,
and the like.
Graded work:
3 Map/Chronology Quizzes, together
Participation (includes Group Work/
Answers to discussion questions/Peer
Review/Instructor meeting), 15%
1 Primary Source Essay based on
Brophy, 15%
First Examination, 15%
Second and Third Examinations,
together 40%
To help you track your progress in the
University Studies program, the university
has included ePortfolio as part of D2L.
You will upload at least one assignment (an
‘artefact’ in computer speak) from this class
into your ePortfolio. You will do the same
for your other USP classes. More details
will follow in class.
The ePortfolio will help you keep track of
papers, speeches, reports, projects, and
other assignments in your Quest and
Explore courses, so that you can see your
 Attendance at co-curricular
progress and connect ideas across different
events/activities and connected written
classes. You can continue to use this
assignment, 10%
portfolio in your major classes, so that you
are ready for your Capstone course or
experience as you near graduation. You can even use the ePortfolio after you graduate to show
evidence of your learning to employers or graduate schools. Your peer mentor can assist you
with getting your UW Oshkosh ePortfolio started.
Grading Scale:
**Early Alert**
Early Alert is a program that provides you with an Early Grade Report from faculty. Early Grade
Reports will indicate if you have academic performance or attendance issues and specific steps you
can take and resources available to help you improve. It is common for students to be unaware of
or over-estimate their academic performance in classes so this will help you be aware early on of
your progress and provide strategies for success in the classroom. You will receive an email
during the 5th week of classes. It is important to read the entire email carefully. (official Early
Co-curricular Activities/Peer Mentor
This course has been assigned a Peer Mentor, i.e. an upper-level student experienced in the UW
Oshkosh community who will help you navigate the campus, the course, and ePortfolio! He or
she will attend come co-curricular events on campus this fall. [To be determined when the Fall
2013 schedule is available.]
Required Texts: (These books are for sale in the bookstore) [Note to USP reader: I may
change these readings between now and Fall 2013]
Brophy, James M., Joshua Cole, Steven Epstein, John Robertson, and Thomas Max Safley, eds.
Perspectives from the Past: Primary Sources in Western Civilization. Volume 1: From the
Ancient Near East through the Age of Absolutism. New York and London: W. W. Norton and
Company, 2009. [Brophy on syllabus]
Golden, Richard M., ed. The Social Dimension of Western Civilization. Volume 1: Readings to the
Seventeenth Century. Boston and New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2003. [Golden on syllabus]
Readings on E-Reserve and Internet, as listed on the syllabus.
Recommended but not required:
Cole, Joshua, Carol Symes, Judith Coffin and Robert Stacey, Western Civilizations: Their
History and Culture, Vol. 1, 3rd brief ed. (New York and London: W. W. Norton & Co.,
2012). [Cole on syllabus]
Web Resources: you are required to use two web sites in this course.
Desire2Learn: This course has a web site, maintained as part of the UW System’s adoption of
Desire2Learn. Because of the usefulness of the Desire2Learn site for both students and the
instructor, it is a requirement of this class that you be able to access it at least once a week.
Some material, including the syllabus and Study Guides, will be available only through the
Web Site. If you do not have a computer of your own, you may use those provided by the
university in the library and in the computer labs. To reach the course site, follow the directions
on the handout distributed in class.
I expect that you will find the Desire2Learn site to be an integral part of the course. Handouts,
including Study Guides, Discussion Questions, and extra copies of the syllabus and writing
assignments will be available under “Course Content.” You will also find relevant web sites
under "External Links." Announcements about the dates of quizzes, exams, and other matters
will be available on the main page when you log in. Please check the site at least once a week
for announcements that you may have missed in class.
Turnitin.com: Your paper assignments will be turned in to me in two forms: one a hardcopy that
will be turned in during class or in my office, and two, a digital copy that will be turned in online to the Turnitin.com site. More information about this procedure will be announced in class.
To enroll in the class, you will need the class ID number and the enrollment password:
Class ID:
Please enroll in the class by 30 September 2013.
Academic Integrity: The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is committed to a standard of
academic integrity for all students. The system guidelines state: “Students are responsible for the
honest completion and representation of their work, for the appropriate citation of sources, and
for respect of others’ academic endeavors.” (UWS 14:01, Wisconsin Administrative Code) For a
fuller description of the university’s policies, see the Dean of Students’ website:
Academic Resources:
For this class: All students, whether or not they normally gets As or Cs, find some course
material difficult. No one should feel that they cannot ask for a little extra help sometimes.
Students who need extra help with the material may contact the instructor by email or come by
during office hours. The Center for Academic Resources has also appointed two tutors for this
interim class. Their services are entirely free, so you should feel free to take advantage of them.
Students who want help in the class can contact a tutor by email and arrange a time to meet in the
Center for Academic Resources (CAR, located in the Student Success Center, Suite 102 (4242290). The tutors’ names and email addresses are
Podcasting: I will be podcasting this course. It will be a private, not a public course; therefore,
to access it, you will need to go into the iTunes store through D2L. The podcasts can also be
accessed through a podcast blog site. http://podcast1.uwosh.edu/users/rivers/ .
For all Classes:
Academic Advising (UARC)
Student Success Center, Suite 202; (920) 424-1268
Reading Study Center
Nursing/Education room 201; (920) 424-1031
Registrar’s Office
Dempsey Hall Room 130; (920) 424-3454
Student Support Services
Campus Center for Equity and Diversity; (920) 4241310
Testing Services
Polk Library, lower level room 4; (920) 424-1432
University Books and More
Reeve Union; (920) 424-0277
MAP-Works (Making
Achievement Possible Works) is a
survey about you. To help you have
a wonderful first year of college, we
need you to take this survey. You
will receive an email from [email protected] inviting you to
take the survey. Advisors, hall
directors, instructors and many
other people on campus will use this
information to help you be
successful and to provide you with
the resources that you need. You
will receive a report with
suggestions on how achieve your
goals; please review it. Please bring
your MAP-Works survey report
with you when you come to talk
with me during the office hour chat
that we will schedule.
Writing Center
Student Success Center, Suite 102; (920) 424-1152
Reading and Writing Assignments/ Due Dates
All readings listed with class topics should be read before coming to class, and all readings will
be covered on examinations.
It is not necessary to bring Coffin with you to class everyday unless instructed otherwise.
Bring printouts of Internet and E-Reserve assignments with you to class on the day that they
are scheduled. We will get behind this schedule, so all items are syllabus are tentative and are
subject during the semester.
As for any college course, you should expect to spend 5-6 hours outside of class per week
preparing for this course.
Questions for class:
 How do people understand and engage in community life?
 Why did humans change to more settled societies?
o Climate change?
o Religion?
o Overpopulation?
 What do we mean by civilization?
Address question of identity: what did it mean to be a follower of Yahweh? a Roman? a
Greek? a Barbarian?
Why do communities/civilizations form?
Why do communities/civilizations end?
What is the role of the state in building communities?
Issues to Consider for every major civilization discussed:
Geographical Environment
Social structures and political organization
The economy
Religion, death, and burial
Cultural life (education, art, architecture)
Everyday life
[Note to USP Readers: I will have a much more detailed listing of dates and readings in
Sept. 2013]
Week 1:
First Day of class: Introductions. What is USP? What is a liberal education?
The Ancient Near East and the Aegean World
From Pre-history to the First Cities. Read this before coming to class: Brophy, p. xxiii, pp. 3-6.
Week 2:
Why did humans change to more settled societies? Çatalhöyük and Göbekli Tepe (Turkey)
Online reading assignments: http://www.catalhoyuk.com/index.html and
Cities in Mesopotamia: Why did people live in cities? What do we mean by civilization?
Discussion: “Law and Society in Babylon.” Read this before coming to class: Brophy, pp.
xx-xxiv; xxv; 24-31. See discussion questions listed on D2L. Typed answers due in class.
Week 3:
Egyptian Civilization in the Old and Middle Kingdoms. Read this before coming to class:
Brophy, pp. 48-59.
The Growth of Empires in the Ancient Near East: the Hittites and Egypt in the New Kingdom.
[Map Quiz]
The Discovery of Ancient Civilizations: Sharon Waxman, “Finding Rosetta,” in Loot (New
York: Times Books, 2008), pp. 33-46. On E-reserve. See discussion questions listed on D2L.
Typed answers due in class.
Week 4:
Aegean Civilization: Read this before coming to class (and so on for the rest of term): Brophy,
pp. 72-73. Look at images on website: http://www.metmuseum.org/about-the-museum/now-atthe-met/Features/2011/Historic-Images-of-the-Greek-Bronze-Age. Minoan Civilization--Sir
Arthur Evans and Knossos; Greek myths; archaeological findings.
Mycenaean Civilization: Schliemann and Troy; Greek myths
Gods and Empires, The Iron Age Near East: Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Assyrians. Brophy, pp.
Week 5:
Gods and Empires, The Iron Age Near East: Persians and Hebrew Monotheism. Brophy, pp. 86109.
Ancient Near Eastern culture: Discussion: Vern L. Bullough, Brenda Shelton, and Sarah Slavin,
“Formation of Western Attitudes toward Women,” and Isaac Mendelsohn, “Slavery in the
Ancient Near east,” in Golden, pp. 4-25. See discussion questions listed on D2L. Typed answers
due in class.
******First Examination****** [Covers everything listed above and all lecture material up
to this point in term]
The Greek and Roman Worlds, 1150 B.C.E. to 500 C.E.
Week 6:
“Dark Age Greece” or After Troy: Iliad and Odyssey Brophy, “The Odyssey,” 110-115. What
remained Mycenaean? Aristocratic culture and everyone else.
Development of the polis (the look and layout of the city); environment and geography; the army;
Trade and Colonies; Writing. [First draft of essay due]
Week 7:
Competing city-states: Sparta vs Athens project (groups identify as Spartans or Athenians and
map out their societies). Brophy, “Spartan Society and values, 120-126. “Athenian Society and
values,” Brophy, pp. 140-140-53, 163-67.
Athenian democracy; Greek culture: rhetoric, history, philosophy, art and architecture.
The Peloponnesian War [Map Quiz]
Week 8:
Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World: Alexander the Great (Plutarch reading); [Peer
Reviews due on Turnitin.com]
Hellenization: Hellenistic Culture (art and philosophy)
Rise of the Roman Republic: Environment and geography; Etruscan influence (What remained
Etruscan?); Formation of the Republic.
Week 9:
Republican values (Primary Source Reading: “The Rape of Lucretia,” Cato the Elder, family,
religion, women, “Exposure of a female child,” on D2L links page under “Women’s Lives under
Rome.” Twelve Tables) [Final Draft of essay due]
Army and Punic Wars
Week 10:
The Roman Revolution in the Late Republic: Tiberius Grachus, Sulla, Julius Caesar, Cleopatra
Alexandria; Octavian and Battle of Actium
Julius Caesar Election Project or Cleopatra/Alexandria study
Social life: Susan Dixon, “Roman Marriage,” and Alex Scobie, “Slums, Sanitation, and Mortality
in the Roman World,” in Golden. See discussion questions listed on D2L. Typed answers due
in class.
*******Second Examination******
Week 11:
Roman Empire: Augustus; Principate; Pax Romana
****Thanksgiving Break****
Week 12:
Roman Cities: Pompeii and Herculaneum (Internet readings)
Crisis of Third Century
Rise of Christianity
Week 13:
The barbarians “Romans and Barbarians,” Brophy, 255-63; 291-96.
The Changes of the 5th Century
The Heirs of Rome: Eastern Roman Empire/Byzantium
Week 14:
The Muslim World
The Early Middle Ages in Europe
******Third Examination******