Spielvogel, Western Civilization: A Brief History

Hist. 05-100-06
TR 12:15-1:30
Office Hours: By Appointment
Western Civilization to 1660
Fall 2007
Robinson 323
Stuart Collins
Phone: 856-256-4818
Course Description and Objectives
This survey course examines the rise of “Western Civilizations” from antiquity to the seventeenth century. In
addition to a chronological account of historical events, the course will emphasize these particular themes:
geographic and other factors contributing to the rise of ancient civilizations; transformations in ancient
economic life; the nature and evolution of ancient state systems; the role of warfare and imperialism in the
ancient world; the influence of classical Greek and Roman civilizations on other societies; the origins and
evolution of monotheism (i.e., Judaism, Christianity, Islam); the collapse of Roman hegemony and the
emergence of medieval society; the evolving cultural and political role of the Catholic Church; feudalism and
the emergence of national monarchies; the significance of the Renaissance and of the Reformation; and
religious conflicts and the emergence of the nation state.
Course Requirements
There will be a midterm, a final examination and two short papers. You will also be graded on your
participation. Active participation is defined as thoughtful contributions to class discussion that demonstrate
knowledge of the readings and the willingness to share interpretations with the rest of the class. Come to class
prepared to engage in discussion of all reading materials for the course.
Required Texts
Spielvogel, Western Civilization: A Brief History, Volume I: To 1715, 4th Edition (New York: Wadsworth,
Brophy, et al., Perspectives from the Past, Vol. 1 (New York: Norton, 2002)
Additional resources are available on WebCT. All required texts are available for purchase at the campus book
Essay Requirements
Each student is required to write two brief (1000-1500 word) essays dealing with the primary source readings
found in Perspectives from the Past. You may choose to write on any assignment that you wish. However,
everyone will submit one essay on October 4th and the second essay on November 27th.
These essays are designed to allow you to demonstrate that you understand the readings and their historical
importance, and that you are able to communicate those ideas in writing. As such, the essays should answer the
following questions:
1. Who is the author? If the author is anonymous, what can you guess about the author based on his or her
words? (This shouldn’t be more than a paragraph or two.)
2. What are the main points that the author make?
3. Most importantly, what is significant about the reading? How do they help us to understand the people
writing them, and the times in which they were written?
These essays will not involve additional research on your part, so footnotes and bibliography are unnecessary,
but they will require you to study and reflect carefully on the readings.
Grade Characteristics
A/A-: Excellent; shows ambition, flair; distinctive and creative; superior reading of materials and critical
analysis; clear, concise, and fully developed argument; strong textual support for all points; no grammatical or
organizational errors.
B+/B/B-: Good; above acceptable standards; some elements of an A; argument, not fully developed; no
inaccuracies; weakness in critical analysis, grammar, and organization; no real risks in the argument.
C+/C/C-: Fair; acceptable standards; lazy regurgitation of facts, little analysis; misinterpretation of texts or basic
themes; major grammatical and/or organizational errors.
D+/D: Poor work; limited understanding of subject matter; deficient analysis; sloppy; unacceptable grammatical
and/or organizational errors.
F: Inadequate or unsatisfactory work; serious deficiency in understanding; failure to complete all requirements.
A = 100-93
A- = 92.5-90
B+ = 89.5-87.5
B = 87-83
B- = 82.5-80
C+ = 79.5-77.5
C = 77-73
C - = 72.5-70
D+ = 69.5-67.5
D = 67-60
F = 59.5 and below
Grade Distribution
Final exam
Academic integrity
Rowan’s policy on Academic Integrity will be adhered to strictly. Violations of these standards will not be
tolerated. If you are not certain how to carry out an assignment properly, please consult with the instructor
before the due date.
Attendance Policy
You will also be graded on your participation therefore attendance is mandatory. Attendance will be taken and
without a formal written excuse from the Dean, the Health Services, or a related authority, no absence will be
excused. Without exception, four unexcused absences will result in your failure in the course.
Late work and make-ups
I will NOT permit make-ups for late assignments and missed tests UNLESS: 1) you contact me (preferably by
leaving a message by email) at least 24 hours BEFORE the class in which the assignment or test is due, so that I
know why you are absent and can make special arrangements as needed; and 2) you give me an appropriate
WRITTEN excuse (indicating a critical condition such as death in the family or serious illness--a minor cold is
not an adequate excuse), when you return. If you do not meet these conditions, you will receive zero credit for
the assignment or test.
Learning disabilities
It is Rowan University’s policy to make reasonable academic accommodations for qualified individuals with
disabilities. This may include special arrangements for note taking, taking examinations, and so forth. If you
will need such arrangements, please contact me.
Lecture policy
During the lectures, students must refrain from any activity that may disturb your classmates or the lecturer.
This includes: private conversations, excessive eating, text-messaging, talking on a cell phone, surfing the
internet, and so forth. Your primary concern in class should be note taking. Towards this end, you are required
to turn off your cell phone before entering the classroom and you are not permitted to use a computer unless you
have made arrangements to do so with your instructor. Students with difficulty in taking notes should
immediately contact their instructor.
Lecture and Readings Schedule
Read each assignment in full before the date listed. As a rule of thumb, please read Spielvogel for the first
lecture and read Brophy for the second lecture.
- Spielvogel, Introduction to Students of Western
Civilization (xxix-xxx)
-Brophy, Preface for Students (xix-xxiii)
-Spielvogel, Chapter 1+2
The Ancient Near East: The First
-Brophy, Laws from Ancient Mesopotamia
-Brophy, Herodotus – The Histories: Customs of the
-Spielvogel, Chapter 3
-Brophy, Homer – The Odyssey
09/11 – 09/13
The Civilization of the Greeks
-Brophy, Hesiod – Spartan Society and Values
-Brophy, Herodotus – The Histories: The Second
Persian Invasion of Greece
09/18 – 09/20
The Hellenistic World
-Spielvogel, Chapter 4
-Brophy, Plato – The Republic
-Brophy, Aristotle - Politics
-Brophy, Plutarch – “Life of Alexander”
-Spielvogel, Chapter 5
-Brophy, The Twelve Tables
09/25 – 09/27
The Roman Republic
-Brophy, Cicero – On the Laws
-Brophy, Tacticus – Germania
Reminder: 1st Paper Due on October 4th.
-Spielvogel, Chapter 6
-Brophy, Constantine – The Theodosian Code:
Roman Law
10/02 – 10/04
The Roman Empire
-Brophy, Ignatius of Antioch – Letter to the Romans
-Brophy, Gregory of Tours, History of the Franks
-Brophy, St. Augustine, City of the Gods and
-Spielvogel, Chapter 7
-Brophy, Procopius – Secret History
10/09 – 10/11
Late Antiquity and the Emergence of the
Medieval World
-Brophy, Muhammad – The Qur’an
-Brophy, Bede – A History of the English Church
and People
-Brophy, Einhard – Life of Charlemagne
-Spielvogel, Chapter 8
-Brophy, The Last Will and Testament of Oberto
10/16 – 10/18
European Civilization in the Early
Middle World
-Brophy, Jean de Joinville – The Life of Saint Louis
-Brophy, The Magna Carta: English Constitutional
-Brophy, Las Siete Partidas: Castilian Law Code
In Class Review for Midterm Exam
Midterm Exam
-Spielvogel, Chapter 9
-Brophy, Pope Boniface VIII – Papal Bull Unam
10/30 – 11/01
The Recovery and Growth of European
Society in the High Middle Ages
-Brophy, St. Francis – The Rule of 1223 and The
-Brophy, St. Thomas Aquinas – Summa Theologica
-Spielvogel, Chapter 10
-Brophy, Ibn Khaldun – The Muqaddimah
11/06 – 11/08
The Rise of Kingdoms and the Growth of
Church Power
-Brophy, Giovanni Boccaccio – The Decameron
-Brophy, Jan Hus – The Church
-Brophy, The Distribution of Wealth in Tuscany in
-Spielvogel, Chapter 11
-Brophy, William of Rubruck – On the Mongols
11/13 – 11/15
The Later Middle Ages: Crisis and
Disintegration in the Fourteenth Century
-Brophy, Ibn Battuta – The Travels
-Brophy, Alivse Da Mosta – Voyage to Africa
-Spielvogel, Chapter 12
-Brophy, Giorgio Vassari – The Lives of the Artists
-Brophy, Leonardo da Vinci – The Notebooks
11/20 – 11/22
Recovery and Rebirth: The Renaissance
-Brophy, Baldesar Castiglione – The Book of
-Brophy, Niccolo Machiavelli – The Prince
Reminder: 1st Paper Due November 27th.
-Spielvogel, Chapter 13
-Brophy, Martin Luther – “Appeal to the Christian
Nobility of the German Nation”
11/27 – 12/04
Reformation and Religious Warfare in
the Sixteenth Century
-Brophy, “Statement of Grievances,” Diet of Worms
-Brophy, Canons and Decrees of the Council of
-Spielvogel, Chapter 14
-Brophy, Reginald Scot – Discoverie of Witchcraft
12/06 – 12/11
Europe and the World: New Encounters,
-Brophy, Henry Blount – A Voyage into the Levant
-Brophy, Jean Bodin – On Sovereignty
-Brophy, Thomas Hobbes - Leviathan
In Class Review for Final Exam
Final Examination as per the University’s Schedule