Western Civilization - Waterloo Community School District


Course Design

Western Civilization I

Ms Padget

Fall 2012

Western Civilization is a challenging course. Solid reading and writing skills along with a willingness to devote considerable time to homework and study are necessary to succeed. Emphasis is placed on critical and evaluative thinking skills, essay writing, interpretation of historical and literary documents, and historiography.

Course Objectives Students will:

 demonstrate an understanding of the history, art, and literature of the era

 demonstrate an understanding of historical chronology

 understand the geographic features of the regions and understand their impact on the history of the region

 use data to support and argument or position

 work effectively with others to produce projects and solve problems

Required Texts




Marcus Aurelius

Chrétien de Troyes

Western Civilization: Volume A


The Three Theban Plays


Song of Roland

Arthurian Romances

Additional readings include the Bible and the Qur’an.

The grading scale is as follows: A=90%; B=80%; C=70%; D=60%.

Grades are based on the following:

 30% will be unit examination grades (You will be tested on chapter information, lecture notes and literature.) o Unit exams will contain 20 multiple choice questions from each chapter. They will also have additional questions over covered literature and art. You will be given a list of essays for which to prepare but I will choose the essays on the exam.

 40% will be writing assignments (These include in class essays, literary essays, etc.) o You will be writing a critical essay on either Gilgamesh, Antigone or Oedipus Rex. Further directions for the essay will be provided after we have completed the literature. You will also have in class writing assignments about the other readings for the course. Additionally, you will be work with group sites to develop a group presentation that will be included in your writing grade.

 20% will be based on participation and attendance o During each class session, you will be asked to keep a response journal. During the course of the session, you will be asked various questions that will illicit your opinion on various topics. This will provide you will a focus for the three hour session and will give me a check on comprehension of critical material. These will be sent to me after class in a group envelope. Excessive absences will have an adverse effect on your final grade.

 10% will be the final essay exam o During the final exam period, you will complete the last unit exam. You will also complete an essay final in which you analyze the literary and art movements of the period studied.

Attendance Attendance in this class is very important. Much of the material for success is provided through lecture/discussion.

Missing class can create problems. If you miss an exam, an alternate exam may be provided. We will have group assignments. Please make sure that you fulfill your obligations to the class and your group.


Contact Information

Students are expected to be on time, be prepared, treat everyone with respect, and participate in this class. anytime. I check that email more than anything. If you would like to meet with me individually, please contact me and I will gladly do so.

This is a tentative overview of the course. As the semester progresses, changes may be necessary for the benefit of students and teacher.


August 16

I am a full time employee of the Waterloo Community School District and will be unavailable without an appointment.

Please contact me through the ANGEL system. I will be using the system to communicate announcements. Please check your ANGEL site for this course on a regular basis. You may also email me at padgets@waterlooschools.org at

Material covered (please have chapter read as soon as possible)

Spielvogel – Chapter 1

 Introduction to instructor and class

August 27

September 4

September 10

September 17

September 24

October 1

October 8

October 15

October 22

October 29

 Paleolithic vs. Neolithic Age

 Prehistoric Art

 Characteristics of Civilizations

 Impact of Geography on Civilizations (Summer and Egypt)

Spielvogel – Chapter 1

 Introduction to Gilgamesh

 Sumerian and Egyptian Art

 Law codes and concept of justice

 Egyptian religion

 Megaliths and Stonehenge

Spielvogel – Chapter 2

 Judaism and the Old Testament

 Assyrian Empire

 Persian Empire

 Discussion of Gilgamesh

 Overview of critical essay (Group essay over Gilgamesh)

 Chapter 1 and 2 Exam

Spielvogel – Chapter 3

 Greek Geography

 Homer as educational tool

 Sparta vs. Athens

 Persian/Peloponnesian War

 Development of Greek Philosophy

Spielvogel – Chapters 3 and 4

Greek religion

Philip of Macedonia and Alexander the Great

 Introduction to Greek drama and Sophocles’ Theban Plays

Spielvogel – Chapter 4

 Discuss Sophocles/review of critical essay assignment

 Greek and Hellenistic Art

 Hellenistic Kingdoms

 Mystery religions

Chapter 3 and 4 Exam

Spielvogel – Chapter 5

 Roman Geography and Influences

 Cincinnatus and the Roman Ideal

 Structure of the Roman Republic

 Roman Conquest

Literary Critique due to me by email by 3:00 p.m. on October 12

Spielvogel – Chapter 5 and 6

 Decline of Republic and Birth of Empire

 Roman Art and Engineering

 “Bread and Circuses”

 Introduction to Marcus Aurelius and Meditations

Spielvogel – Chapter 6

 Christianity: Jesus and Paul

 Slave revolts

 Golden and Silver Age of Roman Literature

Spielvogel – Chapter 6 and 7

 Discussion of Meditations

Meditation assignment due October 26 by 3:00

Chapter 5 and 6 Exam

Propping up the Empire

Spielvogel – Chapter 7

 Germanic Tradition

 Development of Church Structure

 What Didn’t Make it into the New Testament

 Justinian

 Byzantine and Islamic Art

November 5

November 12

November 19

November 26

December 3

December 10

December 17

Spielvogel – Chapter 7 and 8

 Rise and Spread of Islam

 Introduction to Song of Roland

 Charlemagne and the Carolingians

 Vikings, Magyars and Muslims, Oh My!!!

 Feudalism and Manorialism

 Chapter 7 and 8 Exam

Spielvogel – Chapter 9

 Second Agricultural Revolution

 Trade and Cities

 Romanesque and Gothic Architecture

Spielvogel – Chapter 10

 Discussion of the Song of Roland

 Castles and Defense

Tournaments and Chivalry

Who’s Who of the Nobility of the Middle Ages

 Who’s Who of the Church of the Middle Ages

Spielvogel – Chapter 10 and 11

 See the Middle East – Crusades – Background

 Crusades – Success and Failure

 Comical or Tragic Crusades

 Russia

 Little Ice Age

Spielvogel – Chapter 11

 RATS!!!!

 Joan Goes to the Hundred Years’ War

 Multiple Popes and Antichrists

 Dancing Skeletons in Art

 Work time to prepare for presentations


Unit Exam – Chapters 9 – 11 and Final Essay Exam