Syllabus for HS 111

Spring 2016


HS 111 examines our culture from its origins in the Ancient Middle East through its development in Greece, Rome, Medieval Europe, and the Renaissance. We'll be looking to see what has stayed the same and what has changed during the gradual evolution of Western Civilization.

Required text: Donald Kagan, Steven Ozment, and Frank M. Turner, The Western Heritage, 11th ed., vol. 1

Extra readings are available on my Web Site: http://www.lygdamus.com and are required. When you get to my page, click on the Quinnipiac link, which will bring you to the current week's assignment. Files to be downloaded are highlighted as links. They are in Adobe PDF format. Click on them once, and they should open in your browser--if you have Adobe's free Acrobat Reader installed. If you don't, go back to my home page and click on the Adobe logo to get it. Again, it's free! If you hold down on your right mouse button, a menu will pop up giving you the option of downloading the file to your hard disk. That way you can keep a copy for future reference or even print it out. After assignments have been removed from the weekly calendar, the blue colored links to the extra readings can still be found on the on-line version of this document (which is kept up-to-date). Its link can be found just below the assignments themselves.

Course Requirements: 2 exams (25% each); 3 papers (10% each); objective quizzes on each reading assignment (20% total)


NOTE that assignments are to be prepared for the session date on which they are listed.


1. Jan. 25. Introduction and "The Fertile Crescent."

Readings from LucretiusDe Rerum Natura and Hobbes' Leviathan.

2. Jan. 28. In Kagan The Western Tradition read ( pp. 5-13) Chapter 1 "Early Civilizations to about 1000 B.C.E." up to (but not including!) "Egyptian Civilization" on Sumer and Babylon and the insert pp. 14-15.

On line, download readings on "Gilgamesh and Agga" and Hammurabi's Code.

3. Feb. 2. In Kagan, read (pp. 13-19) Chapter 1 "Egyptian Civilization" up to "Language and Literature" on the Old and Middle Kingdoms of Egypt.

On line, download "Letter to M. Dacier."

4. Feb. 4. In Kagan, read (pp. 19-23) Chapter 1 from "Religion: Gods and Temples" up to "The Persian Empire" on Egypt's New Kingdom and the later Near Eastern empires.

On line download New Kingdom Documents Akhnaton's "Hymn to the Aten," "The Song of the Harper," and Herodotus on Mummies.

5. Feb. 9. In Kagan read (pp. 33-37) Chapter 2 from the start up to "The Greek 'Middle Ages' to about 750 B.C.E." on the Minoans and Myceneans.

On line download Mycenean Documents: Two Linear B Tablets and Plato, Timaeus 21c-25d (the myth of Atlantis).

6. Feb. 11. In Kagan read (pp. 40-52) in Chapter 2 the whole section called "The Polis" (up to but not including "The Persian Wars") on the constitutions of Athens and Sparta.

7. Feb. 18. In Kagan read in Chapter 2 "The Persian Wars," (pp. 53-59) but first go back to Chapter 1 and look at the section "The Persian Empire" (pp. 24-26) (up to but not including "Palestine.")

On line download Herodotus's accounts of the Battles of Marathon and Thermopylae.

8. Feb. 23. In Kagan read Chapter 3 pp 61-74 from the start up to (but not including) "Competition for Leadership in the Fourth Century B.C.E." on the Peloponnesian War.

On line download Pericles' ""Funeral Oration.

9. Feb. 25. No new assignment in Kagan. We'll spend another day discussing the Peloponnesian War and discuss the paper, which is due Tuesday March 1..

On line download Thucydides' "The Melian Dialogue."

The test will be Tuesday March 8.

10. March 1. Hand in a paper of between 500 and 750 words on the following topic: "For the last 2,000 years Periclean Athens has been held up as the model Greek polis, the intellectual source of Greece's 'Golden Age.' That being the case, why did Athens lose the Peloponnesian War?"

Download Plato's Apology of Socrates.

11. March 3. In Kagan read in chapter 3 pp. 84-95 "The Hellenistic World" right to the end on Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World.

12. March 10. In Kagan read Chapter 4 pp. 97-105 from the start up to "Rome and Carthage" on the evolution of the Roman Republic.

On line download selections from Livy's History of Rome.

13. March 8. First test, covering sessions 1-12.

14. March 22. On line download "The Purple People" on the first two Punic Wars.

15. March 24. In Kagan read in chapter 4 pp. 115-120 the section called "Roman Imperialism: The Late Republic" (up to but not including "The Fall of the Republic") on the Gracchi, Marius, and Sulla.

On line, download Selections from Plutarch and Sallust: Plutarch, Tiberius Gracchus chapters 8-9 and Sallust, Catilinarian Conspiracy chapters 6-13.

16. March 29. In Kagan read in chapter 4 pp. 120-126 from the section "The Fall of the Republic" the subsections from "Pompey, Crassus, Caesar, and Cicero" up to (but not including) "The Second Triumvirate and the Triumph of Octavian" on the first triumvirate.

17. March 31. In Kagan finish the last pages of chapter 4 on the second triumvirate (pp. 126-128).

On line download from Virgil and Horace: Horace Odes 1,37 and 4,7 and Virgil's description of the Battle of Actium (Aeneid 8.678-713).

18. March 31. In Kagan read Chapter 5 from the start up to (but not including) "Imperial Rome" on Augustus and the early empire (pp. 130-136).

On line download Juvenal's Satire on the City of Rome.

19. April 5. In Kagan read from chapter 1 the sections "Palestine" and "General Outlook of Mideastern Cultures" (up to "Towards the Greeks and Western Thought") on the Hebrews and monotheism (pp. 26-30) and from Chapter 5 "The Rise of Christianity" up to "Paul of Tarsus" (pp. 145-147) on early Christianity.

On line download "The Sermon on the Mount."

20. April 7. In Kagan read in chapter 5 from "Paul of Tarsus "up to "The Crisis of the Third Century" on St. Paul and the persecutions (pp. 147-151).

On line download Pliny's Letter to the Emperor Trajan and Paul's "Epistle to the Galatians."

21. April 12. In Kagan read in chapter 5 from "The Crisis of the Third Century" up to (but not including) "Arts and Letters in the Late Empire" about the Barrack Room Emperors, Diocletian, and Constantine (pp. 151-160).

Hand in a paper of about 500 words on the topic: "What do you think of the philosophy of the Sermon on the Mount?".

22. April 14. In Kagan finish chapter 5 pp. 161-163 ("Arts and Letters in the Late Empire" to the end) and read in chapter 6 pp. 173-178 the section "The Byzantine Empire" (up to but not including "Islam and the Islamic World") on the fall of the empire in the West and the reign of Justinian in the East.

23. April 19. In Kagan read in Chapter 6 pp. 190-198 "The Kingdom of the Franks" (up to but not including "Feudal Society") on the Carolingian Renaissance.

On line download selections from Einhard's Life of Charlemagne.

24. April 21. In Kagan read Chapter 7 pp. 206-213 from the start up to (but not including) "The Second and Third Crusades" on the Investiture Controversy and the First Crusade.

On line download selection from the letters of Pope Gregory VII and Pope Eugenius IIIÕs grants to crusaders.

25. April 26. Read in Kagan pages 213-219 up to (but not including) "England and France: Hastings to Bouvines" on the rest of the Crusader movement.

26. April 28. In Kagan continue from the last assignment in chapter 7 pp. 219-225 up to (but not including) "France in the Thirteenth Century" on England from William the Conqueror to Magna Carta.

On line download readings from Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights from the U.S. Constitution.

27. May 3. In Kagan in chapter 9 read the section pp. 271-284 "The Hundred Years' War and the Rise of National Sentiment" (up to "Medieval Russia") on the Hundred Years' War.

On line download from transcript of the trial of Joan of Arc, second session of Feb. 22, 1431.

28. May 5. In Kagan read chapter 10 pp. 289-292 from the start up to "Humanism" and then skip to the section "Italy's Political Decline" pp 303-305 (up to but not including "Revival of Monarchy in Northern Europe" on the political and economic sides of the Italian Renaissance.

On line download selections from Machiavelli's The Prince. and Pico della Mirandola's "Oration on the Dignity of Man."

Exams are scheduled for May 10 and 12 (actual assignments of class and time to be posted by the university).