HIS 101
History of Western Civilization I

Fall 2004
TF 0930-1045, 1230-1345 (room 144)
 
"It looks hard, but it really is easy," said one former student about the course.  (And it's even easier now!)
 
 
Professor Charles Evans
Office hours (room 308):  TF (1100-1215) and by appointment
Office phone:  703.450.2520
Division phone:  703.450.2505
Division fax:  703.404.7368
Phone mailbox at ELI:  703.323.3713#0846
ELI fax:  703.323.3392
E-mail:  cevans@nvcc.edu
Home page:  novaonline.nvcc.edu/eli/evans/default.htm
 
 
Bluebar
 
OVERVIEW AND OBJECTIVES: This course reviews the general history of the West from its beginnings around 3000 BCE to approximately 1600 CE and allows students to reach a basic understanding of the roots and characteristic features of the West. The course also helps students to develop an understanding of the academic discipline of history and supports the general educational goals of historians and the college. Grading in the course is based on written assignments and on class work that demonstrates critical thinking. It is expected that students possess college-level writing skills. It is recommended that students should have already taken (or be taking) English composition.
 
 
BOOKS: The text for the course is Perry, Western Civilization (Volume 1), which comes shrink-wrapped with Rand-McNally, Historical Atlas of the World. There are a number of short paperbacks required: Gilgamesh; Song of Roland; Chaucer, Canterbury Tales and Machiavelli, The Prince. (Any editions are acceptable).
 
 
ONLINE ITEMS: The web site for this course is novaonline.nvcc.edu/eli/evans/campus/HIS101/syllabus.html. All of the class materials and assignments are available on that site.  Please note that this course is closely linked to the ELI version of HIS 101, novaonline.nvcc.edu/eli/evans/HIS101/Index.html.
Try not to get lost!
 
 
ACCOMMODATION: If there is any student in this class who has the need for some form of classroom accommodation, please feel free to discuss this with me or one of the college's counselors.
 
 
PLAGIARISM:  Any student caught plagiarizing or cheating in this course will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.  Please read and understand my plagiarism policy.
 
 
TENTATIVE COURSE SCHEDULE
 
Week 1 24 August, Tuesday:  Course Introduction
 
27 August, Friday:  Navigating the Web
 
What to do before class: What we will do in class:
  • Students will alternate going to the Waddell building, room 226, for instruction on how to log on to the NVCC LAN and to access their official student email.
  • Detailed review of the course syllabus
  • Questions and comments
 
Week 2 31 August, Tuesday:  What is history?
 
What to do before class: What we will do in class:
  • Discuss Guizot and conceptions of civilization in small groups (10 points)
  • Write your first history papers in a small group (25 points)
  • Questions and comments
 
3 September, Friday:  Ancient Near East
 
What to do before class: What we will do in class:
  • Discuss Gilgamesh and the Ancient Near East
  • Answer the Gilgamesh study sheet questions (16 points)
  • Group work on a draft Gilgamesh paper (25 points)
  • Questions and comments
 
Week 3 7 September, Tuesday:  Judaism
 
What to do before class:
  • Read the textbook chapter 2
  • Check the Questions to Consider and study the Key Terms
  • Check the specific writing requirements of this course as explained in Charlie's History Writing Center
  • Write the Gilgamesh paper and bring the completed paper to class.  Do not try and participate in the online discussion described in the ELI course.  If you are not in class, you may e-mail me the paper before the start of class to avoid grade penalty. (50 points)
  • Read the Genesis excerpt.
  • Extra Credit:  Answer the Genesis study sheet questions and email to me before the start of class for an additional 10 points
What we will do in class:
  • Discuss Genesis and the emergence of Judaism
  • Group work on the Genesis paragraph (25 points)
  • Questions and comments
 
10 September, Friday:  Discussion of the Gilgamesh papers
 
What to do before class:
  • Relax
  • Extra Credit:  Write a one-page paper (maybe two pages if they are exceptional) that provides a detailed comparison of Gilgamesh and Genesis (You may wish to read more of Genesis for your comparison.) and email to me before the start of class for an additional 25-50 points
What we will do in class:
 
Week 4 14 September, Tuesday:  Athens
 
What to do before class:
  • Read the textbook chapters 3-4
  • Check the Questions to Consider and study the Key Terms
  • Read the Pericles Funeral Oration
  • Complete the Pericles paragraph assignment and bring to class
  • Extra Credit:  Answer the Pericles study sheet questions and email to me before the start of class for an additional 14 points
  • Extra Credit:  Read Plato's Allegory of the Cave and write a one-page paper (In your own words explain the allegory and indicate why it is important.) for a maximum of 25 points.  Email your paper to me.
  • Extra Credit:  Read the "Melian Dialogue" from the Greek historian Thucydides.  In a one-page paper, assess the relevance of some of the issues touched on in the "Dialogue" to recent (last 25 years) international politics for a maximum of 25 points.  Email your paper to me.
  • Extra Credit:  Read the documents associated with the Trial of Socrates, including Plato's Apology.  In a one-page paper (maybe two pages), note and explain the main points of Socrates' defense for a maximum of 25 points.  Email your paper to me.
What we will do in class:
  • Some remarks on Ancient Greece (Bring your Pericles paragraph to class)
  • Group work on the Pericles paragraph or other assignment (25 points)
  • Questions and comments
 
17 September, Friday:  Rome
 
What to do before class:
  • Read the textbook chapters 5-7
  • Check the Questions to Consider and study the Key Terms
  • Print out the Rome study sheet and bring to class
  • Review my instructions for Electronic Submission of assignments
  • Read the online news article, Employers Urge Workers to Improve Writing
  • Extra Credit:  Read Cicero's essay "On Duties" (De officiis), sometimes called "On Moral Duties" (www.constitution.org/rom/de_officiis.htm) and write a one-page paper (What would you conclude was Cicero's world view or philosophy of life?) for a maximum of 25 points.  Email your paper to me.
  • Extra Credit:  Read excerpts from Julius Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic Wars (either the MIT or UVA version) and write a one-page paper (What would you consider to have been Caesar's strengths as a military commander?) for a maximum of 25 points.  Email your paper to me.
  • Extra Credit:  Read some of Plutarch's biography of Julius Caesar and his account of Caesar's assassination and write a one-page paper (What were the main motivations of the assailants who killed Caesar?) for a maximum of 25 points.  Email your paper to me.
  • Extra Credit:  Read excerpts from the Meditations of Emperor Marcus Aurelius and write a one-page paper (What were some of the principles of the Roman philosophy of stoicism reflected in these Meditations?) for a maximum of 25 points.  Email your paper to me.
What we will do in class:
  • Some remarks on Ancient Rome
  • Watch a video clip from Spartacus
  • Watch twenty-seven minute Art of the Western World:  Rome
  • Complete the Rome study sheet (12 points), which you will then email to me before the start of the next class
  • Review my instructions for Electronic Submission of assignments
  • Questions and comments
 
Week 5 21 September, Tuesday:  Christianity
 
What to do before class:
  • Read the textbook chapters 8
  • Check the Questions to Consider and study the Key Terms
  • Read the Sermon on the Mount (Prepare for surprise quiz in class)
  • Review the Christianity paragraph assignment
  • Extra Credit:  Answer the Christianity study sheet questions and email to me before the start of class for an additional 10 points
  • Extra Credit:  Explain, in a short one or two-page paper, the specific construction techniques used by the Romans in the building of the Pantheon for a maximum of 25 points.  Email your paper to me.
  • Extra Credit:  Read St. Augustine's Confessions and write a one-page paper (Why did it take Constantine so long to accept Christianity?  What was the main sin that Augustine felt he could not overcome?) for a maximum of 25 points.  Email your paper to me.
  • Extra Credit:  In a short paper (one or two pages) compare and contrast the first (Genesis) and last (Revelation) of the Christian Bible (New American Standard Bible) for a maximum of 25 points.  Email your paper to me.
What we will do in class:
 
24 September, Friday:  Library Research (0930 CLASS WILL START AT 0945)
 
What to do before class:
  • Review the article abstract assignment
  • Extra Credit:  As head of the city of Rome, besieged by the barbarian Huns, in a short paper (one or two pages) write a description, as detailed as possible, of your dinner with Attila the Hun as you try to negotiate a solution that will save the city from being pillaged, for a maximum of 25 points.  Email your paper to me.
What we will do in class:
  • Presentation on library resources by Ms. Jennifer Reynolds for this and other history assignments
  • Questions and comments
 
Week 6 28 September, Tuesday:  Extra Credit Class Presentations
 
What to do before class:
  • Write the article abstract paper and email the completed paper to me before the start of class to avoid grade penalty. (50 points)
What we will do in class:
 
1 October, Friday:  Exam Preview
 
What to do before class:
  • Read the appropriate textbook pages on Russia, Eastern Europe and the Byzantine Empire (198-204)
  • Check the Questions to Consider and study the Key Terms
  • Read the Russian Primary Chronicle excerpts
  • Review the requirements of the midterm exam
  • Extra Credit:  Answer the Russian Primary Chronicle study sheet questions and email to me before the start of class for an additional 10 points
  • Extra Credit:  In a one-page paper (maybe two pages), summarize the main issues of the Iconoclasm dispute that took place in the eighth century, using such sources as the Catholic Encyclopedia, John of Damascus, the Decree of the Second Council of Nicea, or any other sources you wish to use, for a maximum of 25 points.  Email your paper to me.
  • Extra Credit:  Read the short version of the Russkaia pravda (the earliest Russian law code) and write a one-page paper (Compare and contrast this early Russian law code with other law codes that we have noted in class, such as Hammurabi, the Ten Commandments, etc.) for a maximum of 25 points.  Email your paper to me.
What we will do in class:
  • Some remarks on Early Rus'
  • Discuss the midterm exam
  • Group work to brainstorm ideas for the essay on the midterm exam (20 points)
  • Questions and comments
 
Week 7 5 October, Tuesday:  Midterm Exam
 
What to do before class:
  • Study for the midterm exam
  • Write the essay for the midterm exam.  You will bring your completed essay with you to class.
What we will do in class:
  • Complete the midterm exam.  You will not need to follow the ELI procedures explained on the linked page.  You will bring the completed test essay to class, and take the remaining parts of the exam in class. (150 points)
8 October, Friday:  Exam Review
 
What to do before class:
  • Relax
What we will do in class:
  • Discuss the midterm exam
  • Questions and comments
 
Week 8 12 October, Tuesday:  NO CLASS
 
15 October, Friday: Islam
 
What to do before class:
  • Read the appropriate textbook pages on the development of Islam (204-08)
  • Check the Questions to Consider and study the Key Terms
  • Read the Hadith selections
  • Review the Islam paragraph assignment
  • Extra Credit:  Answer the Hadith excerpt study sheet questions and email to me before the start of class for an additional 6 points
  • Extra Credit:  Find three reputable websites that contain useful information about the early history of Islam.  In about one page, summarize the information contained on each website and explain why that website is both useful and credible for a maximum of 25 points.  Email your paper to me.
What we will do in class:
  • Some remarks on Early Islam
  • Group work on the Islam paragraph (25 points)
  • Questions and comments
 
Week 9 19 October, Tuesday:  Charlemagne
 
What to do before class:
  • Read the appropriate textbook pages on Charlemagne and the Carolingian empire (215-20)
  • Check the Questions to Consider and study the Key Terms
  • Review the short background information on the Song of Roland
  • Read the Song of Roland
  • Check the study sheet questions
  • Extra Credit:  Answer the Song of Roland study sheet questions and email to me before the start of class for an additional 24 points
  • Extra Credit:  Read Einhard's Life of Charlemagne and write a one-page paper (How did Charlemagne use the church to his advantage during his reign?) for a maximum of 25 points.  Email your paper to me.
  • Extra Credit:  Using such sources as The Vikings, Vikings by the BBC, Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga or Vikings (and any other sites you may wish to consult), write a one-page paper (maybe two pages), in which you argue either that the Viking excursions were (a) beneficial or (b) harmful to the development of Europe.  Maximum of 25 points (maybe more).  Email your paper to me.
What we will do in class:
  • Some remarks on Charlemagne
  • Group work on a draft Roland paper (20 points)
  • Questions and comments
 
22 October, Friday:  Church-State Conflict
 
What to do before class:
  • Write the Roland paper and bring the completed paper to class.  If you are not in class, you may e-mail me the paper before the start of class to avoid grade penalty. (50 points)
  • Review the Cathedral study sheet; you may wish to bring a printed version to class
  • Extra Credit:  In a short paper (one-page maximum) explain how much it cost to build a medieval cathedral and what were some of the usual ways that the church raised money to pay for construction.  Remember to cite sources.  Maximum of 25 points.  Email your paper to me.
What we will do in class:
  • Watch Cathedral
  • Complete the Cathedral study sheet (18 points), which you will then email to me before the start of the next class
 
Week 10 26 October, Tuesday:  Feudalism
 
What to do before class:
  • Read the appropriate textbook pages on the post-Charlemagne age (chapter 10 and the remainder of chapter 9)
  • Check the Questions to Consider and study the Key Terms
  • Read the Feudal Document
  • Review the feudalism paragraph assignment
  • Extra Credit:  Answer the Feudal Document study sheet questions and email to me before the start of class for an additional 10 points
  • Extra Credit:  In a short paper (one-page maximum) identify some of the key points of chivalry and explain when and how chivalry emerged in Western Europe.  Remember to cite sources.  Maximum of 25 points.  Email your paper to me.
What we will do in class:
  • Some remarks on Feudalism
  • Group work on the Feudalism paragraph (25 points) Class will have LW226 available for group work
  • Make choice for Friday's class
  • Questions and comments
 
29 October, Friday:  Crusades
 
What to do before class:
  • Read the short excerpt "Arab Views of the Crusades" that is on reserve in the Loudoun campus library for HIS 101.  You could also check the online excerpt, which is slightly different, Usmah ibn Munqidh
  • Extra Credit:  Read Pope Urban's speech at Clermont (There are several versions.) that started the Crusades.  For 10 points, explain in a paragraph or so what you found most amazing about the Pope's remarks.  Email your paper to me.
  • Extra Credit:  Answer the Crusades study sheet (refers to reading on reserve) questions and email to me before the start of class for an additional 20 points
  • Extra Credit:  The capture of Jerusalem by the crusaders on 15 July 1099.  Good day or bad day for the Pope?  One page maximum.  Remember to cite sources.  Maximum of 25 points.  Email your paper to me.
What we will do in class:
  • Remarks on the Crusades?
  • Watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  • Questions and comments
 
Week 11 2 November, Tuesday:  England and France
 
What to do before class:
  • Write the website evaluation paper and email the completed paper to me before the start of class to avoid grade penalty. (50 points)
  • Read the Magna Carta
  • Check King John and the Magna Carta (and other linked articles on that page)
  • Extra Credit:  Answer the Magna Carta study sheet questions and email to me before the start of class for an additional 20 points
  • Extra Credit:  Having watched the Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie and considering that the movie is a satirical comedy, write a one-, or two, page paper (What aspects of life in the Middle Ages were well portrayed in the film?) for a maximum of 25 points.  Email your paper to me.
What we will do in class:
  • Guest Lecture on Medieval England
  • Extra Credit:  Volunteer needed to clearly explain the genealogical basis of William's claim to the English throne (25 points)
  • Extra Credit:  Volunteer needed to clearly explain the course of the Hundred Years' War (25 points)
  • Questions and comments
 
5 November, Friday:  CLASS PROGRESS CONSULTATIONS
 
What to do before class:
  • Total your course points so far
  • Sign up to meet with me for five minutes to discuss your course progress
  • Extra Credit:  Read Cantar 1 of the Cid poem (Rose and Bacon translation (The Robert Southey translation from 1637 is also available.); if you find another version on the web, please let me know; write a one-page comparison of Muslim-Christian relations as depicted in the Song of Roland, the "Arab Views of the Crusades" reading and the Cid poem for an additional 25 points
What we will do in class:
 
Week 12 9 November, Tuesday:  Life in the Late Middle Ages
 
What to do before class:
  • Read the textbook chapters 11-12
  • Check the Questions to Consider and study the Key Terms
  • Review the short background information on Chaucer
  • Read the Canterbury Tales (Only those tales included in the Dover Thrift paperback edition:  General Prologue, Knight's Tale, Miller's Prologue, Miller's Tale, Wife of Bath's Prologue and the Tale of the Wife of Bath)
  • Check the study sheet questions
  • Extra Credit:  Answer the Chaucer study sheet questions and email to me before the start of class for an additional 15 points
  • Extra Credit:  Read Dante's Inferno and comment upon his use of allegory and the medieval conception of the universe in a one-page paper for a maximum of 25 points.  Email your paper to me.
  • Extra Credit:  Medieval judicial procedures were quite amazing.  Write a short, one-page paper and comment upon some of the different kinds of "trial by ordeal" practiced in the Middle Ages.  Remember to cite sources.  Maximum of 25 points.  Email your paper to me.
What we will do in class:
  • Some remarks on the Middle Ages
  • Group work on a draft Chaucer paper (25 points) (GROUP WORK WILL BE DONE IN WADDELL ROOM 226)
  • Questions and comments
 
12 November, Friday:  Extra Credit Class Presentations
 
What to do before class:
  • Write the Chaucer paper and email the completed paper to me before the start of class to avoid grade penalty. (50 points)
What we will do in class:
 
Week 13 16 November, Tuesday:  Renaissance (Pink Day)
 
What to do before class:
  • Read the textbook chapter 13
  • Check the Questions to Consider and study the Key Terms
  • Review the short background information on the Machiavelli
  • Read Machiavelli, The Prince
  • Check the study sheet questions
  • Extra Credit:  Answer the Machiavelli study sheet questions and email to me before the start of class for an additional 16 points
  • Extra Credit:  Write a one-page paper in which you assess the significance of the Medici family for Renaissance Florence for a maximum of 25 points.  Email your paper to me.
What we will do in class:
  • Some remarks on the Renaissance
  • Group work on a draft Machiavelli paper (25 points)
  • Questions and comments
 
19 November, Friday:  Renaissance
 
What to do before class:
  • Write the Machiavelli paper and email the completed paper to me before the start of class to avoid grade penalty. (50 points)
  • Review the Renaissance study sheet; you may wish to bring a printed version to class
What we will do in class:
  • Watch Art of the Western World
  • Complete the Renaissance study sheet (14 points), which you will then email to me before the start of the next class
 
Week 14 23 November, Tuesday:  Reformation
 
What to do before class:
  • Read the textbook chapter 14
  • Check the Questions to Consider and study the Key Terms
  • Read Luther's 95 Theses (surprise quiz or group work?)
  • Write the special project paper and email the completed paper to me before the start of class to avoid grade penalty.  Paper is NOT OPTIONAL.  (50-100 points)
  • Extra Credit:  Answer the Luther study sheet questions and email to me before the start of class for an additional 10 points
What we will do in class:
  • Some remarks on the Reformation
  • Quick quiz on the 95 Theses (10 points)
  • Questions and comments
 
26 November, Friday:  NO CLASS
 
Week 15 30 November, Tuesday:  Exam Preview
 
What to do before class:
  • Read the textbook chapter 15
  • Check the Questions to Consider and study the Key Terms
  • Read the Columbus Journal excerpts
  • Review the requirements of the final exam
  • Extra Credit:  Answer the Columbus study sheet questions and email to me before the start of class for an additional 10 points
  • Extra Credit:  Before the start of class, email me the names of Columbus' three ships on his original voyage to the Americas and the date on which he finally found land for an additional 5 points.
  • Extra Credit:  See the new Hollywood blockbuster film about Alexander the Great (Alexander opens on November 24th).  Before the start of class, email a one-page paper assessing the historical accuracy of the film (and your recommendation) for a maximum of 25 points.  Email your paper to me.
What we will do in class:
  • Some remarks on Columbus
  • Discuss the final exam and the entire course
  • Group work to brainstorm ideas for the essay on the final exam (20 points)
  • Questions and comments
 
3 December, Friday:  STUDY DAY, NO CLASS
 
Week 16 7 December, Tuesday:  Final Exam
 
What to do before class:
  • Study for the final exam
  • Write the essay for the final exam.  You will bring your completed essay with you to class.
What we will do in class:
  • Complete the final exam.  You will not need to follow the ELI procedures explained on the linked page.  You will bring the completed test essay to class, and take the remaining parts of the exam in class.  Please bring a completed course evaluation with you to the exam. (250 points)
 
 
ATTENDANCE:  Optional.
 
 
GRADES:
  •   200 points, four book papers (one-page papers)
  •     50 points, article abstract (one-page paper)
  •     50 points, website evaluation (one-page paper)
  •   150 points, midterm exam
  •   250 points, final exam
  •   250 points, everything else (short paragraphs, classwork, surprise quizzes and group work)
  •     50 points, special project (two-page paper)
  • 1000 points total (plus possible extra credit)
Final course grade is based on the following scale:
  • 1000-900:  A
  •   899-800:  B
  •   799-700:  C
  •   699-600:  D
  •   599-000:  F
 
HOW TO EARN POINTS:
  • Point values for specific assignments are indicated on the tentative syllabus above
  • Point values for specific class activities are also on the syllabus
 
 
HOW TO EARN MORE POINTS:
  • Attendance at each class is worth five (5) points.
  • Bring to class a relevant question that deals with the course content/assignment for the day (textbook, reading, etc.) is worth 1 point.  Your question should be written on a slip of paper with your name.  Maximum of three questions per class per person.
  • Find any course typo, spelling error or broken link is worth one (1) point.  You should email to me any of these mistakes for extra credit.
  • Take a rough draft of a paper assignment to the campus writing center for help is worth three (3) points; make sure that the writing center notifies me.
  • Resubmit a graded paper after making the corrections that I noted is worth three (3) points; paper must be resubmitted the class immediately after I return the graded paper to you.
  • Give an extra-credit class presentation on one of the designated days.  Each report, devoted to a specific historical figure, usually lasts ten to fifteen minutes.  Students must schedule the report with me at least one week in advance.  Possible fifty (50) points.
  • Create a website dealing with any specific topic within the boundaries of this course.  Topic must be approved by me first.  Some of the style requirements for this website can be found on my Web Module Creation page, which is for my HIS 135 course.  Also check my New Web Design Center.  Possible point total negotiable.
 
 
PLEASE NOTE THAT PROPER GRAMMAR, SPELLING AND STYLE ARE AN INHERENT, AND NECESSARY, PART OF EACH ASSIGNMENT IN THIS COURSE.
You may wish to review my Writing Style Rules and History Paper Guidelines.  Please also check the Sample Writing Style Mistakes.  After receiving a graded paper, you can check for an Explanation of Comments on Assignments.  This is all part of Charlie's History Writing Center.
 
 
NOTE THAT ANY ASSIGNMENT NOT HANDED IN ON TIME WILL BE REDUCED BY FIVE POINTS PER CALENDAR DAY.
 
 
REMEMBER that technical support information for college students is available at www.nvcc.edu/ithd/.
 
 

This page is copyright © 2005, C.T. Evans
For information contact cevans@nvcc.edu