HIS 101
History of Western Civilization I

Charles Evans
Bev Blois
Doug Campbell
Stephanie Campbell
Bryson Clevenger
Dino DelGallo
Joseph Esposito
Richard Faillace
Adam Howard
Andrew Johnstone
John Kincheloe
Gregory LaMotta
Seth Loewenberg
Andrea Odiorne
and Francis (Pete) Rothenhoefer

If you would like to be included in the slideshow at the right, please send me an image of yourself somewhere in the world.

Blue Separator Bar

Contact information

Professor Charles Evans cevans@nvcc.edu
phone 703.948.7701
college home page www.ctevans.net/College.html
Professor Beverly Blois bblois@nvcc.edu

Professor Doug Campbell docampbell@nvcc.edu
phone 703.450.2626
home page www.professorcampbell.org/
Professor Stephanie Campbell scampbell@nvcc.edu
phone 703.948.5643

Professor Bryson Clevenger


Professor Dino DelGallo ddelgallo@nvcc.edu
home page


Professor Joseph Esposito jesposito@nvcc.edu
home page www.nvcc.edu/home/jesposito

Professor Richard Faillace rfaillace@nvcc.edu

Professor Adam Howard adhoward@nvcc.edu
home page www.nvcc.edu/home/adhoward/
Professor Andrew Johnstone ajohnstone@nvcc.edu

Professor John Kincheloe jkincheloe@nvcc.edu
phone 703.948.7571
home page kinchteach.com/

Professor Greg LaMotta glamotta@nvcc.edu

Professor Seth Loewenberg


Professor Andrea Odiorne aodiorne@nvcc.edu

Professor Francis (Pete) Rothenhoefer frothenhoefer@nvcc.edu
NOVA Online telephone 703.323.3347 (1.888.435.6822)
NOVA Online fax 703.323.3392

This is the HIS 101 course syllabus (home page). On this page, you will find important information about the course and the links to the course assignment schedules.

Blue Separator Bar

Required books

  • Joshua Cole and Carol Symes, Western Civilizations, Brief 4th edition volume one (W.W. Norton, 2017, ISBN 9780393265330). If you are wondering whether you must buy the textbook, then please watch this short video. You might also use an earlier or different edition, but you will have to figure out for yourself the specific reading assignments.
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh (Penguin Classics, ISBN 9780140441000)
  • Machiavelli, The Prince (ISBN 9780486272740)
You may also read these for extra credit:
  • Song of Roland (ISBN 9780451528575)
  • Chaucer, Selected Canterbury Tales (ISBN 9780486282411)

Please check Canvas course syllabus for more information about purchasing your books.

If you are wondering whether you must buy the textbooks, then please watch this short video.

Blue Separator Bar

General course purpose

Surveys the general history of the Western world from about 3000 BCE to 1600 CE and allows students to reach a basic understanding of the characteristic features of the Western world's early historical development in that span of time. Students will learn about some of the important political, economic, social, intellectual, cultural and religious changes that shaped the development of the West from earliest times.

Blue Separator Bar

Course objectives

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  1. Establish a chronology of historical events in the Western world before 1600 CE.
  2. Explain the changing geopolitical structures of the Western world up until 1600 CE.
  3. Define the importance of key individuals and developments in Western civilization before 1600 CE.
  4. Identify the social, economic and political forces at work in the evolution of early and medieval Western history.
  5. Recognize and describe the significance of some of the cultural achievements of ancient and medieval Western civilization.
  6. Analyze complex historical sources and materials and reach conclusions based on interpretations of those materials.
Blue Separator Bar

Course prerequisites

Although there are no formal prerequisites for this course, please consider:

  • It is expected that students possess college-level reading, writing and technology skills.
  • I would recommend that you allot at least three hours a week of study time for this course.
Blue Separator Bar

Course drop, withdrawal and incomplete policies

  • See the information in the Canvas course syllabus.
  • Check your specific Critical Course Deadlines. These dates can be found on the NOVA Online home page, and they are also indicated on your course schedule. Please make a note of these important dates.
    • You must withdraw before the Last Refund Date to receive a full tuition refund. This is also the last day to change your grade status to audit.
    • In unit 1, you must submit your introduction paragraph by your First Assignment Due Date to avoid being administratively deleted from the course without a refund.
    • Your Last Withdrawal Date is the last date on which you can withdraw yourself from the course without grade penalty.
    • You must complete all course assignments by your official course End Date.
  • For an Incomplete grade in the course, you must earn 500 points, pass the midterm exam and explain the extenuating circumstances for the incomplete request. 
  • Take appropriate action now if you will not be able to take your exams at a NVCC campus testing center. You will need to set up proctored examinations. You may also use ProctorU to take your exams on your home computer. See the information about exams on your Canvas syllabus.
  • Please note that your enrollment in this course is subject to NOVA Online policies and procedures. You may wish to review these now.
  • Students are responsible for knowing and following college policies in the Student Handbook.
Blue Separator Bar

Course grading

Course grades are based on the following point scale:

  • 1,000-900:  A
  •    899-800:  B
  •    799-700:  C
  •    699-600:  D
  •    599-000:  F

Make sure that you check the very IMPORTANT Explanation of Assignments and Grading, which has information about grading in the course. There are Special Course Grading Requirements that you must meet to successfully pass the course.

Blue Separator Bar

Links to course assignment schedules

For spring 2020, these are the different schedule versions available:

For fall 2019, these are the different schedule versions available:

For summer 2019, these are the different schedule versions available:

Each week of your schedule will list the course units and assignments that you are required to complete that week. Each course unit will list what you are required to read and submit for that unit. Each unit will also usually have some extra material that you may look at and some possible extra credit work that you can complete. Please make sure that you check out all the linked information for each course unit.

Please make sure that you double-check your official course registration to verify the specific section of the course that you signed up for.

You are expected to make regular and steady course progress by completing your assignments and exams on time.  Please check your Canvas gradebook for your grades and feedback.  You can always finish faster than your course schedule. Once you begin this course, it is your responsibility to withdraw.  If you do not withdraw and if you do not finish your course assignments, then you will receive an "F."

Be sure to check out the list of available course aids.

Blue Separator Bar

Submitting assignments

You must submit all of your assignments and extra credit through Canvas. See the Submitting Assignments in Your NOVA Online History Course instructions.  (No more than one item per calendar day will be accepted.) Feedback on your work will be posted to the Canvas gradebook, usually within 24-48 hours. You should follow the same directions if you are resubmitting an assignment.

When you have any questions about the course or your assignments or when you want to send a draft of an assignment for informal feedback, please contact your instructor by email using your student email account.

Blue Separator Bar

Using Canvas

Canvas is used to support the course.

Blue Separator Bar

Contacting your instructor

Find your instructor's name and contact information at the top of this page and also when you log into your course on Canvas. If you have any communication problems, please contact Professor Charles Evans, cevans@nvcc.edu, professor of history at the Loudoun campus.

Blue Separator Bar

Plagiarism, cheating and student conduct

NOVA does not tolerate academic dishonesty. See the information on the Canvas course syllabus (also known as the college's Academic Integrity Policy).

Please make sure that you read the course policy on plagiarism and cheating. You are expected to abide by the student conduct provisions of the college's student handbook, and it is expected that you will be courteous in all conversations and assignments in this course.

Blue Separator Bar
Blue Separator Bar

Writing in the course

Proper grammar, spelling and style are an inherent part of each assignment in this course, and please check Charlie's History Writing Center for more information about specific writing style expectations. (You can also watch the short YouTube video about the center.)

Blue Separator Bar

The Cap of Monomakh (Шапка Мономаха in Russian) was one of the traditional symbols of the medieval Russian monarchy.  There is no agreed-upon certainty about the cap's origin, although it probably dates to the fourteenth century, or how the cap became one of the important symbols of the Russian autocracy, but all kingships/monarchies had their specific symbols, which always included a crown of some sort.  The Russians were no exception to that.  According to Russian legend, the Byzantine emperor sent this crown to Vladimir Monomakh, Grand Prince of Kiev, sometime in the early twelfth century, and it was used during the coronation ceremonies of the Russian tsars in the sixteenth century--a small gap in time.  Peter the Great replaced the "cap" with a more formal, imperial crown in the early eighteenth century.

Monomakh Cap
PS.  I am always looking for photographs, images, slides, artifacts, etc. that I can use in my courses.  If you have anything that you think might be of use or interesting to me, please let me know.  I credit all images/materials that I use in the course.

All materials on this site are copyright © 2006-20, C. T. Evans.
For information contact cevans@nvcc.edu.
See my college and history projects home pages.