HONORS 135 Ancient & Medieval History
Office: Hafey-Marian 307
Office Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays 8:30-9:15 am;
Wednesdays 12 noon-3:30 pm;
and by appointment.
Tel: 570-208-5900, ext. 5748
|Section H: TuTh, 11 am-12:15 pm|
Section H1: TuTh, 12:30-1:45 pm
What does it mean to be a member of Western civilization? This survey of history up to the Baroque period around 1600 can help answer that question. This course is a survey of the main stages of Western Civilization, with an emphasis on concepts, forces, ideas, events, and people that have shaped our western society up to the 17th century. In coordination with other classes on art, literature, philosophy, and theology, this class will emphasize the political, social, and economic constraints and opportunities faced by the founders of Western culture.
This Honors course is part of the Historical Introduction to the Humanities suite of courses.
This class is an important part of your education! The two civilization courses are designed to explore in some depth the complex dimensions of our world and the cumulative experience of the past, to provide an understanding of how yesterday influences today and the outlook for tomorrow. We study the major developments of Western peoples up until the present because most of the problems and institutions of contemporary society have distinguishable roots in the historical past. Moreover, because of the physical and material expansion of the West in the modern period, many of these forms (Christianity, capitalist industrial manufacturing, the nation-state system, etc.) have become global in nature.
We offer these courses as part of your general education requirements because it is important for educated citizens to be familiar with the main stages of Western Civilization and recognize it as an expanding force which produced important forms of political, social, and economic organization. You should understand that most of the structures within which we order our lives are products of this evolution. Historians believe that past human behavior can be studied scientifically and that social scientists can improve our understanding of people in the present.
Further, whatever your major or career goals may be, throughout your lives you will be deluged with information, opinion, and interpretations about events which you should be able to evaluate critically. Answering questions and solving problems by critical analysis -- not just memorization of data -- is a basic goal of education. Information is just the raw material in this process and, though rational analysis must be based on factual data, memorizing tidbits of information is not an end in itself. Our real goal is to develop concepts which give order and meaning to the raw material of our recorded past. Doing this requires comprehension beyond minimal factual details of past events. Major emphasis will be on patterns, themes, and concepts against which the factual data must be understood.
We hope that upon successful completion of this course you will have improved your understanding of world civilizations and become a more perceptive judge of the data, opinions, interpretations, and explanations continuously offered to you. This process, indeed, should last your whole life, since (paraphrasing the observation of the distinguished professional historian Carl L. Becker from 1931) "Ultimately, every person is their own historian."
In addition, this course has some general liberal-arts goals of developing academic skills. It is expected that successful completion of this course will help you improve your ability:
Review the academic honesty policy concerning cheating and plagiarism, differing levels of violations, and your moral, ethical, and legal obligation only to submit work completed by you yourself. (click here for more information from the Student Handbook <http://www.kings.edu/non_cms/pdf/StudentHandbook.pdf#page=45>). Also see <Help stop Plagiarism!>.
The readings are intended to provide you with important factual and
background information before class, a basis for discussion during class, and to
be used as review and reference works afterwards.
Please obtain the following textbooks (preferably clean, unmarked-up copies):
Before class, you will read according to the class schedule, below. In all
of your classes, you should prudently mark up, underline, highlight, and
otherwise annotate your texts as you study. For this class, you are required to
You should critique the textbook as you study. While you are reading, use one or more highlighters or pens to mark up portions of the text. You might use marks similar to those used by the professor in his assessment of your own assignments, found here. You might consider different colors for (a) historical facts, terms, dates, (b) important points or details, or (c) key explanatory phrases and sentences (d) significant quotes or lines. You might write comments in the margins about the following points:
Be sure to answer the review question at the end of each section in the Concise Western Civ
text by writing in your book (or on a removeable note) . You might think out and write answers to the "Consider this:" questions at the
end of each section in the Aspects text.
Carefully reading and noting texts is so important that the instructor applies two methods of evaluation:
First, quizzes may be given. Quizzes are open book, so you may copy your answers from your notes onto the quiz sheet. Use your own words: language similar to the text may be plagiarism.
Second, you are required to turn in your textbook at each exam; then the instructor will evaluate how well you have marked it up and answered review questions.
Bring your Concise Survey and Aspects textbooks to each class. The Machiavelli book only needs to be brought to the class where it will be discussed. Ask questions about about your texts. We will discuss them. After class, regularly through the semester, you should review your class notes and compare them with the texts.
If you have a used textbook that has been already marked up, or an electronic version of the textbook, or some other problem with obtaining a textbook, see the instructor within the first two weeks of classes so that solutions can be found for your use of the textbook and subsequent evaluation. At the end of the second week the instructor will examine your books to see how marked-up they are.
Participation and attendance are necessary because lecture and discussion provide the essentials for achieving class goals and objectives. Thus a portion of your grade (about 20%) will depend on your in-class performance, aside from graded quizzes, exams, and papers. You are required to attend each class, arrive on time, remain attentive, maintain proper classroom decorum, respond to questions, and participate in discussion and small-group activities.
You are encouraged to take notes. Student are also responsible for carrying out discussion, providing answers to questions about material in your readings, and bring up knowledge from other classes and experiences. You can also contribute to discussion by asking questions. Since mature engagement with our society's past and present problems and controversies requires knowledge of current events, students are expected to be informed about significant current events.
During class electronic devices may only be used for tasks and information relevant to the classroom activity and may not distract you or other students. Only with the instructor's permission may class be recorded, only to be used for your own study, and the recordings must be erased after the final exam.
Any student who has a learning disability, physical handicap, and/or any other possible impediment to class participation and requirements (whether vetted by the Academic Skills Center or not) should meet with the instructor within the first two weeks of classes to establish available accommodations.
If, at some point during the semester, you must discontinue the course, whether due to poor performance, illness, or some other cause, be sure to follow proper procedures for withdrawal through the Registrar.
Several minor written assignments (a paragraph to one page in length) may also be required as reflections and reactions to class discussion and projects (10 points each).
Since participation and class attendance are necessary, if you miss a class
you must complete an Absentee
Assignment (see below) so that the instructor may evaluate
whether some learning has taken place (see below).
If you arrive at class late, after attendance is taken, you must personally request that the absence be turned into a tardy mark; otherwise an Absentee Assignment (see below) may be required. Students who need to leave a class early, except for an emergency, should notify the instructor before class begins.
Missing a class falls into two categories, excused or unexcused, either of which requires submission of an Absentee Assignment (see below).
1. Excused absences are due to college activities, an emergency, or extended illness. They require a notification by the appropriate College official (coach, director, etc.). If you know in advance, you should consult with the instructor about making up/turning in missed work; otherwise contact the instructor as soon as possible after your return. They should have no negative impact upon your grade.
2. All other absences, for whatever reasons, are unexcused, but do not require any written documentation. More than a few will lower the class participation portion of your grade.
After any absence, you are also responsible for requesting any hand-outs and already-returned assignments from the instructor, or borrowing notes from other students.
If you miss any quizzes and/or in-class writing or activity projects due to an excused absence, you may make them up with the explicit permission of the instructor, who may require any equivalent assignment.
If you miss an exam, you do not need to complete an Absentee Assignment, but contact the instructor as soon as possible to schedule a make-up for the exam. You may take a missed exam only at the discretion of the instructor.
A few unexcused absences or a make-up exam should not significantly lower your grade. Always, your health is your first priority. If you are sick, stay away from class, and seek proper treatment and rest before returning to class.
Since participation and class attendance are necessary, if you miss a class you must complete an Absentee Assignment
so that the instructor may evaluate whether some learning has taken place.
For an Absentee Assignment, you are to write a no-more-than-one page essay (in proper presentation format) covering that day's reading or discussion topic.
These papers are ungraded, without points, and not returned; yet failure to complete Absentee Assignments will significantly lower your grade, perhaps resulting in failure of the course.
Deadlines: The assignment(s) should be turned in to the instructor at the beginning of the next class after you return.
You will take two exams: one on the assigned date in the class schedule and the other as to be scheduled during finals week. The final exam is comprehensive, covering material since the beginning of the course.
Exams will consist of short answers and longer essays demanding your understanding of the course material through logical presentation of facts and explanation of historical trends. Questions will be drawn from the weekly Question classes on the class schedule, those throughout Aspects and CSWC and from the sample questions are listed at: URL: <http://staff.kings.edu/bapavlac/HNRS/135study1.html> for the midterm and at URL: <http://staff.kings.edu/bapavlac/HNRS/135study2.html> for the final. Additional questions may be worked out in class before the exams.
To study for exams, you should regularly (at least once a week) review your class notes. You should also compare and contrast these notes with your textbook and with the issues and trends emphasized in the class description, section I. You will turn in your textbooks during exams to be evaluated by the instructor on how well they have been marked up and noted (10 points each text for each exam).
You are to write one eight-to-nine page essay which either examines the life of an important person who contributed to Western Civilization or an event which changed history. (5+25+100 points)
Historians often hold different, even conflicting, views about people and events in the past. Examining historical controversies should provide you a better understanding of how historians approach facts and form opinions. You will manage information, evaluate different historical opinions, analyze arguments, organize your thoughts and present them in a clear written form in order to better understand an historical process.
PART ONE: PRELIMINARIES
Turn in your choice and some sources on the date listed in the class schedule, in the proper presentation format (5 points). The title page will have your choice as the paper title; a second page will list at least two tertiary sources, a modern biography/history secondary source, and a possible primary source covering the person/subject.
Use the checklist at <http://staff.kings.edu/bapavlac/methods/sformat.html> to review your presentation before you turn in your paper.
To do this assignment, it is recommended that you follow this procedure:
1. Choose a topic from the list [click] here <http://staff.kings.edu/bapavlac/HNRS/plist.html>.
2. Start to research the person/event well in advance of the due date. Note the two sides to the controversy--you should support one side, the other, or find a decent compromising third position. For Essentials on Research from Corgan Library, click here. For a sample Research Plan, click here. We will be visiting the Corgan Library to revew its resources.
3. History research requires sources.
For more on sources, click here. Remember, there are three kinds of
sources. For this assignment you will need
- one tertiary source: from Britannica Online (connect from the library here).
- one secondary book or journal article (scholarly, written by professional historians and published by reputable presses) which closely examines the person or event;
- and one primary source (which you may access via electronic or printed republished versions).
If you have any
doubts about the appropriateness of your sources, please see the instructor
For more help on primary sources from Corgan Library, click here or from the text website, click here.
PART TWO: STRUCTURES
Due as listed in the class shedule (25 points). This assignment will be evaluated both on the quality of references and the accuracy of bibliographic formatting.
Turn in, in proper presentation
format, after a cover page,
(1) one page with a thesis statement written as one full complete sentence followed by an outline (at least three main points and a supporting detail or two for each) of your key points; the thesis should be a statement about the controversy and where you have taken a stand;
(2) on the next page a pre-bibliography of your sources, in proper format; followed by
(3) a photocopy for each source, in order, as listed in the pre-bibliography. Make only one photocopied page for each source to turn in as part of this assignment: tertiary sources the first page of the article; secondary sources the title page of a book or first page of an article; primary sources the first page of a book, website, or the source itself. Only one page each.
Use the checklist at <http://staff.kings.edu/bapavlac/methods/s2format.html> to review your presentation before you turn in your paper.
To do this assignment, it is recommended that you follow this procedure:
1. Find more sources.
For more on sources, click here. Refer to at least
- two tertiary sources: your Britannica Online source from the previous assignment ANDone from a printed book (not electronic from the internet or CD-ROM). You should probably find one of these sources in the Reference section of the library, including encyclopedias, handbooks, dictionaries, but NOT the Concise textbook. The other tertiary source may be from the internet, but quality varies, so choose a good source.
- three professional secondary sources (scholarly, written by professional historians and published by reputable presses) which closely examines the person or event, one of which must be a printed book;
- and two primary sources (which you may access via electronic or printed republished versions).
2.Start to cite properly. For more on citation and bliographic formatting, click here.
3. Based on your sources, pull together the main points you wish to emphasize and an overall point of view.
PART THREE: FINISHED VERSION
Turn in a final draft as listed in the class schedule (100 points). Include a revised bibliography as the last page (do not include the pages with choice, thesis, or photocopies from previous assignments).
Use the checklist at <http://staff.kings.edu/bapavlac/methods/s3format.html> to review your presentation before you turn in your paper.
To do this assignment, it is recommended that you follow this procedure:
1. Write a careful essay whose thesis argues the controversy. The quality and use of your research from historical books will
substantially influence the evaluation of your essay be sure to use them in
the body of your paper. The instructor is largely interested in the historical
arguments on one side or the other. Most major points should be devoted to specifics
about the controversy, showing significant influence or impact on
sure to place the controversy in historical context, focusing on how things used to
be before, the historical
process of change, and/or how this event or person's
life still affects us today. Support all your assertions with proper reasoning
and/or details drawn from your sources, properly cited.
2. Write drafts of your paper. Rest, review, and revise repeatedly. You might use the Writing Center.
You earn your grade through work done for this course. It is your responsibility to understand why you have achieved a certain grade and what steps you can take to maintain or improve your grade.
For your protection, in case of errors in recording, you should keep copies of all exams and assignments until you have received official notice of your final grade. Any and all materials done for this course may become the property of the instructor, who may use them for assessment, evaluative, scholarly, or research purposes.
Click here for essential information about evaluation and grading. For more information on grades, see your Student Handbook and the college catalog.
Your final grade will be based on a percentage (above 90%=A, 80-90%=B, etc., with borderline grades earning "+" or "-") of the sum of the assignments. Different assignments will be worth certain point values.
Completing assignments on time is an important aspect of your course
work. You yourself must hand in each
due assignment at the beginning of class on the
as listed in the schedule, or
as soon as possible after an absence.
The grade of any assignment you turn in late will lose at least 10% after the beginning of the first class, 20% after the second, and 35% after the third. No late papers will be accepted after the last day of class, resulting in a zero for any such assignment.
Should the College cancel classes, still do work according to the schedule below, until otherwise instructed by the instructor.
Should the College have a compressed schedule, still do the work according to the schedule below, until otherwise instructed by the instructor. Meeting time under the compressed schedule for the 11:00 am section is 12:00-12:50 pm and for the 12:30 section is 1:00-1:50 pm.
|Sep 1||Week 1
|CSWC, How to Use this Book, Chap. 1
|Sep 6||Week 2
Prehistory and Middle Eastern Civilizations
What is the difference between civilized and barbarian?
Chap. 2, 3
|Sep 8||How Is Civilization worthwhile?|
|Sep 13||Week 3
What varieties of government did the Greeks offer?
CSWC, Chap. 4
|Sep 15||How did the Greeks balance communal versus individual
11 section take this survey; 12:30 section take this survey
|Sep 20||Week 4
How did Roman regimes change?
CSWC, Chap. 5
|Sep 27||Week 5 Christianity||
How did Christians manage to convert Romans?
CSWC, Chap. 6, 105-114, 123-124
|Sep 29||Is Christianity
a Beneficial Belief System?
Historical Controversies, Part ONE Preliminaries DUE
|Oct 4||Week 6
How did the Roman Empire collapse in the West?
Chap. 6, 114-122
|Oct 6||What Caused the Fall of the Roman Empire in the West?|
|Oct 11||Week 7
|Oct 18||Week 8
Early Middle Ages
How did the West manage to survive?
CSWC, Chap. 7
|Oct 20||How do Belief, Violence, and Promises Interact to Create Effective Government?|
|Oct 25||Week 9
High Middle Ages
How did forces of Church and State relate?
CSWC, Chap. 8, 147-164, 182-184
Historical Controversies, Part TWO: Structures DUE
|Oct 27||Were the Crusades a Holy War?|
|Nov 1||Week 10
Late Middle Ages
How did medieval institutions begin to fail?
CSWC, Chap. 8, 165-181
|Nov 3||Should the papacy should be supreme?|
|Nov 8||Week 11
How did the West rediscover classical antiquity?
CSWC, Chap. 9, 185-198
|Nov 10||Is the Educational Concept of the Renaissance Still Relevant?|
|Nov 15||Week 12
How did the Western Latin Church fracture?
CSWC, Chap. 9, 199-210, 220-222
|Nov 17||Were Protestant Reforms Good for Christianity?|
|Nov 22||Week 13||Machiavelli, The Prince (and other sources in the assigned edition written by him) STUDY GUIDE ASSIGNMENT here.|
|Nov 29||Week 14
Age of Discovery and Colonization
How did the Europeans engage the rest of the world?
CSWC, Chap. 9, 211-220
|Dec 1||Did Columbus's Voyages Have a Positive Impact on World History?|
|Dec 6||Week 15||
Historical Controversies, Part THREE: Finished Version DUE
|Dec 8||last class||Review|
|Dec 13 or 15 at 1pm||FINAL EXAM||tba <http://staff.kings.edu/bapavlac/HNRS/135study2.html>|
Although the syllabus presents the basic content and requirements of the course, the professor reserves the right to change anything (e.g. assignments, point values, topics, due dates, grading policy, etc.), at any time, at his discretion.
Site built, maintained & Copyright © MMXVI by Brian A. Pavlac
Last Revision: 2016 Novermber 29