Honors Western Civilization
Individual and Community, Part I
Course Description and Schedule

HIST 121 Section 025 (Honors), Fall 1997
12:30-1:45 TTh, Education 118

Mr Lehmann
Office Hours: 10:00-12:00 TTh
East Hall 210, 677-5573, clehmann@charlie.usd.edu , http://www.usd.edu/~clehmann

The first of a two-part survey of Western Civilization, this course introduces students to some of the leading figures, ideas, and events of the Ancient Near East and premodern Europe. It also exposes them to the concerns and methods of historical inquiry through the example of lectures, by analyzing and discussing selected texts, and by writing papers. Further, the course requires students to become familiar with the use of the World Wide Web and with historical resources available on it. Finally, the theme of this year's course, individual and community, prompts reflection upon the interplay of responsibilites among members of a given group.

Students must read all assignments, attend every lecture, take notes, participate in discussions, and secure all handouts, which contain chronological and geographical background to the lectures and readings. In addition, students write papers and attend special discussion sessions four times during the semester. Material from the lectures may be incorporated into the papers and observations during discussions, but the main purpose of the papers is for students to treat in detail certain themes that appear only generally in the lectures: the nature of historical evidence and knowledge, the relationship between ideas and events, the nature of government and the role of the citizen, and explanations of historical change. Three of the projects are based on assigned readings while the fourth involves service learning (see below).


Grades depend on written work, the service project, and participation in class and discussion sessions. Students who expect to miss more than three meetings should meet with the instructor in the first week. Each student writes three papers, completes a project in service learning, submits regular summaries of course content by part, and creates a home page on the World Wide Web. The papers count 50 points each, divided into 30 points for content, 10 points for style, and 10 points for discussion. The service-learning project counts 50 points and the summaries count an additional 50 points. The web pages are not graded, but are required for successful completion of the course. From a total of 250 points possible,

250-225 = A
224-200 = B
200-175 = C
175-150 = D

Required Books

Many of these items are on reserve at I D Weeks

A Project in Service Learning

In consultation with the instructor and the student chairs of Students Enhancing Resources for Vermillion Enrichment (SERVE) in the Student Activities Center each student will undertake a project in service learning. The project will involve fifteen hours of community service. A copy of the plan describing the project and naming the supervisor who will validate the student's performance is due by 19 Sept. The completed plan and a journal describing the experience is due in the history office Monday 1 December. Students will meet in small groups in the Honors Program Conference Room to discuss these projects as follows.

Following the discussions students will prepare a short paper evaluating their experience. This paper, the plan, and the journal are due Friday 12 Dec. The project is worth 50 points as follows: 10 points planning, 10 points for the journal, 10 poins for discussion, and 20 points for the final paper.


At the end of each substantive part of the course (parts 2-6), students will submit short answers based on lectures and readings in the textbook to the respective study questions. Each summary should have about one paragraph to answer each question. E-mail these to the instructor by the first Friday following the completion of each part of the course.

Web Pages

Each student will establish an internet account as soon as possible and send a message to the instructor so that he can establish a mailing list for the class. Go to the page on CoyoteNet to learn how to establish a user account. Be sure to ask for an account on the Sun/Unix system.

By midterm (24 Oct) each student will have written his or her own home page on the World Wide Web. Go to "Creating a Home Page" and InTEC's guide to publishing on the Web to learn how to write a home page. The instructor highly recommends the workshops on the Internet and the World Wide Web offered by the staff of I D Weeks Library. See their schedule and sign up right away. Each home page must have at least an email link to the student, a link to the Honors Program site, and a graphic image.

A panel of instructors and honors upperclassmen will judge the best of the home pages. The winner will have his or her books for Honors Western Civilization II paid for next term, courtesy of the Honors Program.

Discussions and Papers

The instructor has set four problems based on several of the required books. Each student will write short papers (5-10 pp) addressing the problems, and join a small group to discuss the problem after completing each paper. Students will be assigned to one of these groups at the first meeting. The papers will conform to Chicago style and include title page and bibliography: see K L Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 6th ed (Chicago: Univ of Chicago Press, 1993), or The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th ed (Chicago: Univ of Chicago Press, 1993). The title page will indicate the appropriate discussion session.

Papers are due in the History office (207 East Hall) by 4:00 pm on the scheduled days; discussions follow accordingly at the Honors Lounge in the Honors Program Conference Room. Papers submitted on time may be rewritten for a higher grade. Papers submitted after the Monday following the due date will be penalized by ten points and an additional ten points every twenty-four hours thereafter.

Paper 1, due Fri 3 Oct.
  • 12:00-2:00 Tues 7 Oct
  • 7:00-9:00 Tues 7 Oct
  • 12:00-2:00 Thur 9 Oct
Paper 2, due Fri .31 Oct
  • 12:00-2:00 Tues 4 Nov
  • 7:00-9:00 Tues 4 Nov
  • 12:00-2:00 Thur 6 Nov
Paper 3, due Fri 5 Dec.
  • 12:00-2:00 Tues 9 Dec
  • 7:00-9:00 Tues 9 Dec
  • 12:00-2:00 Thur 11 Dec

Paper Topics

Read Popper's book first and keep it in mind as you prepare all your written work.

  1. Polis and Polites
    Read Homer's Odyssey, the plays by Aristophanes, and Plato's Apology and Crito. Write a paper about how the Greeks thought about the (conflicting) duty of the individual to his or her polis.
  2. Empire, Emperor, and Subjects
    Read Aurelius's Meditations and Juvenal's Satires. How do Aurelius and Juvenal's characters think about the state? What sort of concerns preoccupy them? Are they public or private concerns?
  3. Character and Court
    Analyze and compare the advice that Castiglione and Christine de Pisan offer their audiences. How should a man and a women live with respect to their own potential and the expectations of God, family, and social/political superiors and inferiors?


Part 1: Introduction

4 Sept How We Know About the Past, and Why We Study It

Part 2: The Ancient Near East [Civilization ch 1]

9 Sept Disc: Ancient Historians(bring handout); Part 2: Chronology and Geography (bring chronology sheet)
11 Sept Prehistory and the Earliest Civilizations
16 Sept Mesopotamian Religion
18 Sept Israel, Jahweh, and History; Slides: The City of Jerusalem
19 Sept Summaries to Part 2 due; Service-Learing Plan due

Part 3: Greece [Civilization ch 2]

23 Sept Chronology and the Bronze Age (bring chronology sheet)
25 Sept The Homeric World
30Sept Early Sparta and Athens
2 Oct Athenian Democracy and its Crises
3 Oct Paper 1 due
7, 9 Oct Discussions on Paper 1
14 Oct Slides: The City of Athens

Part 4: Rome [Civilization chs 3-4]

16 Oct Chronology and Rome's Origins (bring chronology sheet)
17 Oct Summaries to Part 3 due
21 Oct The Roman Constitution (bring handout on Polybius) and the Senatorial Aristocracy
23 Oct Roman Imperialism
28 Oct The Roman Revolution; Rome and the Christians

Part 5: The Middle Ages [Civilization chs 7-14]

30 Nov Chronology (bring chronology sheet); Byzantium and Islam
31 Oct Paper 2 due; summaries to Part 4 due
4, 6 Nov Discussions on Paper 2
13 Nov Medieval Society and Feudalism; Medieval Renaissances
14 Nov Summaries to Part 5 due
16 Nov Opera Omaha: Donizetti's Don Pasquale (link to the Arizona Opera)

Part 6: Renaissance and Reformation [Civilization chs 16-19]

18 Nov Chronology (bring chronology sheet); Renaissance Humanism
20 Nov The Church and Its Reformers
25 Nov Slides: The City of Florence
1 Dec Service-Learning Plan and Journal due
2,4 Dec Discussions on Service Learning
5 Dec Paper 4 due
9, 11 Dec Discussions on Paper 4
12 Dec Service-Learning Paper due; Summaries to Part 6 due
17 Dec All required work must be submitted by the end of this day

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