HST 131 Online(9740): Ancient & Medieval History

Spring 2006
Instructor: Jon Rudd
Phone: 301 322 0492 E-mail:
Fax: 301 530 9542
Office: M2079
Office Hours: MWF 10-12PM.


HST 131 provides a basic understanding of the origins of Western civilization, of how societies that contributed most significantly to the West were established and how they evolved politically, economically, socially, and culturally.

Historical change should be studied both chronologically and thematically; this course will do both. Historical understanding means investigating groups as well as individuals, long-term processes as well as singular events, and the ruled as well as the rulers. For our purposes historical understanding also involves identifying and comprehending the causes, characteristics, and consequences of developments which did the most to shape the Western world.

A student who successfully completes this course will be able to:

Discuss the basic characteristics of a civilized society, using as examples the civilizations of the ancient Middle East.

Describe the origins of monotheism, with particular reference to ancient Egypt and Israel.

Trace the development of ancient Greek political, religious, and intellectual values, focusing on the polis.

Explain the political evolution of the Greek world from the Persian Wars to the Hellenistic monarchies.

Discuss the early development and expansion of Rome up through the late Republic.

Explain the origins of Christianity and its diffusion throughout the Roman world.

Characterize the crises of the late Roman Empire, the development of the barbarian successor kingdoms in the West, and the survival of the Eastern (Byzantine) Empire.

Trace the origins and development of Islam and the early Caliphate.

Describe the emergence of the Papacy as the undisputed source of authority in the Western Church.

Analyze the development of the Frankish monarchy from Clovis to the successors of Charlemagne.

Outline the origins and course of Western European feudalism, the growth of the early medieval economy, and the emergence of medieval cities.

Identify the most important aspects of Imperial-Papal conflict during the Central Middle Ages.

--The required textbook is Volume I of The West in the World, by Dennis Sherman & Joyce Salisbury.

--There will be four non-cumulative 50-minute exams, each worth 15% of your grade. The fourth exam is given during the exam week, but it is not a final and counts the same as the other three. All exams will be given in the Campus Assessment Center (Bladen Hall, Room 100).

--The remaining 40% of your grade will consist of  two 3-4 page writing assignments. For further details on this requirement, click on Assignments.

All makeup exams will be taken in the Campus Assessment Center during the last week of regular classes(May 1-8). For consortium students, exams will be faxed to the appropriate testing center at your school. Makeups will be given only to those students who were unable to take an exam as originally scheduled. There will be no makeup for the fourth exam.

Failure to take any of the exams or to turn in the writing assignments means an automatic F for the course.

     ---"The college is an institution of higher learning that holds academic integrity as its highest principle. In the pursuit of knowledge, the college community expects that all students, faculty, and staff will share responsibility for adhering to the values of honesty and unquestionable integrity. To support a community committed to academic achievement and scholarship, the Code of Academic Integrity advances the principle of honest representation in the work that is produced by students seeking to engage fully in the learning process." - from the Code of Conduct, Title 6, 2, C - Academic Integrity. 

It is the studentís responsibility to become familiar with the Code of Academic Integrity (see the College website).



Week #1:
From Stone Age to Civilization. Text: 4-17.

Week #2:
The Gift of the Nile. Text: 17-26 .
Iron, Alphabets, One God. Text: 26-40 .

Week #3:
Early Greeks & the Greek Identity. Text: 46-54.
The Greek City-State. Text: 55-64.

Week #4:
The Greek Struggle for Survival. Text: 64-66.
The Rise & Fall of Athens. Text: 66-71.

Week #5: EXAM #1  (Weeks 1-4)
Greece, Macedon, & Empire. Text: 76-77, 84-106.
Origins of Greek Thought. Text: 54-55, 71-75.

Week #6:
The Early Romans. Text:  118-129.
Rome's Expansion & Its Consequences. Text:129-139 .

Week #7:

The Republic Falters. Text: 139-144.
The New Roman State. Text: 150-164.

Week #8: EXAM #2  (Weeks 5-7)
Beginnings of Christianity. Text: 169-181.
Western Empire from Heyday to Collapse. Text: 164-169.

Week #9:
Barbarians, Byzantines, & Muslims Text: 190-196, 202-208, 210-220.
Emergence of Western Christendom. Text: 197-199.

Week #10:
Towards A New Western Empire. Text: 199-200, 234-240.

Week #11: EXAM #3 (Weeks 8-10)
Political Turmoil, Social Reinvention. Text: 242-255.

Week #12: (Nov. 14-21)
Church & Empire. Text: 240-242, 284-287.
Taking The Cross. Text: 287-291.

Week #13:
Western Europe's New Crowns. Text: 230-233, 279-284.

Week #14:
Medieval Economy & Society I. Text: 262-268.

Week #15:

Medieval Economy & Society II. Text: 257-280(cont.).

Week #16: