Introduction to the Ancient World
"Alea iacta est." - Julius Caesar, before invading his own Roman homeland
"Come back with your shields or on them." - Spartan women to their men before war
"Forget death and seek life!" - Gilgamesh, one of the first epic king-heroes
"Compared with the Egyptians, the Greeks are childish mathematicians." - Plato
"Eureka!" - Archimedes
"Is it not worthy of tears, that, when the number of worlds is infinite, we have not yet become lords of a single one?" - Alexander
"Carthage must be destroyed." - Cato's traditional ending to any speech made in the Roman Senate
"SPQR" - Letters that marked property of Senatus Populusque Romanum
Come and see the die Caesar cast that changed the course of Roman history, the shields that the Spartans valued more than their lives, the mathematical principles the Greek scholars shed their own blood over, the rise and fall of the oldest cities, empires, and cultures of the West, and the stories they left behind!
The goal of this course is to provide students with a solid foundation for understanding the ancient world, thereby giving them a framework for future studies. The ideas and themes touched upon in this course will assist students in gaining a broader appreciation and understanding of the cultures that laid the foundation for the western world. An emphasis will be placed on developing critical thinking and writing skills as well as learning the basic geography of the regions covered in the course. Mapwork and excerpts from primary source material will be used frequently!
The class will include readings from primary texts (provided by the instructor), the opportunity to study fascinating artifacts, and in-depth discussions of military tactics, technology, prevailing philosophies and religions of the time.
Assignments will include
· reading and annotation of primary texts (20-30 minutes per day). Homework may sometimes include short-answer reading questions, essay drafting, map-work, study of images and diagrams, or quizzes to check for comprehension
· 2 papers, between 1-3 pages in length depending on the age and level of the student. The instructor will provide coaching and scaffolding throughout the drafting and editing process. Each draft will receive personalized feedback.
· a short midterm and final exam
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