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CSUS History 50
Friday, 21 November 2003
Week 13 Writing Prompt (due 12/2)
13a. In what ways do these primary sources reveal continuity between classical and post-classical China?

Posted by mdsec at 1:42 PM PST
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Week 12 Writing Prompt (due 12/2)
12a. Compare the level of civilization in the Americas with that in Europe or Asia. Where did the New World civilizations differ most from those in the Old World (Europe, Asia especially)?

12b. Anselm sought to prove the existence of God through the use of reason (logic). Do you find this attempt persuasive? Why or why not? If not, then explain how Anselm's failure to convince you represents differences in thinking between his world and ours.

Posted by mdsec at 1:41 PM PST
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Monday, 10 November 2003
Week 11 Writing Prompts
11a. Compare the concerns of St. Benedict with those of the church leaders involved with the Concordat of Worms and the papal bull Unam Sanctam.

11b. Discuss authority in the middle ages, as evidenced in these documents. What kind of authority was wielded by whom? When?

Posted by mdsec at 9:02 PM PST
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Sunday, 2 November 2003
Week 10 Writing Prompt
10a. In what ways was medieval society the heir of classical Mediterranean civilization? In what ways does it represent something different from earlier civilizations in Greece and Rome?

Posted by mdsec at 4:14 PM PST
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Sunday, 19 October 2003
Week 8 Writing Prompt
8a. Compare and constrast Christianity and Islam based on the sources read for class.

8b. Analyze the Muslim attitude towards war as reflected in the documents you read.

8c. Describe the kind of life Muhammad prescribed for his followers.

Posted by mdsec at 11:55 AM PDT
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Monday, 13 October 2003
Week 7 Writing Prompt
7a. Using the primary source readings for 10/14, evaluate the difficulties of building, or even maintaining, a fully functional civilization based on early Christian thought. What issues would early Christians have to deal with in creating a "Christian" civilization?

Posted by mdsec at 10:15 AM PDT
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Week 6 Writing Prompts
6a. In what ways do you find evidence of a pronounced "rationalism" in Greek thought?

6b. In what ways do you find evidence of "political intensity" in the documents for this week?

6c. Do you find any similarities between "Mediterranean" political practices or thought and that of the United States?

Posted by mdsec at 10:06 AM PDT
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Sunday, 28 September 2003
Writing prompts for Week 5
What are the differences between the kind of government and society represented in the excerpts of the Arthashastra and that evident in Ashoka's edicts?

What problems might Ashoka and his heirs have had implementing to type of government he envisioned?

How would you compare the status of women in India with those in the ancient Near East?

What part of an individual's life were controlled by family and local communities?

What are the key similarities and differences between Buddhism and Hinduism based on the excerpts of the Dhammapada and Bhagavad Gita?

In what ways did the kinds of thought evident in the Dhammapada and the Bhagavad Gita differ from that we saw in China?

Posted by mdsec at 4:22 PM PDT
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Writing Prompts for Week 4
Daoism represents a radically different understanding of the nature of the world and of man's place in it from that seen in the texts from the Near East. Briefly compare and contrast the value systems represented in the two sets of works.

The documents we read for Week 4 suggest various principles according to which human societies could be ordered. What are these principles? What might be short-comings of each approach? To what extent would these principles be mutually incompatible? To what extent could they be woven together?

What is the relationship of the individual to the community in Chinese thought as represented in these documents?

Posted by mdsec at 4:20 PM PDT
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Readings for 9/29

According to Ashoka, what are the principles according to which he wishes to live and rule?
What relationship does his style of government bear to the existing caste system and Hindu religion?

What evidence do you see of changes in practice over time?
How would you describe the status of women in ancient India?
What kinds of principles seemed to drive Kautilya's recommendations?
Could women possess property? What were the limitations on her rights in this regard?

What makes Kautilya's views on government "realistic?"
What kinds of responsibilities were placed on families and villages?

Readings for 10/1


What makes us what we are?
How does one attain happiness?
What is the role of the "wise man?'
What are the four truths?
How does one overcome desire and become a Brahmana? Are works important?
What is the view of the body and of material life in this work?
What kind of view of the world is presented here?
What kind of engagement with the world is espoused in the Dhammapada?
To what does "saved from the flood" refer?

Bhagavad Gita

What was the problem Arjuna had at the start of the first section?
Krishna explained to Arjuna why he should fight. What was the crux of his answer to Arjuna's concerns?
What is Karma? What does Krishna say about duty (dharma)?
What is Brahman?
What is the relationship between Brahman and the world?

Posted by mdsec at 4:18 PM PDT
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