Readings should be completed prior to the class period
for which they are assigned. Students are responsible for
any and all changes made to the syllabus during the semester.
Additional readings will be added.
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5
Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10
Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Week 14 Week 15
9/2 Introduction. Early Human History and the First Civilizations
9/4 Gilgamesh, Eden, and the Origins of Civilization
- Perry, 4-18; "Gilgamesh and Hammurabi"
9/9 Hittites, Hebrews, Assyrians and Persians- the Evolution of
Near Eastern Civilization.
- Perry, 18-28; OT selections
9/11 Snake Goddesses and Homeric Heroes:
Civilization Reaches Europe
- Perry, 39-42; Iliad and Odyssey
9/16 Man is a Political Animal- Rise of the Polis
- Readings: Perry, 42-46; Lycurgus, Thucydides, Hesiod
9/18 Greek Religion and Values
9/23 Women, Slaves, Mules and Sophists- The Fifth Century
- Perry, 48-52, 56-59; 65-69
9/25 Useless Questions, Self-knowledge, and the Cave
9/30 “Revolution Thus Ran Its Course From City to City, . . .“
The Breakdown of the Polis
10/2 Alexander Cuts the Gordian Knot
10/7 Elephants over the Alps, Pyrrhic Victories, and a Roman Lake
10/9 Lucretia and the XII Tables: Virtue and Law in Early Rome
10/14 Rome Crosses its Own Rubicon- Crisis and Revolution
10/16 The Last of the Old Romans?
10/21 “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”
Rome in the Principate and the Crisis of the Third Century.
10/23 A New Religion, a New Capital, a New Society?
10/28 Jerusalem and Athens- What has Salvation to do with the World?
10/30 The Prophet, Veils, Peoples of the Book,
and the Survival of Empire
11/4 Wergeld, the Consolation of Philosophy, and the Roman Shepard
Gregory I, Clovis, Emmeram, and a Sacred Landscape
11/6 Charlemagne and the Making of Europe
11/11 Lords, Vassals: Freedom, Service and Obligation
11/13 Manors, Fairs, Merchants, and the Rise of Towns
11/18 Monks, Saints, Popes, and St. Peter’s Keys
11/20 “How to live in this world, but for the next?” Patron saints,
Crusades, investiture, and marriage.
11/25 Heloise and the Doctors
11/27 The Tomb, the Light, and the Troubadours
12/2 Rats, Plague, and Dislocation:
Social and Economic Reorganization
- Perry, 189-191, 260-266, 195-200
12/4 New Worlds and New Monarchies: Reexamining Authority
12/9 Schisms, Mystics and Reformers
12/11 Beatrice, Lucretia, and Mona Lisa