Origins of Western Civilization: The Ancient Mediterranean World

History 4A

Fall 2018
Section: 
1
Instructor: 
Location: 
105 North Gate
Day & Time: 
Tue/Thu 11am–12:30pm
Class Number: 
21674
Units: 
4
  • This course satisfies the Pre-Modern Requirement for the History Major.
  • This course offers an introductory survey of the history of the ancient Mediterranean world, from the rise of city states in Mesopotamia c. 3000 BCE to the transformation of the Roman Empire in the 4th century CE. The emphasis will be on the major developments in the political and social history of the ancient Near East, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, with special attention to those institutions, practices, ideas, and objects that have had an enduring influence on the development of western civilization. A key theme for the course as a whole will be the changing configurations of power in the ancient Mediterranean world, not only political (cities, states, empires), but also socio-economic (personal wealth and status) and ideological (religion and belief systems). Lectures and textbook readings will provide an essential historical narrative as well as interpretations of central problems, while readings in primary sources (epic poetry, historiography, public documents, biography, etc.) will give students an opportunity in discussion sections to grapple with some of the evidence on which such narratives and interpretations are based.