The Ancient Mediterranean World

History 4A

Fall 2012
Day & Time: 
WF 4-530P
  • 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 BC to the transformation of the Roman Empire in the 5th and 6th centuries AD. 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.

    Course Books

    Saint Augustine Confessions by Chadwick, Henry Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0199537822 Required
    The Historians of Ancient Rome: An Anthology of the Major Writings by Mellor, Ronald Routledge. ISBN: 978-0415971089 Required
    The Portable Greek Historians by Finley, M. I. Penguin Books. ISBN: 978-0140150650 Required
    The Epic of Gilgamesh by George, Andrew Penguin Books. ISBN: 978-0-140-44919-8 Required
    Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean by Freeman, Charles Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0-19-926364-6 Required