History 4210: Ancient History

Syllabus:  Spring 2013

There is NO  textbook.  There will be readings on reserve and online.

Instructor Class information Assignments/schedule Grading  

Instructor: Kathy Payne
  145 Stewart Library

Class meets:  Tuesday/Thursday 10:30am - 11:45pm,  Library 138 (middle level north)

Office hours: Im usually around the Reference area or in my office, but if you want a guaranteed time, catch me after class, call or email to set up an appointment.

Students with Disabilities: Any student requiring accommodations or services due to a disability must contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) in room 181 of the Student Service Center. SSD can also arrange to provide course materials (including this syllabus) in alternative formats if necessary.


Class Information

Description: This course will survey the cultures of ancient North Africa, the Middle East and Europe with occasional forays into other areas.

Learning outcomes:

Class etiquette:   I am intolerant of students who act in a manner that disturbs me or other students.

You may eat and drink in class IF:  you don't bother anyone AND you don't make a mess.

Cell phones are a pet peeve of mine. Consider yourself warned.

Class participation is expected. Students will receive points based on regular class participation. Unexcused absences will have a negative effect on your grade.

I give extensions only for medical and similarly urgent problems.   I define what's "urgent". 

You may need to provide documentation such as a letter from your health care provider or deployment orders.

Group work: Group work is acceptable when I give specific permission. Otherwise, group work is considered cheating and dealt with accordingly.

Academic Integrity: It is assumed that students will act in an ethical manner. Students engaging in unethical conduct will be subject to academic discipline, including the imposition of University sanctions, as described in the WSU Student Code of Conduct. Examples of unethical conduct include, but are not limited to: willful damage of materials, theft, hiding of library materials, plagiarism, cheating, unauthorized use of computers and computer accounts, and intentionally spreading viruses.



There is NO textbook.  There will be readings on reserve and online.

Epigraphy (25 pts) - assignment done in class (Tuesday, January 22)

Olympian Roulette (25 pts)  -   directions  (Tuesday, March 12)

Life in the Empire Blog  (50 pts) -  directions  coming (Tuesday, April 2, by midnight  MDT)

Presentation/Blog (100 pts) - directions  are available on Canvas.   (Tuesday, April 16, by midnight  MDT) (NOTE:  outline & partial bibliography due Tuesday, April 2, midnight, MDT.)  instructions: http://faculty.weber.edu/klpayne/history4210/historyblog.htm

Class Participation - 50 points

Total points:  250

Assignments should be submitted electronically unless otherwise stated.  Assignments submitted electronically are due by midnight MST (or MDT) time the same day. 

Late assignments will be penalized one full letter grade per day after the original due date and time unless  arrangements have been made with instructor.


NOTE:  Use of photographs from a site means I liked the picture. 
It does NOT mean I endorse the content of the site - evaluate each site!


Time Period



Tuesday, Jan. 8


Prelude to Civilization:  

to c. 3000 BCE

Sources for Ancient History:  Genetics  

Jan. 10


 DVD  -  BBC Ancient Worlds:  The Republic of Virtue

Tuesday, Jan. 15

The First Civilizations:

c. 3000 - 1200 BCE

Sources for Ancient History:  Historical Linguistics The Indus Valley

Thursday, Jan. 17

Sources for Ancient History:  Texts

Reading ancient texts & documents

Sumer, Akkad & Babylon

Read: 5 -The Story of the Flood from the Epic of Gilgamesh

Link is from the Assyrian International News Agency, but it looks like the translation is by N.K. Sandars.

Story of Noah:  Genesis 6 & 7 (NIV, from the BibleGateway.com)

Tuesday, Jan. 22

(Monday, Jan.21, MLK Jr. Holiday

Sources for  Ancient History:   Inscriptions

Writing & Epigraphy

  In class epigraphy assignment  25 pts

Thursday, Jan. 24

Aspects of Ancient History:  Chronology Egypt & Nubia

 Hymn to the Nile

(From Internet Ancient History Sourcebook.)

Herodotus:  Mummification

(From Internet Ancient History Sourcebook.)


Jan. 29

Sources for Ancient History: Art & Legend The Hittites, Minoans & Mycenaeans

Letter of Suppiluliuma, King of Hatti to Akenaten (from Reshafim.org)

Treaty of Kadesh  (from allaboutturkey.com)

The Minotaur (assorted ancient sources from Theoi Project)

Homer:  The Iliad, Book I (1) trans:  Ian Johnston  (From Malaspina University-College, now Vancouver Island University)  Read to where it has the number 30 in brackets [30] on the right side.

Listen to Homer being read:  Classical Language Instruction Project from Princeton - click on Homer.  (Turn off popup blockers)


Thursday,  Jan. 31

Decay & Rebirth

c. 1200 - 600 BCE



Sources for  Ancient History:
Religious Documents as historical sources

Reading ancient texts & documents

Hebrews, Israelites & Judeans

Old Testament:

Joshua  - Joshua 2-11
Queen of Sheba 1 Kings 10
Babylonia Captivity Psalm 137
Prophet  Jeremiah 21

For online access, use the Bible Gateway at: http://www.biblegateway.com/cgi_bin/bible Choose the literal translation (no KJV) you prefer or compare several. No preference? Use the NIV (first choice).  

Tuesday, Feb. 5

Aspects of Ancient History:  Warfare I - professional armies Assyrians & the Mitanni

Old Testament:
2 Kings 17-19

For online access, use the Bible Gateway at: http://www.biblegateway.com/cgi_bin/bible Choose the literal translation (no KJV) you prefer or compare several. No preference? Use the NIV (first choice).  

Thursday, Feb. 7

 The Axial Age

c. 600 - 400 BCE

Aspects of Ancient History:  Colonization



Sicily, Magna Graeca, Etruria & Early Rome

Tuesday, Feb. 12

Aspects of Ancient History:  Ruling an Empire I Persia

Herodotus:  On the Customs of the Persians  (Ancient History Sourcebook

Cyrus the Great:  The Decree for Return of the Jews, 539 BCE
 (Ancient History Sourcebook

Thursday, Feb. 14

Aspects of Ancient History:  Trade

Sources for Ancient History:  Pottery

Archaic Greece

  no readings

Tuesday, Feb. 19

(Monday, Feb.18 Presidents' Day Holiday)

Aspects of Ancient History:  "Man is the Measure of all things:  government
 Classical Greece

Pericles' Funeral Oration
(From the Ancient History Sourcebook.)


Thursday, Feb. 21

Aspects of Ancient History:  Warfare III - How to conquer the world I  Alexander the Great


  Assignment:     DVD  -  BBC Ancient Worlds:  Return of the King (c. 1 hour)

Tuesday, Feb. 26


The Greek World

c. 400 - 146 BCE


Aspects of Ancient History:  "Man is the Measure of all things:  religion  Greek Religion

   In class assignment:  Olympian Roulette  25 pts

Thursday, Feb. 28 The Roman World

c. 146 BCE - 312 CE




   In class assignment:  Olympian Roulette  25 pts  continued

  Assignment:  Republican Rome

 DVD  -  BBC Ancient Worlds:  The Republic of Virtue (c. 1 hour)
Please view by the week of Tuesday, March 12.

Tuesday, Mar. 5

     Spring Break - no class

Mar. 7

      Spring Break - no class

Tuesday, Mar.  12

Aspects of Ancient History:  Warfare IV - the Romans learn how to fight Rome and Carthage

 In class:  How did Hannibal get those elephants over the Alps?

  Hannibal in the Alps  - be sure to click on each day to get the primary sources (Livius.org)

Thursday, Mar. 14

Sources for Ancient History: published works   The End of the Republic:  three responses

  Cicero, Catullus & Caesar

Letters of Cicero
XII (Pompey),  LXI (exile),  CV (mostly politics), CVI (daily life), CCLXXV (family matters & politics), CCLXXVII (sucking up, Roman style),CCLXXVIII (asking favors), CCLXXIX (reporting in), CCLXXXI (family & other concerns), CCLXXXII (family matters),  CCC (Caesar crosses the Rubicon) CMIX (Brutus, yes!), DCCCXIII (his last letter)
M. Tullius Cicero, Letters
Evelyn Shuckburgh,  from Perseus (Tufts.edu)

Caesar  Commentary on the Civil War  Crossing the Rubicon 
Translation:  C. Julius Caesar, Commentaries on the Civil War
William Duncan, Ed  from Perseus (Tufts.edu)

 Catullus Poems
1  (dedication of book),  5 (Lesbia),  13 (poverty, etc.), 23(insults),  70 (on the fickleness of lovers),  85 (on love and hate), 93(on Caesar), 96 (consoling a friend) 
From:  Henry J. Walker, VRoma  &  Bates College


Tuesday, Mar. 19

Sources for Ancient History:  handwritten documents  The Roman Empire

   In class:  Vindolanda

Ibeji, Mike.  Vindolanda.  Read entire article.
(from the BBC)


 Vindolanda Tablets Online


Thursday, Mar. 21

 Aspects of Ancient History:  travel & life  
 Life in the Empire

   In class assignment:  Life in the Empire  50 pts.




Tuesday, Mar. 26

 Aspects of Ancient History:   travel & life Life in the Empire

  In class assignment:  Life in the Empire  50 pts.

Thursday, Mar. 28

 Aspects of Ancient History:  travel & life Life in the Empire

  In class assignment:  Life in the Empire  50 pts.

Tuesday, Apr. 2

 Aspects of Ancient History:  Trade     The Later Roman Empire

  In class:  Dura Europos

  Outline & partial bibliography of presentation/blog due

Thursday, Apr. 4

Christianity & Empire

c. 312 - 642 CE



 Aspects of Ancient History:  Christianity   The Roman Empire

  In class:  many Christianities

Tuesday, Apr. 9

  Early Xn continued

Thursday, Apr. 11

Sources for Ancient History:  Art  
 The end of the Roman Empire (or was it?)

  In class:  the fall of the Roman Empire

  Setting up blogs  http://faculty.weber.edu/klpayne/history4210/historyblog.htm

Tuesday, Apr. 16

  Presentations I

  Blogs due by Midnight, MDT

Apr. 18
  Presentations II  & Feast


Last day of classes:  Monday, Apr. 22


Finals:  Tuesday, Apr. 23 - Thursday, Apr. 25

Commencement:  Friday, April 26


Grading Scale:  250 points total

95 - 100% A           
90 - 94% A-
87 - 89% B+
84 - 86% B
80 - 83% B-
77 - 79% C+
74 - 76% C
70 - 73% C-
67 - 69% D+
64 - 66% D
60 - 63% D -
<= 59% E


Last updated 04/11/2013 .  Please send comments to  Kathy Payne.