History 4210: Ancient History


Syllabus:  Spring 2015

Instructor Class information Assignments/schedule Grading  

Instructor: Kathy Payne
  145 Stewart Library

Class meets:  Monday/Wednesday/Friday  12:30am - 1:20pm,  Library 138 (middle level north)

Office hours: Iím 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.



Mathisen, Ralph W.  Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations.  2nd ed.  New York:  Oxford University Press, 2014.  About $55.

NOTE:  you may use the first edition - they should be available for about $25.  


Motel of the Mysteries:  10 pts

In-class assignments:

Blogging (175 pts.) 

Blogging Instructions

The class is divided into 6 segments: 

You need to do a total of 5 blog posts.

Posts 1- 4 must be at least 300 words each,  not counting notes and reference list/bibliography/works cited.   (300 words is about equal to one page of doublespaced typing)

Blog post 5:  must be at least 900 words (about 3 pages of doublespaced typing).

Posts 1-4 are worth 25 points each.  Post 5 is worth 75 points.


Grading the blogging assignment:  I will post  a copy of your blog with a number grade and the reasons I gave that grade  on the Canvas assignment dropbox. 

Class Participation - 50 points

Total points:  

All readings and assignments are due at the beginning of the class period listed, unless specifically stated otherwise.   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.



Date Time Period Topic Readings & Assignments
January 12 - 18

Prelude to Civilization
to c. 3000 BCE

Mon. 1/12  Welcome to History 4210
Wed.  1/14  Genetics & History
Fri.  1/16  Historical Linguistics

  Begin reading Mathisen:   
January 19 - 25

Mon. 1/19  MLKJr Day

Mon. 1/19  Holiday
Wed. 1/21  Prelude to Civilization
Fri1/23  Egypt - the beginning
   Matthisen  p 
January 26 - February 1
The First Civilizatons
c.  3000 - 1200 BCE

Mon. 1/26 - Fri.  1/30
Daily Life in Egypt
Mathisen p.

   In class:  Doing History:
  Daily Life in ancient Egypt
   How to read texts:  Reading Ancient Texts

Herodotus:  Mummification

(From Internet Ancient History Sourcebook.)

February 2 - 8
Mon. 2/2 
Wed. 2/4 
Fri.  2/6   Flood stories

  Mathisen p. 
   Sumer, Akkad & Babylon

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

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

   Story of Noah:  Genesis 6 & 7 (NIV, from the BibleGateway.com)    Discuss flood stories in class, Friday, Feb. 6.

February 9 - 15
Mon. 2/9   Indus Valley
Wed.  2/11  The Hittites
Fri.  2/13  Writing & Epigraphy
   Mathisen p. 

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

   Treaty of Kadesh  (from allaboutturkey.com)  (Hittites)

    Writing & Epigraphy in-class 15 pts.

February 16 - 22
Mon.  2/16
Tue.  2/18
Fri.  2/20
   Mathisen p. 

   Minoans & Mycenaeans 

   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)


February 23 - March 1

   Decay & Rebirth
  c. 1200 - 600

Mon.  2/23  The End of the First Civilizations
Wed.  2/25  The Levant
Fri.  2/27  The Phoenicians:  from Canaanites to Carthaginians
   Mathisen p. 

   The Phoenicians

1.1-2 (p. 3-4)
7.89 (p. 435)

Old Testament:
1 Kings 5
1 Kings 7:13-47
Jeremiah 25, 27
Ezekiel 26

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) or NRSV.  
March 2 - 8
Mon.  3/2 
Tues.  3/4
Fri.  3/6
   Mathisen p. 

Hebrews, Israelites, Judeans   

Old Testament:

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

Assyrians & 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) or NRSV.                                                   

March 9 - 15
March 16 - 22

The Axial Age
c. 600 - 400 BCE

Mon.  3/16
Wed.  3/18
Fri.   3/20
   Mathisen p. 
March 23 - 29

Mon.  3/23
Wed.  3/25
Fri.  3/27
   Mathisen p.      
March 30 - April 5

Mon.  3/30
Wed.  4/1
Fri.  4/3
    Mathisen p.
April 6 - 12

Mon. 4/6
Wed.  4/8
Fri.  4/10
   Mathisen p. 
April 13 - 19

Mon.  4/13
Wed.  4/15
Fri.  2/17
  Mathisen p.  
April 20 - 26

Mon.  4/20
Wed.  4/22
Fri.  4/24
   Mathisen p. 
April 27 - last day of class

April 28 - 30 - finals

May 1 Graduation
  Mon.  4/27     Mathisen p.




.  Please send comments to  Kathy Payne.