Occidental College     

History Department                                 Fall 2018

History 121   Europe and the Middle East to 1700    Course meets CORE requirements pre-1800 and Global Connections (CPGC) and History Dept. Survey and pre-1800. One may apply the course to both CORE and to the History Dept. Minor or Major. The course builds student skills in the social sciences, humanities, history of science, and fine arts.

Prof. Maryanne Horowitz,

Office Swan 314       323-259-2583                                                         Class meets 1:30-2:55 p.m Tues, Th.  Johnson 106

There is a MOODLE site where you can see names and pictures of your classmates, the common reserve list, and the paper assignment.  Details on panel participants and exam review will appear later on MOODLE.
Office hours in Swan 314: Tues.  8:45-9:40 a.m.,  and Thurs. 8:00-9:50 a.m. and by appointment. 

horowitz@oxy.edu is fastest communication, but I do not accept assignments via email. Instead, use mailbox outside Swan 314 if you missed passing in assignment at class.

Books & Internet Required: Prof. has placed l pb. copy of Wiesner et. al & Spielvogel on 2-hour reserve at Circulation Desk of Library under course reserves.


25% each: Classwork, Exam 1, Paper, Exam 2.

Classwork includes some writing graded check plus, check, or check-) Paper: 6-page assigned paper plus Endnotes & Bibliography (primary and secondary) (see Paper Assignment on MOODLE).  Intermediate steps on paper contribute to paper grade. Plan to devote about 6 hours a week outside of class to read, evaluate primary sources, understand historical trends, and write. In exams, students write a long essay and write short essays for “Identify and argue the significance” or “Relate l item to another item.”

Paper Prompt


To gain familiarity with major events, people, and movements in the history of the pre-modern Western Civilizations (lecture, textbook with on-line learning tools, discussions, short exam questions such as “Identify and argue the Significance” or “Relate l item to another”) Review Spielvogel’s chapters via Key Terms (also in Glossary pp. 503-11)

To learn basic methods of historical investigation, particularly analysis of textual and visual sources. (Wiesner panels on problems, discussions from diverse points of view, and paper assignment)     DOCUMENT ANALYSIS FORM 

To experience the process of interpreting major movements in ancient, medieval, and early modern European and Middle Eastern history (lectures, discussions, long essay questions).

To develop skills in historical argument, writing, and oral presentation. (oral presentations in panels, questions and discussion, polished paper with endnotes & bibliography. (When reading, refer to U. Chicago notes in Spielvogel, pp. 513-517)

To interpret an aspect of commercial global relations in early modern period. (paper assignment on Wiesner, et. al. ch. 14)

As a pre-1800 CORE course, to develop a critical awareness of artistic productions, social structures, organizational hierarchies, political economies, or patterns of thought and practices that characterize historical communities and the experiences of peoples of the past.


16 CHAPTERS in Spielvogel, vol 1 to 1715, 9th edition.

Aug. 28  Spielvogel, ch. 1-2 Focus on Egyptians and Mesopotamians

Aug. 30  Bring Spielvogel to class.   Ch. 2: Focus on Israelites and Persians.  Saw in class section of dvd Africa’s Great Civilizations on the Nubians.

Sept. 4   Spielvogel, ch. 3 ---Most important sections start at “World of the Greek City-States”

Sept. 6  Lecture continues on the ancient Greeks.   

Mon. Sept. 11 Spielvogel, chs. 4 Hellenic City-states to Alexander’s Empire  Mon. Bring Wiesner, et. al., having read document 8 on p. 12 and documents 10 and 12, pp. 13-15 for class discussion comparing only Hammurabi’s and Roman first century C.E. policy on water regulation. ch. 1 "The Need for Water in Ancient Societies”   Ecological, Technological history. Review Spielvogel, pp. 10-11 on Code of Hammurabi in 18th c. BCE Mesopotamia.  Use the document analysis form)     DOCUMENT ANALYSIS FORM 

              Hellenistic Schools of Philosophy.htm

                           Hellenistic Schools of Philosophy. ppt

Sept. 13 Thurs.  Bring Wiesner, et al. ,ch.  3 “Representing the Human Form (600 B.C.E. -1500 C.E.).)” Visual and material history, art history, religious and political history 

Sept. 18 Tues. Spielvogel, ch. 5 Roman Republic  

Sept. 20 Thurs. Sept. 20 Panel on Wiesner, et al., ch. 4  Han and Rome: Asserting Imperial Authority (300 BCE-400 CE)”  Comparative politics,  political history, military history.


*Sept. 25  Spielvogel, ch. 6 Roman Empire Sept. 25 Pass in l typed page (Times Roman, 12 point) answering question  asked in Spielvogel  “Opposing Viewpoints” from either ch.  2, 3,or 4 . Make U Chicago endnotes to the specific sources as you will do in paper.

Roman Empire: Rise and Fall.htm

*Sept. 27 Commit to area studies of the class paper assignment.

Sept. 27 Th. Sept. 27 Panel on Wiesner, et al., ch. 5 “International Religious Communities”—Constantine’s and Islamic (omit India)    Lecture: From Sermon on the Mount  to Hierarchical Church Organizations: section on early church through Emperor Constantine and Emperor Theodosius. 

Oct. 2 Spielvogel, ch. 7-8 Late Roman Empire, Byzantium, and Islam

 Oct. 4 Thurs. Oct. 4 Panel on ch. 6 “Vikings & Polynesians: Exploring New Worlds”  Material history, archeology.  Spielvogel, Ch. 8

Oct. 9  (Fall Break) Spielvogel, ch. 9              

Oct. 11  Africa’s Great Civilizations (DVD l will now go on reserve) Section “Empires of Gold: Timbuktu, Empire of Mali” discussing trade and Emperor Mansa Musa who made a pilgrimage to Mecca.

Study for Mid-Terms

Oct. 16  Mid-Term Exam  in Brown Lab, Academic Commons, right of Circulation desk. College laptops. Essay and “Identify and Give the Significance.”

Oct. 18 Spielvogel, ch. 10 High Middle Ages (Know documents Magna Carta and Papal Claims of “Gregorian Revolution”, Lecture begins on chapter)

Panel on Wiesner, et al., ch. 12, “The Well-Educated Man: Students and Scholars in China, Paris, and Timbuktu (1180-1600)   Cultural and educational history, comparative religion.

Oct. 23  Spielvogel, ch. 11 (lect.)  13th and 14th Centuries “Medieval Cordova: Moslem Culture in Europe” (handout on reserves, google images “cathedral Cordova

Oct. 25 Panel on Wiesner, et al., ch. 7 “Two Faces of ‘Holy War’: Christians and Moslems”   Military history, history of religion, political history  Lecture resume on ch.10

*Oct. 30   (Advising week) 30   Panel Wiesner, et al., Ch. 9

“The Mongol Conquest: Scourge or Stimulus?” military history, cultural history

*Preliminary assignment for paper due to help you along. (Details will be on MOODLE) Workshop.

Spielvogel, ch. 12 The Renaissance Tues.

Nov. 1   In-Class Film “Man for All Seasons”           

Nov. 6   (Registration week) Spielvogel, ch. 14 Age of Encounters (assigned ahead of ch 13 to help with papers)

Nov. 8 Panel on Wiesner, et al., ch. 13 “Facing the Black Death (1300-1400)”    History of medicine, social and cultural history

Nov. 13 Spielvogel, ch. 13 Reformations

Nov. 15  PAPER DUE in 2 copies on Wiesner et al, ch. 14. Focus on European relationships with one of the following: China, Muslim Regions, or Africa.

Pass in paper, endnotes, bibliography, marked previous submissions about paper, stapled together, as well as a 2nd copy of paper at class meeting in Special Collections, top floor of Academic Commons.

Nov. 20 Spielvogel, ch. 15, 17th Century: Absolutism vs. Constitutionalism.  Paper workshop on papers.


Nov.  27   Spielvogel, ch. 16 on Scientific Revolution    Reserve Reading in Moodle: “Electronic Required Reading on the Middle East in the Early Modern Period

Nov. 29  Hope to return papers.

Dec. 4  Last Class Look at Occidental College Programs Abroad and Undergraduate Research Think about more advanced student research in study abroad or in contact with objects from the past or from around the globe today. Use websites and offices of Oxy Undergraduate Research Center, Oxy Summer Research Program, International Programs & Global Affairs (especially Study Abroad, Research Abroad), https://www.oxy.edu/history/student-research-internships.  Evaluations.



This Class Policies: Medical note required to miss exam or panel presentation. Paper preparation is long term with expectation of early drafts and later improvements; therefore paper-as-is must be passed in at paper deadline even if medical note allows a time extension for final draft.  Full attendance expected. Computers during class are only for note-taking and for looking at websites of this class (Syllabus, MOODLE for Hist. 121, CENGAGE for Spielvogel 9th edition)


The Writing Center (located on the Ground Floor of the Academic Commons) offers students from all disciplines two types of support to work on their writing: peer-to-peer, drop-in consultations with knowledgeable Writing Advisers, Sunday through Thursday from 7:00-11:00 p.m., and appointments with Faculty Writing Specialists from the Writing and Rhetoric department. Remember to bring your class paper assignment and your drafts to an appointment.  Information about the Writing Center and a link to the appointment system is on the WC website:          https://www.oxy.edu/writing-center.

College Policy on Academic Honesty: Current policy at http://www.oxy.edu/student-handbook/academic-ethics/academic-ethics.   This class helps prevent plagiarism by teaching you how to note either quoted or summarized in Endnotes, and Primary and Secondary Source Bibliographies in University of Chicago Style (See guidebook by Turabian or Hacker).  It is appropriate to bring an early draft of your paper to faculty office hours to discuss whether you are properly putting reading into your own words and putting quotation marks when borrowing phrases, and whether you are making notation for both your summaries and your quotations.

College Policy on Disabilities: Students with documented disabilities who are registered with Disability Services are required to present their accommodation letter to the instructor at the beginning of each semester or as soon as possible thereafter. Any student who experiences significant physical or mental impairments may contact Disability Services at (323) 259-2969 to learn about available services and support.  More information is available at



Title IX Statement:

It is important for you to know that all faculty members are mandated reporters of any incidents of sexual misconduct. That means that I cannot keep information about sexual misconduct confidential if you share that information with me.


Marianne Frapwell, the Survivor Advocate, can advise you confidentially as can counselors at Emmons Wellness Center and Rev. Susan Young, Director of the Office of Religious & Spiritual Life. You can also contact counselors at the 24/7 Hotline 323-341-4141. Marianne can also help you access other resources on campus and in the local community. You can reach Marianne at 323-259-1359 or survivoradvocate@oxy.edu and her office is in Stewart-Cleland Hall Lower Lounge.

The sexual misconduct policy, along with additional resources, can be found at: http://www.oxy.edu/sexual-respect-title-ix/policies-procedures.

Students are expected to carefully read and abide by the rules of the Student Handbook.     http://www.oxy.edu/student-handbook/general-college-policies.  The Handbook on-line has separate links for Academic Ethics, Code of Student Conduct, General College Policies, Res Ed & Housing Policies. 

Accomodations for Reasons of Faith and Conscience Statement: Consistent with Occidental College’s commitment to creating an academic community that is respectful of and welcoming to persons of differing backgrounds, we believe that students should be excused from class for reasons of faith and conscience without academic consequence.  While it is not feasible to schedule coursework around all days of conviction for a class as a whole, faculty will honor requests from individual students to reschedule coursework, to be absent from classes that conflict with the identified days.  Information about this process is available on the ORSL website: https://www.oxy.edu/office-religious-spiritual-life.