Occidental College      History Department           Fall 2017

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, and fine arts.

Prof. Maryanne Horowitz, Office Swan 314                                 323-259-2583
There are 2 sections of this course: sect. 1 10:05-11:30 a.m. Tues, Th. In Johnson 301;

                                                         sect. 2 1:30-2:55 p.m Tues, Th. in Johnson 106. 

There is a MOODLE site for each classlist where you can see 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. 8:30-9:30 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


25% each: Classwork (including some writing graded check plus, check, or check-), Exam 1,  Paper: 6-page assigned paper plus Endnotes (see Paper Assignment on MOODLE), Exam 2. Participation in 2 formal group presentations fulfills 50% of classwork grade. 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.


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)

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)


Schedule by historic periods

Weeks 1-7        





Readings, Lectures, and Student Panels:

Week 1 Ancient Near East: Egyptians & Nubians, Persians, Hebrews.   Early Greeks   Tues. Aug. 29/Thurs. Aug. 31

Hunt,  ch. 1 Read rapidly.  Master only for city-state, polytheism, Hammurabi, hierarchy, patriarchy,  Ziggurat at Ur , Great Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza of Egyptian Old Kingdom, Hatsheput as Pharaoh, Palace at Knossos of Minoans, Mycenaeans (both early Greeks) Writing: Cuneiform, Hieroglyphics. May 1.2.

Lectures: Rise of Ancient Monumental Architecture & Sculpture.  From Africa’s Great Civilizations (PBS) narrator Prof. Henry Lewis Gates, Jr.: Episode l “Egypt” and “Kush”: sections on ivory tags (earliest writing), Giza pyramids, Nubia’s influence.

                                                 Hebrew Religion and Ethics.htm  

                                                                  Hebrew Religion and Ethics.ppt

For map of 8th c. B.C.E of Kingdoms of Israel and Judah,  see on-line Wikipedia “History of ancient Israel and Judah” or for 11th c. B.C.E.(Book of Joshua) approximation, see “Twelve Tribes of Israel”

Week 2 Neo-Babylonians, Persians, Hebrews, & Origins of Greek City-States  Tues. Sept. 5 & Th. Sept. 7. Hunt, ch. 2: Focus on sections on Neo-Babylonians, Persian Empire (map 2.2), Israelites (Solomon’s Walls), Homer, Olympic Games, map 2.4, 2.5, Greek Myth. 2.2 With “Creation of the Greek City-State,” you are now encouraged to use Launchpad tools for review. Writing: Hebrew, Greek

Lecture:                                                Greek City-States.htm

                                                                   Greek City-States.ppt

Lecture:  Hellenistic Schools of Philosophy.htm

                                                                   Hellenistic Schools of Philosophy. ppt

Thurs. Sept. 7  Student Panel Wiesner, ch. 1 “The Need for Water in Ancient Societies”  Bring Wiesner, et. al.

Week 3 Greek Formulations of Intellectual Choices for the Good Life Feb. 7 & 9

**Tues. Sept. 12 Pass in l typed page (Times Roman, 12 Point) arguing your choice of ancient Athenian philosophical school to join.

Hunt,ch. 3                 

Th.  Sept. 14 Student Panel on  Wiesner, ch.  3 “Representing the Human Form (600 B.C.E. -1500 C.E.)”

Roman Republic.htm

Roman Republic.ppt


Week 4 From Hellenistic Greece to Roman Culture Feb. 14 & 16   Writing: Latin (our Roman alphabet)

Hunt, ch. 4   Good idea to start ch. 5.    Reading recommended on film Spartacus is in Topic 4 (for week 4) of MOODLE site.

**Tues. Sept. 19  Pass in l typed page (Times Roman, 12 point) answering question  asked in Hunt ch. 2, “Contrasting View: Persians Debate Democracy, Oligarchy, and Monarchy” (4th ed. pb. p. 63), also in Launchpad, 5th edition. Use endnotes to Herodotus, The Histories, trans. in your edition. This is for 4th ed. pb.  Thomas R. Martin, Book 3, Chs. 80-82, in Lynn Hunt, Thomas R. Martin, Barbara H. Rosenwein, and Bonnie G. Smith, eds., The Making of the West,  4th  edition (Boston: Bedford St. Martin’s, 2012),  p. 63.   OR you may write on either question asked in Hunt, ch. 3. “Contrasting Views: The Nature of Women and Marriage” in 4th ed. pb., pp. 88-89, also in Launchpad, 5th edition,  which gives you practice citing a variety of sources as you will do in the class paper.

Lecture: Rise of Roman Empire Lecture:   Roman Empire: Rise and Fall.htm

                                                                       Roman Empire: Rise and Fall.ppt


Thurs. Sept. 21   Film Spartacus.      Recommended: Electronic reserve: selection by Natalie Davis and Endnotes by Natalie Davis


Week 5 Ancient Romans: Pagans and Christians   Feb. 21 and  Feb 23  Writing: Latin and Greek.

Hunt, ch. 5 & ch. 6  Good idea to start ch. 7.  


 Tu. Sept. 26   In-class document analysis on Julius Caesar.    Lecture: From Sermon on the Mount  to Hierarchical Church Organizations: section on early church through Emperor Constantine and Emperor Theodosius. 

***Th. Sept. 28  At beginning of class, sign up for paper topic.  Training for forming a thesis on controversial topic with endnotes to primary and secondary sources.   **Pass in 1-2 typed pages on either an aspect of the slave revolt led by Spartacus or an aspect of the politics of land redistribution proposals supported by the Gracchi family. Make one interpretative statement about an incident which happened or about writers’, historians’ or filmmakers’ views of what happened, and back up your argument with some references to ancient Roman sources. (OK to limit Gracchi sources to what is on reserve. OK to find a detail on-line from “Principal Ancient Sources on Spartacus”)

Student Panel on Wiesner, ch. 4 “Han and Rome: Asserting Imperial Authority (300 BCE-400 CE)” (We now have had panels on the 3 topics available for the class paper. See Paper Assignment on MOODLE.)

Week 6 Origins of Western Religions     

Hunt,  ch. 7 & 8 

Tues. Oct. 3 9       Lecture: Church-state.ppt 



Thurs. Oct. 5 )      Panel on Wiesner, et al., ch. 5 “International Religious Communities”—Constantine’s impact on Christianity and Mohammed’s influence on Islam (omit documents 1-3 on Buddhism)


Week 7 Roman Catholic Church, Greek Orthodox Church, and Islam 

Of Hunt, ch. 9, read only pp. 276-280, 283-292 on Byzantine Empire, Abbasid Caliphate, and Carolingian Empire, and on “renaissances” (revival of ancient culture): for Greek Orthodox Church on Macedonian renaissance, pp. 278-80, and Carolingian Empire and renaissance, pp. 287-292. See map 9.1, 9.2, 9.3 and map of invasions 9.4. Readings for more details on previous lectures on church-state conflict: for Holy Roman Empire,“Gregorian Reform and Investiture Conflict,” pp. 321-23; English King Henry II and Thomas Becket under “Royal Authority and Common Law,” pp. 356-357; Under “Weakening of the papacy,” p. 401 and under “The Great Schism” p. 423 through Conciliar Movement p. 425.

Fall break—no class Tuesday Oct. 10.

Th. Oct. 12 Student Panel on  on Wiesner, ch. 12, “The Well-Educated Man: Students and Scholars in China, Paris, and Timbuktu (1180-1600)  Africa’s Great Civilizations (DVD l Now on reserve) Section “Empires of Gold: Timbuktu, Empire of Mali discussing trade and Emperor Mansa Musa who made a pilgrimage to Mecca.

“Medieval Cordova: Moslem Culture in Europe” (handout on reserves, google images “cathedral Cordova”)     

Weeks 8-14


Schedule by historic periods

Weeks 8-14        






Week 8)  Europe Recovers   Oct. 17 Exam & Oct. 19     Hunt, ch. 10                                          

Tues. Oct. 17 EXAM 1 (weeks l-7)  Go directly to Brown Laboratory 219 in Academic Commons, right of circulation desk. Type on PCs Essay & Short Questions.

Th.  Oct. 19  Panel on   Wiesner, ch. 7 “Two Faces of ‘Holy War’: Christians and Moslems” 

Lecture:                                   Introduction to Feudalism, Manorialism and Joan of Arc


Week 9) Conflicts of the Middle Ages    Oct. 24 & 26

Hunt, ch. 11

****Tues. Oct. 24 Assignment due on paper. See Paper Assignment on MOODLE

Panel on ch. 13 “Facing the Black Death (1300-1400)” 

“Romanesque Church as Pilgrimage Site: Santiago de Compostelo  ## Images in Janson’s History of Art (Reserve)

Thurs. Oct. 26 Film “When the Moors Ruled in Europe”

Week 10  Urban Growth 

Hunt, ch. 12

Tues. Oct. 31    Lecture:  Development of Gothic Architecture”  vs. “Renaissance Revival of Classical and Romanesque Styles” (Images in Janson’s History of Art)

Lecture: Lecture:                                             Burckhardtian Renaissance.doc

                                                           Burckhardtian Renaissance.ppt

Enjoy reading over the weekend the following sections on-line of Machiavelli, The Prince, trans. W. K. Marriott:


XV-XIX You can print and mark up; it’s OK to use any other edition of The Prince by any other English translator.


Week 11) Origins of the Italian Renaissance   Be considering extent to which Renaissance was secular or Christian. Does Hunt et al. present a Burckhardtian viewpoint?

 Hunt, ch. 13

 Tu  Nov. 7  Discussion of Machiavelli’s advice in chs. XV-XIX of The Prince  

Th. Nov. 9   All bring Wiesner, et. al. to analyze statistics. All are responsible for Wiesner, ch. 14.

Panel on ch. 14  Cross-Cultural Encounters” Travel, Religion, Conquest and Trade (1400-1700)”

         Ceremonies of Possession.ppt.

Sun Nov. 12 Field trip to Getty Center to see ancient sculpture amid views of L.A., French tapestries of Emperor of China, and then free time to explore.  Load bus at 9 a.m on Campus Rd. entrance near high grass,  return  by 2 p.m.

Week 12) The Sixteenth Century: Age of Reformations & Encounters 

Hunt. Ch. 14 and At top of Reserve Reading in Moodle “Electronic Required Reading on the Middle East in the Early Modern Period

Tues. Nov. 14 Lecture: Luther and Protestant Reformation.doc vs. Catholic Reformation.doc

***Thurs.  Nov. 16 Paper Due beginning of class       

Lecture: “Imagining Exotic Gendered Continents, 16th-18th Centuries”

Exam Review Sheet posted on Moodle.

  Week 13 ) The Seventeenth Century: Age of Absolutism & Beginning of Enlightenment   

Hunt, Ch. 15 &  16 and “Birth of the Enlightenment,” pp. 577-581  

Tu. Nov. 21  Lecture and Review  Louis XIV, French Absolutist, and Peter the Great, Russian Absolutist

Thanksgiving Holiday

Week 14)   Review using class books, class notes, and exam review sheet.   Go directly to Academic Commons for this week’s classes.

Tu. Nov. 28  Exam 2. 10:05 a.m. class in oMAC lab and 1:30 p.m. class in Brown Lab. Essay and Short Questions. Short Questions (Hunt ch. 8 -16 and class work especially lectures) and  Choice of Essay Questions

 (Question will extend ancient to early modern, as in Renaissance revival of ancient cultures or political leaders ancient to early modern)


Th. Nov. 30 Meet in Special Collections, top floor of Academic Commons, hands-on experience with early modern books.

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),


Week 15   Tues. Dec. 5  last class  Bring Discovering the Global Past. Look at Occidental College Programs Abroad and Undergraduate Research

Bring technological device for evaluations.

On what topic would you like to read or research further? Where?

Workshop/presentation of student viewpoints on issues in Discovering the Global Past




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 Launchpad.


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 material and create a Works Cited in M.L.A. Style, (Turabian, ch. 19) and to understand the endnote style of writing, and Primary and Secondary Source Bibliographies in University of Chicago Style (Turabian, ch. 18).  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


Occidental College is committed to ensuring the academic success and overall well-being of students who have experienced sexual violence. Any student who has experienced sexual violence and/or is impacted by the topic, including through exposure to subject matter or discussion in a class, can contact the Project S.A.F.E. office at projectsafe@oxy.edu to learn about available resources, services and support. More information is available at http://www.oxy.edu/project-safe

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. 

Faith and Conscience Accomodation Policy 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.