History 112: Western Civilization I (to 1500)

 

Fall Semester 2014

 

Section A: 12:15 – 1:30 pm Tuesdays and Thursdays

Section B: 1:40 – 2:55 pm Tuesdays and Thursdays

 

Instructor:

Dr. John Moser
119 Andrews
(419) 289-5231

E-mail: jmoser1@ashland.edu

Office Hours: 9:00 – 11:00 am Tuesdays and Thursdays, or by appointment
 

Required Reading:

Josiah Ober and Mark C. Carnes, The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 BC (New York: W.W. Norton, 2005) ISBN: 0393937329

 

Plato, The Republic (New York: Penguin, 2007) ISBN: 9780140455113

 

David Henderson and Frank Kirkpatrick, Constantine and the Council of Nicaea, 325 CE: Defining Orthodoxy and Heresy in Christianity. (Course packet, 2011)

 

Eusebius, The History of the Church: From Christ to Constantine (New York: Penguin, 1990) ISBN: 9780140445350

 

Helen Gaudette, The Second Crusade: The War Council of Acre, 1148 (Course packet, 2011)

 

St. Augustine, City of God (New York: Penguin, 2003) ISBN: 9780140448948

 

Students will also need access to the Christian Bible (any edition, including online).

 

Other readings to be provided by the instructor

 

 

Catalog Description:

 

This course will seek to answer the question “what is civilization?” by studying certain historical moments in the West-classical Greece, the Roman Republic, early Christianity, the High Middle Ages, and the Renaissance-in order to see the changes over time in politics, religion, society, economics, and culture and to realize the extent to which the present world has inherited these institutional and intellectual foundations of human life. 

 

 

Course Content:

 

The objective of this course is to explore the meaning of civilization by witnessing the successive attempts of men and women in the West to civilize themselves and their surroundings. The agencies which the people of the West have used to achieve civilization, and indeed the competing views of what counts for civilization, will be addressed by a careful examination of certain historical moments: especially important are classical Greece, the Roman Republic, early Christianity, the High Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. This course will not attempt to achieve a survey knowledge of everything that happened in the West over a period of more than 2500 years. Such a task is impossible in a semester. Rather, a study of these distinctive moments in history will allow students to see the changes over time in politics, religion, society, economics, and culture. Moreover, students will consider the extent to which the present world has inherited these institutional and intellectual foundations of human life. The student will learn how to reason historically largely through the reading and discussion of primary sources.

 

 

Student Learning Outcomes:

 

By the end of this course students will be able to:

·       Remember the major periods and figures in the history of the Western world up to the Renaissance.

·       Describe the major events in the history of the Western world up to the Renaissance.

·       Appraise the significance of the major figures in the history of the Western world up to the Renaissance.

·       “Think like a historian” – that is, draw inferences about historical events from primary historical sources after considering those sources in a historical context.

·       Give an account of the main attempts within Western tradition to answer the question, “What is civilization?”

 

 

Course Policies:

 

This course will focus on critical episodes in Western Civilization pre-1500: Athens after the fall of the Thirty Tyrants (403 BC), the Council of Nicaea (325 AD) and the War Council of Acre, just before the Second Crusade (1148 AD).  We will examine all of these in considerable detail through the use of role-playing simulations from the Reacting to the Past series.  This means that you will actually take on the role of someone in Athens early in the 5th century BC, a leading figure in the Christian Church in the early 4th century AD, and a crusader in the mid-12th century AD.

 

Although this is a face-to-face course, we will be using the learning management software ANGEL for many of its features.  A site has been created within ANGEL for this course, and all students enrolled will have access to it.  Certain course readings have been uploaded to it, as have your role descriptions.  You will (in most cases) be expected to upload your written work there as well.  If you have never used ANGEL before, you should familiarize yourself with its operation by visiting http://angel.ashland.edu and downloading the Student Quickstart guide, located on the right-hand side of the page.

 

The following factors will make up your final grade—

 

Papers (40%)

 

The number of written assignments, as well as their length, their subject matter, and when they are due, will depend on the role that you play in each simulation.  On average each student will write five 750-word papers—two during the first and third games, and one during the second. That means that you may expect to write roughly 3,750 words (that is, around 15 double-spaced pages) over the course of the semester.  Note that each paper must be written in character; that is, it is to be written from the point of view of the person you are portraying. 

 

Each of your papers will receive a score out of 20, broken down as follows:

I. Logic (5 pts). This rubric assesses the structural soundness of your argument. Is your paper well-organized? Does it lead the reader/audience through a series of logical steps, each well-supported by appropriate evidence, to your conclusion? Do you use logically appropriate “transition words” (and, yet, but, because, whereas, nevertheless, furthermore, however, therefore, etc.) to connect each sentence to the next, and each paragraph to the next? If you have resorted to any logical fallacies in the hope of bamboozling your audience, have you correctly labeled these in your footnotes? (If I find a logical fallacy that you have not labeled, I will assume it is a mistake and deduct points.)

II. Content (5 pts). This rubric assesses whether or not you have “done your homework” on the issues your paper addresses. Your role sheet does not contain everything you need to know in order to make an argument for your position; it only tells you what you want to happen and (broadly) why. This is not enough material with which to persuade someone else to share your opinion – especially if that person has done her homework and knows that you are talking nonsense! Remember that you are dealing with real historical places, people and events; while you are free to suggest a different course of action from that which was historically taken, you must know what the range of plausible possibilities for such action was – which you can only find out by undertaking historical research. Therefore, you should take your role description only as a starting-point – a blueprint to help you generate good questions about the material, which you will then try to answer through your research. Ask yourself, “What kind of information would I need to include in this paragraph in order to convince a stranger that the point I am making is valid?” Once you have your questions, use the Game Book and the other primary sources, as well as the rich resources of the Internet and the library, to track down the information you need. (Hint: if I can find out that one of the "facts" or assumptions in your paper is wrong merely by performing a simple Google search, you haven't done your homework.)

III. Style (5 pts). Under this rubric, I consider all the things that make your paper rhetorically effective: clarity and concision, word choice, appropriate use of metaphor and/or other figurative language, freedom from cliché, and most of all, impeccable grammar and usage.  “My character wouldn’t have been educated enough to use proper grammar” is not an acceptable excuse.

 

IV. Authenticity (5 pts). This rubric addresses the extent to which the paper represents something that your character would write.  Not only should your character be obvious in the arguments you are making (in other words, you should not be arguing a position contrary to what your role description dictates), as well as your overall style.  For example, a Crowd Leader in the French Revolution game should have a simple, but forceful manner of writing, appropriate for motivating the common people of Paris.

In most cases, papers will be due not during class, but rather by noon on the day before the class when the issue on which you are writing will be discussed.  Papers should be uploaded to designated drop boxes located at the course’s ANGEL site. 

 

Speeches (40%)

 

Each student will be expected to make at least three formal speeches to the class from the podium over the course of the semester, one during each simulation. (This does not include less formal questions or remarks you must make in the course of debate; these will be counted as part of your “Attendance and Participation” grade.) Most of you, however, will need to speak more often if you have any hope of attaining your victory objectives. In the Athens game, students will play Athenian citizens in the assembly, and their speeches will be formal addresses before that body.  In the Nicaea game your speeches will come in the form of public addresses before the Council, and in the Second Crusade game they will be speeches to the War Council of Acre.

 

It is likely that your speeches will address the same subjects as your papers.  While it is certainly acceptable in this case to refer to notes during your in-class speeches, you absolutely may not read your speech from a prepared text.  In other words, simply reading aloud from your paper will not satisfy your speech requirements—nor are your fellow students likely to appreciate it.

 

Speeches will be graded according to the criteria defined above for papers.  However, in place of authenticity speeches will be assessed on:

 

IV. Delivery (5 pts). This rubric assesses the effectiveness of your speech as an oral performance: do you establish contact with your audience, use appropriate vocal emphasis, and speak with expression? Do you avoid stumbling over words, misplacing the emphasis in sentences, and losing momentum between high points?

 

If you give more than one speech in any given game, your grade will be based on your best performance.

 

Attendance and Participation (20%)

 

As you have probably gathered by now, this is not a typical university course.  There will be very few lectures.  The course will succeed or fail based on the willingness and ability of every student to participate meaningfully in class discussions, both in and out of character.

 

Of course, the first requirement is that students attend class diligently.  No student may miss more than two class sessions without his or her grade being adversely affected.  In addition, keep in mind that during the game’s public meetings—in other words, those class sessions when students will be “in character” (September 2-18, October 7-16, and November 6-25)—an absence could seriously affect the ability of your particular faction (your team, so to speak) to accomplish its objectives.

 

Also, because the simulations depend on having a precise number of students involved, I ask that students do not withdraw from the course in the middle of a game.  Roles will be assigned for the first simulation during the second week of class; therefore, anyone who wishes to drop the course immediately should indicate their intention to me by noon on Friday, August 22.  Those who remain in the class beyond will be asked to participate in the first game (The Threshold of Democracy).  There will then be another opportunity to drop before we begin the second game (Constantine and the Council of Nicaea), and another before we begin the third (The Second Crusade)

 

Attendance at all sessions is a necessary, but not sufficient, aspect of the course.  To receive a grade higher than a C in this course you must participate fully in class discussions and in the role-playing simulations, above and beyond the formal speeches you will be required to give.  Even when you are not addressing the group, you should be questioning those who are.  At the very least you should—during the simulations—make a habit of expressing your support for arguments of which you approve, and your hostility to those of which you do not!  Remember, for the character that you portray this would not have simply been an academic exercise; these would have been questions—often literally—of life or death.

 

Participation is not all about speaking up. In Reacting to the Past courses, you can indicate your engagement in the game in other ways, such as through costume elements. Wearing a Greek chiton when playing an Athenian citizen, or a bishop’s mitre at the Council of Nicaea, for example, will demonstrate that you are truly “getting into character” and will count favorably toward your grade.

 

 

Academic Integrity:

 

I strongly advise you to examine the university’s academic integrity policy, which may be found at http://www.ashland.edu/documents/pdf/academic-integrity-policy-0. All students are responsible for maintaining the highest standards of honesty and integrity in every phase of their academic careers.  The penalties for academic dishonesty are severe, and ignorance is not an acceptable defense. 

 

Course Calendar, with assignments:

August

19

Course Introduction

 

21

Public Speaking Workshop

Reading Assignment: None (get started on the rest of the readings!)

 

26

Introduction to The Threshold of Democracy

Reading Assignments: Ober and Carnes, pp. 1-33; “Athens Packet” and “Athenian Economy and Finances” (available on ANGEL)

 

28

Discussion of Plato, The Republic

Reading Assignment: Plato, pp. 3-29, 40-117.

Quiz due.

September

2

Athens: Game Session #1

Papers must be uploaded to ANGEL by noon on Monday, September 1.

Reading Assignment: Any student papers that have been uploaded to ANGEL.

Item for Discussion: Reconciliation Agreement

 

4

Athens: Game Session #2

Papers must be uploaded to ANGEL by noon on Wednesday, September 3.

Reading Assignment: Any student papers that have been uploaded to ANGEL.

Items for Discussion: Extent of the Electorate; one other item to be chosen by the Assembly President (but must be announced before the end of class on Tuesday, September 2)

 

9

Athens: Game Session #3

Papers must be uploaded to ANGEL by noon on Monday, September 8.

Reading Assignment: Any student papers that have been uploaded to ANGEL.

Items for Discussion: Social Welfare; one other item to be chosen by the Assembly President (but must be announced before the end of class on Thursday, September 4)

 

11

Athens: Game Session #4

Papers must be uploaded to ANGEL by noon on Wednesday, September 10.

Reading Assignment: Any student papers that have been uploaded to ANGEL.

Item for Discussion: A trial, or an item to be chosen by the Assembly President

 

16

Athens: Game Session #5

Papers must be uploaded to ANGEL by noon on Monday, September 15.

Reading Assignment: Any student papers that have been uploaded to ANGEL.

Item for Discussion: Government Agency; one other item to be chosen by the Assembly President (but must be announced before the end of class on Thursday, September 11)

 

18

Athens: Game Session #6

Papers must be uploaded to ANGEL by noon on Wednesday, September 17.

Reading Assignment: Any student papers that have been uploaded to ANGEL.

Items for Discussion: Restoration of the Athenian Empire; one other item to be chosen by the Assembly President (but must be announced before the end of class on Tuesday, September 16)

 

23

Post-Mortem for The Threshold of Democracy

Reading Assignment: “Athens in 403 BC—What Really Happened” (available on ANGEL)

 

25

Introduction to Constantine and the Council of Nicaea

Reading Assignment: Henderson and Fitzpatrick, pp. 5-92

 

30

Discussion of New Testament and the Gospels of Thomas and Mary

Reading Assignments: From the New Testament: Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the Acts of the Apostles, Romans, and I Corinthians (use any edition of the Bible you like); also, read the (apocryphal) Gospels of Thomas and Mary Magdalene (both available online).

Quiz due.

October

2

Nicaea: Game Session #1

Papers must be uploaded to ANGEL by noon on Wednesday, October 1.

Reading Assignment: Any student papers that have been uploaded to ANGEL.

Items for Discussion: The nature of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and their relation to one another.

 

7

Nicaea: Game Session #2

Papers must be uploaded to ANGEL by noon on Monday, October 6.

Reading Assignment: Any student papers that have been uploaded to ANGEL.

Items for Discussion: The nature of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and their relation to one another.

 

9

Nicaea: Game Session #3

Papers must be uploaded to ANGEL by noon on Wednesday, October 8.

Reading Assignment: Any student papers that have been uploaded to ANGEL.

Items for Discussion: The nature of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and their relation to one another. A creed must be approved by majority vote.

 

14

Nicaea: Game Session #4

Papers must be uploaded to ANGEL by noon on Monday, October 13.

Reading Assignment: Any student papers that have been uploaded to ANGEL.

Items for Discussion: Miscellaneous matters for inclusion in canon law.

 

16

Nicaea: Game Session #5

Papers must be uploaded to ANGEL by noon on Wednesday, October 15.

Reading Assignment: Any student papers that have been uploaded to ANGEL.

Items for Discussion: Miscellaneous matters for inclusion in canon law.

 

21

Fall Break—NO CLASS

 

23

Nicaea: Game Session #6

Papers must be uploaded to ANGEL by noon on Wednesday, October 22.

Reading Assignment: Any student papers that have been uploaded to ANGEL.

Items for Discussion: Miscellaneous matters for inclusion in canon law.

 

28

Post-Mortem for Constantine and the Council of Nicaea

Reading Assignment: “The Council of Nicaea—What Really Happened” (available on ANGEL)

 

30

Introduction to The Second Crusade

Reading Assignment: Gaudette, pp. 1-60

November

4

Discussion of “Just War”

Reading Assignment: St. Augustine, pp. 843-894; Gaudette, pp. 162-242

 

6

Discussion of the First Crusade and the Investiture Controversy

Reading Assignment: St. Augustine, pp. 219-220; Gaudette, pp. 61-162, 184 (Matthew 22: 15-22), 192-193 (Romans 13: 1-7), 193-194 (I Peter 2: 13-25)

Quiz due.

 

11

Acre: Game Session #1

Papers must be uploaded to ANGEL by noon on Wednesday, November 5.

Reading Assignment: Any student papers that have been uploaded to ANGEL.

Item for Discussion: What is “crusading”?

 

13

Acre: Game Session #2

Papers must be uploaded to ANGEL by noon on Monday, November 10.

Reading Assignment: Any student papers that have been uploaded to ANGEL.

Item for Discussion: What is “crusading”? (continued)

 

18

Acre: Game Session #3

Papers must be uploaded to ANGEL by noon on Wednesday, November 12.

Reading Assignment: Any student papers that have been uploaded to ANGEL.

Item for Discussion: Who is the best person to lead the crusade?

 

20

Acre: Game Session #4

Papers must be uploaded to ANGEL by noon on Monday, November 17.

Reading Assignment: Any student papers that have been uploaded to ANGEL.

Item for Discussion: Who is the best person to lead the crusade? (continued)

 

25

Acre: Game Session #5

Papers must be uploaded to ANGEL by noon on Wednesday, November 19.

Reading Assignment: Any student papers that have been uploaded to ANGEL.

Item for Discussion: Against which city should the crusade be directed?

 

27

Thanksgiving Break—NO CLASS

December

2

Acre: Game Session #6

Papers must be uploaded to ANGEL by noon on Monday, November 24.

Reading Assignment: Any student papers that have been uploaded to ANGEL.

Item for Discussion: Against which city should the crusade be directed? (continued)

4

1:30 – 3:30 pm (Section B): Post-Mortem for The Second Crusade

Reading Assignment: “The Second Crusade—What Really Happened” (available on ANGEL)

December

8

8:00 – 10:00 am (Section A): Post-Mortem for The Second Crusade

Reading Assignment: “The Second Crusade—What Really Happened” (available on ANGEL)