Tuesdays 9:00 - 10:15 AM
Spring 2002 AD or CE
Chr eu mala polln historas philosophous andras eînai .
Those who love wisdom must be inquirers into many things indeed.
-- Heracleitus (6th to 5th century BC or BCE)
George Mason University is a part and a product of Western Civilization. It is located in the
United States of America, which is today considered to be part of the West (though as we will see
that was not always so). It is a university, a kind of educational institution that first flowered in
medieval Europe and North Africa, and whose roots are in ancient Greece and Rome - also
sources of Western civilization. Classes are conducted in English, a language derived primarily
from Latin and Germanic languages; we also use a numerical notation derived from an Arabic
system. Some of your course materials are in the form of videotapes and electronic texts: the
discovery of the laws of electricity, the emphasis on continual scientific and technical
development and innovation, and indeed today's notion of empirical science can be traced to the
Western "scientific revolution" of the early modern period. Therefore in order to understand
about the life and world in which you are now living, it is important to understand something
about the nature, sources, and development of Western civilization.
At the same time, there are many people here at George Mason who are not of Western ancestry,
or not entirely so (your instructor for example). These people have brought traditions, arts, ideas,
beliefs, ways of thinking, and ways of life that have also influenced the society we live in. Many
of the things we use every day and many of the things that have shaped events in the West were
invented outside of the West (noodles and gunpowder in China, for example). Many products we
use are manufactured outside of the West. More than 3500 years ago, trade routes connected the
Mycenaeans and Egyptians (considered to be early Western civilizations) with civilizations in
Kush (Sudan) in Africa, in the Middle East, and in what is now Afghanistan. For over 3500
years there have been recorded exchanges of ideas, people, arts, and goods between the
civilizations now known as Western and those that are not considered Western. We may find
connections even earlier: Our species (what we now call "humans") originated in Africa about
200,000 years ago, and began to spread outward from there about 100,000 years ago. Populations
did not always remain in one place, and large migrations have been common for thousands of
years. So in order to understand about our current lives and world, we must also understand what
has come to us from civilizations and peoples outside of the West.
What then is "Western Civilization"? What does it mean to experience it as we do at George Mason? How did it get to be the way it is? What way is it? What are its implications, and its possibilities? How has it affected the rest of the world, and how has the rest of the world affected the West?
HIST 100 is a course designed to introduce the student to the history of Western Civilization,
and to introduce the student to the study of history in general at the university level.
Focus questions and issues for all sections of HIST 100 (see http://chnm.gmu.edu/courses/westernciv/index.htm):
--How can one "know the past"? What methods and types of evidence have been used to understand the past?
--What kinds and forms of government have arisen? What have been the relationships between the rulers and the people they have ruled?
--What kinds and forms of economic enterprise have been in effect in each place and time under study?
--What kinds and forms of religious and philosophical life and expression have been meaningful and important to people in each place and time under study?
--What kinds and forms of artistic and cultural life have flourished in each place and time under study?
--The development of political freedoms, of constitutional governments, and concern for the rule of law and for individual rights
--The development of science and technology and their expanding impact on thought, social and economic institutions, and everyday life
--Impact of Western society on the rest of the world
Further focus questions and issues:
--What is "the West" - a place or an idea (or both)?
--What is a civilization?
--How does "non-Western" history connect to the history of the West?
--Where does the idea of the globe come from? What does it mean to "think globally"?
--What is a person?
--What is a human right?
--Do ideas shape people's lives? Do our lives shape our ideas? If so, how?
--What is history?
--How have people answered these questions differently over time?
1. Organization of the course. Most 3-credit courses at GMU meet for 2½ hours of classroom
instruction each week. This course is different. HIST 100 also has 2½ hours of instructional time
per week, but only 1¼ hours are spent in the classroom. Our section, 047, meets Tuesdays from
9:00 to 10:15 AM. The videotaped lectures that are part of your course materials make up the
other 1¼ hours per week. The videos are required viewing; they are not optional.
2. Required materials (available at the GMU Bookstore).
a. Textbook: J. Spielvogel, Western Civilization: A Brief History, 2nd edition. (This is the book with a picture of a banquet on the cover.)
b. HIST 100 videotape set
c. HIST 100 Course Reader. (This is the book with photographs of buildings on the cover.)
You will also be given some brief readings in photocopy form, and you will be asked to look at
materials on a few web pages.
3. Written assignments.
a. There will be six to eight short assignments. These will include some brief (10 minutes or so) in-class quizzes, and some one- or two-page papers to be written outside of class. Each quiz will be announced one week in advance, and you will have one week to write each one- or two-page paper.
b. There will be a mid-semester paper. This paper will be 4-5 pages long. The guidelines for this paper will be distributed several weeks in advance.
c. There will be a final exam. The final exam will include short-answer questions and essay questions.
The GMU Schedule of Classes lists your exam as taking place May 14 from 7:30 to 10:15 AM.
Because of some university-wide scheduling problems, there is a possibility that this date and
time could change. Instructors have been advised that the problems will be taken care of during
the first month of the semester. Be assured that I will let you know the correct day, time, and
room as soon as I learn them.
4. Reading and Classroom Work.
a. For each class meeting, there will be a reading from the Spielvogel textbook, selections from the Course Reader and/or other sources, and one videotaped lecture from the HIST 100 video set. Students are expected to do the assigned reading and watch the assigned video before class. (Consult the schedule of readings and videos later in this syllabus.) If you do not do this, you will not be able to pass the quizzes, understand the classroom lecture, or participate meaningfully in class discussions.
b. Detailed information about weekly reading assignments, writing assignments, topics to be covered on quizzes, specific things you should know for each class meeting, and specific things to focus on when doing the reading, can be found on a page of our class web site: http://www.gmu.edu/courses/phil/ancient/hwf2.htm . Check this page at least once per week. If you do not have internet access at home, you can always use the computers in the GMU Libraries.
c. Students should come to each class meeting prepared to participate in discussions about the assigned material or to ask thoughtful questions about it. Thoughtful class participation cannot harm your grade, and can help your grade. If you do not understand something in the readings, the videos, or my class presentation, ask about it. (I like thoughtful questions. Really. I'm a philosophy professor.) If you do not want to ask the questions in class, please do come to my office hours.
Here's an example: "Professor Cherubin, what do you mean by a 'thoughtful question'?" I would answer this question by saying, "Glad you asked that! What I mean by a 'thoughtful question' is a question that shows that the asker has done the reading and watched the video, and is trying to understand the material, yet is still unsure. A 'thoughtful question' could also be a question that arises because the student has understood the material, and has been brought by that understanding to a deeper question: for example, 'Why did the ancient Egyptians with their great technological sophistication never try to make a geometrically proportioned model of the universe, yet the much less technologically sophisticated ancient Greeks did?' What is certainly not a thoughtful question is one that ridicules, insults, or belittles any person, society, nation, place, religion, race, ethnicity, or other group."
d. All students are expected to come to all class meetings. If because of some unpreventable emergency you are unable to attend a class meeting, you are expected to get the notes and assignment instructions from another student in Section 047.
Experience in previous semesters shows that students who attend class regularly tend to get better
grades than those who do not attend class regularly. You will not be graded on attendance; but
material that we discuss in class will appear on exams and paper assignments. Also, class lectures
and discussions are intended to help students understand the reading assignments. So if you don't
attend class, you miss material you need to learn in order to understand the reading and do well
a. Your semester grade will be computed as follows: The final exam and the mid-semester paper each count for 1/3 of your basic grade. The average of the grades on the short assignments (quizzes and one-page papers), plus any further understanding you show in class discussions, counts for the other 1/3 of your grade. Exams and papers are designed to see not only whether students have read the texts, but also whether they understand and have thought about the texts and the ideas discussed in class. To answer the exam questions correctly, and to cover the paper topics adequately, you will have to show your comprehension of the issues. Simply copying information from texts or other sources will not be sufficient.
To get an A on an exam or paper, you need to: answer the question(s) correctly (on essays there may be several ways to do this); cover your topic thoroughly; show your reasoning if the question asks for this; make no factual errors; write clearly.
An exam or paper that gets a B is one that gets most parts of the question(s) right, but makes some noticeable factual error OR does not answer the question(s) completely (leaves out something fairly important) OR does not show the student's understanding or reasoning OR comes to unexplained conclusions.
An exam or paper that gets a C is one that answers the question somewhat, but leaves out crucial points OR makes some major factual errors in one area OR includes little explanation or shows little reasoning (in cases where explanation and reasoning are called for in the question) OR combines several of the problems mentioned in the paragraph on "B" papers and exams OR is not written clearly enough to convey your understanding of certain important points.
An exam or paper that gets a D shows minimal understanding of the texts OR covers little of the question(s) correctly OR makes major factual errors that undermine your answers OR is so unclear that I can only tell whether a few parts are right OR includes no explanations.
An exam or paper will get an F if it covers less than 60% of the question(s) or topic correctly OR if it does not address the question(s) OR if it is so unclear that I cannot tell what you are saying.
There will of course be partial credit given on exam questions.
Grades of A-, B+, B-, C+, etc. will also be given. An A- paper is between an A paper and a B paper but closer to an A paper; a B+ paper is between an A paper and a B paper but closer to a B paper, etc.
b. Late assignment policy: Work that is handed in late with a legitimate excuse (for example, a doctor's note in cases of illness) will be accepted without penalty. Other work that is handed in late will lose one grade increment for every two days that it is late. For example, an assignment that would receive a B+ if handed in on the due date of October 2 will receive a B if handed in on October 3 or 4, a B- if handed in on Oct. 5; and so on.
If you miss an in-class quiz but have a legitimate excuse (doctor's note etc.) you can receive a make-up assignment.
c. Students must complete all assigned papers in order to receive a grade for the course.
Please note that the reading and video assignments listed are to be completed BEFORE you
come to class. For example, you should read the selections from the Spielvogel text Chapters 1
through 3 and watch the first lecture on the first videotape before coming to class the week of
Week 0*: 1/22
Introduction. What is history? What is the West? What is a civilization?
Week 1: 1/29
What do we mean by Western Civilization? How do we learn about the past? Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome.
Readings: Spielvogel Chapters 1 through 3; selections from HIST 100 Course Reader** and photocopied material
Videotaped Lecture: Lecture 1 (first lecture on first tape)
First quiz: Topics to be assigned during Week 0. (Note: Students who entered the class after
Week 0 will be given a make-up assignment.)
Week 2: 2/5
Ancient Greece and Rome: Society and Politics.
Readings: Spielvogel Ch. 4 through 6; selections from Course Reader and photocopied material
Videotaped Lecture: Lecture 2 (second lecture on first tape)
First short paper (one-two pages). Topic to be announced during Week 1.
Week 3: 2/12
Late Antiquity, Early Christianity, the Byzantine Empire, Early Islam.
Readings: Spielvogel Ch. 7 and 8; selections from Course Reader
Videotaped Lecture: Lecture 3
Week 4: 2/19
Readings: Spielvogel Ch. 9 through 11
Videotaped Lecture: Lecture 4
Week 5: 2/26
The Renaissance in Europe.
Readings: Spielvogel Ch. 12; begin 13
Videotaped Lecture: Lecture 5
Week 6: 3/5
Reformations; Early Modern Europe; Overseas Exploration.
Reading: Spielvogel Ch. 13 through 15; selections from Course Reader
Videotaped Lecture: Lecture 6
Mid-Semester Paper due: 3/5
++++MARCH 10 - 17: SPRING BREAK+++++
Week 7: 3/19
The Scientific Revolution; the Enlightenment; the French Revolution.
Reading: Spielvogel Ch. 16 through 19; selections from Course Reader plus photocopies or internet texts
Videotaped Lecture: Lecture 7
Paper (one-two pages) due: 3/19
Week 8: 3/26
The Industrial Revolution and its Impact; the Course of the Nineteenth Century.
Reading: Spielvogel Ch. 20 through 23; selections from Course Reader
Videotaped Lecture: Lecture 8
Week 9: 4/2
Mass Society; The "New Imperialism" of the Late Nineteenth Century.
Reading: Spielvogel Ch. 23*** and 24; selections from Course Reader
Videotaped Lecture: Lecture 9
Week 10: 4/9
The Beginning of the Twentieth Century; Artistic and Cultural Modernism in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries.
Reading: Spielvogel Ch. 23 through 25; selections from Course Reader and/or photocopied or internet texts
Videotaped Lecture: Lecture 10
Paper (one-two pages) due: 4/9
Week 11: 4/16
Russia, the West, and Revolution.
Reading: Spielvogel Ch. 25 through 27; selections from Course Reader
Videotaped Lecture: Lecture 11
Week 12: 4/23
World Wars of the Twentieth Century; Totalitarianism.
Reading: Spielvogel Ch. 27 and 28; selections from Course Reader
Videotaped Lecture: Lecture 12
Week 13: 4/30
Europe from 1945 to the Present.
Reading: Spielvogel Ch. 28 and 29; selections from Course Reader
Videotaped Lecture: Lecture 13
Final Exam: Scheduled for 5/14
*I have numbered the weeks of class instruction to fit with the numbering on the videotaped lectures. The first videotaped lecture is to be viewed before coming to class the week of January 29, so January 29 becomes Week 1, and January 22 becomes Week 0. (The capacity to represent and calculate with the number zero is a contribution developed and brought to the West by Arabic mathematicians.)
**Details about each week's assignment, including which selections to read in the Course reader, and which pages to focus on in the Spielvogel textbook, can be found on the Web at http://www.gmu.edu/courses/phil/ancient/hwf2.htm .
***The topics assigned for this course by the History Dept. do not always correspond exactly to
the divisions of chapters in the textbook. Therefore one chapter may cover topics assigned to
more than one week. You will be advised as to which sections of each chapter to concentrate on
Important Information and Links to Further Resources
A. Special Situations
1. If you have a learning disability, physical disability, or other condition that requires that you receive modified assignments, extended exam time, etc., please get the proper documentation from the Disabled Students Office to me as soon as possible, so that we can set up appropriate arrangements. If you have any other special situation that requires that you receive modified assignments, extended exam time, etc., please get the proper documentation to me as soon as possible so that we can set up appropriate arrangements. Please take a moment (before or after class, in office hours, etc.) to make sure I understand exactly what you will need. Do not wait until just before exam time to do this; if you wait too long, there may not be time to set up the arrangements you need.
B. Contact Information
Prof. Cherubin's Office: Robinson B462
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:00 to 4:00. Additional hours available by appointment.
Office Phone: 3-1332
Mailbox: Robinson B465 (Dept. of Philosophy & Religious Studies)
If you need to leave a message or paper for me when I am not in my office, please bring it to
Robinson B465. Do NOT bring it to the History Dept.; there is no mailbox for me there.
History Dept. Office: Robinson B359
History Dept. Main Phone: 3-1250
C. Useful Web Sites
Section 047 Web Site (home page): http://www.gmu.edu/courses/phil/ancient/h1002.htm
Detailed information for Section 047 about reading assignments, writing assignments, quizzes:
http://www.gmu.edu/courses/phil/ancient.hwf2.htm (There is also a link to this page from the
Section 047 home page listed above.)
HIST 100 Main Web Site: http://chnm.gmu.edu/courses/westernciv/index.htm
This site contains a general description and outline of the course, instructors' syllabi, a schedule
of when the videotaped lectures will be shown on GMU-TV (in case your VCR breaks down, your
friends borrow your tapes, your child/sibling/pet/spouse/etc. eats the tapes,...), useful links, rough
transcripts of some of the video, and many other features. Visit this site at least once a week to
keep on track and see new information.
Prof. Cherubin's Philosophy Web Site: http://www.gmu.edu/courses/phil/ancient/index.htm
This site contains syllabi for some of my philosophy courses, supplementary notes on ancient
Greek philosophy, diagrams and illustrations, translations, and links to other fabulous web sites
dealing with the ancient Greek world and its ideas.
Material on the ancient and medieval world (all over the globe but mainly Europe, the Middle
East, and Africa). Includes Latin and Greek texts in the original languages and in translation.
The Atrium: http://web.idirect.com/~atrium
Includes "This Day in Ancient History," updated daily or weekly; "Commentarium" (items from
newspapers, television, and other sources on new finds and ideas concerning pre-historic,
ancient, and medieval peoples and civilizations world-wide); "The Ancient World on
Television"; and "many other things that I know will amaze you," as Plato's character Euthyphro
Papyrus: Two sites that display digital photographs and translations of real pieces of ancient texts, discovered by archeologists. This will give you some idea about what historians must work with in order to investigate the past. (Many ancient texts are written on papyrus, a durable paper-like material made from a reed-like plant. The Egyptians were the first to use it as a writing material, and our word 'paper' is derived from the word 'papyrus'. Under certain conditions, bits of ancient papyrus have been able to survive to the present day.)
Duke Papyrus Archive: http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/papyrus/texts/homepage.html
Papyrology Home Page: http://www.users.drew.edu/~jmuccigr/papyrology
The Suda On-Line: www.stoa.org/sol/about.shtml
Over 1000 years in the making! This site contains translations of a medieval compendium of ancient philosophy. This work has never been translated into English before, and a large team of distinguished scholars has been gathered for this purpose. Some of our most important sources of information about ancient thought (mainly but not only Greek) are here.