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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Ethan A. Spanier
HSTAM 205
Seattle Campus

Military History of the Ancient World

Military history from prehistoric times to the fall of the Roman Empire, with special emphasis on the Greco-Roman period and the campaigns of Alexander the Great, Hannibal, Scipio Africanus, and Julius Caesar.

Class description

From the Bronze Age Sumerians to the fall of Rome, war was the decisive factor that determined the course of ancient history. This class is a practical introduction to the study of warfare in the ancient world, beginning with Mesopotamia and culminating with developments in Late Antique Rome and the barbarian invasions. We will pay particular attention to grand strategic planning and famous battles at the tactical level, as well as advances in military technology on both land and sea.

The chronological structure of the class will trace certain themes down through the centuries: how various civilizations waged war; who served in the various armies and why; what type of government controlled these armies; and from what type of society they sprang. Major events and important individuals are discussed in their historical contexts, providing a complete understanding of the underlying causes for war. We will also watch several films and documentaries on different aspects of ancient military history.

This is a "W" class.

Student learning goals

Improve critical thinking skills

Improve writing skills

Watch great movies!

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

HIST 111 is appreciated

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Ethan A. Spanier
Date: 06/30/2010