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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Joel T Walker
HIST 111
Seattle Campus

The Ancient World

Origins of Western civilization to the fall of Rome.

Class description

HIST 111 is the first of a three-quarter sequence introducing students to the history of Western Civilization. In the course, we will study the civilizations of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, Greece, Rome, and early Christianity.

Student learning goals

This course will help you acquire a broad framework for understanding major trends in the development of the ancient world, from animal domestication and the invention of agriculture to the creation of the Roman Empire.

This course will help you learn how to read and interpret different types of historical evidence, including texts (epics, laws, documents, et al.), art (statues, painting, coins, etc.), and archaeology on land and sea.

This course will help you appreciate the importance of geography for understanding the ancient world and, more generally, the role of geography in human history.

In the weekly sections, you will have the opportunity to sharpen your skills at listening and debate as you explore primary texts with your classmates and the TA.

The paper assignments and exams will give you a chance to improve your skills as a writer and thinker.

The multiple-choice and matching sections of the exam will encourage you to master a certain ammount of factual material about major figures and ideas that shaped the rise of Western Civilization.

General method of instruction

This is a lecture course with four lectures per week and discussion section each Friday. Participation in sections is required; attendance at all lectures is strongly encouraged.

Recommended preparation

There are no prerequisites for this course other than a willingness to work and a healthy curiosity about the past. Students should also be willing to question and revise their assumptions about all aspects of the ancient world.

Class assignments and grading

Class assignments and grading will be detailed in the course syllabus. The quizzes/examination for the course will include maps, short answer, matching and/or multiple-choice, and responses to excerpts from the primary sources. There will one short paper with an optional re-write and one longer paper due during week 9.

Participation in sections (20%); midterm (20%); papers (40%); final exam (20%).


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.
Last Update by Joel T Walker
Date: 04/16/2009