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  • Description
  • Objectives
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  • Department of Social Science, Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York
    WESTERN CIVILIZATION
    ANTIQUITY to EARLY MODERN

    HIS101-081, Fall 2010, 3 Credits
    Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:00-9:15, Room N775
    Professor David Hamilton Golland



    Announcements and Emergency Information

    November 28: My office hour for Thursday, December 9, will be held from 12:30 to 1:30 instead of the usual time.

    October 20: A brief recent article on Cleopatra that you might find interesting: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/17/magazine/17fob-q4-t.html?scp=1&sq=%22the%20queen%22&st=cse.

    October 6: I have eliminated two homework assignments and re-ordered the schedule, with a major positive impact on your homework for the Columbus Day weekend. See the schedule below. If you are not up-to-date, please use the long weekend to catch up on your reading assignments.

    September 22: Please bring "Medea" to class on Monday. Also, the schedule has been updated to reflect the final exam.

    September 17: Students may find this recent article on a new archaological discovery in Egypt interesting.

    September 15: The schedule has been updated.

    Online Course Guide


    Description: (Top)
    From the BMCC Course Catalogue: "This course analyzes the societies of Western civilization from their origin to early modern times. The major social, economic, political, religious and intellectual developments are examined and their impact on the development of modern Western civilization is traced."

    Objectives: (Top)
    This course will explore the history of the West from antiquity to 1660. We will begin our study outside the traditional geographical boundaries of western civilization, in Mesopotamia and Egypt. Without developments in these two vibrant civilizations, what we now term the west could never have existed. We will next move on to Mycenean and classical Greece, where artistic, literary, and intellectual innovations went hand in hand with a society based on slavery and the systematic suppression of women. From there we will discuss Rome?s rise as a global power by examining its military might as well as its system of laws and government. While accounting for the fall of Rome as well as the anxieties and chaos of the early medieval period, we will discuss the rise of feudalism. We will then examine the growth of towns and the rediscovery of Greek and Roman culture throughout the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Finally, we will witness the growth of the modern, centralized ?state? as the main source of power.

    Required Books: (Top)
    Textbook: McKay, et al., A History of Western Society: From Antiquity to the Enlightenment, Ninth Edition, Volume I, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company 2008). This is available online at Coursesmart for about half the bookstore's price. You should also read this article on buying textbooks.
    Other required books:
    Euripides, Medea, Nicholas Rudall, ed. (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee Publisher 2000)
    Machiavelli, The Prince (New York: Penguin Books 2003)
    Wiesner, Ruff, and Wheeler, eds., Discovering the Western Past: A Look at the Evidence, vol. 1, 6th edition (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. 2004)

    Please have access to a copy of the Wiesner sourcebook in class every day except the midterm.

    From the University Provost:
    "We all know that purchasing textbooks can be very costly for CUNY students. To help students save money in their textbook purchases, CUNY has created a web page and flyer called "How to Save Money on Textbooks." This resource provides links to websites that sell discounted new and used books, eBooks, open source materials, and rental options.

    "The web page and printable flyer can be found at: http://www.cuny.edu/about/resources/student/textbook-savings.html. There are also links to this web page from the Blackboard log-in page and the portal home page.

    Tests: (Top)
    Testing will consist of a Map Quiz, a midterm examination and a final examination. Both exams will contain a multiple-choice section, a chronology section, and an identifications section. These sections will not be cumulative; on the midterm, they will cover the first half of the class, and on the final, they will cover the second half. In addition, the final exam will contain an essay, which will be cumulative. We will discuss the format and topics covered by each exam during the class just before each exam; the final exam essay question options will be provided in advance.

    Map Quiz: (Top)
    Click HERE for the map quiz study guide. This guide will also appear on the screen in class during the quiz.

    Test Rules (Top)
    Please observe these rules carefully. Infraction will result in lost points.
  • No pencil or red ink.
  • Please clear your desks of all items except a writing implement prior to the start of the quiz or exam.
  • Keep your eyes on your own quiz or exam.
  • Write your name first; no extra time will be alloted at the end to write your name.
  • Do not speak out loud or call out during the quiz or exam. If you have a question, raise your hand and the instructor will come to your seat.
  • You may not leave the classroom during the quiz or exam. If you must leave for an emergency, turn in your quiz or exam; you're finished. So please handle biological functions in advance.
  • If you finish a quiz early, please wait quietly until the instructor has called the time.
  • If you finish an exam early, you may leave. Prof. Golland begins grading exams as soon as the first student has finished; if you'd like to stay, it's possible I'll get to yours before the end of the class, so let me know if you're staying.

    Grading: (Top)
    Participation: 30%
    Map Quiz: 10%
    Midterm Examination: 30%
    Final Examination: 30%

    The mathematical scores will strictly translate into letter grades as follows:
    93 or higher: A
    90 or higher: A-
    88 or higher: B+
    83 or higher: B
    80 or higher: B-
    78 or higher: C+
    70 or higher: C
    60 or higher: D
    Less than 60: F
    Note 1: All students will receive the exact grade they have earned, and grades will NOT be rounded up. For example, a student with a mathematical score of 89.999 will receive a B+; a student with a mathematical score of 59.999 will receive an F.
    Note 2: Students who fail both the midterm and the final examinations will fail the course regardless of their mathematical score.

    "Bump-ups:"
    Some students will receive a grade one notch higher than that dictated by their mathematical score. There are two ways in which a student can earn a "Bump-up:"
    1. Improvement: Students who score at least ten points higher on the final than on the midterm.
    2. Standard Deviation: Students who earn a grade on one component of the course which is at least 20 points lower than their grades on all other components of the course.
    Note: Although there are two ways in which a student can earn a bump-up, there is a limit of one bump-up per student.

    Exception 1: Students who earn C grades below 73, D grades below 68, or F grades below 58 will not be eligible for bump-ups.
    Exception 2: Students who fail both the midterm and the final examinations are not eligible for "Bump-ups."

    Bump-up Table:
    A grade of...Becomes a...
    ANo change
    A-A
    B+A-
    BB+
    B-B
    C+B-
    C 73 or higherC+
    C below 73No change
    D 68 or higherC
    D below 68No change
    F 58 or higherD
    F below 58No change


    Classroom Etiquette:(Top)
  • Cellphones and other electronic devices: For the sake of your fellow students, please remember to silence your phones and pagers. Each time your phone rings during the class may result in as much as one point off your final grade--at my discretion. Please notify me if you are an emergency services worker on call while off-duty.
  • Eating and Drinking: As long as you clean up after yourself, I have no problem with eating or drinking in the classroom. It should go without saying that "drinking" refers to non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Adult behavior/Respect: You will be treated like an adult and shown respect, so you are expected to behave like an adult and show respect to your professor and fellow students. When class has started, you are expected to be attentive to the lesson. You don't need permission to leave the room, just do it. But you have a responsibility to arrive in class on time and not leave class more than absolutely necessary.
  • Dismissal Distractions: Packing up or otherwise making noise prior to my dismissal of the class is an unnecessary distraction both to me and your fellow students. Accordingly, each time you do so may result in as much as one point off your final grade--also at my discretion. Please notify me in advance if you need to leave early for any reason.

    College Attendance Policy: (Top)
    At BMCC, the maximum number of absence hours is limited to one more class hour than the contact hours as indicated in the BMCC course catalog. For exxample, you may be enrolled in a four-hour class that meets four times a week. You are allowed five hours of absence, not five days. In the case of excessive absence, the instructor has the option to lower the grade or assign and "F" or "WU" grade.

    Classes begin promptly at the times indicated in the schedule of classes. Arrival in classes after the scheduled starting time constitutes lateness. Latecomers may, at the discretion of the instructor, incur an official absence.

    Class Absence Policy: (Top)
  • Normal Absence: All students are automatically excused for their first 4.5 absences (for an explanation of ".5," see lateness, below). No documentation is necessary, and every absence--regardless of the reason--counts towards that total. The exception is the day of the midterm examination (see below).
  • Excessive absence: Students who are absent five or more times will automatically receive a grade of WU, or "Withdrawn Unofficially," which is the equivalent of a grade of F. If you miss five classes before the final withdrawal date of November 17, you are advised to formally withdraw from the course without penalty.
  • Lateness: Every lateness equals 0.5 absences (one-half of one absence). Lateness is defined as entering the classroom after your name is called. Late students must see the professor after class to be marked late, otherwise they will be marked absent. Participation in the class is no gurantee of being marked late. Be careful: those latenesses, especially in combination with absences, can add up to a WU!!
  • Midterm examination day: Students who will need to miss the midterm, with a legitimate excuse, may inform me in advance and arrange for a makeup exam. No students will be retroactively excused for absence that day for any reason other than a genuine emergency, which must be documented. Makeup midterms may carry a 10% penalty (depending on the circumstances).
  • Final examination day: Students absent on the day of the final who otherwise succesfully complete the course will receive a grade of ABS (absent from final) and will be required to attend a makeup examination during the following semester. Failure to attend the makeup final exam will result in a grade of zero for the exam. Students absent on the day of the final who have not otherwise successfully completed the course will receive a grade of F or WU, depending on their previous attendance record.

    Academic Adjustments for Students with Disabilities: (Top)
    Students with disabilities who require reasonable accomodations or academic adjustments for this course must contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities. BMCC is committeed to providing equal access to all programs and curricula to all students.

    Plagiarism Policy: (Top)
    BMCC POLICY ON PLAGIARISM AND ACADEMIC INTEGRITY STATEMENT: Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else?s ideas, words or artistic/scientific/technical work as one?s own creation. Utilizing the words or ideas of another is permissible only when the original author is identified. Paraphrasing, summarizing, and direct quotations all require detailed citations to the original source. Plagiarism may be intentional or unintentional. Lack of dishonest intent does not necessarily absolve a student of responsibility for plagiarism. Students who are in any way uncertain concerning when and how they should provide documentation are advised to consult with their instructors. The library has guides designed to help students to appropriately identify a cited work. The full policy can be found on BMCC?s web site.

    Wikipedia Research Policy, by Prof. Alan Liu (Top)
    Click HERE for the article.

    Schedule: (Top)
    August 30: Distribute Day One Handout and discuss course.
    September 1: Ancient Kingdoms and Mighty Empires. Assignment: McKay, pp. 10-30, 35-52.
    September 6: Labor Day/No Class Today
    September 8: In class: begin Egypt's Golden Empire.
    September 13: In class: continue Egypt's Golden Empire.
    September 15: In class: finish Egypt's Golden Empire. Assignment: McKay, pp. 57-70.
    September 20: Ancient Greece. Assignment: McKay, pp. 70-90; Wiesner, Ch. 3 (The Ideal and the Reality of Classical Athens), pp. 53-74.
    September 22: A Greek Tragedy. Assignment: Euripides, Medea, entire.
    September 27: Hellenistic Greece and the diffusion of Greek culture. Assignment: McKay, pp. 95-118.
    September 29: The Roman Republic and Daily Life. Assignment: McKay, pp. 123-147.
    October 4: Rome as Empire. Assignment: McKay, pp. 151-159, 165-175; Wiesner, Chapter 4 (The Achievements of Augustus), pp. 75-96.
    October 6: Imperial Defeats and Germanic Diffusion. Assignment: McKay, pp. 175-181, 189-195, 207-218.
    October 11: Columbus Day: no classes.
    October 13: Catch-up (Roman Republic). No homework due today.
    October 18: Catch-up (Roman Imperial Period); Rise of Monotheism. Assignment: McKay, pp. 159-165, 181-184, 195-207.
    October 20: In class: watch Ancient Refuge in the Holy Land. No homework due today.
    October 25: Charlemagne and the Rise of Feudalism. Assignment: McKay, pp. 232-254; Wiesner, Chapter 6 (The Development of the Medieval State), pp. 123-146.
    October 27: Review for midterm exam. No homework due today.
    November 1: Midterm exam. No homework due today.
    November 3: No classes before 4:00 p.m. No Class Today.
    November 8: Jockeying for Power: Church vs. State. Assignment: McKay, pp. 223-232, 259-290; Wiesner, Chapter 8 (Infidels and Heretics: Crusades of the High Middle Ages), pp. 172-198.
    November 10: Crises of the 14th Century: war, plague, and persecution. Assignment: McKay, pp. pp. 371-402.
    November 15: Map Quiz. Renaissance Humanism. Assignment: McKay, pp. 407-440; Wiesner, Chapter 11 (The Renaissance Man and Woman), pp. 248-270.
    November 17: Machiavelli. Assignment: Machiavelli, The Prince, entire.
    November 22: Age of Discovery. Assignment: McKay, pp. 483-517; Wiesner, Chapter 12 (Pagans, Muslims, and Christians in the Mental World of Columbus), pp. 271-304.
    November 24: "A Mighty Fortress is Our God": Martin Luther and the Reformation. Assignment: McKay, pp. 445-472.
    November 29: Religious Turmoil. Assignment: McKay, pp. 472-478.
    December 1: In class: begin Martin Luther.
    December 6: In class: finish Martin Luther.
    December 8: Review for Final exam/Catch-up (if necessary). No homework due today.
    December 13: Open extended office hours.*
    December 15: Final Exam.
    *During "open extended office hours" (Monday, December 13), formal class will not be held. Professor Golland will be available to students in his office during normal class time. No appointment is necessary.

    Contact Information: (Top)
    Professor David Hamilton Golland
    Department of Social Sciences and Human Services
    Borough of Manhattan Community College
    Office Location: N623.
    Office Hours: Mondays & Wednesdays, 9:15-10:15 a.m.; Thursdays, 3:45-4:45 p.m.
    E-mail: dgolland@bmcc.cuny.edu

    Links: (Top)
  • BMCC Homepage
  • BMCC Social Science Department
  • BMCC Library
  • CUNY+
  • New York Public Library
  • The New York Times Online
  • Amazon.Com
  • Barnes & Noble
  • MTA Information
  • Mapquest
  • Google
  • Hotmail
  • Professor Golland's Personal Homepage

    Photo Information (Top)
    Roman Aqueduct, Pont-du-Gard, France.

    Disclaimer: None of the above shall be construed to supercede BMCC/CUNY policy or local, state, or federal laws. Any instructions or information on this website found to be in violation of said policies or laws can and should be ignored.

    Last Updated 24 December, 2010 (DHG)