History 113: Civilizations of the Ancient World

Professor Thomason

Fall 2002

Instructor: Allison Thomason

Office: 1214 Peck Hall

Office Hours: M,W, F 10:00-11:00, W 12:00-1:00, or by appointment

Phone: 650-3685 (my office); 650-2414 (department office)

Email: althoma@siue.edu

Teaching Assistant:

Office: 0205 Peck Hall

Office Hours:

Phone: 650-


Course Objectives:

The goals of this course are to familiarize students with the ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean worlds and to introduce students to the practice of history. Along the way we will explore the civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Biblical World, Greece and Rome. We will study these civilizations by analyzing their primary sources, that is the texts, images, buildings and artifacts that they left behind. As historians, we focus especially on the primary documents, or ancient texts in translation, that show us the thought processes, concerns, events and motivations of the people of the ancient world. We will learn to look at these documents critically in order to understand why the texts were written, and what purposes they might have served in their civilizations.

Attendance and Participation:

  1. Students are first and foremost expected to arrive on time, attend class alertly, and generally conduct themselves with respect for their fellow students, the instructor, and the graduate assistant. Students are also expected to participate in class discussions. Students should be aware that consistent lateness to class, disrespectful treatment of or behavior towards others, and early departures will seriously affect final grades and can result in involuntary withdrawal from the course (for policies on Academic conduct, see the Student Conduct Code: www.siue.edu/POLICIES/3c2.html).
  2. Lectures and readings may not cover the same material in the same manner, but students are responsible for the information contained in BOTH for exams. If you have to miss a class, make sure that you get the notes from someone.
  3. In addition, I hope that you will contribute to the group and class discussions, and ask questions in class. This will not only help your attendance and participation grade, but it will also help you to become more engaged in the class, and therefore more prepared for exams and more understanding of history.


Required (available in class or at Textbook Rental in basement of Lovejoy library):

  1. Bailkey, N. Readings in Ancient History: Thought and Experience from Gilgamesh to St. Augustine, 5th ed. D.C. Heath, 1996. (Rental)
  2. De Blois and van der Spek. An Introduction to the Ancient World, Routledge, 1997. (Rental)
  3. Hallo and Simpson. The Ancient Near East: An Introduction, 2nd ed. Harcourt Brace, 1998 (Rental)
  4. Handouts given in class—it is your responsibility to get the handouts if you were absent.

Recommended reading:

I will put on reserve in the library a number of helpful books and resources about the ancient world that you can use for studying and preparing papers.

Attendance and Participation:

Attendance and Participation (worth 15% of total points) will be determined by roll calls, and instructor’s impression of participation.


Assignment Points

Attendance and Participation: 150

Primary Source Worksheets (4 x 25) 100

Quiz 50

Midterm 100

Paper 1-3 (150 each x 3) 450

Final Exam 150__


Make-up Exam and Late Paper Policy:

Make-up quizzes and exams will only be given in cases of unforeseen medical or family emergencies. You will need to contact Prof. Thomason prior to the exam time if you would like to be excused from an exam. Make-up exams must be taken within one week of the original exam date and the exam time will be scheduled at the discretion of myself and the teaching assistant (in consultation with you). If you do not show up for a quiz or an exam and I did not excuse you ahead of time, you will receive a zero (0) on the exam.

Late papers are marked down 8 points per day (out of 150 total points). Late papers will not be accepted after corrected papers are handed back to students (usually no more than a week).

Plagiarism and Use of Internet:

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's writing without giving credit to that individual. Plagiarism can take several forms. It can consist of paraphrase or word-by-word transcription; the uncited source can be a published work, from a web site or discussion group on the internet, or the unpublished work of another student or acquaintance. It is every student's responsibility to know what plagiarism is and to avoid committing it. If you are in doubt, it is better to document a source than not to. The penalty for this offense, which is quite serious, is outlined in the Student Conduct Code (http://www.siue.edu/POLICIES/3c2.html).

Class, Exam and Assignment Schedule:

Week 1 Aug. 19: Orientation

Aug. 21: "History" and "Civilization"

Aug. 23: Geography of the Mediterranean and Near East

Reading: De Blois & van der Spek, xvii-8

Week 2 Aug. 26: Intro. to Mesopotamian Society

Reading: Hallo and Simpson, 151-184

Aug. 28: QUIZ: Geography

4th-3rd millennia: Uruk, Early Dynastic

Reading: Hallo and Simpson, 25-51,

Bailkey, Epic of Gilgamesh

Aug. 30: Akkadian/Ur III/Gudea

Reading: Hallo and Simpson, 51-87

Handouts: Legend of Naram-Sin, Enheduanna

Week 3 Sept. 2: NO CLASS, Labor Day

Sept. 4: 2nd millennium: Hammurabi, Kassites

Reading: Hallo and Simpson, 87-110

Bailkey, Hammurabi’s Law code, Reforms of Urukagina

Sept. 6: Hittites

Reading: Hallo and Simpson, 111-134

Week 4 Sept. 9: Assyrians

Sept. 11: Assyrians continued: Art, Old Testament parallels

Reading: Hallo and Simpson, 134-141

Handout: Old Testament

Royal inscriptions

Primary Source Worksheet #1 Due

Sept. 13: Later Mesopotamia

Reading: Hallo and Simpson, 141-149

Handout: Nabonidus

Week 5 Sept. 16: Intro. to Egyptian Society

Reading: Hallo and Simpson, 185-197

Sept. 18: Early Dynastic, Old Kingdom

Reading: Hallo and Simpson, 198-219

Handout: Narmer Palette

Sept. 20: Pyramids

Reading: Hallo and Simpson, 219-233

Handout: Pyramid article


Week 6 Sept. 23: First Intermediate Period and Middle Kingdom

Reading: Hallo and Simpson, 234-247

Bailkey, Prophecy of Nefer-rohu

Handout: Autobiography of Ankhtify

Sept. 25: Hyksos, early New Kingdom: Tutmosis III, Hatchepsut

Reading: Hallo and Simpson, 248-263

Handouts: Hyksos documents, Annals of Tutmosis III

Sept. 27: Amarna period

Reading: Hallo and Simpson, 263-273

Bailkey, Hymn to Aton

Handout: selected Amarna letters

Week 7 Sept. 30: Tutankhamun

Reading: Hallo and Simpson, 273-281

Primary Source Worksheet #2 Due

Oct. 2: Ramessid Period, Late Period

Reading: Hallo and Simpson, 282-296

Handouts: Merneptah stele, Exodus

Oct. 4: Israel and Judah

Reading: DeBlois and van der Spek, 48-53 and 34-37

Handouts: Judges, Kings


Week 8 Oct. 7: MIDTERM EXAM

Oct. 9: Minoans and Mycenaeans

Reading: De Blois and van der Spek, 25 (last paragraph)-27

Oct. 11: Dark Ages and Archaic Greece

Reading: De Blois and van der Spek, 69-70

Bailkey, Homer’s Iliad, 128-145, Hesiod

Week 9 Oct. 14: VIDEO

Oct. 16: Athens

Reading: De Blois and van der Spek, 88-103

Bailkey, "What is a Polis", Solon, Pericles

Oct. 18: Classical Historians and Philosophers

Reading: De Blois and van der Spek, 111-128

Bailkey, Thucydides’ "Melian Dialogue"

Week 10 Oct. 21: Women in the Classical World

Reading: Handout from Foley, Fantham, et. al.

Primary Source Worksheet #3 DUE

Oct. 23: Sparta and the Peloponnesian War

Reading: De Blois and van der Spek, 87-88, and 103-111

Bailkey, Lycurgus

Oct. 25: VIDEO: TBA

Reading: De Blois and van der Spek, 129-140

Bailkey, Alexander the Great

Week 11 Oct. 28: Alexander and Hellenistic period

Reading: De Blois and van der Spek, 140-148

Paper #2 Due

Oct. 30: Roman Religion and Myth

Reading: TBA

Nov. 1: Early Rome and Etruscans

Reading: De Blois and van der Spek, 152-168

Bailkey, Livy "The Early Romans"

Week 12 Nov. 4: Roman Republic

Reading: De Blois and van der Spek, 168-194

Bailkey, Polybius

Nov. 6: Civil War

Reading: De Blois and van der Spek, 195-216

Bailkey, Julius Caesar and his Assasination (370-384)

Handout: Plutarch on Cleopatra

Nov. 8: Augustus and the Pax Romana

Reading: De Blois and van der Spek, 218-230

Bailkey, Dio Cassius, Virgil, Tacitus "Annals"

Week 13 Nov. 11: Dr. Carl Springer, guest speaker: Roman Religion and Myth

Reading: De Blois and van der Spek, 261-267

Bailkey, Apuleius

Primary Source Worksheet #4 Due

Nov. 13: Roman Society: slaves and spectacles

Reading: De Blois and van der Spek, 250-261

Handout: Roman women

Nov. 15: Roman Empire: Caligula, Nero, Commodus: power and decadence

Reading: De Blois and van der Spek, 230-250

Handout: Suetonius, "Lives of the Caesar"

Week 14 Nov. 18: Imperial Administration, 3 "Good" emperors

Reading: De Blois and van der Spek, 271-275

Bailkey, Tacitus’ "Pax Romana", Marcus Aurelius

Nov. 20: Late Empire

Reading: De Blois and van der Spek, 276-283

Bailkey, Reforms of Diocletian

Nov. 22: Jesus and Christianity

Reading: De Blois and van der Spek, 267-269

Bailkey, Pliny, Tertullian

Paper #3 Due

Week 15 NO CLASSES, Thanksgiving Break

Week 16 Dec. 2: Constantine

Reading: De Blois and van der Spek, 283-295

Dec. 4: Review and Re-cap

Dec. 6: Review and Re-cap

Monday, Dec. 9, 8:00-9:40 am: FINAL EXAM