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King Menkaure (also known as Mycerinus) and his Queen (probably Kha-merer- nebty II). From Giza, Menkaure Temple; Dynasty 4, 2548-2530 B.C.; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA.


A chronological interdisciplinary survey designed to strengthen the studentís fundamental grasp of human values through the study of humanityís ideas, discoveries, and creative achievements. Areas of consideration will include art, literature, and philosophy. This course begins with the pre-history of human beings and continues through the medieval period. No prerequisite.


This course has two main objectives. The first is to introduce the student to the humanities through an in-depth examination of the influence of the classical and Judeo-Christian traditions on the modern West. The second is to improve the studentís ability to think critically, write clearly, and speak persuasively. Critical thinking about the past is essential to understanding the present.

By the end of the course, each student will demonstrate progress in the following course objectives:


The usual method of teaching will be through lectures and class discussions. Visual and audio resources will be used to supplement lectures. In addition to attending class, reading the required readings, and participating in class discussions, students are required to complete two exams, one film analysis paper, and five other writing assignments.

EXAMS:            The two exams are designed to measure studentsí knowledge of specific cultures and their mastery of certain periods of time.

PAPERS:            Students will complete one analysis paper, which will review a significant film. This paper will require the student to analyze a modern humanities topic of personal interest.

            The paper will be typed, double-spaced, with 1Ē margins. It should be 4 pages long. This is not meant to be a summary; it should critically analyze the work in question. Late work will be penalized 50% per day. All essays are due at the beginning of the class period. Further instructions will be provided in class.

            SRs:            Finally, students will submit five other writing assignments of various lengths. These will include: three source reports (SRs), 2 pages long, designed to demonstrate the studentís capacity to analyze primary source materials; and two in-class writing assignments, each one 1-2 pages long. Further information on these writing assignments and their due dates will be discussed in class.


All student work will be judged according to the following academic criteria:

Every studentís final grade will be earned via the following:

Links- Source Report Materials

Plato's Apology: I double-checked this one and it seems to work fine (at least for me), and it has the whole play. It should say "The End" at the bottom- if it does not say that, try clicking "Refresh" or clicking on the link again. Here's another one to try, just in case.

Sophocles' Antigone:     

Antigone  This one is missing the last 100 lines or so, which is bad. You may miss much of the point if you don't get those last lines, so you need to get those too.  This one has the whole play, but it may be a bit more difficult to read. Either way, make sure you read the whole thing.

Aristophanes' Clouds    The Clouds

The Book of Job

The Gospel of Mark

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales




To access a lecture on-line, click on one of the links below. These lectures differ slightly from what we view in class (I have made some changes since these were placed online), but they are roughly equivalent. They cover much of the same material and will serve for review and study purposes. Let me know if you have any questions about the material presented here.

Wednesday, June 5      INTRODUCTION

                                    Introduction to the Course    

                                    Lecture #1 OL 

Thursday, June 6          THE DAWN OF CULTURE

                                    Ch. 1: Prehistory and Near Eastern Civ. 

                                    Lecture #2 OL    Lecture #3 OL  Lecture #4 OL    Lecture #5 OL 

                                    Discuss Readings: Hammurabi, Gilgamesh, Dialogue (p. 1-11, 17-9)

Friday, June 7               THE RISE OF GREECE

                                    Ch. 2: Aegean Civilization

                                    Lecture #6 OL    Lecture #7 OL

                                    Discuss Readings: Homer, Sappho (p. 28-43)

Monday, June 10          GREEK TRAGEDY

                                    Ch. 3: Classical Greek Civilization 

                                    Lecture #8 OL (Classical Greece) 

                                    Discuss Readings: Sophocles (p. 46-65)

Tuesday, June 11         GREEK PHILOSOPHY

                                    Discuss Readings: Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle (p. 65-83)

Wednesday, June 12    THE HELLENISTIC AGE

                                    Greek Source Report Due (2 pages- Antigone or Apology)

                                    Discuss Source Reports

                                    Ch. 4: Classical Greek Civilization

                                    Discuss Readings: Epicurus (p. 90-2)

Thursday, June 13        THE ROMAN WORLD

                                    Ch. 5: Roman Civilization

                                    Lecture #9 OL (Rome)

                                    Discuss Readings: Vergil, Horace, Ovid (p. 97-112)

                                    Exam Review

Friday, June 14             MIDTERM EXAM   

Monday, June 17          JUDAISM

                                    Ch. 6: Judaism and the Rise of Christianity (read p. 479-505)

                                    Lecture # 10 OL (Judaism)    

                                    Discuss Readings: Selections from the Hebrew Bible (p. 118-130)

Tuesday, June 18         THE RISE OF CHRISTIANITY

                                    Lecture #11 OL (Early Christianity)

                                    Discuss Readings: Selections from the New Testament, Tertullian (p. 131-9)

Wednesday, June 19    MOVIE DAY

                                    Bible Source Report Due (2 pages- Job or Mark)

                                    Discuss Source Reports

                                    Film: The Last Temptation of Christ    Here is a review of the film that may 

                                    prove useful:

Thursday, June 20        THE DECLINE AND FALL...

                                    Finish Film and Discuss

                                    Ch. 7: Late Roman Civilization

                                    Discuss Readings: Augustine (p. 140-5)

Friday, June 21             AFTER THE FALL

                                    Ch. 8: The Successors of Rome

                                    Discuss Readings: Koran, Beowulf (p. 150-3, 165-7)

Monday, June 24         THE HIGH MIDDLE AGES

                                    Film Analysis Paper Due (4 pages)

                                    Ch. 9: The High Middle Ages

                                    Discuss Readings: Chretien, Aquinas, Dante (p. p. 174-9, 186-95)

Tuesday, June 25          THE LATE MIDDLE AGES

                                    Ch. 10: The Late Middle Ages

                                    Discuss Readings: Petrarch, Boccaccio, Christine (p. 200-7, 219-24)

Wednesday, June 26    THE CANTERBURY TALES

                                    Third Source Report Due (2 pages- One Canterbury Tale)

                                    Discuss Readings: Chaucer (p. 208-19)

Thursday, June 27        CONCLUSION

                                    Exam Review

Friday, June 28             FINAL EXAM

This schedule is subject to change as needed.

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