World civilization assignment


 Answer THREE of the following FOUR:

 1. One of the reasons ancient literature is so compelling is that it gives us the actual voices and thoughts of people who lived in faraway times.  Think about the different voices we have encountered from the past thus far–in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Book of Exodus, the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Histories of Herodotus, the Antigone of Sophocles, Livy’s History, and Augustus’s Achievements–and write an essay in which you compare how TWO writers of different eras and cultures talk about the same themes.  Choose THREE of the following themes, and choose TWO different authors.   You cannot choose a writer whom you discussed in a Response Paper.  You cannot compare any Greek writer to another Greek writer, nor can you compare Livy to Augustus.  

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Possible themes (choose 3): 

–Political leadership or Conflict (don’t use both, either as one theme or separate themes)
–Belief in Gods



2. Redman-Childe.  Choose one of the civilizations we have studied thus far in the course and evaluate it , using material from lectures and texts, in terms of the different primary and secondary characteristics of a civilization as defined by G. Chide and C. Redman.  How well does it exemplify and fulfill each of the different characteristics.  What have you learned about the civilization, other than religious behaviors, that makes you want to add an additional primary or secondary category to the R-C list?  You can NOT write about a civilization that was a major focus of a Response Paper.

 The Redman-Childe list of characteristics:

 Primary Characteristics:

–Presence of cities

–Full-time specialization of labor

–Concentration of surplus

–Class-structured society

–State-based organization

 Secondary Characteristics:

–Monumental public works

–Long-distance trade

–Standardized monumental artwork

–Formal systems of information recording and storage

–Formal systems of abstract knowledge (science/math)

3.  The ancient world and you!  Write an essay on what it would be like to live in one of the civilizations we have studied this semester working in a job that is as close as you can imagine to the profession you are hoping to enter yourself.  What elements the profession remain unchanged?  What elements are completely different?  Identify THREE objects/behaviors we have seen in our course materials that have impressed you because of their connection to your area of study. How have they impressed you? For this answer you might well want to do a bit of further exploration at good web sources, but you mustmustmust cite your sources diligently.  

4. The many different faces of religion:  Using examples from 5 different civilizations we have studied, identify and discuss 5 different and important ways that you see religion/religious practices/religious beliefs manifesting themselves in ancient cultures.  With each of your examples, explain why you think it is important, backing up your argument with lecture/text material.  Discuss whether the practice or object or belief seems unique to the civilization you are using, or does it have parallels in other cultures?   Do you see each example as having positive force, or negative force, or some of each?




T 27-V:  Paleo/Neolithic: VON SIVERS Skim 4-33; read carefully: 10-13, 21-28, 37-40, 62-64. 

  visit Lascaux Cave:

    Read Smithsonian article on Gobekli Tepe 


W 28-V: Mesopotamia, VON SIVERS 40-47 plus box on 48-49

    Read Epic of Gilgamesh, Prologue + Tablets I – III at 

    Read Prologue, Laws 1-50, Epilogue of Code of Hammurabi in “Text” section at 


R 29-V:  Egypt, VON SIVERS, 47-52, 56-57

View & read about Narmer Palette, both reverse and obverse sides at  

Look at Magical Bricks and Coffin of Meresamun at 

Read full article on Tut & DNA at 



Week Two


M 2-VI: Near East—Assyria, Israel and Phoenicia VON SIVERS 57-60

Read Exodus c. 1-22 at 

Look at Phoenician alphabet at 

Skim article, especially 293-296, about the Uluburun shipwreck at


T  3-VI:  Bronze Age Greece and the eastern Mediterranean VON SIVERS, 52-58, 60-62

Read Iliad Book 24 available at:  

Read Odyssey Book 9 available at  

View ALL images of Palace at Knossos, including plans, panoramio, etc: 


W  4-VI: Classical Greece and Persia  VON SIVERS, 65-66, 199-205

Read Herodotus 1.1-15 and 107-130 at 



R 5-VI: Greece VON SIVERS, 205-207, 228-229

Look at Overview of Athenian Agora at Agora website: 

Read Antigone lines 1-541 at 


Week Three



M 9-VI:   Rome VON SIVERS , 208-210

Read Livy Histories 1.1 to 1.13 at 

Read selections from Twelve Tables at 


T 10-VI   Rome: VON SIVERS, 210-211 

Read Achievements of Augustus at 

Read Pliny’s letters about eruption of Vesuvius at 

Visit Pompeii’s House of the Vetii at 

View “General Introduction” and “Additional Comments”


W 11-VI:    Rome 

VON SIVERS, 223-225, 229-232

Read Pliny letter about handling of Christians at