History 101: Western Civilization I
Fall 2012
Tuesday 12:30 am-1:55 pm
Hybrid Class

Prof. James Baer
Office: Bisdorf 252
Office Hours for Fall 2012: Mon-Wed: 10:30AM-11:00AM and Tues-Thu. 10:00AM-11:30AM or by appointment
Office Telephone: (703) 933-3978   Secretary (703) 933-3974
Email: jbaer@nvcc.edu
Web Page: www.nvcc.edu/home/jbaer

Hybrid Class: This section will meet once each week in class for lecture and discussion. The other hour and one-half will consist of special activities and assignments completed by students in a distance learning format. Many of these activities will require knowledge of Blackboard and the use of a computer. This class will be useful for students who can work well on their own, do not need special assistance from the instructor and are comfortable with computers.

Course Description:

The purpose of this course is to show how constant interaction among peoples has produced changes that have led to the development of Western Civilization from prehistory through the seventeenth century. The objectives of this course are as follows:

1. To learn how human societies have changed over time.

2. To learn the meaning and origins of civilization.

3. To understand the role of religion.

4. To trace the development of political organization

The required text for this course is WESTERN CIVILIZATIONS, Vol. I by Coffin and Stacey.  The text has an online chapter summary with information and a self-quiz to help you master the information. Go to: Western Civilization I text

Students are expected to do their own work, attend class, and participate in class activities and discussions. Any make up work must be done with permission from the instructor. Students must be careful not to plagiarize when using internet sources, and any assignments with material copied directly from the internet without citation will be given a grade of F. Attendance will be taken and will count as a percent of the grade. Click for more information on plagiarism.

I have placed information about the class on our Blackboard site for your convenience. Assignments for the class will be linked to the online syllabus, so go to the web page first if you have any questions. If you need to contact me, it will be easier by email than telephone. You may also come by to chat or get help during office hours and call me on the telephone during office hours.

Special Needs and Accommodations: Please speak to the instructor at the beginning of the semester about any special problems or needs. If you are asking for special accommodations based on a disability you should provide a disability data sheet, which you can get from a counselor for special needs in the Student Services Center.

In case the campus closes for an emergency students should communicate with the instructor via email to make sure that class activities and assignments are completed despite interruptions.

1. Study Guide assignments: 2 assignments@ 10% of grade each=20%
2. Internet assignments Herakles (Hercules) Joan of Arc , 2 assignments @5% each=10%
3. Midterm  20%
4. Discussion board assignments: Hammurabi, Athens or Sparta,  Life in Rome, Caesar Augustus, Middle Ages, Clovis and Charlemagne and comparing Luther with Machiavelli @ 2% each=14%
5. Letter about Machiavelli 6%
Final Exam 20%
Attendance 10%

Extra credit (optional)

Study Guides Available:

Ch 1 & 2:  (click here for study guide 1)
Ch 3 & 4   (click here for study guide 2)
Ch 5 & 6:  (click here for study guide 3)
Ch 7 & 8  (click here for study guide 4 )
Ch 9 & 10  (click here for study guide 5)
Ch 12 & 13  (click here for study guide 6 )


Special Needs and Accommodations: Please speak to the instructor at the beginning of the semester about any special problems or needs. If you are asking for special accommodations based on a disability you should provide a disability data sheet, which you can get from a counselor for special needs, who is located in Room 196 of the Bisdorf Building.



Tues. Sept. 4; Class: Introduction to class, computer/internet work/nature of hybrid class; Intro & prehistory, agricultural revolution and Mesopotamian Civilization. How do we know about these early people?

Thurs. Sept.6: Activity: Read Ch 1 and 2 and then read online list of Hammurabi’s code Hammurabi and his Law Code. Answer the question about whether or not code is fair and post a response of 200 words on Discussion Board in Blackboard site. Then read at least two other students' comments and respond to them.

Tues. Sept. 11: Discussion Board Posting Due by 12:00 noon. (2% of grade) Class: Comparing Middle Eastern Civilizations (Mesopotamia, Egypt, Assyria, Persia, Israel etc.)

Thurs. Sept 13: Activity: Read the web pages about Hercules and his twelve labors  http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/Herakles/labors.html
and write 500 words on how this hero exhibits fundamental values of the ancient Greeks. Then, read Ch. 3 and 4 in the text.

Tues. Sept 18: Hercules writing assignment due (5% of grade). Class: Discussion of Greece and the polis. Sparta and Athens: How did different Greek cities compare? Who were the thinkers and writers of the “Golden Age”?

Thurs. Sept. 20: Activity:
Close MenuIf you could be transported back in time would you rather go to ancient Sparta or ancient Athens? Explain in 200 words where you would have gone and what there is about that city that is more attractive to you. Then, go back and look at other students’ comments and reply to at least one. Then, read Ch. 5 in the text.


Tues. Sept. 25: Discussion Board Posting Due by 12:00 noon (2% of grade). Class: The role of Alexander the Great. From Greece to Rome.

Thurs. Sept 27: Activity: Read Ch. 6 in the textbook and web pages about life in Rome (Life in Rome:) city, army, jobs, buildings, religion, family) and post comments of 200 words about how Romans lived on the Blackboard Discussion Board. Then read at least two other students' comments and respond to them by noon on Tuesday.


Tues. Oct. 2: Discussion Board Posting Due by 12:00 noon (2% of grade): What happened to end the Republic? Augustus and the early Empire.

Thurs. Oct. 4: Activity: Read about Caesar Augustus and his accomplishments in Ch 6 and respond in the Discussion Board highlighting the greatest accomplishments of this emperor, explaining in 200 words why you think your examples are his greatest achievements. Then read other students’ postings and respond to at least two. Due by THURSDAY next week (due to holiday)




Thurs Oct 11 Discussion Board Posting Due by 12:00 noon Activity: Read Ch. 5 and 6 in text write 500 words in answer to ONE of the discussion questions at the bottom of study guide 3. Assignment due by Tuesday noon.


Tues. Oct 16:  Study Guide Assignment Due (5% of grade) Discussion: The Roman Empire. What was the role of the Emperor? The Pax Romana, the Crisis of the 3rd Century and the fall of the Western Empire.


Thurs. Oct. 18: Prepare for midterm test by reviewing Ch 1-6 and Study Guides 1, 2 and 3. For chapter summaries and practice quizzes go to: Western Civilization I text   (No late assignments from the first half will be accepted for any reason after today)

Tues. Oct. 23: MIDTERM EXAM: CHAPTERS 1-6 (20% OF GRADE)

Thurs. Oct 25: 
Activity: Read Ch 7 and 8, then answer ONE of the discussion questions at the bottom of study guide for Ch 7 and 8 (study guide 4 )) in 500 word essay to be emailed to me by Tuesday at the beginning of class.

Tues. Oct. 30:  Essay on Study Guide  4 (Ch 7 & 8) due (10% of grade) Class: The Medieval Synthesis and Rome's Three Heirs. Byzantines, Muslims and Germans

Thurs. Nov. 1: Activity: Compare Clovis and Charlemagne. How were they each responsible for establishing Germanic kingdoms that replaced Roman rule? Which of the two do you consider the greater? Why? Post comments of 200 words on Discussion Board and reply to at least two other student’s comments. Assignment due by Tuesday at 12:00 noon.

Tues. Nov. 6: Discussion Board Posting Due by 12:00 noon (2% of grade) Class: From Clovis to Charlemagne; the Early Middle Ages

Thurs. Nov. 8:
Activity: Read about Feudal Life on assigned web pages (The Middle Ages -- Town Life). Then choose ONE category (feudalism, religion, clothes, health, etc.) and respond with a posting to the Discussion Board on Blackboard in 200 words to the following question: How did Medieval life differ from your experience to life today? Reply to at least on two other student’s posting. Posting due by Tuesday noon. Read Ch 9 in text.

Tues. Nov. 13: Discussion Board Posting Due by 12:00 noon (2% of grade) Discussion: Feudalism and the expansion of Europe. Growth of strong monarchies. Church and State in the Middle Ages. How did the Crusades shape the relationship between Islam and Christianity?

Thurs. Nov. 15
Activity: Read the web pages about Joan of Arc and in an essay of 500 words write a trial brief as an English priest who accuses Joan of getting her powers from the devil. Use examples from Joan’s career and prove your accusations. (Her letters and the trial transcripts are especially interesting). Read Ch 10 in text (Skip Ch 11).

Tues. Nov. 20: Joan of Arc essay due (5% of grade). Discussion: War and Plague in the Late Middle Ages. How did the Black Death  and the Hundred Years’ War change Europe? Crisis of the Papacy. Why were there two Popes? Assignment for Monday Nov. 28:Read Ch 12. Look at web pages about Machiavelli and his ideas: Machiavelli  Read at least two chapters from his book “The Prince” and identify them. Choose one of Machiavelli’s statements or ideas about power, religion, the state or the masses and write a letter of 350 words to the president explaining why following this particular idea of Machiavelli would be helpful in his political career. Email this assignment to me by 12:00 noon Tuesday.


Tues. Nov. 27: Class: Machiavelli assignment due (6% of grade) The Renaissance in Italy and the end of the Middle Ages

Thurs. Nov. 29: Activity: Read Ch 13. And about Martin Luther. Then, in a posting of 200 words, compare Luther to Machiavelli as two men who transformed the Medieval world an helped create our modern world.  How were these men similar or different? How did their ideas compare for their new directions? What do you think these two might have thought of each other? Post your ideas in 200 words on the Discussion board and then reply to at least two other student’s ideas. Due on Tues.at 12:00 noon

Tues.. Dec. 4: Machiavelli/Luther assignment due (2%of grade)
. No late assignments from the second half of the semester will be accepted for any reason after today. Discussion: Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation in Germany. How did Luther begin the Reformation? The Protestant Reformation in England and Henry VIII. What was the role of the English monarchy in the Protestant Reformation in England?  (No late assignments will be accepted for any reason after today)

Thurs. Dec. 6: Review for final exam

Tues. Dec 11: Final Exam 12:30PM-1:55PM  (20% of grade)

Links to history sites:

Women and Gender in the Ancient World
Battle of Marathon
Daily Life in Rome
The Carthaginian Empire and Rome in the Third Century BC
The Middle Ages -- Town Life                                                              
Sex in the Middle Ages (for mature students only)
Animation of the Battle of Hastings

Love Letters of Heloise to Abelard
Medieval Sources

Martin Luther

Web sites on Greece and the Olympics:
Hercules: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/Herakles/labors.html