CNE 300: Introduction to the Ancient Mediterranean World
Fall 2008 Prof. Stephens
Mon. Wed. 3:00 – 4:15 pm HC 302
Mon. 1:30 – 2 pm; Tues. Wed. Thurs. 11 am – 12
noon; Tues. 3:30 –
4 pm; and by appointment
office: HC 116 phone (with voicemail): 280-2632 email: stphns at creighton dot edu
This survey course is a general introduction to the history, literature, material culture, religion, and philosophy of the Near Eastern, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman world in antiquity.
By the end of the course, each student should be able to:
Outline the general history, principal people, and events of each culture;
Identify and discuss the basic authors, literary genres, and works of each culture and the cultural values they embody;
Demonstrate a basic understanding of the cultural context of the literature of each culture;
Demonstrate an understanding of material culture characteristic to each culture;
Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the religion(s) (and perhaps philosophies) of each culture.
Connolly, Peter and Hazel Dodge. The Ancient City: Life in Classical Athens and Rome. Oxford, 1998. ISBN 0-19-521582-6.
Homer. The Essential Iliad; translated and edited by Stanley Lombardo. Hackett, 2000. ISBN 0-87220-542-8.
Stiebing, Jr., William H. Ancient Near Eastern History and Culture. Pearson, 2009. ISBN 0-321-42297-X.
Virgil. The Essential Aeneid; translated and edited by Stanley Lombardo. Hackett, 2006. ISBN 0-87220-790-0.
photocopy packet of readings in Mesopotamian and Egyptian literature ($4.50 – purchase from Ms. Dahlin in Modern Languages office)
The Interactive Ancient Mediterranean Project (Ancient World Mapping Center)
Punctual attendance of every class is both expected and required. Excused absences will be those caused by your own medical emergency or a documented death in your immediate family. Six (6) or more unexcused absences will earn an F due to excessive absence (a grade of AF). Three (3) tardies count as an unexcused absence.
Our classroom is a community of thinkers cooperating in classical inquiry. Consequently, the purpose of being in class is to pay close attention to the lecture and discussion and to participate in the discussion. Taking notes on paper during class is very strongly recommended. Use of electronic devices in class is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. These devices include laptop computers, handheld computers, iPods, Blackberries, cameras, audio recorders, cell phones, and similar devices. If you choose to bring such devices to the classroom, they are to be safely stored away and kept off during class.
Papers must be well-focused. The thesis should be clearly stated in bold-face in the introductory paragraph. Paragraphs should be logically connected and the conclusion well-substantiated. Works cited should be listed on a separate page at the end (after the body of the paper). Writing should be concise and clear, enabling the reader to follow the argument easily. The paper should be free of spelling and other mechanical errors. Students should not assume that the reader knows anything about the topic. The paper should have a cover page with a title, the student’s name, the course name, the instructor’s name, and the word count of the body of the paper.
For help finding information specific to your paper topic, go to http://reinert.creighton.edu/services/instruction/rap/rap.htm and complete the form with details of your paper assignment. Our terrific librarians can then assist you.
First, the ideas you present and the arguments you advance must be your own. So USE THE FIRST PERSON. When you draw on other sources, whether the lecturers on our course, the books in our course, or other sources you found in doing your research, then you must give credit where credit is due. It is perfectly fine if, after you have informed yourself about what somebody else says about your topic, you decide to agree with that person, but you must explicitly state whose idea you are affirming. Failure to refer to the source of the idea you print in your paper is plagiarism.
Second, your professor doesn’t want you merely to report on what other people think about your topic anyway. The thesis of your thesis paper must be what you really think. Your professor does not know what you think about your research topic which you have chosen to explore, and what your reasons are for thinking that way. So be sure to write only what you really believe, and explain why you believe those things. If you say what you believe but don’t explain why, then you are sincerely voicing your opinion, but not writing a thesis paper. Your thesis paper is your exploration, analysis, and evaluation of an intellectually interesting subject touched upon in, or appropriate for, this course. It is not a book report. So concentrate on presenting your own arguments and don’t merely report someone else’s arguments or voice your unexamined, unsupported opinions. Present the research you have done in a digested form, with your considered comments, thoughtful reflections, and careful evaluations of what others have written about your chosen topic.
Remember that what you are trying to do is persuade the reader that there are good reasons for believing that your thesis is true. You do this by examining the concepts involved, weighing evidence for and against your thesis, and logically assessing reasons. Feelings have nothing to do with inquiring into an intellectual issue. For one thing, your professor has no way of grading your feelings. For example, don’t fall into the very common habit of writing things like: “Achilles felt that he was the greatest of all heroes” or “I feel that Aeneas is more of a tragic figure than an epic hero.” People feel hot or cold, bored or excited, happy or sad. A thesis paper is about reasoned chains of thought, substantiated judgments, and arguments based on research. It is emphatically not about feelings. “I feel that...” is unacceptably subjective. In contrast, “I argue that...” implies that there are objective grounds for the author’s position. So think clearly and reason logically in writing your paper. Don’t feel your way through it. This is a thesis paper, not a diary or a love letter, so DON'T USE THE VERB "FEEL" when you should instead say “think,” “believe,” “judge,” or “argue.”
In your introductory paragraph you should:
If you want to, you can also state the two or three main reasons (which you will expound on at length in the body of your paper) which support your thesis. If you choose to do this, do it briefly. Your introductory paragraph should be no longer than one third of a page.
A large part of improving your writing skills is learning how to use words with greater precision and subtlety. One type of imprecise claim is the overgeneralization. Claims like “All people know so and so” and “Every society is such and such” are most probably false. It takes only one counterexample to refute a hastily made, broad generalization, so be very careful about making universal claims. A more accurate claim might be “Most people know so and so” or “Many societies are such and such.” Remember that for an argument to be cogent all of its premises must be true, or at least acceptable. If your argument contains even one false or questionable generalization, then it will not be cogent.
Even qualified claims that assert that “Most A’s are B’s” need to be supported by some kind of evidence. If you claim that “Most Egyptians were happy people,” then you need to cite some kind of evidence of this. Your paper is an argumentative essay aimed at persuading the reader to believe your thesis. Your arguments should not rest on your shaky, generalized speculations. Your goal is to convince the reader what the reader ought to believe (on the basis of the reasons and researched evidence you present).
The print should be sufficiently dark and distinct. Don’t frustrate your professor with faint print. You want to make the paper easy to read, not difficult to read. Therefore, don’t hesitate to put a new cartridge into your printer if the print is not dark and clear.
Font and line spacing
Use an easily legible12 pitch font. Using larger pitch (10 or fewer characters per inch) is another formatting trick which will not fool your professor. The entire text of your paper should be double-spaced except for block quotations (see below). Don’t triple or quadruple space between paragraphs since this another waste of space and paper.
Your top, bottom, left, and right hand margins should all be one inch wide. Margins wider than that are a waste of space and a waste of paper. Margins narrower than that make it difficult for your professor to write comments beside the text. If your paper is too short (i.e. is fewer than 1400 words), then devote your energy to thinking about your topic more instead of trying to disguise your paper so that it looks longer than it really is.
“Quote” is a verb. Researchers quote various authors. “Quotation” is a noun. Quotations which are longer than three lines should be set off in single-spaced block paragraphs. The following is an example of such a quotation.
Compare writing an essay with riding in an automobile. If a passenger does not know the destination, it will be difficult for him to remember the roads he has taken. If, on the other hand, the destination is known, then every left and right turn, every sign and traffic signal, is organized in relation to that destination. (A. P. Martinich, Philosophical Writing. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1989. p.32)
Notice that there are no quotation marks around this direct quotation. That is because the single-spacing of the block paragraph format indicates that it is a direct quotation, so no additional punctuation is needed.
Quotations which are three lines or shorter should be put within double quotation marks like this: “Do not confuse rhetorical pyrotechnics for philosophical light” (A. P. Martinich, Philosophical Writing. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1989. p. 33). Notice that the period is inserted after the citation, and not inside the last quotation mark. Be alert: don’t make this common mistake. If you directly quote a passage which contains a word or phrase which itself appears within quotation marks in the text, then you should put single quotation marks around that embedded phrase, and double quotation marks around the whole quoted passage.
References and Notes
Follow Turabian, The Chicago Manual of Style, or The MLA Citation Style. The choice is yours, but be consistent in all your references and the bibliography.
A paper without a title is like a child without a name. The title should give the reader a good idea about the content of your paper. It should be specific, not something like “Greek Literature” or “Gladiators.” Use your imagination and make it clever. Finding an appropriate title for your paper can be a fun, creative process, so enjoy it and come up with a good one.
The bibliography is not a place to list several entries which you found in the library but never actually read in preparing your paper. The bibliography allows you to give credit to the sources you have actually read and learned from in stimulating your thinking about your thesis. Include all those books, articles, internet resources, etc. and only those books, articles, internet resources, etc. in the bibliography that you actually read parts of and used to collect evidence in support of your thesis.
Do not print a number the cover page; it functions as page zero. Label the page your introductory paragraph is on “1.” Every page after that should be numbered consecutively (“2” and so forth), including your endnotes page (if you have one) and your bibliography (works cited page). DON’T NEGLECT TO NUMBER YOUR PAGES.
Staple your pages together in the upper left hand corner. Do NOT use a paper clip. Paper clips can come off too easily and get hooked onto other students’ papers. Do NOT use plastic binders or paper folders; they are a waste of your money.
Proofreading and Correcting
The single biggest problem with student papers is that they are not adequately proofread. Sloppiness detracts from the quality of the content of your paper. A sloppy paper will get a lower grade. Considerably sloppy typing, spelling, punctuation, usage, or references will lower the grade considerably.
The papers will be scored on a 100 point scale. Please turn them in on time. A request for an extension of the paper due date must be made no fewer than three days before the posted due date. The December 12, 1:00 pm deadline for the paper is firm. A late paper will be penalized one letter grade (10 points) for each hour after 1:00 pm it is turned in late (e.g. a paper turned in between 1:01 pm and 2:00 pm will be penalized 10 pts.; a paper turned in between 2:01 pm and 3:00 pm will be penalized 20 pts., and so forth).
Grades for this paper will be earned according to the following criteria.
A: exceptional work.
‘A’ papers are free of spelling, grammatical, and other technical errors. Such papers display evidence of real engagement with and understanding of the issues and texts. Further, such papers have a strong thesis paragraph and well-reasoned argument supported by convincing and well-chosen evidence. Attention to detail and style in the presentation of context distinguish A papers. Exam scores 90% or above.
B: good work.
These papers fall short of ‘A’ papers usually in style and development. They have some errors in grammar, usage, punctuation and spelling, but usually few. They have a strong thesis paragraph and well-reasoned argument supported by textual evidence. May show less intellectual engagement with the issues than the ‘A’ paper. Exam scores 87 to <90% for a B+; 80 to <87% for a B.
C: average work.
Such papers address the assignment directly and relatively clearly, but without significant depth or clarity. A ‘C’ paper generally supplies some support for assertions, but it is not thorough. A ‘C’ paper often has an ‘anonymous’ quality to it, restating standard opinion or assertions without going into depth or developing an individual voice. A ‘C’ means that the work is basically solid and acceptable, at least 1600 words in length, but not distinguished. Exam scores 77 to <80% for a C+; 70 to <77% for a C.
D: below average work.
A ‘D’ paper addresses the assignment only in a brief way, avoiding some requirements. I t is often characterized by many general statements without proof, support, or justification. Its usage, grammar, punctuation, or spelling are such that reading the paper is somewhat difficult; it has more than a few such errors per page. It is kept from being an ‘F’ paper by the fact that it does address the assignment in some way, having some structure and making coherent points. A paper of fewer than 1600 words cannot earn better than a D. Exam scores 60 to <70%.
Such papers contain copious mechanical errors and other evidence of carelessness or sloppiness. They lack a viable thesis and supporting evidence. A paper which may be acceptable in style and development, but which does not address the assignment at all, may also be given a grade of F. A paper of fewer than 1600 words may earn an F. Exam scores below 60%.
Academic honesty is expected and required: each paper must be your own work and must be written for this class. No papers may be written jointly. All graded assignments and exams should be completed by each individual without collaboration with other students, unless the instructor has designated otherwise. Proven academic dishonesty will result in failure of the course. The Undergraduate Bulletin defines academic dishonesty in the following way: “Academic or academic-related misconduct includes, but is not limited to, unauthorized collaboration or use of external information during examinations; plagiarizing or representing another’s ideas as one’s own; furnishing false academic information to the University; falsely obtaining, distributing, using or receiving test materials; falsifying academic records . . . misusing academic resources; defacing or tampering with library materials; obtaining or gaining unauthorized access to examinations or academic research material . . . or engaging in any conduct which is intended or reasonably likely to confer upon oneself or another an unfair advantage or unfair benefit respecting an academic matter.” For the full text consult the “Policy on Academic Honesty” section of the Creighton University Bulletin, or the Creighton University Student Handbook. In addition, all students should take time to familiarize themselves with the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Honesty Procedures at http://puffin.creighton.edu/ccas/FacStaff/polManual.htm.
Class cancellation procedure
If class is cancelled, there will be a notice of the cancellation (on CANES or Philosophy Dept. letterhead) on the classroom door, together with the assignment for the next class meeting. This notice will be signed either by the instructor or the departmental administrative assistant. If the university closes due to bad weather, students should prepare for the next class what they would have prepared for that snow day.
Keep in Contact with the Instructor throughout the Course
|If anything hinders you from doing the assigned reading, attending class, participating in discussions, studying for quizzes, or writing your paper, please come see me or call me or email me or leave a note in my mailbox or under my office door. Whatever happens to you, please keep in contact with Prof. Stephens. Failure to do so can have unhappy consequences. Together we can work any problem out, but it is your responsibility to read and reply to any emails from me. I will notify students of revisions to the syllabus via email. I may make announcements to the class via email. Consequently, students are expected to check their email inboxes often, but at least before every class.|
The Ancient Near East
Wed. Aug. 27 Introduction to course, syllabus, policies; Mesopotamia: I Have Conquered the River (59 min. video) on reserve at Reinert Library
Wed. Sept. 3 Stiebing, Ancient Near Eastern History and Culture, Chapter 1: Introduction (pp. 1–28)
Mon. Sept. 8 Steibing,
Chapter 2: The Dawn of Civilization in Western Asia (pp. 31–66)
Chapter 3: The First Mesopotamian Empires – The Akkadian Empire (pp. 69–79)
Wed. Sept. 10 Steibing, Chapter 3: The
First Mesopotamian Empires – The Third Dynasty of
Ur, Persian Gulf and Central Asian Civs (pp. 79–90)
Chapter 4: The Old Babylonian Period and its Aftermath (pp. 92–115)
Mon. Sept. 15 Dr Clark’s guest lecture on Mesopotamian literature (photocopy packet). Powerpoint on BlueLine under “Lessons”
Wed. Sept. 17 Exam #1
Mon. Sept. 22 Stiebing, Chapter 5: Egypt to the End of the Old Kingdom (pp. 117–146)
Wed. Sept. 24 Dr Clark’s guest lecture on Egyptian literature (photocopy packet). Powerpoint on BlueLine under “Lessons”
Mon. Sept. 29 Dr Averett’s guest lecture on Mesopotamian art & archaeology: Reading and Powerpoint on BlueLine under “Lessons”
Wed. Oct. 1
Stiebing, Chapter 6:
The Rise and Fall of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom (pp. 150–171)
Chapter 7: Egypt’s Powerful Eighteenth Dynasty (pp. 173–202) Akhenaton May Have Been a Natural Transsexual
Mon. Oct. 6
Stiebing, Chapter 10: Mesopotamian Supremacy (pp. 275–309)
Chapter 11: The Achaemenid Persian Empire (pp. 312–343)
Chapter 12: The Legacy of the Ancient Near East (pp. 346–352)
Wed. Oct. 8 Exam #2
Mon. Oct. 13 Homer, The Essential
Iliad, intro. & selections from Books 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 12 (pp. ix–xlii,
Stiebing, Chapter 8: The End of the Bronze Age, Debating the Evidence: The Historicity of the Trojan War (211–212)
Wed. Oct. 15 Homer, The Essential Iliad, selections from Books 16, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24 (pp. 79–157)
Mon. Oct. 27 Dr Habash’s guest lecture on Greek religion & burial
Wed. Oct. 29 Connolly & Dodge, The
Ancient City, Part I: Athens (pp. 9–31)
of the ancient Greek world
Chapter 1: The Golden Years: Athens in the 5th c. BCE
Chapter 2: The Keys to Survival: The city’s defenses, food, water
Chapter 3: The Cradle of Democracy
Mon. Nov. 3 Dr Bakewell guest
lecture on Athenian casualty lists and the naval catalogue
Read: Bakewell, “Written Lists of Military Personnel in Classical Athens”
Bakewell, “Trierarchs’ Records and the Athenian Naval Catalogue”
Connolly & Dodge, The Ancient City, Part I: Athens (pp. 32–47)
Chapter 4: Daily Life in 5th c. BCE Athens
Chapter 5: Work: Earning a living in Athens
Wed. Nov. 5 Connolly & Dodge, The
Ancient City, Part I: Athens (pp. 48–101)
Read Aristophanes’ Clouds handout (Peter Meineck tr.) or internet edition: The Internet Classics Archive | The Clouds by Aristophanes
Chapter 6: The Houses of Athens
Chapter 7: Temples of the Gods
Chapter 8: A Festival for Athena: Celebrations and sports
Chapter 9: The Theatre: Athenian drama
300 (2007) will be screened Wednesday, November 5, at 8:00 pm in Reinert Library LO2.
Mon. Nov. 10 Exam #3
Wed. Nov. 12 Dr Bucher’s
guest lecture on Roman material culture; C & D, Part II: Rome
(pp. 105–121) Powerpoint on BlueLine
Chapter 1: The Site of Rome: Rome before the Empire
Chapter 2: The Imperial Capital: The transformation of Rome during the reign of Augustus
Mon. Nov. 17 C & D, Part II: Rome
Chapter 3: Government: Roman law and the civil service
Chapter 4: Food and Water: Aqueducts and the ports of Rome
Chapter 5: Houses and Apartments
Wed. Nov. 19 C & D, Part II: Rome
Chapter 6: Daily Life in 1st and 2nd c. CE Rome
Chapter 7: Shops, Bars and Restaurants: Commercial activity in Rome Roman roads (Wikipedia)
Chapter 8: Many Gods Spartacus (1960) at Film Streams Nov. 21–26
Chapter 9: A Day at the Races: Chariot racing at the Circus Maximus Ben Hur chariot race in the Circus Maximus (9 mins.)
Mon. Nov. 24 C & D, Part II: Rome
Chapter 10: The Theatre: Farce, parody and other aspects of Roman drama
Chapter 11: The Colosseum: Gladiatorial games at Rome’s arena complex
Chapter 12: A New Palace: The great palace complex of Domitian
Mon. Dec. 1 Virgil, The Essential Aeneid, intro. & Books 1, 2, 4 (pp. ix–xxxii, 1–74)
Wed. Dec. 3 Dr Hause’s guest lecture on Virgil, The Essential Aeneid, selections from Books 6, 7, 8 (pp. 75–135)
Mon. Dec. 8 Virgil, The Essential Aeneid, selections from Books 9, 10, 11, 12 (pp. 136–197)
Wed. Dec. 10 C & D, Part II: Rome
Horace, Ode 1.11;
Seneca, selections from To
Novatus On Anger
Chapter 13: The Age of Apollodorus, Trajan’s chief architect
Chapter 14: The Great Baths: the thermae
Chapter 15: The City in Late Antiquity: Rome after Hadrian
Fri. Dec. 12 at 1:00 pm Research Paper DUE
Wed. December 17, 1:00 – 2:40 pm Final Exam (= Exam #4)
* The instructor reserves the right, at his discretion, to make minor changes to this syllabus during the course including scheduling of due dates, exams, and assignments. *
last updated 12 December 2008
Copyright © 2008, William O. Stephens