05-1 (Fall 2004)

Instructor: Bruce L. Venarde
Office: Posvar Hall 3522, 624-8437
Office hours: Thursdays, 11:30-1 and by appointment
E-mail: bvenarde@pitt.edu


Teaching Fellows: Annamarie Apple and Niklas Frykman


History 0100 is an introduction to the study of history in the form of a rapid survey of the origins and development of Western societies and institutions from the ancient Near East through the seventeenth century. The primary goals of History 0100 are 1) to familiarize you with  basic chronology, geography, and themes of early Western cultures and 2) to introduce you to critical analysis of written and visual materials from the past (“primary sources”).  The first of these aims will be attained through textbook reading and in lectures.  The second will be accomplished largely in section meetings.  Lectures will cover many topics, but there will be emphasis on the organization of power, religion, and women’s experience.  The lectures are by necessity brief overviews, so completing the assigned reading and attending sections matters a great deal to what you will learn in this course.  Readings, lectures, and section meetings are designed to work in tandem.  Since examinations derive in large part from lectures and sections, regular attendance at all class meetings is vital. 

Despite its low number, History 0100 presents the challenge of keeping up week by week. Without consistent attendance in lectures and sections and careful, steady reading of the textbook, this course quickly turns into a nightmare of indigestible and incomprehensible details that will leave you floundering.  If you have enrolled in the hopes of an effortless way to fulfill a General Education requirement, I urge you to reconsider.  This is not an easy course; it requires no less effort than an introductory course in a non-Western language or physical science.  The attached “survival guide” explains in more detail what to expect and how to succeed.



•                Attendance and participation in sections (approximately 20%)
•                In-class examination, Thursday, September 30th (approximately 20%)
•                In-class examination, Tuesday, November 2nd (approximately 25%) 
•                Final examination, Wednesday, December 15th (approximately 35%)


1.  Attendance and participation in section will be reflected in your final grade; motivated efforts are generously rewarded.  Come to recitation ready to recap the themes of the week’s lectures and textbook assignment and to discuss the primary sources.
2. Examinations consist of short answers and essays; a map quiz is part of the final.  Topics for essays, a list of terms for short answers, and a list of geographical terms (for the map quiz on the final) will be distributed in advance. 
3. Exams are not cumulative, with the exception that the map quiz on the final will cover geographical terms from the entire semester. 
4. Make-up exams may be scheduled in case of physical or psychological distress or other emergency, but please contact the instructor before the exam if at all possible.  You must present written documentation from a physician, dean, or other authority before making up an exam.
5. In theory it is possible to pass the course after missing a test, but in practice it has never happened. 
6. Absence from the final exam will result in a "G" if excused, a failing grade otherwise.


BOOKS (available at the Book Center) 

Thomas F.X. Noble et al., Western Civilization: The Continuing Experiment, 4th ed., volume 1
Aristophanes, Lysistrata
The Poem of the Cid
Aphra Behn, Oroonoko and Other Writings
Europe Problem Map #33


Part I: The Heritage of the West


Week of August 30th: Beginnings, to ca. 1100 BC                           
Reading:  Thomas F. X. Noble et al., Western Civilization: The Continuing Experiment, 4rd ed., volume 1 (hereafter “Noble”), pp. xvii-xx, 1-30                                               

 Week of September 6th: Cities and Empires in the Ancient World, ca. 2500-ca.500 BC
              Noble, pp. 31-67

Week of September 13th:  Archaic and Classical Greece
                Noble, pp.  68-94, 98-103
                Aristophanes, Lysistrata

Week of  September 20th: From Greece to Rome (via Pakistan), ca. 400-133 BC
             Noble, pp. 94-98, 104-160

Week of September 27th: Rome from Republic to Empire, 133 BC-14 AD
                Noble, pp. 160-180                               


Part II: The Christian West 

Week of October 4th: The End of Antiquity, 14 AD-ca. 500 AD
                Noble, pp.181-223

Week of October 11th: Three Early Medieval Societies, ca. 500-ca. 900
                Noble, pp. 223-273   

Week of October 18th: The Birth of Europe, ca. 900-ca.1300
            Noble, pp. 274-292, 300-352
            The Poem of the Cid

Week of October 25th: Politics, Popes, and Plague, ca. 1150-ca. 1350
                Noble, pp. 292-300, 354-378, 390-391 


Note: There will be no class meeting on Thursday, November 4th

 Part III: New West, New Worlds 

Week of November 8th:  Old and New, ca. 1350-ca.1550
       Noble, pp. 378-427

Week of November 15th: Modernity? New Horizons at Home and Abroad, ca. 1400-ca. 1550
            Noble, pp. 416-417 (review) 428-467

Week of November 22nd:  Religion and Rulership in the Sixteenth Century
            Noble, pp. 467-496

Week of November 29th: Not Quite Modern Yet: War and Mentalities, ca. 1555-ca. 1700
                Noble, pp. 498-537, 572-590
                Aphra Behn, Oroonoko (Oroonoko and Other Writings, pp. 3-73)

Week of December 6th: The Foundations of the Modern West in the Seventeenth Century
                Noble, pp. 477-482 and 518-522 (review), 538-571