History Courses

HIST 120   "The Ancient and Medieval West" (CH)

A survey of Western Civilization from its origins in the ancient Near East, through Greece and Rome, to the late Middle Ages.  Political history is balanced by social, cultural, and intellectual history with an emphasis on those elements which became part of the Western Heritage.  Offered annually.

HIST 212    "Ancient Greece" (CH)

This course focuses on cultural and historical change in the Greek world beginning with the Bronze Age and continuing until the death of Alexander the Great (1300-323 BC). Emphasis is placed on the interconnection of Greek historical themes with literature, art, and architecture. Offered in alternate years.

HIST 214   "Ancient Rome" (CH)

Charts the political, social, and cultural development of the Roman state from the foundation of the city to the conversion of the emperor Constantine to Christianity (ca. 753 BC - AD 312).  Emphasis will be placed on the multiplicity of peoples and cultures that constituted the Roman state, religious experience and change, the evolution of political institutions, and the variety of sources necessary for our reconstruction of the Roman past, from the literary to the art historical.  Offered in alternate years.

HIST 219   "Oracles and Empires in Ancient Colonization" (CH, W)

Are you clever enough to interpret Apollo’s advice and establish a successful colony?  Colonists in the ancient Mediterranean dominated new territory, but they also reshaped the mother-city’s culture, religion, economy, and intellectual development.  We will examine population movements, while deciphering what assumptions modern colonialism imposes on our material. Offered occasionally.

HIST 316   "The World of Alexander the Great" (CH)

This course sets the life of Alexander the Great (ruled 336-323 BCE) against the backdrop of the politics, society, culture, and religion of his times.  Special attention is paid to the peoples that Alexander encountered in his march eastward into India and the results of this contact on the development of the histories and cultures of both the east and west.   Offered occasionally.

HIST 318   "Blood Rites and Mystery Cults" (CH)

Ancient Roman religion was uniquely open to foreign influence while respecting its own customs.  This course will examine how the Roman people demonstrated this quality as they adopted or adapted new religious ideas and traditions from the beginnings of the Roman monarchy in 753 BCE to the fifth century CE.  Offered occasionally. May Term.