Fall 2010 Western Civ Midterm Exam Questions:

You will have an essay exam on October 14.  That day, I will give you two of the following four questions.  You will have the choice of answering one or the other.   The only way to be prepared for the exam is to prepare for all four questions.

You will be allowed to use one sheet of paper (front and back), on which you may print organizational outlines for your four answers.  The organizational outline can include “facts” and a few sentences of quotations for use in each essay.  But it cannot contain full text of sentences for your answers (other than quotations); that will be considered cheating.  This is an in-class exam; you must write the essay in class!  You will turn in your outlines with the exam.  Not doing so, or substituting a different page when you turn in the exam, will be considered cheating.  

Your answers must be essays organized in coherent paragraphs.

You should have an introductory paragraph that states your main points (your basic answer to the question).

Your essay should have three to eight "body" paragraphs that explain your main ideas (the main points of your answer) and discuss the evidence. 

Each body paragraph should focus on one distinct idea.  The task of that paragraph is to explain that one specific idea as fully as possible. 

In each body paragraph, you must discuss the evidence that supports your idea in that paragraph--examples from the textbook, lectures, and documents. 

In each body paragraph, you must clearly explain how or why the evidence (those examples) connects to your idea in that paragraph.

You should have a concluding paragraph that summarizes your main points. 


1)      Discuss and explain how religion and history were used as tools for legitimating (justifying and strengthening) the power of governments in the ancient world.  Use examples from Sumer-Mesopotamia and at least two other cultures (e.g., Egypt, the Hebrews, Greece, Rome ).  Give specific examples for each case.

2)      Discuss and explain what laws and legal codes tell us about the organization of government, the social structure, and economic structure in at least three different cultures in the Ancient world (e.g., Summer-Mesopotamia, the Hebrews, Rome).  Give specific examples for each case.

3)      Discuss and explain the relationship between war and changes in the political systems in Athens between 500 BCE and 400 BCE and in the Roman Republic between 500 BCE and 30 BCE.  Give specific examples for each case.

4)      Discuss and explain how and why conquests in ancient Mesopotamia and Alexander the Great’s conquests resulted in “hybrid cultures” (blended aspects of the culture and traditions of the conquered peoples with those of their conquerors).   Give specific examples for each case.