to syllabus

Unit 1:  Pre-History and the Foundations of Western Civilization. 


QUIZ 1 will include Key Terms in Hunt, p. 41


Questions on Hunt

Prologue (P1-P16)

1.Why is the period before 4000 BCE often considered "pre-history"?

2. How did Paleolithic peoples feed themselves, and how did that relate to the ways they organized their communities, their social hierarchies, and religious beliefs?

3. When, where, and why did people first begin farming?

4. How did farming alter the ways that people organized their communities, their social hierarchies, and their religious beliefs?


Ch. 1 (pp. 1-41)

1.  What do the authors consider to be the most useful "definition" of the word "civilization", and what areas of the world do they define as part of "Western civilization" in 4000-1000 BCE?

2.  Think about what the authors tell us regarding Sumer, Akkad, Babylon, and Assyria.  What main features did these societies have in common.  (For instance, where did they live and why?  What was the basis of their economies?   Was there a social hierarchy?  If so, what groups had power and what groups did not?  Who controlled property and who decided how it would be used? Who did the farm labor?  How was the government organized?  What was the connection between the government and religion?)

3. How was the invention of writing connected to developments in the economy, in government, and in religion?

4. What were the biggest differences between society in Egypt in 3050-1000 BCE and the Mesopotamian kingdoms?  (Think about the features of society that I asked you about in question 2.)

5. Why did the Canaanites develop an alphabet and why was this so important?

6.  How did Hebrew religious beliefs in about 1000 BCE differ from the other religions discussed in this chapter?

7.  Why was warfare and the ability to sail so important to the power of these societies:   the Hittites, the Minoans and the Mycenaeans?

BIG QUESTION:  Think about the entire chapter.  In what ways were all of these societies connected as part of one common "civilization"?  Give examples to defend your position.


Questions on Lualdi

When you read the Luadi assignments, you must answer these six questions for each document:


We will focus on two documents for this unit:  "The Code of Hammurabi" (pp. 13-21) and The Book of Exodus, ch. 19-28 (pp. 21-28).

Answer the "Six Questions" for both documents:

Remember that the Book of Exodus is part of the Hebrew Bible.  According to the traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the person who first wrote down the first five books of the Bible (including Exodus) was the prophet Moses, who simply wrote what was dictated to him by God.  But historians generally believe that the first written versions of Exodus probably date back to around 500 BCE, and the the "final" version that is now found in the Bible was probably edited between 100 BCE and 100 CE.

OK.  Here are the main discussion questions for these two documents:

1. What do these documents tell us about social hierarchies in Babylon and among the Hebrews?

2.  What do these documents tell us about how the Babylonians and the Hebrews understood the nature of Justice?