Humanities I

The Ancient, Classical, and Medieval Worlds (680:021:02)

Spring 2007


The study of the humanities seeks to uncover humankind's continuing experience by engaging in a critical inquiry about events that have occurred, are occurring in the present, and are likely to occur in the future. Because the methods that we use to comprehend the past are similar to the skills we use to understand the present, the study of the humanities will help us to recognize those elements of the past that continue to shape our present society.

This major goals of this course are:

  1. To learn about the major events and ideas that have shaped western civilization.
  2. To learn how developments in science, technology, and the arts have impacted thought, social institutions, material production and daily life.
  3. To learn how the shifting relations between religion, society, and the state influence events.
  4. To learn how to view current events in a long perspective in order to understand how contemporary society continues to be shaped by the past.
  5. To develop the analytical skills of writing, reading, critical inquiry, and discussion which remain the core of a liberal arts education.

This course, through readings and class lectures, examines the development of western civilization and culture from its beginnings in the ancient Near East through the 13th century. The historical portion of this class will discuss the development of key figures, ideas, and values which have been most influential in shaping our present world. Primary texts in the fields of literature, religion and philosophy then illumine first-hand the historical background mentioned above, helping to make past ideas and events "come alive" for current UNI students.

Abu Simbel, Egypt
Photograph by Kenneth Atkinson

Acropolis, Athens, Greece
Photograph by Kenneth Atkinson

Pyramids, Egypt
Photograph by Kenneth Atkinson

Visit the following links for information about my course and for links to other related sites.


2010 Spring Syllabus








Be Creative! Take Humanities!

Artist in the Louvre, Paris, France
(Photograph by Kenneth Atkinson)

Mt. Ararat, Turkey, Legendary home of Noah's Ark
Photograph by Kenneth Atkinson


Sites to help you write your essays:

Dr. Grammar (UNI's Dr. Grammar will personally answer your grammatical questions).
UNI Online Writing Guide (A great resource!).
Temple University Writing Center (Great guides to help you write academic papers).


Get a Straight Perspective on Life! Take Humanities!

Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
Photograph by Kenneth Atkinson

Berlin Wall, former West Berlin
Photograph by Kenneth Atkinson

Nemrut Dag, Turkey
Photograph by Kenneth Atkinson

Roman Library of Celsus, Ephesus, Turkey
Photograph by Kenneth Atkinson


Temple of Apollo at Didyma, Turkey

Photograph by Kenneth Atkinson

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