ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL CIVILIZATION/HUMANITIES 101 A (Honors)/

Fall Semester 2006/MWF 1-2:05 pm

Professor George Dameron (Department of History); Library 306 (x2318)

Personal web page: http://academics.smcvt.edu/gdameron/

Humanities Program web page: http://academics.smcvt.edu/humanities/

Office Hours:   Monday, 9-11 ; Wednesday, 2:30-3:30 ; and by appointment

 

 

The Abbey of Pontigny, early 12th century (Photo:  George Dameron)/Copyright G. Dameron

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

Humanities 101 is an interdisciplinary, 4-credit writing-intensive course that fulfills any of the three humanities liberal studies requirements (literary studies, historical studies, or culture and civilization).  It is a companion course to Humanities 102 (Modern Civilization).  Humanities 101 surveys issues and problems in pre-modern European intellectual and cultural development by focusing on some of the most influential, well written, and provocative texts from Antiquity and the Middle Ages (c. 500 BCE-1400 CE).

 

GOALS OF THE COURSE:

The purposes of this interdisciplinary course are as follows: 1) to improve and enhance critical thinking and writing, 2)  explore the principal intellectual and cultural issues associated with the ancient and medieval periods by studying a selection of highly significant and influential texts within an historical context, 3)  stimulate student interest in the cultural and intellectual traditions associated with Antiquity and the Middle Ages, 4) nurture a greater understanding and appreciation of literature and the arts from the ancient and medieval eras, 5) explore and examine how Roman, Christian, Germanic, Islamic traditions interacted to produce a distinctive culture in Europe during the Middle Ages; 6) require students to produce a short research paper, and 7)  fulfill one of three Liberal Studies Requirements (culture and civilization, historical studies, and literary studies).  

 

COURSE FORMAT:

Class meetings will focus on the discussion of assigned texts.  There will be occasional, informal lectures.   On every Friday there will be either a one-page, typed focus paper due that responds to a question about the assigned reading, or there will be a short quiz.  A 7-9 page research paper on an issue associated with the readings is to be handed in at my office on November 14 (a Tuesday).  There will also be two exams:  an hourly on October 6 and a final examination on December 13.

 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:

         Attendance and participation (10% of final grade). Evaluation will be based on attendance, degree of involvement in discussions, level of familiarity with the readings, prompt submission of written assignments, and overall amount of effort brought to the course. As a courtesy, the student should regularly inform the instructor in advance of any anticipated absence. Please arrange all travel arrangements so that they do not conflict with scheduled classes and the final exam on December 13. 

         Quizzes (10% of final grade) and focus papers (10% of final grade).  Except for compelling personal and medical reasons, no make-ups will be given.  No late focus papers will be accepted.  All focus papers should be typed, one-page, and handed in to the Professor during class.  There will be six (6) brief quizzes, and the lowest quiz score will be dropped.  There will also be six (6) focus papers, and students can choose to skip one focus paper without affecting their grade adversely. 

         An hourly examination (October 6; 20% of final grade).  Short answer questions, map, and choice of essay.  There will be no make-ups except for medical or for compelling personal reasons.

         A research paper (20%), due November 14, 7-9 pages, excluding footnotes and bibliography.  The subject of the paper will focus on a common theme connecting two or more of the texts we read this semester.  A list of possible topics will be distributed after the hourly.  Several books will be placed on reserve for research purposes.  Late papers will be penalized half a letter grade for every day they are late.

         Final Exam (30% of final grade). Essay, map, and short answer.  

 

THE HUMANITIES PROGRAM CONCERT SERIES

The Humanities Program sponsors two concerts per year.  I encourage students to attend the fall concert.

 

eCOLLEGE

eCollege is web based course management system that we will use for this course.   Accessible through eCollege are the syllabus, announcements about upcoming events, any documents or texts, study questions, and any other communication that I deem important to the management of the course.   The URL location for eCollege is www.smcvtonline.org, and you should place it in your Favorites folder.   Students can access eCollege by using their Login ID (the mikenet name) and College ID#, which functions as the password.

 

THE HUMANITIES PROGRAM WEB PAGE and PROFESSOR DAMERONíS WEB SITE

At my personal web site students will find another online copy of the course syllabus.   My web site also includes links to some of the most important internet sites associated with Medieval Studies.  There is also a Humanities Program web site which includes information on the Humanities Program Concert Series, courses, and Humanities Program history.  The web page is at  http://academics.smcvt.edu/humanities/

 

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY POLICY:

Plagiarism is a serious academic offense.  According to the Academic Integrity Policy of Saint Michaelís College plagiarism is the presentation of ďanother person's ideas as your own, by directly quoting or indirectly paraphrasing, without properly citing the original source.  This includes inadvertent failure to properly acknowledge sources."  The penalties for plagiarism can range from receiving a failing grade for the plagiarized assignment to receiving a failing grade in the course.  In some cases plagiarism can result in suspension or expulsion from the college. 

 

DOCUMENTED LEARNING DISABILITIES

Students with documented learning disabilities should discuss with me whatever special accommodations are necessary regarding assignments and examinations.   Special documentation of such needs should be obtained through the office of the Coordinator of Academic Compliance (Ms. Toni Messuri).

 

REQUIRED TEXTS FOR PURCHASE IN THE COLLEGE BOOKSTORE:

 

Humanities 101A

 

Humanities 101B (Honors)

 

ONLINE READINGS:

         St. Perpetua, Passion of Sts. Perpetua and Felicity (Internet Womenís History Sourcebook)

         Selection from The Life of Mohammed; The Quíran (Surahs 1 and 47) (Internet Islamic History Sourcebook)

         Suetonius, Life of Augustus (Internet Ancient History Sourcebook)

 

CLASS SCHEDULE

 

August 28

INTRODUCTION TO COURSE

 

ANTIQUITY (500 BCE-600 CE)

August 30

Genesis, chapters 1-20; Exodus, chapters 1-20

 

September 1 (focus paper)

Lecture and Presentation:  Virgil and the Roman Empire

Reading:  Suetonius, Life of Augustus (online)

 

September 4

Virgil, Books 1 and 2

 

September 6

Virgil, Books 3 and 4

 

September 8 (quiz)

Virgil, Books 5 and 6

 

September 11

Virgil, Books 7 and 8

 

September 13

Virgil, Books 9 and 10

 

September 15 (focus paper)

Virgil, Books 11 and 12

 

September 18

Lecture and Presentation:  Late Antiquity and the Coming of Christianity

 

September 20

The Gospel of Saint Mathew

 

September 22 (quiz)

The Passion of Saints Perpetua and Felicity (online)

 

LATE ANTQUITY (200-600)

 

September 25

Lecture and Presentation:  Saint Augustine

Augustine, Books 1 and 2

 

September 27

Augustine, Books 3 and 4

 

September 29 (focus paper)

Augustine, Books 5 and 6

 

October 2

Augustine, Books 7 and 8

 

October 4

Augustine, Book 9

 

October 6

Hourly Examination

 

October 9 and 10:  no classes

 

October 11 (focus paper)

Saint Benedict, The Rule

 

 

THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES (600-1000)

 

October 13

Islam

Readings:  Selection from The Life of Mohammed; The Quíran (Surahs 1 and 47) (online)

 

October  16

Lecture and Presentation:  The Carolingians

 

October 18 and 20 (quiz)

Einhard

 

October 23

Notker the Stammerer

 

THE LATER MIDDLE AGES (1000-1400)

 

October 25

Abelard, Historia calamitatum

 

October 27 (focus paper) and 30

Abelard and Heloise:  The Personal Letters

 

November 1

Abelard and Heloise:  The Letters of Direction and Abelardís Confession

 

November 3 (quiz)

The Lais of Marie de France, lays 1-3

 

November 6

The Lais of Marie de France, lays 4-6

 

November 8

The Lais of Marie de France, lays 7-9

 

November 10 (focus paper)

The Lais of Marie de France, lays 10-12

 

November 13

Lecture and Presentation:  Dante and Florence

 

November 14 (Tuesday)

Paper due (my office)

 

November 15

Dante, cantos 1-8

 

November 17 (quiz)

Dante, cantos 9-16

 

November 20

Dante, cantos 17-24

 

November 21-26

Thanksgiving Break

 

November 27

Dante, cantos 25-33

 

November 29

Chaucer, 3-86

 

December 1 (quiz)

Chaucer, 86-122

 

December 4

Chaucer, 122-176

 

December 6

258-292

 

December 8

Chaucer, 292-320

Petrarch, Sonnet 1, from the Canzoniere (handout)

Conclusion and summary of course

 

FINAL EXAM:   Wednesday, December 13, 1-3:30.