Western Civilization I

Western Civilization I


Fall 2012
08/27/2012 - 12/16/2012

Course Information

Section 002
TTh 10:30 - 11:50
NRG2 2117
Melissa Bonafont

Office Hours

No office hours have been entered for this term

Course Requirements


Course Policies for History 2311

Western Civilization I

Fall Semester 2012


Course information:

Western Civilization I

Section number 002 course synonym 13512

Meeting times:  Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:30 am to 11:50 am 

Place:  Room 2117, Northridge Campus

All course handouts and grades will be posted on Blackboard.



Instructor information:

Professor:  Dr. Melissa Bonafont

Office:  Room 2125, Northridge Campus

Office Hours:  Mondays & Wednesdays noon to 1:30 pm; Tuesdays and Thursdays noon to 1:00 pm

I am also available for conferences outside of these hours by appointment.

Phone:  223-4033



Course description:  Development of ancient, medieval, and early modern civilizations to 1660.


Required textsavailable at the Northridge bookstore and on reserve at the Northridge library:

Mark Kishlansky, Civilization in the West, Volume I:  To 1715 (7th edition).  ISBN# 0-205-55685-X.

Mark Kishlansky, editor, Sources of the West:  Readings in Western Civilization, Volume I:  From the Beginning to 1715 (8th edition).  ISBN# 0-205-05376-0.


Other Supplies You Will Need:

  • A binder or folder with ruled paper for note taking and pockets for handouts.
  • Pens or pencils for note taking.  You may bring your laptop or notebook computer for note taking.
  • #2 pencils and four green scantron answer sheets for test days.



Instructional Methodology:  lecture and discussion.          


Course Rationale:  Please reference the history department website at


Common Course Objectives:  Please reference the history department website at


How Will I Earn My Grade in This Class?

You will take four tests.  Please refer to your course schedule for the dates each test will be given.  Tests are closed book, closed notes.  They consist of a multiple-choice portion and an analytical essay (both are described below).   


Multiple choice exams 25 points ea. X 4  =100 points

Essays 10 points ea. X 4                           =  40 points

Extra Credit (optional)                                        =  10 points           

Total                                                            = 150 points




126 points and above =A (90% of total points from exams and essays)

112 to 125                    =B (80%)

98 to 111                      =C (70%)

84 to 97                        =D (60%)

83 and below               =F


Multiple choice exams (4 @ 25 points each = 100 points)

Each of the four exams consists of 25 objective multiple choice questions which will test your mastery of the unit’s learning objectives (described below).  Each question is worth one point.  You will need a #2 pencil and a green scantron form for the multiple choice portion of the exam.  There will be no retesting option available for multiple choice tests.


Essays (4 @ 10 points each = 40 points)

Essays will ask you to use material from the unit to make a historical argument.

Essay questions are handed out at least one class period before each exam, and are written in class on the day of the test.  You may use pen or pencil for the essay portion of the exam, and I will supply the paper. 

I will assign a grade according to the degree of mastery of the unit’s material and clarity and persuasiveness of the essay.  An exceptional essay would receive nine to ten points, an above average essay eight, and a satisfactory essay seven points.  Below average essays would receive six points, and failing essays would receive five to zero points.  There will be no rewrite option available for essay tests.


In grading the essays, I will be considering:

  1. Does the essay answer all parts of the question fully? 
  2. Does it reflect mastery of the unit’s learning objectives presented in our course materials, from both readings and lectures? 
  3. Does the essay reflect mastery of the relevant assigned primary sources?
  4. Does it reflect independent thought about the topics under consideration? 
  5. Does the essay offer an informed analysis, rather than uninformed personal opinions?
  6. Are examples from the unit’s material, including relevant primary sources, used to prove points and back up generalizations? 
  7. Is the discussion specific, rather than vague? 
  8. Is the essay clearly written? 
  9. Is the structure in essay format, with complete sentences and paragraphs, rather than outline or “laundry list” format?
  10. Is it free of excessive spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors?


Learning Objectives:  your study guide

For each of the course’s four units you will receive a learning objectives handout.  This is your study guide for the unit’s multiple choice test.  You’ll also need to demonstrate mastery of the learning objectives in the essay portion of the exam.  The answers you’re looking for can be found by combining the information from both class time and from the textbooks.  Careful, active reading of the assigned chapters in the textbook and assigned documents is essential.  Equally crucial is active learning in class, including note taking during lectures, discussions, and media presentations.  


Making Up a Missed Test

I will excuse you from testing in class for documentable emergencies such as severe illness or death in the family.  You must be able to provide a document proving an emergency situation kept you from class.  I will not excuse you from testing with the class for reasons like having another test the same day, you forgot, or were unprepared.  All excused absences for tests must be approved by me before the day of the test or, given a documented emergency situation, as soon after the day as possible.  You will not be given an excused absence if you contact me later in the week.  Without an excused absence you will be able to take a make-up test, but your maximum point total will be 70% of the points for each section of the exam.  Make-ups  for tests 1-3 must be completed within one week of the scheduled test date; for test #4, by the last scheduled day our class meets for the semester.  If you fail to take a test or make it up within the allowed period, your score for that test will be a zero.


Petitioning to Change a Test Date

You may petition to change a test date if it conflicts with your schedule.  All petitions must be made during office hours, or by appointment, at least one week before the scheduled test date.  We will arrange a date for you to take a make-up test in the Testing Center. 


Testing Center Policy

Any make-up tests will take place in the Testing Center, Northridge Campus room 3237.  You will need an ACC ID.  Please refer to the Testing Center’s website at


Please be aware that the Northridge Testing Center is a busy facility with limited seats, and that during peak periods wait times can run two to four hours.  It is your responsibility to complete your make-up test by the deadline.


Extra Credit

You can earn up to 10 extra credit points.  All extra credit must meet the submission criteria described in your extra credit handout, and must be turned in by the deadline listed in your course schedule.


Attendance Policy

Regular attendance is expected and essential for success in the course.  Excessive unexplained absences will sabotage your chances of success.  To facilitate your successful completion of the course, the following attendance policy will be in effect:


For a class that meets 4 times a week, you will be permitted 3 absences.

For a class that meets 2 times a week, you will be permitted 4 absences.



More than this number of unexcused absences may result in your being withdrawn from the course.  If you exceed the allowed number of absences after the last date for withdrawal, your final grade for the course will be lowered according to the following formula:  for every two absences beyond the allowed limit, your final grade for the course will be lowered by one full letter grade.



A student exceeding the above number of unexcused absences may be withdrawn from the course.  If you stop attending class, however, it is your responsibility to ensure you are officially withdrawn from the course.  You can withdraw electronically via online services or by submitting a withdrawal form and submit it to the office of Admissions and Records (Northridge Room 1101) by the “last day to withdraw” deadline listed in the ACC academic calendar.  You do not need my signature to withdraw from the course.



In cases of documented emergencies, an incomplete contract may be negotiated when students have completed a minimum of 80% of the course.  Students must meet with me to negotiate the incomplete contract before the last scheduled class meeting.  The work must be made up by the last day of classes for the following semester, or the grade will revert to that specified in the contract.


Student Disabilities

Each ACC campus offers support services for students with documented physical or psychological disabilities.  Students with disabilities must request reasonable accommodations through the Office for Students with Disabilities on the campus where they expect to take the majority of their classes.  Students are encouraged to do this three weeks before the start of the semester.  The OSD office at Northridge is found in room 1111 and can be reached at 223-4726. 


I will need your OSD Accommodation Request Form during the first week of classes.  Please present it in my office, so that we can review your accommodations in privacy and make sure we have everything in order for a successful semester.  If your accommodation includes testing at OSD, remember that you will need to set your appointments with that office at least five days in advance.  I will expect you to take your tests on the dates scheduled on the course calendar.  If you need to change a test date, you will need to OK that with me first.  Please read the information on “Petitioning to Change a Test Date,” above. 

Freedom of Expression

Our classroom will be a civil space for learning and discussion of course material so that students develop an accurate understanding of the historical record. Please understand that our studies of the past will sometimes involve contentious or controversial subject matter.  It is also important to understand that the development of historical understanding, as well as broader critical thinking skills, comes through debate and exchange, through listening and intellectual exploration.  We will value and respect the rights, opinions, and legitimate contributions of everyone who is a part of our learning community.  Please practice maturity, civility, and respect for diversity in your classroom interactions.


Disruptive and Inappropriate Behavior

Disruptive behavior includes disrespect or hostility toward your classmates or your professor, chatting in class, needless interruptions, and arriving late or leaving early. Also disruptive and inappropriate to the setting of a small classroom:  texting, visiting websites unrelated to course content, leaving for and returning from snacks or bathroom breaks, passing notes, napping, and working on other projects or reading assignments.  Disruptive behavior will not be allowed, and may cause you to be withdrawn from the course.



You are expected to be on time for class.  Late arrival disrupts class and affects your ability to learn.  Every two late attendances will count as one absence, and students with excessive absences may be withdrawn from the course (see attendance policy, above).  Class will begin at the starting time listed in the campus course schedule.  I will take attendance in the first minute of class.  If you enter the class after your name is called on the roll call, it is your responsibility to report your attendance after class.


Scholastic Dishonesty

A student caught cheating (including plagiarizing) on any assignment in this course will receive an F in the course, and I will initiate discipline proceedings with the Campus Dean of Student Services.


Acts prohibited by the college for which discipline may be administered include scholastic dishonesty, including but not limited to cheating on an exam or quiz, plagiarizing, and unauthorized collaboration with another in preparing outside work.  Academic work submitted by students shall be the result of their thought, research, or self-expression.  Academic work is defined as, but not limited to, tests, quizzes, whether taken electronically or on paper; projects, either individual or group; classroom presentations, and homework. 


Privacy Policy

The federal government requires that student privacy be preserved, according to FERPA (the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) legislation.  Thus, the posting of grades, even by the last four digits of the social security number, is forbidden.  All communication will remain between the instructor and the student, and the instructor will not be able to share details of the student’s performance with parents, spouse, etc.



Required textsavailable at the Northridge bookstore and on reserve at the Northridge library:

Mark Kishlansky, Civilization in the WestVolume I:  To 1715 (7th edition).  ISBN# 0-205-55685-X.

Mark Kishlansky, editor, Sources of the West:  Readings in Western CivilizationVolume I:  From the Beginning to 1715 (8th edition).  ISBN# 0-205-05376-0.

Course Subjects


History 2311—Western Civilization I

Course Schedule Fall 2012



Required texts-- available for purchase at the ACC Northridge bookstore and on reserve at the ACC Northridge library: 

Mark Kishlansky, Civilization in the West, Volume I:  To 1715 (7th edition).  ISBN# 0-205-55685-X.

Mark Kishlansky, editor, Sources of the West:  Readings in Western Civilization, Volume I:  From the Beginning to 1715 (8th edition).  ISBN# 0-205-05376-9.


UNIT 1—The Near East and Greece

August 28, 30, & September 4

Origins:  Mesopotamia and Egypt

read:  Civilization in the West, chapter 1.

Sources of the West, #2, The Creation Epic, #5 Code of Hammurabi, #6 The Book of the Dead, #3 The Book of Genesis; packet of extra readings.


September 6 & 11

The Greek Legacy:  Origins of Democracy

Read:  Civilization in the West, chapter 2

Sources of the West #4, Hesiod; #10, Homer; #11 Sappho


September 13 & 18

The Greek Legacy:  Classical Athens

read:  Civilization in the West, chapter 3.

Sources of the West: #12 through #17 Thucydides, Xenophon, Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch.





UNIT 2—Rome and its Heirs

September 25 & 27 

Rome, from Republic to Empire

read:  Civilization in the West, chapter 4 & 5

Sources of the West, #18 through #23.

Polybius, Cicero, Virgil, Juvenal, Plutarch, Suetonius.







October 2 & 4

Imperial Rome and Early Christianity

read:  Civilization in the West, chapter 6

Sources of the West, #24 The Sermon on the Mount and #25 St. Paul, #27 Eusebius.


October 9 & 11

Byzantium and Islam

Read:  Civilization in the West, chapter 7

Sources of the West, #34 through #39

Justinian, Procopius, Koran, Psellus, Al-Qalanisi, Ishaq.





UNIT 3—Medieval Worlds

October 18, 23, 25

The Medieval West

read:  Civilization in the West, chapters 8 & 9

Sources of the West,  #26 Tacitus, #31 Gregory of Tours, # 32 Bede, #33 Einhard# 40 Feudal Documents, #44 Magna Carta.


October 30 & November 1

The Medieval World in Crisis

read:  Civilization in the West, chapter 10

Sources of the West, #47 Dante.


November 6 & 8


read:  Civilization in the West, chapter 11

Sources of the West, #54 Machiavelli.





UNIT 4—Early Modern Europe

November 15 & 20 (no class on Thursday Nov. 22)

New Monarchs, New Worlds

read:  Civilization in the West, chapter 12

Sources of the West, Documents #58-61

Columbus, de zurara, de las Casas, Diaz.


November 27 & 29

The Reformation

Read:  Civilization in the West, chapter 13

Sources of the West, #55 Erasmus# 64 Luther, # 65 Calvin, #66 Loyola, #67 Life of St. Teresa.






December 4, 6 & 11

The Age of Religious Wars

read:  Civilization in the West, chapter 14

Sources of the West, # 69 Peasants of Swabia/Luther, #74 Henry IV, Edict of Nantes, #76, Simplicissimus.




Student Learning Outcomes/Learning Objectives


Common Course Objectives: After completing HIST 2311 (Western Civilization I) students should be able to:

1. Understand the role of empire building in the Near East with especial emphasis on Egypt and Mesopotamia.

2. Understand the background for the rise of Greek civilization, the Greek contribution to literature and philosophy, and the extension of Greek civilization under Alexander.

3. Discuss the rise and fall of Roman culture, with special emphasis on the late Republican and early empire periods, the significance of Roman Law, and the social realities for all classes and genders.

4. Discuss how Europe was cut off from the cultures of the ancient world through the rise of Byzantium and Islam, the consequences of this, and how a distinct European culture developed in the medieval period.

5. Discuss religious and philosophical developments of the medieval period, as well as to be familiar with cultural and societal changes.

6. Understand the development of feudalism and chivalry in the High Middle Ages, and how this culture was affected by the Black Death and Hundred Years War.

7. Describe the economic revival of the late Middle Ages and how this development impacted European society.

8. Discuss the development and significance of the crusades and cathedral building boom.

9. Describe the development of nation states in Europe in the late Medieval period.

10. Identify the main characteristics of Renaissance thought, where the Renaissance began and why, and be able to distinguish between the Northern and Southern Renaissance.

11. Identify the major Renaissance artists and authors, and explain their significance.

12. Describe the theology of Luther and compare it to that of Calvin.

13. Identify problems within the Catholic Church, and what the church did to reform itself, with special emphasis on the Catholic Reformation and baroque style.

14. Understand why overseas expansion began, how it affected both European and colonial societies, and what resulted from it.

15. Describe how Charles V and Philip II attempted to carry out their new vision for a united Catholic Europe, what resulted and why they failed.

16. Discuss the wars of religion in Europe, especially the French civil war and the 30 Years War.

17. Describe the development of the commercial revolution, and how changes in agricultural techniques, New World foods, and the domestic system prepared the way for the industrial revolution.