History 141, Fall 2010


Instructor:  Mike Nagle

MW 12:30-1:50, ASC 366




This course will survey the rise of Western Civilization from prehistory to the early modern era.  It will focus most heavily on ancient Egypt and Greece, the Roman Republic and Empire, the early histories of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and the era of the Renaissance and Reformation.  The course will attempt to maintain a balance between the political, social, intellectual, and cultural histories of these societies.




          Donald Kagan, The Western Heritage (recommended)


          Richard Adams, Watership Down (required)


          Janet Lewis, The Wife of Martin Guerre (required)


Three Blue Books (required)




First Mid-Term   


Second Mid-Term


Final Exam


Quiz over Watership Down


Quiz over  The Wife of Martin Guerre


Summary/Analysis of either Watership Down or The Wife of Martin Guerre







          M/W 10:00-10:30 or 2:00-2:30; T/Th 9:30-10:30; my office is in the ASC room 379.

          Phone:  (231) 843-5905

          E-mail:  mwnagle@westshore.edu

          Homepage:  http://www.westshore.edu/personal/MWNagle/


I can always meet at another time if you cannot make my office hours.



The Support, Tutoring, and Resource Services (STaRS) program is available to provide free tutorial, disabilities, and other support services to West Shore Students.  Contact Diann Neil Engblade at ext. 5906 or stop by her office in the Campus Center, Room 761.





1.     Students will be able to compare and contrast political, social and economic life in the Greek city-states of Athens and Sparta and the impact of Greek civilization on today's institutions.

2.     Students will be able to trace the early histories and development of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

3.     Students will be able to explain the rise of the Roman Republic and Empire and explain its impact on the world today.

4.     Written work, reading materials, and course requirements are designed to develop and enhance students’ analytical, writing, communication skills and computer literacy.




Note:  Specific dates for discussions, assignments, and exams are included in this calendar.  Some changes may need to be made, if so, they will be announced in class.


Section 1:  Early Civilization to Classical Greece (up to 323 BC)


Week I         

Sept 1

Intro to the course

Week II

Sept 6, 8


Read Kagan Chapter 1, begin Watership Down

Early Civilization & Egypt


Week III

Sept 13, 15

Read Kagan Chapter 2, read Watership Down

Discussion 9/15:  Gilgamesh; Plagiarism & Exams

Egypt Continued

Week IV

Sept 20, 22

Read Kagan Chapter 3, Watership Down

New Outlooks:  Judaism/Greece

Week V

Sept 27, 29

Read Kagan Chapter 3, Watership Down

Classical Greece

Week VI

Oct 4, 6

Read Kagan Chapter 3, Watership Down

Persian/Peloponnesian Wars & Review

Week VII

Oct 11

MID-TERM EXAM #1:  10/11



Section 2:  Rise of Rome to the Middle Ages (500 BC-1300 AD)


Week VII

Oct 13

Read Watership Down

NO CLASS MEETING 10/13 view Rome lecture CD-ROM

Rome's Rise


Oct 18, 20

Read Kagan chapter 4, finish Watership Down

Quiz & Discussion:  10/20 Watership Down

Roman Life

Week IX

Oct 25, 27

Read Kagan chapter 5

Watership Down Summary/Analysis Paper due:  10/27

Rise of Christianity, Decline and Fall of Rome

Week X

Nov 1, 3

Read Kagan chapter 6, begin Martin Guerre

Early Middle Ages:  Byzantines and Islam

Week XI

Nov 8, 10

Read Kagan p. 241-256, continue Martin Guerre

MID-TERM EXAM #2:  11/10

Crusades/Review, Exam


Section 3:  From War & Disease to Renaissance & Reformation (1300-1600)


Week XII

Nov 15, 17

Read Kagan chapter 8, continue Martin Guerre

Daily Life in Middle Ages


Nov 22, 24


Finish Martin Guerre

Quiz & Discussion 11/22:  Martin Guerre


Week XIV

Nov 29, Dec 1

Read Kagan chapter 9

Rise of Nations

Week XV

Dec 6, 8

Read Kagan chapter 10

Martin Guerre Summary/Analysis Paper due:  12/8


Week XVI

Dec 13, 15

Read Kagan chapter 11

Reformation & Review


Dec 20


Final Exam




1.     Exams can only be made up if arrangements are made PRIOR to the exam dates.  Students have up to two weeks to make up missed exams, or they CANNOT be made up.  If you are sick or have experienced an emergency contact me, prior to or the day of an exam, to let me know so that we can determine when/if a make-up can be administered.  Make-up exams will be all essay exams.

2.     Incompletes are only used in an emergency and students must have completed at least 50% of the course with a 70% or above to receive an Incomplete.

3.     There will be several discussion sessions during the term; much of it will take place in small groups.  To earn at least a “C” students must attend every discussion session.  To earn a higher grade, students must participate in each session. The class also will be required to attend one performance of an event of your choice included in the WSCC Performing Arts Series.  More information (including free tickets) will be forthcoming throughout the semester.  Web assignments and possible questions concerning movies seen in class will also be included in the discussion grade.

4.     Attendance for each class meeting is mandatory.  It will not be taken as a part of your grade on lecture days (only for discussions), and there is no set penalty for missing lectures, but much of the course material is presented in lecture and final grades will reflect each student's attendance record.  Students are responsible for ALL information presented in class, including such announcements as changes in exam or discussion dates.

5.     Making it to class on time is very important as lateness can distract everyone enrolled in class.  You are all paying a lot of money to be here.  Please give your fellow students the courtesy of arriving to class on time everyday.  If you have an appointment or other conflict, schedule it outside of class time; do not leave in the middle of class except in an emergency as this will interrupt the learning environment for all other students.

6.     Please turn all cell phones and pagers off while in class and put away iPods, BlackBerrys, etc.  They are a potential distraction to everyone.

7.     Plagiarism can be defined as “to steal and use the ideas and writings of another as one’s own” (American Heritage Dictionary).  Written assignments must acknowledge when a direct quote is taken or another person’s ideas are paraphrased.  If a source is not cited, this is plagiarism.  Copying another student's ideas and/or paper is cheating.  Sometimes the class will work together in groups, but each student must turn in their own paper with their own ideas.  If you are unsure what you should do, ask me.  Copying another student's answers and/or bringing crib notes are cheating. The exams are closed note/closed book (with the exception of the quizzes over each book).  Plagiarism and/or cheating are grounds for failing an exam, assignment, or even the entire course.  If you are unsure what you should do, ask me.




There will be two mid-terms and one final exam.  The format of the exams will include all or some of the following:  essay, matching, short answer, and/or “time periods.”  The mid-terms and final will be based primarily on lecture material, but students are responsible for information included in the required readings, handouts, discussions, and films.  The quiz over each of the supplemental books will be open note/open book (but timed).  You may use any handwritten notes which you have written yourself.  The text is recommended reading for this class, but you will not be tested on anything from the text that is not covered in class.  Use the text to fill in any “gaps” in lecture notes.  A set of questions will be handed out for the additional writing assignments.  Correct grammar and spelling are important.




Late assignments are accepted for up to one week, but they are penalized 10% for the first late day, and 5% for each additional late day.  If you want, you may turn in written assignments as an e-mail attachment.  They must be turned in by 11:59 PM the date they are due, but with some restrictions.  Students (not me!) are responsible for sending the attachments correctly.  I will try to respond with an e-mail within 24 hours letting you know I’ve received the attachment, if you don’t receive an e-mail confirming my receipt, that means I didn’t receive it.  Any “glitches” can lead to penalties for late papers. 





Superior work; essays contain strong thesis and logical argument; includes analysis, supporting facts and relevant information; well organized and well written.  Includes information from lectures, outside readings, films, speakers, and discussions.





Above average work; essays contain strong thesis, but might lack focus and organization; includes analysis; generally well written and argued; information is strong but missing some points; arguments could use more support.







Average work; essays contain no thesis or thesis is weak; pertinent information is included, but could use more evidence and stronger organization; understanding of course content is shown but contains little analysis.







Poor work; essays lack coherent argument and are poorly written; information is missing and/or incorrect.






Below 60

Failure; lacking correct information; lack of effort is shown.