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Personal Collection Detail View

History - Western Civilization

by Cathy Swift
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This course offers an introduction to the major themes of Western civilization, many of which have had a profound influence on American society and culture. The course will describe the development of Western civilization from its ancient origins in the Mediterranean, including Greece and Rome, to the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s. One suggested text is: Thomas F. X. Noble et al., Western Civilization: Beyond Boundaries, 5th ed. (Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., © 2008), Vol. 1.
Western Civilization; History 100
Learning Outcomes:
In this course students will learn: How can one "know the past"? What methods and types of evidence, such as archeological, visual, textual, material, have been used to understand the past? The variety and forms of government along with the relationship between ruled and ruler The variety and forms of economic enterprise The variety and forms of religious and philosophical expression The variety and forms of artistic and cultural life The development of political freedoms, constitutional governments and the concern for the rule of law and individual rights The development of science and technology and their expanding impact on thought, social and economic institutions, and everyday life. The impact of Western society on the rest of the world.
Pedagogy Approach:
Assessment Methodology:
Quizzes, Tests and Papers

Authorized users only:



Added 01/28/2013
Tutankhamun offers basic information about the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun. Sections on the web site include: Life and Times, The Cause of Death, Tutankhamun's Funeral, Tutankhamun's Tomb, Tutankhamun's Treasures, and The Mummy's Curse. This site is highly interactive and serves as a great reference site because of the links to other internet sites. The instructor has the option to focus on just Tutankhamun or use this pharaoh as a lead in to a broader knowledge about Ancient Egypt.

Virtual Mummy: Unwrapping a Mummy by Mouse Click

Added 01/28/2013
Virtual Mummy is a web site, which allows viewers to unwrap a virtual mummy. Viewers can select from Procedure, Reconstruction, or Quicktime Movies. This module appears to be aimed at showing off the particularly interesting use of medical imaging technology used by researchers. The module's educational goals are to provide students who are familiar with mummification with a highly graphic representation of a mummified body and wrappings, which can be manipulated through a set of advanced QuickTime movies. This site is a tool for understanding modern archaeological processes and the layering of mummification. There is no context provided. If the dating were correct it would correspond to Ptolemaic Egypt for the mummy in question.

The Perseus Digital Library

Added 01/28/2013
Perseus is a digital library whose stated aim is to bring a wide range of source materials to as large an audience as possible. It has eight collections: Classics, Papyri, Renaissance, London, California, Upper Midwest, Chesapeake, and Tufts History. After a detailed overview of the Classics' collection, comes a brief summary of the remaining ones. The Classics' collection has primary texts, site plans, digital images, maps, and secondary resources. Primary texts offer over 150 works in the original Greek and Latin, with an English translation for most, from about 50 Latin and Greek authors. Art and archaeology include over 1,500 vases, over 1,800 sculptures and sculptural groups, over 1,200 coins, hundreds of buildings from nearly 100 sites, and over 100 gems. Over half the images from Perseus 2.0 CD ROM are available on line.

Cultural Map of Hellas

Added 01/28/2013
The site offers an online tour of Hellenic Culture. Museums, archaeological sites, and monuments are selected by district from a map of Greece or from a table enabling the user to gain access to ifnormation about a site. Many of the sites are unfamiliar outside Greece. A search engine is available. The site provides a great deal of detail on the material culture of ancient and medieveal Greece along with specific monuments, buildings, sites, and museum collections. Students will benefit from the easy accessibility to information.

Roman History, Coins, and Technology Back Pages

Added 01/28/2013
This is a Roman history and culture site, with an emphasis on the Empire and all things military. It Includes sections on coins, art, food, ancient technology, and more. It is an excellent source of information about the people and life of ancient Rome into the early Middle Ages. It provides excellent biographies of Roman individuals, including a long list of Roman women.

The Labyrinth: Resources for Medieval History

Added 01/28/2013
The Labyrinth provides free, organized access to electronic resources in medieval studies through a World Wide Web server at Georgetown University. The Labyrinth's easy-to-use menus and links provide connections to databases, services, texts, and images on other servers around the world. This project not only provides an organizational structure for electronic resources in medieval studies, but also serves as a model for similar, collaborative projects in other fields of study.

NetSERF: The Internet Connection for Medieval Resources

Added 01/28/2013
This is an extensive and important portal site for medieval studies. It lists sites under the following headings: Archaeology, Architecture, Art, Arthuriana, Civilizations, Culture, Drama, History, Law, Literature, Music, People, Philosophy, Religion, Science and Technology, and Women. Its "Research Center" includes links to libraries, map sites, online scholarship, conference listings, etc.

Explore Leonardo's Studio

Added 01/28/2013
Explore Leonardo's Studio is part of a large site sponsored by BBCi/Open University on Leonardo da Vinci. The interactive site allows users to explore 12 items from da Vinci's studio: his c.v., a painting in progress, painting materials, the camera obscura, Leonardo's interest in anatomy, an Italian dictionary, a book on learning Latin, a Renaissance art book, a book on Greek philosophy, a book on Renaissance Italy, a flying machine, and a Treatise on birds. Acting as a detective the user reconstructs a profile of Leonardo da Vinci using the 12 items. The site engages students in material they are likely to be curious about, such as Leonardo's interest in inventing a flying machine and his dissecting of cadavers. The stie introduces important concepts related to the Renaissance, e.g. the rebirth of interest in classical literature and in art during the Renaissance. Students are allowed the opportunity to explore the studio in a flexible manner, depending on their interests.

The Age of Exploration Curriculum Guide

Added 01/28/2013
An on-line curriculum guide that explains the development of maritime technologies and the principal voyages from ancient times to Captain Cook's 1768 voyage to the South Pacific. Though attention is given to some early non-Western accomplishments, the main focus is on European voyages from the Viking era through the 18th century. The site icludes a list of activities for teachers and students to supplement the explanatory texts.

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London

Added 01/28/2013
The web site includes several articles that help site visitors understand and make use of the trial records. For example, the "Historical Background" section contains articles on "Policing in London," "Types of Crimes," "Trial Procedures," "Judges and Juries," "Verdicts," and "Punishment." The articles are clear and succinct; each contains bibliographical information and links to web sites where users might find other relevant information. The focus of the articles and of the trial record summary information, appropriately, is to facilitate use of the trial records rather than to provide scholarship based upon them.

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution

Added 01/28/2013
this is an excellent site that would be most useful to faculty and students alike. The site was many years in the making, and was the product of work by several leading historians of the French Revolution. The “Explore” section includes the following categories or chapters: “Social Causes of the Revolution, Monarchy Embattled, the Enlightenment and Human Rights, Paris and the Politics of Rebellion, Women & the Revolution, Monarchy falls, War, Terror, & Resistance to the Revolution, Slavery & the Haitian Revolution, Napoleonic Expansion,” and “Legacies of the Revolution. Also included are two sections, one on songs and another on “How to Read Images.” Social Causes section notes correctly that “Despite the social rifts surrounding the political debate of mid-1789, most contemporaries fervently sought social unity. This suggests that social unrest may not necessarily have been the basic cause of the outbreak of the Revolution.” The Monarchy Embattled chapter rightly mentioned that even Louis XIV was far from being “all-powerful.” This is a point that student's are often ignorant of.

The Empire That Was Russia

Added 01/28/2013
The site offers the potential for thousands of images of Czarist Russia besides the ones presented under the categories of architecture, ethnic diversity, transportation, and peoples at work. A good timeline is offered that is helpful in placing the images in the context of the historical period.

The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century

Added 01/28/2013
This is a companion website to the PBS TV series about World War I. The website explores the political, social, military, and cultural impact of the war as well as similarities between that conflict and more recent events. The war is covered in five chronological sections that have titles that correspond to the character of the military conflict at the time: (1) Prologue, (2) Explosion/Stalemate, (3) Total War/Slaughter, (4) Mutiny/Collapse, and (5) Hatred and Hunger. Within each section, PBS uses a variety of types of material to supplement the textual description and analysis of the war including silent archival videos, animated maps, comments from historians, timelines, quotes and poems from contemporaries, links to related web sites, and photographs. The site also provides bibliographies, a glossary, lesson plans, and a topical and name index to the web site.

They Drew Fire: Combat Artists of World War II

Added 01/28/2013
This is a companion web site to a PBS documentary, this features the many servicemen and civilians who served as combat artists in World War II. Users can browse a large gallery of drawings and paintings, some of which are accompanied by remarks by the artist. Clicking on the painting title gives more information about that work; clicking on the artist's name gives biographical information. Related resources, including information about the history of World War II combat art programs, are provided.

For European Recovery: The Marshall Plan

Added 01/28/2013
To mark the fiftieth anniversary of Marshall's speech, the Library of Congress developed this display on the origins and effects of the Marshall Plan. It features photographs and cartoons from the Prints and Photographs Division and items from the papers of Averell Harriman, the ERP special representative in Europe from 1948 to 1950, whose collection in the Library's Manuscript Division contains photographs, letters, memos, and printed material that document the early days of this acclaimed international initiative
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