You are on page 1of 5

DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY, TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY

HIS 2311 World Civilizations Before 1500 (Siegenthaler, Spring 2014)

Study Guide for Midterm Exam


The Midterm exam is to be given in class on Wednesday, 5 March 2014 (covering Worlds Together, Worlds Apart, chaps. 16, with the accompanying assigned readings, and class lectures, discussions, and handouts through Monday, 3 March)

SECTION 1: AT-HOME ESSAY (50 PTS) Choose ONE (1) of the following two topics and write an essay of between 500 and 750 words (about 23 typed, double-spaced pages) that addresses the issues raised in the prompt. Remember to structure your responses with an opening statement, presentation of evidence, and a conclusion and keep in mind that a coherent argument and presentation of solidly based evidence are important elements in such writing. I will expect each of you to work directly with the primary sources we have read at home and discussed together in class. You must demonstrate to me that you have engaged with the sources! Quote them, interpret them, question them but certainly use them. Cite your sources: text quoted directly AND ideas received from other sources must be acknowledged within your essay and in a Works Cited list at the end. Refer to the Turabian site through the University of Chicago Press (click on AUTHOR-DATE) for guidance on formatting citations: (http://www.press.uchicago.edu/books/turabian/turabian_citationguide.html). N.B.: ALL ESSAYS MUST BE TYPED, DOUBLE-SPACED, AND SUBMITTED IN HARD COPY (not as an email or emailed attachment). Completed essays are due in class on Wednesday, 5 March 2014, when the remainder of the exam will be administered. Late submission of exam essays will result in a lowered grade for the exam as a whole. Topic 1: Patterns of Governance in the Axial Age The Axial Age, occurring between about 800 bce and 100 ce, saw the beginnings of some of the
1

DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY, TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY

most influential bodies of thought in human history. Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Christianity, as well as the science and philosophy of the Greeks, all have their origins in this period. Over the past few weeks, we have read and discussed several examples of doctrines developed during this age, and we have discussed various understandings of what brings together and what distinguishes these various school of thought. Many, if not all, of the schools of thought we have identified as comprising the Axial Age deal directly with questions of governance: who should rule, how they should rule, the role of coercion, law, and punishment in proper rule. Relying primarily on our class discussions, the course readings, and the textbook, choose no fewer than three cultures we have discussed and describe the similarities and differences between the theories of government revealed within those cultures. Is there a common vision of government that arises from this period? Is there a common point of disagreement that you can identify by comparing these schools of thought? Remember to make use of (and quote, and cite) at least three (3) primary sources that we have read and discussed. Take time to demonstrate to me that you have engaged with the conversations we have had as a group in class and think about the tangible manifestations of a pattern of rule derived from one school or another. Topic 2: The Individual in the Axial Age Another way of addressing ourselves to the doctrines of the Axial Age is to explore within each the role of the individual person in its program for action (or non-action). As we have discussed, some of these schools of thought give more and others give less attention to an individual persons search for knowledge and understanding. Some talk about society in terms of classes or castes, some emphasize particular skills held by members of one group and not members of another. For your essay, compare no fewer than three (3) of the examples of Axial Age thinking that we have read and discussed with an eye to clarifying their similarities and differences in their vision of the individuals role in the quest for understanding and the social activities of the doctrines adherents. Which of these bodies of thought give the most importance to the individual? Which elevate common people and which focus attention only on more closely defined elites? If they give importance to the individual, in what ways do they do that: as leaders of society, as seekers
2

DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY, TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY

of truth, in other ways? Think, as well, about which context would be most comfortable for you: keeping in mind the issue of individuality, in which of these three societies would you most like to live? Remember to make use of (and quote, and cite) at least three (3) primary sources that we have read and discussed. Take time to demonstrate to me that you have engaged with the conversations we have had as a group in class and think about the tangible manifestations of a pattern of rule derived from one school or another.

SECTION 2: CHRONOLOGIES (15 PTS) Be able to number the elements in each group from 1 to 6 (from earlier to later) to place them in chronological order 1) from the Neolithic Period to the Bronze Age __ the death of tzi the Iceman __ creation of the Venus of Willendorf __ establishment of the first settlement at atal Hyk __ probable first Jmon settlement in Japan __ Menes unites Upper and Lower Egypt __ the peak period of the last Ice Age

2) Mesopotamia and Egypt in the Bronze Age __ Egyptian New Kingdom is attacked by the Sea Peoples __ Sargon conquers Sumer to establish the Akkadian dynasty __ the Third Dynasty of Ur creates the Sumerian Renaissance __ the Egyptian New Kingdom and the Hittites fight to a draw at Kadesh __ end of the reign of Hammurabi in Babylon __ completion of the Great Pyramid of Cheops (Khufu)

DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY, TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY, SAN MARCOS

3) the Bronze Age in China and the Indus Valley __ establishment of the Shang dynasty __ emergence of Harappan culture __ reign of King Yu of the Xia dynasty __ first settlement at Nanzhuangtou __ establishment of the Zhou dynasty __ first settlement at Banpo

4) the Rise and Fall of Greece __ the Macedonian king Philip II defeats a combined Greek force at Chaeronea __ Aristophanes play Lysistrata is first performed __ the Mycenaeans conquer the Minoans on Crete __ the philosopher Socrates is executed in Athens for impiety __ Pericles delivers his funeral oration to celebrate the first Athenian deaths in the Peloponnesian War __ the first Olympic Games are held at Olympia

SECTION 3: SHORT ANSWERS (35 PTS.) Be able, in three or four full sentences each, to identify and explain the significance to our study of World civilizations of the following concepts, persons, events, and phrases drawn from the lectures and readings
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

the Delian League the Hellenistic Age Ahura Mazda arte the Sumerian Renaissance Naciketas atal Hyk the Sea Peoples maat Brahman
4

the Vedic fire ritual nirvana hoplites the Middle Path the Minoan thallasocracy Gautama Siddhartha Pythagoras the Laws of Hammurabi Enheduanna wuwei

DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY, TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY