1. One of the reasons ancient literature is so compelling is that it gives us the actual voices and thoughts of people who lived in faraway times. Think about the different voices we have encountered from the past thus far–in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Book of Exodus, the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Histories of Herodotus, the Antigone of Sophocles, Livy’s History, and Augustus’s Achievements–and write an essay in which you compare how TWO writers of different eras and cultures talk about the same themes. Choose THREE of the following themes, and choose TWO different authors. You cannot choose a writer whom you discussed in a Response Paper. You cannot compare any Greek writer to another Greek writer, nor can you compare Livy to Augustus.
Possible themes (choose 3):
–Political leadership or Conflict (don’t use both, either as one theme or separate themes)
–Belief in Gods
2. Redman-Childe. Choose one of the civilizations we have studied thus far in the course and evaluate it , using material from lectures and texts, in terms of the different primary and secondary characteristics of a civilization as defined by G. Chide and C. Redman. How well does it exemplify and fulfill each of the different characteristics. What have you learned about the civilization, other than religious behaviors, that makes you want to add an additional primary or secondary category to the R-C list? You can NOT write about a civilization that was a major focus of a Response Paper.
The Redman-Childe list of characteristics:
–Presence of cities
–Full-time specialization of labor
–Concentration of surplus
–Monumental public works
–Standardized monumental artwork
–Formal systems of information recording and storage
–Formal systems of abstract knowledge (science/math)
3. The ancient world and you! Write an essay on what it would be like to live in one of the civilizations we have studied this semester working in a job that is as close as you can imagine to the profession you are hoping to enter yourself. What elements the profession remain unchanged? What elements are completely different? Identify THREE objects/behaviors we have seen in our course materials that have impressed you because of their connection to your area of study. How have they impressed you? For this answer you might well want to do a bit of further exploration at good web sources, but you mustmustmust cite your sources diligently.
4. The many different faces of religion: Using examples from 5 different civilizations we have studied, identify and discuss 5 different and important ways that you see religion/religious practices/religious beliefs manifesting themselves in ancient cultures. With each of your examples, explain why you think it is important, backing up your argument with lecture/text material. Discuss whether the practice or object or belief seems unique to the civilization you are using, or does it have parallels in other cultures? Do you see each example as having positive force, or negative force, or some of each?
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