A history of World Societies, Vol. 1, Editor: McKay, 9

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Ancient World Civilizations Professor Stratton

Fall 2013 jstratto@bakersfieldcollege.edu

Office Hours: see Website www2.bakersfieldcollege.edu/jstratton
History 1
T/Th: 11:10-12:35

Textbook: A History of World Societies, Vol. 1, Editor: McKay, 9th edition

Reader: Sources of World Societies, Vol. I to 1715 Ed: Ward, 2nd Edition

This course surveys the historical development of different World Society’s major economic, intellectual, political, religious, and social ideas/institutions/people from the Neolithic Revolution to the Early Modern Era.

Section Course Days Times Location Dates Final Exam Date

71267 History 1 TTh 11:10-12:35 H-15 8/26-12/12 12/12 10-1150


  1. All students will develop an understanding of the major events and people who have shaped the development of diverse world cultures and be able to identify them correctly on examinations.

  1. Every student will develop an understanding of the common humanity shared by all people around the globe by noting the similarities and differences in the development of diverse world cultures based on specific sets of physical or cultural circumstances. The students will be able to demonstrate this understanding through their class discussion, their performance on essays and on their research paper.

  1. Every student will develop their critical thinking skills through logical analysis of historical information, to be able to understand modern issues more effectively. This will be measured through their explanation abilities upon examination questions and research papers, as well as in classroom discussion of primary and secondary source readings.

  1. All students will develop an open, inquisitive mind through their investigations into diverse interpretations of historical events and personalities. This ability will become apparent during their performance on examination questions, exam essays and their research papers, as well as class participation.

  1. Every student will develop a more thorough understanding of history through the accomplishment of a scholarly historical research paper, thus demonstrating an awareness of the various sources of accurate information as well as demonstrating the ability to express them in a written fashion.

  1. Every student will demonstrate their knowledge of the major events and personalities that have shaped the cultures of the world through satisfactory performance upon the examinations/tests taken in class.

In accordance with KCCD district policy, all students who have verified needs will be provided educational accommodations. . “Students with disabilities who believe they may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact Supportive Services (661-395-4334), 1st floor Student Services Bldg., or the alternate pathway, as soon as possible to better ensure such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.”


  1. ALL CELL PHONES MUST BE TURNED OFF [or on vibrate mode] AT ALL TIMES IN THE CLASSROOM!! You will be asked to leave the class for the day if you take calls during class. Participation points will be docked for phone utilization: whether you are using it or a friend calls/texts you during class.

  2. Utilization of the college assigned @email.bakersfieldcollege.edu address for email communications and receipt of study aids: I will not respond to any other email accounts/addresses.

Note: my desk phone does not work properly. It rings but does not inform me of waiting messages. If you wish to leave me a message that I will get, email me.

  1. Submission of signed acknowledgment form from end of syllabus on third day.

  1. Concurrent reading in the textbook of materials covered in class.

  1. Attendance. Plainly and simply, be there. Any student who is not in attendance on the first day WILL BE DROPPED THAT DAY.

  • Note: you are a college student. If you family plans a vacation, it needs to be planned around the college calendar, not have our courses planned around your holidays. Be here.

  • Also: Students who repeatedly leave the class for the day will have that day counted as a non-participating day, and after 4 of those said student may be dropped by the instructor for failure to attend.

  1. Successful completion of Student Success Assignment, all three exams, the Final Exam, and Term Paper. See my website for downloading of the Student Success Assignment. It is on the ‘course materials’ page, as it is a course material.

  1. Completion of both Critical Thinking assignments.

  1. All documents must be submitted already stapled: don’t ask me for one, don’t turn one in without a staple, and don’t ask to turn it in late just so you can staple it.

  1. Compliance with the student “Standards of Conduct”, as listed in the Catalog. This requirement boils down to treating everyone with the respect you wish to receive.



The final grade for this course will be determined by student proficiency, as measured in the following formula:

a. Completion of Student Success assignment 5

b. Attendance and class participation: [½ pt off per day missed] 5

c. Three exams [worth 15% each]: average of 2 highest, times 30

d. Research Paper: percentage, times 30

e. Final Exam: percentage, times 30

Total: 100%

f. Critical Thinking Assignments [2], extra credit: 10%
This calculation reflects the dismissal of one exam score due to whatever reason you choose.

If you complete every test, the lowest test score [in section B] will be dropped.

Also, letter grades are earned based on the ‘traditional’ scale

  • 90%+ = A

  • 80-89.99% = B

  • 70-79.99% = C

  • 60-69.99 = D

  • 0.01-59.99= F.


This assignment is accessed ONLY through my webpage, on page http://www2.bakersfieldcollege.edu/jstratton/Student%20Success%20info/Student%20Success%20Assignment%20web%20format.htm [if you try to type this, keep in mind that all “%20” marks is a translation of a space in the actual typing of the words.]

Follow ALL directions there and submit ALL items printed, after completing them.

  • This will require about 2 hours of internet usage on a computer and access to a printer. The college library is available to everyone if this is an issue.

  • Only print what it says to ‘print for submission’ or ‘print’. DO NOT PRINT EVERYTHING.


Everyone starts with 5 Participation points and you lose them for failure to participate in class. The fastest way to lose them is by not attending.

  • Attendance is also necessary for successful completion of the course, as you will be tested on information from both the book and class lectures, but the lecture may include data not in the textbook.

  • If you absolutely must miss class, you are solely responsible for obtaining the material covered that day. I will not give my lecture notes out nor will I spend another hour emailing/talking to you about every detail we covered in class. Contact your fellow students to get copies of notes.

  • If you must be absent, you need to notify the instructor that you will be missing said class to avoid being penalized for lack of participation [your contact is a form of participation].

Unfortunately, due to budget cuts the college can no longer post ‘cancelled class’ notices on the doors when the instructors are ill. Thus, all cancelled class notifications will be sent via email to the entire class roster, and will arrive in your ‘bakersfield college’ address. If I am not there within 15 minutes of our start time [sometimes students are in my office and can’t understand ‘I have to get to class’], be sure you check your email addresses.


  • I have prepared a 3 page explanation of the critical thinking assignments that will be required in this class.

    • This explanation is located in insideBC, in the files section for this course.

  • In summary, students are required to write two essays in which they will identify certain characteristics of assigned articles [from the course reader] or sections of the textbook.

  • This is required, yet the points earned will count as extra credit for the course, based on how well you did on both assignments.

    • You must do both assignments or no points are earned.

    • Again, the explanation is 3 pages long, and is a stand-alone document in insideBC.

All exams will consist of at least three sections of approximately these ratios:

  • 30% matching

  • 20% short answer

  • 30% multiple choice

  • 20% essay.

  • In order for the essays to count, they must be written on the reverse side of each exam sheet.

  • The final exam is cumulative, but the completed tests will be your study guides for the ‘review’ sections.

  • You will never need a blue-book or Scantron form for the tests, nor will blank paper be used on the essays. You’ll write directly on the test.

  • There will be one required essay question which all students must attempt, and there will be a second one which all students may attempt for extra credit.


A scholarly research paper is required of all student upon a topic of your choosing.

This paper will consist of between 7 to 9 pages of text, plus a title page, textual documentation and a bibliography, in an approved format. Please consult with the professor or librarian if you need assistance with documentation formats.

  • The B.C. Library has a lot of information to help with documentation and searching. Check out its website and/or go there in person: http://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/library/

General requirements for this paper are:

  1. 7 to 9 pages of your own textual writing, double-spaced, single-sided, and typed with 1” margins and font size of 10-12 pts only.

        • 7 pages means written from top to bottom of ALL 7 pages, not 6 and 1/8th pages of writing.

  1. A title page, documentation [endnote, footnote, parenthetic citation or in-source citation] and a bibliography.

  2. Use of 5-8 scholarly sources [only one may be an encyclopedia or a textbook], listed in an approved bibliographical format [APA, MLA, CMS are all acceptable].

  3. Only 1/3 of all sources used may come from the Internet, unless they are printed works that are only accessed through the Internet [lexus/nexus &ebsco-host, for example].

  4. Proper documentation of information with appropriate citations throughout text.

  5. Proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar throughout the paper, written in an academic style.

  6. A title page consisting of: title of paper, student’s name, class name and crn, instructor’s name, and date of submission. Pictures and style are at writer’s discretion.

  7. Topic: You have free choice, as long as it satisfies these three criteria: 1 It must relate to the subject we are studying this semester.

2. It must relate to the time-frame the course is covering.

3. It must demonstrate the historical relevance/importance of the subject in an academic manner, in each paragraph.

i. Any charts or photographs should be attached in an appendix with textual comments such as ‘see appendix ‘A’’. Charts and images do NOT count toward the 7-9 page word count.

j. 2 copies of the paper must be submitted: one for me to return to you and one for me to keep.

        • ALL research papers must be turned in by the due date to receive full credit, in hard copy [printed paper, not emailed/digital copy] form!

  • ALL papers must be stapled at the time they are turned in, or they will NOT be accepted!

  • I am VERY happy to help anyone with writing a paper, if you come to me EARLY. Do not expect much help if you ask me 3 days before it’s due.

I advise that you write the paper early and allow me to proofread it for you.

  • I will not be accepting drafts for comment within 2 weeks of the due date.

You MAY turn it in earlier than the due date, to avoid being dropped.

Since you may turn it in early, there is no acceptable reason for turning it in late.


  • Any student caught in either of these activities will be subject to prosecution to the fullest extent of what the college board allows, ranging from reprimands to expulsion.

  • Regardless of what the board decides, there will be two immediate consequences: an instant F on the assignment and a loss of trust by the instructor.

  • On exams I will NOT disrupt the class by confronting you with your cheating. I will let you sweat through and finish the exam, thinking you got away with it. However, I will make a note and you will receive zero % credit for that assignment. A second offense will result in my taking this behavior to the department chair and dean to see what they wish to do.

  • Plagiarism is generally understood as either using someone else’s paper/essay for your own or using phrases/quotes/ideas/facts from some other source without identifying which source provided you with that specific piece of information. Either behavior will result in receiving a 0% for the assignment.

  • The following are guidelines of what not to do on an exam, unless you wish to receive an automatic 0% for that assignment. This is not an ‘all-inclusive’ list, but gives the general outlines. Basically, keep your eyes on YOUR paper during the exam, don’t talk to anyone and keep your phone/ipod/electronic devices in your pocket/pack, in the ‘turned off’ state and you will have NO problems. Ignore any of the following and you will not be pleased with the outcome.


    • DO NOT LOOK AT YOUR CELL PHONE [THERE IS A CLOCK IN CLASS] DURING EXAMS [I know it is possible to surf the web or text a friend for answers. Thus all use of cell phones during exam time will be considered cheating].




    • WHEN YOU ARE FINISHED, DO NOT PULL OUT NOTES OR YOUR BOOK IF THERE ARE PEOPLE WITHIN 4 CHAIRS OF YOU IN ANY DIRECTION WHO ARE STILL WORKING ON THE EXAM. Generally, unless you are in a night class, you will be finished for the day once you have finished the exam. Ask if you have any doubts.

You are better than this, so don’t do it. Respect your abilities and the effort others have put into their assignments and studying. Don’t belittle either by cheating.

There are many people trying to get into very few seats, due to financial cuts the college has been forced to experience due to our state budget woes. As a result, we invariably have more people wanting a class than we have room for. This is NOT high school. There is no government requirement that you go to college. It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to attend and do well. If you don’t think this is your cup of tea, please drop the class to make room for someone willing to do the work. To try to give motivated students a shot at being enrolled in this class, I try to motivate you to stay-or leave, if you don’t want to work.

  • Any student who is not in attendance on the first day, or who has not emailed me prior to the end of said class about their absence, WILL BE DROPPED THAT Day by the instructor.

  • All drops are the responsibility of the student, who must drop the class through BanWeb to officially drop the course.

      • Failure to attend classes does not mean you have dropped it. It means you are absent and not completing the assignments. The majority of the F grades earned in my courses come from those who either quit showing up or who don’t complete assignments.

  • However, I reserve the right to drop students who have failed to attend the course on a regular basis [missing 4 or more classes], especially during the first few weeks. I may not exercise that right, but I reserve it.

      • If you must miss a class, send an email to me or run the risk of being dropped.

Email: jstratto@bakersfieldcollege.edu

My phone does not inform me of waiting messages, so do not leave a message there: leave me an email. If I am in the office when it rings I do pick up, but I don’t know when there is a message or not.
APPROXIMATE SCHEDULE OF CLASS SESSIONS: Due dates for Student Success Assignment, Research paper and Final exam dates will not change, others may vary as announced in class.
Week #1: Week beginning January 14th.

Introduction and the Nature of History.

Textbook: Chapter 1.

Reader: Introduction [p. xvii].

Week #2: Week beginning January 21st.

The Earliest Human Societies and Origins of civilizations in West Asia from Paleolithic humanity up to about 500 B.C.E.

Class discussion about evaluating a culture through its’ documents.

Textbook: Chapters One and Two.

Reader: The Epic of Gilgamesh [p. 17], Hammurabi’s Code:… [p. 23], Advice to ambitious young Egyptians… . [p. 28], and An Assyrian Emperor’s Resume [p. 41].

SIGNED STUDENT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT due by start of class Tuesday

Week # 3. Week beginning January 28th.

The Foundation of Indian Society and China’s Classical Age

Class discussion: comparing political ideals of India and China, as reflected in their documents.

Textbook: Chapters Three and Four.

Reader: What is Ultimate Reality? [read all three sections, beginning on p. 50], the Laws of Manu [p. 34], all three sections of How Society Should Function [beginning on p. 76] and Anecdotes from the Warring States Period. [p. 45].

Student Success Assignment [located on professor’s website] due Tuesday.
Week # 4. Week beginning February 4th.

Critical Thinking Assignment #1 due Tuesday [see files in insideBC]

China’s Classical Age and the Origins of Greek Culture

Textbook: Chapters Four and Five

Reader: see above on China, plus The Iliad: … [p. 90], On the Murder of Eratosthenes [p.97], Apologia [p. 100], Politics [p. 105] and Histories: On Sparta [p. 107].

Week # 5. Week beginning February 11th.

the Origins of Greek Culture

Textbook: Chapters Four and Five

Reader: see above on China, plus The Iliad: … [p. 90], On the Murder of Eratosthenes [p.97], Apologia [p. 100], Politics [p. 105] and Histories: On Sparta [p. 107].

Exam #1 Thursday

Week # 6. Week beginning February 18th.

Empire of Rome.

Class Discussion: The role of expansion and religion upon the Roman State.

Textbook: Chapter Six.

Reader: The Twelve Tables [p. 116] and comparison to Code of Hammurabi and Law of Manu, as well as The Annals: On the Legacy of Augustus, and the entire section of Christianity and the Roman State [p. 134].

Week # 7. Week beginning February 25th.

Exploration of East Asia in the early common era and the Foundations of Europe to 800 CE.

Textbook: Chapters Seven and Eight

Reader: Records of the Historian: … [p. 142], Lessons for Women [p. 144], Chronicles of Japan: … . [p. 154], The Rule of St. Benedict: … . [p. 168], Syriac Chronicle [p. 171], and The Life of Charlemagne [p. 179].

Week # 8. Week beginning March 4th.


Finish foundations of Europe and Early Islamic World.

Textbook: Chapter Nine.

Reader: All of the section Islam and the People of the Book [p. 184], and Book of Travels [p. 195].

Week # 9. Week beginning March 11th.

Exam #2 Tuesday

African Societies and Kingdoms.

Class Discussion: An outsiders’ perspective. Comparison of documents of outsiders perspectives on a different culture and what this tells us about both the viewer and the viewed.

Textbook: Chapter Ten

Reader: all of section Outsiders’ Views of Sub-Saharan Africa [p. 208] and Epic of Sundiata [p. 220].
Week # 10. Week beginning March 18th.

African Societies and Kingdoms, plus History of the Americas [pre-columbian]

Class Discussion: political and religious systems of the Western Hemisphere.

Textbook: Chapters Ten and Eleven

Reader: finish section on Africa and Chronicles: on the Inca [p. 229], Book of the Gods and Rites [p. 233] and all of the Viewpoints section Importance of the Ball Game in Maya Society [p. 237].

Spring Break: March 25th.

Week # 11. Week beginning April 1st.

History of the Americas [pre-columbian] and Central/South Asia.

Class Discussion: Gender roles in marriage throughout these cultures.

Textbook: Chapter Eleven and Twelve.

Reader: Chronicles: on the Inca [p. 229], Book of the Gods and Rites [p. 233] and all of the Viewpoints section Importance of the Ball Game in Maya Society [p. 237], Plus The Secret History of the Mongols [p. 244], Kamasutra: About a Wife [p. 261. Note: this is not a section about sex, but about gender roles, so relax!], Guidance: Alms, Marriage, and Testimony [p. 264].
Week # 12. Week beginning April 8th.

Exam #3 Tuesday

States and Cultures in East Asia 800-1400 C.E.

Class Discussion: Comparative analysis of the role of women in China and Japan.

Textbook: Chapter Thirteen.

Reader: All of section Feudalism and Society in Medieval Japan [p.269], On the Arab People of Quanzhou [p. 279] and Widows loyal unto death [p. 286].
Week # 13 Week beginning April 15th.

Europe in the Middle-Ages.

Textbook: Chapter Fourteen

Reader: Entire section on The Crusades [p. 293], Magna Carta: … .[p. 306], Summa Theologica: … . [p. 309].

Out of class ‘event’ if time allows: voluntary film observation and analysis to identify historically accurate themes and anachronisms, as well as evaluate the role of the contemporary political and social paradigms in script creation and how it impacted the films narrative. Film: TBA
Week # 14. Week beginning April 22nd.

Finish middle-aged Europe and begin Renaissance/Reformation

Class Discussion: Comparative analysis of perception of human nature from the documents.

Textbook: Chapters Fourteen and Fifteen

Reader: finish readings from chapter 14, and entire section on Intellectual Origins of the Renaissance [p. 314], The Prince: … . [p. 323] Address to the Christian Nobility … .[p. 329] and Instructions in Faith [p. 333].
Week # 15. Week beginning April 29th.

Critical Thinking Assignment #2 due Tuesday.

Finish Reformation.

Class Discussion: Comparison of ideas of right to govern in Europe.

Textbook: Chapters Fifteen

Reader: finish entire section on Intellectual Origins of the Renaissance [p. 314], The Prince: … . [p. 323] Address to the Christian Nobility … .[p. 329] and Instructions in Faith [p. 333].
Week # 16. Week beginning May 6th.

FINAL EXAM: Thursday the 12th, 10-11:50 am

Student performance record.

Participation: # of days missed = ____x .5 [or ½] = _____.

5 pts – [above end number] _____ = ______pts

Student Success assignment points earned [out of 5] = ______pts

Test # 1= __________%

Test #2 = __________%

Test #3 = __________%

Test Average [of two highest] = ______________%

Convert all percentages to a decimal, then multiply by the proper factor

Test Average = __________% = .__________ x 30 = ________pts

Research Paper = ___________% = __._________ x 30 = ________pts
Final Exam = ___________% = __._________ x 30 = ________pts

Semester Grade= [add all points and they become a percentage out of 100] __________%

Remember, letter grades are associated with the ‘traditional’ scale of 90%+ = A, 80-89.99% = B, 70-79.99% = C, 60-69.99 = D, etc.

Student acknowledgement of syllabus requirements

Professor J. Stratton’s History Course.

Print name in this space

I, ____________________________________________, a student enrolled in the above described class] by signing below hereby acknowledge that I have read the syllabus and understood it.

  • I recognize that my BC email address will be used to inform me of cancelled classes and to deliver study material periodically throughout the semester, and I will take responsibility to learn how to use my BC address for academic communications. ______________[initials]

  • I further understand that all students enrolled at B.C. are provided with free email addresses and have free access to both said address and the internet through the college’s computer labs, such as in the library. ____________[initials]

  • I also acknowledge that the schedule of readings/lectures and ‘mid-term’ dates are approximations that may change based upon fluctuations throughout the semester [with the exception of the final exam: That date is established by BC and thus unchangeable]. Updated readings and exam dates will be provided throughout the semester both in class and in emailed updates as deemed necessary. __________ [initials]

  • However, I understand that the due dates for the Student Success Assignment and Research Papers are as set in stone as the final exam. They are independent of the lecture/class discussions and, as such, are fixed dates. Furthermore, failure to submit either assignment on the scheduled due date WILL result in my being dropped from the class. I know I can always turn it in early. ___________ [initials].

  • I further understand the policy regarding cheating and will do my own work this semester. ___________ [initials]


Date: _______________________

Course Name and CRN: ____________________________________________________

Mark the appropriate section to refer to your status on day 1. Enrolled: __________

Waitlisted: __________ [on first day]

To be signed and returned on the third day of class, no later than our class period.

Electronic submissions of this form to my email address are acceptable, but must be done BEFORE the end of our third class.

Failure to do so results in being dropped from the roster or the wait list as soon as I return to my office on the assigned due date.

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