MBU HIST 101 Characteristics

Section 1: Short Answers (4 points each, 32 total)

Choose EIGHT of the following ten questions and answer each in around 10-30 words. These answers do not need to be complete sentences.

  1. What do you understand as the characteristics of a “civilization”?
  1. What was the major lesson from Sulla’s civil war and the ease at which the First Triumvirate seized power in the Roman Republic?
  1. What was “Romanitas”? What Greek value did it compare to?
  1. Other than playing the role as “bad guy” from the Greek perspective, what was a major contribution of the Persian Empire to Western Civilization?
  1. What was the “Bronze Age Collapse” and why did it happen?
  1. The idea of “god” or “gods” changed drastically in the ancient world. List differences between how most ancient Mesopotamian cultures viewed their gods versus how the Romans interacted with their gods.
  1. Succinctly explain the idea of Greek Tragedy and Comedy.
  1. How did Rome’s emphasis on militarism define the Roman Republic and its relationship with neighboring cultures?
  1. What is the definition of “The West” or “Western” we have been using in this course?
  1. Define “historical empathy” in your own words.

Section 2: Longer Answers (8 points each, 32 total)

Choose FOUR of the following six questions and answer each in a couple short sentences. Please do not exceed four concise sentences (and please do not string out a sentence with tons of commas or run-ons)!

  1. Explain a few major differences and similarities between the Athens and Sparta poleis.
  1. What were some of the values evident in Ancient Roman society from their embrace of the Remus and Romulus origin story?
  1. What do you think were the two most important technological or scientific advanced by Greeks? Why?
  1. Do you think Romans, Ancient Greeks, or some other ancient civilization we discussed in class had a greater impact on modern Western society? Why?
  1. What effect did Alexander the Great have upon both the spread of Greek culture and the suppression (or destruction) of non-Greek culture?
  1. How did slavery function in Ancient Greece and the Roman Republic? How many people were enslaved generally, and how little freedom did they enjoy (provide examples)?

Section 3: Essay Question (35 points)

Choose ONE of the following two questions and answer to the best of your ability using course materials. There is no minimum or maximum answer length, but please constrain your answer to 4-5 short paragraphs (maybe 300-500 words). On the flipside, these questions cannot be effectively answered with just 50 words!

  1. Imagine you are an average woman born into an average family in an ancient civilization. Your life would have been very different depending on when and where you happened to be born. Choose three of the following five times and places, now compare an average woman’s life in each of these civilizations. Focus on the features of everyday life, both good and bad. Hint: Simply saying “It was bad everywhere” is not the answer!
  • Ur, 7500 BCE
  • Sparta, 500 BCE
  • Athens, 400 BCE
  • Rome, 200 BCE
  • Alexandria (Egypt), 50 BCE
  1. A major theme in this class so far as been the development of democratic practices and ideals. Both Ancient Greeks and Romans practiced some form of democracy. How did democracy function in these places? How did it change? Who was allowed and not allowed to participate? And how did less powerful people, typically the poor, affect change even without direct access to power?

Section 4: Extra Credit (4 points)

Tell me two things you have learned so far in class that have been relevant to your daily life or simply interesting.

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