This is the reading assignments and class sessions page for J. B. Owens's sections of the
lower-division undergraduate course, History 101, The Foundation of Western Civilization.
This course can be taken to satisfy Goal 10A of the General Education Requirements of Idaho State
University and three credits of the World Regions requirement for History majors and minors. The
sole purpose of this page and all of the pages linked to it is to provide an orientation for those
students enrolled in History 101.
The first two sections of this course deal with the formation by churchmen in the eighth century C.E.
of a common identity for some European peoples based on Latin-Rite Christianity with important
leadership institutions in Rome, and the development of and challenges to this conception to the
early sixteenth century. This common identity was threatened during the Reformation era, when the
religious unity of Latin-Rite Christendom was shattered. The resulting religious divisions were
often reinforced by global conflicts among Europeans over their respective roles within the
developing economy of the first global age and by struggles over the institutions and theories of
political authority. A new type of common elite identity was increasingly developed on the basis of
an educational program and a concern to understand better the natural world.
You may return to the course main
page or to the J. B. Owens Main Page.
Reading Assignments and Class Sessions
This page provides information about the reading assignments and class sessions for J. B.
Owens's summer 2007 course "The Foundation of Western Civilization." All of the information
included here and on the linked pages is TENTATIVE and may be changed throughout the course.
You may return to the course
Readings are to be completed by the date indicated.
[NOTE: Both in the Owens book and, more often, in on-line sources, you will be reading
original documents from the various periods we will be studying in this course. Even though these
selections have been translated into English, they often puzzle students because writers in the past
presented material in ways quite different from authors now. To help you understand these
documents, consult the reading
documents page, which offers suggestions about how to read them. Also, READ in the
introduction to the Owens book, the section "Understanding Primary Sources" (pp. 3-5).]
Selecting the highlighted titles for each class session listed below will allow you to see:
- A list of important names and terms.
- A list of questions useful for understanding the lectures and reading assignments, for
developing questions for the on-line discussion, and for preparing for examinations.
HISTORY MAJORS: This course, like all of the others required for the History Major, is designed
to help you develop certain important cognitive and expressive skills. The conclusion of the History
Major program is History 491, the department's seminar. At that point, you will demonstrate your
ability to raise important historical questions, to find the information necessary in primary
(documents produced by historical individuals and groups) and secondary (such as the Kishlansky
book) sources to answer such questions, to formulate hypotheses in response to the questions and
organize the information you have found to defend your hypotheses, and to present your thesis and
its defense in a coherent written form. Current and potential History Majors should read the page on
the History Major Program, giving
special attention to the HISTORICAL THINKING OBJECTIVES.
As you do your reading for this course, work to find the information necessary to respond to the
questions raised on the page for each class session and to others like them that occur to you. Based
on the information you find, formulate hypotheses in response to the questions and think how you
would organize the information to defend those hypotheses. Engaging the course material in this
way on a regular basis will help you do well in this course and will help you reach the point where
you can do excellent work in the more advanced courses of the History Major, including the
NOTE: You may return to this page either by using Netscape's "back" option or by selecting the
highlighted command at the end of each class session assignment page.
- 11 June, Introduction to the course and The Coronation of Charlemagne and
the Beginnings of Europe as a World Region
- 12 June, The Emergence of
Christian Monastic Institutions and The Ecclesiastical Cultural
- 13 June, Feudalism and the
Warrior Tradition and Manorialism and Economic
Development in Latin Christian Europe (1000-1300)
- 14 June, Church Reform
and the Struggle for European Leadership and The Tradition of Christian
- 18 June, The Triumph of
the Reform Movement and A Model of European
- 19 June, Universities and the
Scholastic Method and Mendicant Monasticism
- 20 June, FIRST EXAM: Comprehensive, essay exam (bring sufficient blue books).
NOTE: The exam will be held during the first half of the regular time for the class in the regular
classroom. After the exam, we will continue with the following topic.
- 20 June, The Crisis of the
Late Middle Ages
- 21 June, The Crisis of
Religious Leadership and Renaissance Humanism and the
Roman Tradition of Citizenship
- 25 June, The Spread of the
Renaissance Humanist Curriculum and Christianity in Trouble
- 26 June, Catholic
Revival and Ooze, Mystery
and Machines: The Emergence of Modern Science
- 27 June, The First Global
- 28 June, War and Changing
- 2 July, Review of the late medieval period of crisis and the response of the those who created
the leadership curriculum of Renaissance Humanism
- 3 July, Review of the shattering of the religion unity of Latin-rite Christianity and the divisions
that threatened the concept of a European "civilization"
- 4 July, NO CLASS (The war of independence in British North America as a manifestation of
- 5 July, SECOND EXAM: Essay exam on the topics since the first exam (bring sufficient blue
NOTE: The exam will be held at the regular class time and in the regular classroom.
Mail questions and comments to owenjack at -- isu.edu, or send a message now. Please include your name and e-mail
address in the body of your message.
You may return to the course
All contents copyright © 1996-2007.
J. B. Owens
All rights reserved.
Revised: 10 June 2007