HIS 101
Unit 1:  Introduction
Great Pyramid
The Great Pyramid of Ancient Egypt; photo courtesy C. Wayne and Dorothy Miller.
Blue Separator Bar
What you must do in this unit
What you should do in this unit What you can do in this unit
  • Listen to some further introductory remarks as a mp3 file.  You can also read the information as a txt file.
  • Watch the short clip of the Medieval Help Desk about some problems that medieval monks faced with the transition from using scrolls to reading books.  Log into Blackboard and check for it under course materials.
  • Read some short remarks on Why Do We Teach and Study Western Civilization; or World Civilization, or Why Study Any History? We also have a list of history associations available.
  • Review the sample analysis of an excerpt from Hammurabi's code of laws.  There will be many assignments in this course which will require you to read and analyze a historical document.
  • Begin to review for the map portion of the midterm (unit 7) and final (unit 15) exams.  Now is a good time to begin to study and prepare.  Please check the Blank Western Civilization map and the Map items, a list of the geographical places, features and areas that you will be expected to locate on a blank map for the tests.  Check some recommended sources for map study.
  • Years ago when the course was offered, we used television programs and then later audio lectures to supplement the reading in the course. Those videos and audio clips are now available on www.nvcc.edu/itunesu/ (under Open Courses look for HIS 101). That material does not exactly fit with some of the current assignments in the course, but you might find something interesting, useful or valuable there. In particular, check out the short clip on Death and Destruction in the Western World.
Extra Credit Options
  • For 25 points of extra credit, review this entire course website, check the online ELI student orientation and send your instructor any questions that you might have.  This must be done in units 1 or 2 of the course to receive credit.
  • For a maximum of 25 points of extra credit, comment in a long paragraph on the perspective of time displayed in Carl Sagan's Cosmic Calendar (also in slightly different versions at A Cosmic Calendar or The Cosmic Timeline).  You can also watch this on YouTube. (well worth watching!) Here is a link to the actual timeline of the universe.
  • Comment in a long paragraph on the remarks relevant to What is Civilization, and the characteristics of "civilization" according to François Pierre Guillaume Guizot, for a maximum of 25 points.
  • You can also earn extra credit at any time by (a) finding a typo, spelling error or broken link (and sending me that information) or (b) finding any website or web materials that are relevant to this course.  (Send the title of the site, the url and a brief explanation why you find the information interesting and applicable to the course.)
  • Other opportunities for extra credit?
  • Suggest an assignment for use somewhere in the course.  Be creative!

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For information contact cevans@nvcc.edu