Ancient (Bible World) History, Lit and Comp (Honors)
The study of antiquity offers a unique gateway into a more complex and intimate understanding of the biblical narratives and other writings in the Old and New Testaments. In this course, students will dive deep into the world of the Bible, examining the interconnected history, literature, and cultures of Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Levant, Persia, Greece, and Rome. They will trace the major historical developments that shaped the ancient world, from the dawn of civilization in Mesopotamia, to the thriving cultures of the Ancient Near East, emphasizing Egypt, Israel, Assyria, Babylon and Persia, followed by the influence of the Hellenistic world and the rise of the Roman Republic and Empire. Students will read, study, and analyze biblical texts – from the foundational narratives of Genesis and Exodus to the Epistles of Paul, and from the rich, evocative poetry of Job and the Psalms to the parables and sayings of Christ – as well as great literary works of the ancient world, including the stirring and tragically heroic epics of Gilgamesh and The Iliad, the mythic tales of the Homeric Hymns and Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and the writings of skilled rhetoricians such as Cicero and Seneca. This course also teaches students critical thinking, research, and analytical skills, the components of strong, persuasive arguments, and the composition of clear and sophisticated writing. Come learn about the world of biblical antiquity – a world that not only shaped the past, but whose thinkers, writers, rulers, and leaders have fundamentally shaped the modern world in which we live today.
Credit Note: On a transcript, this integrated course lists as two Honors courses — an English course credit and a History course credit.
Schedule Note: This course is offered in alternating years with Medieval, Renaissance, and Reformation History, Lit, and Comp. This course is offered next in 2023-24.