Friday, December 10, 2010

Final: History 111 Fall 2010

Here is the final I gave my History 111 students. As you can see, the class has been about Greece, Rome and Early Christianity. Note the emphasis I have placed on concepts as opposed to simple historical facts.  

Identify (Pick 7): 35 pts.

1. Crassus

2. Mithridates VI

3. Marius

4. Cato

5. Peloponnesian War

6. Aphrodite

7. Pharisees

8. Gnosticism

9. Peter

10. Herodotus

Short Answers (Pick 5): 40 pts.

1. What was the major political issue for anyone living in first century Palestine?

2. How might we go about differentiating between Paul’s real letters and those which were forgeries?

3. Why did Athens believe it could defeat Sparta in the Peloponnesian War? What went wrong?

4. How committed was Cicero to making sure that no Roman citizen was executed without trial?

5. Why did Rome end up fighting so many wars? How did success in these wars pose a threat to the Republic? What was the solution to this problem and how did it trap Rome in a vicious cycle?

6. How are myths useful historical sources? Give an example.

7. What do we mean by the “power of unforeseen consequences” in history? Give an example.

Essays (Pick 1): 60 pts.

1. What sorts of things do you need to put into a story in order to make it successful (sell millions of copies and be made into a movie)? Do these things always correspond to how events transpire in real life? How does this affect the writing of historical fiction like Imperium and SPQR as well as even works that claim to be historical “fact?” Give examples.

2. How might an anthropologist (say from South Korea) go about studying college students in the American Midwest? What are some of the obstacles that this anthropologist would need to avoid? How might these same issues of method be relevant to the study of a place like Sparta? Were the Spartans really as militaristic and sexually free as some of our sources claim?

Bonus: 5 pts.

Who in modern American politics is a populist? Why is populism such an attractive ideology today?

Now I have to finish actually grading the forty or so finals.

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