STUDY QUESTIONS FOR MIDTERM EXAMINATION History 150
Dr. Robert Cleve
The midterm will be on Tuesday, October 11. The test will consist of two groups of three questions each, selected from the study questions below. You will be required to answer one question from each group, i.e. a total of two questions. You will have approximately 35 minutes to complete each essay. If you have not already given the instructor two green books, please do so now. 1.
How do we study ancient history? List and discuss the basic sources of ancient history and explain how accurate information is extracted from them. Support your answer with specific facts and examples.
Compare and contrast the geographical environments Mesopotamia and Egypt. What are the major similarities and differences and how did these environments help shape the civilizations that developed in each location?
You have read three versions of the creation story: “The Enuma Elish”, “The Theology of Memphis”, and “The Creation Story from Genesis” (Early Western Civilization Source Readings, pp. 34–49). Compare and contrast these three stories. What is similar and what is different in the attitude toward life expressed in these texts? What do they reveal about the relationship between humanity and spiritual world in each of the cultural systems?
At the beginning of Egyptian history, only the Pharaoh, due to his special relationship to the gods, could hope to attain immortality beyond the grave. However, by the time of the New Kingdom even the common people could hope to achieve an afterlife. Trace and explain this “democratization” of the next world. Cite examples from the assigned readings and lectures to support arguments.
“The Law Code of Hammurabi” (Early Western Civilization, Source Readings, pp. 13–21) deals with almost every aspect of life in ancient Babylonia. In the prologue to the code, Hammurabi states that the god Enlil gave him the mission to “to cause justice to prevail in the land. . . [and] to prevent the strong from oppressing the weak.” Does the code accomplish these goals? Support your views with specific examples from the code.
MIDTERM STUDY QUESTIONS: HISTORY 150
It has been said that one of the key contributions of the ancient Greeks to Western Civilization was the development of the “secular point of view.” What is meant by this phrase and why is this contribution so significant? Support your arguments with material from your reading assignments in Early Western Civilization Source Readings (Chapter 3).
You have read five of Plutarch’s biographies of important historical figures in ancient Greek history (Early Western Civilization Source Readings, p. 154–237). Choose one of these biographies and demonstrate why Plutarch believed this person to be historically important. Evaluate Plutarch’s point of view.
Compare and contrast the constitutions of Sparta and Athens. Discuss the underlying cultural and social elements that produced these constitutions. What were the shortcomings and the benefits of each system?
Discuss the essential differences between the Hellenic (Classical) and the Hellenistic ages. How did these differences affect the everyday lives of the people? How were the differences reflected in the art, literature and philosophy of the two periods? Support your answer with specific evidence.
The Hellenistic Age saw the rise and development of three major schools of philosophy: Stoicism, Epicureanism and Cynicism, all of which still influence our modern world. Briefly outline and explain each philosophy. How did each of these philosophies define hoe the “good life” is to be attained?