Classical Civilizations

Classics/History 3170: History of Classical Civilizations
Prof. Owen Ewald
Seattle Pacific University
Fall 2017

DH 259
12:50-2:50 pm Tuesday and Thursday


Office:  Marston 219
Office Hours:  Monday 12:30-1:20, Tuesday 3-4

Telephone:  (206) 281-2070
Course Web Page on Canvas, CLA 3170 or HIS 3170


University and Department Goals:


  1. We seek to graduate people of competence & character.
  2. We seek to become people of wisdom.
  3. We seek to model a grace-filled community.
  4. To understand and appreciate the rich diversity of world languages and cultures, both ancient and modern.


Objectives of this class:

  1. to learn the basic outline of the history and culture of ancient Greece and Rome
  2. to compare and contrast these ancient cultures with each other, with our own and with other modern cultures
  3. to refine skills in reading and discussion
  4. to write two completely different types of papers


Texts: (all required, 1-2 available at bookstore):  Please obtain the MOST RECENT edition.

  1. Demand = Demand, History of Ancient Greece in its Mediterranean Context (Demand) Sloan, 3rd edition. ISBN 978-1-59738-045-8
  2. Boatwright = Boatwright et al., The Romans:  From Village to Empire (Boatwright), 2nd edition.  Oxford, ISBN 978-0-19-973057-5


Registration Note:  From the point of view of the new Exploratory Curriculum, this course does NOT count as Ways of Knowing in the Social Sciences or Ways of Knowing in the Humanities because it is upper-division. It does not count as Ways of Engaging, either, and there is too much war in the course to count for Peace Studies. From the point of view of the History major (including Museum Studies), this class CAN count as an upper-level elective, and I pray that the course will deepen and enrich your understanding of historical causation and meaning.  This course can also count toward the Linguistics and Cultural Studies or Classics majors.



Academic Integrity:  The current edition of the SPU Undergraduate Catalog describes the University’s commitment to academic integrity, which is breached by academic dishonesty of various kinds. Among these is turning in another’s work as your own and committing plagiarism, which is the copying of portions of another’s words from a published or electronic source without acknowledgement of that source. The penalty for a breach of academic integrity is a failing grade for the work in question on the first offense and a failing grade for the course as a whole with repeated offenses.  You will be reported to the department chair.


Disability statement: In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, students with specific disabilities that qualify for academic accommodations should contact Disabled Student Services (DSS) in the Center for Learning. DSS in turn will send a Disability Verification Letter to the course instructor indicating what accommodations have been approved.


Technology:  Laptops are permitted if they are used appropriately (e.g. for reading/note-taking, not for shoe-shopping).  Set your phone on “silent”/ “airplane” mode, and put it away.


Emergency procedure: Note the emergency procedures posted in the classroom, and note the emergency exits. In case of an emergency (fire, earthquake, hazardous material spillage, bomb threat, etc.), the class will evacuate the building and gather in the 5th Avenue Streetscape (closed road between Marston and the Library).  Also, the amber digital clock will provide emergency alert information as it becomes available.  Please try to stay together so that we can check that everyone has made it safely out of the building.


Course Evaluation:  It is my expectation that you will participate in an online evaluation of this course and its instructor in a thoughtful and constructive manner.  The evaluation data is used to make improvements in the course, and your feedback is considered when selecting textbooks, designing teaching methods and preparing assignments; Bible Day was a student’s idea.  Courses are evaluated using the Banner Course Evaluation System.  All answers are completely confidential - your name is not stored with your answers in any way. In addition, your instructor will not see any results of the evaluation until after final grades are submitted to the University.  You need to turn in the receipt from the Banner Evaluation System along with the final draft of your coin paper in order to receive credit for the draft; the receipt can be in hard copy or electronic.


Inclement Weather: The University maintains an Emergency Closure Hotline (206-281-2800). In the event of inclement weather or an emergency that might close the university, please call the Hotline for the most up-to-date closure information or check the SPU website. Both will be updated before 6:00 a.m. Information on evening classes, events, and athletic games will also be updated.



  • Two papers: Paper A, literature paper (30% of total grade): write a medium-length paper of 7-8 pages critiquing a literary treatment of more than 80 pages set in a particular period of Greek or Roman history.  You must use at least 5 peer-reviewed sources and MLA format.  Movies are not eligible, but graphic and young adult novels are, as long as they meet the page minimum of 80.  Timeline: topic (1%) due 2nd Tuesday, Works Cited page (2%) due 3rd Tuesday, outline (5%) due 4th Tuesday, rough draft (10%) due 5th Tuesday, final draft (15%) due 7th Tuesday; AND Paper B, coin paper (15% of total grade):  write a short paper of 3-4 pages about a coin from the SPU Archives and about what it tells us about Roman history with the aid of 3 peer-reviewed sources in APA format; rough draft with References (5%) due 9th Tuesday, final draft with References (10%) due on Dec. 11th, the last day of the quarter; you must include your electronic receipt from your student evaluation in order to receive credit for the final draft.  For several reasons related to assessment, the final drafts will be graded with a numerical rubric. Please send all paper-related materials by e-mail to
  • Midterm: 20%;  Format:  multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank questions, plus an essay based on an image or text.
  • Final Exam: 25%;  Format:  multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank questions, plus two essays, one on an image and one on a text.
  • Class Participation: 10%; this is not just attendance, but engagement with course activities, including small-group work.


Online Resources


Scholarly articles:  TOCS-IN at

See also the Classics page of the SPU Library for other resources.

Marble Plan of Rome:

How historians handle artifacts:

I hope to put some other resources on Canvas.


Credit hour estimate:  349+458 = 797 pages of reading / 20 pages per hour = 39.85 hours; 20 pages of writing/revision/research/observation * 3 hours per page = 60 hours; Midterm + Final = 10 hours of studying; total hours = 109.85, or  2.12 hours per credit per week.



Tuesday Thursday
Sep 26:  Intro to Greece; Question:  How do we know what happened before we were born? Sep 28:  Bronze Age Greece:  Demand ch. 1;  Question:  How does the geography of Greece affect its history?
Oct 3:  Minoans & Mycenaeans; Demand chs. 2-3; How do the Minoans and Mycenaeans differ from one another? Topic for lit paper due Oct 5:  Collapse & Recovery; Demand ch. 4-5; Why did civilization collapse around 1200 BC, yet recover by 800?
Oct 10:  Alternatives to Absolutism:  Sparta & Athens; Demand chs. 6-7; What features of archaic governments are worth keeping? Works cited for lit paper due Oct 12:  Ionia & Persian War; Demand ch. 8-9; Why did the Greeks win the Persian Wars?
Oct 17:  Athenian Empire and Gender & Status; Demand chs. 10-11; How do the statuses of women and slaves compare? Outline for lit paper due Oct 19:  Peloponnesian War & Fourth Century; Demand ch. 12-13; Why did Sparta win the Peloponnesian War?
Oct 24:  Hellenistic Period; Demand ch. 14-15; How did Alexander the Great change world history? Rough draft of lit paper due Oct 26:  Midterm;
Oct 31:  Intro to Rome:  Monarchy to Republic; Boatwright ch. 1-2; Why does Rome develop a republic rather than a democracy? Nov 2:  Middle Republic;
Boatwright ch. 3-4; How does overseas expansion change Rome?
Nov 7:  Late Republic; Boatwright 5-6; What is the path to power in the Late Republic? Final draft of lit paper due Nov 9:  End of the Republic; Boatwright ch. 7; Why does the Republic end?; coin orientation session in Library
Nov 14:  Augustus & Early Empire; How do Augustus and his successors change Rome?  Boatwright ch. 8-9 Nov 16:  High Empire; Boatwright ch. 10; What makes the High Empire great (or not)?
Nov 21:  Provinces & Anarchy; Boatwright ch. 11-12; What forces are pulling the Roman Empire apart?  Coin paper rough draft and References due Thanksgiving
Nov 28:  Christianity & Late Empire; Boatwright ch. 13 What is the legacy of Greece and Rome to modern cultures? Nov 30:  Bible Day (Bring a Bible, any format/language); Review for Final
Final Exam on Wednesday, Dec. 6th at 10:30 am – 12:30 pm in our usual room Friday, Dec. 8th:  Final draft of coin paper due with References & evaluation receipt

Emergency Preparedness Information


Report an Emergency or Suspicious Activity

Call the Office of Safety & Security (OSS) at 206-281-2922 to report an emergency or suspicious activity. SPU Security Officers are trained first responders and will be dispatched to your location. If needed, the OSS Dispatcher will contact local fire/police with the exact address of the location of the emergency.


SPU-Alert System

The SPU-Alert System is SPU’s emergency notification system. It can send information via text message, email, electronic reader board, computer pop-ups (for SPU computers), loudspeaker, and recorded cell phone messages. Text messaging has generally proven to be the quickest way to receive an alert about a campus emergency. In order to receive text messages from SPU-Alert, you must provide SPU with your cell phone number through the Banner Information System on the web,  Select the Personal Menu then choose the Emergency Alert System tab. Contact the CIS Help Desk if you have questions about entering your personal contact information into the Banner Information System. Emergency announcements may also be made by SPU staff members serving as Building Emergency Coordinators (“BECs”).


Lockdown / Shelter in Place – General Guidance

The University will lock down in response to threats of violence such as a bank robbery or armed intruder on campus. You can assume that all remaining classes and events will be temporarily suspended until the incident is over. Lockdown notifications are sent using the SPU-Alert System.


If you are in a building at the time of a lockdown:

  • Stay inside and await instruction, unless you are in immediate visible danger. If you are in immediate danger: run to escape or hide in a securable area, and plan to defend yourself if necessary.
  • Move to a securable area (such as an office or classroom) and lock the doors and silence your phone.
  • Close the window coverings then move away from the windows and get low on the floor and if you are with other people spread out around the room.
  • Remain in your secure area until further direction or the all clear is given (this notification will be sent via the SPU-Alert System).

If you are outside at the time of a lockdown:

  • Leave the area and seek safe shelter off campus. Remaining in the area of the threat may expose you to danger.
  • Return to campus after the all clear is given (this notification will be sent via the SPU-Alert System).


Evacuation – General Guidance

Students should evacuate a building if the fire alarm sounds or if a faculty member, a staff member, or the SPU-Alert System instructs building occupants to evacuate.  In the event of an evacuation, gather your personal belongings quickly and safely proceed to the nearest exit. Most classrooms contain a wall plaque or poster on or next to the classroom door showing the evacuation route and the assembly site for the building. Do not use the elevator.


Once you have evacuated the building, proceed to the nearest evacuation assembly location. The “Stop. Think. Act.” booklet posted in each classroom contains a list of assembly sites for each building. Check in with your instructor or a BEC (they will be easily recognizable by their bright orange vests). During emergencies, give each BEC your full cooperation whenever they issue directions.


Additional Information

Additional information about emergency preparedness can be found on the SPU web page at or by calling the Office of Safety & Security at 206-281-2922.  


Emergencies, personal:  contact the Office of Student Life, 206-281-2481, or the Queen Anne Helpline, (206) 282-1540