Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Medieval Architecture Documentaries

The ubiquitous Michael Woods on the Romanesque, Pilgrimmage, Monastaries, and the Gothic:

Friday, April 27, 2012

Medieval Documentary

Although a little "sensational" in tone, view these brief clips with the notion of "decline" in mind. Also note the roles of Clovis, Monastaries, and St. Benedict.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Islam: Empire of Faith Documentary

View these two well-balanced links on the origins and spread of Islam.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Roman Architecture

Council of Nicaea

Click on this brief expalantion of the role and signficance of the Council of Nicaea.


The first link is a more theologically detailed look at Constantine. The second is an examination of Constantine relative to the movie "The Da Vinci Code."


A brief lecture on Diocletian's division of the Empire:

The Romans in Palestine

Emperor Titus who led the Roman forces in the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.

The famous western (or "wailing") wall, all that remains of Herod's Temple.


The Rise of the "Permanet Great Man"

To the left is the "modified" bust of Pompey (who was quite bald and, apparently, very vain).

Julius Caesar

Augustus (Octavian) Caesar

Punic Wars

Southern Italy

Second Punic War

Hannibal Barca

Crossing the Rhone River

The Battle of Cannae

Ancient Rome Origin Myths

Aeneas escapes a burning Troy with his father (literally) in tow.

In this bust, Aeneas escapes with idols of the family gods.

An obviously ravenous Romulus and Remus, with the famous She-Wolf.

A mapof the famous Seven Hills of Rome

Ancient Italy

In lecture we looked at the values reflected in Rome's origin myths. Keep these in mind as you view the two links below:

Romulus and "wolf" link

Aeneas link

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Below is a brief but informative essay on the context and development of the Legalist School:

Qin Dynasty

Here's a link about the Qin Dynasty, Shi Wang Ti, the capital at Xian, and the Qin Dynasty.
Qin Dynasty

Buddhism Dicumentary

Hinduism Documentary

A general-public documentary from a Western point of view.

Early Israel and Judaism

The complex history of Ancient Israel and Judaism will be examined in some detail in lecture. But the student should navigate around the following link. It may appear daunting at first, but the layout is pretty straightforward. Give it a try:
History of Judaism Time Line

Apaocalypse Documentary

Click on to the documentary "Apocalypse" from the Frontline series on PBS. Pay particualr attention to such notions as dualism, Zoroastrianism, Satan, Judgement, and the endof (human) time.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Queen Hatshepsut Documentary

Egypt, Persia, and Palestine Study Terms

Ancient Egypt: Order & Protest
(Pgs. 48-56)
Environment and Geography
Isolation and the Nile River
Unified State v. City-States
The Afterlife (& Hierarchy)
Book of the Dead
Ma’at (& Isfet)
The Role of the State in bringing order and Cosmos
Creation, the original “hillock” Hieroglyph of ma’at
Birth/Rebirth/Order & Cosmos:
Amen-Ra, Thoth, the Sun Boat, and Apep
Osiris, Isis, Seth
Rebirth and Life
Stability and Protest:
“Pharaoh” Hatshepsut
Amenhotep III
(Alternatively spelled Amenhophis)
Empire and the New Kingdom
Amenhotep IV (Akhetaton)
Akhenaton and Nefertiti
The Hymn to Aton (&Psalm 104)
(Sigmund Freud: Moses and Monotheism)

Persia & Zoroastrianism
(Pgs. 124-131)
Cyrus the Great
Zoroaster/Zarathustra (Reading Pg. 130)
Fire Gods/ Marduk/Ba’al/The Magi
Ahura-Mazda (“Wise Lord”)
Ahriman (Angra Mainyu) “Fallen” Being
Dualism of good and evil
The Avesta
Asha or “Truth” and Druj or “The Great Lie”
Mithra and the “Six Immortals”
People as the “Collective Savior”
Legacies of Zoroastrianism:
The Book
Human Free Will
Paradise (or Hell) after Death/Immortal Bodies
Light and Dark/Right and Wrong/The Spirit and the Flesh
Judgment Day at the End of (Human) Time/The Apocalypse

Palestine & Judaism
(Pgs. 63-65)
Moses, the Sinai Covenant, and the “Chosen People”
(The First Commandment)
King David/Jerusalem
King Solomon
Importance of Jerusalem and the Temple
Kingdom of Israel (North/Assyrians/”Ten Lost Tribes of Israel”)/The 1st Diaspora
“Yahweh-only” Movement
Kingdom of Judah (South/Nebuchadnezzar/Chaldean/Destruction of the Temple & the “Babylonian Captivity”)
(Zoroastrianism)/Cyrus the Great of Persia
Return of the Exiles and the Rise of Satan
Antiochus IV/Judas Maccabaeus
Book of Daniel
Apocalypticism, the messiah(s), and the “select”

Significances of Judaism:
Monalatary Monotheism
Judaism as Ethical System/ Social Justice
Hebrew Patriarchy
Perfectibility, End Times, Linear Time (Chaos v. Cosmos)
Reinforces Apocalypticism

Akhenaten Documentary


Pharaoh Akhenaten's monotheistic religion apparently was not the only thing unusual about him. Read this National Geographic article
Androgynous Build
Sigmund Freud had an interesting take on Atenism and the origins of Monotheism. Read the following article from the New York Times Magazine:
Freud, Monotheism, Moses, and Akhenaten
The relationship between Akhenaten and his successor, "King Tut" has been in dispute for some time. Check out a new wrinkle in the debate:
Tut's Father?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Human Evolution, Civilization, and Mesopotamia Study Terms

Human Evolution, the Neolithic Revolution, and “Civilization”
(Chapter 1)
Charles Darwin
Natural Variation & Natural Selection
Inherited Characteristics
Homo erectus (or ergaster)
“Out of Africa” (The first time)
Homo sapiens
“Out of Africa” (Again)
Animism vs. Organized Religion (Burials)
Neolithic “Revolution”
Domestic Agriculture
Sedentary Lifestyle
“Riverine” Cultures & “Cooperative effort”
Rise of States
Specialization and Hierarchy
Urban (City-States)
Writing (Cuneiform)
Monumental Architecture (Ziggurat)
Long(er) Distance Trade (Surpluses)
Nomadic Pastoralism

(Chapter 2)
Fertile Crescent
Potter’s Wheel
Cuneiform Writing
Ur & Uruk
Sumerian Religion:
Chaos v. Cosmos
Nature and Patron Gods (Ziggurat)
Akkadian Empire
Apsu and Tiamat vs. Marduk
The Epic of Gilgamesh (Uruk)
Death and the Afterlife
Hammurabi’s Code
Cosmos in Human Society

World Civ II Hybrid Syllabus

INSTRUCTOR: Mr. James P. Walsh
OFFICE: Seal Hall-Office R
OFFICE TELEPHONE: (601) 403-1231
OFFICE HOURS: Office hours are posted next to my door at Office R.

Pearl River Community College is a public institution committed to providing quality educational opportunities for all who seek them.
1. Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to identify and explain the significance of the major people, places, events, and ideas that gave shape to human experience around the globe from prehistory to the 16th Century.
2. The student will differentiate between the most salient interpretive eras of human history before1500, such as Ancient Greece, Imperial Rome, and the rise of Christianity.
3. The student will appraise and assess the use of historical themes, such as political, military, socio-economic, religious, intellectual-cultural, and other varieties of history interpretation.
Lockard, Craig A. World: Volume 1--To 1500 (Boston: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2011).
Elaine Pagels and Karen L. King Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity
(You will need Scantron sheets for each in-class quiz, midterm, and the final exam. They are available at the bookstore.)
The immense complexity of the human experience is based in its earliest years and centuries. Developing over eons from nomadic, to hunter/gatherer, to sedentary agriculture, and finally urbanization, humanity has created an immense quilt of cultures, religions, societies, and political structures. In the first decade of the new millennium (and especially after the events of 9/11/01), it is important to nurture an expansive world-view of the human experience. In 1942, Republican leader and Hoosier Wendell Wilkie described a planet that was becoming “One World.” It is incumbent upon us to understand, appreciate, and honor the origins, values, beliefs, and faiths of the inhabitants of this One World. Thus, the successful student—and citizen—will develop an excellent grasp of the material by honing and perfecting analytical skills, reading and writing fundamentals, and the integral processes of critical thinking.

2 Mid-Term Exams (100 points each) 200 Points 50% Semester Grade
1 Final Exam (100 points) 100 Points 25% Semester Grade
4 In-Class Quizzes (10 points each) 40 Points 10% Semester Grade
2 Learning Lab Quizzes (10 points each) 20 Points 5% Semester Grade
1 Writing Assignment (40 points) 50 Points 10% Semester Grade 400 Total Points

90 to 100 A Excellent 360 – 400 Total Points
80 to 89 B Good 320 – 359 Total Points
70 to 79 C Average 280 – 319 Total Points
60 to 69 D Poor 240 – 279 Total Points
59 and Below F Failure 239 and Below

The student MUST present a valid excuse to make up a missed mid-term exam. In addition, the student MUST make up a missed mid-term exam within one week of the date of the exam. There are no make ups for final exams. Further, there are no make ups for missed in-class & Learning Lab quizzes—they will count as one of your dropped grades. It is the student’s responsibility to stay current on assigned work and exercises. If a student is involved in such extra-curricular activities as athletics, the band, chorus, etc., it is the student’s responsibility to see the instructor BEFORE you miss to make arrangements to take quizzes and exams early or as make ups. Exceptions will not be made for anyone who does not communicate with the instructor in a mature and conscientious manner.

Students are allowed to miss twice the number of class sessions as the class meets in a week. Students are therefore allowed two absences during the course of the term. If a student does miss three or more classes, a “cut out” form will be sent to the Academic Dean’s office and the student will be dropped from the class roll and receive an F for the course. A student who is more than fifteen minutes late after the official start time of the class will be considered officially absent from class. If a student is involved in such extra-curricular activities as athletics, the band, chorus, etc., it is the student’s responsibility to see the instructor BEFORE you miss class to make sure your absences are correct and up to date. If the student does not communicate in a mature and conscientious manner, the student may indeed be cut out of class because of poor attendance.

To be successful in this class, you need to be diligent in your attendance and promptness. Tardy students miss important material, and even more importantly, disrupt the instructor and other students. Three tardies will count as one absence. Students who leave the classroom before dismissal will be charged with a tardy.

There will be six in-class quizzes based on lecture material and four Learning Lab quizzes based on chapters from the textbook. All quizzes and exercises are multiple-choice. I will drop your four lowest quiz scores. The dates for the in-class quizzes are indicated in bold on the syllabus. The dates for the Learning Lab quizzes are not on the syllabus; they will be announced in class. If a student takes an in-class quiz at the beginning of class and then leaves the class, he or she will receive a zero for that quiz and an absence for that day. Bring a Scantron sheet to each in-class quiz day.

There will be two mid-term (or “hour’) exams. They are fill-in-the-blank, multiple-choice, true-false, and essay. The student MUST present a valid excuse to make up a missed mid-term exam. In addition, the student MUST make up a missed mid-term exam within one week of the date of the exam. The final will be comprehensive and completely objective. Bring a Scantron sheet to each mid-term exam and the final.

There will be one short writing assignment due about ten weeks into the semester. The required length will be 4 to 5 pages. The assignment will consist of a series of responses to the Pagels and King book. Students who plagiarize on this assignment will lose all forty points PLUS an additional letter grade of their final grade. Information about the assignment (and plagiarism) will be handed out as the semester progresses.

There will be one opportunity for extra credit in this course. Upon completion of the extra credit assignment, I will replace your lowest grade of any in-class or Learning Lab quiz you have taken with a 100%. I will make details regarding extra credit available later in the semester.

Because of the “survey” nature of the course, the main emphasis is on lecture and lecture material, thus consistent attendance is of paramount importance. Tape recorders are allowed, but check with the instructor first. Students are NOT allowed to use laptops to take notes during class. “Study buddies” and fill-in note takers, however, are highly recommended.

This section of World Civilizations I is a “blended” or Hybrid class. Usually, what this will entail is one lecture session per week and an additional Internet resource or brief exercise. I will hand out assignments, Web sites, etc., each week as the semester progresses.

Office hours for instructors at two-year colleges are almost always much greater than those for instructors at four-year institutions. Please take advantage of these office hours as much as possible. Beyond office hours and interpersonal contact, the most efficient way to stay in touch is through emails. All PRCC students have free email accounts. When emailing the instructor, identify yourself with your full name and what class you are enrolled in. Allow the instructor at least 24 hours to respond.

If you have a disability that qualifies under the Americans With Disabilities Act and you require accommodations, you should contact Ms. Moody at 601-403-1060 ( for information on appropriate policies and procedures.

There are any number of things that the student can do (and not do) to get the grades that he or she thinks they deserve. Some are listed below.
1.) Do not miss class. Come to class on time. Take notes. Prepare. Be ready to learn.
2.) Take advantage of PRCC’s very generous office hours.
3.) Do not get up in the middle of class. Use the restroom before class.
4.) Do not talk while the instructor is speaking.
5.) Do not sleep in class. You must be mentally present, as well as physically. After being warned, if you sleep in any future class you will be counted absent for that entire class period.
6.) Do not study for another course in this class. If you continue to do so after being warned, I will give you a zero on your previous quiz score in the grade book and count you absent for the day.
7.) Do not use a laptop during the lecture portion of the class.
8.) Do not text during class. If you continue to text after being warned, I will give you a zero on your previous quiz score in the grade book and count you absent for the day. Cell phones are not permitted to be seen at any time during the class period.
9.) Do not listen to iPods, MP3 players & all other sundry and nefarious listening devices. If you continue to do so after being warned, I will give you a zero on your previous quiz score in the grade book and count you absent for the day.
10.) If a student persists in talking, sleeping, studying, or texting in class (Numbers 3 through 9 above), I will subtract points, add absences, and ask for a personal conference with the student. If the problem persists, I will inform Dr. Breerwood to remove you from my class.


Week 1 1/11 Class Introduction-Syllabus
Evolution, Prehistory & Mesopotamia
Friday 1/13 Last Day to Drop and Add Classes

Week 2 1/18 Egypt, Palestine, & Persia
Monday 1/16--MLK Day--Classes do not meet.

Week 3 1/25 Egypt, Palestine, & Persia
In-Class Quiz I

Week 4 2/1 Ancient India

Week 5 2/8 Ancient China
In-Class Quiz II

Week 6 2/15 Greece: Hellenic & Hellenistic Cultures

Week 7 2/22 Sparta and Imperial Athens
In-Class Quiz III

Week 8 2/29 Rome: Origins, Legacies, & Christianity

Week 9 3/7 Exam I

Week 10 3/14 Republican and Imperial Rome
Book Response due by Noon Friday 3/16

Week 11 3/19-3/23 Spring Break

Week 12 3/30 Rome and the Rise of Christianity
In-Class Quiz IV

Week 13 4/4 Exam II
Good Friday 4/6—Classes Do Not Meet

Week 14 4/11 Islam
Africa: Christian Axum & Islamic Sudan
Monday 4/9—Last day to withdraw with guaranteed W
New Orleans Trip—Friday 4/13

Week 15 4/18 Axum and Sub-Sahara Africa
Pre-Columbian Meso-America
In-Class Quiz V
Good Friday & Easter Break 4/21, 4/22 & 4/25

Week 16 4/25 Medieval Europe
In-Class Quiz VI

Week 17 5/2 Medieval Europe—The Gothic—Black Death


Sumerian Religious Landscape

Many historians consider the ancient region of Sumer (the regions of modern-day Iraq and Kuwait) to be the birthplace of complex civilizations. The image is that of a stepped pyramid called a "ziggurat".
The ziggurat was probably the origin for the story of the Tower of Babel in the Hebrew Bible.
The second image is an example of Cuneiform writing that developed very early in Mesopotamia.
Description of Sumerian Culture

Norman Cohn and Sumerian Religions

Marduk, representing order, predictability, wealth, health, and success,
destroyed the Dragon-Mother Tiamat to both bring order out of chaos AND
to create the physical universe.

One of the earliest representations of the battle between order and disorder, cosmos and chaos occurred in the mythology of early Babylon. Read the following brief description at:
Battle Against Tiamat and Chaos
Read a review of Cohn's "Cosmos, Chaos and the World to Come" at:
Chaos Book Review
The late historian, Norman Cohn, developed the notions of "Chaos and Cosmos" we refer to several times in the early part of the semester. Read his obit from the New York Times:
Cohn obit