Chapter study guides introduction and humanities primer
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HONORS HUM 2210:
WORLD HUMANITIES I
Instructor: John Hardin
CHAPTER STUDY GUIDES
INTRODUCTION AND HUMANITIES PRIMER
Which two authors do Matthews and Platt quote at the beginning of the introduction and what do you understand these statements to say about the study of the past?
What kind of world do Matthews and Platt suggest we will live in if we do not study the past; what problems might develop?
How do Matthews and Platt define a historical period?
How do Matthews and Platt define a cultural style?
What three broad historical periods do Matthews and Platt discuss in the introduction?
At the conclusion of the introduction, what do Matthews and Platt say is “the purpose of all education”?
In “A Humanities Primer”, what do Matthews and Platt say will happen if we never go beyond the “first careless rapture” we experience with a work of art?
What do Matthews and Platt say must happen for us to understand a work of art?
What is formalism?
What is contextualism?
What three different forms of art do Matthews and Platt briefly analyze in the “Humanities Primer”? Give the title and artist of a work of each artform included in the discussion.
What are some suggestions that Matthews and Platt make for what makes a work “great”?
CHAPTER 1: PREHISTORY, ANCEINT MESOPOTAMIA AND ANCIENT EGYPT
Prehistory and Early Cultures
How is the terms “culture” defined in the textbook? How is the term “civilization” defined in the textbook?
By what means do the authors suggest that culture is primarily passed on? By what means do the authors suggest that civilization is primarily passed on?
What two accounts of the creation of the earth do Matthews and Platt combine in a metaphor to help us better understand the evolution of our planet and humanity’s place on it?
What term is used to designate humans’ earliest cultural period and what does this term mean?
What are the three cultural periods that the prehistoric era is typically divided into?
Briefly describe how our Stone Age ancestors lived.
What types of evidence have been discovered to give us insight into prehistoric human life?
What artifacts mark human beings’ breakthrough to symbolic thought?
What theory regarding the purpose of prehistoric paintings is briefly discussed in this chapter?
Briefly describe the physical form and the possible meaning and purpose of the Figurine from Willendorf (Th e “Venus” of Willendorf) ..
Which revolution that permanently altered the course of the human experience took place at the dawn of the Neolithic period?
Prehistoric periods – and some historic periods – are often defined by technologies used during them. What two different materials that were used to create tools define the cultural periods that are discussed in chapter one?
What great rivers did Ancient Mesopotamia develop around?
What contemporary country encompasses much of the terrain of ancient Mesopotamia?
Which three major civilizations successively developed in ancient Mesopotamia?
Who was Sumer’s most successful and inspirational king and in what text are this king’s heroic adventures immortalized?
Who was the first and greatest of the Akkadian kings?
Who was the most successful leader of the Babylonians?
How did the geography of Mesopotamia affect the development of these cultures?
Of all the technologies that were developed by and influenced Mesopotamian culture, one of the most significant was writing. Why is writing an incredibly important part of human civilization?
Name and briefly describe the three stages Sumerian writing evolved through.
Briefly describe and define three important characteristics of Mesopotamian religion.
Of the influential themes expressed in The Epic of Gilgamesh, which do you think is most important today? Briefly explain the reasoning for your choice.
What is the most important set of ancient Mesopotamian laws? What significant concepts and attitudes do we inherit from ancient Mesopotamian law?
What is depicted in the relief sculpture at the top of the stele of The ?
Code of Hammurabi
What purposes did art serve in ancient Mesopotamia?
What is a ziggurat?
What great river was central to ancient Egyptian civilization and how did it influence Egyptian cultural attitudes?
Which great Egyptian king unified upper and lower Egypt?
What did the pharaoh represent in ancient Egypt?
Which female pharaoh is briefly discussed in this chapter and what great architectural work symbolizes her reign?
What religious/political system did ancient Egyptians follow?
Briefly describe the revolutionary changes that occurred under the reign of Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV) during the Amarna period.
What are hieroglyphics?
Under whose reign was the Great Pyramid at Giza built and what purpose did it serve?
What primary purpose did art, particularly sculpture, serve in Ancient Egypt?
What characteristics are associated with the Classical style of Egyptian sculpture? Name a work that is used in illustrate these traits.
Briefly describe how human figures were traditionally depicted in ancient Egyptian painting.
Heirs to the Mesopotamian and Egyptian Empires
(some material only in sixth edition)
What made the Hittites such a successful warrior people?
What are “the most lasting works” of the Hittites?
Briefly describe Assyrian culture.
What did the Assyrian Human-Headed Winged Bull symbolize and what purpose did it serve?
What modern nation is situated on what was the heart of the Persian Empire?
Which great Persian leaders are discussed in this section?
What do the authors consider to be “the most original and enduring of Persia’s legacies”?
CHAPTER 2: AEGEAN CITILIZATIONS
Introduction to Chapter Two
What ties most citizens of contemporary western culture to ancient Greece (rather than ancient Mesopotamia or ancient Egypt)?
In which fields did the ancient Greeks lay the foundations for western civilizations?
Where did Minoan civilization develop?
Briefly describe Minoan civilization and culture.
What is the most important archeological discovery from Minoan civilization?
Define frieze and fresco.
Briefly describe Minoan religious beliefs.
How did the Minoan civilization likely come to an end?
How did the ancient Greeks learn of the Mycenaeans’ history and culture?
Where was Mycenaean civilization located?
Briefly describe Mycenaean civilization and culture.
What is the best-known Mycenaean ruin?
What is depicted on the bronze sword blade illustrated in figure 2.5?
Briefly describe Mycenaean religious beliefs.
What likely led to the downfall of the Mycenaeans?
What significant role did the Greek poet Homer play in ancient Greek culture?
CHAPTERS 2-4: ANCIENT GREECE
Ancient Greek Culture and History
Define polis (plural = poleis) and briefly describe the role of the polis in Archaic Greece.
Briefly describe the purpose and function of the acropolis and the agora.
What responsibility/duty was central to the life of a Greek citizen?
Briefly describe life in ancient Sparta and ancient Athens, two of the major cities in ancient Greece.
Who was Cleisthenes and how did he shape the development of Greek culture, particularly its political structure?
Which major events mark the beginning and the end of the Hellenic Age of Greece?
What did the Greeks highly regard and seek to achieve in their daily lives, a trait that is reflected in many Greek dramas?
The Hellenic Age is divided into four phases; name and briefly describe each of them.
Who was Pericles and why is he significant to the evolution of ancient Greece, particularly Athens?
Which “Great” king/emperor is discussed in this chapter and what was his great dream?
What major events mark the beginning and end of the Hellenistic Age of Greece?
How did Hellenistic Greece differ from Hellenic Greece in terms of its political structure?
Ancient Greek Literature and Theatre
What historical event serves as the backdrop for the Homeric epics the Iliad and the Odyssey?
Matthews and Platt claim that Homer’s poetry is comparable to a “modern combination” of what three powerful forces?
How did Homer’s poems serve an ethical function for ancient Greeks?
Who was the greatest writer of solo lyrics in ancient Greece and what was the central theme in many of her poems (including “He Seems to Be a God”)?
Define the term “Classical.” Why is this term used to describe the main contributions of the ancient Greeks, particularly architecture and sculpture?
How was theatre related to religion in ancient Greece?
Why did the actors in ancient dramas wear masks?
Which ancient Greek philosopher is considered the first literary critic and what did this philosopher believe was the primary purpose of tragedy?
Which three Greek dramatists are discussed in chapter three? Name each of them and one of each of their tragedies.
What subjects were often the focus of Greek comedies?
Which playwright of Old Comedies and which of his plays is discussed in chapter three?
How did the dramatic arts, particularly comedy, change in the Hellenistic age?
What is a “pastoral” poem and which leading pastoral poet is discussed?
Ancient Greek Thought
What purposes did natural philosophy serve in ancient Greece?
Name the three Archaic philosophers discussed in chapter two and an idea that each one is associated with.
Who was Herodotus and what significant contribution did he make to ancient Greek culture?
Who was Thucydides and what significant contribution did he make to ancient Greek culture?
What was the central emphasis in Pre-Socratic schools of thought?
Who were the Sophists and what did they focus on teaching?
Who do Matthews and Platt consider to be “the thinker who launched a new era of philosophy” and what is the central focus in his school of thought?
Describe the Socratic method of teaching.
How did the Athenians reward Socrates’ efforts?
Who was Socrates’ most famous student and what topics are emphasized in his school of thought?
Who do Matthews and Platt consider “the most comprehensive mind of the ancient world” and what is emphasized in his school of thought?
Name and briefly describe the focus in each of the Hellenistic schools of philosophy discussed in chapter four.
Ancient Greek Religion and Architecture
What role did religion play in the public affairs of ancient Greece?
What two major groups of deities did ancient Greeks revere?
Which literary works outline the Greek pantheon?
What type of building was the greatest architectural achievement of the ancient Greeks?
What purpose did the temple serve in ancient Greece?
What architectural system did Greek buildings generally follow?
What are the three traditional Greek orders (you’ll need to read all three sections on Greek architecture and synthesize the information)?
What is considered to be the oldest and most famous sanctuary in ancient Greece?
How did the religious attitudes and traditions of the Greeks change in the Hellenic age?
How were ancient Greek architects able to achieve a great sense of balance and beauty in their buildings?
Which architects designed the Parthenon and to which god/goddess is this temple dedicated?
Other than the Parthenon, which major buildings are located at the Acropolis in Athens?
How did the religious attitudes and traditions of the Greeks change in the Hellenistic age?
How did the purpose of the temple and the altar change in the Hellenistic age?
Why was the Corinthian order widely used in Hellenistic architecture? Name an example discussed in chapter four.
How does the Altar of Pergamum reflect the influence of temple designs?
Ancient Greek Sculpture
Define “kouros” and “kore”, briefly describe their common features, and briefly explain the purpose that these sculptures served in the Archaic age.
How did ancient Greek sculpture differ from that of ancient Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt?
Briefly describe the Severe style and identify a sculpture that reflects this style.
Briefly describe the High Classical style and identify a sculpture that reflects this style.
Briefly describe the Fourth Century style and identify a sculpture that reflects this style.
Define the term “contrapposto” and briefly describe what this allows sculptors to do.
How did the Hellenistic style of sculpture differ from the Hellenic styles?
Identify and briefly describe the work considered to be “the sublime masterpiece of Rhodian and Hellenistic art.”
CHAPTERS 5 AND 7: ANCIENT ROME
Ancient Roman Culture and History
In what year was the city of Rome founded (chapter 5) and in what year did the Western Empire of Rome fall (chapter 7)?
Describe the traits of the ideal Roman citizen.
What cultural traditions shaped ancient Roman culture (consider the influence of the Etruscans and the Greeks)?
The Romans coined the term “humanities” to refer to …?
Which cultural traditions of ancient Rome have an influence on contemporary American culture?
What are the three phases of the political evolution of ancient Rome? Is there any similarity to the political evolution of the United States; if so, how so?
As Rome sought to conquer the Italian peninsula and eventually establish the largest empire in the West, how did they treat the various people that they defeated?
Why and when was Julius Caesar assassinated? How is this event a critical moment in ancient Roman history?
What is the Pax Romana and whose ascent to power marks its beginning?
What major crises did Rome face in the Late Age of the Empire and what solutions were proposed (chapter 5 and 7)?
What significance did Diocletian play in the politics of ancient Rome?
Which great Roman leader was Diocletian’s successor?
Ancient Roman Thought
Roman religion is described as “syncretic.” What does this mean?
Identify the three authors of “the Golden Age” of Roman literature that are discussed in chapter five and name one of each of their works.
What significance did the Aeneid play in ancient Roman culture?
What role did philosophy play in ancient Rome and which schools had the greatest impact?
What are some of the basic ideals of Roman law? Do these have any influence on contemporary American society; if so, how so?
Ancient Roman Architecture
In what area of the arts did the Romans make their greatest contribution?
What was the primary purpose of sculpture and architecture in ancient Rome?
What is considered the Romans’ most significant architectural innovation?
Which temple is recognized as one of the supreme achievements of Roman architecture?
What was the purpose of the Roman forum?
What purpose did monuments like the Arch of Titus and Trajan’s Column serve?
What does the Colosseum (the Flavian Ampitheatre) tell us about ancient Roman culture?
Ancient Roman Visual Arts and Music
What are the three phases of ancient Roman sculpture? Name an example of each phrase.
What is a mosaic?
CHAPTER 6: JUDAISM
How were Judaic beliefs passed on to Christians and Muslims?
Which Hebrew patriarch led his people to settle in Canaan?
What is a covenant?
Who led the Hebrews in their exodus from Egypt?
How do The Ten Commandments differ from other ancient codes of law?
What is the sacred name of the God of the Hebrews?
Which three major kings ruled over ancient Israel and under whose reign was the First Temple completed?
How did the Babylonian Captivity significantly influence the history and culture of the Jews?
What action did King Antiochus IV commit that caused the Maccabean clan to revolt?
What is the Western Wall/the Wailing Wall?
How is the Hebrew Bible organized – what are its majors sections?
How did the Hebrew Bible shape the beliefs, values, and worldview of the Jews?
Why is there no official Jewish religious painting or sculpture?
CHAPTERS 6 AND 7: EARLY CHRISTIANITY AND LATE ROME
What does the Greek term “Christ” mean?
How did the Roman authorities and leaders of the Jewish establishment view Jesus?
What miracle do Christians believe is the sign that Jesus is the Christ, as stressed in the writings of Paul?
Who are considered to be the authors of the four Gospels, when were these books written, and what primary purpose do they serve?
Besides the Gospels, what are the three other sections of the Christian New Testament? Briefly describe the significance of each set of writings.
What language was this canon of Christian writings originally composed in?
Who was largely responsible for carry Jesus’ message to non-Jewish (gentile) people in the first century A.D.?
How were the Christians typically treated in ancient Rome in the first three centuries (or so) A.D.?
Where is much Early Christian art, particularly paintings, to be found? Why is it located here?
How was Jesus often depicted in Early Christian art?
Who was responsible for the Great Persecution and what was the result?
What is the significance of the Edict of Milan and which Roman emperor is responsible for it?
In what century did Christianity become the official religion of Rome and which Roman emperor made Christianity the official state religion?
Name the three “Fathers of the Early Christian Church” discussed in this chapter and cite a significant contribution that each made to the Christian faith.
Briefly describe the basilica plan and name each of the basic sections of this architectural design. Name an example of such a building discussed in this chapter.
Besides the basilica plan, which other major plan did Early Christian architecture follow? Name an example of such a building discussed in this chapter.
What is depicted in the mosaic above the entryway in the tomb of Galla Placidia?
CHAPTER 7: BYZANTINE CIVILIZATION
What city served as the capital of Byzantium and where was it situated geographically?
What resources allowed the Byzantine Empire to survive while the Western Empire of Rome fell?
Which language became the official language of the church, state, and scholarship in the Byzantine Empire?
Who was Justinian?
What is an iconoclast?
What primary purpose did architecture serve in Byzantine culture? Briefly describe the Byzantine style of architecture.
What is a pendentive?
What magnificent church in Constantinople is illustrated and discussed in this chapter?
What was the significance of the city of Ravenna?
Which set of mosaics is discussed in this chapter and where are they housed?
How is Christ typically depicted in Byzantine art?
When did the Byzantine Empire fall?
CHAPTER 8: ISLAM
Define the terms Islam and Muslim.
Which commercial city in southern Arabia was central to the development of Islam?
Who is the founder of Islam?
What challenges did Muhammad and his followers present to the leaders of the city of Mecca?
What is the Hegira and why is it significant to the history of Islam?
What is the Kaaba?
What are the two central beliefs of the Islamic faith?
What is the sacred text of Islam? What other texts are also studied?
What are the Five Pillars of the Islamic faith?
A term that is often misunderstood and misused is jihad. How is this term properly defined?
What contributions did Islamic scholars make in the Muslim “Golden Age”? Identify each of the individual scholars discussed in this chapter and a significant contribution that each made.
Define the terms arabesque, mosque, minaret and minbar.
What is the Dome of the Rock and where is it located?
CHAPTERS 7, 9 AND 10: MEDIEVAL EUROPE
What was the primary source for a sense of safety and security for the majority of people living in Medieval Europe? (Hint: by the High Middle Ages, it became the dominant institution of the medieval world.)
Who was Charlemagne and how did he significantly contribute to the culture of the Early Middle Ages?
Who was Pope Gregory the Great and how did he significantly contribute to the culture of the Early Middle Ages?
Who was St. Benedict and what role did he play in the development of the Medieval Church?
What do Matthews and Platt consider to be one of the most important achievements of Charlemagne's palace school? Briefly explain why this achievement was incredibly important.
How does the story of Beowulf reflect the warrior culture of the Early Middle Ages?
What is feudalism and how did it influence the development of medieval culture?
What is the chivalric code?
What form of rule was the political outgrowth of medieval feudalism?
What seven sacraments were officially proclaimed by the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215?
The curriculum at cathedral schools, and later at the medieval university, consisted of which seven subjects?
What is scholasticism?
Who was Averroes?
Who was Thomas Aquinas and what role did he play in the debate between the philosophers and theologians at the University of Paris?
What is a chanson de geste? Name an example discussed in the assigned readings.
What well-known and popular legendary king became the subject of many medieval romances, particular those written by de Troyes?
Who was Dante Alighieri and what epic contribution did he make to medieval culture?
What was the primary purpose of the arts in the High Middle Ages?
Briefly describe the Romanesque style of architecture and identify a building (discussed in the readings) that reflects this style.
What purpose did Romanesque churches serve in the practices of the pilgrimage?
What is a tympanum?
Where did the term “Gothic”, at least as it applies to medieval art, originate?
Where did the Early Gothic style originate?
A well-known statement by the Abbot Suger is included in chapter ten – what does he believe provides a great resource for humans to “come to understand God”?
Briefly describe the Gothic style of architecture.
Identify a building (discussed in the readings) that reflects the Early Gothic style.
Identify a building (discussed in the readings) that reflects the High Gothic style.
A particular type of sculpted figure often adorns the exterior of Gothic cathedrals; what are these figures, and what practical and symbolic functions do they serve?
Which cathedral is home to the finest stained glass from the High Gothic era?
What major disasters did Europe face in the Late Middle Ages? What were these interpreted to mean/symbolize?
Which great Florentine poet is discussed in this chapter?
Which great English author’s work, which focuses on a pilgrimage, is discussed in this chapter?
What was the chief aesthetic goal of Late Gothic architects?
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