Western Heritage Core Syllabus 2016


M.T. Cicero, the greatest of Roman republicans

Course: Western Heritage, H104-7; H104-8

Autumn 2016, meets in LANE 233

Professor Bradley J. Birzer; office: Delp 403; bbirzer@hillsdale.edu


Required Readings

  • Hillsdale College History Department, ed., Western Heritage Reader (provided)
  • Secondary text (available in HC Bookstore)
  • handouts/readings


Grading: There will be three papers, a number of pop (that is, temporally random) quizzes, two midterms, and a blistering final.  Each of the exams will be based on lectures, discussions, and readings.


Grading structure in sum: Participation: 15%; papers (3 total): 30%; midterms (2 total): 30%; final: 25%


Papers.  Each paper should be roughly 700 to 1,000 words in length.  Please double-space your paper and use one-inch margins on each side.  At the end of the paper, please state the word count.  No source page or bibliography required unless you go beyond the Western Heritage Reader.

  1. Paper 1. Using the various writings from the Old Testament in the Western Heritage Reader, define the Hebraic understanding of the human person and his relation to God.
  2. Paper 2. “What Has Athens to Do with Jerusalem?”: Explore the ways in which Christianity is Hellenic and (especially) Hellenistic.
  3. Paper 3. What is the best leader?  Compare the political views of Thomas Aquinas and John Calvin.


Significant dates for the semester

Week 1: August 31-September 2

Week 2: September 5-9

Week 3: September 12-16

Week 4: September 26-30 (Paper 1 due: September 30, 6pm)

Week 5: October 3-7 (Midterm 1: October 5)

Week 6: October 10-12

Fall Break: October 13-16

Week 7: October 17-21

Parents: October 22

Week 8: October 24-28 (Paper 2 due: October 28, 6pm)

Week 9: October 31-November 4 (Midterm 2: November 4)

Week 10: November 7-11

Week 11: November 14-18

Week 12: November 21-22

Week 13: November 28-December 2

Week 14: December 5-9 (Paper 3 due: December 9, 6pm)


Final examinations

  • H104-7: December 15, 1-3pm
  • H104-8: December 13, 8-10am


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