HIST 1010 Western Civilization 1: From Antiquity to the 16th Century

About the Course

This course examines the origin and various transformations of Western Civilization from the beginnings of civilization in the Mediterranean area, to the spread of western civilization to the Atlantic in the sixteenth century. We shall examine periods of stabilization characterized by a clear sense of cultural identity, and transition periods when one identity begins to crumble making way for a new cultural expression. We shall attempt to trace those aspects of cultural construction that are uniquely ‘western.’ The course concludes with the West poised to become the dominate civilization globally. The images above from Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus and William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, capture the energy of that period.


This course provides a broad overview of a large span of time and a massive amount of material. We shall survey the entire sweep of the period rather than focusing on selected moments in order to expose patterns and themes that run consistently throughout the period. In addition the course aims to familiarize you with tools and methodologies of the historical discipline.

Group discussions develop skills of open and free exchange of ideas. Discussions are made possible through the website tool labeled ‘Discussions.’ This tool allows students to respond to posted assignments of fellow students. A class discussion has been built into the course, but informal sharing is encouraged.

Grade Breakdown

  • Text/Web Assignments – 40% of grade
  • Document Reader – 5% of grade
  • Interpretive Essay: 35% of your grade.
  • Exam Outlines – 20% of grade

Required Text

  • 9780312672737 – Making of the West: a Concise History, Volume I: Peoples and Cultures *e-book available
  • 9780451531735 – The Decameron
  • 9780140448146 – Lysistrata and Other Plays
  • 9780199539260 – Agricola and Germany

Instructor Contact

Email: David.Paradis@colorado.edu

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Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado