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. This broad overview covers the rise and fall of various manifestations of western culture. We shall examine both 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.’ I have chosen to pay particular attention to the issue of slavery as it transforms from slavery in the Ancient world through to the Atlantic slave trade.


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. You are expected to develop an understanding of historical events by following the chronological presentation in the Hunt text. In addition the course aims to familiarize you with tools and methodologies of the historical discipline.

Required Text

Levack, Muir, Maas. Veldman, The West: Encounters and Transformations Volume I to 1715. Pearson/Longman, 2011. (other editions will require some adjustments)

The following supplemental books are also required reading and are available through the University Book Store. The decision to purchase or borrow is up to the individual student. It would be wise to check their availability before submitting your book order. They are listed in the order in which they will be assigned.

  • Brent D. Shaw, ed. Sparatcus and the Slave Wars: A Brief History with Documents (New York, Bedford St Martin’s 2001)
  • Maureen Miller, ed. Power and the Holy in the Age of the Investiture Conflict: A Brief History with Documents (New York, Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2005)
  • William Shakespeare. The Tempest

    Online: http://www.william-shakespeare.info/script-text-the-tempest.htm
    Text version – any edition

Instructor Contact

Email: jeanne.christensen@colorado.edu

Jeanne Christensen, Ph.D, is a British Historian with a special focus on British Empire and the Atlantic World. She teaches Western Civilization courses through Continuing Education, and is a lecturer in the CU history department, teaching Western Civilization, British history, Atlantic World and African history. She is currently engaged in publishing a book entitled Rastafari: Reasoning and the RastaWoman.

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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