History is an attempt to understand the stories of the past.  We must not ignore dates and facts, but interpretations define the way we view the world around us.

Course Information:


Western Civilizations I


Hist 101 


Spring 2020


Tuesday / Thursday   930-10:45 am


 LC 315

Instructor:                                                                                                Questions:


John (Kinch) Kincheloe

What is this Course?



What do I need to do?



How do I do assignments?

Office Location:

HEC 316-A                                 

What are the course rules?



Office Hours:  Listed on Home page (link)

Course Schedule:   WC1schedule

What is this Course?


- Although often falsely depicted as a linear and inevitable march of increasingly complex cultures, Western Civilization can better be classified as an amalgamation of hundreds of different civilizations interacting and learning from one another. 


- This course will examine numerous Western Civilizations to better comprehend how nomadic, agricultural, African, European, Middle Eastern, pagan, Muslim, Jewish, and Christian societies contributed to the development of present day Western Civilization.  In the process you just might gain a better understanding of the complexity of the various cultures in this age of increasing globalization.


 -The course focuses on two main themes: Culture as a construction of Maritime relationships and the phrase: “Religion is the Opiate of the Masses.”  (Karl Marx)  You will be asked to assess the meaning of these two themes as we play out the complicated history of the Western World.


By the end of the semester you should:

-Develop your own understanding of “Modern Western Civilization” and how the numerous civilizations of the western world contributed to such a society.

-Organize your own ideas on the relationship of early civilizations to present day cultures throughout the Western World.

-Be able to devise original arguments about historical trends and events and prove them using both primary and secondary information.


Course Description and Objectives:  Stuff the college makes me include:

Course Description

Surveys the general history of the Western world from about 3000 BCE to 1600 CE and allows students to reach a basic understanding of the characteristic features of the Western world's early historical development in that span of time. Students will learn about some of the important political, economic, social, intellectual, cultural and religious changes that shaped the development of the West from earliest times.


- Establish a chronology of historical events in the Western world before 1600 CE. 

- Explain the changing geopolitical structures of the Western world up until 1600 CE. 

- Define the importance of key individuals and developments in Western civilization before 1600 CE.

- Identify the social, economic and political forces at work in the evolution of early and medieval Western history.

- Recognize and describe the significance of some of the cultural achievements of ancient and medieval Western civilization.

- Analyze complex historical sources and materials and reach conclusions based on interpretations of those materials. 


Recommended Co-requisites or Pre-requisites:

There are no pre-requisites, but this is a writing intensive course so an introductory English course is highly recommended.


OER Course Materials:  

There are no books to purchase for this class.  All textbooks and monographs are free Open Online Resources linked below:
-Textbook (online)=                   - WC =Western Civilization     and     BWH=Boundless World History     course draws from both textbooks housed by 'lumen learning"

-Additional online books =     Use any full text online or print version of these that you want.
  - Epic of Gilgamesh                              

          -Canterbury Tales:  Knights taleMiller's taleWife of Bath's tale

-Additional online materials will be made available via the Course Schedule.

-Tip= Use nightlight or nightshift screen setting to make reading online easier.  (How to turn off Blue Light-click here)

Lecture Review Materials (links) 

-Lecture Review Materials:    WC1 Lecture Terms    Early Western Civ.(religion) PP slides     Maritime history of the West PP slides

Spring 2020  His 101 Course Schedule



Class Date



Face-to-Face Meeting


     Tuesday       textbook/lecture/videos



(to be completed before the class)

 Read primary sources/Discussion/Paper's  due

Week 1

(Jan. 14 & 16)

Intro, What is Civilization?

Read WC (Textbook) Ch. 1

Introduction Assignment

Read Primary Sources

-Hymn to Aten 

-A Poem Attributed to Zoroaster

Week 2

(Jan. 21 & 23)

Mesopotamia & Egypt
 3500 - 539 B.C.E

Read WC: Ch.  2  

Read Primary Sources

Code of the Assura

Akkadian advice to son

Week 3

(Jan. 28 & 30 )

An Ancient Maritime World


Read WC: Ch.  3  

Read = Epic of Gilgamesh (book)

Read Primary Sources

-Noah and the Flood (Genesis 6-8) 

Week 4
(Feb. 4 & 6)

The Idea of Classical Greece
776 - 338 B.C.E

==Paper 1 due==

Group 1 -Dis

Group 6 - Vid

Read WC: Ch. 4  ->Peloponnesian War

Read Primary Sources

Week 5

(Feb. 11 & 13)

Hellenistic Civilization & Alexander
359 - 31 B.C.E.

Group 2 – Dis

Group 7 - Vid

Read WC: Ch. 4  Macedonia-> 

& BWH: Persian Empire & Carthage

Read Primary Sources

-Women, by Semonides of Amorgos (Poem 7)

-Ptolemy III Chronicle (BCHP 11) (Scroll to "obverse")

The Diadochi Chronicle

Week 6

(Sept. 18 & 20)

53 - 27 B.C.E.

Group 3 –Dis

Group 8 - Vid

Read WC: Ch. 5   

Read Primary Sources

-Roman law, The Twelve Tables= 

-Polybius on the Roman Constitution 146 BCE
-The Roman Candidate

Week 7

(Feb. 25 & 27)

            Roman Culture                   
27 B.C.E - 410 C.E

Group 4 -Dis

Group 9 - Vid

Read WC: Ch. 6 

Read Primary Sources

-Slavery in the Roman Republic

-Life of an upper class man

-Grandeur of Rome

-Luxury of the Rich in Rome

Week 8

(Mar. 3 = Fall of Rome
Mar. 5
= Midterm)

Midterm Exam

Midterm Exam Review sheet (click here)

Mar. 10 & 12
Spring Break

Week 9

(Mar. 17 & 19)

  Christianity and Byzantium        
0 - 325 C.E.

Read WC: Ch. 7

Watch videos:

Complete Unit 9 Discussion on Canvas


Read Primary Sources

-On the Resurrection, by Justin Martyr

-The Didache: The Twelve Apostles To The Nations

-The Gospel of Mary

Week 10

(Mar. 24 & 26)

                    The Islamic World

Read BWH: "the rise and Spread of Islam" 

Watch videos:
-Islam part 1 - (Khan Academy)
-Islam part 2 - (Khan Academy)

Complete Unit 10 Discussion on Canvas

Read Primary Sources



Week 11

(Mar. 31 & Apr. 2)

Age of Vikings & the Migration Period
          400 - 1066

Read WC: Ch. 8  "Germanic tribes -> Vikings"

Watch videos:
-Kinch Viking Video
-Kinch Feudalism video

Complete Unit 11 Discussion on Canvas

Read - Beowulf  (book)

Week 12

(Apr. 7 & 9)

Middle Ages:
         Rise of Early Europe
  800 - 1347

Read WC: Ch. 8"Catholic church->fourth crusade" 

Watch videos:
-Kinch Crusades video
-Kinch Rise of Papal Monarchy video 

Read Primary Sources

-Pope Innocent III.  -Summons to a Crusade 1215- 

-Pope Innocent III - Letters on Papal Policy-   

-Emperor Henry IV Concerning a Truce of God

==Paper 2 due==

Week 13

(Apr. 14 & 16)

Middle Ages:
Church Crisis  309 - 1517

Read WC Ch. 8"feudalism->black death"

Watch videos:
-Kinch Black Plague video
-1918 Influenza (Dr. Campbell NVCC)    Not in our period but useful.

Complete Unit 12 Discussion on Canvas

Read = Canterbury Tales:     Kinght's,   Miller'sWife of Bath

Week 14

(Apr.  21 & 23)

  The Reformation     
1517 - 1611

Read WC: Ch. 11

Watch video:
-Kinch Medieval Trade Powers video
-Kinch Reformation video

Complete Unit 13 Discussion on Canvas

 Read Primary Sources

-Martin Luther: Letter to the Archbishop of Mainz, 1517
Calvin: Letter to the King [on the Clergy]
-Martin Luther: Address to the n Nobility...(1520)

Week 15

(Apr. 28 & 30)

   Age of Discovery 

1419 - 1610

Cumulative Paper due 
Mar. 30th  midnight

Read BWH: Age of Discovery & Humanism

Watch video:
-Kinch Age of Discovery video

Complete Unit 14 Discussion on Canvas

Read Primary Sources

-Columbus Letter to the King and Queen of Spain (1494)  
-John Cabot, Voyage to North America (1497) 
-Vasco da Gama, Round Africa to India (1497-1498)

Week 16

-Final Exam Essay
=Thr. May 7  (Midnight)


 Final Exam Review sheet(click here)

Note: The instructor has the right to alter or change the course schedule at any time as he/she deems appropriate.


What do I need to do?

Grading Policy:

All assignments are graded on a 100 point scale and averaged accordingly to the percentages listed below.




Group Presentations


Grading Scale


In class Participation/Discussion




2- 3 page papers




Midterm & Final Exam   




Cumulative Essay           







59 and below


o   Group Work            (Cancelled for the rest of the semester after March 12th)

§  You will be assigned a group that you will work with throughout the semester.  

·         Your group will be assigned in Canvas by week 2 of the semester.         

§  1-Video Group Research Presentations -Click Here = for detailed instructions.

·         Your group will produce a publicly posted five minute research presentation to be shown in the class.

§  2-Discussion lead -Click Here = for detailed instructions.

·Your group will present on and lead a class discussion of the primary sources assigned for your week.
- If the the class does not participate, every member of  the class (not presenting) will write a 1 page typed summaryof each                                                         document, due before the next class.

o   Participation & Quizzes

§  Based on attendance and active engagement in daily discussions.


o   2- 3pg. argumentative papers

o   Utilizing readings from primary sources, books, and the textbook.

o   (All papers should be submitted via attachment on Canvas before class of the assigned due date.)

o   Midterm & Final                     
     §  Consists of 3 parts:  Map, Chronology/Causation, Significance Identifications.

 (Review sheets, containing key terms and map items, will be posted on the course schedule.)

o  Cumulative Essay     

                                §  1 Cumulative essay - 3-4 pg (1000 words max) typed essay question (on syllabus)

               Cumulative Essay Question

 Over the course of the semester you have examined the relationship of religion to culture, society, and government across four thousand years of western history.   What is the role of religion in history?

(Your argument must include evidence and information from across the breadth of the semester, Canterbury Tales, and 2 other primary documents, from those read for this course, to prove your Argument.) [Footnotes and all writing guide rules must be followed.]


Extra Credit Assignments (due by the end of Week 13) =    Digital History Project- check it out here.

                   Take a look and talk to Kinch if you are interested. 

How do I do assignments?

Tree Preservation

This is a paperless course. 

- All additional readings, assignments, and course materials can be found here on my website kinchteach.com

-All assignments and quizzes need to be submitted in Canvas.

-All feedback will be given through Canvas.

-To access Canvas = Log in to “My NOVA”  https://nvcc.my.vccs.edu/jsp/home.jsp

Guidelines for Written Work 

Formatting: All Papers should be double spaced, using 12 point Calibri font and one inch margins.  All papers must be word processed and submitted through Blackboard as “doc,” “docx,” or “rtf.”      E-mail submissions will not be accepted.  

Style and Grammar: You must present your arguments in clear, concise, and grammatically correct English.  Make sure to proofread and use spell-check. For information on writing papers for this class, make sure to read Kinch’s writing guide (under course documents on BB.)  You also might want to consult the following handy websites:

o       NVCC Loudoun's Writing Center

o       Charlie Evans’ History Writing Center

Citations:  You MUST include a formal citation any time you refer to a specific passage in a text, even if you do not quote the text directly.  The required method for citing sources in this class is Chicago Style formatting for footnote citations.  According to this format, you “Insert Footnote” (under references) and enter the citation information as laid out in this link.

What are the course rules?

Late Assignments 

-Late papers will be accepted after the due date and time for half credit, as long as they are submitted before the final class period of the term.

-Discussion, Quizzes, Participation, and Presentation assignments will only be accepted during the week they are due.

-All assignments should be stored on a cloud server and submitted online.  Excuses such as “my dog ate my homework” and “my computer crashed” are no longer valid.

Exams and Make-Up Exams

For exam sessions, make-ups will not be given other than in the case of a genuine emergency with appropriate documentation (ie, emergency room documents, court summons, etc.)  Missing class due to "not feeling well," not being able to get a ride, having to work, and the like are not genuine emergencies.


Presentation / Video feedback will be given in person at the end of class, and the grade will be posted within a couple days. 

Papers and Exams will be graded and posted within two weeks of their due date, in order to give more detailed feedback.

Electronic Devices

Laptops and tablets are encouraged in class, but surfing for non-subject related material during class will not be tolerated.  If seen you will be asked to explain the relevance of what is on your screen and you may be asked to leave the room.  You will be required to engage with your own or provided devices during class discussion.
**Screens under 7 in. are not valid in-class devices
for this course. Phones should be stowed and silenced during class time. If the device is heard, I reserve the right to respond to the call or incoming message.

Attendance Policy: 

Absences, Late arrival, and leaving early will affect a student’s grade due to the student not being able to participate in class/group discussions. Students missing more than thirty percent of the scheduled classes without an excused absence from the professor will receive ZERO points for the class participation grade. Class absence does not excuse a student from meeting assignment due dates

Academic Dishonesty: 

Academic Dishonesty will not be tolerated.

Students involved in cheating will receive a grade of “0” on the activity during which cheating occurred and particularly flagrant or obviously intentional instances of cheating or plagiarism will result in a grade of "F" for the course.  In addition the student will be reported to the Dean of Students for further disciplinary action.

**Please read the section titled Student Conduct, Rights, and Responsibilities:  F. Academic Dishonesty in the Student Handbook.


Academic dishonesty, as a general rule, involves one of the following acts:

         1.       Cheating on an examination or quiz; including the giving, receiving, or soliciting of information and the unauthorized use of notes or other materials.

        2.      Plagiarism - This is the act of appropriating passages from the work of another individual, either word for word or in substance, and representing them as one’s own work. This includes any submission of written work other than one’s own.

-Please note that even copying a sentence or two from another source without citing it is enough to trigger a plagiarism penalty.  Likewise, changing a word here or there from content which you copy is plagiarism.  Your work should be entirely in your own words except for the passages which you quote and appropriately cite. All of your papers for the class will be checked for plagiarism by SafeAssign software.

Be aware of the following:

- Internet-enabled devices, dictionaries and/or calculators are prohibited during testing.

- If you need to leave the room during testing, for whatever reason, your test will be collected immediately for grading without any additional time for more work on the test or quiz.


Instructor/Student Communications Policy:

The primary means of communication outside the classroom between the Instructor and the student is via Blackboard Announcements and e-mail. Students should check Blackboard and their e-mail daily for any Instructor communications. Failure on the part of the student to check Blackboard and e-mail on a regular basis is not an excuse for missed /late assignments or exams. The Instructor turn-around time to respond to e-mails is 24-to-48 hours Monday through Friday.

Instructors receive a significant number of e-mails from students over the course of the semester. To specifically identify the course in which the student is enrolled, all e-mail from the student must include the course and section number (e.g., ACC211-000) in the Subject of the e-mail.


I will email you at the email address on my class list which is your VCCS email address. If you do not check this address frequently, I would recommend you set it up for automatic forwarding to an email address you do check more frequently. When emailing the instructor, always send email from your VCCS email address.


Student Professionalism

Please be considerate. Disruptive behavior, on the ground and online, will not be tolerated.  Private conversations during lecture or class discussions, ringing mobile phones, texting, sleeping, or walking into class late or out of class early all distract and disturb your instructor and your classmates, and will count against your participation grade.  Repeated instances of rude behavior will result your removal from the classroom.  

--All students are considered adults and will conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. Please read the section titled Student Conduct, Rights, and Responsibilities:  B. Student Conduct in the Student Handbook.



WEATHER =Normal Class cancelation due to weather will not affect the course schedule – You are responsible for all readings and assignments regardless of whether we have class on not.

In event of an emergency just regarding this class, check Blackboard for announcements regarding course progress/assignments.

College Policies =

Click here   OR Refer to the "College Policies" tab on CANVAS Course page for:

Academic Integrity Policy / Closing Information (weather) / Communication (e-mail) / Course Drop/Withdrawal Policy /        Disabilities and Accommodations / Emergency Preparedness / Financial Aid / NOVACares


Financial Instability

Everyone was trouble at times, but there is help.  If you are struggling please reach out to me, a counselor, or click here https://blogs.nvcc.edu/wssn/

IT Helpdesk

The IT Help Desk provides first-level technical support to all faculty, staff and students of Northern Virginia Community College. Additional details and resources are located at http://www.nvcc.edu/ithd/.

Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday:

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.


8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.






Procedures and items to be aware of (click here)

Anyone observing an emergency situation should contact the Campus Police Office or the dean of students.

Loudoun Campus

Campus Police:


Dean of Students:


------Note: The instructor has the right to alter or change the course and course schedule at any time as he deems appropriate.-------

contact: jkincheloe@nvcc.edu