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 2021


Tuesday / Thursday - AM



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?



What is a Virtual course?

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 examines 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 Economic Maritime interaction
-Power as a creation of Religious manipulation.  


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.

        Lectures may contain disturbing content, including, but not limited to: violence, sexual assault, war crimes, genocide, mental or physical illnesses or disabilities, discrimination or         persecution on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, and/or sexual orientation, etc. If you have been personally impacted by one or more of these topics and suffer from             PTSD, please email the professor if you would like prior notification of lectures containing discussions of the effecting topics. 


Recommended Co-requisites:

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)=                   - Open Textbook Library: Western Civilization  =   Vol. 1   /   Vol. 2   

-Additional online books =     Use any full text online or print version of these that you want.
  - Epic of Gilgamesh                              
                                                      - The Vinland Sagas:   (Eric the Red)   (The Greenlanders)                                  

-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 Notes  
                     Course Slides (PDF):
                            -  Kinch class slides 1  (Ancient)
                            -  Kinch class slides 2  (Rome - Viking)
                            -  Kinch class slides 3  (Medieval)

Spring 2021  His 101 Course Schedule



Class Date



Face-to-Face Meeting


Discussion Lead
Video Presentation


Reading / Assignments

(to be completed before the class)

                       Tuesday- Read Textbook                                      
Thursday- Read primary sources

Week 1

(Jan. 12 & 14)

Intro, What is Civilization?


Read WC (Textbook) : Ch.  1  

Read Primary Sources

-Hymn to Aten 

-A Poem Attributed to Zoroaster

Week 2

(Jan. 19 & 21)

and the rise of Riverine civilizations

Group 1- Discussion

Read WC (Textbook)Ch. 2 & Ch. 3

Read Primary Sources

-Code of the Assura

-Contracts from Mesopotamia

Week 3

(Jan. 26 & 28 )

The Nile
and the creation of Cultural stability

Paper 1 Due

Read WC (Textbook):  Ch.  4  

Read = Epic of Gilgamesh (book)

Read Primary Sources

-Noah and the Flood (Genesis 6-8) 

Week 4
(Feb. 2 & 4)

The Aegean
and the Hellenic Maritime Powers

1150-480 B.C.E

Group 2 -Discussion
Group 5 - Video


Read WC (Textbook) Ch. 5  &  Ch. 6

Read Primary Sources

Week 5

(Feb. 9 & 11)

The Eastern Mediterranean
and the Hellenistic World
359-200 B.C.E.

Group 3 - Discussion

Group 6 - Video

Research Project Proposal Due

Read WC (Textbook)  Ch. 7  

Read Primary Sources

-Artemisia, by Herodotus 

-On Men and Women, by Xenophon

-Hellenistic Epigrams about Women

-Women, by Semonides of Amorgos (Poem 7)

Week 6

(Feb. 16 & 18)

The Western Mediterranean

and the Roman Republic
53B.C.E.–305 B.C.E.

Group 4 -Discussion
Group 7 - Video

Read WC (Textbook) Ch. 8   

Read Primary Sources

-Roman law, The Twelve Tables= 

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

Week 7

(Feb. 23 & 25)

The Roman Mediterranean
and the age of empire

27 B.C.E - 410 C.E.      

Group 5 -Discussion
Group 8 - Video

Midterm Exam

Read WC (Textbook): Ch. 9

Read Primary Sources

-Slavery in the Roman Republic

-Inscriptions from Pompeii

-Grandeur of Rome

-Luxury of the Rich in Rome

Week 8

(Mar. 2 & 4)

The Rise of Monotheism
and the Jesus Cult    
0-350 C.E.

Group 6 -Discussion
Group 9- Video

Read WC (Textbook)Ch. 10  & Ch. 11

Read Primary Sources

-On the Resurrection, by Justin Martyr

-The Didache: The Twelve Apostles To The Nations

-The Gospel of Mary

Mar. 9 & 11
Spring Break

Week 9

(Mar. 16 & 18)

and the Rise of a new Empire


Group 7 -Discussion
Group 1 - Video


Read WC (Textbook):   Ch. 12

Read Primary Sources



Week 10

(Mar. 23 & 25)

North Sea Powers

                    and the Viking Age
                          400 - 1066

==Paper 2 due==


Read WC (Textbook): Ch. 13 

Read book: "The Vinland Sagas"

-Saga of Eric the Red

-Saga of the Greenlanders

Week 11

(Mar. 30 & Apr. 1)

Battle of the Mediterranean:

The Early Medieval age.

Group 8 -Discussion
Group 2 - Video

Annotated Bibliography due


Read WC (Textbook):   Vol. 2 -Ch. 1

Read Primary Sources

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

-Capture of Constantinople:  (Crusaders)
-Capture of Constantinople: (Defenders)  -Reprimand of Papal Legate

Week 12

(Apr. 6 & 8)

Middle Ages:
Christian Church and Era of Crisis


Group 9 -Discussion
Group 3  - Video

Read WC (Textbook):  Vol. 2 -Ch. 2

Read Primary Sources

-Pope Innocent III - Letters on Papal Policy-   

-Emperor Henry IV Concerning a Truce of God
-Interrogation Techniques, by Gui
-On Prester John, by Mandeville

Week 13

(Apr. 13 & 15)

The Reformation
1517 - 1611

Read WC (Textbook):   Vol. 2 -Ch. 3 & Ch. 6


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 14

(Apr.  20 & 22)


The Great Oceans
and Age of Discovery
1419 - 1610


Group 10
Group 4 - Video

Read WC (Textbook):    Vol. 2 -Ch. 5

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 15

(Apr. 28 & 30)

Exam Week

Final exam=

8am Class = Apr. 27, 8:00am

11:10 Class = Apr. 29, 10:00am


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


Participation/Class expert             




Argumentative Papers (2)




Midterm & Final Exam   




Research Project         







59 and below


o   Group Presentations
§  You will be assigned a group in Canvas in week 1 of the semester.         

                                o   Failure to appear will result in a “0” grade for this assignment.
                    §  1-Video Presentations -Click Here = for detailed instructions.           
Your group will produce a publicly posted five minute research presentation to be shown in 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 the week.               

                    o Participation
§  Attendance
                                                It is each students responsibility to check in on "Qwickley."
§  Participation
Grade assessed based on whether or not you talk/type chat on a regular bases.

 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 the assigned due date and time.)

o   Midterm & Final                     
     §  Open Note (essay based) exams completed on  Canvas during the exam weeks.

o  Research Project

                                §  Travel Log Research Project   Click here fore details


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. 

What is a Virtual Course?

ZOOM Classes

Twice a week we will meet on Zoom.  Attendance is mandatory and you are expected to take an active part in Discussion & Interactive Lecture.
-- If able you should turn on you Camera and your Microphone during class and especially discussion segments to participate.

-- You will need to log on through Canvas directly, and check in on "Qwickley."

The class will typically consist of:

  -Story time  (15 min.)

    -Skill session  (15 min.)

    -Lecture  (30 min.)
    -Interactive lecture  (20 min.)

-Question?   (10 min.)
    -Business of the week  (10 min.)

    -Presentation  (10 min.)

    -Class discussion (All class & Breakout rooms)  (50  min.)

Minimum Technical Requirements and skills for Virtual Course:

Course includes both classroom (Zoom)  and online meetings. Students must have access to a computer and a reliable high-speed Internet connection.

-Students must have a version or equivalent of "OfficeSuite," and have a basic working knowledge of Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.

-Students must store course work on a cloud server such as Dropbox or Google Drive.  (A computer crash is not a valid excuse for late work.)

How do I do assignments?

Tree Preservation    This is a paperless course. 

- All additional readings, assignments, and course materials can be found in the schedule above.

-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 Canvas as “doc,” “docx,” or “PDF”      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 .  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 will be given in person at the end of class, and the grade will be posted within a week. 

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

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 Canvas Announcements and e-mail. Students should check Canvas and their e-mail daily for any Instructor communications. Failure to do so 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.

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 / Wellness and Mental Health


Financial Instability

Everyone was trouble at times, but there is help.  When struggling please reach out to me, a counselor, or click here: https://nvcc.singlestoptechnologies.com/

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