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 


Summer 2021


Mon/Wed. = 9:00am - 12:30pm


 Virtual Synchronous (Zoom)

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 Hybrid 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 and Power as a construction of Economic Maritime Interaction


By the end of the semester you should:

-Develop your own understanding of the importance of economics and Maritime interaction in the ancient world 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)


What do I need to do?

Summer 2021  His 101 Course Schedule  (May 17-June 28)


  Due Date      (9:00am on date below)




Primary Sources




(Vid-Research Video)




Week 1

(Mon. May 17)

Intro, What is Civilization?

Read Textbook Ch.  1

-Hymn to Aten 

-A Poem Attributed to Zoroaster

(Wed. May 19)

Riverine Civilizations:

Read Textbook Ch. 2 & Ch. 3


-Code of the Assura

-Contracts from Mesopotamia

Group  1 – Dis

Introduction Assignment

Week 2
(Mon. May 24)

The Nile:
creation of cultural stability

Read Textbook Ch. 4 

Group  2 – Dis

Group  5 - Vid

(Wed. May 26)

The Aegean:
Hellenic Maritime Powers

1150-480 B.C.E

Read Textbook Ch. 5 & Ch. 6 

-Herodotus: On the Kings of Sparta,
-Aristotle: The Polis, from Politics
-Thucydides: Pericles' Funeral Oration

Group 3 –
Group  6 - Vid

Week 3

(Mon. May 31)



(Wed. June 2)

The Eastern Mediterranean
Hellenistic Civilization
359-200 B.C.E.

Read Textbook Ch. 7

-Artemisia, by Herodotus 

-On Men and Women, by Xenophon

-Hellenistic Epigrams about Women

-Women, by Semonides of Amorgos

Group  4 –

Group  7 - Vid

Week 4   

(Mon. June 7)

The Western Mediterranean:
Roman Republic
53B.C.E.305 B.C.E.         

Read Textbook Ch. 8

-The Roman Candidate

-Roman law, The Twelve Tables

-Polybius on the Roman Constitution

Group  5 – Dis

Group  8 - Vid


(Wed. June 9)

 The Roman Mediterranean
Roman Empire
27 B.C.E - 410 C.E.

Read Textbook Ch. 9 & Ch. 10

-Slavery in the Roman Republic

-Inscriptions from Pompeii

-Grandeur of Rome

-Luxury of the Rich in Rome

Group 6- Dis
Group 9- Vid

Week 5

(Mon. June 14)

North Sea Powers
Viking Age


Read Textbook Ch. 12 & Ch. 13


Read: "The Vinland Sagas"

-Saga of Eric the Red

-Saga of the Greenlanders

Group  1 - Vid

(Wed. June 16)

Battle of the Mediterranean:

The Early Medieval age.

Read Textbook Vol. 2 Ch. 1

-Summons to a Crusade 1215

-Capture of Constantinople (Crusaders) 

-Capture of Constantinople (Defenders)

-Reprimand of the Papal Legate

Group  7 – Dis

Group  2 - Vid

==Paper 3 due==

Week 6

(Mon. June 21)

Middle Ages:
Church and Era of Crisis        1300-1500


Read Textbook Vol. 2:  Ch. 2

-Pope Innocent III.  -Summons...1215-  -Pope Innocent III - Letters on Papal Policy

-Emperor Henry IV Concerning a Truce...

 Group 8- Dis
Group 3 - Vid

(Wed. June 23)


The Age of Discovery

Read Textbook Vol. 2: Ch. 5 & Ch. 6

-Columbus Letter to Spain (1494)  
-John Cabot, Voyage to North America (1497)   
-Vasco da Gama, (1497-1498)

Group 9 - Dis
Group 4 - Vid

Week 7

(Mon. June 28)

==Cumulative Paper Due==
(on syllabus below)

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


Grading Policy:

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






Grading Scale


Group Work








 3 -3 page papers




Cumulative Essay           







59 and below


o   Group Work

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

·         Your group will be assigned in week 1 of the semester.         

§  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.

§  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.


o   Participation

§  Based on attendance and active engagement in daily discussions.


o   3-  argumentative papers

o   Utilizing readings from primary sources, and the textbook.

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

o   Final     

1 Cumulative essay - 5 pg (1500 words) typed essay question (on syllabus)

            Final Cumulative Question

 Over the course of the semester you have examined the relationships of the greater maritime world as it relates to religion, culture, society, and government across four thousand years of western history 2500 BCE-1550 CE.   What is the role of economics and trade in history?

(Evidence and Information must be used from across the breadth of the semester and 3 different primary documents to prove your Argument.)


Extra Credit Assignments (due by the end of Week 5) =    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.
-- You are required to turn on you Camera and your Microphone at these times.

-- 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.)

    -Business of the week  (10 min.)

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

    -Question?   (10 min.)
    -Presentation  (10 min.)
    -Interactive lecture  (20 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