Suffolk Community College

Course Outlines: This Course Outline does not apply to the online course. It applies only to the classroom course.

CATALOG NO. : HIS-101 COURSE: Origins of European History
INSTRUCTOR: Prof. Norman West  DEPARTMENT: Social Science

TEXTBOOK: McKay, Hill and Buckler, A History of Western Society, Vol. I: From Antiquity to the Enlightenment, 7th or 8th or 9th ed., Houghton-Mifflin Co., 1999, 2005, 2007


The student will be able to:
    1.describe the roots of Western Civilization and indicate how an understanding of past events and historic processes helps to better comprehend present society.

    2.demonstrate an "historical awareness" by citing specific examples of how human behavior changes through time such as attitudes toward: - Family - Government -Environment - Cultures

    3. identify the basic links and interactions between Western and non-Western civilizations such as:

       ancient Mesopotamian and European cultures

       Islamic and Byzantine Civilizations

       European colonialism in the Western hemisphere

    4. evaluate the importance of key issues in history such as:

       the role of women and men

       the significance of technology

       the importance of role models

       the diffusion and impact of religion

       the power of reason

    5. show the value of historical research by becoming acquainted with primary and secondary materials.

    6. practice his/her writing, thinking and comprehension skills in tests and reading and writing assignments.

    7. develop computer skills and familiarity with the use of the internet for scholarly purposes.

(1) Modernization: The basis of the human economy; food gathering and food producing

(2) River-valley civilizations: the fertile crescent and the Nile

(3) Cycles of the rise and decline of civilizations

(4) Greek and Hellenistic Civilizations

(5) Roman and Byzantine Civilizations

(6) European medieval civilization

(7) Renaissance and Reformation

(8) European expansion

(9) Beginnings of the Early Modern European period

PROCEDURES: The textbook provides a chronological account of the historical events. It is necessary to read the text carefully and thoroughly in order to supplement and understand the class lectures and discussion. Required supplementary readings are acessible at the following web site: . Students will also utilize the web in doing reports and taking tests. Assignments outside the class will consist of a book report or research report.

COLLEGE SUPPORT PROGRAMS: The English Department offers a Reading Laboratory, and a Writing Laboratory which includes personalized instruction in the correct procedures for research reports. A computer laboratory in the library offers personalized assistance in word processing which is a valuable tool in writing term reports.


1. To receive full credit for the book report or research report, it must be submitted on or before November 15th. Reports submitted after December 6th will not be accepted and you will receive a W or F for the course.  There will be separate written instructions concerning these reports. Plagiarism is not acceptable and will result in failure of the course.

2. Tests will be on-line through Desire 2 Learn Course Management software. Tests will be accessible for 48 hours. Dates and times will be listed in Desire 2 Learn.

3. You should also complete the review tests at the textbook test site. Submit the results of this self-test with a grade of at least 88% to me at, and you will receive an additional 1/3 point to your final grade for each test submitted. To receive credit, review tests must be submitted by the due date for reading of the chapter to which they apply. They must also indicate the chapter number.

GRADING POLICY: Book Report or research report =33% of the grade, and the average of all the tests is 67%. A grade of "W", or "F" will result if the assigned report is not completed. Late reports will result in lower grades. Points will be added for self-tests which are submitted. Points will be added for perfect attendance. Points will be subtracted for excess absence

ATTENDANCE POLICY: Students are expected to attend all class meetings. Regular class attendance is essential if you expect to understand the course material and get full benefit from taking the course. In case of unavoidable absence, let the instructor know the reason. Lateness will count as 1/3rd of an absence. If you leave class before dismissal you are liable to be counted absent. Points will be added or subtracted from your final grade in accordance with the following table:
Perfect Attendance: +3 points One absence: +1 point Two absences: 0 3 absences: -3 points
Four (4) or more absences will result in a failing grade. In the evening section, attendance both before and after the break is required. Absence from half the session is considered an absence from the entire session.

WITHDRAWAL DATE: The last date at which you may withdraw voluntarily from the course is Monday, October 27th. Anyone who has been absent more than 2 times by that date, should withdraw from the course. After that date, withdrawal without failing the course will be possible only if you notify the instructor with a valid reason for withdrawal.


9/6   Introduction
9/13 1,2 Origins of Civilization in the Near East
9/20 3 The Legacy of Greece
9/27 4 Hellenistic Diffusion
10/4 5 The Rise of Rome
10/11 6 The Pax Romana
10/18 7 The Making of Europe 


8, 9 Early Medieval Europe
11/1 10, 11 The High Middle Ages
11/8 12 The Crisis of the Later Middle Ages
11/15 13 European Society in the Age of the Renaissance
11/29 14 Reform and Renewal in the Christian Church
12/6 15 The Age of Religious Wars and European Expansion
12/13   Final test

SUPPLEMENTARY READING LIST: A supplementary reading list is available in the HS11 bibliography file on the web at One of the books listed there may be selected for the book report, or some may be useful for the research report. Your decision to either select a book for the book report, or to do a research report should be made within the first three weeks of the course in consultation with the instructor.

If you wish to contact me, call 451-4797, or leave a message at 451-4344, or send an e-mail to



Course Outlines

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