Ancient history is filled with epic narratives of ?great? men and women doing great things and ?horrible? men and women doing horrible things. Is there such a thing as ?great? person history and if so, who would you identify as the most important figures (good and bad) that left a lasting legacy in the ancient world and why? What exactly did they do to impact the evolution of the ancient world? If they had not existed, or done the things they did, how might the world have been different? If you reject the idea of ?great person? history, then explain the most important developments (technological, culture, religious, political) that shaped the ancient world (your answer must include a minimum of 5 people or 5 developments or a combination of both).
2. The most important Poleis in classical Greece were Sparta and Athens. Tracing the evolution of Ancient Greece, please compare the development of (1) Athens and (2) Sparta from their origins and provide a thorough explanation that accounts for the
similarities and differences of the two societies. Your essay must include specific examples from these societies to illustrate your arguments.
3. Explain the role geography has had in shaping ancient civilizations. How has geography facilitated the rise of empire and, in other instances, hastened the decline of empire. In what ways did the natural world shape the political, economic, cultural, artistic, and spiritual worldviews of ancient civilizations (including but not limited to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Mesopotamia, Carthage, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece). Does geography continue to influence modern society in the same ways? If so, please explain how. If not, please explain why not. Use specific examples to support your arguments.
4. Although a minority throughout their history, the Hebrew people powerfully shaped Western Civilization as a result of their monotheistic religious beliefs. Please trace the history of the Jewish people from about 1000 BCE through the Diaspora. Your answer is not limited to but should include (1) the Hebrew Kingdom, (2) the Kingdom divided, (3) the development of monotheism, and (4) the Diaspora.
5. Discuss the problem of empire in the ancient world. How did the first empires come about? What were the strengths and weaknesses of the universal empires of Assyria and Persia? How did the Greeks fail at empire yet succeed at civilization? How did the Roman Empire arise out of a crisis, create more crises, and yet survive several crises? What caused the ?decline? of the western portion of the Roman Empire, and what were the consequences?
6. Augustus proclaimed that he had restored the Roman Republic. Modern historians disagree, positing that rather than restoring the Republic, Augustus began the Roman Empire. How did Augustus lay the foundation for stable government in the Roman Empire? How did Romans use science, architecture, public ritual, sports/games, and mathematics to improve life in the empire? How did subsequent Emperors build on the foundations of Augustus? Provide specific examples.