This course offers you an introduction to the major themes of Western civilization, many of which have had a profound influence on American society and culture. The course will describe the development of Western civilization from its ancient origins in the Mediterranean, including Greece and Rome, to the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s. Each professor teaching the course will offer his or her own focus to the exploration of the history of the West, but common questions and themes will emerge during the semester that link the different chronological periods. Some of these questions and themes include:

How can one "know the past"? What methods and types of evidence, such as archeological, visual, textual, material, have been used to understand the past?

The variety and forms of government along with the relationship between ruled and ruler

The variety and forms of economic enterprise
The variety and forms of religious and philosophical expression
The variety and forms of artistic and cultural life
The development of political freedoms, constitutional governments and the concern for the rule of law and individual rights
The development of science and technology and their expanding impact on thought, social and economic institutions, and everyday life.
The impact of Western society on the rest of the world