Humane Letters 3 - History is an integrated blending of History and Literature that focuses on the civilization, thought, and legacy of ancient Greece. Emphasizing the classical approach to teaching and learning, this course fosters reading, discussion, and writing based on great works from Ancient Greece. This course is designed to be paired with Humane Letters 3 - Literature.
Students study the emergence of Greek civilization from an oral to a literary culture. They witness the historical effects of literacy as it generates the first surviving documents of historiography and comparative ethnography, while seeing first-hand how new ideas emerge from geo-political competition and the intellectual ferment enabled by the dissemination of texts throughout the Mediterranean. By following the emergence of seminal ideas in history, politics, theology, philosophy, drama, and epic poetry, students will sharpen their abilities to distinguish between historical events and the social significance invested in interpretations of these events. The emergence of the philosophical tradition provides an opportunity to reflect upon the nature and value of the theoretical outlook. Recommended texts for this course include, but are not limited to: Iliad, Herodotus’ Histories, Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, Antigone, Crito, Apology, Republic, Nicomachean Ethics.
Humane Letters 3 – History Learning Outcomes:
- Outline the ways in which ideas from Greek history, politics, philosophy, and literature continue to influence Western culture.
- Compare and contrast mythological and historical ways of relating to one’s cultural past.
- Compare and contrast the conditions and characteristics of oral culture with literary culture.
- Discuss the nature of education in an oral society and the role of Homer’s epic poetry.
- Describe the ideals of virtue seen in Homer (Homeric ethics), and compare these to later historical developments.
- Use Herodotus to discuss the motivations, methods, and conventions visible in the birth of Greek historiography and ethnography.
- Discuss the causes, significant events, and effects of the Persian wars and their relation to the prominence of Athens and Sparta among the Greek poleis.
- Describe the differences in approach and method which contrast Herodotus’ and Thucydides’ historiography.
- Analyze Thucydides description of the cause of the Peloponnesian wars, and explain how it embodies a conflict between the differing ideals of Athens and Sparta.
- Describe the social role of Greek tragedy and give examples of how it exemplifies the Greek attitude towards divinity.
- Compare and contrast ancient monotheism and ancient polytheism as evidenced among the Greeks
- Contrast the modern, aesthetic approach to Greek tragedy as “works of Art” with the original social and religious context of Greek drama; compare this to theories of artistic representation in Plato and/or Aristotle
- Describe the ways in which Greek tragedy approaches virtue and happiness (tragic ethics) and compare this to later and earlier instantiations of ethics
- Contrast the ancient Greek notion of “piety” in Euthyphro and Apology with the modern conception.
- Outline Meno’s description of learning and knowledge and lay out the apparent paradox regarding the possibility of education
- Use Pericles’ ‘funeral oration,’ Antigone, and Plato’s Republic to consider the social roles and challenges for women in ancient Greece.
- Discuss the relationship of the argument in Plato’s Crito to later European ideas regarding the ‘rule of law’ and ‘social contract theory’.
- Describe the purpose of philosophy, according to Apology, and be prepared to defend or critique it
- Relate the four ‘cardinal’ virtues found in Republic to previous conceptions of virtue in Homer and tragedy and to Aristotle’s subsequent conception of ‘ethics’ in Nicomachean Ethics.
- Distinguish between three types of political systems in evidence among the Greeks, and discuss Republic’s critique of each.
- Discuss the interrelation between freedom, tyranny, happiness, goodness, justice, virtue, and vice in relation to Greek politics and philosophy, and compare this network of concepts with later moments in Western civilization.
- Analyze how the democratic concepts developed in ancient Greece have influenced and continue to influence the United States’ federal republic.
The recommended primary mode of instruction in Humane Letters is the seminar, supplemented with direct instruction through lecture or coaching. The seminar format requires that students participate actively in their search for the fullest understanding of the texts under examination. While the instructor serves as a guide in the learning process, the students and the instructor together investigate and explore the many complex ideas presented in the texts. Students are expected to follow these rules governing the seminar format:
- Students must come to class having read the assignment in its entirety before they can participate in seminar discussion
- Students must mentally prepare serious questions for the class to consider during discussion.
- Each student must attend fully to the discussion at hand and refrain from carrying on side discussions.
- Students must limit their comments only to the selection assigned for homework, or previously discussed passages.
- Students must support their observations, arguments, or claims with specific textual evidence.
Literacy Standards in Social Studies
Secondary social studies courses include reading standards for literacy in history/social studies 6-12, and writing standards for literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects 6-12. This course also includes speaking and listening standards. For a complete list of standards required for this course click on the blue tile labeled course standards. You may also download the complete course including all required standards and notes sections using the export function located at the top of this page.
English Language Development ELD Standards Special Notes Section:
Teachers are required to provide listening, speaking, reading and writing instruction that allows English language learners (ELL) to communicate information, ideas and concepts for academic success in the content area of Social Studies. For the given level of English language proficiency and with visual, graphic, or interactive support, students will interact with grade level words, expressions, sentences and discourse to process or produce language necessary for academic success. The ELD standard should specify a relevant content area concept or topic of study chosen by curriculum developers and teachers which maximizes an ELL's need for communication and social skills. To access an ELL supporting document which delineates performance definitions and descriptors, please click on the following link: https://cpalmsmediaprod.blob.core.windows.net/uploads/docs/standards/eld/ss.pdf
Course Number: 2109344
Abbreviated Title: HUM LET 3 HISTORY
Number of Credits: One (1) credit
Course Length: Year (Y)
Course Type: Elective Course
Course Level: 2
Course Status: Course Approved
Graduation Requirement: Electives