Syllabus [EuroHist-HHS123-F09]

For 9/9

Assignment 1

Early European Peoples

This hunter, called the Ice Man, is about 5000 years old. 

He was found in 1991 in the Italian/Austrian Alps in an ice field.

His last meal was identifiable: mostly meat.And he had hide and fiber clothing, a fur hat, a bow and some flint-tipped arrows, and a copper axe.

In a small pouch he had some cutting and scraping tools, and a little kindling presumably for his next fire.  An arrow head was found embedded in his shoulder and was the cause of his demise.


For Wednesday:




-Read Bulliet pp. 70-74 [section on Celtic Europe], and 88-93: Bullliet-pp70-74,88-93-4MB.pdf


-Read pp. 83-95 in Davies [our textbook]: Davies-Europe-intro-ch1-120dpi-13.5MB.pdf  [This is the same PDF as the one from last week.]


- Read this entire PDF: Watkins_ed.-IndoEuropeanRoots-3MB.pdf.  Look closely at the diagram on the last page.

   -Optional reading: Here are some pages from the dictionary itself.  You may find some of the entries interesting: Watkins.ed-Excerpts-4.7MB.pdf


- Read these two articles by Wilford on primitive flute music and a newly discovered sculpture:

   listen to the sound files.



-Optional: Here is another article on Paleo-toolmaking humans in Europe.


- Optional: Read this short Wiki article on Heinrich Schliemann, the discoverer of ancient Troy and other important historical sites.  Heinrich_Schliemann I don't usually guide students to a Wiki article, but I looked this one over and it is acceptable.  I simply couldn't find anything that was short and to the point.  [Wiki articles have a button called "citations" or something like that to help you with citing them.]


Essay: This is the first essay assignment.  Remember, you don't have to do this one, but you have to eventually do 5 over the course of the term and 3 of those 5 by the middle of the term.  This essay should be 1 page, single-spaced, 1" margins, 12 pt. font.  If you eat up space with fancy titles and clever formatting, make up for it elsewhere.  All essays must have a list of citations at the end.  I have provided bibliographical entries to all of our readings so far, so this shouldn't be all that difficult to do.  Also you must use footnotes or similar to give credit to ideas that you take from any other source.  If you use illustrations, discuss them.  Don't just decorate your paper with pretty pictures.  This essay can draw from anything or everything from last week and this week.

                        Ideas: You could write an essay on the Watkins reading and add in a section in which you find English words that are derived from roots described in the optional Watkins reading.  You could discuss how archeology has developed since the time of Schliemann how his methods are viewed today.  You could propose counterarguments against the Diamond article and maybe find a source that challenges him.  You could expand on one of the boxed-in sections from the Davies text.  There are many and the footnotes in them guide you to some better sources, many of which I imagine are at least partially available in GoogleBooks or Amazon preview if not the library. You could look further into primitive sculptures or music....


Look over the Picture Gallery below.


Citations to the assigned readings other materials from this week and last week.


Bulliet, Richard W., Pamela Kyle Crossley, Daniel R. Headrick, Steven W. Hirsch, Lyman L. Johnson, and David Northrup. The Earth and Its Peoples : A Global History. 3rd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005. Bullliet-pp70-74,88-93-4MB.pdf


Davies, Norman. Europe : A History. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. [Your copy may have a different date.  Use the date from your copy when you cite this in an essay.] Davies-Europe-intro-ch1-120dpi-13.5MB.pdf


Diamond, Jared. "The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race." Discover, May 1987, pp. 64-66. [Diamond_Worst_Human_Mistake.pdf]


Fountain, Henry. "Early Humans Used Heat to Shape Their Tools." New York Times, August 13/18 2009.


Ward, Anne G. The Quest for Theseus. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970.  Most of the images in the Picture Gallery are from this book.


Watkins, Calvert, ed. The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000. Watkins_ed.-IndoEuropeanRoots-3MB.pdf and Watkins.ed-Excerpts-4.7MB.pdf.


Wilford, John Noble. "Flutes Offer Clues to Stone-Age Music." New York Times, June 24, 2009 2003.


Wilford, John Noble. "Full-Figured Statuette, 35,000 Years Old, Provides New Clues to How Art Evolved." New York Times, May 13, 2003 2009.


Picture Gallery


Theseus was the legendary founder and king of Athens. Theseus had two fathers.... and one mother.  One of his fathers was the god Poseidon and thus he was rather special much like Achilles or Heracles (Hercules for the Romans).  The stories of Theseus are very famous and have been the source material for innumerable works of art.  Look over the following selection of images from this artistic history.  I'm focusing mostly on the stories of the creation of the Minotaur, the death of the Minotaur, and a some various images from other exploits and general Minoan imagery and artifacts.


Theseus fighting the Minotaur.  6th Century BC, probably from Athens.

This is called black-figure, which is rather self-evident, the figures in this technique are black. 

This technique is generally older than red-figure.


This vase shows a variety of Theseus' exploits.  It was painted ca. 440 BC in Attica which is the region that contains Athens.  It is red-figure.




Where did the Minotaur come from?  Turns out Pasipha‘, the queen of Crete, was cursed by Poseidon to lust after a beautiful white bull.  She longed to copulate with this bull.  So she commissioned Daedalus, the legendary inventor and builder, to make her a cow costume of sorts which allowed her to consummate her lust for this white bull. As a result she gave birth to the Minotaur, which was then put in the prison, again built by Daedalus, called the Labyrinth.  In this Renaissance painting by an assistant of Raphael (1483-1520, Italian) we see her climbing into the costume.  [It looks to me like she is getting in backwards...?]



Here is the same scene from a wall fresco from Pompeii, 1st Century AD.  There seems to be a hatch door on the rump of the cow.  Notice the boy working away with a chisel at a bench in the lower left.


:::World Civ: Spring 2007 :WorldCiv Sp07:8,9-2/26 Homer:Minoan Art:Knossos Palace:Minotaur story:Etruria ca340BC.jpg

Detail from a red-figure vase from ca. 340 BC, note the looser, more casual style. 

This is clearly the Minotaur and I'm guessing he is nursing at the breast of his mother, Pasipha‘.



The Minotaur was sometimes shown as a centaur in later depictions


:::World Civ: Spring 2007 :WorldCiv Sp07:8,9-2/26 Homer:Minoan Art:Knossos Palace:Minotaur story:Theseus470BCEtrurian.jpg

Red figure vase: Here is a depiction of Theseus slaying the Minotaur from a red-figure vase painting ca. 470 BC.



Picasso - Mid-20th Century




I always love to see cooking utensils.  These are probably from about 1500 BC.  It puts some reality into all the splendor that is usually given in history books.


:::World Civ: Spring 2007 :WorldCiv Sp07:8,9-2/26 Homer:Minoan Art:imagea.gif

Bull jumping was a popular spectator sport with sometimes deadly results.  This is from a wall painting from the Palace at Knossos on Crete.

The women are typically shown in white and the men in a dark reddish color.  Ca. 1500 BC.







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Nothing to add for the Exam on this one.