Syllabus [EuroHist-HHS123-F09]

For 11/30-12/2

Assignment 14

Where to Go from Here


Pardon the cheeky pun, but come on... look at it!

A fired clay Cucuteni figurine, from 4050-3900 B.C

See article below.

For Monday: Expect a quiz on Monday or Wednesday.

In 2003 Donald Rumsfeld rather infamously referred to "Old Europe," meaning the European nations that weren't terribly happy about the idea of starting a war with Iraq.  He then spelled out what he meant.  He stated that "Old Europe" was Germany and France.  However it turns out that "Old Europe" actually refers to a region that roughly corresponds with Serbia, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Romania. 

Read this article on this real old "Old Europe."  Wilford-NYTimes-Nov. 30, 2009 - A Lost European Culture, Pulled From Obscurity.  Look at the charts and slide shows that go with it.  They are interesting.


Read in Chase, Firearms: A Global History to 1700: pp. 1-5, 23-27, 56-76.  Feel free to read the other sections that are contained in the PDF.

LowRes but smaller file: Chase-Firearms-EuroHistsm.pdf [3.7MB]

HigherRes but larger file: Chase-Firearms-EuroHistsmm.pdf [8.1MB]


Guided tour of Figure 3.1 in the Chase reading: Chase-Fig3.1-tour.htm



For Wednesday: 

Read the following pages from this PDF: Murphy-Are_We_Rome?-excerpt.pdf [3.5MB]  Read pp. 1-23 (the Prologue) and pp. 128-132, [optional, pp. 148-151].  You could read the whole PDF if you like.  This is just a brief snippet of this book. Go out and buy it if you like it.  I'm hoping that this last reading will be provocative and easy to write about.  Feel free to disagree or agree with it.  Feel free to use Murphy's approach and construct your own arguments about the US and Rome or Greece, or Troy, or Crusaders, or Columbus.... whatever.  [solipsism = belief in self as only reality]


Here is a blurb from the New Yorker's review of the book – "Murphy writes that "Americans have been casting eyes back to ancient Rome since before the Revolution," and goes on to interrogate the comparisons drawn both by "triumphalists," who see the worldÕs only superpower in terms of the Roman Empire at its height, and by "declinists," who see America as "dangerously overcommitted abroad and rusted out at home," like Rome before its fall. Murphy makes telling points about the solipsism of political ˇlites and the impact of corruption and cronyism on civil society, but he stops short of predicting AmericaÕs fall. (Indeed, he argues that it is simplistic to say that Rome fell.) Instead, he points to a malaise exemplified by the debasement of the term "franchise," once associated with freedom to vote, and now with commerce: "Here, in miniature, is the political history of America." Murphy prescribes antidotes, and finds grounds for cautious optimism in the words of Livy: "An empire remains powerful so long as its subjects rejoice in it."


Optional [recommended]: Hunters of Greenland: These images are evocative of a time long long ago: greenland-slideshow_index.html




Essay: Standard drill.  This is the last one.  Those needing to do more than one should draw upon previous assignments.  Please tell me which assignment your essay is supposed to go with.  [E.g. Week 10.]

Here are some of the images that I showed in class by Vesalius (ca. 1543): Vesalius_DeFabrica100-OCR-9.8MB.pdf



Chase, Kenneth Warren. Firearms: A Global History to 1700. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003.


Davies, Norman. Europe: A History. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.


Murphy, Cullen. Are We Rome? : The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2007.


You will have to figure out the citations for the optional materials if you use them.

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