HISTORY 230 - Humanities Topics in History
Section: 002 Inscribing Power: Language and Writing in the Ancient World
Term: FA 2018
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May be elected five times for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Some of the world’s most ancient writings are expressed in languages from the ancient Middle East and the lands of the Mediterranean Sea. Who wrote these and why? Who could read and write and what did these abilities grant them? How did kings and others use writing to consolidate their power? What can we learn about history, people, and languages by examining the uses of writing? What can minority or even poorly documented languages tell us about marginalized populations and their relationships to people in power?

This course surveys the languages and written remnants of people from modern Iran to Italy, from Egypt to Iraq, the Arabian peninsula to the Anatolian plateau, from the dawn of writing through the peak of the Roman Empire. We will look at different languages written in various scripts such as cuneiform, Egyptian hieroglyphs, Hebrew square script, early alphabets including Greek and Latin, and pre-Islamic Arabian. Through this course, students will imagine a social history of the languages of antiquity and explore new worlds through the power of writing.

Course Requirements:

In this discussion oriented class, students will get an overview of the variety of ancient languages and the people who used them. Students will report on items of interest to them in small assignments and lead a short discussion on them. Students will have the option of completing multiple small assignments or one big project.

Intended Audience:

Undergraduates of all levels interested in language use, history, and social power

Class Format:

Two 90-minute meetings weekly

HISTORY 230 - Humanities Topics in History
Schedule Listing
002 (SEM)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
003 (REC)
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for HISTORY 230 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi
The CourseProfile (ART) system, supported by the U-M Provost’s 3rd Century Initiative through a grant to the Office of Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (ART)