Humanities (HUMN) 201
Western Thought and Culture I: Before the Reformation (Revision 7)
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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online
Area of Study: Humanities
Prerequisite: This course is intended as a foundation course for BA and BGS students and is designed for learners with little or no previous university experience. It provides a good starting place for new students intending to study history, literature, philosophy, or other aspects of the humanities.
Precluded Course: HUMN 201 is a cross-listed course. HUMN 201 may not be taken for credit by students who have obtained credit for HIST 201.
HUMN 201 has a Challenge for Credit option.
Here are some of the questions examined in Humanities 201:
- When, where, and how did human beings first develop cultures worthy of being called civilizations?
- How did the classical world of Greece and Rome come into existence, and what were its finest cultural achievements?
- Which were the first Christian societies, and what were their intellectual and cultural legacies?
- What were the main features of the Romanesque and Gothic phases of medieval European civilizations?
- Why did the Renaissance happen, and what fundamental cultural and intellectual changes did it bring about?
Humanities 201 is the first of two three-credit courses that together survey the development of Western civilization from its origins in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt to the complicated and sophisticated post-industrial world. Although the course uses a historical framework, its overall approach is interdisciplinary, drawing on the findings of archaeologists, classical scholars, theologians, art historians, literary critics, philosophers, and historians of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
- Unit 1: Prehistory and Ancient Mesopotamia
- Unit 2: Ancient Egypt and the Mediterranean
- Unit 3: Ancient Greece
- Unit 4: Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World
- Unit 5: The Roman World
- Unit 6: The Rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire
- Unit 7: The Decline and Fall of the Roman World
- Unit 8: The Civilization of Byzantium
- Unit 9: Early Middle Ages and Charlemagne
- Unit 10: Medieval Synthesis, 1000—1300
- Unit 11: From Medieval to Renaissance
- Unit 12: The Renaissance
To receive credit for Humanities 201, you must achieve a course composite grade of at least D (50 percent) and a grade of at least 50 percent on the final examination. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:
The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.
To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.
Wiesner-Hanks, Merry E., Clare Haru Crowston, Joe Perry, and John P. McKay. A History of Western Society. Vol. 1, From Antiquity to the Enlightenment. 13th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press—Macmillan Learning, 2020.
All other course materials are available online. They include an extensive study guide and videos that can be streamed online or borrowed as DVDs from the AU Library.
Challenge for Credit Overview
The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.
Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.
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Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form
Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.
Opened in Revision 7, May 13, 2020.
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