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Writing Assignments HIA 311

Remember that, as always, I am looking for your opinion and how well you support it with evidence; these essays are less about “right answers” than they are about well-supported ideas.

Presentation Write-Up (2)

Due on the class meeting after your presentation

Write a 2–3 page essay that does the following:

Position Paper

Final draft due Friday, Dec. 12

Write a 6–8 page position paper in which you express an opinion about a topic related to the roles and impact of women in the ancient era, and use evidence to back up that opinion. In other words, you’re taking a side on some question or controversy, and you use reasoning and research to support your side of the argument.

Position Paper Proposal

The proposal is just a brief one-page preview of your position paper that includes the following:

Hannibal Barca, the great Carthaginian general, brought 37 war elephants with him over the Alps into Italy, and at the climactic Battle of Zama they had a front line that included 80 elephants. Did Hannibal’s elephants really make a difference? Some say that Hannibal’s elephants were crucial in establishing the morale of his troops against the legendary Roman legions and in intimidating other armies along the way into alliances; but others say that Hannibal’s elephants did the Carthaginian side more harm than good in their fight with Rome. I believe that Hannibal’s use of elephants was a mistake, not because war elephants were a dumb idea in general, but because Roman adaptability meant that the Romans would inevitably find a way around them.
Opposing sides
Thesis statement

Essay on Representations and Images

Due Friday, Nov. 14 

Write a 3 page essay based on ONE of the two following topic questions.

Whichever option you choose, the purpose of this essay is NOT to describe the works in question, but to interpret their meaning and discuss analytically what they tell us about how different kinds of artists and creators represent the ancient peoples and their world.

Option 1 – Artifacts comparison

Option 2 – Films and sources

Some possibilities for Representations & Images Essay

Option 1 possibilities

Possible venues for the artifacts comparison option include:

Option 2 possibilities

Some possibilities for the film and sources option include (this list is not exhaustive; I can give you specifics on where to look in the primary sources on request):

Film Possible Primary Sources to Compare
Alexander (2004) Plutarch, Alexander; or Arrian, Anabasis
Boudica (2003) Tacitus, Annals 14.29–39, Agricola; Cassius Dio Roman History 62
Caligula (1980) [warning: explicit sex] Suetonius, Caligula; Cassius Dio, Roman History 59
Cleopatra (1963) Plutarch, Caesar and Antony
Electra (1963) Euripides, Elektra; Sophocles, Elektra
Helen of Troy (1956) Homer, Iliad 3, Odyssey 4, 23; Euripides, Helen; Ovid, Heroides 16; Isocrates, Helen
I, Claudius (1976) [1-2 episodes] Tacitus, Annals books 11–12; Suetonius, Claudius
Intolerance (1916) [Part 1] Herodotus, The Histories book 1.70–144; Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 10–11
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1999)   Old Testament, Genesis 37–50
Masada (1981) Josephus, The Jewish War book 1
One Night with the King (2006) Old Testament, Esther
Quo Vadis? (1951) Tacitus, Annals 13–16; Suetonius, Nero; Cassius Dio, Roman History 61–63
Rome (2005–2007) [use 1-2 episodes] Various (see me)
Solomon and Sheba (1959) Old Testament, Kings or Chronicles; Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews book 8
The Odyssey (1997) Homer, Odyssey
The Prince of Egypt (1998) Old Testament, Exodus
The Ten Commandments (1956) Old Testament, Exodus
Troy (2004) Homer, Iliad

Many of these primary sources are available through the list of ancient sources and translations on my website (http://markbwilson.com/) via the “Ancient Texts” link at the top of the page.