HIA 306: History of Ancient Religion. 3 hours, 3 credits. Hybrid. Writing Intensive. A survey of religious beliefs and practices of the Ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean worlds. Religious customs of the ancient Mesopotamian cultures; Mycenaean, Minoan and Classical Greek myth and ritual; Hellenistic religions and mystery religious cults; private household worship in the Roman Republic; and public religious faith in the Roman Empire.
Details HIA 306-H01 (58230), Fall 2022. Crosslisted with: HIA 706-H01 (58231); LEH 354-H03 (61327). In-person meetings Tuesdays 1:30 to 2:45 p.m., room CA-224, plus additional material online.
Instructor Dr. Mark B. Wilson, Adjunct Assistant Professor. Office: Carman 292. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: markbwilson.com. BlackBoard: link.
Office hours Tuesdays and Thursdays 5:00 to 5:45 p.m. in CA-292.
Religion is humanity’s original and most durable method of making sense of the chaos and changeability of the forces of the natural world, with immense influence on every aspect of history and culture. In this course, we will explore religious customs of the ancient Mesopotamian cultures; Mycenaean, Minoan and Classical Greek myth and ritual; Hellenistic religions and mystery religious cults; private household worship in the Roman Republic; and public religious faith in the Roman Empire.
Specific Learning Objectives
In this course we’ll be pursuing a number of goals, including:
- Exploration of the emergence of religion and its implications for humanity
- Exposure to adiverse array of religions in the ancient Mediterranean and elsewhere
- Exploration of evolutionary changes and cultural conflicts related to religious beliefs, as well various kinds of impacts on political power; social norms; writing and literature practices; artistic expression; and science and philosophy
- Examination of the role of religion in understanding how the many interactions and transformations of ancient civilizations developed into a Western identity, part of the origin of the modern Western world
- Development of skills associated with study of history, including interpretation of primary sources and other evidence.