Thursday, September 20, 2007

Founders College Curriculum - Ancient & Medieval History

The course syllabi for this semester at Founders College are now on-line.

Ancient and Medieval History has the least overtly Objectivist slant.

The required books are:

Hans Nissen, The Early History of the Ancient Near East, 9000 BC-2000BC (University of Chicago Press, 1988)

Charles Freeman, Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean (Oxford University Press, 2004)

Plato, The Complete Works (Hackett Publishing, 1997)

William H. McNeil, The Rise Of The West (University of Chicago Press, 1992)

Chris Wickham, Framing The Early Middle Ages (Oxford University Press, 2007)

William Chester Jordan, Europe In The High Middle Ages (Penguin, 2004)

Most interesting is that students will be reading Plato's Republic in its entirety (a fairly long work). Given that Prof. Garmong has assigned some Plato for his Philosophy I course, wouldn't a book containing primary sources or a work such as Herodotus' Histories be better? This appears to emphasize the Objectivist view that philosophical ideas are the main drivers of history.

The time-span of the course is also of note. It starts with the beginning of history and ends at about 1300. However, the second year, second semester history course at Founders is Great Figures of the Industrial Revolution, a course with an explicitly Objectivist tilt. I'm all in favor of studying Edison, Ford and Vanderbilt, but the inclusion of a separate course on them has resulted in what should be a two semester course reduced to a one semester course.

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