This course will use warfare as a lens to examine the civilizations of the ancient world. Warfare, of course, can be a difficult topic to study, as it can be very easy to either get swept up in the thrill of victory or lost in the agony of defeat. In this study of ancient warfare, though, we will not simply stop at the glory and honor of combat, but we will also examine how ancient societies grappled with the loss and destruction warfare wrought upon both conquerors and the conquered. The purpose of the course, therefore, is to neither glamorize warfare in the ancient world nor consider ourselves far above the “savage” brutality of the past, but rather to teach us how to make a critical analysis of not only how these civilizations fought, but why they considered it necessary. These are heavy topics that humanity has grappled with for millennia, but by engaging with them together, we can ponder deeper questions about humanity's relationship with violence and cultivate greater understanding and sympathy for times of human history which can be startlingly different yet eerily similar to our own.
Throughout this course, you will:
• Acquire a general understanding of warfare in the ancient world, from the overarching scope of kingdoms and armies to the direct impact of conflict on communities and individuals.
• Develop a familiarity with ancient writers, and learn how to draw upon their reflections on warfare to speak to the challenges of our own context.
• Cultivate the skills of a historian through the reading and discussion of primary and secondary sources, learning how to identify significant themes, lines of argumentation, and how individual sources fit into their broader historical context.
• Strengthen written communication skills through daily discussion posts, enhancing your ability to articulate your thoughts in a concise yet insightful manner.
Any previous experience with advanced history courses (AP World, AP Europe, etc.) will be helpful, but not necessary. The only true prerequisite is an interest in the ancient world!
Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.