Western Civilization to 1650
I. Course Prefix/Number: HIS 131
Course Name: Western Civilization to 1650
Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)
III. Course (Catalog) Description
IV. Learning Objectives
B. Define the basic vocabulary needed to discuss the history of Western Civilization
C. Discuss, compare and evaluate representative works of popular culture for the period.
D. Explain the political, social, cultural and economic diversity within Western civilizations and explain the interactions among these traditions.
E. Present and debate conflicting interpretations of the Western tradition.
F. Analyze primary and secondary sources that are used in interpreting the history of Western Civilization.
V. Academic Integrity and Student Conduct
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.
There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.
Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
VI. Sequence of Topics
B. Civilizations of the Near East to 500 B.C.
C. Greece and Hellenism
D. Greece and the Hellenistic Legacy
E. Early Celtic civilizations and pre-Roman Europe
F. The rise of the Roman Republic
G. The Roman Empire
H. Judaism and the origins of Christianity
I. The collapse of the Roman World and the rise of Byzantine civilization
J. Early Medieval Europe and the Christian Church
K. The rise of Islam and relations with the Western world
L. Medieval Europe and the High Middle Ages
M. The Italian Renaissance
N. The Northern European Renaissance
O. Reformation, Protestantism and the Counter-Reformation
P. Wars of Religion
VII. Methods of Instruction
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.
VIII. Course Practices Required
A. Read a standard textbook and research materials.
B. Write outside of class the equivalent of 13 – 15 double-spaced typed pages in the form of a term paper, summaries of journal articles, short research papers, and/or other kinds of writing.
C. Participate in in-class and out-of-class activities.
IX. Instructional Materials
X. Methods of Evaluating Student Progress
Students will also be evaluated on a combination of written assignments and in- and out
of- class assignments.
XI. Other Course Information
If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.
Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.
Resources and support for
- pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
- victims of sexual misconduct
Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.