Humanities Essay

Description

This is a humanities essay  This semester we’ve looked at various cultures: Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Greece, and Rome, and we’ve looked at them through a variety of means including Religion, The Afterlife, The State, Philosophy, and The Arts (painting, sculpture, architecture, literature and music).  Greece and Rome are considered the foundations of western civilization as they have had an impact on so many facets of civilization.  For this paper, you are going to write about how they are the foundations of western civilization in a minimum of 1500 words.   Write an introduction which introduces your topic and what you will be discussing. Choose ONE of the following periods:  the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, 18th century France, 18-19th century USA, 20-21st century. Choose THREE of the following: Sculpture Architecture Literature Music Painting Science Philosophy Olympics Medicine Law Government Theater Movies For each of the three that you choose, you are to discuss how Greco-Roman culture has influenced them.  The overarching theme of this paper is how Greco-Roman culture is the foundation for western civilization and how we can see their influence in nearly every sphere of life throughout time. Let’s say you choose to do 18-19th century USA and you choose architecture, philosophy and government.  These are very broad subjects, so you might want to focus just on Rome or Greece, but let’s say you choose to just focus on Roman influence.  (You will not be comparing architecture, philosophy and government.  You will be discussing how each are inspired by Rome.) Architecture: you would talk about the important elements of Roman architecture, specific American monuments that are directly influenced by Roman architecture and identify those monuments, and discuss why that particular American monument is using Roman architectural elements. Philosophy: you would talk about a school of philosophy popular during the Roman period and discuss how it’s influenced modern philosophy. Government: you would talk about the Roman republic and how it’s structured, and discuss what elements of the American constitution is influenced by the Roman republic.  Why are they inspired by Rome? You will include a conclusion and a reference page.  You must use a minimum of two sources other than your textbook, and you may not use Wikipedia.  (Using Wikipedia is fine as a tool, but if you look at Wikipedia you will see references at the bottom; those are generally the sources you can use.)  Books or scholarly articles are the best sources to use, but If you are uncertain about the accuracy of a web page, please email me. Smarthistory.org is a really good site for art and architecture information and is starting to add some historical pages as well.   How you approach this assignment is very open.  You can choose the method you use to discuss the inspiration of Greece and Rome.  But in each assignment, you should be discussing why whatever you choose is influenced by Greece and/or Rome.  You should not just give a list of influences from antiquity without some attempt to understand why they are so inspirational. For instance, you could look at Greek mythology’s influence on contemporary literature, movies, music and possibly even video games.  If music, you could look at how much and what type of music is inspired by mythology or includes mythological references.  Or you could dissect a song that includes mythological references and what it means to the overall song and the message the artist is trying to get across.  If you do something like this, make sure to discuss why they are using Greek mythology.  What makes it popular?  Does the story or song have a timeless message?  If you were looking at mythological influences in movies, do not just give an imdb-type synopsis of the movie.  What makes that particular myth interesting?  Why is it popular do you think?  Is it a myth that is made into several movies throughout time or just once? This paper can’t be completed properly if you do not include discussions of how your particular topics are influenced by Greece and Rome specifically.  (For example, writing about American Jazz music and saying Greeks listened to music and here’s a 20th century music style is incorrect and will lose a lot of points.  You must focus on the Greco-Roman influence in whatever topics you choose.)  If you choose a topic and can’t find anything to talk about, choose another one.

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