AHI 111 - World Civilization and Art

This course is a historical introduction to the great civilizations of the world before 1500 A.D. We have two main goals: 1) to introduce past cultures (pre- 1500 A.D.) such as the ancient Mediterranean world, the Islamic Near East, Hindu India, Buddhist and Confucian Asia, animist Sub-Saharan Africa, and Mayan central America to students, and 2) to illustrate the political and ideological role public art played within these cultures. Cultural topics will include Near Eastern literature (Epic of Gilgamesh, Genesis, Deuteronomy, Hymn to Aton), Greek philosophy and science, the origins of democracy, Roman law, the development of Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, the Popul Vuh, and the historical roots of the current conflict over Jerusalem. Major artistic monuments to be examined include the Stele of Hammurabi Egyptian funerary architecture, Greek, Roman, Hindu sculpture, the Athenian Parthenon, the Roman Colosseum, Islamic architecture, Chinese landscape painting, Teotihuacan, and Gothic cathedrals. Upon completion of this course, students will be acquainted with an outline of world history, ca 3000 BC - 1400 CE, and the major intellectual and artistic contributions of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece & Rome, Judaism, Islam, India, China, the New World, and medieval Europe, and the role that art has played in their culture.