western civilianization
Question: So far in this course, we have examined how our assigned readings (Exodus, Homer’s Odyssey, and Herodotus) represent historical narratives that certain people created in order to define how their societies were different from other nearby societies. By cultivating certain interpretations of the past, ancient peoples were able to articulate what they believed to have made their own societies unique. You have discussed such issues in the assignments that you have submitted so far in this course.
While building on your mastery of such issues, discuss whether you think these sources represent a distinctively “western” perspective. The Hebrew Bible, the Homeric poems, and the Greek historiography represented by Herodotus have generally been treated by modern scholars as part of a distinctly “western” canon of literature and as the sources for “western” traditions and values. Do you agree? If so, define and defend what you deem to be a distinctive “western” mode of thinking and acting in the ancient world. If not, discuss what you deem to be “non-­-western” about these texts and the societies that produced them and the values that they shared with societies that we have traditionally framed as “non-­-western.”
Your response should reflect consideration of the following issues:
a. The rise of the Greek polis and citizen values
b. An understanding of beliefs, behaviors, or values generally common to Mediterranean and Near Eastern peoples in the periods that we have covered thus far.
c. The significance of culture and cultural difference for social or ethnic identities
d. The ideological implications of historical memories and the composition of history



western civilianization