Earlier in the semester, in the context of the Enuma Elish we discussed the importance of cultural stories. More modern examples relevant to your experience living in the United States might be George Washington chopping down the cherry tree and Abraham Lincoln’s life on the frontier. Cultural stories can perform three functions:
1. They give us insight into the cosmogony of a civilization.
2. They often describe a “shared way of thinking” that a civilization possesses.
3. They offer clues into the everyday life of a civilization.
One of the iconic cultural figures in St. Albans history is Jimmie Trimble, class of 1943. Attached is an excerpt from the book Hardball on the Hill that recounts the story of his life and death. Sprinkled through the text are some primary resources – letters and eye witness interviews. Your assignment is to read Mr. Trimble’s story and show how it acts as a cultural story for the St. Albans “civilization”. Take notes that describe how his life relates to the cosmogony and shared way of thinking at St. Albans, remembering that the story does not have to mirror the truth but at least the perception. One hint I will give you is to remember the School’s motto. Additionally use the primary resources to get clues about life in the 1940’s.
Two notes: first the author spells Mr. Trimble’s first name incorrectly throughout the text. Our School archivist, Mr. Wilkerson, has done research which shows that Mr. Trimble signed his name “Jimmie”. Second, in one of the quotes from the 1940’s, a derogatory ethnic slur is used to refer to the Japanese soldiers. Please know that I do not condone that sort of language but have left it in the text for historical accuracy.
The Legacy of Jimmy Trimble
I hope you have had a good spring break so far. I would like you to do the following this week in preparation for re-entry.
1. Please download the attached map of Greece and plot the terms I have given you in the second file. Work hard to first plan how you will plot the terms and make your map neat and easy to read.
2. Finish reading the file on the Minoans and be ready to finish discussing them in class. One way that historians orgainize their thinking about a civilization is to conduct the PERCS exercise – that is to be able to discuss the political, economic, religious, cultural, and scientific aspects of a society. Please be able to do that with the Minoans on Monday.
There is no homework for class tomorrow. Please come ready for a spirited introductory discussion about the Greeks.
Dr. Schaffer will be teaching the class on Monday when you discuss the second half of On Babylon. I am sure you will enjoy your time with him.
For class on Tuesday I would like you to do the following. First I would like to finish the file “Mesopotamian History” posted below. This will include the sections “Sea Peoples and the Age of Confusion” and ” neo-Babylonian and Persian Empires”. These readings are really review on the Roberts but do contain some new information. Take notes as usual. and be ready to answer these questions:
1. What is the signifcnace of the Battle of Qadesh?
2. To what does Leick attribute the Assyrian’s “aggressive foreign policy”?
3. What role do we see water playing (again) in Babylon’s sacking by the Assyrian king Sennacherib?
4. What role does Nebuchadnezzar play in Babylon’s resurgence?
5. What was the importance of Etemenanki?
6. What does Leick make of the Babylonians’ embracing (or not) of their Persian conquerors?
Additionally, in preparation for the test I would like you to develop three essay questions that would best ask a writer to discuss the major points we have discussed since our last test. With the question, you should also provide a thesis statement that answers the question and the three supporting examples that would make up your body paragraphs. To do this assignment you should look back through the questions I have asked for homework and the themes I have mentioned in class. These should all be in your class notes.
Read the second part of “On Babylon”. Take notes and be prepared to answer questions on the following subjects:
1. Cyrus’ treatment of the Gyndes. What does it say about Persian cosmogony?
2. Siege warfare
3. Cyrus’ invasion plan for Babylon
4. Babylonian agriculture, trading system, dress, marriage, and medicine.
5. What do you make of the last custom addressed by Herodotus?
Tonight will be your first chance in the course to read the historian, Herodotus. He is the great Ancient Greek historian, often referred to as the “Father of History” because he was among the first people to organize materials and present history in the “modern” sense. He wrote during the 5th Century B.C.E. and is best known for his work “The Histories”. Later in the semester we will read that account of the Persian Wars. For now he will introduce us to the great city of Babylon. While these are not strictly primary sources in that they are not first-hand accounts or original documents, Herodotus does give us as contemporary an account as is possible of how Babylon would have looked and what its customs were. He is writing in 440 B.C.E. Cyrus’ sacking of Babylon that Herodotus refers to occurred about 100 years earlier in 539 B.C.E.
For tonight please read “On Babylon” Part I pasted below. Do the following:
- Take good notes which allow you at the end to answer the next few questions.
- What do you think Babylon looked like visually? Create a drawing which depicts the Babylon that Herodotus describes. Include as much detail as possible, including street grids, gates, bodies of water, important buildings, and the surrounding geography. Your picture should include the work done by Nitocris
- What was the purpose of Nitocris’ engineering feats? Why was she so keen to reroute the Euphrates and drain it?
- What do you make of the Nitocris tomb story?
I have also pasted below a document which gives the measurement conversions so that you can get an idea of how big and heavy some of the items are that he describes.
Read the attached file and be able to do the following:
1. Put into chronological order the kings and empires mentioned. You should keep a running list as you read with the important dates.
2. Define the bold-faced terms
3. Be able to answer these questions:
a. How did the Assyrian conquerors assert control over their territorial possessions?
b. What important contribution did Ashurbanipal make to the preservation of history?
c. To what does Roberts attribute Assyrian success? To what does he attribute their downfall?
d. What achievements both good and not was Nebuchadnezzar best known for?
e. Why does Roberts call Egypt “a Bronze Age anachronism”?
f. Under Cyrus, how did the Persians maintain control over their territories?
g. To what does Roberts attribute Persian (and Cyrus’) success?