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PROMPTS
1-2 pp. double spaced each for #1 and 2 (30 points each)
1. Compare and contrast the the perspectives of the three different accounts of the First Crusade: Fulcher of Chartres, Chronicle of the First Crusade (Brophy, Ch. 8), The Anonymous of Mainz: A Hebrew Account of the First Crusade(Brophy, Ch. 8), and Ali Ibn Al-Athir, An Arabic Account of the First Crusade (Brophy, Ch. 8). How do the Hebrew, Christian, and Muslim perspectives differ? How are they the same? How is the Christian perspective of the Muslims/the objective/the task of the crusading in The Song of Roland (Brophy, Ch. 8) similar or different from that in Fulcher of Chartres? How do the documents explain the reasons, consequences, and conduct of the crusades?
2. Read the introduction to the Decameron by Boccaccio (Brophy, Ch. 10). According to the author, how did his neighbors explain and respond to the black death? What does Boccaccio say about the social effects of the plague? How does the description of the events of the black death of the Late Middle Ages, according to the textbook and Boccaccio, compare or contrast with the COVID-19 pandemic? (extra high score if you bring in and cite your own research on the black death in your comparison to COVID-19)
2-3 pages double spaced for #3 (60 points)
3. What is “western civilization”?
This is a “choose your own adventure” question (many different kinds of good responses are possible).
In reference to some of the documents we have read this semester–and in reference to the influence of the Middle Eastern civs., Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Greece, Rome, Byzantium, and Western Europe in the Middle Ages–how would you define “western civilization”? Go back to the reading by Davies from the beginning of the course to inform your response.
Having attempted to define “western civilization,” what, in your historical opinion, are its top three or four most impressive achievements? Why? What are the top three or four biggest weaknesses or failures? Why?
Finally, what do you regard as the most consequential aspects of Ancient and Medieval “western civilization” for the world today?

Students who turn in thoughtful, well-written, and corroborated responses which attempt to fully answer the prompts will receive the highest scores. Length guidelines are minimums.

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