Caveman Picture

Foundations of Western Civilization

Humans to the Fall of the Roman Empire

Instructor: John G. Stockmyer

Office Hours

My office is in the Computing/Business Building (room 209). My office hours are:   M/W/F   7:00 - 8:00 A.M.


I give three exams and a two-hour final -- the final to be more or less comprehensive. When determining your semester grade, I will throw out a low exam, provided it's one of the first three. If the final -- while always counting toward your semester grade -- is against you, I weight it the same as one of the hour exams. If you raise your grade on the final, however, I will give it the same weight as two hour exams.

This is a lecture class, which means there is not really time for discussion during the class hour. (I do like to have conversations with you in the hall, office etc., just not in class.)

About 90% of test questions come from lecture, the other 10% from material assigned in the syllabus. (The words I write on the board every day figure heavily in the questions I will ask you on exams.)

Course rules

The first rule is not to talk while I'm lecturing -- and I lecture all the time.

The second rule is, please come on time. If the door is shut when you arrive, you're too late to enter the room. The exception is, if you are only a little late. In that case, stand outside the door and, after I notice you there, I will wave you in. Do not knock on the door. Do not scratch on the door. Do not whine. (You may make faces through the glass, however, to attract my attention.)


In order to make an A, you must do A average work on your exams, plus have read and reported on two novels (to be listed shortly).

To make a B, you must do B average work on your exams and have read and reported on one novel.

No novels are required to make a C or D.

"Reports" on novels are oral. After you have read a novel, I will ask you a couple of questions about it and check you off as having satisfied the "novel requirement."

The novels you will be reading -- two to satisfy the "A" grade, one to satisfy the "B" grade are: The King Must Die (by Mary Renault), The Last of the Wine (by Mary Renault), Silver Pigs (by Lindsey Davis), River God (by Wilbur Smith), Imperium (by Robert Harris), Pompeii (by Robert Harris), Roman Blood (by Steven Saylor).

Area libraries have these novels or you can buy them at the Maple Woods bookstore. When reading a novel, don't pay any attention to the character's names or to other "picky" facts. The kind of questions I will ask are general. All I'm interesting in finding out is that you have read the book.

THE NOVELS ARE NOT "EXTRA CREDIT." THEY ARE A REQUIREMENT for an "A" or a "B." In other words, do A average work in exams -- but fail to report on two novels -- and your semester grade will be a C. Do B average work in exams but fail to report on one novel and your semester grade will be a C.

So -- that's about it, except to say I'm glad to have you. And that I think you will like this course!

Foundations of West. CivModern West Civ.Extras