Western Humanities

Midterm Examination Study Guide


PARTS ONE AND TWO – 30 minutes

Part One – Terms and Concepts (1 point each; 20 points total)

This section is a multiple choice section.  You will be required to answer questions which assess your understanding of various terms and concepts studied since the beginning of the course.  (See list on p. 2.)


Part Two – Geography.  (20 points total)

This section has two parts.  The first part will involve matching a location with its corresponding letter on a map (ex.  Rome = G).  These items are worth 1 point each.  The second part will involve reading clues about a particular place and finding the corresponding letter on the map (ex.  Augustus Caesar once ruled from this city = G / Rome).  These items are worth 2 points each.  For this section, you should be able to identify the following:


  • Aegean Sea
  • Alexandria (Egypt)
  • Athens
  • Britannia
  • Byzantium (Constantinople)
  • Carthage
  • Crete
  • Danube River
  • Gaul
  • Holy Roman Empire
  • Jerusalem
  • Macedonia
  • Mediterranean Sea
  • North Sea
  • Rome
  • Sicily
  • Spain
  • Sparta
  • Venice


PART THREE – 25 minutes

Part Three – Culture and the Arts (5 points each; 20 points total)

For this section, you will be required to interpret and analyze documents and images, including artifacts, buildings, and/or maps, and then answer questions that accompany them.


PARTS FOUR AND FIVE – 60 minutes

Parts Four and Five – Thematic Essays (15 points each; 30 points total)

These sections will require you to write an essay on both of the following topics:

Part Four – War and Conquest

Part Five – Christianity

In order to receive full credit, your answers must contain specific, relevant, accurate information from class discussions and notes, videos and slide shows seen in class, maps, and documents assigned for reading.  The essays will be graded holistically using the following standards:





Position is clear and thoughtful; position demonstrates understanding of both sides of the issue.

Position is richly supported with sophisticated analysis of source materials

Response is organized, focused, and unified; ideas are clearly and effectively developed; writing is fluent with effective transitions.




Position is clear and thoughtful; position may demonstrate understanding of both sides of issue.

Position is well supported using source materials, but lacks depth of analysis.

Response is organized; digressions are rare; ideas are clearly expressed, but may lack fluency and polish.




Position is clear, but response lacks thorough understanding of both sides of the issue.

Position is adequately supported, but lacks thoroughness.

Response is generally organized and coherent; digressions, if present, are not disruptive; most ideas are clear, but lack fluency and transitions.




Response takes a stand, but does not clearly develop position on the issue.

Position lacks support; support may be based on personal opinion.

Response shows some organization but may contain some digressions; some ideas difficult to understand or are irrelevant; response displays weak fluency and transitions.



< 9

Response attempts to take a stand, but fluctuates between positions.

Position is supported with superficial, irrelevant, or inaccurate details, or is based on opinion; response indicates serious lack of understanding.

Response lacks focus, demonstrates little or no organization; response contains frequent digressions which interfere with meaning; response lacks fluency and transitions.


NOTE:  Timing of the tests is approximate.  Transitions between sections have been considered.



PART ONE:  Terms and Concepts

To the extent possible, this list is in chronological order.


Minoan v. Mycenaean civilizations (Crete/Cnossus v. mainland Greece)

Greek ideals – Reciprocity, Arete, Xenia, Ergon

Monotheism v. polytheism



S-P-A! – Socrates, Plato, Aristotle (basic beliefs, especially political)

Lives of women (Greece to Middle Ages)

Affect of Alexander the Great and the extent of his empire

Classical v. Hellenistic culture/art

Roman values – Dignitas, Pietas, Gravitas, Romanitas

Christian values – Sermon on the Mount

Patricians v. plebeians

Twelve Tables

Byzantine Empire

Causes of the “fall” of Rome

Greek and Roman arts (literature, sculpture, mosaics, architecture, etc.)

Extent and impact of the Roman Empire

Monastery – roles and purpose of the monk/monastery in the early middle ages

Feudalism – roles and obligations of nobles and vassals

Manorialism – roles and obligations of nobles and serfs

Estate system – characteristics of each estate; nobility, knighthood, the clergy, serfdom, [Those who fight, those who pray and those who work] and (eventually) the merchant class [4th estate]

The Church: From minor cult to political and cultural dominance

Cathedrals – Romanesque v. Gothic elements; symbolism of cathedral architecture

Crusades – causes and political, economic, and social effects

Medieval Art: elements and purpose

Medieval Science and Technology