1. Explain the origin of the term "Israelite."
  2. How did the region called Palestine get its name?
  3. How did the Philistine invasions affect the Hebrews' political history?
  4. Describe the changes in Hebrew society and economy under Kings David and Solomon.
  5. Why did Solomon consider it essential to build a great temple?
  6. Identify the four stages in the evolution of the Hebrew religion. What were the primary characteristics of each stage?
  7. Three basic doctrines made up the substance of the teachings of the great prophets Isaiah, Hosea, Amos, and Micah. What were they?
  8. What is the real significance of the "prophetic revolution" in the development of the ancient Hebrew religion?
  9. Compare the philosophical points of view of the following books of the Old Testament: Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes.
  10. What concept of a messiah is set forth in the Book of Daniel?
  11. What is described as "the real Jewish miracle," and what brought about this miracle?
  12. Giving specific examples, explain how the Deuteronomic Code represents an ethical advance over the Code of Hammurabi.
  13. "The literature of the Hebrews was the finest produced by any ancient civilization of western Asia." Justify this statement.
  14. In what ways has the heritage from Judaism affected secular aspects of Western civilization?
  15. What was the most important "storybook triumph" in the annals of archaeology?
  16. In what ways did Minoan society resemble modern Western societies?
  17. Minoan art differed considerably from Egyptian and Mesopotamian art. Show how its art suggests the nature of the Minoans' culture.
  18. What were the chief characteristics of the Minoan religion?
  19. What aspect of the Minoan social order was the most unusual when compared with other ancient societies?
  20. How did Mycenaean civilization differ from Minoan civilization?
  21. What light did the decipherment of "Linear B" throw on Mycenaean civilization?
  22. Both the Minoan and the Mycenaean states have been described as "bureaucratic monarchies." Describe this type of political organization.
  23. What is the lasting importance of the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations?
  1. Where can the Semitic language family be found today?
  2. Compare the portraits of Solomon in I Kings 2-12 and I Chronicles 28-29 and II Chronicles 1-10.
  3. Read the Books of Amos and Micah in the Old Testament and answer the following:
    a) Where are these prophets from and what is their background?
    b) What land is the target of their criticism?
    c) What social and religious conditions are they deploring?
    d) What are their religious and ethical standards?
  4. The Book of Job deals with the problem of theodicy, that is, of the origin and explanation of evil. Read it and analyze with citations to the text the problem as presented there. Other than his physical rewards, what is the nature of Job's triumph?
  5. Read Deuteronomy in the Old Testament and sketch the nature of the society that Moses demands.
  6. Read either Proverbs or Ecclesiastes and analyze with citations to the text the philosophy set forth there.
  7. Read Homer's Iliad (Richmond Lattimore's translation is preferred). What character traits are dominant in the heroes of the Greeks and the Trojans? How would you characterize the immortals (the gods)?
  8. Explore further any of the following:
    a) The archaeological discoveries of Heinrich Schliemann or Arthur Evans
    b) Recent developments in Aegean archaeology
    c) Sports in the Minoan culture
    d) Cretan writing and attempts to decipher it
    e) Crete's debt to Egypt


W.W. Norton
REVIEW: World Civilizations
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