Questions – choose one of the following to answer:
1. To what extent do you agree, or disagree, with the proposition that the civilizations of Ancient Mesopotamia, Greece and/or Rome laid the foundation for modern ‘Western Culture’?
2. Which key ideas of the ancient classical civilizations of Mesopotamia, Greece and/or Rome were reclaimed and reasserted in western culture during the period known as the Italian Renaissance? Discuss with reference to relevant set course readings and your own independent research.
3. How did cultural values that emerged during the Middle Ages such as chivalry, heroism or religious pilgrimage shape the role of women in society (either past or present)? Discuss with reference to Chaucer’s Prologue and Tale of The Wife of Bath and at least two other relevant readings.
4. What cultural values, beliefs and ideas do you think are most strongly reflected in Lorenzetti’s fresco ‘The Allegory of Good and Bad Government’, and are these still relevant today? Discuss with close reference to the images: a link is provided in the Course Content area for Week 7. You should also draw on at least three other relevant set course texts.
5. What changes occurred during the late middle ages which created the conditions for the cultural developments of the ‘Renaissance’? Discuss with reference to at least three of the relevant set course readings.
6. ‘A good prince is a living likeness of God … His goodness makes him want to help all; his power makes him able to do so’ (Machiavelli). What are the practical limits to political power that Machiavelli reveals in his handbook for Princely rule, The Prince? You should also draw on at least three other relevant set course texts.
7. The movement to abolish the European slave trade, which began in the 1770s was intertwined with a new notion of human rights. To what extent did this notion of human rights show the rise of reason and the influence of Enlightenment ideals. Discuss, with reference to at least four of the relevant set course readings.
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