History Exam 3

History Exam 3

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Your midterm exam consists of three sections: one focused on primary source documents we covered; a second on historical material; and a third, on The Golden Ass and the Roman world in which it was written. Please answer one question from Section 1, one question from Section 2, and the entire question in Section 3.

Document of all Primary Sources (original written documents, not videos) eligible for the exam are attached. Please only use Primary Sources assigned in the document.


We are interested in your original ideas and opinions. This is not a research assignment. Demonstrate that you have done all the reading, actively listened to lectures, and thought about the questions you answer.

Don’t focus too heavily on one civilization. A set of essays that revolve around one civilization will receive a lower grade than a set of essays that demonstrate broad knowledge of course material.

Don’t feel obligated to address every single point listed under “potential issues”. These questions are here to help shape and guide your thoughts and your understanding of the essay topic. We suggest that your pick a couple of “potential issues” to structure each essay.

Do not plagiarize or attempt to cheat. We are using the SafeAssign tool, which recognizes material copied and pasted from anywhere online, and compares your exam to every other exam your classmates submit.

Answer the following question:

The GOLDEN ASS and the Roman world: The GOLDEN ASS was written at the height of the Roman Empire, when Roman institutions (money; political control; citizenship; armies; etc) were ever-present across much of Europe, all of the Mediterranean region, and much of the Near East.  On its surface, the novel generally steers clear of any discussion of overtly Roman institutions, and yet, it clearly reflects the values and social concerns and social and economic practices of its day.  Write a thoughtful essay in which you:

a.       Identify four  significant elements (represented by characters or behaviors or material objects)  which the GOLDEN ASS uses to reflect issues and features of the Roman world that Professor McGuire focused on in class and in the textbook.  Discuss how each of these elements is treated in the novel and how it fits with the other aspects of the Roman world that we have considered.
b.      Discuss, for at least 1/3 of your total essay, how you think these issues and elements fit into the overall message of the novel.  What IS the point of the novel?  How does one live in the global world of the Roman Mediterranean?


Working principle #1: the better you integrate material from lectures and recitations with material from the textbook and primary sources, the better your essay’s grade. (If you cannot convince us in the course of each essay that you have read the assigned material, listened to/watched lectures, and engaged in recitation, you will receive no better than a C grade.)
Working principle #2: The better you back up your statements of analysis and opinion with clear references to material evidence and recognized fact, the better your essay’s grade.
Working principle #3: Grammar and writing are part of the package in the course as a whole and in the exams.  The cleaner and clearer the writing, the better your grade.
Working principle #4: The less fluff, the better. (Examples of “fluff” are lengthy introductions, repetitive conclusions, extra material to add length, irrelevant material that does not support your argument, etc.) Please be concise and to the point.


A thoughtful and coherent essay with some interesting threads of argument, with precise references to back up ideas, and good integration of references to lecture/textbook/Primary Sources will receive 30-33 points (A level).
A thoughtful essay with just a couple of lines of argument, backed up with a couple of good examples, with some minor integration of backup references to lecture/textbook/Primary Sources will receive 26-29 points (B level).
A flatter and linear essay with mechanical itemization of points and few references, with thin integration of lecture/textbook/Primary Sources will receive 22-25 points (C level).
An essay that contains a limited set of points and references, and no integration of backup references to lecture/textbook/Primary Sources will receive 18-21 points (D level).
An essay that contains no discernible points or references, and/or that is written unintelligibly or abominably will receive between 0-17 points (F).
Plagiarism (cutting and pasting of text from websites; the use of the ideas or arguments or words of others without giving credit; using material from other students) will result, at minimum, in a course grade of F.

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