Department of History
1043 Heller Hall
Office hours: M 11:15-12:00; F 1:15-2:00
or by appointment
HIST 3503, RELS 3709
9. Introduction to the course, course content, materials to be covered, office hours, tests, reports, paper, grades, attendance sheet, etc. Part of the session will be used for introductions. The students will fill out a questionnaire indicating their areas of interest.
Assignment: Clayton: The Pyramid Builders, Djoser, pp. 31-37; Snefru, pp. 42-45; Khufu (Cheops), pp. 45-49
E-reserve link: https://reserves.lib.umn.edu/
11. Formation of Egyptian civilization concentrating on pharaohs Djoser, Snefru, and Khufu;
Assignment: Clayton: Rulers of an Empire: Tuthmosis II, pp. 102-103; Queen Hatshepsut, pp. 104-107; Tuthmosis III, pp. 108-111; *Herodotus, Persian Wars (bk II: sections 1-100), pp. 116-162
*(Note: because Herodotus, Persian Wars is published in many editions, I have given page numbers for the edition listed below. The book is divided into books (i.e., bk I, bk II, etc.). For those who have a different edition of Persian Wars, I have also given the book number and the sections within the book.)
14. "Crocodiles and Kings" (41 mins)
16. Discussion of the lives of Tuthmosis II, Queen Hatshepsut, and Tuthmosis III
Assignment: Clayton: Akhenaten, pp. 120-131; Ramesses II, pp, 146-155; Herodotus, Persian Wars (bk II: 100-180), pp. 162-209.
18. Discussion of the lives of Akhenaten and Ramesses II;
Assignment: Bashiri (2016), Egypt and Nubia, pp. 101-110; van de Walle, pp. 25-53 (optional)
21. Discussion of Egyptian cosmology and religion; monotheism
Assignment: Bashiri (2016), pp. 5-12; Mazdian Cosmology; de Menasce, "Persia:
Cosmic Dualism," pp. 189-205 (optional)
23. Discussion of Iranian Cosmology
Assignment: Bashiri (2016), pp. 15-26; Fillipani-Ronconi, pp. 51-83 (optional)
25. Discussion of the life of Prince Siyavosh
Assignment: Bashiri (2016), pp. 26-46.
Discussion of the unification of
30. Oral Reports I
2. Oral Reports I
Assignment: Bashiri (2016), pp. 59-64; Olmstead, pp. 34-93.
Study Guide I posted
5. The Indo-European background of the Iranians
Assignment: Frye, pp. 37-78; Olmstead, pp. 107-150; Bashiri (2016), pp. 47-58.
7. "The Voice of Zarathustra"
Assignment: Boyce, pp. 48-77
9. Test One
Covers ancient Egyptian civilization, Egyptian religion and mythology, the Shahname, as well as the Indo-European background of the Iranian peoples
Assignment: Bashiri (2016), pp. 74-79; Frye, pp. 79-119.
12. Discussion of the life of Cyrus the Great
Assignment: Bashiri (2016), pp. 80-87; Herodotus's Persian Wars (bk II: 61-98), pp. 241-260; Olmstead, pp. 396-416 (optional)
14. Discussion of the life of Cambyses II, the Conqueror of Egypt
Assignment: Bashiri (2016), pp. 88-100; Bresciani, pp. 502-528.
16. Discussion of the life of Darius I the Great
19. Discussion of the administration of Darius I
Assignment: Bashiri (2016), pp. 123-135; Olmstead, pp. 289-301.
21. The end of the Achaemenid dynasty
Assignment: Herodotus's Persian Wars(bk VIII: 1-144), pp. 595-656.
23. "Marathon to Salamis" (30 mins)
Assignment: Bashiri (2016), pp. 135-145
28. Oral Reports II
30. Oral Reports II
2. Achaemenid tombs
Assignment: Olmstead, pp. 94-118.
4. The Gods of Ancient
Assignment: Engels, pp. 26-53; Bashiri (2016), pp. 145-149; 153-156.
6. Alexander III the Great, Part I
9. Alexander III the Great, Part II
Assignment: Bashiri (2016), pp. 156-161; Ghirshman, pp. 243-349; Bashiri, Ahuric Order and the Platonic Form
Study Guide II posted
11. The Seleucids and the Parthians
16. Test Two
Covers Iranian history from Cyrus the Great to the end of the Parthians
Assignment: Bashiri (2016), pp. 161-169.
18. The rise of Ardashir I
Assignment: Bashiri (2016), pp. 170-177.
20. Conquests of Shapur I
Assignment: Bashiri (2016), pp. 177-189.
23. Shapur I and Mani
Assignment: Bashiri (2016), pp. 189-195.
25. "Guardians of the Sacred Flame"
26-27 Thanksgiving holiday
30. Oral Reports III
2. Oral Reports III
4. The conquests of Khosrau II
7. The religions of the Sassanids
Assignment: Bashiri (2016), pp. 197-202.
Book Report is due
9. The end of the Empire
Assignment: Frye, pp. 263-285.
11. The Rise of Islam
Assignment: Bashiri (forthcoming), The Jahiliyyah Era
14. "In the Footsteps of Our Forefathers"
16. Last day of classes
Final Paper is due
The final test for this class is on Wednesday, December 23, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
The test covers, the Seleucid, Parthian, and Sassanid eras, as well as the post-Sassanid developments, especially in relation to Zoroastrianism
There will be 1 book report, 3 tests, 1 oral report, and 1 final paper. Attendance and active participation in classroom discussions also carry points.
Any book on ancient
There will be three tests. The actual dates for the tests are geared to the completion of the sections of the course devoted to the main topics in that part of the course. The exams will cover classroom discussions, reading assignments, and oral reports. There will be no make-up tests. Exceptions will be made for hardship cases on an individual basis. The instructor should be informed in advance of the reason for not taking the test. Each test carries 12 points. The tests altogether are worth 36 points.
The final test (test 3) is on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Each student participates in the gathering and delivering of information for 1 oral report. After topics are assigned, each student gives a presentation to the class. After the presentations, the reports (comprehensive PowerPoint presentation or full text) are corrected or adjusted as necessary and sent to all the students. Students are responsible for knowing the content of all the reports they receive for tests. Look at Guidelines for Oral Reports for information on writing the oral report.
The oral report is graded for the quality of its overall contribution to the class. Failure to participate at the time assigned results in the loss of 3 points. Failure to provide the class with a copy of the report results in the loss of the rest of the points. Each oral report carries 15 points for that round. The report should not take more than 15 minutes.
The paper should be 10 pages double-spaced, typed, and
presentable. It should deal with aspects of
Aspects of paper
# of points
relevance and originality
footnotes & bibliography
Attendance is taken by passing a roster to be legibly signed. Each absence is worth half a point. Attendance carries 3 points.
Active participation in class discussions carries 6 points.
To be ordered online:
Bashiri, Ancient Iran: Cosmology, Mythology, History, 2nd edition, Cognella, 2016. Order at www.cognella.com
Available at the bookstore:
Bashiri, Ancient Iran: Cosmology, Mythology, History, 2nd edition
Frye, Heritage of Persia
Herodotus, The Persian Wars
Books on E-reserve:
Case, Paul Edward. "I Become a Bakhtiari," National Geographic Magazine, 1946/47, pp. 325-358
Cameron, George, Darius Carved History on Ageless Rock, National Geography Magazine, pp. 827-844.
Knobloch, Edgar. Beyond the Oxus: Archaeology, Art and
Architecture of Central Asia,
The following books and articles are available either at the Reserve Room (marked with *), or from the general collection at Wilson Library.
Alverson, Stewart. "Zoroaster," Great
Lives From History, (Frank N. Magill. ed.), vol. 5,
Bashiri, Iraj. Ancient
*Bashiri, Iraj. Ancient Iran: Cosmology, Mythology, History, 2nd Edition, Cognella Publishers, 2016.
_____. "Darius the Great," Great
Lives From History (Frank N. Magill. ed.), vol. 2,
_____. "Xerxes I," in Great
Lives From History (Frank N. Magill. ed.), vol. V,
Shahname: 1000 Years After,
_____. "Zoroaster and His
Religion," Avesta in the History and
Culture of Central Asia,
_____. "The Role of Farr in Firdowsi's Shahname,"
1000 Years After,
_____. From the Hymns of Zarathustra
to the Songs of Borbad,
_____. "Alexander III the
Great," From the Hymns of Zarathustra to the Songs of Borbad,
_____. "Mazdian Cosmology," Zoroastrianism
and its Value in the Development of Civilization of Near and Middle East
_____. The Impact of Egypt on Ancient Iran, Rudaki Institute of Language and Literature, Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, 2007.
*Boyce, Mary. A History of Zoroastrianism, vol. 1. Hague: E. J. Brille, 1975.
_____. Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, Routledge & Kagan Paul, 1979.
"The Persian Occupation of
*Case, Paul Edward. "I Become a Bakhtiari," National Geographic Magazine, 1946/47, pp. 325-358
*Clayton, Peter A. Chronicle of the
Cohen, S., et al.
*de Menasce, J. "Cosmic Dualism". Larousse World Mythology, 1965, pp. 189-206.
Duchesne-Guillemin, Jacques, The Hymns of Zarathustra, Beacon Press, 1963.
*Engels, Donald W. Alexander the Great
and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army,
Pio. "The Tradition of Sacred Kingship in
Firdowsi, Hakim Abu al-Qasim,
Hakim Abul-Qasim.Shahname Vols. 1-9,
_____. The Shahnameh
of Ferdowsi: Matn-i intiqadi, vols. 1-9, Eastern Literatures Publication
*Frye, Richard N., The Heritage of
_____. Persian Art: the Parthian and Sassanian Dynasties, Golden Press, 1962.
_____. The Art of Ancient
Green, Peter. Xerxes at
Guthrie, W. The Sophists,
Persian Wars, Introduction by Francis R. B. Godolphin,
Works and Days, Shield (trans. Apostolos N. Athanassakis), Johns
Hicks, Jim, et. al. The Persians, Time-Life Books ,1979.
Hinnells, John R. Persian Mythology, the Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, 1975.
_____. Mithraic Studies, vols. 1-2, Manchester University Press, 1975.
Erik, Conceptions of God in Ancient
Karaka, Dosabhai Framji, History of the Parsis, vols. 1-2, Macmillan and Co, 1884.
Kent, Roland G. Old Persian: Grammar, Texts, Lexicon, American Oriental Society, 1953.
Kirk, G. S, et al., The Presocratic Philosophers,
Macaluso, Peter F. "Cleistenes
*Morenz, Siegfried, Egyptian Religion, tr. by Ann E.
Muler, F. Max (editor), E. W. West
(tr.). The Secret Books of the East, parts I-V,
Muler, F. Max (editor), James Darmesteter (tr.). The Secret Books of the East, parts I-III, Greenwood Press, 1972.
*Olmstead, A. T. History of the
*van de Walle.
Viscusi, Peter L. "Pericles," Great
Lives From History (Frank N. Magill. ed.), vol. 2,
Wilber, Donald N. Persepolis: The Archaeology of Parsa, Seat of the Persian Kings, Darwin Press, Inc., 1989.
Zaehner, R. C. The Dawn and Twilight of Zoroastrianism, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1961.