History 413 (Ancient Israel)

The people of ancient Israel left no great works of art or architecture.  They made virtually no contributions to astronomy, medicine, physics, or biology.  They created no mighty empire.  And yet the Israelites are probably the most important of all ancient civilizations in terms of their impact on subsequent civilization.  As more than one modern scholar has noted, no member of Western civilization can consider himself fully educated if he is not familiar with the Israelites and their one contribution to subsequent civilization, the Bible.

This course will provide the familiarity with ancient Israel necessary to a good understanding of Western civilization. It will include a survey of Israelite  history from the time of the Patriarchs to the time of the Great Diaspora (1900 BC--AD 70). It will also include extensive readings from the Old Testament and the Deuterocanonicals.