Course Guide

I currently instruct several introductory classes covering various topics of ancient history.  If you are interested in taking one of the classes currently being offered at Tacoma Community College– Gig Harbor Campus please click here.

These classes are designed to meet once a week and run for 4- 6 weeks.  Classes include a balance of lecture and group discussion.  All classes will include a suggested reading list, but this is entirely optional.

Beginning in the fall of 2017, these and other classes will be offered at Peninsula College, for more information please click here.

Some past topics have included:

greekart02Exploring Ancient Greece: The Archaic and Classical Periods- Take a leisurely and thought-provoking look at ancient Greece. From the early foundation of numerous city-states (poleis) to the rise of great Hellenistic Kingdoms.  The class will examine the rivalries and customs of Athens and Sparta as well as other key city-states.   This class will discuss how ancient Greek religion, warfare, and society helped to shape the ancient Mediterranean and beyond.

Exploring Ancient Egypt: Pyramids, Tombs and Pharaohs-aepotteryfuneral Learn about and discuss the major civilizations and cultures which have come to symbolize Ancient Egypt. The course will examine the major issues and theories of modern Egyptology. Beginning with the earliest inhabitants of the Nile this class will discuss the fascinating religious and funerary practices of which ancient Egyptian society is so well known, as well as dispelling a few of the common misunderstandings.

La Tene Stone HeadThe Ancient Celts: Society, Culture and Religion– Who were the Celts?  What were their daily lives like?  What does the term ‘Celtiberian’ mean?  Where there really Celts living in what is know modern Turkey?  This course will examine the key features of Celtic culture (society and religion) from c. 1000 BCE until 500 CE and how these ancient peoples influenced western and central Europe.  Students will examine the early and later migrations of various Celtic peoples and the development/dominance of the Hallstatt and La Tene cultural groups.  In addition, this course will examine the dramatic effect(s) of Rome’s conquest and domination of the vast majority of the Celtic world.

Claudius_crop.jpgThe Roman Republic and Empire- The history of Rome is one of the best known among historians.  The course will look at the early foundations of Rome through the Republic and the end with the adoption of Christianity in the early 4th Century AD.  This course will explore the unique cultural, religious and political institutions which defined the Roman ideal.  Students will examine the events which led to formation of an Empire from the earlier Republic as well as the major figures in Roman history, such as Gaius Marius, Julius Caesar, Augustus, Claudius, Nero and Constantine.



The Pagan Empire: Religions and Cults of the Roman World- Examine the key aspects of Roman religion from the 1st through 4th centuries AD.  How did most Pagans view the natural world?  Who and what were the gods?  How did the gods manifest their divine will and providence among the faithful?  What were the Roman’s view of death and the afterlife?   What were the ‘Mystery’ Cults?  How did Roman, Greek and Celtic Pagans view the culture, traditions and religious practices of those around them? Discussions will include the core beliefs of Roman paganism and the Imperial cult, as well as the adoption/integration of various Persian, Egyptian and Celtic religious practices by many Romans throughout the empire.


The History and Modern Legacy of the constantinehelenatruecross13thByzantine Empire- The history of the Byzantine Empire from the fall of the Western Empire through the medieval period.  From rather humble beginnings as a Greek village, Byzantium (Constantinople) would grow to become the greatest city in the Middle Ages.  Explore the major events which led to the great schism between the Roman and Orthodox Church, as well as the foundation of early eastern kingdoms.




The Vikings: Raiders, Conquerors and Settlers- Who were the Vikings?  Examine the history, culture and society of Scandinavia during the 8th through 11th century A.D., as well as the legacy of Scandinavian migration to England, Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, France, Italy, the Baltics and beyond.  Students will examine past and recently discovered archaeological and DNA evidence analysis to form a more complete narrative of the Viking Age and Medieval Europe.

BrigantiaMinervaBritain: Before and After the Romans– A study of the people of the British Isles from its earliest known inhabitants until the end of 5th century AD. This class will examine the culture and religion of the Celts prior to the Roman conquest as well as the development of Romano-British society during the nearly 400 years of Roman occupation.  Students will analyze the ancient and modern legacies of the Roman conquest of Britain as well as contrasting the legacies of those regions which were never fully subjugated by the Romans, such as Scotland and Ireland.

The Biology of History– Have you ever wondered what your DNA has to tell you about your ancestry? Look at the current science and methodologies being utilized by public and private institutions to determine genetic ancestry, and see how anthropologists, historians, and archaeologists evaluate this evidence to determine the migration and settlement patterns of ancient peoples.