History 104 (227) Topics in World History (Restricted to CAP students): The Origins of the World Legal Traditions




Course Level





Section 227 of HIST 104 is restricted to students in CAP (Co-ordinated Arts Programme)

Origins of World Legal Traditions:  This World History course focuses on social relationships and their development in historic and traditional societies. In civilizations ranging from the ancient Near East and the Greco-Roman world to Yuan China and Medieval Europe and their influence on the present, students investigate and compare social and legal relationships in the context of the law, religion, and customs that regulated people's behaviour and circumscribed their lives: husbands and wives, kings and subjects, teachers and children, prostitutes and partners, merchants and customers, friends and neighbours, elite and marginalized, conquerors and conquered, people and gods, righteous and outcast, the dead and the living. The readings consist of primary documents such as law codes, case records, sacred texts, plays, novels, poetry, images, and other artefacts as well as secondary scholarship and historical analyses. The course consists of lectures twice a week and discussion sections once a week. This course emphasizes writing skills and constructing arguments based on critical analysis of sources and evidence that convey conclusions that reflect historical understanding. Evaluation is based on short essays and assignments, two examinations, class discussions, and participation in all aspects of the course.