Discussion # 1
State of the Realm
You are still the advisor to a now powerful emperor. This time, you must pick a specific empire that we are studying this week: Germanic successor states (Visigothic Spain or Merovingian/Carolingian Gaul); Byzantine Empire, Ummayad or Abbasid Caliphates; Song or Tang Dynasty in China; or the Kingdom of Aksum. You have been called upon to provide a report to your ruler on the state of the realm. Select at least three topics from the list below as the central points of your report.
a.State of the finances or economic system (your understanding of the financial position or economic system of your society ◦Does your target civilization have a monetized economy (which means they have and use coins), or is the barter system still the mainstay of the economy?
◦Is long-distance trade carried out for the sake of profit, or is it gift exchange?
b.State of the armed forces ◦Only empires have professional, standing armies, while republics and democracies rely on citizen armies. Carthage is an example of a naval power that relied almost exclusively on mercenaries for its land armies. The Athenians preferred to go to war against Sparta, a land army power, relying on its fleet to neutralize the Spartans. Is conscription the foundation of your military prowess, or do you prefer to maintain a permanent standing army? If the latter is the case, how do you propose recruiting soldiers?
c.State of social relationships ◦Are they stable, unstable, or calm? Are there uprisings?
◦Is the social fabric of your realm roiled by constant ethnic strife (the Greeks famously called this stasis, or social tumult)?
◦You can include your understanding or opinion about the social and ethnic fabric of your society—whether it’s actual social structure, or ideal social structure.
d.Ethics/values/religiosity (your understanding of the ethical or belief systems of your society) ◦Is there religious unity or strife between different factions or faiths?
e.Available raw materials and resources (minerals, building materials, water, food supplies)
f.Aesthetic and intellectual achievements in the realm of fine arts, architecture, philosophy, literature
g.Gender relationships (meaning your understanding of the roles played by men and women—whether they were their actual roles, or just perceived roles)
Your initial post should be a minimum of 300 words. Remember that you are making your proposal and debating with many advisors during an imperial audience. Be persuasive by supplying specific examples that are drawn from course materials, sources produced by your own research, or sources included in the collaborative annotated bibliography to support your position. Cite all sources according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center, using both in-text citation and providing full references at the bottom of your post.
Here are some strategies to help bring your report to life:
a.Write in the first person (I…).
b.Become the figure and take on this figure’s perspective, based on your reading of relevant primary sources and your understanding of the broader historical context.
c.Make sure to provide basic details. ◦Your name
◦Place of residence
◦Approximate time period when you are living
◦Your social standing
◦Anything important not yet covered (approximately one sentence)
d.What is your knowledge of the emperor you serve? ◦Do you know him first-hand? Through the accounts of others?
◦What is significant about your emperor? Be specific (approximately one sentence).
e.What is your understanding of the events of your time? ◦What precisely is going on that seems worthy of commentary? Why? (approximately one sentence)
Discussion # 2
Part of your contribution to the course includes finding scholarly articles, books, and chapters, and primary sources to create a resource bank for the entire class. Your entry will include the following:
1. Scholarly Article, Scholarly Book, Chapter in a Scholarly Book, or Primary Source, formatted according to APA formatting guidelines.
Some places to find these resources include: http://libguides.asu.edu/content.php?pid=4690&sid=805310 http://libguides.dixie.edu/content.php?pid=5025&sid=44936 http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2010/05/secondary-sources-aka-how-to-cite-a-source-you-found-in-another-source.html http://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/DocAPA.html http://www.noodletools.com/helpdesk/kb/index.php?action=article&id=189
(primary, secondary, tertiary source recognition)
2. Annotation of 250-350 words, containing the following:
a. Information for article, book, or chapter annotation: In your own words, what is the thesis or central focus? What are three main points that back up the thesis or central focus? What is the greatest strength of the source? What are the possible limitations or weaknesses of the source? How does this source enhance or develop other material discussed in this course?
Annotated Bibliography Builder
For this discussion, you are to look for a scholarly resource that you find interesting and relevant to the week. Follow the instructions for how to write an annotation post prompt for the details about what is to be included in your initial post, due on Day 3.
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