Pick 1 of the following questions to answer (you must answer all parts of the question you choose in you paper):
1. We like to think that we can trace our democratic ideals and institutions back to Athens, but does this mean that the failings of the Athenian democracy also mirror those of our own? What parallels can you draw between the cultures of fifth-century Athens and today’s United States? What are some differences?
2. The Roman Empire could be said to resemble our own civilization in different ways. What features does the United States share with the republic today? With the Principate? What lessons can we draw from this resemblance?
3. How do the historical circumstances in which Islam emerged compare with those that shaped early Christianity? What are some key similarities and differences of those circumstances?
4. Some historians have argued that the extent and methods of persecution discernible in the Middle Ages are unprecedented in the history of western civilizations. Support or refute this thesis.
5. How do the arts and the political philosophies between the years 1550 and 1660 reflect the turmoil of Europe and the Atlantic world?
6. Was the absolutist monarchs’ emphasis on sumptuous displays of their authority something new? Explain how the display of power under absolutism is different from the way that political power is represented in democratic societies today.
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