Read GildasOn the Ruin of Britain (Link 1) and a letter from King Theodoric to the Senate of the City of Rome
HIS101 Western Civilization to 1500. Short essay on readings, use sources
This assignment is roughly 750 words long!
For the first short assignment, you are to read Gildas On the Ruin of Britain (Link 1) and a letter from King Theodoric to the Senate of the City of Rome (Letter 1.4, pg. 145) from Cassiodorus’ Variae (Link 2).
For Gildas, I would focus on “chapters” 18-26, which describe what happens after Roman legions leave Britain, but it’s a short text and you can easily read the whole thing.
Using specific evidence from each source, explain how Gildas can be used to support the claim that Rome fell and how Theodoric’s letter of recommendation for Cassiodorus can be used to support the claim that there was a transition to Late Antiquity.The point of this exercise is for you to think about how a particular source fits into an interpretation of historical change not to explain to me whether Rome fell or not.
— GRADING —
To pass, students must
Write in clear, polished, organized sentences and paragraphs. Single typos or small grammatical errors will not cause you to fail. Persistent errors that make your writing difficult to understand will. Writing should be organized into paragraphs that have a clear topical focus and contribute to the response’s broader argument. This is tough to do in a short format but is still necessary. DO NOT just write one long, stream-of-consciousness paragraph. Doing so WILL result in a failing grade.
Offer a clear answer to the question prompt. Note that “clear” does not mean extreme or lacking nuance.
Engage explicitly with the primary sources. I don’t need to know everything you know about the source. I do want to see you draw specific details from it, either as direct quotations or as paraphrases. Because you will be dealing with multiple sources, you must cite them appropriately, using at least a parenthetical.
To receive a high pass, students will
Fulfill all of the requirements to pass the response.
Show excellent command of written communication. Few to no typos or grammatical errors. Concise, well-organized sentences without circumlocution (writing around the idea), fluff, or confusing structure. Flowing, eloquent prose.
Provide a creative or novel answer to the prompt. There is no single correct answer but some will show exceptional levels of sophistication and nuance. These will earn a high pass.
Critical engagement and close-reading of the primary sources. To receive a high-pass, students will go beyond superficial analysis and engage closely with the text. Additionally, students who receive a high pass will have shown careful engagement with the texts and their context.
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