The Dawn of Civilization: The Bronze Age


Course Description

All Winter 2021 courses will take place on Zoom. Readings will be available online and by in-person retrieval.

"A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots."
—Marcus Garvey

The Bronze Age (ca. 3500-1000 BC) is that formative period when the first urban civilizations flourished. It spans half the time of recorded history. This course examines the "Dawn of Civilization." Emphasis will be on Mesopotamia, but the course also includes pharaonic Egypt, the Hittites, early Hebrews, Minoans, Mycenaean Greeks, and early Indus civilization. We will encounter legendary figures such as Gilgamesh and Hammurabi; Ramses II and Akhenaton; Moses and Solomon; and the kings Minos, Agamemnon, and Odysseus.

What forces came together to cause cities to arise from our prehistoric past? What distinct and enduring cultural styles emerged in the art, architecture, and literature of these civilizations? What were each civilization’s creation myths, beliefs, and world views? Where, in these disparate civilizations, can we locate the origins of writing, accounting, law, medicine, math, and astronomy? What can we learn from the emergence of political hierarchies and different types of religions? How did early economies develop inter-regional trade and new technologies; and what was their environmental impact? Why did initially dynamic civilizations often stagnate for centuries, even millennia? What insights can we glean about today’s civilizations from the achievements and vulnerabilities of Bronze Age civilizations? Readings will include both ancient texts and contemporary studies.

Please note that this course has a maximum enrollment of 14 students.

Priority is given to students who pay upon registration.

For fully registered courses, a waiting list will be created. Should vacancies develop, those on the waiting list will be contacted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Course Details

First Session: Thursday 21 January 2021

Course Length: 12 weeks, Thursdays, 6:15 p.m. - 8:15 p.m.

     Starting Date: Thursday 21 January
     Mid-Course Break: 4 to 11 March
     End Date: Thursday 22 April

Discussion Team: Susan Anastasopoulos, Mary Hughes, Alberto Venturelli

Degree Credit: Yes

Course Fees: 

$150.00 (standard tuition)

$100.00 (promotion for new students)

Administrative Fee:



$185.00 (standard tuition)

$135.00 (promotion for new students)


Course fees are refundable in full before the second session. After the second session, a fee of $50 for the withdrawal will be applied. Refunds will not be issued after the third session. Please note that non-attendance does not constitute a withdrawal.

Students pursuing studies for credit are encouraged to consult with their advisers as they register for courses.

Course leaders, and students wishing to use credit vouchers, should call (514) 935-9585 to pay by phone or to schedule an appointment to pay in person.

If you are a RETURNING student

If you are NEW at TMI