You may choose from the following topics:
1) There are leaders and there are great leaders. What qualities and/or actions and/or behavior make a great leader? In your paper, discuss historical figures we have encountered in classroom lectures or in the readings in order to illustrate your ideas. You do not have to focus on one individual, but can “build” a concept of a great leader by discussing the characteristics of several leaders.
2) Art and architecture are signs of the times. Choose a specific period, such as the Severan period of Rome (AD 190s-230s), Late Roman Empire (AD 270-410), the early Byzantine period (AD 410-900), the Carolingian period (AD 750-980), etc. and discuss how the art and architecture reflects social and political trends. You should choose 3-4 specific works of art and/or architecture to analyze and support your ideas.
3) By AD 330, about 25% of the people living in the Roman Empire had converted to Christianity, abandoning the centuries-old pagan religious system; by AD 800, the vast majority of people living in the Byzantine Empire and the European kingdoms were Christian. In the context of history, why did people so rapidly embrace Christianity? What was so appealing to both worshippers and governments? Consider the popularity of “mystery religions” such as cult of Isis, Dionysos, Mithras as well as the popularity of philosophies such as Stoicism and Epicurianism. In terms of politics, consider the similarities between senates and councils of bishops. Why did late Roman and Byzantine Emperors and early Medieval kings embrace this monotheistic religion?
4) Choose your favorite thoughtful essay based on one of the chapters and develop the concept in the form of a term paper. Make sure that it has a focus, for example: “Etruscan women”, “Plato’s concept that social harmony is more important than individual liberty and equality”, “ancient scientific revolutions”, “race/cultural identity in Medieval Europe”, etc.