Short Answer Questions

Please provide a paragraph of about 150 words to answer each of the five questions below.

1. In  “Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Literature,” there are indications of “illiterate” periods of history. In other words, times when societies experienced such devastation or hardship that people did not write down their experiences and even lost the ability to read or write. Judging from what we’ve covered so far, what do you think may have been lost during these periods?

2. In Book XI (11) of Odyssey, Odysseus tells the story of how he gathered courage to visit the land of the dead, nervous about handling it all correctly so he would be allowed to return to his life. From Odysseus story about his visit to the Underworld, what is something we learn about the ancient Greeks who composed and preserved this story; specifically, what did they think was necessary behavior for a hero?

3. From the short excerpts in your book, how does Abraham reflect or differ from the ideals of leadership we have explored?

4. Unlike some of the other stories we will read, much ancient and medieval Indian literature survives. In fact, there is so much evidence of this body of literature that we dont talk about original source material but instead about versions: there are regional versions, historical versions, early additions and late additions, versions in varying languages and dialects, versions in visual art, and versions in different writing systems. When we read the excerpts translated for the Norton anthology, we enter into an assimilation of cultures where its almost impossible to discern where one tradition starts and another ends. Describe a scene that feels as if it connects to the other texts we have read so far in the course.

5. Current events question: whats happening in the world today that makes you wonder what stories or whose stories could be lost? Explain.