September 8

*distribution of syllabus
**and explanation,
*description and explanation of e-mail and WWW procedures for the course,
*description of assigned readings

"Late antiquity": what the period was
**--why it is hard to give a name to
**--what we are doing when we select pieces of the past
***to treat as ancestors of our own culture
Issues to be raised:
**barbarism and civilization
**religions new and old
**rise of a culture based on the written word
**place of this culture in our past
**the transformation of "human nature"