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HIS 147 — Legends of Western History

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: On campus
Duration: 9 weeks
Date(s): Sep 29—Dec 1
Time: 7:00—9:05 pm
Drop Deadline: Oct 12
Unit(s): 2 Units
Tuition: $440
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class on November 24
On campus
7:00—9:05 pm
Sep 29—Dec 1
9 weeks
Drop By
Oct 12
2 Units
Please Note: No class on November 24
What makes for a legend? Throughout history at critical junctures, there have been individuals who have risen up, larger than life, to meet seemingly impossible challenges. This course highlights the character and leadership qualities of nine such intrepid individuals: Alexander the Great, St. Francis, Joan of Arc, Martin Luther, Queen Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, Abraham Lincoln, and Winston Churchill. Each of these momentous figures appeared unexpectedly, in some ways out of nowhere, to galvanize their people and dramatically alter the course of history.

Through lecture, discussion, and extensive visuals, we will examine the historical context of the challenges faced by each of these inspiring leaders. We will look at the web of myth and legend engendered by their remarkable deeds, feats like conquering the Known World (Alexander); creating a whole new kind of clergy (St. Francis); rescuing her country from foreign domination (Joan); revitalizing the religious life of a continent (Luther); piloting her kingdom through hazardous seas (Elizabeth); bringing Enlightenment to a backward people (Catherine); forging an Empire out of revolutionary chaos (Napoleon); preserving the unity of a dangerously divided nation (Lincoln); and thwarting the Devil Incarnate (Churchill). Through lectures and richly illustrated presentations, we will look closely at the life and times of some of history’s most brilliant shining lights.

Bruce Elliott, Independent Scholar

Bruce Elliott teaches courses in European history at several lifelong-learning institutes in the Bay Area, including Stanford, UC Berkeley, Dominican University, and Sonoma State. His current research focuses on historical biography, highlighting figures who greatly influenced the course of Western history. Elliott received a PhD in history from UC Berkeley.

Textbooks for this course:

No required textbooks