Jeffrey Lerner
Office: Tribble B6A
Phone: 336.758.5558
Region: Europe, World
Theme: Cultural and Intellectual History, Economics, Trade, and Commerce, Gender/Sexuality/LGBTQ, Global/Transnational History, International Relations and Military History, Politics, Governance, and Law, Religion and Society, Social History, Jewish History


  • HST 101 Western Civilization to 1700
    HST 103 World Civilizations to 1500
    HST 111 Ancient World Civilizations
    HST 101, 103, and 111 survey the social, political and cultural development of a variety of civilizations from their inception. The focus of each course concerns a detailed analysis of those civilizations, which represent the most spectacular example of social formation: the relationship between the individual and deity as a religious expression; the relationship between society and nature as a philosophical dilemma; and the relationship between the individual and society as a cultural and political manifestation. In each case, the unifying theme we shall explore is how these peoples organized themselves politically, economically, and socially as a response to their particular geographical and environmental condition. We shall see that the legacy of these civilizations is one of cultural syncretism manifested in the diversity and complexity of their traditions and ideas.
  • FYS Herodotus:  Father of History, Father of Lies
    This seminar focuses on the Histories by the fifth century B.C.E. Greek historian Herodotus and introduces students to the major personalities, places and events of the ancient Near East and Greece with special emphasis on the sixth and early fifth centuries B.C.E.
  • HST 308/608 The World of Alexander the Great
    This course examines Alexander the Great’s conquests and the fusion of Greek culture with those of the Near East, Central Asia, and India. Emphasis is on the creation of new political institutions and social customs, modes of addressing philosophical and religious issues, and the achievements and limitations of Hellenistic civilization.
  • HST 312/612 Jews, Greeks, and Romans
    Largely from a Jewish context, the course explores the political, religious, social, and philosophical values shaped by the collision between Jews, Greeks, and Romans, from the Hellenistic Period to the Middle Ages. The interaction brought about the end of antiquity, the rise of Christianity, and the establishment of a common culture that has largely defined the Western World: Judeo-Christian moral attitudes and Graeco-Roman civilization. There is no prerequisite or assumed knowledge of the period, but students should be prepared to examine religion from a secular, intellectual point of view.
  • HST 315/615 Greek History
    This course examines the development of ancient Greek civilization from the Bronze Age to the end of the Classical Period stressing social institutions, individual character, and freedom of social choice within the framework of cultural, political, and intellectual history.
  • HST 316/616 Roman:  Republic and Empire
    This course surveys Roman history and civilization from its beginning to about 500 C.E., with emphasis on the conquest of the Mediterranean world, the evolution of the Republican state, the growth of autocracy, the administration of the empire, and the interaction between Romans and non-Romans.
  • HST 390 Alexander the Great
    This research seminar follows the career of Alexander III, whose conquests fused the destinies of the Greek World and those of Asia and Africa.  Even after the kingdoms of his successors yielded to the conquests of the Romans and Parthians, the composite Hellenistic Civilization, or imitations of it, prevailed for several generations in the lands between the Ganges River and Cornwall, and between Gilbraltar and the Aral Sea.  The seminar examines Alexander’s conquests until his death in 323 BCE.