Identify the cultural values and ideals that these art works reflect for each society. c) From this comparison, suggest a modern situation of artistic expression and the ways it reflects or counters prevailing cultural values.

Qualities of the Hero: Comparing Gilgamesh and Odysseus. Write an essay comparing these two (2) heroic figures from ancient epics of different cultures, especially focusing your analysis on the sources about their encounters with monsters: Gilgamesh encounters the monster guarding the forest, Humbaba, in Tablets 3-5 of the Epic of Gilgamesh (see  scroll down to the Tablet links; think of “Tablet” numbers like chapter numbers).” Odysseus encounters Polyphemus the Cyclops in Book 9 of The Odyssey (see  from line 105 to the end). Your paper should: a) Compare Gilgamesh and Odysseus as to their heroic qualities, noting similarities and differences, using specific examples from the epics.

b) Summarize what this indicates about differences between ancient Mesopotamian and Greek cultures in their ideals and expectations.

c) From this comparison, suggest ways that current cultural ideals and expectations shape modern notions about role models and heroes.

Confucius and Aristotle on Virtue. Write an essay comparing these two (2) ancient thinkers on the concept of virtue or good ethical character and conduct. Stay focused on the issue; keep any biographical or other information short or limited. As much as possible, analyze their writings (in translation, of course), using Confucius’ Analects ( Your paper should: a) Compare the teachings of Confucius and Aristotle on what constitutes virtue or good ethical character and conduct, noting similarities and differences in specific ideas or emphasis.

b) Consider what your findings suggest about differences between ancient Chinese and ancient Greek culture.

c) From this comparison, suggest ideas of virtue that can apply to ethics in a modern setting, such as a diverse workplace.

Comparing Sculptures of Ancient India and Greece. Write an essay comparing the way gods and humans were depicted in sculpture in ancient India and Greece, and identify the cultural values and ideals that these art works reflect in each case. Your paper should: a) Using specific examples, compare the way gods and people were depicted in the sculptures of ancient India and Greece, noting similarities and differences.

b) Identify the cultural values and ideals that these art works reflect for each society.

c) From this comparison, suggest a modern situation of artistic expression and the ways it reflects or counters prevailing cultural values.

Comparing Ancient Skeptics. Write an essay comparing Lucretius and Wang Chong (=Wang Ch’ung), skeptical philosophers of ancient Rome and China. They were skeptical about popular religious and spiritual beliefs and widely-held superstitions. Lucretius was an Epicurean philosopher of Roman culture (Chapter 6). Wang Ch’ung was a thinker in ancient Chinese culture (Chapter 7). Focus your comparison on their writings as found at Not Flying to Heaven. Your paper should: a) Using examples from their writings, compare these two (2) thinkers on their views about specific subjects and on their approach in explaining and expressing their skepticism.

b) From this comparison, identify popular beliefs in each culture that seem similar and those that seem different.

c) From this comparison, suggest any modern situation in which materialist skeptics confront spiritual and religious beliefs, and comment on the considerations of free expression and cultural respect.

Comparing Ancient Male Rulers. Take any two (2) of these rulers and write an essay comparing them: Ramses II, Shihuangdi, Constantine, Ashoka, Pericles, or Charlemagne. Select rulers from different cultures. You may also propose (for approval or not) a ruler not listed. Avoid lengthy quoting or lengthy close paraphrasing from biographical sources. Make it YOUR comparative analysis. Your paper should: a) Compare the two (2) rulers in terms of their situation and methods of rule and their apparent ideals and practices, noting similarities and differences. Use specific examples.

b) Consider what your study suggests about the cultures over which they ruled, identifying any similarities and differences between the cultures.

c) From this comparison, suggest lessons about different types of effective leadership in the world of modern business and / or modern politics.

Comparing Ancient Female Rulers. Compare the Tang Empress Wu Zetian (also known as Empress Wu or as Wu Zhao; ruled China around 690-705 AD) with either the Pharaoh Cleopatra (ruled Egypt around 51-31 BC) or the Pharaoh Hatshepsut (ruled Egypt around 1478-1458 BC). You may also propose (for approval or not) a female ruler not listed. Avoid lengthy quoting or lengthy close paraphrasing from biographical sources. Make it YOUR comparative analysis. Your paper should: a) Compare the two (2) rulers in terms of their situation and ascent to power, their methods of rule, and their achievements and resourcefulness, noting similarities and differences. Use specific examples.

b) Consider what your study suggests about the cultures over which they ruled, identifying any similarities and differences between the cultures.

c) From this comparison, suggest lessons about different types of effective leadership by a female in the world of modern business and / or modern politics.

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