The European City in History
Class Discussion Questions
Introductory Discussion Questions:
Assigned Readings: “The Nature and
of Cities” and “Cities: Urban Planning”.
[Posted on the HSTS 410 Web Site]
1. What is a city?
2. What are the characteristics of a city?
3. What is the relationship of cities to the idea of civilization? What is civilization?
4. What unique happens in a city (that does not happen in the countryside)?
5. What has happened historically in cities that makes them important?
6. Why do some cities have so-called “Golden Ages”?
7. How are cities perceived and portrayed/depicted (in art, literature, etc.)
8. What is the relationship between the physical setting of the
and man and his/her relationship to the past,
present, and future?
9. A brief overview of Urban history:
What are the preconditions necessary for urban life?
What was the nature of Neolithic settlements? What was the nature of urban settlements after
What was characteristic of urban life in the Greco-Roman world?
What was characteristic of urban life during the Medieval (ca. 500-1450) and Early Modern
(ca. 1450/1500-1789) periods?
What was characteristic of urban life during the 19th century (1789-1914)?
What was characteristic of urban life during the 20th century?
10. What is Urban Planning and how has it evolved over the centuries?
11. What questions do historians ask when they study cities?