Studying Greek history gives us the chance to view in microcosm all the variables that affect the course of history at other times in other places. We can see human beings and human societies at their best and worst, understand how power works in human societies, observe different kinds of political and economic systems, and consider how cultural values are shaped and what influence they have on what human beings do. We shall study the origins of democracy and de-mystify what ancient democracy was. The history of Greece is also a history of warfare and competition.
This course surveys Greek history from the palatial period of the late Bronze Age (1600-1200 B.C.E.) through the 'Dark Ages' and into the 'polis' period down through the end of the Peloponnesian War (404 B.C.E.).
We shall puzzle over how to interpret the often very uneven and very peculiar evidence for the social, political and economic systems that develop in different districts of Greece in 'prehistoric' and historical times.
There will be very little use of visuals. We shall concentrate on sources and how to use them.
The course will consist of two hours of lecture per week plus a one-hour discussion section. Each member of a discussion section will have to lead discussion (with a well-prepared handout) at least once during the semester. Afterwards s/he will write up a retrospective on the discussion to be handed in at the beginning of the final week.
We shall be reading in translation from masterworks of history and literature: Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus, Thucydides, Plutarch, we shall also take into account documentary sources, including translated Linear B texts from the Greek Bronze Age and inscriptions of the historical period.
We shall discuss carefully critical methods for interpreting primary sources.Technically AHC 325 CC 354C HIS 354C is an upper-division course. However, it assumes no background knowledge of the subject and will combine survey of periods with in-depth discussion of particulars. There are no prerequisites. This course counts towards the major in Ancient History and Classical Civilization.
Grading policy: There will be a fifth-week examination (20% short answer and essay at the start of the 6th week), a tenth-week examination (30% short answer and essay at the start of the 11th week), and a fifteenth-week examination (30% short answer and essay on Wednesday of the 15th week). The final component of the grade will be performance in discussion (20%). You should sign up to be a group leader for one of the available discussion sessions. Discussion grade will be based 1/2 on group leading and handout (10% overall) and 1/2 on general participation (10% overall). There will be no final examination in the examination period. Grading is on the regular "A"-"D," 100-60 system (no curve). Regular class participation will be noted under miscellaneous. Breakdown of elements of the grade: 5th-week exam (20%), 10th-week exam (30%), 15th-week exam (30%), discussion (leading 10% and general participation 10%).
This course carries the Global Cultures flag.
This course fulfills the Cultural Expression, Human Experience, & Thought Course area requirement.