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Lesley Dean-Jones, Chair 2210 Speedway, Mail Code C3400, Austin, TX 78712-1738 • 512-471-5742

Fall 2006

AHC 325 • History of Greece to the End of the Pelop. War

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
32515 to 32530 Multiple Sections
Palaima

Course Description

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 some use of slides where physical evidence is relevant, but we shall mainly coincentrate 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. 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 this 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 will be a mid-term examination (short answer and essay), one assigned preparation of part of a discussion session (with a retrospective write up), and a final essay examination in the normal 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: mid-term (30%), assigned preparation of discussion session (20%), final examination (40%), course participation and miscellaneous (10%). There are no prerequisites.  This course counts towards the major in Ancient History and Classical Civilization (beginning Fall, 1998) and the elective or area D requirements.

Texts

Herodotus, David Grene tr., The History (U of Chicago Press) Robert B. Strassler, ed. The Landmark Thucydides (Simon & Schuster) PLUS A COURSE PACKET OF PRIMARY DOCUMENTS AND ADDITIONAL READINGS FROM GREEK AUTHORS..

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