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

Spring 2005

AHC 378 • Writing History in Greece and Rome-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
29560 TTh
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
WAG 208

Course Description

The Greeks, followed by the Romans, were the first to write history and to distinguish history from myth; thus we owe both the idea of history and the practice of historical writing to them. They tackled themes common to other genres of literature, e.g. human nature, the relationship between gods and humans, causation, public and private, wealth and poverty, war and peace, morality; but they also departed from them in seeking to explain what really happened and why? In this course we shall read selections from the major Greek and Roman historians - Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Sallust, Livy and Tacitus - and explore these themes and others. We shall ask questions designed to help understand the development of this novel genre, for example, what gave Herodotus, the first historian, the idea of investigating and writing up human history? How did historians define truth? What were the proper subjects of history? How does one explain the causes of events? In addition we shall look at modern interpretations of ancient historical writing. Basis of Grading: 50% Papers 25% Final Exam 25% Class Participation


Herodotus, The Persian Wars Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War Xenophon, History of Greece Sallust, The Jugurthine War Tacitus, Annals


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