will write two short essays (4 pages each) during the
first half of the semester. These exercises are designed
to help you develop confidence both in your prose writing
and in your ability to critique your own work and that
of your peers.
the first assignment, you will analyze an aspect of Athenian
democracy – specifically, the principles that guided
the evolution of democracy in Athens, from the pre-Solonian
community to the early classical age, when Athenian citizens
participated routinely in legislative and judicial proceedings.
This assignment asks you to focus on the literary and
archaeological primary sources in your analysis, meet
in pairs with me to discuss the draft, and then hand in
the final version. Draft due week 3, Fri., Sept. 23; final
version due week 5, Mon., Oct. 3.
second assignment gives you the opportunity to examine
the definition of leadership, as exemplified by Kreon
(or Creon) in The Burial at Thebes and Pericles
in Athenian politics and life, and juxtapose it with your
own views on what makes a successful leader. Pericles,
as a strategos elected by the Athenian demos,
provided leadership for Athens for 30 years. His policies
included reinforcing Athens’ walls and strengthening
her navy; opening governance in the courts and in the
arkhonship to more citizens; solidifying the league as
an empire; imposing democracies on reluctant allies; adorning
Athens with temples, civic buildings, and an overall vision
for beautification; providing job opportunities for thousands
of citizens. Many have argued that the Athenian "experiment,"
the golden age of Athens, could never have transpired
without the leadership of Pericles.
you contemplate Pericles' leadership, consider as well
the character of Creon. Creon inherited the mantle of
leadership in Thebes, saw to the conclusion of a divisive
and bitter civil war, and attempted to guide the citizens
of Thebes to a prosperous life. In many ways, his monarchy
could also be held up as a paradigm of effective leadership.
But was it?
essay can take many forms, but keep in mind that the ultimate
goal is to articulate what you envision as an effective
leader. Were the decisions of Periciles and Creon wise
ones that benefitted the community, or were they self-serving?
Did each make decisions that strengthened their communities?
Did they lead to a better sense of Athenian, or Theban,
identity? What were the risks, and costs, of such policies?
What are the criteria the Athenians, or the Thebans, used
for choosing leaders? How should we choose our leaders?
What are the criteria you think a democracy should employ
in choosing its leaders? Who are effective leaders, and
why? What do you seek in a leader, and for what reasons?
And, to whom are our leaders responsible?
need not address all of the questions raised here; indeed,
feel free to raise your own questions about leadership.
Use the examples of Pericles and Creon - one historical,
the other fictional; one a democratically-elected leader
of Athenian citizens for 30 years, the other a fictional
monarch depicted on the Athenian stage in a tragedy written
by an Athenian citizen/poet/leader (remember: Sophocles
joined Pericles in the effort to crush the rebellion by
the citizens of the island of Samos when they tried to
leave the Delian League/Athenian Empire in 441/0).
standard rules apply for this paper: a rough draft is
a complete version of the paper, still in need of revision,
but fully argued, supplemented with supporting evidence,
appropriate citations, etc.; it should be four pages in
length, paginated, double-spaced, 1" margins, 12-point
type, stapled; it need have only your name, the name of
the course and the date on the top of the first page.
You will exchange drafts with one other colleague, subject
your colleague's papers and your own to criticism, consult
with a Writing Center tutor about your own paper, and
then hand in the final version. Bring three copies (one
for me, one for a colleague, one for yourself) of the
draft to class on time on Wed., Oct. 12; the final version
is due Fri., Oct. 21 by 12pm in my office (Study Day).
During our 4th credit hour meeting that week - 4.10-5.05
in Ladd 106 - you and your partner will begin the peer
critiquing process. Then, over the next several days you
and your critiquing partner will need to meet at least
once and respond to each other's papers. In your critique,
you should hold the draft to the highest
standards - in terms of clear expository prose, proper
use of sources, organization, and development of a thesis