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HI203 Rise of Athens

Prof. Michael Arnush Ladd 209 x5462
marnush@skidmore.edu Hours: MF 12-1pm
Overview
Texts
Requirements
Schedule
Web Resources



For all written assignments and discussion questions, visit the Blackboard course site.
 

If you wish to use a laptop or tablet to take notes in class, please read this form. If you are willing to abide by the agreement, then fill in the form and submit it to me.

   
Date

Topics and readings

9/7

Introduction: overview, texts, requirements, schedule and resources

9/9

What is history? How do we assess literary and physical evidence?

  • GM ch. 1: The Traditions of History
    • Figures in GM available on the text's website: 1, 3-5, 7-8, 11, 16-20, 23, 25-28, 30, 34, 37, 48, 55-56, 58, 60, 64, 66, 79-80
  • D. Amyx, Review of J. Boardman and J.W. Hayes, Excavations at Tocra, 1963-65 1: The Archaic Deposits I (BSA Suppl. 4), London, in Gnomon 41.7 (1969), 681-684. You must be logged into campus to read the full review article (use VPN for a secure connection if you're accessing the network from off-campus).

Questions:

  1. For Blackboard (everyone please post a response): why study history, and specifically the histories of the Greeks?
  2. For the classroom only: what do we learn from the excavations at Tocra (Taukheira) in Libya?
9/12

Sources for Greek history

  • Hdt. prooimion (book 1, 1st paragraph)
  • D&G ch. 16
  • Thuc. 1.1-12 (Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War, bk.1, chs.1-12) (.pdf file if Perseus link doesn't work)

Questions:

  1. Jesse, Nick, Alissa, Chris: Compare the primary aims of Herodotus and Thucydides in their histories? How are they similar, how do they differ, and how broad or narrow is each historian's scope?
  2. Amari, Sarah B., Torie: Select any two categories from D&G's discussion of sources. What would we not know about Greek history if these two types of sources had not survived?
9/14

Dating schemes; geography, climate, demography: the environment and the land

  • GM ch. 2

Questions:

  1. Matt, Ian, Lucy, Emily: What impact did the natural environment (e.g., climate and agriculture) have on Greek history?
  2. Alex, Teddy, Sarah N.: What role did the demographic profile of ancient Greece play in its history?
9/16

Bronze Age Greece: Minoan & Mycenaean cultures and collapse
Essay 1: assignment

Questions:

  1. Elijah, Katie, Zach, Kathryn: what is the evidence, and where has it been found, for what the Greek communities were like in the 12th century BCE, and what does it tell us about the end of the Bronze Age? How do Cyprus and Crete figure into this picture?
  2. Daniel, Nathan, Iliyan, Tyler: what is the evidence for the migrations of peoples in the 13th-12th centuries BCE (and beyond), and what are some of the possible causes? What consequences did these migrations have for the Greeks in the Iron Age that followed the end of the Bronze Age?
9/19

Iron Age Greece: Dark Age, migrations, recovery

9/21

Panhellenic sanctuaries and panhellenic sentiments

  • GM ch. 4 pp. 66-93
9/23

8th century Greece and the Mediterranean

(on your own: Olympia & the Olympic Games)

9/26

Archaic Greece's renaissance and revolution: epic poetry, rise of the polis: Pt. 1
Essay 1 due in Blackboard. Please
hand in a copy of this Academic Integrity Checklist in class (unless your computer allows you to send it via .pdf).

9/28

Archaic Greece's renaissance and revolution: epic poetry, rise of the polis: Pt. 2

Questions in Blackboard:

  • What kind of world does Hesiod construct in his epic poems?
  • What kind of world does Homer construct in his epic poems?
  • How did orally composed and transmitted poetry work?
9/30

War and Warfare in the 7th century BCE, and leadership in the polis

  • GM ch. 6 pp. 153-166: Chigi Vase
  • D&G p. 13, nos. 1.16-17, 41-44
  • Plut. Theseus
10/3

Sparta: early history, relations with Messenia ("THIS is Sparta!")
Essay 2: assignment (note that the final paper is due in Blackboard)

Handout

  • GM ch. 6 pp. 166-174
  • D&G pp. 213-215, nos. 6.1-10, 16, 18, 21, 42, 65-67
  • Hdt. 5.39-54

Plutarch Life of Lycurgus (to be read and utilized for Essay 2)

For Wednesday: Blackboard discussion thread on the Spartan constitution: Nicky, Chris, Amari, Torie, Matt, Ian, Lucy, Alex

10/5

Sparta: internal problems, reforms, the agoge and laws

  • GM ch. 6 pp. 174-180
  • D&G nos. 6.11-15, 17, 19-20, 22-41, 42-57
  • Hdt. 7.102-104 (on attitudes towards freedom, warfare and the law)
10/7

Sparta: internal problems, reforms, the agoge and laws (continued)

10/10

Tyranny
Essay 2: first draft circulated; peer critique outside of class

  • GM ch. 6 pp. 180-190
  • D&G pp. 256-257, nos. 7.1-20, 24-39, 60-72
  • Hdt. 1.6-16; 3.39-60, 120-128, 142-143; 5.66-68; 6.125-131
10/12

Delphi, Croesus and Slavery
Rough draft & peer critiques due in class

  • GM ch. 6 pp. 190-201
  • D&G ch. 3, pp. 73-75, nos. 3.1-8, 19-23 (we will explore this chapter at greater length on 12/2); ch. 5, pp. 179-212
  • Herodotus, Croesus and Delphi: Herodotus 1.1-94 (book 1, chaps. 1-94)

Image resources

10/14

Slavery

  • GM ch. 6 pp. 190-201
  • D&G ch. 3, pp. 73-75, nos. 3.1-8, 19-23 (we will explore this chapter at greater length on 12/2); ch. 5, pp. 179-212
10/17

Archaic Women: From Homer to Sappho, from Sparta to Athens. Guest speaker: Prof. Leslie Mechem (Classics and Gender Studies)

10/19

Archaic Athens: Crisis and Reform - Governments of Kylon, Drakon, Solon
Check out the Athenian agora in Google Earth

Essay 2: final draft due in Blackboard. Please hand in a copy of this Academic Integrity Checklist in class as well as your final paper, your portfolio of the draft and peer critique, and the list of suggestions to revision with the checklist on the back, signed and dated.

  • GM ch. 7 pp. 202-214, 220-230
  • Plut. Solon: focus on his reforms of the Athenian constitution
  • Hdt. 1.29-33, 86; 5.71
  • D&G nos. 7.21-22; ch. 8, pp. 296-317
10/21 Study Day
10/24 Midterm
10/26

Archaic Athens: Crisis and Reform - Governments of Kylon, Drakon, Solon
Check out the Athenian agora in Google Earth

  • GM ch. 7 pp. 202-214, 220-230
  • Plut. Solon: focus on his reforms of the Athenian constitution
  • Hdt. 1.29-33, 86; 5.71
  • D&G nos. 7.21-22; ch. 8, pp. 296-317
  • Make sure you have acquired and begun to read Gates of Fire
10/28

Archaic Athens: Factionalism, Reform and Tyranny - Peisistratids

  • GM ch. 8 pp. 267-275
  • D&G ch. 9, pp. 318-340
  • Hdt. 1.59-64
10/31

Archaic Athens: Kleisthenes and Revolution
Project: assignment and discussion of paper topics

  • GM ch. 9 pp. 276-300
  • D&G ch. 10, pp. 341-355
  • Hdt. 1.131-170; 2.2-105, 142-147; 4.89-118; 5.55-96; 6.87-93
  • Map of Attica
11/2

Ionia & Persia: the Ionian Revolt, the first Persian invasion; Marathon

11/4

Preparations for the 2nd Persian Invasion: Prelude to Thermopylae

  • GM ch. 9 pp. 319-325
  • D&G nos. 11.19-34
  • Hdt. 7.1-238
11/7

Thermopylae: Herodotus, Gates of Fire and 300

  • S. Pressfield, Gates of Fire (e-book)
  • 300 (film, directed by Zack Snyder, based on Frank Miller's comic series), 7pm, Davis Auditorium
11/9

Second Persian War: Salamis; political freedom

  • GM ch. 9 pp. 326-335; D&G nos. 11.35-57
  • Plut. Life of Themistocles
11/11

Tragedy, the stage and the polis

11/14

The foundation of the Delian League; problems of chronology and ideology

  • Per 1-13
  • Plutarch Aristides
11/16

The Pentekontaetia, 479-449
Project: short essay due in class.
Please hand in a copy of this Academic Integrity Checklist in class.

11/18

The rise of radical democracy: the early years of Pericles' ascendancy

  • Per pp. 14-24, 32-39, 109-115
  • Plutarch Pericles
11/21

Delian League becomes the Athenian empire

11/23 Thanksgiving
11/25 Thanksgiving
11/28

Antigone: repugnant rebel or headstrong heroine?
The Pentekontaetia, 451-432: the Periclean "Golden Age"
Final project topics (campus login only)

11/30

The Athenian legal system: Athenian jury-selection

12/2

The trial of Antigone (jury selection)

Since this trial pits the law of the polis against the responsibilities of the family, you might want to pursue some background reading on the complex role of religion and ritual in Greek life. If you are a member Oedipus' family, you might want to (re)read Sophocles' tour de force, the Oedipus Tyrannos, and/or Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes.

12/5

Peloponnesian War: origins, 432/1 BCE

Questions:

  • What are the ostensible causes of the war? What is the real cause of the war?
  • How do the Athenian and Spartan social and political ways of life create such an adversarial relationship that the war became inevitable?
  • What is at stake in the war for Athens? for Sparta? for Perikles?
  • What are the main points in Perikles' speech advocating war (Thuc. 1.140-45 = Tracy Pericles pp. 52-57)?
  • What do you think of Perikles' strategy, as articulated by Thucydides (2.14.1 = D&G 13.5)?
  • Why do you think Thuc. invokes Themistokles (1.138.3 = Tracy Pericles p. 59)
12/7

Peloponnesian War: Pericles the statesman, 432-429 BCE

  • D&G 13.6 on the plague
  • Per. 61-95, 150-155

Please read carefully the two speeches of Pericles' in Tracy's book on Pericles and bring it to class. Using both Tracy's and Thucydides' assessments of Pericles, we will debate the importance and value of Pericles to Athens over the course of his career.

12/9

Debate: when & under what circumstances is war the best option?
What have you learned about Athens, about empire, and about the sweep of Greek history from 1500-429 BCE?