Capodimonte Painter, Volute-Krater, ca. 320-310 BCE: Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Herakles Home

HI204 Athens, Alexander & Cleopatra

Prof. Michael Arnush Ladd 209 x5462 Hours: MW 12.15-1.15pm


Students in this course will explore the social, political, economic and artistic contributions of the Greeks, with a focus on the Peloponnesian War, the empire of Alexander the Great, and the end of the Hellenistic era, concluding with the death of Cleopatra of Egypt. Through readings, discussions, exams and essays, students will demonstrate proficiency in the details that comprise Greek history, and an understanding of such broad topics as the analysis of the Peloponnesian conflict by Thucydides, the jockeying for power over the next half-century, social and political institutions, the rise of Macedonia, the conquest of Greece and Persia by Alexander the Great, the Hellenistic era and its emphasis on creativity, and the waning of Greek relevance with the conquest of Rome and the defeat of Cleopatra of Egypt.
Special Events
  • 2/10-2/29: Athens in the Balance
  • 2/7 (Tues.): Homerathon!
  • 2/17 (Fri.): performance of Penelope by Ellen McLaughlin; lecture TBA
  • 4/14 (Sat.): trip to NYC & the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • 4/20 (Fri.): Parilia at Skidmore
Course Objectives: Goals
  • to read and analyze historical documents within their social contexts and evaluate the role of the individual in ancient cultures
  • to develop multi- and cross-cultural perspectives and apply them to gender, ethnic and social issues
  • to identify and assess selected artifacts and monuments
  • to read and analyze historical documents within their social contexts
Course Objectives: Skills
  • to participate effectively in classroom discussions
  • to develop critical thinking abilities and learn to articulate ideas and positions succinctly
  • to write historical analyses supported by primary (the ancient evidence) and secondary (modern scholarship) sources
  • to conduct research shaped by the development of a thesis
Academic Honor and Integrity
As you hone your skills as a student of Greek history you will develop your own perspectives, methodologies and solutions to some of the vexing questions that the study of history raises. It is absolutely essential that you take credit for your own work, and give credit to others when you draw upon their ideas and words.

Accordingly, plagiarism and cheating of all sorts will not be tolerated in this course and are grounds for an "F" in the course. Be sure to read carefully the Academic Integrity Handbook, summarized on the Ethics of Scholarship webpage. For each assignment, please refer to the Academic Integrity Checklist as well.

All members of the College community are bound by Skidmore's Honor Code, included here:

"I hereby accept membership in the Skidmore College Community and, with full realization of the responsibilities inherent in membership, do agree to adhere to honesty and integrity in all relationships, to be considerate of the rights of others, and to abide by the college regulations."
Academic Accommodation

If you are a student with a disability and believe you will need academic accommodation, you must formally request accommodation from Meg Hegener, Coordinator for Students with Disabilities.  You will also need to provide documentation which verifies the existence of a disability and supports your request. You must submit this paperwork to me by the end of the drop/add period.  For further information, please call 580-8150, or stop by the office of Student Academic Services in Starbuck Center.

If you participate in team sports and have scheduled any away games that conflict with any class responsibilities, you must arrange to meet with me by the end of the drop/add period. Please bring to that meeting the dates and times of departure of all away games.

Laptop or Tablet Use in the Classroom
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.