Professor Radcliffe G. Edmonds III

Office: Thomas 245

Office Phone: 526-5046

Thomas 110

TTh 2:30-4:00

Office Hours: MWF 1:30-2:30 

or by appointment 


Required Texts:

Course Description:
This course traces the rise of the city-state (polis) in the Greek-speaking world beginning in the seventh-century BC down to its full blossoming in classical Athens and Sparta. We will discuss the formation and development of Greek identity, from the Panhellenic trends in archaic epic and religion through its crystallization during the heroic defense against two Persian invasions and its subsequent disintegration during the Peloponnesian war. The class will also explore the ways in which the evolution of political, philosophical, religious, and artistic institutions reflect the changing socio-political circumstances of Greece. The latter part of the course will focus on Athens in particular: its rise to imperial power under Pericles, its tragic decline from the Peloponnesian War and its important role as a center for the teaching of rhetoric and philosophy.
Since the study of history involves the analysis, evaluation, and synthesis of the sources available for the culture studied, this course will concentrate upon the primary sources available for Greek history, exploring the strengths and weakness of these sources and the ways in which their evidence can be used to create an understanding of ancient Greece.
Course Requirements:
Class participation: Participation, of course, includes attendance, since you cannot participate if you are not in class. If, for some reason, you cannot attend class, please inform me in advance. Each student should be prepared to discuss and answer questions on the material covered in the lesson for the week. Coming prepared with questions on the material is even better than coming with answers to the basics. If, for some reason, you cannot prepare for class, please attend anyway - you will be better prepared for the next class.
Written Assignments: There will be a number of short written assignments designed for the students to demonstrate their understanding of specific materials covered in class. These projects may require some out of class research in addition to the readings assigned for the class.
Examinations: There will be a Midterm and a Final Examination for this class on all the materials covered to that date in class. The Midterm will be on the Tuesday of the ninth week, October 31. The Final Exam will be during Exam Week, at the appointed time. Both exams will consist of identification questions and short essays in which the students will be asked to analyze and synthesize material from the primary and secondary sources covered in class.
Grade Distribution:

Week I: 9/5-7 Introduction

Readings: Buckley, Ch. 1, Hdt. I.1-5; Th. I.1-22, Plutarch - Theseus

Week II: 9/12-14 Rise of the Polis

Readings: Fornara 3; Homer, Odyssey I-II, XIV-XV; Hesiod, Works & Days, Theogony

Week III: 9/19-21 Colonization and the Expanding Greek World

Readings: B ch. 2; Hdt. IV, esp. 144-159; Fornara 5, 6, 9, 17, 18; Greek Lyrics: Archilochus (pp. 1-6) Alcman, Stesichorus, Ibycus, Sappho (pp. 33-42); handout - Pindar Pythian IV, V, and IX

Week IV: 9/26-28 Rise of Tyranny

Readings: B ch. 3; Hdt. Book I, III, V.67-68, 92-96, VI. 121-140; Fornara 8 (the word tyrant), 4 (Pheidon), 10 (Orthagoras), 32 (Polykrates); Greek Lyrics: Tyrtaeus and Theognis (pp. 13-16, 18-23)

Week V: 10/3-5 The Spartan Alternative

Readings: B ch. 4; Fornara 2, 12, 13, 27; Hdt. VI.50-84, handouts of Plutarch and Xenophon

Week VI: 10/10-12 The Athenian Revolutions ˇ assembly assignment

Readings: B. ch. 5 & 6; Plutarch ˇ Solon; Hdt. V; Fornara 15; Greek Lyrics: Solon (pp. 18-23); Thucydides on Athens (II.15) and Pisistratids (I.126-7, VI.54-59)


Week VIII: 10/24-26 Cleisthenes and Democracy

Readings: B ch. 7 & 8

Week IX: 10/31-11/2 The Persian Wars - Midterm

Readings: B ch. 9; Hdt. Books VI-IX; Plutarch ˇ Themistocles and Aristides

Week X: 11/7-9 The Delian League and the Rise of the Athenian Empire

Readings: B ch. 10 ˇ 15; Th. Book I; Plutarch ˇ Cimon; Sophocles Antigone; handout ˇ Aristophanes Clouds 886-1104, Critias, Gorgias ˇ Defense of Helen

Week XI: 11/14-16 Periclean Athens and the Beginnings of the Peloponnesian War

Readings: B ch 16 ˇ 19; Th. Books II-V; Euripides Trojan Women; Plutarch ˇ Pericles

Week XII: 11/21  The Peloponnesian War

Readings: B ch. 20 ˇ 21; Th. Books VI and VII; Plutarch ˇ Nicias and Alcibiades

Week XIII: 11/28-30 The End of the Peloponnesian War

Readings: B ch. 22 ˇ 24; Th. Book VIII; Plutarch ˇ Lysander

Week XIV: 12/5-7 Plato and the Dreams of Philosophy

Readings: Plato VIIth Letter, Republic (Book VIII, selections)

Week XV: 12/12-14 The Coming of Alexander -

Readings: B ch. 25 - 26