Assembly Assignment #2

 

Topic One: A new priestess must be found for the priesthood of Athena Boutaia.  The Eteoboutad genos (clan) claim that, just as they continue to have the traditional privilege of providing the priestess of Athena Polias and the priest of Poseidon Erecthonius, so they should continue to appoint the priestess for Athena Boutaia and that the provision of the sacrifices and temple decorations should remain the responsibility of the Eteoboutad genos.  Howver, other members of the Boutidai deme claim that the priestess should be appointed by lot from a member of the Boutidai deme and that the provisions for sacrifice and temple be undertaken as liturgies by members of the deme.  [A liturgy is a sort of tax, a public service required from the wealthiest members of a community to sponsor certain things for the public benefit, e.g. equipping a trireme for the fleet or producing a drama for one of the festivals.]  They point to the selection by lot of the new priestess of Athena Nike as a precedent for such an appointment of a priestess.

 

Topic Two:  In the year of 458, a new rich vein of silver has been discovered at the mines in Laurium, leading to a surplus profit of 100 talents.  Previously, such an excess has been distributed to the community through the tribes and demes, but there is the famous case of Themistokles' motion that the funds be used to create the fleet that saved Athens at Salamis.  What should be done with this current surplus?  Some suggest that more ships be built and sent to assist the part of the fleet that is fighting in Egypt or to reinforce the rest of the fleet in the Cyclades and Aegean area.  Others suggest that the funds be used to equip and provision the hoplites so that they can fight better in Boiotia, perhaps even hiring mercenaries to supplement Athenian forces.  Others still suggest that the funds be used for public building projects in the city of Athens or to increase the funds that help support the poorer citizens in the city.

 

            You should prepare to participate in the Council (if you hold office in the Boule) and the Assembly (if you are a citizen) as debate is held on these two issues. Those on the Council will be responsible for drafting measures for the Assembly to approve or reject.  The preliminary proposals for such a measure should be posted (and debated) in the online Moodle discussion group.  Those who are not in the Boule may not speak in this debate (although they may read the postings).  The Boule must vote (via Moodle postings) on proposals to put before the assembly before class on Wednesday, November 7.  In class that day, the whole Assembly will debate on both issues (note that those who were formerly non-citizens are all now citizens).  Debate on the issues may begin in the Assembly (via Moodle) even before the Boule passes its resolution.  After the debates are concluded, you should write a brief essay explaining why you voted the way you did in each case and/or what solution you would have preferred to the one adopted and why that would have been preferable (around 2-3 pages each). Make sure to explain your position with regard to your status within Athenian society, your connections or conflicts with other groups in Athens, and your interests in Athenian interaction with other cities. Cite sources, both ancient and modern, to support your arguments, bearing in mind that specific points made with reference to particular facts are always most persuasive. The essays are due before class on Monday, November 26. 


 

 

Basic Guidelines and Recommendations:

 

1. The papers are due before the beginning of class or at the time our class would begin if we had class on that day. If you need an extension, you must contact me more than 24 hours before the paper is due. As a general rule, the further in advance you contact me, the longer the extension I might be willing to give.

 

2. The papers should be type-written, double-spaced, with reasonable fonts and margins (e.g., my default font and margin settings are Garamond 12 point with 1 inch margins).

 

3. Please number the pages and clip, not staple, them together. Please ensure that your name is on at least the first page, if not in a header on every page. Also on the first page should be my name, the course title, the date, and the number of the assignment.

 

4. Make sure you read the question carefully. Your thesis and main points should be clearly stated and well-supported with citations from the text. Be sure to cite the sources for your information carefully and accurately so that a reader could quickly and easily check your reference. Please cite the book and chapter numbers from the ancient sources (e.g. Herodotus, Thucydides, Diodorus Siculus) for your quotations, not page numbers. Modern references such as Buckley should be cited using the bibliographic conventions found in Buckley's bibliography at the end of his textbook.

 

5. Please ensure that your paper is free from errors of spelling and grammar. I find such errors terribly distracting. The spell-checker in most word processors is useful, but you should proofread the paper yourself as well. You might try exchanging papers with a classmate and proofreading each other's papers. Another person can often catch the errors you have missed.

 

6. Not only are late papers anti-social, but they will be penalized unless you have obtained an extension from me before the day on which the paper is due. For every 24 hours the paper is late (including weekend days!), the grade will be lowered by one step (e.g., from 3.7 to 3.3).