Written Assignment #4 – Plato's View of History



In Books VIII & IX of the Republic, Plato gives a description of the rise and fall of various forms of government in a Greek city-state.  To what extent does this vision of historical evolution fit the history of the Greek city-states we have studied this term?  Discuss specific examples, drawn from your readings in Herodotus, Thucydides, and other sources, to which Plato's pattern applies or which contradict Plato's pattern.  What historical circumstances does the pattern best explain?  What are its weaknesses?  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.



Basic Guidelines and Recommendations:


1.  The papers are due before noon on Friday, December 14. 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 between six and eight pages long.  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 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 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, e.g., 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 each day the paper is late (including weekend days!), the grade will be lowered by one step (e.g., from A- to B+).