Introduction to Ancient Greece
The Ancient Greek World
Magna Graecia in Italy
Ionia in Asia Minor
Agriculture - the Mediterranean Triad
Types of Land in Greek Thought
Astu - the city and inhabited areas
Chora - the fertile farmland and grazing areas
Eschatia - the boundaries, the wild lands
Forms of Social Organization
Oikos - home and family
Genos - clan or tribe, collection of related families
Polis - the people of a city-state
Ethnos - a collection of people not concentrated in an urban area
Problems of History
The past is passed
Ancient and modern ways of recording the past
The winnowing of the past
The remains of the past
The Ancient Greek Historians
Herodotus – c. 484 - 420 BCE - History of the Persian Wars
Plutarch c. 40/50 - 120 CE - Lives of Illustrious Greeks and Romans
Thucydides – c. 450 - 400? BCE - The Peloponnesian War
Xenophon – c. 428/7 - 354 BCE - Hellenica
Aristotle – c. 384 - 322 BCE - Athenaion Politeia (The Constitution of the Athenians)
Diodorus Siculus - c. 90 BCE - between 27BCE-14CE - Bibliotheke (Library of World History)
Discussion Questions for Friday:
What are these historians' reasons for writing their histories?
How will they write? With what aims and ideals?
What sources do they draw on?
How do they evaluate conflicting sources?
map quiz - be able to locate places listed on handout
For Next Week Read:
Homer, Odyssey I-II, XIV-XV
Homer, Iliad (selections - Shield of Achilles & Hektor's Farewell)
Hesiod, Works & Days, Theogony
What are the strengths and weaknesses of Homer and Hesiod as sources for history?
What are the social structures of the society depicted in Homer?
What forms the community?
How is the community governed?
What problems beset the community?
What mechanisms are there to deal with these problems?
How does the life described by Hesiod differ from that of Homer?
How does marriage function as an institution in the societies described by Homer and Hesiod?
What do the accounts of the creation and mythic past of the world tell us about the way Homer and Hesiod's audience saw their world?
How do the descriptions of the relations between gods and humans help us understand the ancient Greeks?