Introduction to Ancient Greek History

About the Course

This is an introductory course in Greek history tracing the development of Greek civilization as manifested in political, intellectual, and creative achievements from the Bronze Age to the end of the classical period. Students read original sources in translation as well as the works of modern scholars.

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Course Structure

This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 75 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Fall 2007.

Course Materials

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About Professor Donald Kagan

Donald Kagan is Sterling Professor of Classics and History at Yale University. A former dean of Yale College, he received his Ph.D. in 1958 from The Ohio State University. His publications include The Archidamian War, The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition, Pericles and the Birth of the Athenian Empire, On the Origins of War and the Preservation of Peace, and The Peloponnesian War. In 2002 he was the recipient of the National Humanities Medal and in 2005 was named the National Endowment for the Humanities Jefferson Lecturer.

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Syllabus

Professor

Donald Kagan, Sterling Professor of Classics and History

Description

This is an introductory course in Greek history tracing the development of Greek civilization as manifested in political, intellectual, and creative achievements from the Bronze Age to the end of the classical period. Students read original sources in translation as well as the works of modern scholars.

Texts

Pomeroy, Burstein, Donlan and Roberts. Ancient Greece. Oxford University Press: New York, 1999.

Kagan, Donald. "Problems in Ancient History." In The Ancient Near East and Greece. 2nd ed., vol. 1. Prentice-Hall: New York, 1975.

Herodotus, The Histories.

Plutarch, The Rise and Fall of the Athens.

Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War.

Requirements

Students will have an opportunity to choose one of two programs for completing their work in the course:

Plan A
Students electing Plan A will take an in-class midterm and final examination. The midterm will cover all assigned readings to that date. Students in this program will also submit a paper on Herodotus, not to exceed 1500 words. The topic for the paper will be announced in class.

Plan B
Students electing Plan B will take an in-class midterm and final examination and will enroll in discussion sections which meet once a week for fifty minutes. These sections will offer the students an opportunity to discuss in detail issues raised in the course. Students in Plan B are encouraged to propose topics for discussion to the teaching fellow who will lead the discussions. Students following Plan B will submit a paper, not more than 1500 words long, on a topic of their own choosing, subject to the approval of the section leader.

Students in Plan B are required to attend their section meetings regularly and to come prepared to discuss the topic announced the week before by the section leader. Classroom participation will be one factor in determining grades.

Grading

The grades for students electing Plan A will be determined by computing the average grade on the paper, the midterm examination and the final examination; all three will count equally.

Grades for students electing Plan B will be determined by weighing the midterm, final and paper grades at 30% each and performance in section at 10%.

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Course Books and Other Related Titles

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