Rise & Fall of Athens F18 (CLAS*3000)
Code and section: CLAS*3000*01
Term: Fall 2018
Instructor: A. Sherwood
To acquaint the student with the history of Greece in the late sixth and fifth centuries B.C., with emphasis on the states of Sparta and Athens, the development and ultimate perversion of democracy in the latter, the struggle of Greek culture to survive Persian attempts to subdue it, and the ultimate struggle between these two great Greek powers of the fifth century. We will consider both the cultural blossoming of Greece in the late sixth century, the full flowering of it through the fifth century and, finally, the withering of its greatness at the end of the fifth century by examining evidence for cultural attitudes towards humans, the gods, and humankind’s presence/role in the physical world. Special emphasis on the careful discussion of selected texts will be used to illuminate the highs and lows of the Greek states.
Since the texts also were intended to communicate with their own audience, and reveal the aspirations of the culture that produced them, I hope that gradually you will become more fluent and critical when reading primary texts. This should help you to think more clearly about issues that concerned the Greeks, many of which still concern us today
1. to introduce students to the culture that helped to formulate Western concepts.
2. to initiate understanding of the purpose of critical review of primary texts within a proper cultural context
3. to help students to build confidence in the critical evaluation of information
Method of presentation:
Three (3) classroom hours