Democratic Athens

HIST 4003 • HIST 5003 / Fall 2022

The Acropolis of Athens

Instructor: Dr. Charles E. Muntz
Time: MWF 9:40-10:30
Place: 424 Champions Hall
Dr. Muntz's Office: 408 Old Main
Office Hours: M 1:00-2:30 and by appointment
Phone: (479) 575-5891


History of the Athens from the sixth century to the end of the fourth. Topics include origins and evolution of democracy, the Persian wars, the rise and fall of the Athenian empire, and the development of historiography, literature, art, and philosophy during the period.

Learning Outcomes (Undergraduates)

  • Students will be able to evaluate the ancient sources for the Democratic Athens and the Classical Greek period and the problems with using them.
  • Students will understand the evolution of Athenian Democracy from its origins to the Macedonian conquest.
  • Students will understand the contributions of Athens to Greek art, literature, and philosophy
  • Students will be able to describe the issues and problems of Athenian imperialism

Learning Outcomes (Graduates) - all of the above, plus

  • Engage with and evaluate modern scholarship on Democratic Athens
  • Assess historiographic trends on Democratic Athens 

Covid Policies

This is a face-to-face class and regular attendance is very important. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic I will be recording all lectures. If you feel sick or are exposed to someone and have to quarantine, DO NOT come to class. Email me right away and get tested for Covid-19. Testing is available at Pat Walker Health Center, 479-575-4451, but you can also now get at home tests that give you results in 15-30 minutes. You can order these tests for FREE or find them at pharmacies or online.

Once I know that you cannot come to class, I will give you access to the lecture recordings for the period you are sick or quarantined. I will also make accomodations or alternative assignments for missed discussion days, exams, and paper deadlines, but again you must email me and ask. Lectures will be made available on - you must be signed into this site for me to give you access. It normally takes several hours after the normal class time for lecture recordigns to become available.

In the event that I have to quarantine, class will be held remotely over Zoom (assuming I’m well enough) - I’ll distribute the meeting invites if necessary.

Wearing a mask while in class is highly recommended for your protection and for the protection of those around you. Masks are available in classrooms and many public areas around campus. Eating and drinking is not permitted during class. If you require accommodations due to a disability, please contact the Center for Educational Access.


First Paper: A 1600-1800 word paper comparing two different accounts of the prelude to the Battle of Salamis. Due September 26 by 5pm. Instructions can be found here.

Second Paper (Undergraduates): A 3200-3600 word paper evaluating Herodotus’s Histories in the context of the time when he was writing. Due December 9 by 5pm. Instructions can be found here.

Second Paper (Graduates): A 3500-4000 word research paper on a topic of the student's choice, chosen in consultation with the professor. Due December 9 by 5pm.
Bibliographic Resources
Paper Grading Policies
Formatting Guidelines

Exams: There will be an in-class midterm on October 7 consisting of IDs and essay questions, and a final exam on Wednesday December 14 from 10:15-12:15pm consisting of essay questions. Study Guides will be provided before each exam.

Class Discussion: Certain class periods are set aside for class discussions. Questions based on the primary sources to get things started can be found on the course site, but feel free to raise other issues or questions on your own. 
Grading policies for discussions

Attendance: Regular attendance is important. I will allow each student to miss up to three classes without penalty to cover things like illness and religious observances. However, absences on discussion days or days when graded material is due are not permitted except by prior arrangement or in case of emergencies. Please email me in advance if you are going to miss class. For each absence after the first three, unless there is a serious problem, I will lower the final participation grade by 10 points. If you do have to miss a class, make sure you meet with another student to find out what you missed!

Grade Breakdown:
Participation: 15% 
Paper 1: 15% 
Paper 2: 30% 
Midterm: 15% 
Final: 25%

Reading Materials

Required Texts:
Davie, John. Euripides: Electra and Other Plays. ISBN 0140446680
Hammond, Martin. Thucydides: The Peloponnesian War. ISBN 9780192821911
Reeve, C. D. C., trans. Plato: Republic. ISBN 9780872207363.
Selincourt, Aubrey de. Herodotus: The Histories. ISBN 9780140449082
Shapiro, Alan & Peter Burian, trans. Aeschylus: The Oresteia. Oxford UP, 2003. ISBN 019513592X
Sommerstein, Alan H., trans. Aristophanes: Lysistrata and Other Plays. ISBN 9780140448146

Other texts will be made available via links under Daily Topics

Super resource if you need to look up a person or topic (much better than Wikipedia or other web sources):
The Oxford Classical Dictionary


Academic Integrity: As a core part of its mission, the University of Arkansas provides students with the opportunity to further their educational goals through programs of study and research in an environment that promotes freedom of inquiry and academic responsibility. Accomplishing this mission is only possible when intellectual honesty and individual integrity prevail.

Each University of Arkansas student is required to be familiar with and abide by the University’s ‘Academic Integrity Policy’ which may be found at Students with questions about how these policies apply to a particular course or assignment should immediately contact their instructor.

Equal Access: University of Arkansas Academic Policy Series 1520.10 requires that students with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations to ensure their equal access to course content. If you have a documented disability and require accommodations, please contact me privately at the beginning of the semester to make arrangements for necessary classroom adjustments. Please note, you must first verify your eligibility for these through the Center for Educational Access (contact 479-575-3104 or visit for more information on registration procedures).

Unauthorized Websites or Internet Resources: There are many websites claiming to offer study aids to students, but in using such websites, students could find themselves in violation of our University’s Academic Integrity and Code of Student Life policies. These websites include (but are not limited to) Quizlet, Bartleby, Course Hero, Chegg, and Clutch Prep. The U of A does not endorse the use of these products in an unethical manner. These websites may encourage students to upload course materials, such as test questions, individual assignments, and examples of graded material. Such materials are the intellectual property of instructors, the university, or publishers and may not be distributed without prior authorization. Furthermore, paying for academic work to be completed on your behalf and submitting it for academic credit is considered ‘contract cheating’ per the Academic Integrity Policy. Students found responsible for this type of violation face a grading penalty of ‘XF’ and a minimum one-semester academic suspension per the University of Arkansas Sanction Rubric. Please let me know if you are uncertain about the use of a website.

Unauthorized Recording by Student: Recording, or transmission of a recording, of all or any portion of a class is prohibited unless the recording is necessary for educational accommodation as expressly authorized and documented through the Center for Educational Access with proper advance notice to the instructor. Unauthorized recordings may violate federal law, state law, and university policies. Student-made recordings are subject to the same restrictions as instructor- made recordings. Failure to comply with this provision will result in a referral to the Office of Student Standards and Conduct for potential charges under the Code of Student Life. In situations where the recordings are used to gain an academic advantage, it may also be considered a violation of the University of Arkansas' academic integrity policy.

Recording of Class Lectures: By attending this class, student understands the course is being recorded and consents to being recorded for official university educational purposes. Be aware that incidental recording may also occur before and after official class times.

Unauthorized Use and Distribution of Class Notes: Third parties may attempt to connect with you to buy your notes and other course information from this class. I will consider distributing course materials to a third party without my authorization a violation of my intellectual property rights and/or copyright law as well as a violation of the University of Arkansas' academic integrity policy. Continued enrollment in this class signifies your intent to abide by the policy. Any violation will be reported to the Office of Academic Initiatives and Integrity.

Please be aware that such class materials that may have already been given to such third parties may contain errors, which could affect your performance or grade. If a third party should contact you regarding such an offer, I would appreciate your bringing this to my attention. We all play a part in creating a course climate of integrity.

Miscellaneous: Please turn off and put away all cell phones and any other non-course related items and finish any food you might be eating or drinking before coming into class. Please remain seated during class - if you need to use the lavatory, do so before or after class.

Daily Topics and Reading Assignments

Week 1
August 22: Introduction

August 24: The Greek World in the Late 6th Century
    Xenophon: Constitution of the Spartans
    Herodotus, Book 1.1-94

August 26: Herodotus and the Rise of Persia
    Herodotus, Book 1.95-216

Week 2
August 29: The Rise of Athenian Democracy
    Aristotle: Constitution of the Athenians Parts 1-19
    Herodotus, Book 3.80-88, 5.55-96

August 31: Athenian Democracy and Persia
    Herodotus, Book 5.30-38, 5.49-51, 5.97-102, 6.94-124

September 2: The Persian Wars
    Herodotus Book 7.1-58, 7.100-105, 7.138-152, 7.172-239

Week 3
September 5: Labor Day, no class 

September 7: Herodotus Discussion
    Herodotus Book 8.40-112, 9.76-122

September 9: The Delian League
    Thucydides 1.89-117

Week 4
September 12: Theatre and the Polis
    Aeschylus: Agamemnon

September 14: The Radical Democracy
    Aeschylus: Libation Bearers
    Aristotle: Constitution of the Athenians 20-27
    Acts of the Assembly

September 16: Religion in Athens
    Aeschylus: Eumenides

Week 5

September 19: Discussion: Aeschylus
    Aeschylus: Finish the Oresteia

September 21: The Revolution in Art

September 23: Pericles and the Athenian Empire
    Plutarch: Life of Pericles 1-28
    Old Oligarch: Constitution of the Athenians

Week 6
September 26: The Periclean Building Program, Part 1 / First Paper Due by 5pm

September 28: Women, Slaves, and others under Democracy

September 30: The Periclean Building Program, Part 2
    Plutarch: Life of Theseus

Week 7
October 3: Theseus and the Myth of Athens
    Euripides: Suppliant Women

October 5: Discussion: Euripides v. Aeschylus
    Euripides: Electra
    Review Aeschylus: Libation Bearers, Euripides: Suppliant Women

October 7: Midterm

Week 8
October 10: Aristophanes and the Sophists
    Gorgias: Encomium of Helen
    Protagoras on morality
    Aristophanes: Clouds

October 12: The Origins of the Peloponnesian War
    Thucydides 1.1-2.10

October 14: Archidamian War, Part 1
    Thucydides 2.11-2.78

Week 9
October 17: Fall Break, no class

October 19: Discussion: Aristophanes & Comedy
    Aristophanes: Acharnians (review Clouds as well)

October 21: The Archidamian War 2
    Thucydides 3.1-68, 3.70-85

Week 10
October 24: Thucydides Discussion 1
    Thucydides 4.1-48, 4.102-119, 5.1-26

October 26: The Rise of Alcibiades
    Thucydides 5.84-116
    Start Thucydides 6

October 28: Discussion: Melos and The Trojan Women
    Euripides: The Trojan Women

Week 11
October 31: The Sicilian Expedition
    Finish Thucydides 6, start 7

November 2: Discussion: Sicilian Expedition
    Finish Thucydides 7

November 4: Democracy on Edge
    Aristophanes: Lysistrata

Week 12
November 7: The Downfall of the Athenian Empire

November 9: The 30 Tyrants and the Death of Socrates
    Plato: Apology

November 11: Law and Justice in Athens
    Lysias: On the Murder of EratosthenesOn the Sacred Olive TreeAgainst Eratosthenes

Week 13
November 14: Plato and the Classical Symposium
    Plato: Republic, Book 1

November 16: The Spartan and Theban Hegemonies
    Plato: Republic, Book 2 starting at 368c (p. 46) - Book 3, to around 407a (p. 90) or so

November 18: Plato Discussion 1
    Plato: Republic, rest of Book 3 to the end of Book 4

Week 14
November 21: The 2nd Athenian Naval Confederacy
    Charter of the 2nd Athenian Naval Confederacy (Harding 35)
    Demosthenes: On the Liberty of Rhodes

November 23: Thanksgiving break, no class

November 25: Thanksgiving break, no class

Week 15
November 28: Art After Pheidias
    Plato: Republic, Book 5 to 476a (p. 169), start book 6

November 30: The Spread of Hellenism
    Plato: Republic, Book 6 to 506d (p. 201), Book 7 to 521b (p.215, basically the allegory of the cave), start Book 8

December 2: Plato Discussion 2
    Plato: Republic, finish Book 8, Book 10 (skip 9)
    Review Xenophon's Constitution of the Spartans

Week 16
December 5: Athens and Philip II
    Demosthenes: First OlynthiacOn the PeaceThird Philippic

December 7: Epilogue

December 9: Second paper due by 5pm

December 14: Final Exam!