Ancient Greece

HIST 4003 / Fall 2012

Chigi vase - detail

The Chigi Vase, ca. 650 B.C.E.

Instructor: Dr. Charles E. Muntz
Time: MWF 9:30-10:20 pm
Place: Science & Engineering 610
Dr. Muntz's Office: 407 Old Main
Office Hours: Tu 10:30-11:30 am, W 1:00-2:30 pm, and by appointment
Phone: (479) 575-5891


This class will examine the first great western civilization, that of ancient Greece. We begin with pre-historical period, for which only material remains and legends preserved by later writers survive, and continue through the development of the city-state and the first democracy. Greece’s complex relationship with the Near East will be explored, culminating in the Greco-Persian War of 480-479. The century that follows witnesses the rise and fall of Athens, the first democratic superpower, and in the aftermath of Athens’ fall we will see how the Greek city-state fails as a political power, even while Greek culture begins to spread over the entire Mediterranean World and the Near East.


Quizzes: There will be a short in-class map quiz on September 5.  The list of places to know is here, a map with all places labeled is here, and a blank map for practice is here.

Exams: There will be an in-class midterm on October 1, and a final exam on Wednesday, December 12, 8:00-10:00 am. Both will consist of identification, short answer, and essay questions.

Short Paper: There will be one short (5 pages) paper, evaluating two ancient accounts of the same event, due on September 19. 

Long Paper: There are two options for the long (10 pages) paper, due November 19. Option 1 will be an analysis of Herodotus' Histories in its historical context. Option 2 is a research paper on a topic of the student's choice. Students choosing this option must first develop a bibliography with at least five modern sources (excluding textbooks and encyclopedia entries) and meet with me to discuss the topic. Online sources such Wikipedia are not acceptable, but online versions of printed sources, such as the journals on JStor, are. If you choose option 2, you need to inform me and schedule a meeting by October 17.
Formatting Guidelines
Grading Policies

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

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:
Map Quiz: 3%
Paper 1: 15%
Paper 2: 27%
Participation: 15%
Midterm: 15%
Final: 25%

Reading Materials

Required texts (available at bookstore or buy online):
Hammond, Martin. Thucydides: The Peloponnesian War. ISBN 9780192821911
Sélincourt, Aubrey de, trans. 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 readings will be linked from the daily assignments listed below.

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


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).

Inclement Weather: Classes will be held unless the University cancels them.

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 before coming into class. Drinks are acceptable. 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 20: Introduction

August 22: Sources for Early Greek History
    Homer: Iliad, Book 1 & Book 2 (up to the catalog of ships)

August 24: The Dark Age of Greece
    Homer: Iliad, Book 6

Week 2
August 27: The Rise of the Polis
    Homer: Iliad, Book 18

August 29:  Growth of Trade and Colonization
    Herodotus 4.147-159

August 31: Orientalizing
    Hesiod: Theogony
    Hesiod: Works and Days, lines 1-201

Week 3
September 3: Labor Day, No class

September 5: Hoplites & Tyrants / Map Quiz: List of Places / Labeled Map / Blank Map
    Herodotus 5.92

September 7: Sparta
    Plutarch: Life of Lycurgus

Week 4
September 10: The Early Greek Philosophers
    Selections from the Pre-Socratics
    Start Herodotus 1

September 12: Herodotus Discussion 1
    Finish Herodotus 1

September 14: Athens & Solon
    Aristotle - The Athenian Constitution 1-22
    Herodotus 5.55-96

Week 5
September 17: Athens and Democracy

September 19: The Rise of Persia / First Paper Due

September 21: The Marathon Campaign
    Herodotus 5.25-39, 5.49-54, 5.97-6.32, 6.94-140 

Week 6
September 24: Xerxes' Invasion of Greece
    Herodotus 7.1-58, 7.138-144

September 26: The Greco-Persian Wars
    Herodotus 7.175-8.20, 8.40-96

September 28: Herodotus Discussion 2
    Herodotus 9.1-89, 9.108-133, 9.122

Week 7
October 1: Midterm

October 3: The Rise of the Athenian Empire
    Thucydides 1.89-117
    Start Aeschylus: Agamemnon (Part 1 of the Oresteia)

October 5: Theater and the Polis
    Aeschylus: Agamemnon (Part 1 of the Oresteia)

Week 8
October 8: The Radical Democracy 
    Aeschylus: Libation Bearers (Part 2 of the Oresteia)
    Aristotle: The Athenian Constitution 23-27
    Acts of the Assembly

October 10: Aeschylus Discussion
    Aeschylus: Eumenides (Part 3 of the Oresteia)

October 12: The Periclean Building Program
    Plutarch: Life of Theseus

Week 9
October 15: Fall Break, no class

October 17: The Myth of Athens
    Euripides: Suppliant Woman (Try to get through the whole thing, but at least read through line 731)

October 19: The Sophists
    Gorgias: Encomium of Helen
    Aristophanes: Clouds
    Protagoras on Morality

Week 10
October 22: The Origins of the Peloponnesian War
    Thucydides 1.1-88, review 89-117

October 24: Thucydides Discussion 1
    Thucydides 1.118-2.10

October 26: The Archidamian War
    Thucydides 2.11-2.78

Week 11
October 29: Aristophanes Discussion
    Aristophanes: Acharnians (review Clouds as well)

October 31: The Archidamian War 2
    Thucydides 3.1-68, 3.70-85

November 2: Thucydides Discussion 2
    Thucydides 4.1-48, 4.102-119, 5.1-26

Week 12
November 5: The Rise of Alcibiades
    Thucydides 5.84-116
    Start Thucydides 6

November 7: The Sicilian Expedition
    Finish Thucydides 6, start 7

November 9: Thucydides Discussion 3
    Finish Thucydides 7

Week 13
November 12: Democracy on the Edge
    Aristophanes: Lysistrata

November 14: The Fall of the Athenian Empire
    Xenophon: Hellenica 1.5-7 Hellenica 2.1-2

November 16: The 30 Tyrants and the Death of Socrates
    Plato: Apology

Week 14
November 19: The Spartan Hegemony / Second Paper Due

Week 15
November 26: Law and Justice in Athens
    Lysias: On the Murder of Eratosthenes
    Lysias: On the Olive Stump

November 28: The Rise of Thebes
    Plato: Selections from Republic

November 30: The Future of the Polis Discussion
    Isocrates: Panegyricus

Week 16
December 3: The Coming of Macedonia

December 5: Epilogue