The Greek World: 403- 31 B.C.E.

History 105B

Spring 2016
209 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
MWF 300-400

At the end of the Peloponnesian War, some of Athens' enemies proposed that the great city, now starved into defeat, should be razed to the ground and turned into pastureland for sheep. So dramatic a reversal, so severe a punishment, was unthinkable to most Greeks even in the heated moment of their unexpected victory, and the proposal was not approved. It remains, however, indicative of a major turning-point in Greek history and will serve as our point of departure. This course will explore the changing face of the Greek world in the late Classical period, an age of political experiment and struggle for hegemony; the conquests of Alexander the Great in the late fourth century and the Hellenistic world of the kings and dynasts who fought their way to power after his death; and the process by which Rome, nothing more than a little Italian city-state at the beginning of this period, was drawn into the eastern Mediterranean and came to conquer the entire Greek world. Other topics will include cultural interactions between Greeks and their non-Greek neighbors, including Persians, Indians, Jews, Egyptians, and Romans; kings; cities, civic identity, and civic benefactors; federalism; religious change; economic growth and practices; mercenaries and pirates; warfare; patronage of the arts; and major developments in science, mathematics, and philosophy.

Course Books

The Histories by Polybius; trans. Robin Waterfield, ed. Brian McGing Oxford. ISBN: 978-0199534708 Required
The Hellenistic World from Alexander to the Roman Conquest. A Selection of Ancient Sources in Translation by Austin, M.M. Cambridge. ISBN: 978-0521535618 Required
The Landmark Xenophon's Hellenica by Xenophon; ed. R. Strassler Pantheon. ISBN: 978-1400034765 Required
The Greek World after Alexander by Shipley, Graham Routledge. ISBN: 978-0415046183 Required