Archaic and Classical Greek History

History 105A

Fall 2018
60 Barrows
Day & Time: 
Tue/Thu 9:30–11am
Class Number: 
  • This course satisfies the Pre-Modern Requirement for the History Major.
  • This course will present an overview of the history of the Greek world from the eighth through the fifth centuries BCE. We will consider the political innovations, cultural creativity, social tensions, and economic systems that accompanied the demographic expansion and proliferation of settlements that characterized the Archaic Greek world. We will examine the ways, both competitive and cooperative, in which this multitude of small states interacted with one another and with their non-Greek neighbors—Etruscans, Phoenicians, Egyptians, and Persians. We will study the emergence of democracy in Athens, the Greek defense against a series of Persian invasions, and the seismic effects of that struggle on Greek political ambitions in the fifth century, culminating in the Peloponnesian War, the Spartan-led attempt to break the power of the Athenian empire. Most readings will be in translated primary sources, including Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus, Thucydides, lyric and tragic poetry, and documentary evidence such as laws, treaties, and decrees. There will be two short papers, a midterm, and a cumulative final exam.