History 101.008

Fall 2009
Instructor (text): 
123 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
TuTh 2-3:30
Michael Laughy holds a BA from the University of New Hampshire in Philosophy, Anthropology, and Latin, and an MA in Greek and Latin literature from the Washington University in St. Louis. During the summers he is a field supervisor at the Athenian Agora Excavations, a site he has excavated for over ten years. His dissertation, "Ritual and Authority in Ancient Athens", focuses upon religious authority in Athens, from the Iron Age through the early years of the democracy.

In the first few weeks of this course, we will examine the close connections between religion and politics in Archaic and Classical Greece, using ancient Athens as a case study. Our initial assignments will consist of readings that introduce the current, and often divergent historiographical approaches to the study of ancient Greek religion and politics. In evaluating these readings, we will pay particular attention to the array of raw material available to historians, including literary (in translation), archaeological, and epigraphic evidence.

These readings and discussions will serve as a methodological foundation for the writing of a thesis, which will take up the remainder of the semester. The thesis, 30-50 pages in length, is an opportunity to conduct your own original research based upon the available evidence, set within the context of current historiographical approaches and interpretations. The thesis can be based on an issue or theme raised during the initial weeks of the seminar, or you may develop your own project in ancient Greek or Roman history.