CLAS 222 Spring 2014 Greek History

Cross Listed as HIST222
Ancient Greece has been thought to embody the origins of Western civilization in its institutions, values, and thought; it has been seen as the infancy of modern society, with the attributes of innocence, purity, and the infant's staggering capacity for exploration and learning; it has been interpreted as an essentially primitive, violent culture with a thin veneer of rationality; and it has been celebrated as the rational culture par excellence. The study of ancient Greece indeed requires an interpretive framework, yet Greek culture and history have defied most attempts to articulate one. We will make our attempt in this course by investigating ancient Greece as a set of cultures surprisingly foreign to us, as it so often was to its own intellectual elite. But we will also come to appreciate the rich and very real connections between ancient Greek and modern Western civilization. The course will begin with Bronze Age-Greece and the earliest developments in Greek culture, and will conclude with the spread of Greek influence into Asia through the conquests of Alexander the Great. We will explore topics such as the aristocratic heritage of the city-state, the effects of pervasive war on Greek society, the competitive spirit in political and religious life, the confrontations with the East, the relationship of intellectual culture to Greek culture as a whole, Greek dependence on slavery, and the diversity of political and social forms in the Greek world. The readings will concentrate on original sources, including historical writings, philosophy, poetry, and oratory.
Class Format: lecture/discussion; the class will meet once a week for a lecture, and will divide into two discussion sections for the second meeting of the week
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on contributions to class discussions, a midterm, a final exam, and a medium-length paper
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Prerequisites: none; open to all
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Distribution Notes: meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under HIST; meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under CLAS
Divisional Attributes: Division I
Other Attributes: HIST Group C Electives - Europe and Russia,HIST Group G Electives - Premodern
Enrollment Limit: 40
Expected Enrollment: 40
Class Number: 3593
CLASSES ATTR INSTRUCTORS TIMES CLASS NUMBER
CLAS222-01(S) LEC Greek History Division 1: Languages and the Arts Kerry A. Christensen
MR 2:35 PM-3:50 PM Hollander 140 3593
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