HIST 222
Greek History Spring 2022
Division II
Cross-listed CLAS 222
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

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 contacts with eastern cultures, and will conclude with the spread of Greek influence into Asia and the transformation of Greek culture through the conquests of Alexander the Great. We will explore topics such as the aristocratic heritage of the city-state, the continuous influence of contacts as well as conflicts with non-Greeks, the effects of pervasive war on Greek society, the competitive spirit in political and religious life, 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 Class: Format: lecture; discussion
Limit: 25
Expected: 20
Class#: 3502
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: contributions to class discussions, occasional short-writing exercises, a midterm, a final exam, and a medium-length essay.
Prerequisites: none; open to all
Enrollment Preferences: Students majoring in Classics, History, and Art History, first-year students and sophomores.
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
HIST 222 Division II CLAS 222 Division I
Attributes: HIST Group C Electives - Europe and Russia
HIST Group P Electives - Premodern

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