Ancient Greece

Department of History, CSUS

Professor Henry Chambers

Fall 2007 - Tuesday/Thursday: 7:30-8:45 AM

History 111: GE: C- 1 World Civilizations

Distance Education Course available through Comcast Cable and DSL

Library 53 (No need to attend first class meeting if student has Cable TV)

Office: Tahoe Hall 3091 - Tues/Thurs: 9-10:00 AM, Noon- 12:30 & By Appt.



A survey of Ancient Greece from the Mycenaean Bronze Age to the Alexandrian Conquests. This survey will emphasize the political, social, cultural, and economic institutions and values that Hellas created to revolutionize the Ancient Mediterranean history.

Learning Objectives:

1. To study the development of the Hellenic Polis as it developed in Athens. To accomplish this the course will include these topics: Mycenaean Linear B, Bronze Age Social and Economic Structures, Archaic Political and Social Institutions, Homeric Poetry as cultural guides, Hellenic religious practices, Integration of the Peasant into the Polis System, Status of Women within the Varied Poleis, Slavery and the Ancient Economy, Socrates and the Sophistic Revolution, Art and Architecture as Cultural Reflections, the Hellenic Value System, Athenian Democratic Values and Structures, Thucydides and the Peloponnesian Wars and how the polis disintegrated under the strains of war in the late Fifth and Fourth Centuries.

2. Most importantly, the course will address the historical factors that explain the unique revolution in ancient history that was Classical Greece. Why did Greece redirect historical culture? The answer lies in the polis. What was it and why did it develop so? This term students will study carefully the development of Ancient Greek Democracy.

3. The course will improve student writing skills through two formal papers and two essay exams. Students will advance their computer skills by accessing notes, assignments, email, and grades via WebCT.


I. Introduction to Hellenic History: Geography and Historic Periods.

Structure of Course and Assignments

Major Regions and Sites

Realities of Economic and Geographic Limitations

Test Out WebCt

Readings: Morris, THE GREEKS,pp.1-39.


Sept 4-6

II. Bronze Age Greece: Minoans, Mycenaeans, and Troy

Minoan and Near Eastern Religious/Artistic Inheritances

Mycenaean Palace Warehouse Economies

Linear B Texts: Peasant Landholding Systems

Troy and the Collapse of Mycenaen Society

Readings: GREEKS, pp. 42-69.


WebCt Files on Linear B


Sept. 11-13

III. Archaic Hellas and the Homeric Tradition

Homer as Shaper of Hellenic Culture

Hellenic Tribal Society and the Oikos: "Synoikism" - Peasant Social Structures

Near Eastern Cultural Influences Upon Archaic Greece: Egypt, Assyria, Phoenicia, and Anatolia

Colonization and Early Pottery

Readings: GREEKS, 72-145.

READINGS: pp. 10-24.



Quiz #1: Bronze Age Greece

Sept. 18-20.

IV. Archaic Poleis and Culture

Variant Versions of the Polis. Why?

What Constitutes a Polis? City-State-Community! Peasant Landholder into Polis Citizen

Archaic Social Structures: Aristoi Tribal Leaders, Peasant, and Slave

Sparta: Oligarchy or Peasant Integration

Archaic Cultural Values in Its Poetry

Readings: GREEKS,148-203.

READINGS: pp. 28-54..

Selected Lyric poets. (Web Ct Contents)

Sept 25

Sept. 27.

Oct. 2

V. Archaic Athens.

Solon's Justice

Kleisthenes' Integration of the Peasant

Readings: GREEKS, 204-219.

READINGS: pp. 55-66.

Solon:Selections (WebCT Contents).

Quiz #2: Archaic Greece

Oct. 4


VI. The Persian Wars as the Crucible of Hellas

Sparta, Athens, and the Defense of Hellas

Peloponnesian and Delian Leagues

Readings: GREEKS, 221-265.

READINGS: 67-97.

Oct. 9
VII. Examination WebCt Bulletin Board Study Sessions Oct. 11

VIII. Athenian Society. What Made a Citizen?

Athens as an Imperial Ruler: the Empire

Political, Social, and Economic Values

Citizen as Peasant

How Did the Demos Function: Nuts and Bolts?

Readings: GREEKS ,268-285.

READINGS, 145-168.

Quiz #3: Athenian Democracy

Oct. 16-18.

IX. Social Classes

Family and Clan

Metics, the Resident Aliens

Legal and Social Status of Women

Slave Classes in Athens: Rights and Realities

GREEKS, 314-332.

READINGS, 98-130.

Oct. 23-25

X. Hellas As Intellectual Revolutionary

Sophistic Revolution

Socrates and the New Sophos

Herodotus, Thucydides and the Creation of Historia

Readings: Morris, 266-311.

READINGS, 189-208.

Quiz #4: Hellenic Social and Intellectual Conditions

Oct 30-Nov 1-6.

Paper on Selected documents   Nov 6

XI. The Peloponnesian Wars: Causes and Early Stages

Athens' Imperial Expansion, 478-434 BC

Athens as a New Form of Dunamis

Nous as the Psyche of Athens

Corcyra, Potidaea and Megara as Causes for Conflict

Readings: Morris, 334-362.

Thucydides, WebCt Content files


Nov. 8-13.

XII Athens and the Moral Dilemma of War

Hellenic Oratory and Sophistic Analysis under the Pressures of War

Pericles' Funeral Oration and the Plague

Quiz #5: Thucydides Analysis of the War.

Web Ct Content files for Thuc. selections.

Nov. 15

XIII. War and the Destruction of the Polis

Melian Dialogue: Justice and Power

Nature of Empire: Syracusan Expedition

Athenian Defeat: Failure of Nous

.READINGS, 168-182.

Nov. 20

XIV. Hellas as Cultural Revolutionary

Greek Art and Architecture: Order and Proportionality

Sculpture , Temples, and Pottery

Acropolis Temples and Marbles


Quiz #6: Greek Art and Architecture

Nov 27

XV.Fourth Century Polis Collapse: Greek and Persian Struggles

Fourth Century Culture: Plato and Aristotle

Readings: GREEKS, 342-398.

READINGS: 183-188, 209-229, 7-10.

Nov 29-Dec 4-6.

Second paper due. Dec. 6.

XVI. Macedonian Dominance: Philip and Alexander

Alexander as Visionary, Military Genius, or Historical Accident?

Integration of Eastern Mediterranean into an Hellenic World. How extensive?

Continued Near Eastern Social and Economic Institutions

Rome as the Final Hellenic Conquest

Hellenism and Christianity: Institutionalization of the Classical Tradition.

Readings: GREEKS, 401-534.

READINGS: 238-266, 301-303.



Dec 11-13.





Due Date

Students who submit papers as attached documents should retain copies of the papers until all grades have been posted at course conclusion. Electronic papers oftentimes have transmission problems arriving at the instructor's computer. So be aware of this possibility.


Exam I -Essay and Short Answer (Bluebook)


Oct 10

Exam II - Essay and Short Answer (Bluebook)


Thursday, December 20
Five Quizes from Six Taken 10% Various

Paper I on Selected documents (Five pages)


November 6

Paper II from selected documents


December 6



100-90 points per assignment


80-89 points


70-79 points


60-69 points


0-59 points

Reading Materials

  • Ian Morris and Barry Powell. THE GREEKS. Pearson/Prentice-Hall, 2005.
  • Readings In Greek History. Oxford Press, 2007..
  • Class Notes. WebCt Course Site
  • Powerpoints. WebCt Site

Other Materials

Students must have a Saclink account with CSUS and access to a computer with a web navigator. Campus computers are available to those who may not have their own computers. Netscape works best with the materials.

Ancient Greece has a WebCt site where class notes, powerpoint presentations, email and a bulletin board are available. Students access WebCt via their web navigator with their saclink account number and password. The address for WebCt is --

Examinations will consist of one essay to be answered from two choices for 50% of an exam. Ten short answers to items selected from a choice of fifteen constitute the remaining 50% of each exam. Study questions and short answers will be available on
WebCt about ten days before both exams. It is expected that the class will prepare for the exams in an electronic study group on the WebCt.

Six multiple choice quizes with ten questions each will be available for a week or so during the term to assure students keep up with the readings and lectures. Students may take each quiz twice with the highest grade posted on the WEbCt site. The four highest grades will be counted for 10% of the course grade.

Papers: Two five page papers on topics from selected documents. Cribbing information or worse still direct quotes without citation violates University policy and will not be tolerated..

Updated August, 2007 AD