Classics 23/53                                                                                                                         Spring 2004

Greek History and Civilization


1:30-2:50 TTh   Admin. 206



INSTRUCTOR:          Robert W. Cape, Jr.,  Assistant Professor of Classics

OFFICE:                     Administration 310      PHONE:% 2241     MAIL: ) 61653     EMAIL: rcape

OFFICE HOURS:      3:00-4:00 MWF & by appointment or just dropping by.



To purchase:

Claude Orrieux and Pauline Schmitt Pantel. A History of Ancient Greece.  Translated by Janet Lloyd.  Blackwell, 1999.

Homer. The Iliad.  Translated by  Robert Fagles.  Penguin, 2003 rpt.

Sophocles.  Sophocles I: Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone (The Complete Greek Tragedies, Vol 1).  Translated and edited by David Greene and Richmond Lattimore.  University of Chicago Press, 1992 rpt.

Jenifer Neils  and Stephen V. Tracy.   The Games at Athens.  American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Athenian Agora Picture Book 25, 2003.

A. W. Saunders, Editor. Greek Political Oratory.  Penguin, 1985 rpt.


On reserve for use in papers and presentations:

Roger Ling.  The Greek World.  Phaidon, 1976.

Jan Bremmer.  Greek Religion.  Greece & Rome New Surveys in the Classics, no. 24. Oxford University Press, 1994.

Susan Woodford.  An Introduction to Greek Art.  Cornell University Press, 1986.

John Boardman.  Greek Art.  Thames and Hudson, 1964.

John M. Camp, The Archaeology of Athens.  Yale University Press, 2001.

Waldo E. Sweet.  Sport and Recreation in Ancient Greece: A Sourcebook with Translations. Oxford University Press, 1987.

Frank Snowden.  Blacks in Antiquity: Ethiopians in the Greco-Roman Experience.  Harvard, 1970.

Martin Bernal.  Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization.  Rutgers, 1987.

Mary R. Lefkowitz & Guy MacLean Rogers, Editors.  Black Athena Revisited. University of North Carolina Press, 1996.

Articles on the Black Athena controversy from Arethusa.

            There are also other, general reference books on reserve for this class




This course in an introduction to the history and culture of the ancient Greeks from the Neolithic period until the death of Alexander the Great, with some discussion of subsequent developments and influences.  The focus is on social and intellectual history, with more attention devoted to daily social customs and beliefs than to politics and military conquests.  The course begins with a chronological overview of Greek history and a survey of the sources available to historians who still try to write that history.  Attention is also paid to geography and its effect on the historical development of Greece and Greek-speaking peoples.  In the beginning, and throughout the course, careful consideration is given to the GreeksŐ attitudes toward non-Greek-speaking peoples and the influence of these peoples upon Greek civilization.  Attention will be given to the roles of women in the Greek world.  We will also examine a series of special topics, such as Greek athletics, medicine, and explore the range of primary sources—such as epigraphy, art, various material remains, historians, poets, philosophers and writers of prose—upon which we base our understanding of Greek history.




At the completion of this course students should be able to demonstrate


(1) of the general course of Greek history from the Bronze Age to the death of Alexander the Great;

(2) of the nature of Greek historiography, including the relative importance of archaeological and literary sources, and of different genres of written materials;

(3) of selected works of Greek literature;


(4) in distinguishing primary and secondary sources, and in discussing the nature of historical sources;

(5) in interpreting information about a foreign culture;

(6) in analyzing and discussing literary works;

(9) in demonstrating connections between ancient Greeks and the modern world.




Daily reading and homework assignments are expected to be completed before the class meets.  Students should be prepared enough to discuss these materials in class.  On occasion, special sheets of questions to certain readings will be handed out before the readings


Classics 23 students will write two papers of at least 5 pages each arguing both sides of an issue (topics to be announced later).  The papers will be based on our main texts for the course.  Also, there will be one short co-presentation (with one partner) in class on an archaeological subject.  Classics 53 students will make another group presentation in the second half of the semester and will use additional scholarly resources in the second paper.




Academic integrity is one of the key elements of higher education and Austin CollegeŐs Standards of Academic Integrity will apply in this class.  We all owe great debts to others from whom we have learned, and when we present our ideas we have an obligation to acknowledge that debt and indicate clearly what ideas are our own.  All work for this course is expected to be your own, not copied from another person or written/electronic source.  If you have questions about what you can claim as your own work, what constitutes plagiarism, or any other issue of academic integrity, please consult the instructor.  A student who violates Austin CollegeŐs Standards of Academic Integrity will receive a failing grade for the course and be reported to the appropriate officials for disciplinary action.




            Attendance, Participation, Preparation             15%

            Midterm                                                                      25%

            Presentation(s)                                                                          5%

            Short papers (2 at 12.5% each)                                   25%

            Final                                                                            30%




Two (2) absences are permitted.  Each absence after second will result in a lowering of the final grade by 1%.  A student may be dropped from the course if absences become excessive.



Rough Outline of Topics and Readings


Week 1

         T 2/3


Course introduction.  Map orientation of eastern Mediterranean; geography of Greece, Asia Minor, Egypt, Sicily, southern Italy.


         Th 2/4

Early history: paleolithic, neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age. Minoan civilization; Maecenaeans.

            Reading: Orrieux/Pantel 1-28.


Week 2

         T 2/10


Age of Heroes: Introduction to HomerŐs Iliad

            Reading: Orrieux/Pantel 28-35; Iliad, books 1, 3, 4, 5


         Th 2/12

Homeric Values: Kleos

            Reading: Iliad 6-10


Week 3

         T 2/17


Military Stratagems

            Reading: Iliad 12, 14, 16, 18


         Th 2/19

True Heroes

            Reading: Iliad 19-24


Week 4

         T 2/24


Archaic Greece: Development of Civic Communities and Colonization East and West

            Reading: Orrieux/Pantel 36-66.


         Th 2/26

Archaic Greece: Rise of the City-State (Polis) and Forms of Government

            Reading: Orrieux/Pantel 66-99.

Week 5

         T 3/2


Archaic Greece: Art, Architecture, Literature, Culture

            Reading: Orrieux/Pantel 99-113, and slides.

         Th 3/4





Spring Break

Week 6

         T 3/16


Classical Greece, 5th Century: Rise of Athens, Persian Wars

            Reading: Orrieux/Pantel 114-142; excerpts from Herodotus.


         Th 3/18

Classical Greece, 5th Century: Athens

            Reading: TBA


Week 7

         T 3/23


Classical Greece, 5th Century: Imperialistic and Democratic Athens

            Reading: Orrieux/Pantel 142-165.  Pericles, Funeral Oration (Saunders 32-38).


         Th 3/25

Classical Greece, 5th Century: Athenian Culture

            Reading: Orrieux/Pantel 165-182.


Week 8

         T 3/30


Athenian Social Classes, Status of Women, Slavery

            Reading: Orrieux/Pantel 183-207.


         Th 4/1

Greek Religion

            Reading: Orrieux/Pantel 207-226.


Week 9

         T 4/6


Athenian Tragedy: Sophocles

            Reading: Oedipus Tyrannus, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone


         Th 4/8

Greek Athletics.  Classics 53 Presentation: Olympics

            Reading: Neils/Tracy


Week 10

         T 4/13


Greek Philosophy and Medicine.

            Reading: TBA


         Th 4/15

Student Presentations on Archaeology in Athens

            Reading: TBA


Week 11

         T 4/20


Classical Greece, 4th Century: A New Order

            Reading: Orrieux/Pantel 227-260. 


         Th 4/22

The Ideal Greece: Isocrates, Panegyricus.

            Reading: Saunders 109-136.


Week 12

         T 4/27


Philip and the Rise of Macedon.  Isocrates, Philip.

            Reading: Orrieux/Pantel 260-266.  Saunders 137-167.


         Th 4/29

Alexander the Great

            Reading: Orrieux/Pantel 266-291.

Week 13

         T 5/4


After Alexander: The Hellenistic World

            Reading: Orrieux/Pantel 292-322.


         Th 5/6

Postscript: Modern Controversy About Greek Contributions to Western Culture: The Black Athena Debate.  Classics 53 Presentation.

            Reading: Black Athena materials on reserve.


Finals Week

Thursday, May 13, 3:00-5:00pm, Final Exam