HIST 311 The Rise and Fall of Athens

Spring, Fall

Major Requirement: History of Europe, Period prior to 1500
This course offers a comprehensive survey of the history of Athens from the age of Solon and the birth of democracy in the 6th century BCE to the tumultuous post-Peloponnesian War period (404-399), which saw the collapse of the Athenian empire, tyranny and foreign occupation, and the execution of its greatest citizen, Socrates. Particular attention will be paid to the major political, social, and cultural developments, as we try to understand the factors that contributed to the growth and decline of Athenian civilization. Among the many themes and topics we will examine are: the theory and practice of Athenian democracy; political dissent; imperialism and the Athenian empire; the rhetoric of war; work and leisure; the position of slaves, foreigners, and women in Athenian society; classical art and architecture; and tragedy as a “civic discourse.” (Course offered in alternate years.)

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status