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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Carol G Thomas
HSTAM 402
Seattle Campus

Classical Greece

The classical civilization of ancient Greece, with special emphasis on the legacy of Greece to Western civilization.

Class description

The broad intent of the course is to understand the emergence of what is often termed the "golden age" of ancient Greece. The roots stretch deeply into the past to, first, the Heroic Age of the Mycenaean civilization and, then, the restructuring that was entailed after the abrupt collapse of that heroic culture. During the high point of Classical Greece, the focus will be on the institutions and distinctive world view that those institutions fostered. Dramatic changes in political institutions produced circumstances in the mid fifth century that would undermine the earlier way of life by the drive for empire.

Student learning goals

Understanding of the tools of research

Ability question existing evidence

Knowledge of the basic chronoloogy

Appreciation of the pattern of international developments and realization of relation to other contemporary cultures

Sense of importance to subsequent ages

Collapse of the "Classical" form of culture.

General method of instruction

The oreitnation of the course is chronological with lectures focused on a broad weekly theme. Class meetings will encourage discussion.

Recommended preparation

There are no prerequisites for the course although study at the survey level is beneficial. Courses offered in a number of other departments are useful either as intrudctions or as adjuncts to this course: the departments of Classics, Philosophy, Art History, Religious Studies, and Political Science all regularly offer courses treating portions of Classical Greek culture.

Class assignments and grading

Since this is a writing class, assignments include several short papers based on primary source reading; 2 short in-class exams on fundamental aspects of the development of this distinctive way of life and its nature; and a longer capstone essay reflecting on the nature of the final product of Greek culture in the 5th century bce with respect to both its admirable accomplishments and inherent flaws.

Work is read with a view to the foundation each student brings to the course - e.g. a graduate student will have a stronger base than most beginning freshmen. Each exams counts 15% of the total, the first short paper is 10% and the second and third are each 15%; the final essay is 20% and participation is 10%. This is a writing course.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Carol G Thomas
Date: 10/12/2008