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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Carol G Thomas
HIST 501
Seattle Campus

Ancient Greece and Rome: Writings and Interpretations

Study of historians, development of historical study as a distinct pursuit, focus of attention in historical scholarship in the ancient world and comparison with modern interpretation of antiquity.

Class description

This course is intended to introduce students to historical scholarship from and about ancient Greece and Rome. It examines the nature and development of the writing of history by the ancients through the study of the surviving sources. Additionally, it investigates ways that the ancient contribution to historical study has shaped the discipline of history into the present. The course serves as an introduction to historical scholarship on the ancient Mediterranean world for those specializing in antiquity as well as non-specialists, for example from medieval and modern European history.

Student learning goals

To appreciate the emergence of the art of historical inquiry.

To examine the nature of historical writing and its changes over time.

To gain an acquaintance with a number of historical sources from ancient Greece and Rome.

To ask questions of the reliability of the writers on the grounds of their purpose.

General method of instruction

Seminar encompassing common reading and individual selections within the range of material available for the weekly topics.

Recommended preparation

In as much as this is a graduate level course, students are expected to have 1) a solid understanding of the history of Greece and Rome, 2) command of the ancient languages, and 3) enthusiasm for ancient historiography.

Class assignments and grading

For each meeting, there will be common reading in a primary source, proceeding chronologically from ca. 700 BC to the fourth century AD and in one modern study. Students will also undertake individual readings addressing more specific questions of the nature of historical writing to broaden the scope of our investigation. I will expect a short discussion--single page--of your reading at each meeting after the first introductory session. A longer reflective statement of the current status of ancient historical study will be due at the final class meeting. There are no examinations or research papers associated with this seminar.

Weekly papers 50% Participation 30% Longer Essay 20%


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: 04/25/2007