Specific primary documents and questions will be assigned to augment topics discussed in lecture. For those discussions with papers, each response must be about 2-3 pages, typed and is due at the beginning of the period. Responses are worth 20 points. Students must refer to the documents in question in order to receive full points.
Please reference as follows: (author, pp# or author, section #)
All documents are from the sourcebook unless otherwise indicated
1. Sparta, (2 pages), September 10
Xenophon, The Polity of the Spartans
Xenophon, The Spartan War Machine
Plutarch, Lycurgus (selections)
1. Unfortunately, few documents survive actually written by Spartans. Instead we have the interpretation of outsiders. Which values of Spartan culture do these authors especially praise or condemn. Do these documents contradict in any way?
2. Everyday Life in Athens (in
class only) September 22
Group 1 - On the Killing of Eratosthenes
Group 2 - Execution without Trial
Embezzlement of Trust Funds
A Claim to Citizenship RightsWorking in a group of three to four, create a board with 8 images that you believe best illustrate the most important aspects of life in ancient Rome. You must provide a commentary below each image identifying the picture and why you believe it is critical to understanding Roman society.
Group 4 - Against a Step Mother
Damage to a Farm
Defense of a Farmer
1. As we have been discussing in class, historians must use a wide range of sources in order to reconstruct a culture. For this discussion, I want you to read these trail transcripts. Prepare a SHORT summary of the case and discuss what you can learn about daily life, values and morals, religion, etc. from these cases.
3. Democracy and Empire (2-3 pages)
The Burdens of Empire
The Mytilenian Debate
The Melian Debate
1. These discuss Athenian values and their foreign policy during the Peloponnesian War. Where is there a divergence between the ideas expressed by Pericles and Athenian actions?
2. What arguments are set forth regarding the policies which must be used in a successful foreign policy? Which are identified as Athenian weaknesses?
4. Socrates and
Propaganda (2-3 pages) October 7
Reeve, The Trials of Socrates
1. Read The Clouds first. How does this play present Socrates and those who follow him?
2. Next read the other documents, EXCEPT the Euthyphro. Where are the ideas presented by Aristophanes in the Clouds present in the trial.
3. Where are the similarities and differences between Plato's
and Xenophon's presentation of Socrates.
5. Death Penalty (2-3
pages), November 3
Sallust, Conspiracy (to be handed out)
1. Outline the arguments for and against the death
penalty. Which ideas resemble those used for or against capital punishment
6. Daily Life in Rome (Pinterest or powerpoint assignment), November 10
7. Paganism (in class only), November 17
The Worship of Cybele
Lucius Apuleius, Isis: Queen of Heaven
1. Pagan religion provides the backdrop to understanding the conversion of the Roman world to Christianity. The first Christians lived in a world where the surrounding religions were both very different and at times apparently very similar. This could cause many problems in attempting to share the new faith. Looking at the documents, discuss what you see as the most important differences and similarities with Christianity (Nota Bene: In terms of similarities, look for things which on the surface sound like Christianity, even if the real practice or doctrine is quite different. Early Christians were having to deal with a world which knew little about Christianity and these apparent similarities caused a lot of confusion).
8. Christianity and other religions (2 pages), December 8
Constantine I: Laws for
During the early years of Christianity, Christians had to interact with both the government and with the surrounding, mostly pagan society from a position of weakness. However, with Constantine's acceptance of Christianity and its growing influence in government, Christians' relationships with the non-Christian majority changed.
1. In what ways did Christians, or at least the Christian emperors, attempt to change the traditional pagan culture? What does this reveal about what they thought would characterize a Christian empire?
2. The three accounts of Hypatia's death present different versions of the motives behind this event. What explanations are given by the different authors?