Ancient Athens

Sophocles wrote his play, Oedipus Rex, during a time of great prosperity in Ancient Athens in 460 BCE. The city was experimenting with democracy, citizens were frequenting the theater, and great advancements were being made in the sciences. This time was known as the Classical Era or the Hellenic Era. The character of King Oedipus was not Sophocles' invention. Rather, he is a mythological king and it is likely that his story was already familiar to the Sophocles' audience. The play, nonetheless, won prestigious fame from the Athenians. Prior to reading the play, we are going to learn a little more about who the author was, what was happening at the time he wrote the play, and the relationship between Athenian culture values and this work of drama.

Final Product:

In order to understand why this play was so important (and perhaps why it is still so important), we are going to study different facets of Greek life in Ancient Athens. In a group of 3-4 people, you will be assigned a specific Ancient Greek value. Each group will use Google Slides to produce a presentation for the class and share their work via an oral presentation.

Your presentation should include:

  • A definition of the value
  • 3-5 examples of how Ancient Greeks integrated this value into their daily lives
  • 1-2 examples of how this value is present in our lives today
  • A works cited page

Group 1: Kleos

Group 2: Catharsis

Group 3: Dike [dee-kay]

Group 4: Sophrosyne [suh-fros-uh-nee]

Group 5: Demokratia

Group 6: Oikos

Group 7: Theoi

What to do:

Step 1: Use the pages above to find resources about different aspects of Greek life. Spend 10-15 minutes browsing the websites to become familiar with the provided information. You will need to do research beyond what I have provided here.

Step 2: Work with your group to decide who will be responsible for what information and assign homework tasks.

Step 3: Using Google Slides, create a presentation that is informative and easy to read. Please use visuals when appropriate. You will have one-two blocks to work in class, but you will have more work to do at home, during I-blocks, or after school. You will need to decide how to complete the project outside of class.

Step 4: Decide who will present what information to the class. Each group member must speak and will be graded individually on his/her oral presentation skills.

Step 5: Practice your presentation! Review the rubric for grading expectations.

Oral Presentation Rubric