Week 11

Week 11: Wednesday, January 8, 2020
Greek Colonies

"The 'frontier mentality' articulated in the Odyssey is related to archaeologically identifiable manifestations of Greek colonization, reflecting the outlook of “proto-colonial” Greek traders, who needed to amass money and influence before they could launch an expedition aimed at creating a completely new settlement. Many Greeks from the eighth to sixth centuries were restless and on the move. Intrepid individuals left established communities in mainland Greece and on the western coast of Asia to form settlements far away, thus creating the distinctive map of ancient Greece,
Edith Hall. Introducing the Ancient Greeks: From Bronze Age Seafarers to Navigators of the Western Mind

SEE BELOW LINK TO PDF COPY OF LECTURE WEEK 11
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RECOMMENDED READING BOOK 1

Edith Hall,

Introducing the Ancient Greeks: From Bronze Age Seafarers to Navigators of the Western Mind,

W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (June 16, 2014),

ISBN 0393239985

This is the best one-volume introduction to the Ancient Greeks that I have ever read. It is in a beautiful hardcover edition that is very reasonable in cost. Get it. You will be happy to have it all year.

“Penetrating…Ms. Hall is an engaging writer and an acute scholar.”
- James Romm, Wall Street Journal

“[Hall’s] book is a hearty, delightful voyage through 2,000 years of Greek history, written with wit and verve and deep insight.”
- Mark Gamin, Cleveland Plain Dealer

“In Edith Hall’s new and groundbreaking study of ancient Greek culture, society, and mentality over a millennium and more, from Agamemnon to Constantine, she acutely identifies and brilliantly explains why we simply cannot do without the ancient Greeks.”
- Paul Cartledge, A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture, University of Cambridge, and the author of The Greeks: A Portrait of Self and Others

RECOMMENDED READING BOOK 2

Josiah Ober,

The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece,

Princeton University Press; 1st Edition edition (May 4, 2015),

ISBN 069114091X

The second great book we have for our winter quarter is from Josiah Ober at Stanford University. Professor Ober has just lectured at the Institute in December of 2019, and we hope he can return. This study of Classical Greece with special emphasis on Athens is our best introduction to that magnificent world of Pericles and Sophocles. The beautiful hardcover edition (with Kindle available) is still selling on Amazon.

Review
"This challenging book is like no other history of the ancient world. . . . [Ober] produces some engaging and striking analyses of familiar historical episodes." (American Historical Review)

"A fresh and vigorous account about the roots of democracy."---Brian A. Pavlac, Canadian Journal of History

"In the late fourth century B.C., Aristotle and his students collected the constitutions of more than 150 […] city-states. The scholar who would today follow in Aristotle's footsteps has to deal with a far more formidable mass of data. Few of today's scholars control more of this data, or write about it more insightfully, than Josiah Ober. [T]hose willing to put in the effort will learn much from the deep meditations of an expert historian and political philosopher."---James Romm, Wall Street Journal

"An attractive, informative, and timely picture of Greece from Homer to Aristotle. . . . It's an absorbing story full of excitement, drama and hope."---Evaggelos Valiantos, Huffington Post,

"Intriguing. . . . [Y]ou can think of this book as how an economist might think about ancient Greece."---Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

"One of HistoryBuff.com’s 10 Can’t-Miss History Books of 2015"

"[T]his could turn out to be Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire for classical Greece."---Jonathan Sturgeon, Flavorwire

"One of Flavorwire’s 10 Must-Read Academic Books for 2015"

"Remarkable. . . . [The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece] deserves a very broad readership in political science across subfields. It brings Greek antiquity into the 21st century."―S. Sara Monoson, Perspectives on Politics

"In this exemplary book, Josiah Ober, one of the foremost international authorities on ancient Greek political, economic, and intellectual history, persuasively explains why and how ancient Greek communities and individuals managed―and sometimes failed―to flourish culturally and materially."―Paul Cartledge, author of The Spartans: The World of the Warrior-Heroes of Ancient Greece

"This is a groundbreaking book on the ancient world. Displaying the narrative skill of a master historian, The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece is must reading."―Barry Strauss, author of The Death of Caesar: The Story of History's Greatest Assassination

12

Week 12: Wednesday, January 15, 2020
The Persian Wars

By 500 BC, the successful Greek colonies along the coast of Asia Minor were becoming a constant irritant to the large Persian Empire that claimed this territory as theirs. Finally, by the end of the 6th Century, the Persian leaders decided to invade European lands across the Hellespont, and defeat the Greek homeland once and for all. Thus, from the early 400s, mainland Greece was the target of one of the largest invasions in ancient history. The author who writes all about this is Herodotus. We call him the "first historian" of the West. And when we say that, we mean that he is the first person we know about to sit down and assemble documents, and travels to locations, and interview participants, and then to attempt to tell the whole story in human terms.

SEE BELOW THE LINK TO PDF COPY OF LECTURE WEEK 12
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RECOMMENDED READING

Tom Holland,

Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West,

Anchor; Reprint edition (June 12, 2007),

ISBN 0307279480

Herodotus,

The Histories,

Translated by Tom Holland,

Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (May 19, 2015),

ISBN 0143107542

13

Week 13: Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Aeschylus

Aeschylus 525 – 455 BC, was an ancient Greek tragedian. He is often described as the father of tragedy. Our understanding of the genre begins with his work, and understanding of earlier tragedies is largely based on inferences from his surviving plays. According to Aristotle, he expanded the number of characters in the theater and allowed conflict among them; characters previously had interacted only with the chorus. Only seven of his estimated seventy to ninety plays have survived. Fragments of some other plays have survived in quotations and more continue to be discovered on Egyptian papyrus, often giving us surprising insights into his work. He was probably the first dramatist to present plays as a trilogy; his Oresteia is the only ancient example of the form to have survived. At least one of his plays was influenced by the Persians' second invasion of Greece (480–479 BC). This work, The Persians, is the only surviving classical Greek tragedy concerned with contemporary events (very few of that kind were ever written), and a useful source of information about its period. The significance of war in Ancient Greek culture was so great that Aeschylus' epitaph commemorates his participation in the Greek victory at Marathonwhile making no mention of his success as a playwright. (Wikipedia)

SEE BELOW LINK TO PDF FOR WEEK 13 LECTURE
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REQUIRED READING

Aeschylus,

The Oresteia: Agamemnon; The Libation Bearers; The Eumenides,

Robert Fagles, Translator,

Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (February 7, 1984),

ISBN 0140443339

14

Week 14: Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Athens in 480 BC: Salamis

After the defeat of the Persians, Athens led by Pericles began a program of rebuilding. The architectural projects reflected a larger civic confidence. The confidence was manifested not only in buildings but also in institutions. Most important of all was the building of a large true democratic state at the center of the great Greek world community. The Golden Age extends from 460 BC when the Greeks defeat on of the many Persian invasions to 431 BC when trouble among the Greek alliance leads to the Peloponnesian War.

SEE BELOW THE LINK TO PDF COPY OF LECTURE WEEK 14 MAIN SUBJECT: PERSIAN WARS AND BATTLE OF SALAMIS
WHICH IS WHAT INITIATES THE GOLDEN AGE
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RECOMMENDED READING

Edith Hall,

Introducing the Ancient Greeks: From Bronze Age Seafarers to Navigators of the Western Mind,

W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (June 16, 2014),

ISBN 0393239985

Donald Kagan,

Pericles Of Athens And The Birth Of Democracy,

Free Press (October 1, 1998),

ISBN 0684863952

Kagan is well known for his four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War ( The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War , LJ 1/5/70; The Archidamian War , 1974; The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition , 1981; The Fall of the Athenian Empire , 1987, all Cornell Univ. Pr.). His latest work is the first genuine biography of Pericles in English since A.R. Burn's Pericles and Athens (1949) and the most spirited defense of the Athenian democracy since W.G. Forrest's The Emergence of Greek Democracy (1966). The book is a lively and thoughtful chronicle of the years leading up to and into the great war between the Athenians and Spartans. Pericles is cast as the tragic hero whose flaw is the very rationality with which he so skillfully guided the Athenians and forged an empire. Contrary to the charges of both ancient and modern critics, Kagan argues that the democracy was a rational, deliberate, and moderate regime, and Pericles is portrayed as the consummate visionary political leader whose great mistake was to expect everyone to think and behave as rationally as he did. This learned and passionate book is sure to cause controversy and is recommended to both academic and public libraries.
- V. Bradley Lewis, Univ. of Notre Dame, Ind.

Jim Lacey,

The First Clash: The Miraculous Greek Victory at Marathon and Its Impact on Western Civilization,

Bantam,

ISBN 055380734X

15

Week 15: Wednesday, February 5, 2020
The Parthenon

The Parthenon is a former temple on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron. Construction began in 447 BC when the Athenian state was at the peak of its power. It was completed in 438 BC, although decoration of the building continued until 432 BC. It is the most important surviving building of Classical Greece. Its decorative sculptures are considered some of the high points of Greek art. The Parthenon is regarded as an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece, Athenian democracy and Western civilization, and one of the world's greatest cultural monuments. To the Athenians who built it, the Parthenon and other Periclean monuments of the Acropolis were seen fundamentally as a celebration of Hellenic victory over the Persian invaders and as a thanksgiving to the gods for that victory. As of 2018 the Greek Ministry of Culture was carrying out a programme of selective restoration and reconstruction to ensure the stability of the partially ruined structure. (Wikipedia)

SEE BELOW THE PDF COPY OF LECTURE WEEK 15 ON PARTHENON
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Let us add that the Parthenon is the most influential building in the entire history of Western architecture.

The magnificent night photo of the Acropolis is by Terry Allen (Flickr)

RECOMMENDED READING

Peter Green,

The Parthenon,

Newsweek (January 1, 1973),

ISBN 0882250272

16

Week 16: Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Sophocles: Antione

 

 

Athens and the Golden Age

Athens: 450 BC

Pericles, Sophocles

 

SEE BEELOW A LINK TO THE PDF COPY OF LECTURE WEEK  16 (Antigone)

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REQUIRED READING

WE WILL READ ANTIGONE IN THIS COLECTION...PENGUIN CLASSICS...ROBERT FAGELS TRANSLATOR

Sophocles,

Three Theban Plays,

translated by Robert Fagels,

Penguin Classics,

ISBN 0140444254

17

Week 17: Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Alcibiades

Alcibiades (c. 450–404 BC)is the most interesting leader in the later Athenian democracy as it faced demands for an empire and failed to live up to its own democratic ideals. The international event that manifests the failure of Athenian democracy is the Peloponnesian War in which Alcibiades was a major figure. He "was a prominent Athenian statesman, orator, and general. He was the last famous member of his mother's aristocratic family, the Alcmaeonidae, which fell from prominence after the Peloponnesian War. He played a major role in the second half of that conflict as a strategic advisor, military commander, and politician. During the course of the Peloponnesian War, Alcibiades changed his political allegiance several times. In his native Athens in the early 410s BC, he advocated an aggressive foreign policy and was a prominent proponent of the Sicilian Expedition, but he fled to Sparta after his political enemies brought charges of sacrilege against him. In Sparta, he served as a strategic adviser, proposing or supervising several major campaigns against Athens. In Sparta too, however, Alcibiades soon made powerful enemies and felt forced to defect to Persia." (Wikipedia)

SEE BELOW THE LINK TO THE LECTURE WEEK 17: ALCIBIADES
You will notice that the PDF contains more than we covered in class. So you may profit from reviewing the PDF even if you were in class.
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RECOMMENDED READING

David Stuttard,

Nemesis: Alcibiades and the Fall of Athens,

Harvard University Press; First Edition edition (April 16, 2018),

ISBN 0674660447

18

Week 18: Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Euripedes

We have more surviving plays from the hand of Euripedes than that of Sophocles and they are from a later date. And therefore Euripedes gives us an insight into what was happening in Golden Age Greece in the later years of the 5th century BC. He shows us the religious doubt, the civic questioning, the moral confusion. His theatrical genius completes the picture of 5th century Greece that begins the century with the challenge of the Persians, confronts and defeats the Persians, rebuilds the society in a burst of enthusiasm, and then falls into decay in the last decades.
"Euripides (486-406 BC) is identified with theatrical innovations that have profoundly influenced drama down to modern times, especially in the representation of traditional, mythical heroes as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. This new approach led him to pioneer developments that later writers adapted to comedy, some of which are characteristic of romance. Yet he also became "the most tragic of poets",[nb 1] focusing on the inner lives and motives of his characters in a way previously unknown. He was "the creator of...that cage which is the theatre of Shakespeare's Othello, Racine's Phèdre, of Ibsen and Strindberg," in which "...imprisoned men and women destroy each other by the intensity of their loves and hates", and yet he was also the literary ancestor of comic dramatists as diverse as Menander and George Bernard Shaw." (Wikipedia)

 

SEE BELOW THE LINK TO A PDF COPY OF LECTURE WEEK 18: The Bacchae

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REQUIRED READING

WE WILL READ THE BACCHAE for class

Euripides,

The Bacchae and Other Plays,

Penguin Classics,

ISBN 0140447261

19

Week 19: Wednesday, March 4, 2020
The Peloponnesian War

The Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) was an ancient Greek war fought by the Delian League led by Athens against the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. Historians have traditionally divided the war into three phases. In the first phase, the Archidamian War, Sparta launched repeated invasions of Attica, while Athens took advantage of its naval supremacy to raid the coast of the Peloponnese and attempt to suppress signs of unrest in its empire. This period of the war was concluded in 421 BC, with the signing of the Peace of Nicias. That treaty, however, was soon undermined by renewed fighting in the Peloponnese. In 415 BC, Athens dispatched a massive expeditionary force to attack Syracuse, Sicily; the attack failed disastrously, with the destruction of the entire force in 413 BC. This ushered in the final phase of the war, generally referred to either as the Decelean War, or the Ionian War. In this phase, Sparta, now receiving support from the Achaemenid Empire, supported rebellions in Athens's subject states in the Aegean Sea and Ionia, undermining Athens's empire, and, eventually, depriving the city of naval supremacy. The destruction of Athens's fleet in the Battle of Aegospotami effectively ended the war, and Athens surrendered in the following year. Corinthand Thebes demanded that Athens should be destroyed and all its citizens should be enslaved, but Sparta refused. (Wikipedia)

SEE BELOW A LINK TO THE PDF COPY OF THE LECTURE FOR WEEK 19
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RECOMMENDED READING

Victor Davis Hanson,

A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War,

Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (September 12, 2006),

ISBN 0812969707

20

Week 20: Wednesday, March 11, 2020
The Greeks and Their History: Thucydides

The work of Thucydides "marks the longest and most decisive step that has ever been taken by a single man towards making history what it is today" J. B. Bury, (The Ancient Greek Historians. New York: Dover Publications, 1958)

"Thucydides wrote his History of the Peloponnesian War in almost impossibly difficult Greek. Maybe the contorted language has something to do with the novelty of his enterprise. Writing at the end of the fifth century BC, he was attempting something never done before: an aggressively rational, apparently impersonal analysis of the history of his own times, utterly free from religious modes of explanation. In Thucydides’ view, the Peloponnesian War, fought on and off for thirty years between the two leading Greek cities of Sparta and Athens, had to be understood with respect to human politics and power struggles, not—as Homer had earlier seen the Trojan War, or as Herodotus had explained the Greek wars against the Persians—by referring to quarrels among the gods on Mount Olympus. This was revolutionary." Mary Beard, in "Which Thucydides Can You Trust?" New York Review of Books, Sept. 30, 2010

The Greeks invented "history" and when we say that we mean they they created a new field of human endeavor in which the writer does research, collects documents, interviews witnesses, visits locales in his story and then tries to put it all together in a way that gives the readers a true picture of the past. The Jewish prophets whose work is preserved in the Hebrew Bible did not worry about the standards of history. They wanted to preserve God's truth. The Greek historian's thoguht it was possible for a human being to collect the evidence and write an accurate account of an event in the past. The master of this new discipline was Thucydides.

"Thucydides (460 –400 BC) was an Athenian historian and general. His History of the Peloponnesian War recounts the fifth-century BC war between Sparta and Athens until the year 411 BC. Thucydides has been dubbed the father of "scientific history" by those who accept his claims to have applied strict standards of impartiality and evidence-gathering and analysis of cause and effect, without reference to intervention by the deities, as outlined in his introduction to his work. He also has been called the father of the school of political realism, which views the political behavior of individuals and the subsequent outcomes of relations between states as ultimately mediated by and constructed upon the emotions of fear and self-interest. His text is still studied at universities and military colleges worldwide. The Melian dialogue is regarded as a seminal work of international relations theory, while his version of Pericles' Funeral Oration is widely studied by political theorists, historians, and students of the classics." (Wikipedia)

SEE BELOW A LINK TO THE PDF COPY OF LECTURE FOR WEEK 20
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RECOMMENDED READING

Thucydides,

On Justice, Power, and Human Nature: Selections from The History of the Peloponnesian War,

and Paul Woodruff,

Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (October 1, 1993),

ISBN 0872201686

Donald Kagan,

Thucydides: The Reinvention of History,

Brécourt Academic; First Edition edition (December 31, 2009),

ISBN 0670021296

All

Week 11: Wed., Jan. 8, 2020
Greek Colonies

"The 'frontier mentality' articulated in the Odyssey is related to archaeologically identifiable manifestations of Greek colonization, reflecting the outlook of “proto-colonial” Greek traders, who needed to amass money and influence before they could launch an expedition aimed at creating a completely new settlement. Many Greeks from the eighth to sixth centuries were restless and on the move. Intrepid individuals left established communities in mainland Greece and on the western coast of Asia to form settlements far away, thus creating the distinctive map of ancient Greece,
Edith Hall. Introducing the Ancient Greeks: From Bronze Age Seafarers to Navigators of the Western Mind

SEE BELOW LINK TO PDF COPY OF LECTURE WEEK 11
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RECOMMENDED READING BOOK 1

Edith Hall,

Introducing the Ancient Greeks: From Bronze Age Seafarers to Navigators of the Western Mind,

W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (June 16, 2014),

ISBN 0393239985

This is the best one-volume introduction to the Ancient Greeks that I have ever read. It is in a beautiful hardcover edition that is very reasonable in cost. Get it. You will be happy to have it all year.

“Penetrating…Ms. Hall is an engaging writer and an acute scholar.”
- James Romm, Wall Street Journal

“[Hall’s] book is a hearty, delightful voyage through 2,000 years of Greek history, written with wit and verve and deep insight.”
- Mark Gamin, Cleveland Plain Dealer

“In Edith Hall’s new and groundbreaking study of ancient Greek culture, society, and mentality over a millennium and more, from Agamemnon to Constantine, she acutely identifies and brilliantly explains why we simply cannot do without the ancient Greeks.”
- Paul Cartledge, A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture, University of Cambridge, and the author of The Greeks: A Portrait of Self and Others

RECOMMENDED READING BOOK 2

Josiah Ober,

The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece,

Princeton University Press; 1st Edition edition (May 4, 2015),

ISBN 069114091X

The second great book we have for our winter quarter is from Josiah Ober at Stanford University. Professor Ober has just lectured at the Institute in December of 2019, and we hope he can return. This study of Classical Greece with special emphasis on Athens is our best introduction to that magnificent world of Pericles and Sophocles. The beautiful hardcover edition (with Kindle available) is still selling on Amazon.

Review
"This challenging book is like no other history of the ancient world. . . . [Ober] produces some engaging and striking analyses of familiar historical episodes." (American Historical Review)

"A fresh and vigorous account about the roots of democracy."---Brian A. Pavlac, Canadian Journal of History

"In the late fourth century B.C., Aristotle and his students collected the constitutions of more than 150 […] city-states. The scholar who would today follow in Aristotle's footsteps has to deal with a far more formidable mass of data. Few of today's scholars control more of this data, or write about it more insightfully, than Josiah Ober. [T]hose willing to put in the effort will learn much from the deep meditations of an expert historian and political philosopher."---James Romm, Wall Street Journal

"An attractive, informative, and timely picture of Greece from Homer to Aristotle. . . . It's an absorbing story full of excitement, drama and hope."---Evaggelos Valiantos, Huffington Post,

"Intriguing. . . . [Y]ou can think of this book as how an economist might think about ancient Greece."---Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

"One of HistoryBuff.com’s 10 Can’t-Miss History Books of 2015"

"[T]his could turn out to be Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire for classical Greece."---Jonathan Sturgeon, Flavorwire

"One of Flavorwire’s 10 Must-Read Academic Books for 2015"

"Remarkable. . . . [The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece] deserves a very broad readership in political science across subfields. It brings Greek antiquity into the 21st century."―S. Sara Monoson, Perspectives on Politics

"In this exemplary book, Josiah Ober, one of the foremost international authorities on ancient Greek political, economic, and intellectual history, persuasively explains why and how ancient Greek communities and individuals managed―and sometimes failed―to flourish culturally and materially."―Paul Cartledge, author of The Spartans: The World of the Warrior-Heroes of Ancient Greece

"This is a groundbreaking book on the ancient world. Displaying the narrative skill of a master historian, The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece is must reading."―Barry Strauss, author of The Death of Caesar: The Story of History's Greatest Assassination

Week 12: Wed., Jan. 15, 2020
The Persian Wars

By 500 BC, the successful Greek colonies along the coast of Asia Minor were becoming a constant irritant to the large Persian Empire that claimed this territory as theirs. Finally, by the end of the 6th Century, the Persian leaders decided to invade European lands across the Hellespont, and defeat the Greek homeland once and for all. Thus, from the early 400s, mainland Greece was the target of one of the largest invasions in ancient history. The author who writes all about this is Herodotus. We call him the "first historian" of the West. And when we say that, we mean that he is the first person we know about to sit down and assemble documents, and travels to locations, and interview participants, and then to attempt to tell the whole story in human terms.

SEE BELOW THE LINK TO PDF COPY OF LECTURE WEEK 12
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RECOMMENDED READING

Tom Holland,

Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West,

Anchor; Reprint edition (June 12, 2007),

ISBN 0307279480

Herodotus,

The Histories,

Translated by Tom Holland,

Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (May 19, 2015),

ISBN 0143107542

Week 13: Wed., Jan. 22, 2020
Aeschylus

Aeschylus 525 – 455 BC, was an ancient Greek tragedian. He is often described as the father of tragedy. Our understanding of the genre begins with his work, and understanding of earlier tragedies is largely based on inferences from his surviving plays. According to Aristotle, he expanded the number of characters in the theater and allowed conflict among them; characters previously had interacted only with the chorus. Only seven of his estimated seventy to ninety plays have survived. Fragments of some other plays have survived in quotations and more continue to be discovered on Egyptian papyrus, often giving us surprising insights into his work. He was probably the first dramatist to present plays as a trilogy; his Oresteia is the only ancient example of the form to have survived. At least one of his plays was influenced by the Persians' second invasion of Greece (480–479 BC). This work, The Persians, is the only surviving classical Greek tragedy concerned with contemporary events (very few of that kind were ever written), and a useful source of information about its period. The significance of war in Ancient Greek culture was so great that Aeschylus' epitaph commemorates his participation in the Greek victory at Marathonwhile making no mention of his success as a playwright. (Wikipedia)

SEE BELOW LINK TO PDF FOR WEEK 13 LECTURE
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REQUIRED READING

Aeschylus,

The Oresteia: Agamemnon; The Libation Bearers; The Eumenides,

Robert Fagles, Translator,

Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (February 7, 1984),

ISBN 0140443339

Week 14: Wed., Jan. 29, 2020
Athens in 480 BC: Salamis

After the defeat of the Persians, Athens led by Pericles began a program of rebuilding. The architectural projects reflected a larger civic confidence. The confidence was manifested not only in buildings but also in institutions. Most important of all was the building of a large true democratic state at the center of the great Greek world community. The Golden Age extends from 460 BC when the Greeks defeat on of the many Persian invasions to 431 BC when trouble among the Greek alliance leads to the Peloponnesian War.

SEE BELOW THE LINK TO PDF COPY OF LECTURE WEEK 14 MAIN SUBJECT: PERSIAN WARS AND BATTLE OF SALAMIS
WHICH IS WHAT INITIATES THE GOLDEN AGE
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RECOMMENDED READING

Edith Hall,

Introducing the Ancient Greeks: From Bronze Age Seafarers to Navigators of the Western Mind,

W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (June 16, 2014),

ISBN 0393239985

Donald Kagan,

Pericles Of Athens And The Birth Of Democracy,

Free Press (October 1, 1998),

ISBN 0684863952

Kagan is well known for his four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War ( The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War , LJ 1/5/70; The Archidamian War , 1974; The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition , 1981; The Fall of the Athenian Empire , 1987, all Cornell Univ. Pr.). His latest work is the first genuine biography of Pericles in English since A.R. Burn's Pericles and Athens (1949) and the most spirited defense of the Athenian democracy since W.G. Forrest's The Emergence of Greek Democracy (1966). The book is a lively and thoughtful chronicle of the years leading up to and into the great war between the Athenians and Spartans. Pericles is cast as the tragic hero whose flaw is the very rationality with which he so skillfully guided the Athenians and forged an empire. Contrary to the charges of both ancient and modern critics, Kagan argues that the democracy was a rational, deliberate, and moderate regime, and Pericles is portrayed as the consummate visionary political leader whose great mistake was to expect everyone to think and behave as rationally as he did. This learned and passionate book is sure to cause controversy and is recommended to both academic and public libraries.
- V. Bradley Lewis, Univ. of Notre Dame, Ind.

Jim Lacey,

The First Clash: The Miraculous Greek Victory at Marathon and Its Impact on Western Civilization,

Bantam,

ISBN 055380734X

Week 15: Wed., Feb. 5, 2020
The Parthenon

The Parthenon is a former temple on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron. Construction began in 447 BC when the Athenian state was at the peak of its power. It was completed in 438 BC, although decoration of the building continued until 432 BC. It is the most important surviving building of Classical Greece. Its decorative sculptures are considered some of the high points of Greek art. The Parthenon is regarded as an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece, Athenian democracy and Western civilization, and one of the world's greatest cultural monuments. To the Athenians who built it, the Parthenon and other Periclean monuments of the Acropolis were seen fundamentally as a celebration of Hellenic victory over the Persian invaders and as a thanksgiving to the gods for that victory. As of 2018 the Greek Ministry of Culture was carrying out a programme of selective restoration and reconstruction to ensure the stability of the partially ruined structure. (Wikipedia)

SEE BELOW THE PDF COPY OF LECTURE WEEK 15 ON PARTHENON
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Let us add that the Parthenon is the most influential building in the entire history of Western architecture.

The magnificent night photo of the Acropolis is by Terry Allen (Flickr)

RECOMMENDED READING

Peter Green,

The Parthenon,

Newsweek (January 1, 1973),

ISBN 0882250272

Week 16: Wed., Feb. 12, 2020
Sophocles: Antione

 

 

Athens and the Golden Age

Athens: 450 BC

Pericles, Sophocles

 

SEE BEELOW A LINK TO THE PDF COPY OF LECTURE WEEK  16 (Antigone)

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REQUIRED READING

WE WILL READ ANTIGONE IN THIS COLECTION...PENGUIN CLASSICS...ROBERT FAGELS TRANSLATOR

Sophocles,

Three Theban Plays,

translated by Robert Fagels,

Penguin Classics,

ISBN 0140444254

Week 17: Wed., Feb. 19, 2020
Alcibiades

Alcibiades (c. 450–404 BC)is the most interesting leader in the later Athenian democracy as it faced demands for an empire and failed to live up to its own democratic ideals. The international event that manifests the failure of Athenian democracy is the Peloponnesian War in which Alcibiades was a major figure. He "was a prominent Athenian statesman, orator, and general. He was the last famous member of his mother's aristocratic family, the Alcmaeonidae, which fell from prominence after the Peloponnesian War. He played a major role in the second half of that conflict as a strategic advisor, military commander, and politician. During the course of the Peloponnesian War, Alcibiades changed his political allegiance several times. In his native Athens in the early 410s BC, he advocated an aggressive foreign policy and was a prominent proponent of the Sicilian Expedition, but he fled to Sparta after his political enemies brought charges of sacrilege against him. In Sparta, he served as a strategic adviser, proposing or supervising several major campaigns against Athens. In Sparta too, however, Alcibiades soon made powerful enemies and felt forced to defect to Persia." (Wikipedia)

SEE BELOW THE LINK TO THE LECTURE WEEK 17: ALCIBIADES
You will notice that the PDF contains more than we covered in class. So you may profit from reviewing the PDF even if you were in class.
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RECOMMENDED READING

David Stuttard,

Nemesis: Alcibiades and the Fall of Athens,

Harvard University Press; First Edition edition (April 16, 2018),

ISBN 0674660447

Week 18: Wed., Feb. 26, 2020
Euripedes

We have more surviving plays from the hand of Euripedes than that of Sophocles and they are from a later date. And therefore Euripedes gives us an insight into what was happening in Golden Age Greece in the later years of the 5th century BC. He shows us the religious doubt, the civic questioning, the moral confusion. His theatrical genius completes the picture of 5th century Greece that begins the century with the challenge of the Persians, confronts and defeats the Persians, rebuilds the society in a burst of enthusiasm, and then falls into decay in the last decades.
"Euripides (486-406 BC) is identified with theatrical innovations that have profoundly influenced drama down to modern times, especially in the representation of traditional, mythical heroes as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. This new approach led him to pioneer developments that later writers adapted to comedy, some of which are characteristic of romance. Yet he also became "the most tragic of poets",[nb 1] focusing on the inner lives and motives of his characters in a way previously unknown. He was "the creator of...that cage which is the theatre of Shakespeare's Othello, Racine's Phèdre, of Ibsen and Strindberg," in which "...imprisoned men and women destroy each other by the intensity of their loves and hates", and yet he was also the literary ancestor of comic dramatists as diverse as Menander and George Bernard Shaw." (Wikipedia)

 

SEE BELOW THE LINK TO A PDF COPY OF LECTURE WEEK 18: The Bacchae

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REQUIRED READING

WE WILL READ THE BACCHAE for class

Euripides,

The Bacchae and Other Plays,

Penguin Classics,

ISBN 0140447261

Week 19: Wed., Mar. 4, 2020
The Peloponnesian War

The Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) was an ancient Greek war fought by the Delian League led by Athens against the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. Historians have traditionally divided the war into three phases. In the first phase, the Archidamian War, Sparta launched repeated invasions of Attica, while Athens took advantage of its naval supremacy to raid the coast of the Peloponnese and attempt to suppress signs of unrest in its empire. This period of the war was concluded in 421 BC, with the signing of the Peace of Nicias. That treaty, however, was soon undermined by renewed fighting in the Peloponnese. In 415 BC, Athens dispatched a massive expeditionary force to attack Syracuse, Sicily; the attack failed disastrously, with the destruction of the entire force in 413 BC. This ushered in the final phase of the war, generally referred to either as the Decelean War, or the Ionian War. In this phase, Sparta, now receiving support from the Achaemenid Empire, supported rebellions in Athens's subject states in the Aegean Sea and Ionia, undermining Athens's empire, and, eventually, depriving the city of naval supremacy. The destruction of Athens's fleet in the Battle of Aegospotami effectively ended the war, and Athens surrendered in the following year. Corinthand Thebes demanded that Athens should be destroyed and all its citizens should be enslaved, but Sparta refused. (Wikipedia)

SEE BELOW A LINK TO THE PDF COPY OF THE LECTURE FOR WEEK 19
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RECOMMENDED READING

Victor Davis Hanson,

A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War,

Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (September 12, 2006),

ISBN 0812969707

Week 20: Wed., Mar. 11, 2020
The Greeks and Their History: Thucydides

The work of Thucydides "marks the longest and most decisive step that has ever been taken by a single man towards making history what it is today" J. B. Bury, (The Ancient Greek Historians. New York: Dover Publications, 1958)

"Thucydides wrote his History of the Peloponnesian War in almost impossibly difficult Greek. Maybe the contorted language has something to do with the novelty of his enterprise. Writing at the end of the fifth century BC, he was attempting something never done before: an aggressively rational, apparently impersonal analysis of the history of his own times, utterly free from religious modes of explanation. In Thucydides’ view, the Peloponnesian War, fought on and off for thirty years between the two leading Greek cities of Sparta and Athens, had to be understood with respect to human politics and power struggles, not—as Homer had earlier seen the Trojan War, or as Herodotus had explained the Greek wars against the Persians—by referring to quarrels among the gods on Mount Olympus. This was revolutionary." Mary Beard, in "Which Thucydides Can You Trust?" New York Review of Books, Sept. 30, 2010

The Greeks invented "history" and when we say that we mean they they created a new field of human endeavor in which the writer does research, collects documents, interviews witnesses, visits locales in his story and then tries to put it all together in a way that gives the readers a true picture of the past. The Jewish prophets whose work is preserved in the Hebrew Bible did not worry about the standards of history. They wanted to preserve God's truth. The Greek historian's thoguht it was possible for a human being to collect the evidence and write an accurate account of an event in the past. The master of this new discipline was Thucydides.

"Thucydides (460 –400 BC) was an Athenian historian and general. His History of the Peloponnesian War recounts the fifth-century BC war between Sparta and Athens until the year 411 BC. Thucydides has been dubbed the father of "scientific history" by those who accept his claims to have applied strict standards of impartiality and evidence-gathering and analysis of cause and effect, without reference to intervention by the deities, as outlined in his introduction to his work. He also has been called the father of the school of political realism, which views the political behavior of individuals and the subsequent outcomes of relations between states as ultimately mediated by and constructed upon the emotions of fear and self-interest. His text is still studied at universities and military colleges worldwide. The Melian dialogue is regarded as a seminal work of international relations theory, while his version of Pericles' Funeral Oration is widely studied by political theorists, historians, and students of the classics." (Wikipedia)

SEE BELOW A LINK TO THE PDF COPY OF LECTURE FOR WEEK 20
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RECOMMENDED READING

Thucydides,

On Justice, Power, and Human Nature: Selections from The History of the Peloponnesian War,

and Paul Woodruff,

Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (October 1, 1993),

ISBN 0872201686

Donald Kagan,

Thucydides: The Reinvention of History,

Brécourt Academic; First Edition edition (December 31, 2009),

ISBN 0670021296