Greek Civilization

Spring 2009

Greek Civilization. We examine and appreciate Greek civilization from its beginnings in the eastern world to its demise at the hands of Rome. We look at the only democracy--other than ours--to last over one hundred years. Our concepts of equality before the law and first considerations of social justice also begin with the Greek reinterpretation of Eastern thought. We explore the art, literature, and philosophy that still speaks to us and has meaning for us after two thousand years.

This year, we added a short section on how to recognize climate change in the archaeological record and added some implications of the drought of around 700.





  1. "Ancient Greece--a Political, Social, and Cultural History," by Sarah Pomeroy, Stanley Burstein, Walter Donlan, and Jennifer Roberts. Abbreviated as: Anct Gr.
  2. "Classics in Translation," by MacKendrick and Howe. Abbreviated as" Mack.
  3. "Ten Greek Plays," by Lind. Abbreviated as "Ten Plays."
EXAMINATIONS. There are three examinations in this course. They have all been listed since the first day of the course. Make up exams are the RARE exception, not the rule, and are allowed only at the discretion of the instructors; such matters must be arranged in writing no fewer than forty-eight hours in advance of the regularly scheduled exam time. Only extreme, valid, documented emergencies are the exception to this rule. We have an honor code at Southwestern; it has always seemed unfair to your instructor that your inability to plan should give you an advantage over other students.
Exam Number One is February 4
Exam Number Two is March 25

THE FINAL EXAMINATION IS THURSDAY, May 7, from 8:30--11:30 (except for graduating seniors); the final exam is on material from the latter part of the class and is not inclusive (it's an exam, not the Olympics!).

TEN-FIFTEEN PAGE PAPER. This paper (paper topic due Feb. 16, rough draft due Mar. 6), due Mar. 30, is on an ancient work of literature illustrating aspects of Greek civilization. The topic, selected by the student, must be approved by the instructor in advance. It may not be, so do not ask, on any piece of literature assigned for course readings at any time during the course.Deadlines are firm, penalities assessed for each day late as well as for improper or incomplete footnote or bibliography forms. One day ends and another begins at 5 p.m., so 5 points late for each day rough draft, 10 points each day late for final draft. Ten points deducted for improper or incomplete bibliography; ten points deducted for improper or incomplete footnotes. Intellectual honesty is a path worth following.

JOURNAL. Assigned readings, marked by an asterisk (*) on the syllabus provide the material for the journal. Each journal entry contains:
GROUP PROJECT. Students form groups of 2 or 3 to prepare a group project due the last three class meetings. The project will explore any aspect of Greek civilization not covered in class or a more in-depth look at an aspect of a subject in class. Each group will make a presentation of the project to class. Each group must provide an annotated bibliography with their presentation. They may present a power-point, or they may write and perform an original piece inspired by the class. Attendance is MANDATORY for all students at these classes--support your friends!  You get to be Socrates, Archimedes, Sappho, or anyone else and get to teach us something!!  Group project topic due date is March 11; Group Projects are April 6, April 8 and April 13; the project topics will be on the final exam so that your friends in class will appreciate any materials from which they may study!

ATTENDANCE.  Students are expected  to attend class.  Lectures and discussions are not re-runs of assignments.  Grade for preparation/class participation will be based upon attendance and upon participation in class discussion; class discussion means"quality" rather than "quantity."  Class participation should reveal preparation.

Students should feel free to express their OWN opinions.  Greek civilization, like all ancient civilizations, is only partly understood--much  is missing and we make reasoned assumptions as to the rest.  The important thing to keep in mind is an attitude of respect for each other, our classmates, and the ancient Greeks.  For further information, consult the SU Academic Rights for students.

The dates on this segue page are carved in stone:  the daily assignments and sometimes the journal entries will change, but the dates here are firm. 

Summary of dates carved in beautiful Greek script on stone:


The plus and minus grading system in effected at Southwestern will be used for final grades. The ancients were absolute giants in terms of math, science, and natural philosophy unlike your merely mortal instructor. If you feel that the grades have been average incorrectly, please do not hesitate to contact the instructor. Semester percentage averages will translate to the following letter grades (anything below 60 if a failure):

Grade Inclusive % Range GPA POINTS
A+ 96.7-100 4.00
A 93.4-96.6 4.00
A- 90.0-93.3 3.67
B+ 86.7-89.9 3.33
B 83.4-86.6 3.00
B- 80.0-83.3 2.67
C+ 76.7-79.9 2.33
C 73.4-76.6 2.00
C- 70.0-73.3 1.67
D+ 66.7-69.9 1.33
D 63.4-66.6 1.00
D- 60.0-63.3 0.67






How to contact the current instructor for Greek civilization? The instructor works part time and is on campus Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Office hours (Mood Bridwell 223) are one hour before class or by appointment, call 863-1554. ABOUT EMAIL: EMAIL ONLY GETS CHECKED MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY during normal working hours (8 am-5 pm). Do not expect that an email sent at 1 or 2 am will generate a response. Email seems to be a vehicle for many people as an opportunity to spew forth garbage, anger, or frustration. Please refrain from these emails--you may want to hold any emails for twenty four hours before sending them. The instructor PREFERS TO TALK TO STUDENTS INDIVIDUALLY or to READ HANDWRITTEN NOTES from them. Please take the time to make an appointment so we can get to know one another. It is really good that we respect one another and have professional discussions! It's a benefit of attending a small, liberal arts college that we get to know one another!

 Monday, January 12  Introduction, going over requirements  

Wednesday Jan. 14

Topography, Bronze Age AnctGr 1-50 (18-40)

See section on Lerna under "plans"
Friday Jan. 16

Bronze Age, Bronze Age Art AnctGr 1-50 (18-40)

Virtual Pylos Tour
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King holiday Holiday, no class Holiday
Wednesday Jan 21 09 Bronze Age Review Bronze Age review;
look over section on Bronze Age under docs

Friday Jan 23

Iron Age, history, art

AnctGr 51-84  (41-81)
Mon Jan 26 09

Iron Age
Mack13-48; **Bk. V, pp. 24-28

If you want to read it online (perseus) here are the assignments; BOOK I, 490-611; II 110-277; **V 432-448; VI 237-529, IX 600-713; XVI 1-95; 684-867;  XVIII 462-617; XXII 395-515; XXIV 471-691
Wed. Jan 28 09

Iron Age
Mack, 49-80.
Review AntGr  84-95

If you want to read it online (perseus) here are the assignments:  Book I, 1095, 325-382; IV 121-188; V 149-170, 313-493; VI whle book; VII 81-135; VIII 62-95; IX 181-336; X 210-245, 271-364, 373-399; XI 152-224; XII 154-200; XIV 1-147; XIX 465-507; XX 1-123.

Our "Teach-In" Day on Climate Change.  All universities are asking faculty to teach on climate change; well, in Ancient Athens starting around 700 BC, there was a drought, evidenced by wells being filled in.  This drought caused a high mortality rate and effected public policy; so I've added information about this under the tab "docs".
Fri Jan 30 09

Greece, Introduction and Overview
AnctGr 97-123 (82-109); look over section on "hoplite virtue" under "docs" tab
Mon Feb 2 09

Mack **88-91
FIRST JOURNAL DUE by 5 p.m.--submitted only on seque, note how the readings are due cleverly two whole days before the exam! 

Fri Feb 6 09

Archaic Art, Archaeology, Literature

NOTE:  THIS IS THE DAY OF THE BROWN SYMPOSIUM AND THERE IS A LECTURE ENDING DURING OUR CLASS SO WE CAN NOT HAVE CLASS; you ARE STILL responsible for the readings and the journal; we will try to squish two lectures together on Monday.
AnctGr  123-147 (109-130)
Mack *Better part p.94, *Passion p.96 (just these short poems; one by Archilochus and by Sappho;
see the Archilochus section under the "docs" tab

Monday Feb 9 09
Persian Wars
AnctGr 97-149;180-200
Mack*pp.121-122; pp.123-128 (note these pages are not marked with an asterisk--read this second set, but do not include them in journal),*Mack, pp.129-130.

Wednesday Feb 11 09
Persian Wars
Or, The Real 300
AnctGr  201-224

Under the "plans" tab are descriptions of the battles and also plans of the battles
Friday Feb 13 09

 Early ClassicalArt, Architecture, Literature AnctGr 242-253

Mack*Pythian 1, 5th Nemean, pp. 98-100; see also Pindar section.

This poem will be discussed in class; be prepared to DISCUSS IT.
Monday Feb 16 09 Early classical art and archaeology II

Paper Topic Due
Discussion of Paper Topic, Paper Topic Due Feb 16 5 pm, submit on seque; Click on "Paper Topic Approval" Tab for Paper Suggestions and Requirements

Ancient Greek Life

Fri Feb 20 09

Tragedy, part one

Justice & Vendetta in a Performance Culture
Aeschylus, "Agamemnon", in Ten Plays, read entire play, comment only on *lines 1372-1399, pp. 69-70
Mon Feb 23 09

Tragedy, part two Aeschylus, "Prometheus Bound," in Ten Plays, read entire play, comment only on *lines 1040-1053.

***PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE CLASS; think especially about justice and the references to tyranny and "might is right".  Think especially about the quotes on the webpage about the divine nature of justice.
Wed Feb 25 09

Intro. to Peloponnesian War

AnctGr 246-272
Mack*307-311 (note this section is for your journals!)

Anct Gr 272-301
Fri Feb 27 09

Tragedy, part three Anct Gr 272-301
Sophocles, "Antigone," in Ten Plays; see also the section on Sophocles and the broader picture
Monday Mar 2 09 Tragedy, part four; the web hand out is for both the "Suppliants" and the "Andromache" Euripides, "Suppliants", in Ten Plays

Tragedy, part five.
Please read the play and think about what values are described; please bring your books.
Euripides, "Andromache," in Ten Plays
Be prepared to discuss this play especially as regards the values, ethics, standards of the Periklean age
Friday Mar 6 09

Peloponnesian War

ROUGH DRAFT OF PAPER DUE--no electronic submissions allowed; bring to class or deliver to Mood-Bridwell 223 by 5 pm--remember the more you work on this paper, the better your final grade will be.  If you have never done footnotes or "sources cited" page (also known as bibliography), please try to do each and hand them in when you hand in your rough draft.  You want your grade to be good, so work hard on the rough draft!!!
AnctGr 316-348
Mack "Old Oligarch"*** 223-230
Monday Mar 9 09 Classical Art and Archaeology

Anct Gr review pp. 247-253; read
Wednesday Mar 11 09

Group Project Topic due at 5 pm; submit on seque--only one person needs to submit per group but name the others in your group.
Mack 231-259; comment *on numbers 34-46, pp. 239-243 and on numbers 85-97, pp. 248-249.  Note how there are NO links on this page; we will discuss Thucydides in class, so prepare.
Fri Mar 13 09

Spring Break Begins at 10 pm; yes, there is class.


Aristophanes, "Lysistrata", in Ten Plays, p. 365 ff.

****Comment in your journal on the parabasis.
Monday Mar. 23 09 Aftermath of War, immediate consequences


AnctGr 348-356
Mack *319-328

Wednesday March 25 2009
Friday Mar 27 09

AFTERMATH OF WAR, longer consequences

Anct Gr 356-364
Mack*337-340, *369-388
Monday Mar 30 09


; bring it to class or bring it to Mood-Bridwell 223 by 5 pm; no electronic submissions allowed.


AnctGr 371-393
Mack Demosthenes *286-296

Wednesday, April 1 09
Topography of Athens--city Learn  pictures
Friday, April 3 09  Topography of Olympia--sanctuary  Learn pictures
Monday April 6 09





no class no class
Monday April 13 09 Delphi, Sanctuary

NOTE THAT THIS IS A CHANGE; THIS HAD BEEN A GROUP PROJECT DATE; BUT, some people may be traveling back from Easter Break.  So, we can't really have a mandatory attendance policy.
Wednesday Apr 15 09

Friday April 17 09

Alexander, Alexander art

Anct Gr. 395-426
Monday April 20 09

Monday Apr. 23
Successors AnctGr 427-445
Wed April 22 09 Cosmopolis AnctGr 446-458
Mack *Theokritos, First Idyll, pp. 101-102
*Meleager pp. 103-104

Anct Gr 471-475
Friday Apr. 24 09
Hellenistic Science


AnctGr 460-463
Mack *312-314 (Archimedes) 


Monday April 27 09

Hellenistic Art and Architecture
AntGr 458-460

Wednesday April 29 09
Hellenistic Successors
Anct Gr 463-470 and
Friday May 1 09
Last Day of Classes

FINAL:  Thursday, May 7, 09; 8;30--11:30; emphasis on material from second exam and after
Rome Victorious

Course Evaluations
Anct Gr 471-475