History | Democracy in Ancient Greece
C300 | 27533 | Robinson
Above class open to undergraduates and Education MA’s only
This course examines the origin, nature, and importance of ancient
Greek democracy, which first appeared in the city-states of Greece
over 2500 years ago. The famous example of Athens attracts much of
our attention, but we will also consider the democratic experiences
of other Greek city-states. The first half of the course looks at
the development of democracy chronologically, beginning with the
earliest signs of Greek egalitarianism and ending with the
appearance of fully democratic governments in Athens and elsewhere.
The second main part of the course studies the ideals and
institutions of ancient democracy in the context of Greek society as
a whole. The final week or so of the course touches on points of
contact between the ancient and modern democratic experience.
Students will complete readings from ancient authors in translation
paired with works from modern scholars, and discuss these readings
in weekly section meetings. One short paper (and very brief reaction
papers for the discussion sections) combine with a midterm and final
exam for the major requirements of the course.