History 203: Unit 2
Classical Greece, Fall 2020
The Rise and Fall of Democracy.
Guiding question: Was Athenian democracy a shining example for future democracies or a dismal failure whose example should be ignored?
18. Sparta and Athens
READ: Hellas, pp. 56-62 and HANDOUTS, "Lycurgus"
As you read, make four lists: one each for Sparta's and Athens' strengths and weaknesses.
19. Democracy in Athens
Hellas, pp. 63-71 and HANDOUTS, "Cleisthenes and the Ten Tribes," the diagram of the Athenian Government (splendidly drawn by Mr. Jordan himself), and KEANE, 30-41 ("The Pnyx").
As you do the readings, first pay close attention to the situation in Athens that led the aristocrats to empower Draco and Solon to enact their reforms. What problem or problems were they trying to solve? Just skim Plutarch's essay on Solon and choose a couple of examples of specific reforms and be ready to explain how they were supposed to address the problem(s). Then consider whether they would have moved Athens toward or away from democracy.
Make a list of the technologies, values and practices of Athenian democracy (or just circle them as you read). QF: Athenian democracy was radically different than American democracy and we could learn a thing or two from the Athenians' approach.
20. Persian Wars
READ: Hellas, pp. 78-97, and HANDOUTS, "Battle of Marathon" and Timeline of the Persian Wars (with Maps)
Look at the Timeline and maps first. When you read Herodotus, look for one passage that illustrates his approach to history and be prepared to explain it to the class. QF: The Greek victory over the Persians was a fluke.
21. Pericles and the Rise of Athenian imperialism
R1AD: Hellas, pp. 97-106, and KEANE, 62-70 ("Hubris").
QF: Athens was a force for good in the Greek world.
22. Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War
READ: Hellas, pp. 127-143 and HANDOUTS, "Pericles' Funeral Speech"
QF: Pericles is a great hero of democracy.
In these next several classes we will be evaluating the Athenian democratic system during the crisis of the Peloponnesian War and its aftermath. At the end of this period we will examine the trial of Socrates and then write a paper on it.
24. Peloponnesian War and the fall of Athens
READ: Hellas, pp. 144-163; KEANE, 58-62 ("And her Enemies")
QF: On p. 157 Cobbald says "But in the long run, it was democracy itself that had failed."
25. Athenian Democracy in crisis and the philosophers
READ: Hellas, 165-178; Keane, 70-77 (The end of Democracy).
Was Athenian assembly democracy fatally flawed and definitely not worthy of emulation or was it the victim of particular circumstances. Is it possible that the people can actually rule themselves? Is it possible that Socrates was guilty of a crime and deserved to be punished? Is Keane more or less critical of Athenian democracy than Cobbold?
QF: The execution of Socrates is proof that Athenian Democracy is not worthy of emulation.
26. More Detail on the Trial of Socrates/Secondary sources
READ: In photocopied Documents on the Trial of Socrates: "The Trial of Socrates," by Doug Linder; "Trial of Socrates: A Chronology," and "Anytus, the Power Behind the Prosecution." Note: these are all secondary sources, written by Doug Linder. Note, though, how this secondary source relies on other secondary accounts to build his narrative.
How do historians know what happened to Socrates? Did Socrates get a fair trial? What are the key primary sources? Mark a "P" in the margins next to any primary source that is referenced or quoted. Mark an "S" Next to any secondary sources that are referenced or quoted. Underline or highlight the most important evidence of whether Socrates had a fair trial. What kind of evidence will be looking for in the primary documents? We will look them over in class.
QF: Please read over the assignment for the upcoming paper on the Trial of Socrates and think about sub-questions that will help you answer the bigger question.
27. Researching the Trial/Primary documents
READ: Excerpts from: Plato, "The Apology" and "Against Democracy"; Aristophanes, "Clouds"; and Xenophon, "Apology of Socrates," and "Memorabilia" (at the very end of the packet). Note: these are all primary sources.
This assignment is the most important one to prepare you to write the paper on the trial of Socrates. First re-read the paper prompt and make sure you understand what it is asking you to do. Read the documents slowly and carefully. Look for evidence that would help you to answer the question and some of the sub-questions we developed in class yesterday. Most of the evidence comes from friends of Socrates. Do they offer any hints as to why the accusers thought Socrates had committed a crime worthy of the death penalty? What is the most plausible explanation? Underline passages in the readings that offer hints about what happened and why. Come to class with marked up texts. I will be checking them.
28. Doing a bit of research on the Trial of Socrates. Meet (virtually) in the Library during class
READ: Primary v. Secondary Sources for a discussion of how to use these different types of sources.
IN CLASS: I will open up the Zoom link so I can be available to offer help or answer questions. You are free to work independently on your research.
29. Peer editing. Meet on Zoom. Are your peers' arguments supported by concrete details from primary documents?
30. Essay #2 due