History 210:  Ancient History

Lycoming College, Spring 2006


Instructor:         Dr. Cullen Chandler

Office:              D-121

Office Hours:     M-W 1:30-2:30; T 3:00-4:00

Office Phone:     4173

Email:               chandler@lycoming.edu


Required Texts:

The texts should be available at the bookstore.  If problems acquiring books should arise, notify the instructor immediately.


Text:            D. Brendan Nagle, The Ancient World: A Social and Cultural History. Fifth edition.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2002.


Sources:       Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War. Penguin Classics.

                   Plutarch, Solon and Pericles. (On E-Reserves)

                   Aristophanes, Lysistrata and Other Plays.  Penguin Classics.

                   Polybius, The Rise of the Roman Empire.  Penguin Classics.

                   Plutarch, Cicero and Caesar. (On E-Reserves)

                   Petronius, The Satyricon. (Penguin edition optional.  Also on E-Reserves)


Purpose and Goals:

The study of history is important to the development of educated people and the leaders of society.  This course is a study of the history of the foundations of Western Civilization—the civilization that American culture continues today.  Historical cultures we will cover are often called “Classical”—Greek and Roman Antiquity, from the Bronze Age of the third millennium BC to the Transformation of the Roman World in the fifth and sixth centuries AD.  Our objectives include learning some of the important facts about ancient history, of course, but the philosophy of the course also aims at learning how to deal with information and developing historical perspective.  History is more than just memorizing names and dates for a test and forgetting everything after the test.  Of course, there will be tests to insure that knowledge is built, but a large part of the course work will be devoted to activities and projects that involve mastering and using the material we cover.



Policies and Requirements: 


I.  Participation

Participation in the class is crucial to accomplishing the goals for the course.  There are several ways to participate, and thus several elements of the Participation grade.  Participatory activities cannot be made up.  Participation as a whole is 20% of the final course grade.


A.  Attendance

Attendance is first and foremost among the requirements for this course.  Most of the time, we will do something in class that you will need to be present for.  We all have things to take care of, so if something comes up I will understand, but the “somethings” need to be rare.  Each student will be able to miss three classes, no questions asked, but beginning with the fourth, each absence will incur a penalty of a partial letter grade to the Participation score.


B.  Discussion

Some weeks will feature opportunities for class discussion over the assigned source readings.  You will be expected to come prepared with notes, guided by questions I provide.  Each discussion provides a possibility for 10 points—6 for attendance and 4 for quality and quantity of contributions to discussion.  Sometimes we may work in groups for discussion, but all grades are based on individual performance.  The average for all class discussions will constitute the bulk of the Participation score.


II.  Exams

The major exams will consist of written responses to identification items and essay prompts.  The purpose is to develop critical thinking skills and the ability to deal with information and communicate ideas effectively.  All exams are unit exams; there is no comprehensive test.  NO EXAM CAN BE MADE UP.  IF YOU MUST MISS AN EXAM, SEE ME BEFOREHAND.  If you miss an exam, a grade of zero (0) will be recorded.  Each exam counts 15% of the course grade.


III.  Critical Reading and Writing

One of the most important intellectual skills—for the study of history as well as for just about any profession—is the ability to analyze a body of information and communicate conclusions about it.  To that end, this course will include two written assignments.  You will write one Source Essay (5 pages max.) based on one of the primary sources assigned for course reading.  The Source Essay will count 15% for the course grade.  Instructions will be distributed later (click here).


In addition, you will write a brief book review (3 pages max.) on a historical study of some element of Ancient Greek or Roman history.  The book you choose will be available in Snowden Library.  Guidelines for the review assignment will be distributed later.  The Book Review will count 15% toward the course grade. 


IV.  Group Presentations

In addition, each student will participate in two group research projects on one of the five major themes of the course: Social Classes, Family Structures, Religion, Culture, Government, and War.  The first presentation will concern material from Ancient Greece, and the second will treat Ancient Rome.  Instructions for the group projects will be distributed later.  The two projects will count 10% each.  To see the group membership assignments, click here.


V.  Academic Dishonesty:

Since the exams are in-class, they will be monitored to ensure each student works independently of others and without the aid of cheat-sheets or other aids.  Another issue is plagiarism in the essays.  Plagiarism occurs when writers do not cite the sources of their information and ideas properly.  This should not be an issue for this class, as there will be no library research.  Primary source essays will simply cite the title of the document and the page number from the appropriate primary source in footnotes.  If any written assignment contains passages of language transcribed directly from a source without proper quotation and citation, it will not be graded; a student-instructor conference will determine the steps to be taken to rectify the situation.  If an entire written assignment is plagiarized, the student will automatically receive a course grade of F, and other steps will be taken as necessary through appropriate College offices.


VI.  Evaluation: 

Each student will earn grade credit based on participation, exams, written work, and the group project.  Letter grades will be determined as follows:


A = 90-100%, B = 80-89%, C = 70-79%, D = 60-69%, and F = 0-59%

NOTE:  On the +/- scale, approximately three points constitute a partial letter grade. 

For example:  B- = 80-82%, B = 83-86%, B+ = 87-89%, and so on.



Exam I                               15%

Exam II                             15%

Source Essay                    15%

Book Review                      15%

Presentation I                    10%

Presentation II                  10%

Participation                       20%

TOTAL                            100%






In order to be ready for lectures and participation, read before the beginning of the week.




Week 1:  In the Beginning…

READ:  Nagle, Ch. 4

  January 9:  Introductions

      January 11:  Bronze Age Aegean

      January 13:  The Trojan War and the Dark Age


Week 2:  Founding Classical Greek Society

READ:  Nagle, Ch. 5

          January 16:  Archaic Society

          January 18:  Changes in the Polis

          January 20:  Athens and Sparta


Week 3:  Building a Golden Age

READ:  Plutarch, Solon and Pericles

      January 23:  The Persian Wars

          January 25:  The Rise of Athens

          January 27:  Discussion

            ***Essay (Option 1) Due in Class on January 27***


Week 4:  The End of a Golden Age

READ:   Nagle, Ch. 6

           Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War

           January 30:  The Peloponnesian War

           February 1:  Radical Democracy

           February 3:  Discussion

            ***Essay (Option 2) Due in Class on February 3***


Week 5:  Classical Greek Life and Thought

READ:  Aristophanes, Lysistrata

          February 6:  Social Classes in Ancient Greece

          February 8:  Society through Art and Music

          February 10: Discussion

            ***Essay (Option 3) Due in Class on February 10***


Week 6:  Macedon and the Hellenistic World

READ:  Nagle, Ch. 7

          February 13:  Classical Greek Thought

  February 15:  The Greek World in the Fourth Century

  February 17:  Alexander the Great


Week 7:  Taking Stock

            February 20:  Finish Alexander the Great

          February 22:  Ancient Greece Presentations

          February 24:  Exam I (click here for the Study Guide)

            ***Book Review (Option A) Due in Class February 24***





February 27-March 3:  SPRING BREAK


Week 8:  Republican Society and Politics

READ:  Nagle, Chs. 8-9

          March 6:  The Foundations of Rome / Roman Military Success

          March 8:  Society and Republic

          March 10:  Success and Crisis


Week 9:  The Roman Revolution, I

READ:  Nagle, Ch. 10

           Polybius, The Rise of the Roman Empire

          March 13:  Discussion

            ***Essay (Option 4) is due in class on March 13***

          March 15:  The Gracchi 

          March 17:  The Rise of Private Armies


Week 10:  The Roman Revolution, II

READ:  Plutarch, Caesar and Cicero

          March 20:  Civil Wars and Dictatorship

          March 22:  The Last Generation of the Republic

          March 24:  Discussion

            ***Essay (Option 5) is due in class on March 24***


Week 11:  Creating Pax Romana

READ:  Nagle, Chs. 11-12

          March 27:  Triumvirs and Civil War

          March 29:  The Augustan Settlement

          March 29: Ewing Lecture, 7:30 pm (Extra Credit for Participation)

  March 31:  Governing the Roman Empire


Week 12:  Living in the Roman World

READ:  Petronius, The Satyricon        

          April 3:  Society in the Early Empire

          April 5:  Roman Thought and Letters

          April 7:  Discussion

            ***Essay (Option 6) is due in class on April 7***


April 4-8: Production of Lysistrata, attendance at which earns Extra Credit for Participation.  Write a short (1-2 pp., typed) response paper--compare and contrast the College production to the version we read and the interpretations we came to about it.


Week 13:  Transforming the Roman World

READ:  Nagle, Ch. 13

          April 10:  Caesar and Christ

          April 12:  Crises in the Third Century

          April 14:  Good Friday - No Class

            ***Book Review (Option B) Due in Class April 12***


Week 14:  “The Fall of Rome Shall Not Take Place”

READ:  Nagle, Ch. 14

          April 17:  Problem-Solving Emperors

          April 19:  The End of Rome?; Start Ancient Rome Presentations

          April 21:  Finish Ancient Rome Presentations


Final Exam Week:

Exam II Tuesday, April 25, 1:00-4:00 PM (click here for the Study Guide)