HIST 331. Periclean Athens. 3 Hours.
This class examines Athens in the age of Pericles, from the end of the Persian Wars in 479 to the death of Socrates in 399. It focuses particularly on the pentecontaetia, the fifty years of Athenian peace and hegemony, in which Athens' ambitious foreign policy turned her into an Empire, while at home the Athenians refined their burgeoning democracy and enjoyed the arts. Students will gain an appreciation of Athens' history and culture, reading the historical narratives of the period but also various tragedies, political comedies, and philosophy. In the final weeks students will follow the Athenians through the Peloponnesian war to their defeat, subsequent tyrannical oligarchy, and finally their decision to try and execute the philosopher Socrates.