Greece in the Fifth Century

Fall 2013

HIEU 5021

Greece in the Fifth Century

J. E. Lendon

Prerequisite for undergraduates:  HIEU 2031 or equivalent; or instructor permission

This course examines the political, military, and social history of Greece from the end of the Persian Wars (479 BC) to the end of the Peloponnesian War (404 BC).  This is the age of the creation of Athenian democracy and Athenian Empire, as well as of the growing tensions with Sparta that eventually resulted in the Peloponnesian War.  Understanding these developments is crucial to understanding all Greek history.  This class will proceed by discussion, including discussion of three five-page papers written by each student (due variously throughout the term) distributed before the class in which they will be discussed.  There will also be two exercises (on working with ancient evidence) and a final exam.  Reading is substantial, averaging approximately 200 pages/week, and will be drawn from the following:

  • The Landmark Thucydides (R. Strassler, ed.; Free Press)
  • Plutarch, Greek Lives (Oxford World Classics)
  • J. M. Moore, Aristotle and Xenophon on Democracy and Oligarchy (California)
  • Diodorus of Sicily, Library of History vols. 4-5 (Loeb/Harvard)
  • Xenophon, Hellenica (Penguin)
  • C. Fornara, Archaic Times to the End of the Peloponnesian War (Cambridge)
  • Other readings posted to collab.


Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904

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