History 308

HIST 308
Ancient Greece and Rome

Catalog Entry

HIST 308
Ancient Greece and Rome
Three hours lecture: (3)

Prerequisite: Three hours of History at the 100 level.

A study of the political, socio-economic, and cultural development of the ancient Mediterranean world, and the development of Greco-Roman civilization from its archaic roots to about AD 500.

Detailed Description of Content of Course

I. Introduction: The Significance of Greco-Roman Civilization

II. Geography of the Ancient Mediterranean

III. Early Aegean World
    A. Minoan Civilization
    B. Mycenaean Civilization
    C. Dark Age Transformation

IV. Archaic Age Greece
    A. Rise of the Polis
    B. Colonization
    C. Athens and Sparta
    D. Persian Wars and Herodotus

V. Classical Greek Civilization    
    A. Society and Economy
    B. Religion and Culture
    C. Athenian Empire and Democratic Politics
    D. Peloponnesian War and Thucydides
    E. Greece in the Fourth Century BC: Political, Social, Economic, Cultural Aspects
VI. Hellenistic World
    A. Macedonian Hegemony and Alexander the Great
    B. Hellenistic States
    C. Society and Economy
    D. Culture and Religion

VII. Archaic Italy and Early Rome
    A. Legends, Myths, Livy, and Archaeology
    B. The Roman Monarchy
VIII. Early Roman Republic
    A. State and Constitution
    B. Society and Economy
    C.  Expansion in Italy

IX. The Republic Builds an Empire
    A. Punic Wars
    B. Conquest of the Hellenistic States
    C. Roman Government and Polybius

X. Crisis in the Late Republic    
    A. Social and Economic Transformations
    B. Gracchi Brothers
    C. Rise of Marius
    D. Social War
    E. Rise of Sulla

XI. Roman Revolution
    A. The First Triumvirate and Julius Caesar
    B. The Second Triumvirate and Octavian
    C. Augustus and the Principate

XII. Early Roman Empire and the Pax Romana
    A. Emperors and Suetonius
    B. Good Emperors
    C. Society and Culture
    D. Culture and Religion
    E. Greece and Britain under Roman Rule
    E. Crisis of the Third Century

XIII. Late Roman Empire
    A. Diocletian and the Dominate
    B. Constantine and Christian Rome
    C. Empire Divided
    D. Germanic Peoples
    E. Decline

XIV. Late Antiquity and the Roman Legacy

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The class meets three hours per week.  The course is taught primarily using a lecture format and includes time dedicated to the discussion of sources and concepts from lectures and readings.  Students are required to read extensively from textbooks and material distributed in class. Class discussion of assigned material is an important element of the course.

Goals and Objectives of the Course

a. Students will practice thinking critically and analytically about historical issues, acquire a broader knowledge and deeper understanding of pertinent historical events and processes, and cultivate a familiarity with the concepts of historical argument and interpretation.

b. Students will develop disciplinary research skills by designing strategies to locate and analyze primary and secondary source evidence, processing and organizing the resultant data, and composing proper citation and bibliographical entries.

c. Students will apply their critical thinking, research, and compositional skills to the creation and presentation of thesis driven essays that discuss, for example, historical social, economic, political, and/or cultural developments and that address issues such as the causes and consequences of historical change and continuity.

d. Students will study the cultures of the classical Mediterranean and develop an awareness of the complexity of cultural interaction and change over historical time.  In particular, students will demonstrate an understanding of the multicultural nature of the ancient Mediterranean world that nourished “Greco-Roman” civilization and that civilization’s legacy.

Assessment Measures

Knowledge and understanding of the material covered in this course will be measured using an array of assessment tools that may include, among other things, class attendance and participation, written examinations, formal writing assignments of various types, and informal writing assignments. All exercises are designed to expand the student's ability to evaluate historical events and to develop his or her ability to compose persuasive arguments.

Other Course Information


Review and Approval
Date Action Reviewed by
October 2010 Reviewed and Approved by Sharon Roger Hepburn