Learning outcomes of the course unit
By following this course, students will acquire an in-depth knowledge of a very interesting phase of the history of the classical Greece and of an articulation of extreme importance in the history of Greek historiography. Students will be able to employ these newly acquired competences in terms of learning capacity, in particular by making comparisons with other similar historical and historiographical problems. Thanks to the peculiar teaching methodology of the course, students will also be able to develop their capacity for independent judgment as well as their communications skills.
A good preparation on the political history of ancient Greece and a sufficient level of knowledge of the ancient Greek language.
Course contents summary
The course of Greek History is in a single Unit (6 CFU = 30 hours of frontal lessons plus some other hours of seminars): November, 11th-December, 11th 2014.
Its title is: “The history of 411-404 BC in Thucydides' continuators”. Thucydides' "Histories", as is well known, end abruptly in late summer 411 BC; the surviving continuous histories of the final years of the Peloponnesian War (411-404 BC) are provided by the first part of the "Hellenica" of Xenophon (I-II 3.10) and a section of Diodorus' universal history (XIII 43-107). However the course will be firstly devoted to a close analysis of the papyrus-fragments of the anonymous "Hellenica Oxyrhynchia" pertaining to the history of the Peloponnesian War and of the related historical and historiographical problems. Through the reconstruction and the detailed commentary of these texts and the comparison with Xenophon and Diodorus the course will try to understand how this post-Thucydidean tradition has formed and its historical value.
Below are indicated the basic editions and/or commentaries of the texts that will be analysed in class:
1. Xenophon. Xenophon, "Hellenika I-II.3.10", edited with an introduction, translation and commentary by P. KRENTZ, Warminster, Aris & Phillips, 1989.
2. Hellenica Oxyrhynchia. Standard edition: "Hellenica Oxyrhynchia", post V. Bartoletti edidit M. CHAMBERS, Stuttgart, Teubner, 1993. Only commentary (without the Cairo fragment edited in 1976): I.A.F. BRUCE, "An Historical Commentary on the Hellenica Oxyrhynchia", Cambridge 1967. Complete edition with an English translation and a commentary: "Hellenica Oxyrhynchia", ed. with translation and commentary by P.R. McKECHNIE, S.J. KERN, Warminster, Aris &Phillips, 1988. A new edition of PSI 1304 with related studies: Teopompo, "Elleniche", Libro II, a cura di L. CANFORA, R. OTRANTO, Bari, Edizioni Dedalo, 2013.
3. Diodorus Siculus. Only commentary: D. AMBAGLIO, "Diodoro Siculo: Biblioteca storica, Libro XIII. Commento storico", Milano, Vita e pensiero, 2008.
A synthetic history of the Peloponnesian War is offered by:
U. FANTASIA, "La guerra del Peloponneso", Roma, Carocci editore, 2012.
A more detailed history of the last years of the war is in the following books:
D. KAGAN, "The fall of the Athenian empire", Ithaca-London, Cornell UP, 1987;
B. BLECKMANN, "Athens Weg in die Niederlage. Die letzten Jahre des Peloponnesischen Krieges", Stuttgart-Leipzig, Teubner, 1998.
The 30 hours of frontal lessons will be integrated with seminars during which individual students will engage in in-depth analyses of specific topics or will comment parts of the text only briefly dealt with in classes – all this with the aid of the reference works and additional scholarship recommended by the teacher.
Assessment methods and criteria
Learning assessment will consist of an oral examination, which will weigh no less than 50% of the final grading. The minimum requirement to pass the exam is for the student to be able to properly translate and comment a part of the text proposed by the teacher during the exam, and to demonstrate an adequate mastery of the topics dealt with in the frontal lessons. The rest of the final grading will be assessed during the seminars and will depend on the student’s capacity to properly develop his/her own research on the topic agreed upon with the teacher, to present the results by using the adequate specialized vocabulary, and to demonstrate a certain competence in dealing with research tools and methodology.