Learning outcomes of the course unit
The Unit A aims at giving a basic knowledge of the political, social and institutional history of the Greek world from the Archaic age to the early Hellenistic period.
The Unit B aims at giving an in-depth knowledge of the history of the Delian Confederation and of the fifth-century Athenian empire.
No particular prerequisite is asked for, but for a good general preparation given in the secondary schools.
Course contents summary
As in the previous years, the course of Greek History is divided into two units; the first (A) is basic, the second (B) is of in-depth investigation. Unit A (6 credits): 15th February-1st April 2011. The Unit, which has a preparatory and methodological character, is an introduction to the study of the history of the ancient Greek world, from the early archaic period to the early Hellenistic period (VIII-III centuries BC). It is especially devoted to the forms and history of political institutions and political life in Greek city-states. Unit B (6 credits), 5th April-20th May 2011, has the following title: “Empires and imperialism in the ancient Greek world: the Athenian case”. This unit deals with the history of the Delian Confederation and Athenian empire (478-404 BC). A special concern will be dedicated to the following subjects: the foundation and the development of the Confederation in the context of the Greek world in the aftermath of the Persian Wars; its economic and financial basis; the relations between Athens and the allied or subject states before and during the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) and their ideological representations (there will be a careful investigation of the concepts of ‘alliance’, ‘hegemony’, ‘rule’); a balance-sheet of the Athenian empire and imperialism compared with other empires in the history of the Ancient World.
Unit A will be prepared on the subjects treated (and the sources read) during the course as well as on the following texts:
1. C. BEARZOT, Manuale di Storia greca, Bologna, il Mulino, 2005 (this book must be studied with the aid of a good historical atlas);
2. G. CAMASSA, Forme della vita politica dei Greci in età arcaica e classica, Bologna, Monduzzi Ed., 2007;
3. The following essays published in S. SETTIS (a cura di), I Greci. Storia, cultura, arte, società, Torino, Einaudi, 1996-2002 (these volumes can be found in the Library of the Department of History: ST.GR. I/33):
H. W. PLEKET, L’agonismo sportivo, in I Greci, vol. I: Noi e i Greci, pp. 507-537;
M. GIANGIULIO, Avventurieri, mercanti, coloni, mercenari. Mobilità umana e circolazione di risorse nel Mediterraneo arcaico, in I Greci, vol. II, 1: Una storia greca. Formazione, pp. 497-525;
K.-J. HÖLKESKAMP, La guerra e la pace, in I Greci, vol. II, 2: Una storia greca. Definizione, pp. 481-539;
A. B. BOSWORTH, Alessandro: l’impero universale e le città greche, in I Greci, vol. II, 3: Una storia greca. Trasformazioni, pp. 47-80.
Unit B will be prepared on the lecture notes the Professor will hand out to the students after the end of the course. In these notes there will be the texts of the literary and epigraphic sources read and expounded at the lessons. The study of these notes will be integrated by the study of the following essays:
1. J. K. DAVIES, Sparta e l’area peloponnesiaca. Atene e il dominio del mare, in S. SETTIS (ed.), I Greci. Storia, cultura, arte, società, vol. II, 2: Una storia greca. Definizione, Torino, Einaudi, 1997, pp. 109-161;
2. M. I. FINLEY, L’impero ateniese: un bilancio (published in 1978), in M. I. FINLEY, Economia e società nel mondo antico, Italian translation, Bari, 1984, pp. 53-80.
The Professor will indicate at the beginning of the unit B further modern studies, chiefly in English language, that mirror the most recent trends of the scientific debate about the topics of the course.
Literary and epigraphic sources of the Archaic and Classical periods. A selection of passages from the ‘Histories’ of Herodotus and Thucydides. Inscriptions concerning the history of the Athenian empire.
Front lectures, where sources are read in Italian translation. The professor often invites the students to an active participation.
Assessment methods and criteria
Periodical checks of students’ preparation; final examination in oral form.