Learning outcomes of the course unit
The Unit A aims at giving a basic knowledge of the political, social and instiitutional history of the Greek world from the Archaic age to the early Hellenistic period.
The Unit B aims at a thorough comprehension of the historiographical method and the narrative technique of the greatest of the historians of the Greek world and at a close study of some of the main events and themes of the Peloponnesian War.
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): 13th February-30th March 2012.
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): 10th April-25th May 2012
The Unit B (6 credits) will consist in the translation and commentary of the 3rd Book of Thucydides' 'Histories', dedicated to the central years (spring 428-winter 426/5) of the so-called 'Archidamian' stage of the Peloponnesian War. The text will be studied from the narrative point of view; but particualr attention will be paid to some of the main events of these years (the revolt of Lesbos and its repression, the tragic end of the small polis of Plataea, the Corcyrean civil war, the fierce fighting in North-Western Greece) as episodes of a single total and absolute war - such really had become tha conflict between Sparta and Athens. This historical phenomenon will be analysed in its military aspects and in its political, social, ethical and juridical implications.
This Unit will be prepared on the subjects dealt with (and the sources read) during the course as well as on the following books:
1. C. BEARZOT, Manuale di Storia greca, nuova edizione, Bologna, il Mulino, 2011 (ISBN 978-88-15-23349-3; this handbook will be studied with the support of a good historical atlas);
2. G. CAMASSA, Forme della vita politica dei Greci in età arcaica e classica, Bologna, Monduzzi, 2007;
3. K. A. RAAFLAUB - J. OBER - R. W. WALLACE, Le origini della democrazia nella Grecia antica, Italian translation, Milano, Edizioni Ariele, 2011.
For this Unit students can read the 3rd Book of Thucyidies' Histories in one of the currently available Italian translations:
TUCIDIDE, Le Storie, trad. a cura di G. Donini, Torino, UTET, 2005;
TUCIDIDE, La guerra del Peloponneso, a cura di C. Moreschini, F. Ferrari, G. Daverio Rocchi, Milano, BUR, 1985.
For its commentary students have to study the lecture notes. In addition they will prepare for the examen:
1. the following essays as general introductions respectively to Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War:
a. S. FERRUCCI, Tucidide, in M. Bettalli (ed.), Introduzione alla storiografia greca, nuova edizione, Roma, Carocci, 2009, pp. 67-97;
b. U. FANTASIA, Il mondo greco si divide: la Guerra del Peloponneso, in A. BARBERO-M. GIANGIULIO (edd.), Storia d’Europa e del Mediterraneo. Il mondo antico, vol. IV, Roma, Salerno editore, pp. 321-352.
2. H. VAN WEES, La guerra dei Greci: miti e realtà, Italian translation, Gorizia, Libreria Editrice Goriziana, 2009 (the chapters of this book that must be studied will be specified at the beginning of the Unit).
The teacher also will make known at the beginning of the Units further bibliography, even in English language, that can be studied in substitution of the texts nr. 2-3 of the Unit A and the text nr. 2 of the Unit B.
Literary end epigraphic sources of the Archaic and Classical Periods.
The Third Book of the 'Histories' of Thucydides.
Other literary and epigraphic evidence concerning the Peloponnesian War.
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.