Skip to main content

Q800 Syllabus


Language Classes for Q800 students will start in week 2 of term 1. They will take place for 1 hour each week on Tuesdays 4-5 for terms 1 + 2, and during weeks 1+2 of Term 3. (Please note that week 6 of terms 1 and 2 is reading week and there will be no language class). The classes will be held in room H2.45.

In our classes, we will not be translating the texts line by line, but trouble-shooting particularly tricky passages, and commenting on things of stylistic and historical interest. Please come along to the classes having already read and translated that week's selected texts, bringing notes on any difficult passages you would like help in understanding.

You are advised to copy the online texts, and double-space them before printing them out to allow plenty of space for making notes. The texts can be downloaded by clicking on the word/pdf icons below.

If you have any questions/difficulties, please contact the module convenor, Dr Roel Konijnendijk.


Set Text Readings:

Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians 5-11 (on Solon), 18 (Harmodius and Aristogeiton), 20-2 (Cleisthenes) (Word Document)

Aristophanes, Knights 40-73, 1110-1150 (Word Document)

Pseudo-Xenophon/'Old Oligarch', Constitution of the Athenians 1.1-15 (Word Document)

Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War 2.34-42 (Word Document)

Plutarch, Life of Pericles 5, 7.1-4, 9, 12, 39 (Word Document)

Rhodes and Osborne No. 34 (Alliance between Athens and Dionysius of Syracuse) 368/7 BC (PDF Document)

Rhodes and Osborne No. 88 (The Athenian Ephebic Oath and the 'Oath of Plataea') c. 350 BC (PDF Document)

Rhodes and Osborne No. 79 (Athenian law for the protection of democracy) 337/6 BC (PDF Document)

Polybius, Histories 6.3-4, 10, 43-8 (Word Document)

Plutarch, Life of Solon 13-18 (Word Document)

Schedule for Reading Classes:

A summary of the schedule with additional information on essays and seminars can be found here - Q800 Teaching Syllabus. We will follow the scheme as outlined below, although this may change if the occasion arises depending on our progress.

Term 1

Week 1 - no seminar
Week 2 - Pseudo-Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians: Solon [5-7]
Week 3 - Pseudo-Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians: Solon [8-11]
Week 4 - Pseudo-Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians: Harmodius and Aristogeiton [18]; Cleisthenes [20-21]
Week 5 - Pseudo-Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians: Cleisthenes [22]; Aristophanes Knights [40-73, 1110-1150]
Week 6 – reading week
Week 7 – Pseudo-Xenophon, Constitution of the Athenians [1.1-1.9]
Week 8 - Pseudo-Xenophon, Constitution of the Athenians [1.10-1.15]
Week 9 – Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War: Pericles’ Funeral Oration [2.34-36]
Week 10 - Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War: Pericles’ Funeral Oration [2.37-40]

Term 2
Week 1 - Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War: Pericles’ Funeral Oration [2.41-42] + Plutarch Life of Pericles [5]
Week 2 - Plutarch Life of Pericles [7.1-4; 9]
Week 3 - Plutarch Life of Pericles [12; 39]
Week 4 – Rhodes and Osborne nos.34, 88, 79
Week 5 - Polybius Histories [6.3-6.4]
Week 6 – reading week
Week 7 - Polybius Histories [43-44]
Week 8 - Polybius Histories [47]; Plutarch Life of Solon [13]
Week 9 - Plutarch Life of Solon [14-15 abridged]
Week 10 - Plutarch Life of Solon [16-18 abridged]

Term 3
Week 1 - Exam revision
Week 2 - Exam revision

Term 2 Assessed Exercise for Q800 students

In term 2, the essays for Q800 students will involve close analysis of some of the set text passages. Write an essay of 2500-3000 words, making sure to engage directly with the Greek texts as often as possible. Feel free to make reference to wider selections of key texts in translation to support your arguments.

Hand-in Deadline Wednesday 10th February 2016 (Week 5)

1. In what ways do we get different impressions of Athenian democracy and imperialism from the epigraphic and literary sources? Discuss with relation to 2 Greek texts and 2 Greek inscriptions.

R. Osborne 2014 Athenian Democracy

R. Osborne 2008 Greece in the Making

E. Robinson 2004 Ancient Greek Democracy: readings and sources

S. Salkever 2009 The Cambridge companion to ancient Greek political thought

F. Frost 2005 Politics and the Athenians: essays on Athenian history and historiography

L. Asmonti 2015 Athenian Democracy: a sourcebook

P. Rhodes 2007 The Greek City States

2. To what extent are the Pericles of Thucydides and the Pericles of Plutarch different?

M. Finley 1983 Politics in the Ancient World

R. Lamberton 2001 Plutarch

F. Titchener 1995 'Plutarch's Use of Thucydides in the "Moralia"', in Phoenix 49:189-200

D. Kagan 1990 Pericles of Athens and the birth of democracy

A. Podlecki 1998 Perikles and his Circle

J. Barringer and J. Hurwit 2005 Periklean Athens and its legacy: problems and perspectives

E. Foster 2010 Thucydides, Pericles, and Periclean imperialism

S. Tracey 2009 Pericles: a sourcebook and reader

3. The Old Oligarch and Polybius share a lot in common in their views on the Greek democratic system' Discuss.

J. Marr and P. Rhodes 2008 'The Old Oligarch'

P. Cartledge 2009 Ancient Greek Political Thought in Practice

D. Hammer 2014 Companion to Athenian Democracy and the Roman Republic

J. Dunn 1992 Democracy: the Unfinished journey 508 BC to AD 1993

C J Rowe and M Schofield 2000 The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Political Thought

K. Von Fritz 1954 The Theory of the Mixed Constitution in Antiquity: a Critical Analysis of Polybius' Political Ideas.

F. Walbank 1957 A Historical Commentary on Polybius

G. Parmeggiani 2014 Between Thucydides and Polybius : the golden age of Greek historiography

F. Walbank 2002 Polybius, Rome and the Hellenistic world : essays and reflections

B. Gibson and T. Harrison 2013 Polybius and his world

4. 'A real political theory of democracy did not exist in the ancient world.' Do you agree?

P. Cartledge 2009 Ancient Greek Political Thought in Practice

H. Beck 2013 Companion to Ancient Greek Government

J. Ober & C. Hedrick 2001 Demokratia: a conversation on Democracies, ancient and modern

K. Raaflaub and R. Wallace (eds). 2007 Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece: Interpretations and Controversies

P. Cartledge 1998 'Writing the history of archaic Greek political thought' in N. Fisher and H. van Wees (eds). Archaic Greece: New Approaches and Fresh Evidence. 379-99

J. Coleman 2000 A History of Political Thought from Ancient Greece to Early Christianity

C. Farrar 1988 The Origins of Democratic thinking: the invention of politics in Classical Athens

M. Gagarin and P. Woodruff eds 1995 Early Greek Political Thought from Homer to the Sophists.

Exam for Q800 students

The exam for Q800 will consist of translation and commentary on 2 passages + 1 essay.

For help with assessment criteria, tips on avoiding plagiarism and exam strategy, see the Assessment page