Skip to main content

Greek Culture and Society - Assessed Essays


ESSAY TITLES, WITH SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR SECONDARY READING


Assessed Essay 1: Tuesday 4th December 2018 (Week 10)

Write an essay of approximately 2,500 words (but no more than 2,500 words) on ONE of the following. Note that you should make close reference to the ancient texts and other relevant artistic, historical, and/or archaeological evidence.

The bibliography given here is only indicative and is meant to help you make a start. Please refer to the longer bibliography for the entire course and try to do your own research on Encore and/or JSTOR.

1. To what extent do you think that Athenian citizens thought of themselves as equals?

- Camp, J. The archaeology of Athens (New Haven 2001)
- Coulson, W. The archaeology of Athens and Attica under the democracy (Oxford 1994)
- Osborne, R.. 'When was the Athenian democratic revolution?' in S. Goldhill & R. Osborne eds. Rethinking Revolutions through Ancient Greece (Cambridge 2006), 10-28
- Rhodes, P. Athenian Democracy (New York 2004)
- Finley, M. 1962 "Athenian Demagogues," Past and Present, vol. 21.
- Cartledge, P. Ancient Greek Political Thought in Practice
(Cambridge 2009)
- Osborne, R. Athens and Athenian democracy (Cambridge 2010)
- Vlassopoulos, K. (2007) 'Free spaces: identity, experience and democracy in classical Athens', Classical Quarterly 57: 33–52
- Ober, J. Mass and Elite in Classical Athens. Rhetoric, Ideology and the Power of the People (Princeton 1989)
- Hansen, M. The Athenian Assembly in the Age of Demosthenes (Cambridge 1985)
- Sinclair, R.K. 1988. Democracy and Participation in Athens (Cambridge 1988)
- Vlassopoulos, K. Politics: Antiquity and its legacy (London 2009)


2. 'There are no real heroes in Homer’s Iliad.’ Discuss, with respect to Achilles and at least one other character.

Goldhill, S. The Poet's Voice (Cambridge 1991)
Lynn-George, M. Epos: Word, Narrative and the Iliad (Basingstoke 1987)

Nagy, G. The Best of the Achaeans (Baltimore 1979)

Redfield, J. Nature and Culture in the Iliad (Chicago 1994)

Schein, S. The Mortal Hero: An Introduction to Homer's Iliad (Berkeley/London 1984)

Taplin, O. Homeric Soundings: The Shaping of the Iliad (Oxford 1992) - use indices.

Griffin, J. Homer on Life and Death (Oxford 1980) chapters 3 and 4.

3. To what extent is ‘performance’ a key concept in our understanding of Greek culture and society?

Martin, R. P. The Language of Heroes: Speech and Performance in the Iliad (Ithaca, NY 1989)

Herington, C. J. Poetry Into Drama: Early Tragedy and the Greek Poetic Tradition (Berkeley 1985) ch. 1

Golden, M. Sport and Society in Ancient Greece (Cambridge 1998)

Goldhill, S. ‘Programme notes’, in S. Goldhill and R. G. Osborne (eds.) Performance Culture and Athenian Democracy (Cambridge 1999), 1–29

Hunter, R. L. and Uhlig, A. S. (eds.) (2017) Imagining Reperformance in Ancient Culture (Cambridge): introduction, and essay on lyric by Budelmann
Wilson, P. The Athenian Institution of the Khoregia: The Chorus, the City, and the Stage (Cambridge 2000)

4. What can ethnography contribute to the study of the ancient Greeks?
Bremmer, J. N. ‘An Enigmatic Indo-European Rite: Paederasty’ Arethusa 13 (1980), 279–98.
Cartledge, P. (1994) 'The Greeks and anthropology', Anthropology Today 10: 3-6.
D. Cohen, Law, sexuality and society : the enforcement of morals in classical Athens (Cambridge, 1991), Introduction and Dip into chapters.
J. Davidson, “Revolutions in Human Time” in Simon Goldhill and Robin Osborne eds. Rethinking Revolutions through Ancient Greece (Cambridge, 2006) pp. 29–67
Marcel Detienne, “Back to the Village: A tropism of Hellenists?” History of Religions 41.2 (2001), 99-113.
S. Humphreys, Anthropology and the Greeks (London 1978)
Lloyd, G. E. R. Ancient Worlds, Modern Reflections: Philosophical Perspectives on Greek and Chinese Science and Culture. Oxford (2004).
Redfield, J. 'Classics and anthropology', Arion 1(1991): 5-23
van Wees, H ‘The mafia of early Greece: violent exploitation in the seventh and sixth centuries BC’ in Hopwood, K, (ed.) Organised Crime in Antiquity. (pp. 1-51). (Duckworth with the Classical Press of Wales: London and Swansea, 1999)

5. To what extent is ‘Athenocentrism’ a problem for historians of ancient Greece?
Brock, R. and Hodkinson, S. eds. Alternatives to Athens: Varieties of Political Organization and Community in Ancient Greece(Oxford 2000)

Paul A. Cartledge, The Greeks: A Portrait of Self and Others (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993)

Hall, Jonathan M., Ethnic Identity in Greek antiquity (Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1997)

Hall, Jonathan M. Hellenicity : between ethnicity and culture (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2002)

Hornblower, S. The Greek World 479–323 BC (Routledge 2002)

Pomeroy, S et al. eds. Ancient Greece: a political, cultural and social history (New York 2012)

Rhodes, P. A history of the Classical world 478–323 BC (Wiley-Blackwell 2010)

Snodgrass, A. M. 'Interaction by design: the Greek city-state', in Renfrew, C. and Cherry, J. F., eds. Peer-Polity Interaction and Socio-Political Change (Cambridge 1986) 47–58

Scott, M. Delphi and Olympia: the spatial politics of panhellenism (Cambridge 2010)

Assessed Essay 2: Tuesday 12th March 2019 (Week 10)

Write an essay of approximately 2,500 words (but no more than 2,500 words) on ONE of the following. Note that you should make close reference to the ancient texts and other relevant artistic, historical, and/or archaeological evidence.

The bibliography given here is only indicative and is meant to help you make a start. Please refer to the longer bibliography for the entire course and try to do your own research on Encore and/or JSTOR.

1. ‘Images on vases were little more than window-dressing.’ Discuss in relation to ancient Greek vase painting.


Bérard, C. (ed.) A City of Images: Iconography and Society in Ancient Greece 1989
Neer, R. Style and politics in Athenian vase-painting : the craft of democracy, ca 530-460 B.C.E 2002
Giuliani, L. Image and myth : a history of pictorial narration in Greek art 2013
Steiner, A. Reading Greek Vases 2007
Oakley, J. Picturing death in classical Athens : the evidence of the white lekythoi 2004
Vickers, M and Gill, D. Artful crafts : ancient Greek silverware and pottery 1994
Shapiro, H. Myth into art : poet and painter in classical Greece 1994
Robertson, M. The art of vase-painting in classical Athens 1992
Webster, T. B. L. Potter and patron in classical Athens 1972
Taplin, O and Wyles, R. (eds). The Pronomos vase and its context 2010

2. 'Persia was not the enemy – it was the alter-ego of the Greek psyche'. Discuss

Boedeker, D. and Raaflaub, K. eds. Democracy, Empire and the Arts in Fifth-Century Athens (Cambridge MA 1998)
LACTOR The Athenian Empire (London 1984)
Low, P. The Athenian Empire (Edinburgh 2008)
Kagan, D. The Peloponnesian war: Athens and Sparta in savage conflict 2003
Pomeroy, S et al. eds. Ancient Greece: a political, cultural and social history (New York 2012)
Scott, M. Delphi and Olympia: the spatial politics of panhellenism (Cambridge 2010)
Scott, M. Delphi: a history of the centre of the ancient world 2014
Van Wees, H. Greek Warfare: myths and realities (London 2004)
Cartledge, P. The Greeks: a portrait of self and others (Oxford 1993)
Isaac, B. The invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity (Princeton 2004)
Hall, E. Inventing the Barbarian: Greek self-definition through tragedy (Oxford 1989)
Arafat, K. Pausanias’ Greece: ancient artists and Roman rulers (Cambridge 1996)
Hall, J. Ethnic identity in Greek Antiquity (Cambridge 1997)
Vlassopoulos, K. Greeks and Barbarians (Cambridge 2013)

3. Do literature and visual art, taken together, give a clear view of the role of the symposium within Greek culture?
- Kurke, L. 'The strangeness of "song culture": Archaic Greek Poetry' in O. Taplin (ed.) Literature in the Greek and Roman Worlds: A New Perspective (Oxford 2000) 58–87
- Whitmarsh, T. 'Symposium', in Ancient Greek Literature (Cambridge 2004) Ch. 4
- Osborne, R. Greece in the Making (London 1996)
- Hall, J. M. A History of the Archaic Greek World c. 1200 - 479 BCE (London 2006)
- Neer, R. Art and Archaeology of the Greek world: a new history 2500 BC-150 BC (London 2012)
- Williamson, M. 'Eros the blacksmith: performing masculinity in Anakreon's love lyrics' in L. Foxhall and J. Salmon (eds.) Thinking Men: Masculinity and its Self-representation in the Classical Tradition (London 1998) 71–82
- Hammer, D. 'Ideology, the symposium and archaic politics', American Journal of Philology 125 (2004) 479–512
- Murray, O. ‘Sympotic History’ in O. Murray (ed.) Sympotica: A Symposium on the Symposium (Oxford 1990) 1–13
- Davidson, J. ‘Drinking’ in Courtesans and Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Classical Athens (London 1998) 36–69
- Lissarrague, F. ‘The Greek Experience of Wine’ in The Aesthetics of the Greek Banquet (Princeton 1990) 3–18

3. What is the role of costumes and props in Greek drama? (Answer in relation to one tragedy and one comedy at least)

Revermann, M. (2006), Comic business: theatricality, dramatic technique, and performance contexts of Aristophanic comedy, Oxford

Marshall, C.W. (2015) 'Dramatic technique and Athenian comedy' in Revermann, M. (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Greek Comedy, 131-45 Cambridge

Csapo, E. (2015) 'The iconography of comedy', Revermann, M. (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Greek Comedy, 95-128, Cambridge

Mueller, M. (2016), Objects as actors: props and the poetics of performance in Greek tragedy, Chicago and London.

Lee, M. M. (2004) '"Evil Wealth of Raiment": Deadly peploi in Greek Tragedy', The Classical Journal 99: 253-79

Fletcher, J. (2016) 'The Curse as a garment in Greek tragedy' in M. Harlow, M.-L. Nosch, and G. Fanfani (eds.) Spinning Fates and the Song of the Loom: The Use of Textiles, Clothing and Cloth Production as Metaphor, Symbol and Narrative Device in Greek and Latin Literature:101-113

Bakola, E. (2016) ‘Textile symbolism and the wealth of the earth: creation, production and destruction in the ‘tapestry scene’ of Aeschylus’ Oresteia (Ag. 905-78)’ in M. Harlow, M.-L. Nosch, and G. Fanfani (eds.) Spinning Fates and the Song of the Loom: The Use of Textiles, Clothing and Cloth Production as Metaphor, Symbol and Narrative Device in Greek and Latin Literature: 115-136

Thalmann G. W. “Xerxes’ Rags: Some Problems in Aeschylus’ Persians”, Τhe American Journal of Philology, 101 (1980) 260-282.

4. How does studying the Persians and the Clouds help you understand the statement that Greek drama was 'political'?

Cartledge, P. (1997), ‘“Deep plays”: theatre as process in Greek civic life’, in P.E. Easterling (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Greek Tragedy, (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press) 3-35

Carey, C. (1994), ‘Comic ridicule and democracy’, in R.G. Osborne and S. Hornblower ed., Ritual, Finance, Politics: Athenian democratic accounts presented to David Lewis, 69-83.

Sommerstein, A. (2015) ‘The Politics of Greek Comedy’ in M. Revermann (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Greek Comedy (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press), 291-30

Hall, E. Aeschylus Persians (Warminster 1997)

Pelling, C.B.R. “Aeschylus’ Persae and history”, in Pelling (ed.) Greek Tragedy and the Historian (Oxford 1997) 1-20

Rosenbloom, D. Aeschylus Persians, (London 2006)

Hutchinson, Gregory O. (2011) 'House politics and city politics in Aristophanes'. Classical Quarterly 61:48–70.

Lombardini, J. (2014)' Seeing democracy in the Clouds' In J. Mhire and B.P. Frost (eds),The political theory of Aristophanes: Explorations in poetic wisdom, 13–28. Albany

Carey, C. (2000) 'Old Comedy and the Sophists', in Harvey, D. and Wilkins, J. (eds) The rivals of Aristophanes: Studies in Athenian Old Comedy, 419–436. London: Duckworth and the Classical Press of Wales.

Major, W. E. (2013) The court of comedy: Aristophanes, rhetoric, and democracy in fifth-century Athens, Columbus

5. Assess the contribution of book 1 of Herodotus’ Histories (in terms of both form and content) to fifth-century Greek cultural consciousness.

Dewald, C. (1987) ‘Narrative Surface and Authorial Voice in Herodotus’ Histories’, Arethusa 20: 141–70.

Fowler, R. L. (1996) ‘Herodotus and his contemporaries’, Journal of Hellenic Studies 116: 62–87.

Goldhill, S. D. (2002) The Invention of Prose (Oxford), sections 1 and 2
.

Gould, J. (1989) Herodotus (London), esp. chs. 1, 3, 4 and 6.

Redfield, J. (1985) ‘Herodotus the Tourist’, Classical Philology 80: 97–118
.

Pelling, C. B. R. ‘East is East and West is West – or are they? National stereotypes in Herodotus’, https://research.ncl.ac.uk/histos/documents/1997.04PellingEastIsEast5166.pdf

Pelling, C. B. R. (2006) ‘Educating Croesus: Talking and Learning in Herodotus’ Lydian Logos’, Classical Antiquity 25: 141–77

Hall, E. (1989) Inventing the Barbarian (Oxford).

Thomas, R. (2000) Herodotus in Context: Ethnography, Science, and the Art of Persuasion (Cambridge), 267–9 on the proem, and ch. 1.