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Scroll down for Essay titles but please READ the advice and guidelines listed below FIRST! 75% of issues in first years essay result from failure to follow the information listed below!!

Assessed Essay 1: Due Monday November 26th 2018

A Brief Introduction to Essay Expectations

Students are required to produce two essays (one each term) of about 2,250 words (you are advised not to go more than 10% above or below this threshold or deductions will be made). Essays should answer the question directly; an analytical essay with clear and systematic arguments will receive more credit than a meandering narrative; arguments must be supported by evidence, especially the primary sources. Essays must be provided with proper bibliographical references, and be presented legibly failure to do so will incur a 5 point penalty. Use of a word processor is a requirement. Spelling and grammar must be of an acceptable standard.

Guidelines on the writing of essays and the proper use of citations can be found in the student's handbook from the Department of Classics and is provided on the department website. See the ESSAY CHECKLIST (link on the right!) and the essay writing handbook I have provided.

Last but not least: an essay is your chance to to explore a topic, event, individual further and to make your own argument. The resulting work should be a creative excercise and something that represents your ideas, not a summary of what other scholars have said: your level of engagement with the materials is a crucial factor in your mark.

Common Essay Problems: Historia Magistra Vitae est. Learning from past mistakes...

 (Word Document)READ ME: Essay Writing Handbook

(Word Document) Learning from others: sample essay comments

This document (click the link above) contains advice based on the most common comments in essay feedback, including the criteria employed (e.g. content, strucure, treatment of evidence). Helpful advice on narrowing down the questions is also provided for each formal essay question (scroll down).


· Seeking information: Use indexes to find the information which you consider most relevant to your essay and utilize bibliographies provided on handouts!

· Book availability: You alone are responsible for acquiring the information necessary to write an essay. It should come as no surprise that 4 days before an essay is due, books are scarce, so plan in advance. Google books, though sometimes missing a page or two, can also help search books online. N.B. THE BOOKS LISTED IN THE BIBLIOGRAPHY REPRESENT A FRACTION OF THE AVAILABLE BOOKS ON THE TOPIC AT THE LIBRARY. There are a number of excellent ebooks, esp. Cambridge, Wiley Blackwell Companions etc. These are collections of a number of specific articles and are e-books. BEFORE YOU EMAIL THE LECTURER TO SAY "THERE ARE NO BOOKS LEFT IN THE LIBRARY" go to the library catalogue online and search terms e.g. "Punic wars" "The Roman Republic", (there are over 50 in the first topic, over 100 in the second, if all these are all missing then do please let me know.) There are plenty of books and often people with somewhat more creative bibliographies write better essays! One of the most vital research skills you can learn at university is how to find and select the information that you need.

ESSAY PLANS: Students are encouraged to submit essay plans (preferably via email) to the lecturer up 5 days before the essay is due. Plans are meant to be simple and short (a few sentences), listing the topic and main arguments of the essay. Under each argument you should record the supporting primary sources (ancient literature and material evidence), modern scholarship and an estimated word count. More than 50% of problems are related to structure, an essay plan can address these issues in advance.

ESSAY SUBMISSION: If you are concerned about your essay, you are welcome to come to office hours, however, I would suggest that you email me in advance to set up an appointment and so that you can come to the meeting prepared (e.g. with a plan or an idea); do not show up to a meeting and say "i don't know what to write". I cannot tell you what to write but if you have ideas or a plan, I can comment on the the scope, content and structure of the ideas and the sources. Essays should be submitted via Tabula before 12pm. When submitting an essay, students are required to upload a cover sheet, which should be the added as the first page of your essay. From 12.01pm onwards, essays will be treated as late.

DEADLINES: If you think that you will have difficulty in meeting a deadline, it is vital that you arrange to see the Director of Undergraduate Studies (Suzanne Frey-Kupper) or Head of Department (Alison Cooley) well in advance to explain the position and obtain consent for an extension to the deadline. While it is helpful to contact the module lecturer to apprise him/her of the situation; be aware the module co­ordinator does not possess the authority to grant extensions. A coincidence of essay deadlines for different modules will not, normally, be sufficient grounds for an extension: deadlines are announced well in advance and it is the student’s responsibility to organize your work to ensure that you meet your different commitments on time. The same applies to Essay questions, which are available online from the first day of term. If the internet goes down 48 hours before the deadline, this is not grounds for extension.


Due Monday November 26th 2018

Reading lists below are a PLACE TO START. They are a fraction of the material available. Part of 'independent research' is extending your reading list to new and (where possible) more recent works. PRIMARY SOURCES, WHICH ARE THE FOCUS OF DISCUSSION IN LECTURES, SHOULD OCCUPY A PLACE OF SIMILAR ESTEEM AS A SOURCE IN FORMAL ESSAYS.

TRY NOT TO FOCUS ON "GENERAL SOURCES", during research, they are a place to peruse evidence, but they often provideonly an introductory/somewhat superficial analysis on large bodies of material; for an essay you need a focused and detailed analysis of a few specific pieces of evidence.

1. Did Greek colonies retain close contacts with their mother cities?

N.B. Use on or two colonies and specific evidence from the site (primary literature and archaeological evidence) to support your answer.

Primary sources: see M. Dillon & L. Garland, Ancient Greece: Social and Historical Documents from Archaic Times to the Death of Socrates (3rd ed. 2010), 1-30

J. Boardman (1980), The Greeks Overseas. DF 251.B6

A.J. Graham, in Cambridge Ancient History III.3, pp.83‐162. D 57.C2

O. Murray (1993), Early Greece, 2nd ed. DF 222.M8O. Murray (1990), S. Price, The Greek City. DF 82.G7 R. Osborne (1996), Greece in the Making, 1200­479 BC. DF 220.O8 (ebook)

A. Powell (1995), The Greek World. 938 POW

P.J. Rhodes (1986), The Greek City States: A sourcebook. DF 81.G7

H. Bowden,“The Greek settlement and sanctuaries at Naukratis”, in M.H. Hansen& K. Raaflaub (eds) More Studies in the Ancient Greek Polis (1996), 17-38

I. Malkin (1998), The Returns of Odysseus: Colonisation and Ethnicity

R. Osborne, ‘Early Greek colonisation? The nature of Greek settlement in the west’ in N. Fisher & H. van Wees (eds.), Archaic Greece (1998), 251-269

2. Does Solon deserve the title "Founding Father" of Athenian Democracy?

N.B. Your answer should consider both Solon's poetry and the claims made by later ancient authors about what he did.

Primary sources: see M. Dillon & L. Garland, Ancient Greece: Social and Historical Documents from Archaic Times to the Death of Socrates (3rd ed. 2010), chapter 8

O. Murray (1980), Early Greece, chapter 11

M. Stahl & U. Walter, ‘Athens’, in K. Raaflaub & H. van Wees (eds.), A Companion to Archaic Greece (2009), 138-49

P. Rhodes (1981), A Commentary on the Aristotelian Athenaion Politeia, 118-178

P. Stanley (1999), The Economic Reforms of Solon

T.W. Galland, ‘Agricultural systems, land tenure and the reforms of Solon’, Annual of the British School at Athens 77 (1982), 111-124

L. Foxhall, ‘A view from the top: evaluating the Solonian property classes’ in Lynette Mitchell & Peter Rhodes (eds.), The Development of the Polis in Archaic Greece (1997), 113-136

E. Harris, ‘Did Solon abolish debt-bondage?’, Classical Quarterly 52 (2002), 415-30

J. Blok & A. Lardinois (eds.) (2006), Solon of Athens: New Historical and Philological Approaches

C. Mossé, ‘How a political myth takes shape: Solon, ‘Founding Father’ of the Athenian democracy’, in P. Rhodes (ed.), Athenian Democracy (2004), 242-259

3. Do accounts of Greek Battles (texts and/or monuments) corroborate the codes of conduct set out in literature?

J. Ober, ‘The rules of war in Classical Greece’, in J. Ober, The Athenian Revolution: Essays on Ancient Greek Democracy and Political Theory (2nd ed. 1999), 53-71

P. Krentz, ‘Fighting by the rules: the invention of the hoplite agon’, Hesperia 71 (2002), 23-39

P. Cartledge, ‘Hoplites and heroes: Sparta’s contribution to the technique of ancient warfare’, JHS 97 (1977), 11-27

W.R. Connor, ‘Early Greek land warfare as symbolic expression’, Past & Present 119 (1988), 3-29

V.D. Hanson (1989), The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece

H. van Wees (2004), Greek Warfare: Myths and Realities

H. van Wees, ‘Heroes, knights and nutters. Warrior mentality in Homer’ in A.B. Lloyd (ed.) (1996), Battle in Antiquity, 1-96

P. Krentz, ‘Deception in Archaic and Classical Greek warfare’, in H. van Wees (ed.), War and Violence in Ancient Greece (2000), 167-200

V.D. Hanson, ‘Hoplite battle as ancient Greek warfare: when, where, and why?’, in H. van Wees (ed.), War and Violence in Ancient Greece (2000), 201-232

J.C. Dayton (2005), The Athletes of War: An Evaluation of the Agonistic Elements of Greek Warfare

L. Rawlings (2007), The Ancient Greeks at War

R. Konijnendijk, ‘Mardonius’ senseless Greeks’, Classical Quarterly 66.1 (2016), 1-12

4. How does Greek Art or Architecture contribute to our understanding of ancient history?

N.B. Please focus on no more than 2 monuments (a detailed essay could be written on a single monument): Serpent column (Battle at Plataea), monuments at Thermopylae, recent restoration of the Callimachus Monument (Athens), temple of Zeus at Olympia, or the Parthenon. Given the complexity or some monuments, it might be wise to focus on a single element of (a pediment, frieze, triglyphs, a specific sculptural figure) for comparison.

Jutta Stroszeck (2011) ‘Greek Trophy Monuments’ in online catalogue:

E. Rice in J. Rich (ed). War and Society in the Greek world (1995) ‘The Glorious dead: Commemoration of the fallen and portrayal of victory in the Late Classical and Hellenistic World’. Chapter 11.

W. West, (1969) ‘Trophies of the Persian Wars’ vol 64, pp 7-19. JSTOR

Cosmopoulos, M.N., (2009) The Parthenon and its Sculptures

J. Neils, (2001) The Parthenon Frieze

R. Osborne, (1998) Archaic and Classical Greek Art

R. Osborne (1994), ‘Democracy and imperialism in the Panathenaic Procession: The Parthenon frieze in its context’, in W. D. E. Coulson et al. (eds.) The Archaeology of Athens and Attica under the Democracy, 143–50

R.F. Rhodes, (1995) Architecture and Meaning of the Athenian Acropolis

M. Scott, (2010) Delphi and Olympia: The Spatial Politics of Panhellenism in the Archaic and Classical Periods

J Whitley (2004) The Archaeology of Ancient Greece

5. Does Thucydides account of the Sicilian Campaign fullfill his own criteria of an objective history ?

Primary sources: Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War: For criteria see Book 1, 20-22. For accounts of the Sicilian Campaign Book 6, 8-32; 47-61; Book 7 60-87

Use discussion & analysis of specific events to illustrate your points.

S. Hornblower, The Greek World, 479-323 BC (1983), chapter 13. DF 214.H6

A. Powell (2001), Athens and Sparta, chapter 5

L. Kallet, ‘The Peloponnesian War’ in R. Osborne (ed.), Classical Greece (2000), 187-196.

D. Kagan (2003), The Peloponnesian War: Athens and Sparta in Savage Conflict (this is an abridged version of Kagan's four-volume history, 1969-1987)

J. Ober, ‘Thucydides, Pericles and the strategy of defense’, in J. Ober (ed.) The Athenian revolution (2nd ed. 1999), 72-85

J.F. Lazenby (2004), The Peloponnesian War: A Military Study

L.A. Tritle (2010), A New History of the Peloponnesian War

J.E. Lendon (2010), Song of Wrath: The Peloponnesian War Begins

G. Cawkwell (1997), Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War


Spring Essay is due on Wed March 7th Week 9 2018 .

Questions *N.B. (further advice on answering these questions offered with bibliographies below)

 STEP 1: RE-READ YOUR COMMENTS ON THE FIRST ESSAY. Repeating the same mistakes is an insult to your intelligence. Your first essay is on file (in the Classics office) and if you would like to look at it again and see the more extensive comments and marking from your first essay, you can make a photocopy from the Classics office.

STEP 2: READ ALL THE QUESTIONS, THEN CHOOSE ONE. As we saw with the first essay, revising a topic you have already studied at A-Level can make it even more difficult to leave the A level mentalities and writing style behind. Branch out. If you choose a topic that has not yet been covered, you may ask for lecture handouts in advance or consult the corresponding lecture handouts from previous years (although the amount of material covered in lecture can vary (week 3 last year, may be covered in week 2 this year..) the basic facts, events and resource are not often subject to substantial changes.

STEP 3: Start reading! If you would like the lecture handout for any of these topics, please feel free to ask.

1. Which account presents a more accurate portrayal of the "checks & balances" system in the Roman Constitution: the story of Spurius Maelius in Livy’s Ab Urbe Condita (IV. 13-21) or the Catiline Conspiracy?

In terms of the Roman constitution, consider carefully a few (1-3) roles set out for Roman officials (e.g. the consul, the dictator, the master of the horse, the senate, the tribune of the plebs) in these events. Note: the chronological discrepancies of the accounts (one in contemporary.. one is.. not).

Primary Sources

Livy 4. 13-21

Cicero (in a number of his works) De Senectute, 56.

Varro, De Lingua Latina, 5. 157

Dionysius of Halicarnassus, 10. 23-25; 12. 1-4

Secondary Sources

T.P. Wiseman (2009), Remembering the Roman People: Essays on Late Republican Politics and Literature, Esp. Chapters 1 and 9 (The Ethics of Roman Murder). Google book link [DG 241.2.W4]

J. Linderski (ed) (1996) Imperium Sine Fine , Chapter 5 by T.P. Wiseman "The Minucii annd their Moment" esp. pp. 64-67. in Google book link (not in library).

P.A. Brunt (1988), The Fall of the Republic and Related Essays, pp. 240-258.

H. (ed., 2004), The Cambridge Companion to the Roman Republic, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DG 235.C2

A. Graham & A. Kamm (2014) , The Romans, Chapter 2 (esp. 23-29 and the online Constitution case study and Constitution powerpoint. NB: These are a place to start: you must take this material beyond the source discussion in recieves in these resources.

E.S. Gruen (1974), The Last Generation of the Roman Republic.

F.G.B. Millar (1998), The Crowd in Rome in the Late Republic, Ann Arbor: university of Michigan Press. DG 254.2.M4

J. North (1990), 'Democratic politics in Rome' in Past and Present, pp. 3-21.

B. Rawson (1994), The Cambridge Ancient History, vol. IX, 2nd ed., pp. 438-467

H.H. Scullard, From the Gracchi to Nero (5th ed., 1982).

R. Syme, The Roman Revolution (1939) chs. 1-5.

T.P. Wiseman, The Cambridge Ancient History, vol. IX (2nd ed. 1994), pp. 368-423

Overviews on Historiography

Bispham, E, (2006) "Roman historiography" ch. 50 in the Edinburgh Companion to Ancient Greece and Rome.

Dorey, T.A., Latin Historians (Routledge and Kegan Paul: London 1966) [DG 206.A2]

Feldherr, A., ed. (2009) The Cambridge Companion to the Roman Historians[DG 205.C3]

@Gabba, E. ‘True history and false history in classical antiquity’, Journal of Roman Studies 71 (1981) 50-62

Kraus, C.S. The Limits of Historiography. (Leiden 1999) chapters by Jaeger, Clarke, Pelling [D 56.L4]

@Kraus, C.S., et al. (2010) Ancient historiography and its contexts (OUP) [e-book]

Marincola, J., Authority and tradition in ancient historiography (Cambridge 1997) [D 56.M2]

2. Who was a better general: Scipio Africanus or Hannibal?

Focus on 1-2 specifc event/s (be it a battles, personalities or strategies) to support your answer. This question need not be a comparison of two men but can focus on a single man, OR use a single battle to compare both men.

A. Primary Literature * see Lecture Handout 12 and slide show for inscriptions, coins and archaeology.

1. Polybius, Histories (ca. 200-118 BC)

2. Livy , History of Rome (ca. 64 BC -17 AD)

3. Appian, Roman History (ca. AD 95-165)

4. Plutarch, Lives of Fabius Maximus, Marcellus, and the elder Cato (ca. AD 50-125)

Secondary Sources

A.E. Astin (1967), Scipio Aemilianus, Oxford: Clarendon Press. DG 253.S4

J. B Briscoe, The Second Punic War in Cambridge Ancient History, vol. VIII (2nd ed. 1989).

T. Cornell (ed., 1996), The Second Punic War: A Reappraisal, London: University of London Institute of Classical Studies. DG 247.C3

L.A. Curchin (1991), Roman Spain: Conquest and Assimilation, London: Routledge. [DG 59.H6]

G. Daly (2002) Cannae: the experience of battle in the 2nd C. BC [ebook]

M.P. Fronda (2010) - Between Rome and Carthage: Southern Italy in the second Punic War [DG.247.33.F 76]

R. Garland (2010) Hannibal [DG 249.G.37]

A. Goldsworthy (2001), The Punic Wars. [DG.242 G6]

J.F. Lazenby (1996), Hannibal's War: A Military History of the Second Punic War.

J. Rich and G. Shipley (eds., 1993) War and society in the Roman World, London: Routledge. [DG 89.W2]

A.K. Goldsworthy (1996), The Roman Army at War 100 BC-AD 200, Oxford: Clarendon Press. [U 35.G6]

E. Gabba (1976), Republican Rome: The army and the Allies, [on-line resource.]

L. Keppie (1984), The Making of the Roman Army: From Republic to Empire, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

[U 35.K3]

J. Toner (2013) Roman Disasters [DG.78. T658]

C. Ryan (ed) (2010) Zero to Hero, Hero to Zero: in search of the Classical hero [PA. 3015. H37]

3. What was the primary function of a Roman victory temple?

(e.g. does it commemorate a god? a victory? an individual? an act of divine intervention?) Consider 1-2 temples carefully, looking at the appearance, location, materials, function and dedicator of the building.

Primary sources: The column of C. Duilius, Temple of Hercules Victor, Temple of Portunus, Temple of Jupiter Stator, 4 Temples in Largo Argentina (Temples A-D); Temple of Victory on the Palatine, or Three temples from the Forum Holitorium. Many of these have been substantially restored so keep this in mind when interpreting the evidence.

An excellent guide to the temples (better than a wikipedia entry!) is Lacus Curtius, which provides detailed entries (and primary source references) for many of the aforementioned monuments.

Amanda Claridge's Archaeological Guide to Rome (1998) is also excellent for basic information on the buildings, reconstructions, and a better concept of the archaeological context as a whole.

T.J. Cornell 'The City of Rome in the Middle Republic (c. 400-100 BC) in J. Coulston (ed.) Ancient Rome: The Archaeology of the Eternal City (BSR) 2000.

M.Beard 1994 'Religion' in CAH 729-68 (esp 735-38, but be careful..)

D. Favro (ed)' Rome. The Street Triumphant' in Streets of the World: Criticial perspectives (1994). 8 Esp pp. 151-64

W.V. Harris (1979) War and Imperialism in Republican Rome. (esp. 260-265).

J.R. Patterson, 2000, Political life in the the City of Rome esp. 31-38.

A. Ziolkowski (1988) 'Mummius' Temple of Hercules Victor and the Round temple on the Tiber' Phoenix 42, 1988, 309-33.

> This author also has a broader book about temples, but not on ebooks yet... 'Temples of mid Republican Rome. (1992).

4. Who is to blame for the fall of the Roman Republic?

Please focus on a single individual or institution as well as a specific events (reform, legislation, political /military act), showing a detailed knowledge of both the act and the effect it had on subsequent history. Please do not write a narrative on all the subsequent events but focus on a specific events (e.g. the reform, and a 1-2 subsequent events)

Primary Sources

Who you chose will dictate this, but primary and secondary reading can be found in all lecture handouts. The entire term of which are online for your perusal.

Secondary Sources

M. Beard, M. Crawford (1999), Rome in the Late Republic: Problems and Interpretations.

P.A. Brunt, The Fall of the Roman Republic and Related Essays (1988).

- 'Waiting for Sulla', Journal of Roman Studies 52 (1962) 42-61. [DOWNLOAD]

- (1968), Roman Imperialism in the Late Republic, 2nd ed., London: Duckworth. DG 81.B2

A. M. Clay, Sources of Roman History 133-70 BC (2nd ed, 1986,). DG 254.B7

E. Gabba, Republican Rome: The Army and the Allies (1976), pp. 142-150. DG 256.2.G2

E. Gruen, The Last Generation of the Roman Republic (1974), pp. 6-46. DG 258.G7

A. Keaveney (1974), Sulla the Last Republican. DG 256.7.K3

A.W. Lintott (1992), Judicial Reform and Land Reform in the Republic, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DG 88.L4

J. Rich, 'The supposed manpower shortage of the later second century BC' Historia 32 (1983): 287-331.

H.H. Scullard, From the Gracchi to Nero (5th ed 1982).

A.N. Sherwin-White 'The political ideas of C. Gracchus', Journal of Roman Studies (1982) 18-31.

D. Stockton, The Gracchi (1979)

L.R. Taylor, 'Forerunners of the Gracchi' Journal of Roman Studies 52 (1962): 19-27

T.P. Wiseman (1971), New Men in the Roman Senate 129 BC- AD 14, Oxford: Oxford University Press. DG 254.2.W4

5. Are accounts and/or portrayals of Julius Caesar after his death significantly different from those produced during his lifetime?

This question can be considered through literary and/or archaeological sources, both lines of inquiry and their respective sources need to be treated carefully (esp. those composed/created during/after Augustus became emperor.)

Primary Sources

1. Plutarch (in Peguin trans. Plutarch, ''Fall of the Roman Republic', Life of Caesar: 12-14

2. Suetonius, "Life of Caesar' 18-33.

3. Cassius Dio, 44.6

4. Cicero, Fam 7. 30; 9.15,

Att 12.45.2, 13.28.3, 13. 37

5. ? Shakespeare "Julius Caesar" Act III. scene II.

Secondary sources

  • Brunt, P.A. (1966) 'The Roman Mob', in Past & Present 35; pp. (Also in M.I. Finley (ed.), Studies in Ancient Society, pp. 74-102)
  • Crawford, M. (1978) The Roman Republic (London; 2nd ed. 1992)
  • *Gelzer, M. (1968) Caesar, Politician and Statesman
  • Graham A. and Kamm, A. The Romans (3rd ed. 2015). Chapter 2. There is an online case study on this topic as well as links to other resources, please be sure that you take this question BEYOND the discussion in this work.
  • @Griffin, M.T. (2009) Blackwell Companion to Julius Caesar [e-book]
  • Gruen, E.S. (1974) The Last Generation of the Roman Republic
  • *Morgan, L. (1997) '"Levi quidem de re...": Julius Caesar as tyrant and pedant', JRS 87: 23-40
  • Patterson, J.R. (2000) Political life in the city of Rome
  • *Rawson, E. (1975) Caesar’s heritage: Hellenistic kings and their Roman equals’, JRS 65: 148-59
  • *Rawson, E. (1994) 'Caesar: Civil War and Dictatorship', in CAH IX (2nd edn) 424-67
  • *Rawson, E. (1994) 'The aftermath of the Ides', in CAH IX (2nd edn) 468-90
  • Sedley, D. (1997) ' The ethics of Brutus and Cassius' JRS 87: 41-53
  • *Syme, R. (1939) The Roman Revolution (OUP, Oxford) – chs. 4, 7-8 [DG 231.S9]
  • Tatum, W.J. (2008) Always I am Caesar [DG 261.T38]
  • Weinstock, S. (1971) Divus Julius (Oxford)
  • Wyke, M. (2006) Julius Caesar in western culture
  • Yavetz, Z. (1983) Julius Caesar and his Public Image [DG 261.Y2]