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Images of Democracy: Early Greek Origins (6 points)


Leader: Gillian Robinson

Not offered in 2003.

Synopsis: Democracy for the Athenians, from the days of Pericles to those of Demosthenes a full century later, was a system of citizen self-rule. The point of democracy in 5th century Athens was that it made freedom possible and allowed the citizens of the small city-state of Athens to individually and collectively choose a way of life and the norms and values commensurate with that choice. This unit interrogates representations of the archaic past by Homer, of the institution and nature of democracy by the classical philosophers Plato and Aristotle, and of the reception of the past that had to be overcome in the Athenian democracy in the work of Aeschylus, Aristophanes and Sophocles.

Assessment: Essay (3500 words): 75% + Examination (1 hour): 25%

Contact Hours: 2 hours per week

Prerequisites: A first-year sequence in Politics or permission

Prohibitions: PHL2060, AGS2060, COS2860, COS3860

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