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AAH2800 - The Golden Age of Athens

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Gillian Bowen


Not offered in 2007


The unit focuses upon Athens during the fifth century BCE, the period when, in a burst of creativity, her citizens attained their greatest achievements. The unit offers an historical framework within which to explore aspects of Greek culture: literature, drama, art and architecture, religion and philosophy, and the Athenian system of government. Some attention is given to Greek colonies in the Mediterranean. The subject incorporates a wide range of primary source material. Students will be encouraged to identify the ways in which Greek culture has impacted upon the western world.


On the successful completion of the unit students will have acquired:

  1. A knowledge of the historical context within which fifth-century Athens flourished.
  2. An understanding of the process by which Athens established an empire which, in turn, facilitated her innovative artistic and cultural achievements.
  3. An understanding of the principles of Greek art, architecture, and rhetoric, the underlying concepts of philosophy and religion, the ethos of tragedy, the nature of Greek historiography, the Greek concept of radical democracy and its variance with western ideals.
  4. A basic understanding of the ancient Greek psyche.
  5. Critical and analytical skills in reading diverse, primary source material.
  6. An introduction to skills which enable the application of textual, archaeological, inscriptional, and numismatic methodologies.
  7. Communication skills through group tutorial presentations, debate, and the performance of a play reading.


Document analysis (500 words): 10%
Tutorial participation and presentation (oral and written): 20%
Essay (2500 words): 45%
Class test (1 hour): 25%

Contact hours

3 hours (2 x 1 hour lectures and 1 x 1 hour tutorial) per week