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Greek History: Imperial Athens - Cambridge University - Cambridge Centre for Greek Studies

Fifth-century Athens is famous for its democracy, its empire, and its cultural achievements in art and literature. But how do these fit together? The course will put Greek and Athenian history from the Persian invasion of Greece in the early fifth century BC to the defeat of Athens in the war with Sparta under the spotlight. Did democracy drive imperialism? Did democracy depend upon the wealth that came from empire? Could tragedy have flourished without democracy? Could it have flourished without empire? Along the way we will explore Athenian identity, the city’s buildings and topography, and its social structure. This will involve the study of a range of types of ancient testimony, including literature of various genres, inscriptions and archaeology.

Introductory Reading: Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War Book 1-2.65, R. Osborne (ed.), Short History of Europe, vol I Classical Greece (2000).

Title: Greek History: Imperial Athens

Faculty: Classics

Lecturer: Dr P Millett

Term: Michaelmas