1. General Bibliography 12 items
    1. Early Greece (2nd ed.) - O. Murray 1993

      Book  (Also copies of 1st edition, 1980 in the Library at DF77.M8E2)

    2. Classical Greece: 500-323BC - R. Osborne 2000

      Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book

    3. Athens and Sparta: constructing Greek political and social history from 478 BC - A. Powell 2001 (electronic book)

      Book  (Also print copies of 1st ed., 1988 in the Library at DF214.P7)

    4. A history of the archaic Greek world, ca. 1200-479 BCE (2nd ed.) - J. M. Hall 2014 (electronic book)

      Book  (Also print copies of 1st ed., 2007 in the Library at DF221.2H2)

    5. The Greeks: a portrait of self and others - P. Cartledge 1993

      Book  (Also copies of 2nd ed., 2002 in the Library at DF78.C28G02)

    6. Greece in the making, 1200-479 BC - R. Osborne 2009

      Book  (Also copies of 1st ed., 1996 available in the Library at DF220.O83)

    7. A history of the classical Greek world: 478-323 BC (2nd ed.) - P. J. Rhodes 2010

      Book  (Also copies of 1st ed., 2006 in the Library at DF214.R57)

    8. A companion to archaic Greece - K. A. Raaflaub, H. van Wees 2009


    9. The Greek world: 479-323 BC (4th ed.) - S. Hornblower 2011

      Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book. (Print copies of previous editions also in the Library at DF214.H7...)

  2. SEMINAR 1: The foundation of Cyrene 13 items
    The purpose of this seminar is to examine an intriguing set of sources drawn from different periods, which illustrate the interpretative problems in ancient history. Both passages purport to describe the foundation of the city of Cyrene in North Africa, an event traditionally dated to 630 BC. One is the account given by Herodotus, the other an inscribed record on stone.
    1. As you read the passages, think about the following questions:

      • When was Herodotus writing? Where does the material about Cyrene which he records come from? Why does he give two versions of the foundation story? What are the differences between them? Does Herodotus think one is more likely to be true than the other?
      • When was the inscription written, and under what circumstances? Does it preserve an 'original' decree? How might we tell? What historical value does it have? Are inscriptions more or less reliable than history?
      • Can we legitimately put these sources together to reconstruct a foundation story for Cyrene? Are foundations stories true? How might such stories have changed or become corrupted over time? What story should we tell about the creation of the polis?
      • How might the experience of colonisation have affected the Greek world more broadly, e.g. in stimulating ideas about Greek identity or the best ways of organising society?
      • How do ancient accounts of the earliest Greek history differ from those of modern historians?
      • You should also try to locate Thera and Cyrene in the context of the Greek world more broadly. Use these first weeks to try to orient yourselves within the ancient Greek world. How far did the Greek world spread? Where are the major centres?

    2. Essential reading 4 items
      The package of sources on MMS comprises two accounts: Herodotus Book 4.150-159, and the inscription Meiggs-Lewis, Greek Historical Inscriptions no. 5 (Fornara, Translated Documents no. 18). To make sense of this material you should also read the following:
      1. Early Greece - Oswyn Murray 1993

        Book  Chapter 7. (Copies of 1st edition, 1980, also available at: DF77.M8E2.)

      2. Greece in the Making, 1200-479 BC - Robin Osborne 2009

        Book  pp. 8-17, 'The case of Cyrene'

    3. Some further reading: 8 items
      1. On Herodotus:

      2. Herodotus - John Gould 1989


      3. On oral tradition:

      4. Herodotus and Oral History - O. Murray

        Chapter  Available in library and as an e-book.

      5. On 'colonisation' (questioning the appropriateness of the term):

      6. A History of the Archaic Greek World, ca. 1200-479 BCE - Jonathan M. Hall 2007

        Book  Read: Chapter 5, 'New homes across the sea'. (Available in library and as an e-book)

  3. SEMINAR 2: The archaeology of the Greek polis 8 items
    The study of ancient history relies as much on archaeological investigation as on written historical sources, particularly in the early periods. The purpose of this seminar is to familiarise yourself with the technique of interpreting and commenting on archaeological plans, by focussing on the material evidence for the city of Athens (and, briefly, some other Greek poleis). What are the distinguishing physical features of the Greek polis? How do poleis differ?
    1. Read the dossier of site plans ('Maps for seminar 2' on MMS) and, with the help of the secondary reading and of the 'Ancient city of Athens' website, try first to make sense of the topography of the city of Athens, and its territory, Attica. 


      The plans in the dossier are designed to lead you from close readings of archaeological plans, to using those plans to answer social and historical questions. 

      The dossier starts out with a series of plans of the Athenian agora. Think about the following questions:

      • What was the role of the agora in a Greek polis?
      • What buildings do you see in the Athenian agora of 500 BC? What was their function? (Use secondary reading and the online resources we have directed you to in order to answer this.)
      • What changes in the layout of the agora can you spot in the subsequent plans? 
      • What conclusions about the social organization of Athens, and the function of its agora, can you come to by looking at these plans? 

      The dossier then zooms out to give you a plan of the whole city (as it looked at a slightly later point in the Roman period).

      • What can you tell about the topography of the city?
      • Can you spot the agora and the Acropolis?
      • Can you trace the route of the Panathenaic procession from the gates of the city to the Acropolis? What monuments does it pass as it goes? 


      We then zoom out again to look at the whole landscape of Attica.

      • What can you tell about the geography of Attica?
      • Make sure you can locate Athens, the Piraeus, Eleusis, Brauron, and Sounion. 

      Page 6 shows the Sacred Way from Athens to Eleusis. 

      • Why did people go from Athens to Eleusis?
      • What things did they pass on their way? What was the terrain like?
      • Put this map together with the plan of the Panathenaic procession. Why might ritualized movement through the landscape be important when we are studying the polis?


      Look briefly at the plans for Eleusis, Sounion, and Brauron.

      • What were these places?
      • What types of buildings did they contain?
      • Look at these plans in conjunction with the map of Attica. What role may these places have served, along with Athens, in tying together this region as a whole?

      The final two plans in the dossier show two other poleis, Corinth and Olynthus.

      • Where in Greece are these cities?
      • What can you say about the buildings and the layout of these cities? Do you see the same things as in Athens? Different things? If things are different, what does that imply? How do the similarities and differences change or reinforce your definition of the polis?

    2. Essential reading: 4 items
      1. The archaeology of ancient Greece - James Whitley 2001

        Book  Read: chapter 13 ('The archaeology of democracy: Classical Athens)

      2. A History of the Archaic Greek World, ca. 1200-479 BCE - Jonathan M. Hall 2007

        Book  Chapter 4. Available in library and as an e-book.

      3. Greece in the Making, 1200-479 BC - Robin Osborne 2009

        Book  pp. 220-230 ('New cities'). Available in library and as an e-book. 1996 edition also available in library at: DF220.O83.

      4. Polis: An Introduction to the Ancient Greek City-State - Mogens Herman Hansen 2006

        Book  pp. 39-47 (on origins of the polis), pp. 56-61 (what is a polis?), pp. 73-76 (size and population). Available in library and as an e-book.

    3. Further reading: 3 items
      1. The Archaeology of Athens - John M. Camp 2001

        Book  Chapter 1 (The physical setting), Chapter 4 (Classical Athens). Available in library and as an e-book.

      2. The Acropolis in the age of Pericles - Jeffrey M. Hurwit 2004

        Book  Read: Chapters 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. (Chapter 3, 'Pericles, Athens and the building programme' digitised)

  4. SEMINAR 3: Invented tradition: the 'Spartan mirage' 28 items
    This seminar concentrates on an atypical city (very different, say, from Athens), Sparta. Sparta is said never to have undergone a period of tyranny, and was famous – notorious – in antiquity for its austerity and its militarism; Thucydides (1.18) also claims that the Spartans enjoyed unparalleled stability. But was Sparta really so different?
    1. How can we square the evidence of archaeology with that of our literary sources? 

      Is the image of Spartan austerity accurate? 

      Does the evidence of Herodotus undermine the picture generated by Xenophon (in his Constitution of the Lakedaimonians) or by Plutarch in his Life of Lycurgus (the founder of the Spartan constitution). When were Xenophon and Plutarch writing – and why?

      What role did the Helots play in enabling (or undermining) Spartan success?

      What role did women play within Spartan society - was it noticeably different from elsewhere in the Greek world?

      And (why) did Sparta decline in the fourth century?

    2. Essential reading: 9 items
      Read the package of sources (Xenophon’s Constitution of the Spartans, Plutarch’s Life of Lycurgus, and passages from Herodotus’ account of the Spartan king Cleomenes) and consider the archaeological evidence for archaic Sparta (which can be found on MMS).
      1. First read at least one of the following introductory accounts of Sparta:

      2. Early Greece - Oswyn Murray 1993

        Book  Chapter 10 (On short loan. Copies of 1980 edition also available in library.)

      3. Greece in the Making, 1200-479 BC - Robin Osborne 2009

        Book  pp. 177-185. Available in library and as an e-book.

      4. Athens and Sparta: Constructing Greek Political and Social History from 478 BC - Anton Powell 1988

        Book  Chapter 6. Available in library and as an e-book.

      5. Then read the following more advanced articles:

      6. The development of Spartan society and institutions - S. Hodkinson

        Chapter  pp.83-103. Available in library and as an e-book.

      7. Spartan Wives: Liberation or Licence? - Paul Cartledge 1981

        Article  (Reprinted in Cartledge, Spartan Reflections (2001) available at: DF261.S8C2S72 and DF261.S8C2S72G03).

    3. Further reading: 18 items
      1. On archaic Sparta and the question of Spartan 'austerity':

      2. The mirage of Lykourgan Sparta: some brazen reflections - Paul Cartledge

        Chapter  pp.169-184. Copies of 2001 edition also available in library at: DF261.S8C2S72.

      3. Sixth-century Lakonian vase-painting - A. Powell

        Chapter  pp. 119-146.

      4. Further studies of Spartan society:

      5. Social order and the conflict of values in classical Sparta - S. Hodkinson 1983

        Article  Available online via (requires registration). Also in print journal in the Library: per CN1.C5 Chiron vol 13 (1983) pp. 239-281.

      6. Spartan Religion - R. Parker

        Chapter  (Reprinted in part in Whitby, Sparta, available at: DF261.S8W5).

      7. Spartan Women - Sarah B. Pomeroy 2002

        Book  Available in library and as an e-book.

      8. The Shadow of Sparta - Anton Powell, Stephen Hodkinson 1994

        Book  Available in library and as an e-book.

      9. Sparta: New Perspectives - Stephen Hodkinson, Anton Powell 1999


      10. Sparta: Beyond the Mirage - Anton Powell, Stephen Hodkinson 2002


      11. Sparta: The Body Politic - Anton Powell, Stephen Hodkinson 2010


  5. SEMINAR 4: Athenian Imperialism 28 items
    The nature of Athenian imperialism was debated even at the time, as Thucydides reveals, and like most empires, could be represented in a variety of different ways depending on the position of the author or the type of evidence in question.
    1. Think about the problems of the different forms of evidence as you are reading the sources, and in particular the following questions:


      • How does Thucydides explain the development of Athenian imperialism? Is his account fair?
      • What can inscriptions tell us about the nature of Athenian imperialism? Do they correct or confirm the picture of Thucydides and other literary sources?
      • When did Athenian imperialism begin (what is the difference between empire and imperialism?)
      • Is it appropriate to use the term empire of Athens' rule in the fifth century?
      • Was the empire exploitative? Or were there benefits as well as disadvantages for Athens' allies? (Do good deeds balance out the bad?)
      • What was the relationship between Athens' empire and her democracy? 
      • To what extent should the existence of the empire affect our assessment of Athensʼ wider cultural legacy?

    2. Essential reading: 10 items
      In addition to the package of sources on MMS you should first read at least one of the following introductory accounts:
      1. Democracy and Classical Greece - J. K. Davies 1993

        Book  pp. 9-86. (Copies of 1978 edition also available in library.)

      2. Athens and Sparta: Constructing Greek Political and Social History from 478 BC - Anton Powell 1988

        Book  Chapters 1-3. Available in library and as an e-book.

      3. The Greek World, 479-323 BC - Simon Hornblower 1991

        Book  Chapters 2-3. (Available as an e-book; print copies of various editions in the Library at DF214.H7...)

      4. A History of the Classical Greek World: 478-323 BC - P. J. Rhodes 2010

        Book  Chapter 2. (Copies of 2006 edition also available at: DF214.R57 ).

      5. The Athenian empire - P. J. Rhodes 1985

        Book  (pp. 36-45 digitised)

      6. Then read the following more advanced discussions of Athenian imperialism:

      7. The Greater Athenian state - I. Morris

        Chapter  pp. 128-154. Available in library and as an e-book.

      8. The Athenian Empire: a balance sheet - M. I. Finley

        Chapter  pp. 41-61. (Originally published in P.D.A. Garnsey and C.R. Whittaker (eds.) Imperialism in the Ancient World (1978), pp. 103-26, available at: D60.G2W5

    3. Further reading: 17 items
      There are also important discussions of different aspects of the topic in the following:
      1. The Athenian Empire - translated and edited by R. Osborne 2000

        Book  Note on the Tribute Lists, pp.58-65.

      2. Democracy, Empire, and the Arts in Fifth-Century Athens - Deborah Boedeker, Kurt A. Raaflaub 1998


      3. Athenian Settlements Abroad - P. Brunt

        Chapter  Reprinted with a new postscript. Originally published in Ancient Society and Institutions: Ehrenberg Studies (1966) ed. E. Badian available at: DF13.E5. Chapter 5.

      4. Thucydides and the Empire - George Cawkwell

        Chapter  pp. 92-106. Available in library and as an e-book.

      5. Athens from Cleisthenes to Pericles - Charles W. Fornara, Loren J. Samons 1991


      6. The Athenian Coinage Decree - D. Lewis

        Chapter  pp. 118-131.

      7. Periclean imperialism - H. B. Mattingly

        Chapter  pp. 81-110.

      8. The Athenian Empire - Russell Meiggs 1972

        Book  See especially Chapter 14 ('The balance-sheet of empire').

      9. Athenian Religion: A History - Robert Parker 1996

        Book  Chapter 8.

      10. For (introductions to) Thucydides, see especially:

      11. Thucydides - W. Robert Connor 1984

        Book  Available in library and as an e-book.

      12. Thucydides - Simon Hornblower 1994

        Book  Copies of 1987 edition also available in library.

  6. SEMINAR 5: Law and Society in Crete: the Gortyn Law Code 17 items
    1. Sources 1 item
      NB: You should focus on the English text of the code and use the introductory material and notes to help to understand the content of the code as you go.
      1. The Gortyn Law Code, see [alternative URL:]

        or the more recent version in Michael Gagarin and Paula Perlman, The Laws of Ancient Crete c. 650-400 BCE (2016)text G72 (pp. 334-428) [see Essential Reading below]

    2. Questions to think about:

      • Why did the people of Gortyn (or other Greek poleis) write laws? And why did they display them in public?
      • Is it right to describe the Gortyn text as a law code?  What signs are there of law as evolving in Gortyn?
      • What can we tell of the legal position of women and slaves in Gortyn?
      • What evidence emerges of the judicial process?
      • How does any body of laws reflect (or distort) the society from which it emerges?
      • How did Gortyn, or Crete more generally, differ from other Greek poleis?

    3. Essential reading 5 items
      1. As a clear introduction to the evidence of the code, start with:

      2. Then read:

      3. The laws of Ancient Crete: c.650-400 BCE - Michael Gagarin, Paula Perlman 2016

        Book  pp. 77-95, 129-143

      4. Women and law in classical Greece - Raphael Sealey 1990

        Book  Chapter on women in the laws of Gortyn (pp. 50-81)

    4. Further reading 10 items
      1. On Gortyn:

      2. Writing Greek law - Michael Gagarin 2008 (electronic book)

        Book  Chs. 6-7

      3. For Greek law more generally:

      4. The Cambridge companion to ancient Greek law - Michael Gagarin, David Cohen 2005

        Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book

      5. The justice of the Greeks - Raphael Sealey 1994


  7. SEMINAR 6: Greek Homosexuality 24 items
    This seminar examines the history of personal life, and the different ways in which sexuality was configured in Greek antiquity, the different norms and values which shaped individual behaviour. It takes as its starting point Aeschines’ speech "Against Timarchus", a crucial source for the legal status of ‘homosexuality’ (not an ancient concept) in classical Athens.
    1. Questions to think about:


      • What is the difference between sex and gender?
      • Is it appropriate to think in terms of distinct sexualities or sexual identities in the context of ancient Greece?
      • What roles did men and women play in the Greek world?  How were they different?
      • What legal or other limits were there to sexual behaviour in the Greek world?
      • How does the legal rhetoric of Aeschines' speech complicate our understanding of its value as a source?

    2. Essential reading 4 items
      Read both of the following (Dover’s classic discussion and Davidson’s response):
      1. Greek Homosexuality - K. J. Dover 2016

        Book  Chapter 2: The Prosecution of Timarchus. Available in library and as an e-book (1989 ed.).

      2. On Aeschines, there is also an excellent introduction in:

      3. Against Timarchos - N. R. E. Fisher 2001

        Book  Section "The Main Issues" pp. 25-66 digitised

    3. Then read at least TWO of the following discussions of the constraints on sexuality in Athens (and Sparta): 4 items
      1. The Constraints of Desire: the anthropology of sex and gender in ancient Greece - John J. Winkler 1990

        Book  Especially, Chapter 2: Laying down the law: the oversight of men’s sexual behaviour in classical Athens.

      2. Sexuality and civic morality - J. Davidson

        Chapter  pp. 162-168. Available in library and as an e-book.

    4. Further reading 15 items
      1. On Aeschines and Greek oratory:

      2. Aeschines and Athenian politics - Robin Lane Fox

        Chapter  pp. 137-155. Available in library and as an e-book.

      3. Aeschines and Athenian Politics - Edward Monroe Harris 1995

        Book  pp. 101-106 on Timarchus

      4. Greek Oratory: Tradition and Originality - Stephen Usher 1999

        Book  See, in particular, Chapter 8: Aeschines, pp 279-295.

      5. The Attic Orators - M. Edwards 1994


      6. Further studies of Greek sexuality:

      7. Sex and Difference in Ancient Greece and Rome - Mark Golden, Peter Toohey 2003

        Book  Available in library and as an e-book.

      8. Before Sexuality: the construction of erotic experience in the ancient Greek world - David M. Halperin, John J. Winkler, Froma I. Zeitlin 1990


      9. On the role (and representation) of women:

      10. Women in Ancient Greece - Sue Blundell 1995


      11. Women in Classical Athens - their social space: ideal and reality - C. Scnurr-Redford

        Chapter  pp. 23-29. Available in library and as an e-book.

  8. SEMINAR 7: Writing the life of Alexander 32 items
    This seminar looks at the career of Alexander, and the way in which it has been reconstructed by a range of ancient sources. Can we ever hope to gain access to Alexander’s motivations and intentions? What might have been Alexander’s aims? (Might they have changed?) Was Alexander leading a ‘Panhellenic crusade’ against Persia, or was he a cynical opportunist? (What do we mean by Panhellenism?)
    1. Think about the nature (and the date) of the source materials: how much of our ancient sources can we believe? Think also about the context of Alexander's actions: to what extent were the foundations of Alexander's conquests laid by his father Philip? How did Alexander follow the example of his Persian predecessors?  


      NB: There are no coursework questions related to this seminar. Please note, however, that the exam will reflect the course as a whole, i.e. including all seminars and lectures (in other words, preparing fully for this seminar is likely to put you in a good position for the examination).

    2. Essential reading: 4 items
      There are countless books on Alexander the Great, many of which are highly romantic and unreliable. Read one of the following, relatively dry and cautious, accounts of Alexander:
      1. The Greek World, 479-323 BC - Simon Hornblower 1991

        Book  pp. 239-293. (Available as an e-book; print copies of various editions in the Library at DF214.H7...)

      2. Conquest and Empire: The Reign of Alexander the Great - A. B. Bosworth 1993

        Book  pp. 5-173. (Available as an e-book; print copies of various editions in the Library at DF234.B7...)

      3. Macedonian hegemony created - J. R. Ellis

        Chapter  In Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 6

      4. Alexander the Great Part 1: The events of the reign - A. B. Bosworth

        Chapter  In Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 6

    3. Further treatments of Alexander's life (worth dipping into to see the tone and the way they approach his career) include: 15 items
      1. Alexander the Great: The Invisible Enemy : A Biography - John Maxwell O'Brien 1992

        Book  Available in library and as an e-book.

      2. Alexander the Great: King, Commander and Statesman - N. G. L. Hammond 1989

        Book  1981 edition also available in library.

      3. Alexander the Great: a new history - Waldemar Heckel, Lawrence A. Tritle 2009

        Book Essential (Chapter 2, 'Alexander’s conquest of Asia' digitised)

      4. Alexander the Great: Man and God - Ian Worthington 2004


      5. Alexander the Great - J. R. Hamilton 1974

        Book  Copies of the 1973 edition are also available in the library.

      6. Alexander the Great - Robin Lane Fox 2004

        Book  Copies of earlier editions also available in the library.

      7. Alexander the Great - Peter Green 1970


      8. Alexander the Great - Ulrich Wilcken, translated by G. C. Richards 1967


      9. Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World - A. R. Burn 1964

        Book  1947 edition also available in library.

      10. Alexander the Great - W. W. Tarn 2002

        Book  1948 edition also available in library.

      11. Alexander the Great - Robert David Milns 1968


      12. Then read the following more advanced articles:

      13. Alexander the Great and Panhellenism - M. Flower

        Chapter  pp. 96-135. Available in library and as an e-book.

    4. On Plutarch as a source: 3 items
      1. The Project of the Parallel Lives - J. Geiger

        Chapter  Chapter 20.

      2. Plutarch's method of work in the Roman Lives. - C. B. R. Pelling 1979

        Article  Read pp. 91-96 on Roman historians' working methods.

      3. Sources for Alexander the Great: an analysis of Plutarch's Life and Arrian's Anabasis Alexandrou - N. G. L. Hammond 1993

        Book  Read Chapter 9 ('Attributions and deductions').

    5. On Panhellenism: 3 items
    6. Further reading: 6 items
      A number of collections examine a number of aspects of Alexander's career:
      1. Greece & Rome Vol. 12, No. 2 1965

        Journal  (Special issue of the journal on Alexander)

      2. Alexander the Great: The Main Problems - Guy Thompson Griffith 1966


      3. One of the most useful books on Alexander is the edition of Arrian (2 volumes listed below) from the Loeb Classical Library edition, with notes and appendices of P.A. Brunt.

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