History of the Ancient World: Greece

I.     Course Prefix/Number: HIS 206

       Course Name: History of the Ancient World: Greece

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course examines the political, economic, social, and cultural history of Greece from the Neolithic era through the fall of the last Hellenistic monarch in 30 BCE.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Describe the major eras covered
  2. Describe Ancient Greece’s achievements in political, cultural, and social terms
  3. Compare representative works of literature and philosophy produced within this period
  4. Critique the values expressed in the religious, philosophical, archaeological, and literary evidence of this period, and discuss the current relevance of these values
  5. Explain the ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity of Greece, particularly the Hellenistic period, and the origins of political, cultural, and ethnic conflict
  6. Apply conflicting interpretations of Ancient Greek history
  7. Analyze primary and secondary sources of Ancient Greece

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Introduction to the geography and topography of Greece
  2. Greece in the Bronze Age:  Minoan Crete and Mycenaean Greece
  3. Collapse of Bronze Age civilization and the subsequent Dark Age
  4. Archaic Greece
  5. The emergence of the polis and participatory government
  6. Tyranny, oligarchy, and democracy in the polis
  7. The Persian Wars and their consequences
  8. Classical Athens and the radical democracy of Pericles
  9. Athenian society and culture
  10. The Athenian Empire
  11. The Peloponnesian War and the subsequent Spartan hegemony
  12. The rise of Macedon in the Fourth Century B.C.E.:  Philip II of Macedon
  13. Alexander the Great and his conquests
  14. The Hellenistic World from 323 B.C.E. to 30 B.C.E.
  15. Classical Athenian culture contrasted to Hellenistic culture
  16. Religious and ethnic groups within the Greek/Hellenistic world

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods of instruction include lecture, discussion, and panel presentations.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students will be required to:

  1. Read a standard textbook and research materials.
  2. Write outside of class the equivalent of 13-15 double-spaced typed pages in the form of a term paper, summaries of journal articles, short research papers, and/or other kinds of writing.
  3. Participate in in-class and out-of-class activities.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Texts will be selected from established texts, such as:

Demand, Nancy.  A History of Ancient Greece in its Mediterranean Context.  3rd ed. 2012.
Griffin, Jasper and Oswyn Murray.  The Oxford History of Greece and the Hellenistic World. 2002.
Martin, Thomas R.  Ancient Greece:  From Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times.  2nd ed. 2013.
Pomeroy, Sarah B., et. al.  Ancient Greece: A Political, Social, and Cultural History. 3rd ed. 2011.
Sansome, David.  Ancient Greek Civilization. 2nd ed. 2009.

Supplementary readings will also be assigned as appropriate.  Currently being used or considered are:

Aeschylus.  The Oresteia.
Bosworth, A. B.  Conquest and Empire:  The Reign of Alexander the Great. 1993.
Euripides.  Medea and Other Plays.  Penguin Classics, 2003.
Hall, Jonathan M.  A History of the Archaic Greek World:  ca. 1200-479 B.C.E. 2006.
Herodotus.  The Histories.  2008.
Homer.  The Iliad and Odyssey.
Rhodes, P. J.  A History of the Classical Greek World:  478-323 B.C.E. 2010.
Plutarch.  Greek Lives. Trans. Robin Waterfield. 2009.
Sophocles.  Antigone, Oedipus the King, and Electra. 2009.
Waterfield, Robin.  Dividing the Spoils:  The War for Alexander the Great’s Empire. 2012.
Xenophon.  The Expedition of Cyrus.  2009.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

At least three exams will be given in addition to other required papers and assignments. At least fifty percent of all examinations will require students to respond in a written essay format. Students will also be evaluated on a combination of written assignments and in-and out-of-class assignments.

XI.   Other Course Information

Support Services: Tutoring is available at the Learning Center.

Important Dates: *

XX/XX: Last day to withdraw and have course dropped from record
XX/XX: Last day to change to Audit
XX/XX: Last day for students to submit materials to make up incomplete from the previous semester
XX/XX: Last day to withdraw from classes with a "W"

*These dates differ for each semester. You'll find the correct dates on the Academic Calendar.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.