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CLAS 0071 / HIST 0071 Athens, Sparta, Persia

This course explores the history of the Greek states - especially Athens and Sparta - during the fifth century BCE.  This was a period of political rivalry and experimentation within Greece, and a series of confrontations and/or negotiations with the massive might of the Persian Empire. This period is deeply engaging in itself, and has exercised a perennial fascination in subsequent thought, not least because of the historical writings of Herodotus and Thucydides.   

Sample topics

  • The polis
  • The Persian Wars
  • Persians and Greeks
  • The Delian League and the Peloponnesian War
  • Comedy, tragedy and Athenian politics
  • Historiography: Herodotus, Thucydides and Xenophon
  • Art and architecture
  • Economic life
A life-changing experience
My semester at CMRS was a life-changing experience. With the backdrop of the beautiful and historically-relevant Oxford, I read, wrote, and learned mo...
Jason Martin, Spring Semester 2011, Albion College