PericlesHIST 773: Graduate Seminar
The Athenian Empire

East Hall 220
T 6:00-9:00

Mr Lehmann
Office Hours: 11:00-12:00 TTh
East Hall 210, 677-5218

This graduate seminar on the Athenian Emire will have students engage with a host of historical and historiographical problems concerned with the rise and fall of the Athenian Empire from the aftermath of the Persian Wars to the end of the Peloponnesian War. In addition, though they need not have expertise in the ancient and modern languages of classical scholarship, students will learn the highly specialized set of research skills used by classical philologists and historians. They will become familiar with the major problems associated with the history of the empire and they will learn critically to evaluate the principle sources and the modern scholarship.


After the initial meeting, students will present the results of their analysis of particular problems. The instructor will assign those problems to each student on a weekly basis, identifying essential sources and bibliography. The presentations will be oral but accompanied by a one-page handout consisting of an outline of the presentation and a bibliography of primary and secondary sources. Each student will prepare six of these presentations, which together count for 60% of the final grade.

Each student must read Thucydides's History of the Peloponnesian War in a modern translation (twentieth or twenty-first century) during the first two weeks of the seminar and have it at hand through the rest of the semester. During the course of the semester students must also read Russell Meiggs, The Athenian Empire (Oxford: Clarendons, 1972), on reserve at I D Weeks circulation desk. The circulation desk also holds Charles W Fornara, Archaic Times to the End of the Peloponnesian War, translated documents of Greece and Rome, vol 1 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977), which students will need to consult for their reports.

Each student will prepare a research paper of some 20-25 pages addressing comprehensively most of the problems discussed in the seminar, including those presented by the other students OR a more focused research paper on a specific relevant problem determined in consultation with the instructor. At the final meeting each student will summarize his or her results. The final written version of the paper is due at the end of that week and constitutes 40% of the final grade.

All written work will conform to Chicago Style; see K L Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 8th ed (Chicago: Univ of Chicago Press, 2013), or The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed (Chicago: Univ of Chicago Press, 2010).

Click here for required statements concerning freedom of learning, cheating, diversity, ADA policy, and outcomes of learning.

Illustrations for introduction


1. Thucydides: Life and Work Jonathon
2. Thucydides: Purpose and Method Jan
3. Plutarch’s Sources: Ion of Chios Ashly
4. The Delian League—Origins and Purpose Jacob
5. The Delian League—Nature and Operation Jason
6. The Peloponnesian League Preston
Military Background
7. The Athenian Army Jonathon
8. The Athenian Navy Lori
9. Fortifications and Siegecraft Jan
10. The Tyrant-Slayers Ashley
11. Theseus’s Bones Ofelia
12. The Panathenaic Festival Lori
Mid Century
13. Cimon and the Reforms of Ephialtes Ofelia
14. The Egyptian Campaign and Phoenicia Jason
15. The Peace of Callias ostracon Jacob
The Epigraphic Evidence I
16. ATL Lori
17. The Egesta Alliance and the Three-Barred Sigma Ofelia
18. The Erythrae Decree Preston
The Epigraphic Evidence II

19. The Brea Decree Jonathon
20. The Parthenon Project Ashley
21. The Standards Decree Lori
Athenians and Allies

22. Cleruchies Preston
23. Athens and Euboea Jason
24. The Etocarpahians Jake
25. Athens and Chios Ashley
26. The Popularity of the Athenian Empire Jan
27. Athens, Methone, and Macedon Ofelia
The Peloponnesian War and the Empire
28. Athenian Resources in 431 Jonathan
29. The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War Jason
30. Athens and Melos Jake
31. Alcibiades, Nicias, and the Sicilian Expedition Jan
32. Fourth-century judgments Preston