Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session


There are no prerequisites for this course.

Course Description

This course investigates the relationship between urban architecture and political, social, and cultural history of Athens in the 5th and 4th centuries BC. It surveys and analyzes archeological and literary evidence, including the sanctuary of Athena on the Acropolis, the Agora, Greek houses, the histories of Herodotus and Thucydides, plays of Sophocles and Aristophanes, and the panhellenic sanctuaries of Delphi and Olympia.

Required Books

Hurwit, Jeffrey M. The Acropolis in the Age of Pericles. Cambridge University Press, 2004. ISBN: 9780521527408.

Samons II, Loren J., ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Pericles. Cambridge University Press, 2007. ISBN: 9780521003896. [Preview with Google Books]

For additional readings, please see the Readings section.

Online Resources

Athenian Agora Excavations, the website of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, who have been responsible for excavating the Agora for many decades now.

JSTOR, the scholarly journal archive, including several relevant classical studies and archaeology journals.

The Perseus Digital Library has a wealth of information relevant to our subject: ancient texts and translations, extensive photo archives of an impressive range of sites, and plenty of secondary material.

The Stoa Consortium, 'A Consortium for Electronic Publication in the Humanities', with links to many projects of interest.



Class Participation

This grade will be based on the following:

  1. Attendance

    Your attendance is required at all of our meetings.

  2. Reading

    You are required to complete all reading assignments in time for the meeting with which they are associated, as indicated on the schedule. You are also required to bring with you to class a copy of any reading that has been assigned.

  3. Active Participation

    You are expected to arrive at our weekly meeting having completed all the reading and prepared to pose questions and actively to contribute to the discussion of the material covered that week.

Response Paper (3 at 10% each) 30%
In-class Test 20%
Research Project 30%

For further detail on the response papers and the research project, please see the Assignments section.

The Writing and Communication Center

The Writing and Communication Center offers free one-on-one professional advice from lecturers who are published writers about all types of academic, creative, and professional writing and about all aspects of oral presentations.

Policy on Plagiarism

Plagiarism - the use of another's intellectual work without acknowledgement - is a serious offense. Students who plagiarize will be liable to receive an F in the subject; and the case will be forwarded to the Office of Student Citizenship. Full acknowledgement for all information obtained from sources outside the classroom must be clearly stated in all written work submitted and in all oral presentations, including images or texts in other media as well as materials collected online. All ideas, arguments, and direct phrasings taken from someone else's work must be identified and properly footnoted. Quotations from other sources must be clearly marked as distinct from the student's own work. For further guidance on the proper forms of attribution, consult the style guides available in the Writing and Communication Center, and Academic Integrity at MIT: A Handbook for Students.

Policy on Late Submission of Papers / Projects

Unexcused late submissions will incur a penalty of one partial grade step (e.g. from A- to B+) for each day late. Only serious and documented circumstances will be accepted as excuses (e.g. serious matters of health or other personal emergencies).