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CLASSICS 1M03 HistoryOfGreece&Rome

Academic Year: Winter 2017

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Claude Eilers


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 707

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23380

Office Hours: Friday 3:30

Course Objectives:

This course surveys the civilizations of Ancient Greece and Rome from Bronze Age (c. 1200 BC) to the fall of Rome (AD 476).  We will consider events in the light of ancient literature, documentary sources, and archaeological evidence. 


The instructor will lecture upon aspects of historical and cultural development twice per week. 

In addition to these lectures, students will attend a tutorial session once per week.  Emphasis here will be on the nature of ancient documentation and its use. 

The tutorials are led by teaching assistants and will be devoted to the discussion of the readings in your course-pack.  It is absolutely necessary that you go to tutorials.  Approximately one-third of the final exam is based on material that is covered only in tutorials.  Also, 15% of your final grade will be based on your attendance and participation in your tutorials as evaluated by your tutors.  You will not do well in this course unless you go to your tutorial every week having read the relevant passages.  Topics and required readings for specific meetings are listed below. 

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

C. Eilers, Readings in Ancient History (Radix, 2015). 

  • (All earlier editions are fine, but pagination will be different)

Method of Assessment:

Mark breakdown:

Passage for comment exercise                10%

Academic writing exercise                     10%

Library exercise                                     10%

Essay                                                     20%

Quizzes                                                  10% (1% each)

Tutorial participation                             15%

Final exam                                             25%

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Late assignments will be penalized by one-third of a letter grade (3%) for every two days late, or 10% per week: that is, a ‘B’ becomes a ‘B-’ if it is late, after two days it becomes a ‘C+’; a ‘C’ after four, and so on.  Obviously, it is in your interest to submit his or her work on time.  (The ‘clock’ stops when the essay is uploaded to or received by your TA.)

Email submission.  No assignments will be accepted by email.  If you cannot submit them at the lecture or tutorial, you may submit them to the assignment box outside TSH 706.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:





Mon. Jan. 9

[i] Introduction

(get acquainted)

Wed. Jan. 11

[ii] Minoans, Mycenaeans, and Archaic Greece

Mon. Jan. 16

[iii] Colonization

I. The Greek Bronze Age and Dark Ages

Wed. Jan. 18

[iv] Hoplite revolution

Mon. Jan. 23

[v] Athens to the time of the Pisastratids

II. Tyranny, Oligarchy, and Democracy

Wed. Jan. 25

[vi] Sparta

Mon. Jan. 30

[vii] Greco-Persian conflict

III. Athens vs. Sparta

Wed. Feb. 1

[viii] The Delian League & Athenian Empire

Mon. Feb. 6

[ix] The Peloponnesian War

IV. The Peloponnesian War.

Wed. Feb. 8

[x]. The Fourth Century & The Rise of Macedon

Mon. Feb. 13

[xi]. Philip & Alexander

V.  Hellenistic World

Wed. Feb. 15

[xii]. Successors & The Hellenistic World


(reading week)



Mon. Feb. 27

[xiii]. Roman Expansion to Gracchi

VII. Roman expansion

Wed. Mar. 1

[xiv]. From the Gracchi to Caesar

Mon. Mar. 6

[xv]. The Career of Caesar

VIII. The Gracchi

Wed. Mar. 8

[xvi]. Triumvirate & Augustus

Mon. Mar. 13

[xvii]. Augustan Reorganization

X. Augustus


Wed. Mar. 15

[xviii]. Julio-Claudians

Mon. Mar. 20

[xix]. Pompeii

XI. The Julio-Claudians

Wed. Mar. 22


Mon. Mar. 27


[xx]. The Flavian and Adoptive Emperors

XII. Roman State Religion

Wed. Mar. 29

[xxi]. Roman Religion, Mystery Cults & Early Christianity

Mon. Apr. 3

[xxii]. Third Century Crisis & recovery

Summary and review.

Wed. Apr. 5

[xxiii]. Constantine and Fall & Exam review