HIST 324
Empires of Greece and Rome: 500 B.C.-A.D. 500

Spring 2012

History Department
King's College
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711
Prof. Pavlac
e-mail: bapavlacATkings.edu

MW, 2-3:15 pm
Hafey-Marian 301

Class Schedule

Tel: (570) 208-5900, ext. # 5748
Fax: (570) 208-5988 
Office: Hafey-Marian 307
Office hours: MWF 11 am-noon
Tu 9 am-noon
and by appointment

I. Description

War, slaughter, order, peace.  This course will examine empire building, empire-maintaining and empire-collapsing in the cultures of Classical Greece and Rome.  The rise of empire will cover the Delian League, the Macedonia success of Alexander the Great, Rome's expansion through the Punic Wars, and so many more.  The maintenance of empire will review issues of commerce, justice, citizenship, taxation, and cultural conflict.  The fall of empires will include the the Peloponnesian Wars, and the crises and collapse of the Western half of the Roman Empire.  Readings will be drawn from the historians and humanists of antiquity.

II. Purpose

This is a History Major, European Sequence course.

Objectives for the student:

  1. To identify the major events, persons and ideas of the history of classical antiquity.
  2. Read critically about the ancient West.
  3. Research scholarly literature and primary sources.
  4. Communicate clearly in class discussion, presentations, and essays.
  5. Practice "Historical Mindedness:"  being able to identify and analyze significant problems and situations from the past as they relate to the current issues and the investigation of history.
  6. Develop the historical skills necessary for success in life after graduation.

General Learning Outcomes for the student:

In addition to the more content related objectives described above, this course has some general liberal learning goals. Successful completion of this course is expected to help improve your ability
  1. To manage information, which involves sorting data, ranking data for significance, synthesizing facts, concepts and principles.
  2. To understand and use organizing principles or key concepts against which miscellaneous data can be evaluated.
  3. To differentiate between facts, opinions and inferences.
  4. To frame questions in order to more clearly clarify a problem, topic or issue.
  5. To compare and contrast the relative merits of opposing arguments and interpretations, moving between the main points of each position.
  6. To organize your thoughts and communicate them clearly and concisely in a written form and oral presentations.
  7. To obtain practice in selecting and presenting information and arguments within a restricted environment, especially the limitations of time in exams.

III. General Requirements

A. Academic Honesty (click here for more information).

Be aware of the academic honesty policy concerning cheating and plagiarism, and your moral, ethical and legal obligation only to submit work completed by you yourself.  For more information see <Help stop Plagiarism!>.  

B. Readings:

The required readings are intended both to provide you with important factual and background information before class and to be used as review and reference works afterwards. Before class, you will read the selections in the Bailkey & Lim reader and the two main assigned texts according to the class schedule.   Handouts, used intermittantly to expand upon class material, should be read as assigned. 

In all of your classes, you should prudently mark up, underline, highlight, and otherwise annotate your texts as you study.  For this class, you are required to do so.  You must make notes in the margins or a notebook, underline key statements, highlight important passages, and/or annotate essential details in order to be better prepared for classroom discussion and later review and study. 
You are to turn in your textbooks at each exam when the instructor will evaluate how well you have marked them up (15 points each time).  If you have a used textbook that has already been marked up, see the instructor within the first two weeks of classes so that your use of the book can be determined.

Bring the Bailkey & Lim textbook to each class, the Thucydides and Caesar books on the days scheduled to discuss them, and the handouts as assigned.  All topics might not be covered in class, but you are responsible for them on the exams.  Each class the instructor may select at random one student to present a day's reading and show how it integrates with the other material.  
If necessary, the instructor may give quizzes to test your reading and comprehension of the texts.

B. Class Participation & Attendance:

Participation and attendance are necessary because lecture and discussion provide the essentials for achieving class goals and objectives. Thus a portion of your grade (about 15%) will depend on your in-class performance and presence, aside from graded quizzes, exams, and papers.  You are required to attend each class, arrive on time, remain attentive, maintain proper classroom decorum, respond to questions, and participate in discussion and small-group activities. You are encouraged to take notes and ask questions.

You will have several in-class discussion/projects, intermittently through the semester. You also may be evaluated by short quizzes or written reports done in-class or after class, either individually or in groups, worth between 5 and 20 points each.

Any student who has a learning disability, physical handicap, and/or any other possible impediment to class participation and requirements should meet with the instructor within the first two weeks of classes to establish available accommodations.  Only with the instructor's permission may class be recorded, only to be used for your own study, and the recordings must be erased after the final exam.

If at some point during the semester you must discontinue the course, whether due to poor performance, illness, or some other cause, be sure to follow proper procedures for withdrawal. 

If you miss a major exam, contact the instructor as soon as possible. You may take a missed exam only at the discretion of the instructor.  If you miss any quizzes and/or class projects due to an excused absence, yu may make them up with the explicit permission of the instructor, who may require any equivalent assignment. 

If you arrive at class late, after attendance is taken, you must personally request that the absence be turned into a tardy mark; otherwise an Absentee Assignment may be required.  Students who need to leave a class early, except for an emergency, should notify the instructor before class begins.

C. Absentee Assignment:

Since participation and class attendance are necessary, if you miss a class you must complete an Absentee Assignment in order for the instructor to know that some learning has taken place.  For an Absentee Assignment, you are to write a one-to-one-and-a-half page essay (in proper presentation format) describing how that day's reading adds to our knowledge of ancient empire-building.  These papers are ungraded, without points, and not returned; yet failure to complete Absentee Assignments will significantly lower your grade.  
: The assignment(s) should be turned in to the instructor at the beginning of the next class after you return.

After any absence, you are responsible for requesting from the professor hand-outs and already-returned assignments, or borrowing notes from other students. 

Excused absences due to college activities or extended illness must be authorized in writing by the appropriate college official. You should consult with the professor about making up/turning in missed work in advance or as soon as possible after your return. 
All other absences are unexcused and do not require any written documentation.  Quizzes or class projects done during an unexcused absence cannot be made up.  More than a few unexcused absences will start to lower the class participation portions of your grade, despite turning in the mandatory Absentee Assignments.  Whether absences are excused or not, you may not get a higher grade than the percentage of classes attended. 

A few absences will not significantly affect your grade.  Always, your health is your first priority.  If you are sick, stay home and recover. 

D. Major Sources:

You will read two major primary sources, The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides and The Conquest of Gaul by Julius Caesar.  The instructor will provide you with study guides (worth 15 points each) ahead of time to fill out and turn in at the beginning of discussion (so you should make for yourself and refer to a copy to follow during discussion).  In the relevant classes, we will discuss the books in detail. 

E. Exams

You will take two types of exams:

To study for the exams you should regularly, at least once a week, review your class notes. You should also compare and contrast these notes with your textbook and with the issues and trends emphasized in the class description.  To avoid common exam errors, check the page on grading.  

F. Major Writing Assignment: Imperial Wars Paper

You are to write an eight-to-ten page essay (3000-3200 words), which analyzes the use of war in empire building. (25+100 points).

Wars have always been a significant part of building empires.  Examining various wars in themselves or as policies of particular rulers or commanders should provide you a better understanding the role of war in statecraft and politics, past and present. You will manage information, evaluate different historical opinions, analyze arguments, organize your thoughts and present them in a clear written form in order to better understand an historical process.  
Both for practice in following guidelines and to facilitate consistency in grading, papers should be uniform in appearance followin a standard format. For presentation guidelines, go to this page:  <http://staff.kings.edu/bapavlac/presentation.html>. Use the checklist at <http://staff.kings.edu/bapavlac/format.html> to review your formatting before you turn in your paper.

1. Choose a war or commander from the list on the instructor's door (HM 307), signing up before class on Monday, January 30.
Possibilities include: Epaminondas of Thebes' Wars; Phillip II of Macedon's Wars; Alexander's Campaigns; Wars of the Diadochi; Pyrrhus's Wars; Samnite Wars; First Punic War; Second Punic War; Third Punic War; Roman-Macedonian Wars; The Social War; Mithradatic Wars; Marius's Wars; Sulla's Wars; Pompey's Wars; Crassus's Wars; Civil War: Caesar vs. Pompey; Civil War: Antony & Cleopatra vs. Octavian; Boudicca's Revolt; Jewish Revolt; Trajan's Wars; Marcomannic Wars; Aurelian's Wars; Romans vs. Shapur I; Constantine's Wars; Alaric the Goth's Wars; Attila the Hun's Wars; another may be chosen with the instructor's permission. 

2. Research the topic.  In your research, find and use at least
a. one printed (not electronic from the internet or CD-ROM) tertiary source (encyclopedia, handbooks, dictionaries);
b. seven printed (not electronic from the internet or CD-ROM) secondary sources (scholarly, biographical, detailed works, books and/or journal articles written by professional historians and which closely examine the ruler or war). Journal articles may be full-text versions from an appropriate database;
c. two primary sources in addition to any found in the Bailkey & Lim text, published in whole or as part of any book or internet site.
If you have any doubts about the appropriateness of your sources, please see the professor early.

4.  You must turn in a Preliminary Assignment (worth 20 Points) on February 20 in proper presentation format:
after a cover page,
a. a one page desription of the topic. 
b. a page with a pre-bibliography listing each of your sources, in proper citation format, with the appropriate sources listed under the following subheadings:  "Tertiary Sources", "Secondary Sources", "Primary Sources".  For citation issues use Turabian/Chicago Manual of Style format (see Corgan Library <http://www.kings.edu/frames/tb_frames/library.html> and click on "Cite Sources", then use the list of various websites; or go to the Corgan Library Study Guide #11; or for bibliography and citations also see <http://staff.kings.edu/bapavlac/citation.html>.

5. Write a careful essay whose thesis argues how the particular wars helped build empire, or not.  Be sure to put the time period in proper context, providing background in order to understand the reasons for people undertaking warfare in specific times and places.  Descriptions of preparations, negotiations, battles, campaigns, and treaties should all contribute to a better understanding of how this particular topic explains war and empire. You should especially incorporate the opnions by named, specific historians (both ancient and modern).  The quality and use of your research from both your primary sources and secondary sources of historical books will substantially influence the evaluation of your essay; be sure to use them in the body of your paper.  Support all your assertions with proper reasoning and/or details drawn from your sources, properly cited.

For more on evaluation of your papers and avoiding common errors see the page on "Grading and Assessment,"  <http://staff.kings.edu/bapavlac/grading.html>.   

6. Rest, review, and revise repeatedly. You might use the Writing Center.  Include a revised bibliography as the last page.  Then write a final draft to be turned as listed in the schedule (100 points). 

G. Deadlines:

Completing assignments on time is an important aspect of your course work.  You yourself must hand in each written assignment at the beginning of class on the dates as listed in the schedule or as soon as possible after an absence.
The grade of any paper you turn in late will lose at least 10% after the beginning of the first class, 20% after the second, and 35% after the third. No late assignments will be accepted after the last day of classes. 

IV. Grades:

You earn your grade through work done for this course.  You are responsible to understand why you have achieved a certain grade and what you can do to maintain or improve your grade.  You are encouraged to consult with the professor during office hours or by appointment both before and after exams and written assignments. Click here for a Grading Policy with more information on the parameters of evaluation and grading.

Your final grade will be based on a percentage (above 90%=A, 80-89%=B, etc.) of the sum of the assignments. Different assignments will be worth certain point values.   The following is the weight given to your various learning tasks:

100 for the first exam; 150 for the final exam;
5-20 each for any in-class quizzes or class project statements;
15 points each for study guides of major primary sources;
15 points for each textbook evaluation at each exam (60 total);
100 for your Imperial Wars Paper;
200 for your class attendance & participation.

For your protection, in case of errors of recording, you should keep copies of all exams and assignments until you have received official notice of your final grade.  Any and all materials done for this course may become the property of the professor, who may use them for assessment, evaluative, scholarly, or research purposes.  Although the syllabus presents the basic content and requirements of the course, the professor reserves the right to change anything (e.g. assignments, point values, topics, due dates, grading policy, etc.), at any time, at his discretion.  

V. Class Schedule:

All topics and assignments on the schedule are tentative; the instructor may change them at his discretion.


Topic/#Assignments Due

Assignments to read in Bailkey & Lim

Links to Interesting websites

Jan 16




Jan 18

The Problem of Empire

14 Prism of Sennacherib
15 A Conquering Messiah: A. Cyrus' Cylinder: The Chosen of Marduk

For primary sources on ancient history see The Perseus ProjectInternet Ancient History SourcebookInternet Classics Archivevarious laws at Avalon Projecta few classics at electronic text center; Some secondary sources at Histos online journal of Ancient Historiography.  Some good web entries: Livius

See also  Digital Egypt;

Jan 23

Greek Origins 17 Hesiod: Changing Times; 
20 Herodotus: Foundation of Cyrene
For the Greeks in general, read from: HellasNet;  Also of value, Archeaonia

Jan 25

Polis 21 Lycurgus: Spartan; 
22 Solon: Reforms;
23 Pisistratus: Tyranny
Ancient Greek World;

Jan 30

The Persian War

#Choice for Imperial Wars Paper Due

24 Heroduotus: Greece Saved Ancient City of Athens;  See also  See also The Greeks Crucible of Civilization; Dr. J's Illustrated Persian Wars;  See also  Herodutus Website; Aeschylus' The Persians;  

Feb 1

"Golden Age" of Greece 25 Pericles: Funeral Oration;
26 Old Oligarch: Critical
Aspasia (follow the buttons at the bottom to the end of the sequence);  See also Aspasia of Athens; The Democratic Experiment; Greek Art and Architecture

Feb 6

Thucydides, The Peloponnesian Wars


Thucydides and the Modern World;
Classics Technology Center; Map

Feb 8

Peloponnesian Wars, part I
Thucydides, The Peloponnesian Wars


Peloponnesian War

Feb 13

Peloponnesian Wars, part II
Thucydides, The Peloponnesian Wars


Military Lessons of War;  See also Museum of the Goddess Athena

Feb 15

Rise of Macedon 30 Socrates: C Apology; 
33 Aristotle: The Politics;
34 Demosthenes versus Isocrates: "Nationalism" Versus "Internationalism"

Last Days of Socrates;
Trial of Socrates;


Feb 20

Alexander and Empire

#Preliminary Assignment for Imperial Wars paper due

35 Arrian, Alexander Alexander the Great;
Alexander the Great
Arrian's Anabasis full text;

Feb 22

Hellenistic Kingdoms 36 Demetrius: God Among Men;
37 Euhemerus: Men Became Gods;
42 Oil Monopoly of Ptolemy II: Command Economy;
46 First and Second Maccabees: Jewish Responses
House of Ptolemy;
See also Seven Wonders;
Maccabbean Revolt; The Maccabees What Really Happened

Feb 27




Feb 29

Mid-Term EXAM  #Bring your Bailkey & Lim and Thucydides books!



Spring Break




Mar 12

Roman Origins 48 Livy: Early Romans;
50 Polybius: Constitution;
52 Pseudo-Cicero: Elected
For the Romans in general, read from:  A Illustrated History of the Roman Empire. Also of value LacusCurtius Into the Roman World...  See also Forumromanum; Timeless Myths of Rome.

Mar 14

Conquest of Italy 49 Livy: Foreign Policy Romanarmy.com;  See also How Democratic was the Roman Republic?; Waters of Rome;

Mar 19

Punic Wars

45 Polybius, Histories;
51 Cato the Elder: Standards
 Hannibal Barca;  See also The battle of Trasimeno

Mar 21

Civil Wars

53 Tiberius Gracchus: Crossroads;
54 Gaius Gracchus: Crossroads, Continued;
55 Social War: Revolt;
56 Revolt of Spartacus
The Real Spartacus


Mar 26

Julius Caesar, The Conquest of Gaul


Terry Jones contrasts JC with W;
Graphic Portfolio of Battlefields and Tactics in the Commentarii de Bello Gallico

Mar 28

The Julian Attempt 57 Conspiracy of Cataline;
61 Julius Caesar: Man and Statesman
UNRV HistoryEarly Imperial Army Illustrated

Apr 2

The Post-Julian Civil Wars

#Imperial Wars Paper due

47 Plutarch, The Life of Antony: Cleopatra;
62 Cicero as Champion of Liberty: Second Philippic
Romans in Britain

Apr 4

The Augustan Solution 63 Augusts: Achievements;
64 Augustus' Reconstruction of the Roman World: Contrasting
Virgil; Imperial Forum

Easter Break




Apr 11

The Crises of the Bad Emperors 65 The Pax Romana: Divergent;
66 Tacitus: Germans;
67 Claudius' Letter to the Alexandrians;
68 Rebels Against Rome
The Roman Empire in the First Century;
De Imperatoris Romanis

Apr 16

The Five "Good" Emperors

69 Pliny's Correspondence with Trajan: Benevolent;
77 Christians and Their Persecutors: A. Pliny, Letters on Christians: Enlightened;
73 Marcus Aurelius, Meditations: atoms or Providence

Roman Numismatic Gallery

Apr 18

Crises of the late Second and Third Century 79 Lactantius: Deaths [Chapters IV and V, pp. 553-554] Interactive Map of the Roman Empire

Apr 23

Imperial Revival of the late Third and Fourth Century 78 The Reforms of Diocletian;
79 Lactantius: Deaths;
80 Eusebius of Caesarea: Constantine
The Jewish Roman World of Jesus;
Flavius Josephus Homepage

Apr 25

The Crises of late Fourth and Fifth Century 83 The Theodosian Code: Christian Roman Empire;
84 Jerome, Letter: Lament;
85 Augustine, City of God: Unimportance
Virtual Rome

Apr 30

The Fall of Rome in the West 87 Salvian of Marseille: Governance of God Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire;  See also Some (Sometimes Silly) Explanations for the Fall of RomeByzantine Studies Guide

May 2




May tba

FINAL EXAM (should take the full two hours) #Bring your Bailkey & Lim and Caesar books!



Although the syllabus presents the basic content and requirements of the course, the professor reserves the right to change anything (e.g. assignments, point values, topics, due dates, grading policy, etc.), at any time, at his discretion.  

  URL: http://staff.kings.edu/bapavlac/hist324.html
Site built, maintained & Copyright © MMXII by Brian A. Pavlac
Last Revision: 2012 March 14