Athenian Democracy Homework assignment

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Athenian Democracy Homework assignment

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2     Double-spaced (600 words)

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Admission Services-Admission Essay

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Questions are below. Please answer them in about a paragraph for each question. They are based on (Josine Blok on Pericles’ citizenship law); and (Sara Wijma on the participation of metics in Athenian religion); and (Susan Lape on race and citizen identity) During the Funeral Oration, Thucydides has Pericles “dwell at length on the nature of the city” (2.42) as part of his commemoration of the war dead. Pericles claims to disclose “the principles of public life which set us on our way, and the political institutions and national character which took us on to greatness” (2.36). What are the distinctive features of Athens that Pericles highlights (2.37-41)? In what ways are the “national character” compatible with their “principles of public life”? What does Pericles mean by “greatness”? Since Pericles does not mention e.g. the Assembly or Council, how can you account for his claim that he will treat their “political institutions”? What is the effect of Thucydides’ placement of the plague narrative (2.47-54) immediately after the Funeral Oration? If this is a form of critique, what, exactly, is Thucydides criticizing? Pericles’ final speech in Thucydides (2.60-64) defends the statesman’s policies and politics before the Assembly. Considering Thucydides’ statements in 2.65, what do you understand the historian’s political (constitutional, ideological) views to have been? What are his views on leadership in Athenian democracy? How do you interpret this statement (2.65, middle of p. 106): “What was happening was democracy in name, but in fact the domination of the leading man.”?

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