Classics/History 95

Alexander the Great

Fall 2006

300 Kalkin

MWF 12:20-1:10


Alexander the Great: Selections from Arrian, Diodorus, Plutarch, and Quintus Curtius
The Greek Alexander Romance
Paul Cartledge. Alexander the Great
Some online resources for brief chronologies:

A Detailed Chronology of Greek History from Bronze Age to Late 20th Century CE

Chronology from Bronze Age to the Death of Alexander

Chronology from End of Peloponnesian War to end of Third Punic War (146 BCE)

Assignments (things to read, write, or otherwise prepare) must be completed by class time on the day they are listed; they are not intended as 'homework' for that night


28  Two stories, two heroes

30  Ancient sources and their value
               Contemporary political rhetoric; Arrian, Curtius Rufus, Plutarch
       Read Cartledge chapter 1

1  Internal history of Greece in fifth and fourth centuries B.C.E.

6  Greece, Persia, and other foreign powers

Cyrus the Great

Achaemenid Royal Inscriptions

Achaemenid kings

8  History of Macedon to the early part of the fourth century
               Ethnicity of the Macedonians and the ruling house: Herodotus
               The monarch as civilizing influence: Thucydides
               The monarch as type of tyrant: Plato
               Career of Philip II
       Read Cartledge chapter 2 and xeroxed handouts from Herodotus, Thucydides, Plato

Kings of Macedon to the death of Alexander III
11  Greek nationalism: unity defined by a common enemy
               Choose sides: Athens, Olynthus, Sparta, Thessaly, Thebes
       Read Third Philippic, Letter of Philip (xerox)

13  Debate: Philip and the Greek states
       Written assignment due: an argument for or against Greek unity and/or Philip

After the fact: some modern opinions
15  Chaeronea and aftermath
       Read Selections I.a-c, Cartledge chapter 3

18  Alexander vs. Philip
               The murder of Philip and succession of Alexander
       Read Selections I.d, Cartledge chapter 4
       Come to class prepared to vote for or against Alexander's complicity in Philip's death

20  Alexander in Greece
               Pothos: the expedition to the Danube
               Rebellion and the destruction of Thebes
       Read Selections II.a-b

The campaigns of conquest and their justification

Map of the Macedonian Empire
22  Isocrates' ideal revived
               Alexander's grand plan
               Alexander and Achilles
       Read Cartledge chapter 5

25  Asia Minor
               Granicus River, Gordian knot, Issus
               All the Greeks except the Lacedaemonians
       Read Selections III.a-b
       Written assignment due: individual topics (from Plutarch, Arrian, or Diodorus)

27  Library instruction

Here is a web page made by Patricia Mardeusz for this class

Directions: The classroom is on the first/main floor of the library. Students should enter the library, walk towards the Reference Desk. They should walk past the Reference Desk (which will be to the left) and towards the back of the Reference Collection area, towards the windows. The classroom is the last room on the right.

Other directions:
1. Be on time. 50 minutes is a very short time period.
2. There is no food or drink allowed in the classroom.
3. Bring to the class, any questions you have about using the library in general. This will be a great chance to get your questions answered.

29  The Levant
               Sieges of Tyre and Gaza
       Read Selections III.c-d, Cartledge chaper 6

2  Egypt
               Alexander Pharaoh and Alexander's new father
       Read Selections IV

4  Sparta's next-to-the-last stand
       Read Diodorus 17.29, 17.48, 17.62, 17.63, 17.73, Quintus Curtius Rufus 6.1-6 (xerox), Reread Cartledge chapter 5

6  Persia
       Read Selections V.a

9  The last Achaemenid king
       Read Selections V.b-c, Plutarch Life of Alexander 37-38 and Quintus Curtius Rufus 5.6-8 (xerox)
       Written assignment due: Persepolis

11  Philotas and Parmenio
               Alexander's generals
       Read Selections VI.a, Cartledge chapter 7

13  Bessus and Spitamenes
       Read Selections VI.b-c

16  Cleitus and Callisthenes
               Alexander's friends
       Read Selections VI.d-f

18  Persian Trappings and Proskynesis
               The ruler-cult: political advantages and disadvantages
       Read Cartledge chapters 8, 11

20  VCLA day, no class

23  Bactria
       Read Selections VI.g

25  The march to the Indus
       Read Selections VII.a-c

27  No class
       Read Cartledge chapter 9

30  Mutiny and the long road home
               Trying to reach Ocean
       Read Selections VII.d-f
       Final project topics due, in writing

1  Mass marriages and other things
       Read Selections VIII.a-c
       Written assignment due: human, inhuman, non-human relationships

3  Death in Babylon
               Plans for the future
       Read Selections VIII.d-e

Alexander's Legacy

6  Alexander, his successors, and Greece
               The Lamian war
               Settlement of a new era
       Read Hypereides' Funeral Oration

Plutarch's Life of Alexander
8  The Successors' Wars
               Ptolemy, Seleucus, Antigonus, minor players
       Read Cartledge chapter 10

A List of Kings of the Three Major Hellenistic Kingdoms

10  Alexander's City (one of them)
               The Ptolemies
               The Museum and Library

       Ancient Alexandria in Egypt

13  Hellenistic Letters and Science

       Hand in bibliographical results

15  The major kingdoms, Greece, and Rome
       Read Plutarch Life of Pyrrhus

17  The Alexander Legend
               The rhetoricians' handbooks
       Read Introduction to The Greek Alexander Romance and The Greek Alexander Romance Book 1.1-16

20-24  Thanksgiving recess

27  Read The Greek Alexander Romance Book 1.17-47

Ptolemy and Alexander
29  Read The Greek Alexander Romance Book 2

1  Read The Greek Alexander Romance Book 3

4  Other legends
       Read Cartledge chapter 12

6  Retrospective
       Term project due

Friday 8 December 3:30-6:30 p.m. final exam is scheduled

Office location: 481 Main Street room 301

Office hours:  Monday 2:45-3:30, Wednesday 3:00-4:30 and by appointment
Telephone 656-4607

Class (attendance, participation, preparation)
Five written assignments, one due every two or three weeks
Term project
Final examination

See the syllabus for due dates on written assignments. These are to be essays, 3-5 pages in length, on narrowly or broadly defined topics, all relating in some way to the ancient sources. There is considerable latitude for two of these. Two essential requirements are (1) to choose a specific topic carefully, in consultation with the instructor, (2) to revise the writing. What you hand in on the due date is what I shall grade, with the proviso that you may subsequently rewrite to improve the grade.

Each student will complete a term project, due on the last day of classes, created in stages:

Selection of topic in consultation with the instructor
Creation of a reading list/bibliography
Written description of topic, sources, materials, and status, due on or before 30 October
Completion of final project

Written projects include either research papers on historical problems, historiographical essays, analyses of political theories and problems, original literary creations (e.g., a short story or play), critique of mathematical or scientific procedures current during Alexander's time or the early Hellenistic period, or other topic as approved.

Late written assignments or term projects will lose 10 percent each weekday they are late (weekends free)

[The above rule does not apply to the first written assignment.]

Last updated: 15 October 2006
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