About This Chapter
Who's it for?
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- Students who have fallen behind in understanding the ancient Greek kingdom of Alexander the Great, the origins of Hellenism and Athenian democracy
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Students will review:
This chapter helps students review the concepts in a Hellenism unit of a standard global history and geography course. Topics covered include:
- The Golden Age of Athens
- The Peloponnesian War
- Platonic idealism
- Aristotelian logic
- The benefits of Hellenism
1. Athenian Democracy: Solon and Cleisthenes
Although Athens is remembered for creating the first democracy, it took many years and multiple leaders to develop the system we think of today. Learn about who took control, what reforms they made and how the people revolted against the old system.
2. Pericles, the Delian League, and the Athenian Golden Age
This lecture covers the formation of the Delian League, its development into the Athenian Empire and the peculiar place of Pericles in the midst of it all, turning the city of Athens into the seat of an empire.
3. Greek Theatre: Tragedy and Comedy
This lecture examines the function of theatre in Greek culture and religion, with special focus on the Athenians. It then explores the three different sorts of Greek theatre: satyr plays, comedy and tragedy, citing specific examples. Finally, we study the impact of theatre on Western civilization.
4. Peloponnesian War and Thucydides
This lecture covers the Peloponnesian War. First we enumerate the causes of the war. Then we examine Pericles' plan to win it. We see how Pericles' plan eventually fell apart and how the Athenians struggled without leadership until their eventual destruction at the hands of the Spartans.
5. Socrates: Life, Death and Philosophy
This lecture is a whirlwind tour through the life of Socrates. It begins with an explanation of the Socratic problem, followed by an examination of his philosophy. The lecture ends with a summary of Socrates' legacy.
6. Platonic Idealism: Plato and His Influence
This lecture examines the philosophy and legacy of Plato. It covers the Allegory of the Cave, the Realm of Forms and Plato's views on politics and the soul. Finally, it shows Plato's enduring legacy in modern science.
7. Aristotelian Logic: Aristotle's Central Concepts and Influence
This lesson will explore the life of the famous philosopher Aristotle. It will highlight his life in Northern Greece and Athens, as well as his interactions with Alexander the Great. It will also explain the main tenants of Aristotelian logic.
8. Alexander the Great and the Birth of Hellenism
This lesson describes Alexander the Great's mighty empire. Beginning with a brief account of his father Philip, the lecture then turns to an enumeration of Alexander's conquests. Next, Alexander's methods are explored. Finally, we will discuss Alexander's legacy of Hellenization.
9. The Library of Alexandria & The Benefits of Hellenization
This lecture begins by examining the spread of the Greek language and alphabet during the Hellenistic period and noting the implications of a universal language. Next we look at four factors that combined to make Alexandria the heart of Hellenistic scholarship: common language, a convenient alphabet, papyrus and climate.
10. Euclid, Archimedes & Ptolemy: Alexandrian Hellenistic Philosophers
This lecture recounts the achievements of the many great minds that called Alexandria home. We will look at Euclid, Ptolemy, Archimedes, Aristarchus, Herophilos, Erasistratus and Eratosthenes.
11. The Argonautica Plot Synopsis: The Myth of Jason and the Argonauts
This lesson offers a complete plot synopsis of 'The Argonautica' by Apollonius of Rhodes. Discover the main characters of this romantic twist of a classic Greek myth and learn the similarities between this and 'The Odyssey.'
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