Ancient History: The glory that was Greece

Ref: C2337777

Ancient Greek civilisation forms the basis for most of the standards of art, science, literature and politics that we possess in the West today. This course will follow those enormous trends, and put them into their true context.

Course aim

The course aims to give a detailed and wide-ranging account of ancient Greek society and civilisation and its impact, from earliest times down to the end of the 4th century BC.

Who is the course for?

What topics will this course cover

During the term, you will learn about the archaeological, historical and epigraphic evidence for Classical Greece from 445 – 411 with particular stress on major political and social developments leading up to and dealing with Peloponnesian War. This will include an analysis of the primary and secondary causes of the conflict and the resulting strategies of the Athenian and Peloponnesian Leagues, with particular emphasis on the changing nature of polis life. Brief studies will be made into the careers of King Archidamos, Demosthenes, Kleon and Alkibiades. We will also look at the significance of Herodotos, Thucydides and the major classical playwrights Euripedes and Sophokles and their contributions to modern Western civilisation, as well as figures from Greek Sicily before considering the impact of events across the wider Greek world.

What will it be like?

WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

Outline the key events and culture of Greek Italy and Sicily Identify the major causes of the Peloponnesian War Outline the nature and significance of the Athenian Plague Show an awareness of the key strategies and designs of the Athenian and Peloponnesian Leagues 431 – 411 BC

How will I know I'm making progress?

The course will include a series of informal tutorials and a variety of media including illustrations, hand-outs, archaeological data and video material; assessment will be made through discussion, progressive timeline reconstructions and a summative quiz. There will also be opportunities for field trips to museum collections.

What else do I need to know, do or bring?

None required

Reading and information sources

Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece Robert Markot, Penguin 1996 Cambridge Illustrated History – Ancient Greece Ed. Paul Cartledge, Cambridge University Press 1998 Exploring the World of the Ancient Greeks John Camp & Elizabeth Fisher, Thames & Hudson 2002

What could the course lead to?

The course is primarily intended for those who would like to pursue an interest in the nature and study of classical Greek history.

Download full course outline

Ancient History: The glory that was Greece Course Outline


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2016
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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