Ancient history: The glory that was Greece

Ref: C2337797

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 479 – 460 with particular stress on major political and cultural developments including the conclusion of the Persian Wars and the growing tensions between Sparta and Athens. As well as examining the reasons for the rise of Athens as a major political power and the development of its democracy and its legal institutions. We will look more closely at the evidence for daily life and its characteristics including social roles and expectations, as well as examining the reasons for the rise of Athens as a major political power and the importance of the Delian League.

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:

Identify the major factors in the development of the democratic institutions in Athens Provide an outline of the key areas of social life in ancient Athens

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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