2017-2018 Catalog

HIST 220 Ancient Athens and Renaissance Florence

This course provides an opportunity to vicariously "live" in historical cities considered to be creators of democratic or representative forms of government, as well as of great literature and art. Historian Thucydides, comic Aristophanes, and philosopher Plato draw us into Athenian gender/class socialization, politics, and culture; likewise, Boccaccio, the Medici family, and Machiavelli inform us of Florentine gender/class socialization, politics, and culture. Monumental architecture and gendered sculpture continue to serve to decorate and sustain the individuality of each city. By examining documents of daily life (including court cases concerning sexual acts) and the luxury products of the diverse crafts, we increase our knowledge of the controversial behavior and productivity of a wide spectrum of women and men. By focusing on two cities in their "golden age," the class will emphasize the shared positive, as well as negative, characteristics of ages historians have designated as "golden." History majors may petition for 300-Level credit for this class with the completion of additional work arranged with the instructor. (May be taken as History 397 by writing a research paper in place of one class paper). Eligible for History, Classical Studies, and GWSS credit.


4 units

Core Requirements Met

  • Pre-1800
  • Regional Focus