ATS2349 - The golden age of Athens - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Centre for Ancient Cultures

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Andrew Connor


Dr Andrew Connor

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units.




This unit focuses on the city-state of Athens during the 5th century BCE: the period when, in a burst of creativity, her citizens produced their greatest achievements. The unit offers a historical and archaeological framework within which to explore aspects of Greece in the 5th century: from the desperate battles of the Persian Wars to debates about democracy, philosophy, and history. We explore the literary and material culture of Athens at its height -the creation of the Parthenon, the works of Thucydides and Plato, and the evidence of an evolving political system- as well as the seeds of trouble planted within- slavery, unequal status for women and non-citizens, and an increasingly coercive empire. Students will identify ways in which the ideas and archaeology of Athens have shaped the modern world, from the practices of democracy to the Parthenon marbles debate and the development of the modern nation of Greece.


Upon successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. identify the historical context within which 5th century Athens flourished;
  2. analyse the process by which Athens established an empire which, in turn, facilitated her innovative artistic and cultural achievements;
  3. describe the principles of Greek art and architecture, major ideas and individuals in philosophy, history, and theatre, and the nature and ideological structure of Athenian radical democracy;
  4. apply critical and analytical skills to the study of archaeological, textual, epigraphic, and numismatic evidence;
  5. debate concepts and events related to the history, society, and material culture of 5th century Athens, through in-class discussion and a re-enactment meeting of the Athenian ekklesia (assembly).


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study