Discuss whether the relations between states different in Classical Greece than in the Greek Dark Ages?

Achilles Anger, an excerpt from the Illiad. This is a fictional account of one of the wars that accompanied the collapse of the Mycenaean civilization and the start of the Greek Dark Ages. While the story is set in an earlier period, the depiction of events is based on the authors personal experience and understanding of Dark Age wars, battles and leaders. (Homer lived at the end of the Dark Ages.)

The Melian Dialogue is an excerpt from The History of the Peloponnesian War, a book written by the Greek historian Thucydides about the conflict between Athens and Sparta. This passage describes negotiations between Athens and Melos, a smaller and weaker stateand the violence that followed. How do these events compare to the ideals proclaimed by many Greek leaders in the Classical era?

Both documents can be found in the Course Readings folder on Moodle.

Assignment Objectives

The learning objectives of this assignment include:

the ability to analyze historical evidence critically;

the ability to use the secondary source materials from the course to place such historical evidence within its larger historical context; and

the ability to explain your insights in a grammatically correct, formal paper

General words of advice:

read the documents several times carefully;

identify the documents authors in terms of time period, region, and historical context;

consider the authors purpose, anticipated audience, and any obvious or unspoken ideological positions on issues such as religion, class, gender, etc.

consider what can (and can’t) be learned about history from these documents

study the language of the documents and be aware what kind of sources they are

Essay Format

Papers must be presented formally according to collegiate conventions. For example:

Provide a title to your essay that captures its content. There is no need for an individual title page.

Include page numbers.

Double-space your essay, with the exception of long quotations, which should be indented and single spaced. (Long quotes should be used with caution in a paper of this length!) 12-point Times New Roman or similar type is preferred. Margins should be about 1 top and bottom and 1.25 on each side (i.e. typical MS Word default settings).

Provide citations for the documents and sources you use. Do not include a bibliography for this short paper.

Check for spelling, grammar and typos (including those not caught by spell check! Dont loose points that way).


For this paper, you do not need to fully cite the primary documents. Refer to quotes or other references to these documents by title and page number. For example: (Melian Dialogue, page 5). You can (and should) use other course readings. Cite any reference to another course reading by title and page number, as in (Understanding World Societies, page 220). Place all citations in the body text, at the end of the relevant sentence or paragraph. There is no need for endnotes, footnotes or a works cited page.
Outside sources should not be used for this project.