Hi 204: Ancient Greece

Final Examination: Essay Study Questions

Guidelines: 50% of the examination grade will be based on an essay you write on one of the following topics. You will find out at the examination which question has been selected. Prepare your answers carefully, but remember that no notes or drafts may be brought to the examination. Your essay should be:

Well written. Write in complete sentences, and organize your points in paragraphs.

Complete. Be sure to address all the topics in the question.

Effectively documented. Back up your points with specific examples. I would like to hear not only what you know but also how you know it.

Persuasive. These questions do not have right-or-wrong answers. You have to present an hypothesis. Show me why it is more believable than alternatives.



  1. Write an essay in which you assess the achievements of the Athenians in the Classical Period (478-323). ("Athenians" includes foreigners who resided at Athens.) What did they contribute that was new and positive? What were the costs -- to the Athenians themselves and to others -- of their “restless” energy (as the Spartans are supposed to have called it)? In what ways was the Greek world permanently changed by events at Athens during this era?

  2. Alexander the Great: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Review the career of Alexander III, discussing the history of his relations with the Greeks, the nature of his government, and (briefly) the thee or four main events, as you see them, of his campaign against Persia. Then comment on the consequences of Alexander's career both for the Greeks and for the eastern peoples whose lands he conquered. What lasting effects did his kingship have on the world he left behind?