Hi 204: Ancient Greece

Midterm Examination: Essay Questions

Guidelines: 50% of the examination grade will be based on essays you write on two of the following topics. You will find out at the examination which questions have 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. What happened to the Bronze Age kingdoms of Greece? Briefly describe the kingdoms in their heyday and review the evidence for their fall. Then summarize the key theories explaining their collapse. What do you feel is the most convincing hypothesis?

  2. Using Homer’s Odyssey as your source, briefly discuss the chief political and social institutions of the Greeks. In your essay comment on the ways communities and families are organized and managed in the Odyssey and mention activities by which they support themselves. Finally, how well does Greek life in the Odyssey match life in the actual Bronze Age kingdoms?

  3. In your opinion, what were the three most significant developments of the Archaic Period of Greek history? Describe each in detail and discuss its impact on the development of Greek culture.