Democratic Athens

6.00pm – 7.00pm Monday 20th May, 27th May & 3rd June
Room 104, La Trobe University Franklin Street
Presented by Christopher Gribbin

In the 5th century B.C., Athenian society and history was transformed by a radical experiment. The Athenians adopted direct democracy, where every government decision was put to the people's vote. Some people believe that this experiment enabled the greatness of fifth century Athens, which included playwrights, philosophers and statesmen still known and respected today. Other people think the experiment was a leading cause of Athens' eventual downfall, when it was conquered by the Spartans at the end of the century. This course will look at the big events of the fifth century, including the wars with the mighty Persian Empire, the growth and collapse of the Athenian Empire, the building of the Parthenon and war with the Spartans. Throughout this course we will try to understand whether direct democracy was a help or a hindrance.

20th May The Start of the Experiment: the Birth of Direct Democracy at Athens
27th May From Complete Destruction to Boom Times: the Persian Wars and the Athenian Empire
3rd June Arrogance and Downfall: the Peloponnesian War and the Defeat of Athens

Optional Preparatory Reading:
Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War—Book II

Course Code - DA05 Cost: $105 (full)/ $95 (discount)

Individual lectures can be attended upon request at the one price of $35/lecture. Contact Sarah Midford at or on 9479 3466 to arrange this.

Registration Census Date: Monday 13th May

If the minimum number of enrolments required to run is not reached by the registration census date it will be cancelled. Please register early to avoid disappointment. Registrations are accept- ed after the date should the class have sufficient enrolments.