The fourth century began in Ancient Greece with a period of turmoil where the country was kept in constant warfare between city-states that struggled for hegemony, only to be brought down by their neighbours after a few years. It also saw Aristotle develop critical and ethical thinking along new lines, while the Athenian orator Demosthenes tried to warn his fellow citizens of the onslaught soon coming from Macedonia (where Philip’s son Alexander was being educated by the same Aristotle).
What was happening in Greece while Philip of Macedon’s power was increasing? How did the different regional Greek powers, for example Sparta, Thebes, Arcadia, and Thessalia, fight amongst themselves, and how did the various alliances shape events during that period? Did Athens manage to reclaim parts of its former empire? What role, if any, did Aristotle have during this time? What were Demosthenes, Aeschines, and others debating in the courts of Athens?
We will try to decipher the issues of this critical period, and the society and values of these centres, with contemporary historians, philosophers, and orators like Xenophon, Plutarch, Aristotle, Diodorus Siculus, Diogenes Laertes, Demosthenes, Aeschines, Lysias.
Books to Purchase (will be available at Argo Bookshop during the weeks prior to the course beginning):