First Short Paper: Athens and "The Greek Way"

Thornton develops his case for the uniqueness of the Greek contribution to the development of culture in the West by focusing on concepts [SSR, use of empathy, focus on common humanity and self control] that he recognizes / finds / discovers in the 'public' literature of Classical Athens.

By 'public' we mean the selection of the theater as a venue for citizens to participate in communal ritual and open discussion of all issues facing the City. And indeed it is in that theater one finds the production of tragedies and comedies, and the recitation of epic poetry (esp, but not only Homer) all which which have a significant didactic ['instructive, educational, encouraging reflection'] component. That is, the theater was the foundational institution for public enlightenment and the promotion of 'the good life'. NOTE: classical literature is oral and meant to be heard rather than to be read.

Consider that the selection of themes for the plays was not defined by the central government of the City, but reflected rather concerns of the author; the City facilitated production, but did not set the agenda, and the City was frequently also the subject of criticism. That is, the 'City' not only tolerated but even encouraged and valued constructive criticism.

In this paper you have 1000 words to cover two subjects.

I know that these are broad questions and that you could write thousands of words on each of these two subjects, but I am limiting the length of the paper to encourage careful and concise formulation of the issues.

On the ultimate value of the exercise, please see the comments of one of my former students, now a Google executive, who has been profiled on the UO web site.

Please submit the paper to no later than Sunday, 25 Jan. 18 October 2015, to:

Save the paper in the .rtf ['rich text format'] and send it to the email address above; please to not send it to my nic@uoregon. edu account

Grading Criteria:

    1. 'To formulate a hypothesis' means to generate effective and convincing 'thesis-sentences'.
    2. 'Substantiation' means 'word for word' citation of relevant clauses in the ancient evidence.