Written Assignments

Democracy Debate Quiz


Web Resources for This Assignment

Pericles' Funeral Oration
Pericles's speech on the wonders of Athens and its citizens
Plato, Democracy and the Democratic Man
Plato's criticism of democracy
Democracy
Glossary definition of democracy
Ancient Greece
On-line textbook.

The Nature of Greek Democracy

   Greek democracy was fundamentally different than our concept of democracy; when it meant "rule by the people," it meant rule by the people. You have read two opposing points of view of Athenian government: on the one hand is Pericles's Funeral Oration, which outlines the virtues of Athens and Athenians. This ideology underlies Athenian democracy. On the other and is Plato's criticism of democracy.

The Debate

   I want you to take sides on this debate and use either Pericles or Plato to defend your position. Your position should be specifically a response to another student's position; your job is to answer that person's arguments. I want you to spend one or two paragraphs focussing on an idea from Plato or Pericles and defending that idea and how it proves that democracy is a good or bad thing. Then I want you to spend one or two sentences applying it to your own society or government. Do Pericles's or Plato's arguments apply to our society? How?

Terms and Facts

   This is the first quiz that you're going to take that requires that you use both terms and historical facts that you've learned from the readings or from class. I don't care how you do it, but I want you to apply concepts learned in class in formulating your answer; you must also use some piece of factual knowledge of Greek history. You must seamlessly integrate these terms and their definitions within the argument that you're making about democracy.

Grading

   On this as on previous quizzes, you'll be graded on your thesis. Make it specific to your argument and make it unifying so that the two parts of your discussion go together. However, you will also be graded on how well you incorporate terms and factual knowledge about Greek history into your argument. You must do more than just mention a fact or term, you need to make it a central or integral part of your argument.

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