You will select one (1) of the following, all of which will be options on the test. Note: Because you are getting the essay questions early, I have correspondingly higher expectations for your answers. The best way to study for the non-problem essays is to make a very detailed study outline. This efficiently allows you to concentrate relevant information. Don’t simply walk into the exam and try to write an answer off the top of your head. It won’t work. You need to address the question fully. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that writing one or two bluebook pages in big print is going to suffice for these answers.

1) Describe as completely as you can the so-called “Periklean building program” on the Athenian Acropolis. Be as specific as you can about the forms of the buildings, architects, dates of construction, etc. Don’t forget any relevant decoration on or in the buildings.

2) Compare and contrast as completely as you can the Temple of Zeus at Olympia and the Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis. Don’t forget any relevant decoration on or in the buildings.

3) If you were asked to explain the development of Greek sculpture from the end of the Archaic Period (say ca. 525 BC) through ca. 340 B.C, what particular items would you use, and how would you elucidate the changes? To answer this question adequately, you will need to consider both free-standing and architectural sculptures and to use a minimum of 10-12 specific examples that exemplify your general points.

4) If you were suddenly transported back to a Classical Greek city, what would the overall layout of the city look like? What kinds of civic and religious buildings would it have, and where would they be located with respect to each other? Think about cities such as Athens or Priene.

5) A famous relative of mine, Leonidas Thomas, was one of the first archaeologists to work in the Mediterranean. In 1735-1741 he excavated several Greek sites scattered around the Mediterranean. He met an untimely death when he fell into an open trench after a little too much ouzo, but he left notebooks crammed with drawings and notes of what he had found. Although a careful excavator by the standards of his day, Leonidas had little idea of what he was finding, and clearly was puzzled by much of it. He was so absent- minded that he neglected to locate the sites on a map, and no one to this day has been able to determine for certain at which sites he excavated. Using your knowledge of what we know about the material culture of Greece now, you will examine a selection of material remains from three sites. These are all single-period sites, located somewhere in the sphere of Greek settlements in the Mediterranean. I want you to tell me 1) what time period the site belongs to (and the corresponding dates), 2) where in the Mediterranean is the site probably located (e.g., “Greek Mainland,” “Sicily,” “Ionia,” etc.), 3) the reasoning and parallels leading you to these conclusions. The diagrams and descriptions in the question will not be of obscure artifact or building types, but very common characteristics of the Archaic through Late Classical Periods. [if you have blown off a lot of classes, you most definitely should not try this one]


The chronology of the last part of the course is based on historical events rather than distinctive changes in material culture. As noted previously, the Archaic Period runs from ca. 620/600-480 B.C. The upper boundary is based on features such as the introduction of the black-figure technique in Attic pottery, the appearance of kouroi, and a gradual decline in the use of Orientalizing motifs, although some of these hung on for a very long time. The Classical Period is usually said to run from 480 BC to 323 BC. The upper date is that of the invasion of Greece by the Persian king, Xerxes. The lower date is the death of Alexander the Great. Many scholars divide the Classical Period into three sub-phases as Neer does, but for our purposes it is sufficient to distinguish between the works of the 5th century B.C. (480-ca. 400 B.C.) and the 4th century B.C. (ca. 400-323 B.C.); the latter span I term “Late Classical” and the former “Classical.” These phases are reflected by changes in pottery, sculpture, architecture, and other materials, but they are rather more subtle than what we have encountered previously. If you find it preferable to use Neer’s divisions (Early Classical, 480-440 BC; High Classical, 440-400 BC; Late Classical, 400-323 BC), that is fine, too. The Hellenistic Period runs from 323 BC to 31 BC. The lower date is that of the victory of Julius Caesar’s grand-nephew and heir, Octavian, later the emperor Augustus, over the forces of Marc Antony and Cleopatra VII at Actium in northwest Greece. After this, the entire Mediterranean was under the effective control of the Romans.

In addition to this document, I have placed a document titled “Summary of history & culture, Orientalizing—Late Classical” on Blackboard that provides historical background for the period from 520-330 BC and also contains quite detailed information on the Periklean Building Project on the Athenian Acropolis.

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