Discuss the cultural, geographic, and political reasons for the rise of the polis.

After reading chapters 3 and 4 on Greek Civilization, including the primary sources, answer the following question in essay form (1,200-1,800 words). Be aware that there are several parts to the question. Be sure to make at least one reference to the primary source documents in the chapter readings. There are two essay questions–please select one! The essay question has several parts to it. Although it may seem disjointed, answer the best you can each part with good transitions. 

A note on length: Remember that you could write a “history of the world” in 800 words or in 8 million words. Its all a matter of the amount of detail you wish to bring into your work. You are being asked to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of a topic in a limited amount of space. This is a useful skill to develop in this course. I’ve always admired this quote from a letter written to a friend by one of America’s great writers and cultural critics revealing how its more difficult to write briefly: “I apologize for such a long letter. I didn’t have time to write a short one.”—Mark Twain

Select #1 or #2. Do not write both!

1.Discuss the cultural, geographic, and political reasons for the rise of the polis. What were the major differences in the way Athenian and Spartan society was organized? Did such differences make war between these states inevitable? What were the causes, course, and consequences of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) on Greek society? Briefly explain how the events of the 4th Century B.C.E. Greek world allow the Kingdom of Makedonia to gain influence and power over Greece. If you have time and space, and did not answer this in your Discussion (one paragraph): Was Alexander the Great a visionary of globalization or a brutal, bloody conqueror?

2. W.H. Auden once remarked “Had Greek Civilization never existed, we would never have become fully conscious, which is to say that we would never have become, for better or for worse, fully human.:” What was it about Greek civilization that other generations have admired and attempted to emulate? What was the Greek contribution to the West and to the Western intellectual tradition? Does this quotation unfairly undermine the contributions of non-Western Civilizations? What’s the difference between Classical and Hellenistic Art [reference some of the photographs in your textbook]. You should discuss philosophy and drama in this essay, as well. 

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