The purpose of discussion forum is to encourage you to debate and consider the questions of the week in depth – to provide the same opportunities that you might have in a class to teach and learn from each other.
For each module, you’ll receive fifteen to twenty questions, and you should write 100 to 150-word answers on TWO questions. I’ll be looking for clarity, specific information, and evidence that you are reading and learning from fellow students.
1) you could identify a particularly strong point and explain why you think that point is important
2) you could discuss a theme or idea related to the question or topic that you found interesting (in other words, go off on a tangent)
3) you could disagree with what has already been written and explain why you think it is incorrect
4) you could add a specific detail or piece of evidence to what has already been written, name, event, place, movement, piece of art.
5) you could make reference to an image, map, or question in the reading.
6) you could make reference to a specific individual, that individual’s story, and how that individual’s choices (or how chance) shaped events
Questions for the week
Please post under the discussion thread of the question that you are answering
1. Explain how Alexandria in Egypt embodies the central characteristics of the Hellenistic Ages.
2. Why was Philip of Macedon able to conquer all of Greece? To what extent was his success due to his own attributes, and to what extent was it the result of the weakness of the Greeks after the Peloponnesian War?
3. How did Greek culture change between the Classical and Hellenistic Ages? What caused these changes? How would you define the differences between the Classical and Hellenistic Ages?
4. In what ways was Socrates a fish out of water or part of a great cultural turn? Explain….
5. In what ways was Plato a great synthesizer and Aristotle a great particularist?
6. Why does Plato call for a philosopher-king? What is the meaning of the parable of the forms that we read for this week in the primary sources?
7. How would you explain Alexanders conquest of his vast empire? What did Alexander want and how did he try to achieve those ends?
7.5 What was Alexander’s legacy?
7.7 Why was his empire so short-lived? How did Alexander’s sudden death in 323 BCE shape history?
8. What accounts for the retreat from empire by the Hellenic Kingdoms whose rulers succeeded Alexander
9. What factors helped to lead to the sense of dislocation and alienation in the Hellenistic world? Compare with examples Hellenistic pessimism to the optimism under Pericles.
10. What was Hellenization? It what ways did the spread of Greek culture shape Roman and western civilization? How did it shape the lives of average people?
11. What differences do you see between the Hellenistic Ages and the Golden Age of Athens?
12. What was life like in the Hellenistic kingdoms? How did polarization of wealth impact the older polis ideal of the equality of citizens? In what ways does the Camel Trader’s story contribute to an understanding of this question?
13. In what ways can coins from the Hellenistic period shed light on life at that time?
14. What evidence of the role of choice (individuals decisions) or chance find in this chapter? Chance: shifts of fate, from external events like weather, disease, or war or change of fortune, for example, being at the right place at the right time,
15. Our textbook asks about the trial of Socrates, “Did Socrates die a scapegoat for Athenian irritation at the end of the Peloponnesian War and its aftermath, a martyr to philosophical freedom and truth, or a stubborn old man who refused to placate his accusers?” What do you think?
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