• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Ancient History
  • Areas of interest Classics and Ancient History
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Peter Londey
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2018
    See Future Offerings

The large corpus of extant speeches from the Athenian law-courts of the 4th century BC provide us with our best set of evidence for the social, economic and even political life of ancient Greece.  Students will read speeches by orators such as Lysias, Isokrates, Isaios, Demosthenes and Aischines, and explore in detail what we can learn from the individual cases being argued about Athenian society at large.  Reading from the law-court speeches themselves will be supplemented with other relevant written and archaeological evidence.  cases to be studied will include disputes over inheritance, marital and sexual relationships, business partnerships, and political disputes.  Students will also learn about the economic structure of agriculture, mining and trade in Athens; family structure and relationships; slavery; effects of war; and other aspects of Athenian life.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Demonstrate familiarity with an important body of written and material evidence for the history of classical Greece.
  2. Understand the interaction between formal law, perceived social norms, social mores, and actual social behaviour in a society remote from our own.
  3. Handle difficult, tendentious, and fragmentary evidence, and develop skills in close reading and analysis.
  4. Work in groups and present material, ideas and arguments orally.
  5. Write analytically, argumentatively and descriptively.

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial participation (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4]
In-class exercises (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4]
20-minute Group presentation and written notes (1000 words) (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4]
Essay (3,000 words) (30%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 5]
One three-hour exam in the examination period (40%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 5]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact: 12 hours of lectures and 24 hours of tutorials.
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ANCH2016.

Prescribed Texts

Christopher Carey, Trials from classical Athens (2nd ed.: London/New York, Routledge, 2012)
JACT, The world of Athens: an introduction to classical Athenian culture (2nd. ed., revised by R. Osborne: Cambridge, CUP, 2008) [recommended book]

Preliminary Reading

Recommended preliminary reading: S.B. Pomeroy, S.M. Burstein, W. Donlan and J.T. Roberts, Ancient Greece: a political, social, and cultural history (3rd ed.: New York, Oxford University Press, 2011)

M. Gagarin, D. Cohen (eds.), The Cambridge companion to ancient Greek law (Cambridge, CUP, 2005)
A. Lanni, Law and justice in the courts of classical Athens (Cambridge, CUP, 2006)
M.R. Christ, The bad citizen in classical Athens (Cambridge, CUP, 2006)


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $3180
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $4860
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9358 23 Jul 2018 30 Jul 2018 31 Aug 2018 26 Oct 2018 In Person N/A

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