Things to Keep in Mind When Writing an Ancient Greece Essay

Greece is a small country that has produced one of the most influential civilizations that ever existed. Ancient Greece lasted from around 800 BCE to 600 AD, and during that time it developed architecture, drama, mythology, philosophy, military tactics, and political systems which are still admired and copied today.

The keys to writing a great essay on Ancient Greece are the same as for writing in any area of research. Brainstorm to come up with ideas of what you want to write about before you start doing research. The subject is too large and you could get bogged down in useless study. Take careful and thorough notes on what you read, as you’ll need those sources for evidence when writing your paper. Come up with a specific thesis, an arguable claim for which you will provide evidence. Create an outline for your paper before you write a rough draft, and write multiple drafts. Finally, write about something you’re interested in, or else there’s no way you won’t produce a boring paper.

Here are some other things to keep in mind when writing an ancient Greece essay:

  • “Ancient Greece” is just a convenient name to refer to a culture that varied widely from period to period and area to area. Greece didn’t even become a nation-state as we now think of it until the 19th century.  The Archaic period was quite different from the Classical and Hellenistic period. The sociopolitical life of Sparta was quite different from that of Athens, even though they were both Greek city-states.  So it’s not very helpful just to refer to “Greece” or “Ancient Greece.”
  • Ancient Greek Culture is considered to be the fountainhead of much of Western Civilization. We commonly say that things like tragedy, philosophy, and democracy were “invented” in Ancient Greece. True enough, but be careful of reading modern ideas into a civilization that didn’t think the way we do. Democracy in Ancient Athens was very different from what we think of as Democracy today. A very select few people actually participated in ancient democracy, which excluded women and slaves.  Modern democracy is associated with voting for politicians, but Greek democracy had no elections. Offices were selected by drawing lots.
  • Ancient Greek ideas of gender and sexuality were very different from ours.  They had no taboo against homosexual acts, but they had no concept of homosexuality as an identity.