This course explores the many complex forms of agonism and agony that characterized life in fifth-century Athens, including Athenian contests of war, contests in the assembly and law courts, even contests on the dramatic stage and in intellectual life. The course traces the rise and fall (and rise again) of Athens by examining an array of sources: history, tragedy, comedy, and philosophy. Students put these contests of ideas into practice in a number of ways: through daily discussions, weekly debates, performances of Greek drama, and, finally, a four-week role-playing simulation of the Athenian assembly. As an SSI course, this course emphasizes the processes of source evaluation, framing questions, critical thinking, and written/oral argumentation necessary to engage in academic conversations. Affiliate department: Classics.