Final Reflection

To complete your work this semester, we’d like to ask you to complete a Final Reflection. This Reflection be due at noon on Friday, Dec. 16th; by college policy, no extensions are allowed. You must complete a Final Reflection to earn a final grade of 3.0 or higher in the course.

You have two options for completing your Final Ergon: a Deep Dive, or a Semester Portfolio.

Option 1: Deep Dive

Pick a topic that interested you over the course of the semester but that you haven’t had a chance to explore yet in other work you’ve done. Do some extra reading, and write a short report on the topic.

  • Topic: select a topic that we touched on this semester that you’d like to learn more about. This might be:
    • an aspect of Athenian culture (the lives of women, education, poetry contests)
    • a type of art or literature (vase painting, comedy, Socratic dialogue)
    • a historical event (the Battle of Thermopylae, the reign of the Thirty Tyrants).
  • Reading: locate and read 1 or 2 primary or secondary sources.
    • Primary sources: a text from the ancient Greek world, such as one of the authors we’ve read this semester (Plato, Thucydides, Sophocles, etc.). It can be a text that was assigned that’s relevant to your topic, or a text that you’ve located on your own.
    • Secondary sources: works of reputable contemporary scholarship. This research guide can help you find materials. To keep things simple, please limit yourself to the following:
    • If you have any doubts about whether the sources you have identified are valid, or need help finding sources about a particular topic, please get in touch with us!
  • Reflection: compose a report of 600-900 words in which you detail what you’ve learned about your topic, and how it expanded your understanding of Ancient Athens.
    • Do not simply summarize what you read: integrate the sources you read into a report about your topic.
    • Be sure to reflect on why what you learned is important: what surprised you? what tensions or contradictions did you discover? what do you understand now that you didn’t before?

Option 2: Semester Portfolio

Gather the erga you’ve produced this semester. Look back over them, consider the work you’ve done, and write a reflection of 600-900 words in which you create a narrative out of your accomplishments this semester. In composing your essay, you should try to answer some (though not necessarily all) of the following questions:

  • As you examine them together, do the erga you produced reveal a thread of particular interests you’ve focused on this semester? Did you develop a specialty in some particular aspect of the course, or did your work take you in unrelated directions?
  • How did the work you did in your erga enrich your experience of the rest of the course? Did your additional research or creative work provide a deeper context for the topics we were considering?
  • How did your understanding of ancient Athens evolve over the course of the semester? Can you trace any progress in your knowledge or interpretive powers? How would you have approached your work this semester differently if you knew all along what you know now?
  • What things did you learn or encounter this semester that surprised you? Offended you? Moved you? Inspired you? Did these emotional reactions show up in your erga, or in other work you did?
  • What’s left to learn? What topics do you wish we had had time (or more time) to consider this semester? What subjects do you think you’d like to explore more on your own? What place will ancient Athens have in your life going forward?
  • Did your erga from the first half of the semester connect in meaningful or surprising ways with your work during the Game?
  • Feel free to take your thoughts in other directions as well, as long as your reflection shows that you’ve thought deeply about what you’ve learned this semester.

You do not need to submit your individual erga again as part of this portfolio – we have them already – but please preface your reflection with a brief list of the erga you completed.


Please submit your final reflection by email to both Prof. Shirazi and Prof. Farmer by 12pm (noon) on Dec. 16th.