Sports and society in the Ancient World
Analyze each object individually: what does it depict? Be as detailed as possible.
• Is there any connection between the subject of each work of art (wrestler, etc.) and its
medium (bronze, vase-painting, etc.?)
• Why was each of these objects made? What can you say about the likely circumstances
of their creation?
• What can each object tell us about the role of athletics and athletes in ancient Greek
society? Think about where each object would have been kept/placed, and what its
function would have been.
CLA 221: Paper 1
Compare and contrast the four images below. You should at a minimum address the following points; the best papers will go beyond this:
• Analyze each object individually: what does it depict? Be as detailed as possible.
• Is there any connection between the subject of each work of art (wrestler, etc.) and its medium (bronze, vase-painting, etc.?)
• Why was each of these objects made? What can you say about the likely circumstances of their creation?
• What can each object tell us about the role of athletics and athletes in ancient Greek society? Think about where each object would have been kept/placed, and what its function would have been.
Instructions: Due in class (by 12:15pm), hard copy, on Thursday, February 12th. Late work will not be accepted without properly documented evidence of a genuine emergency. Papers must be 3-5 pages in length, double-spaced. This is not a research paper: you should not cite any external sources (beyond class notes / powerpoint presentations), though you may wish to google important figures (e.g., Polykleitos) and places (e.g., Pamphylia). This assignment sheet is available (with color images) on Blackboard.
1. Figurine of an athlete making an offering, bronze, 8.2cm high, c. 470 BCE, from Olympia:
2. Athlete of the diadoumenos type, 1.82m high, Roman marble copy (2nd century AD/CE) of a Greek original in bronze by Polykleitos dated to c. 440 BCE:
3. Coin depicting athletes; from Aspendos, Pamphylia (Asia Minor / Turkey); 4th century BCE:
4. Kylix depicting athletes – view of the interior; from Athens; c. 500 BCE; the inscription reads Kleomelos kalos:
Close Reading Assignment
A close reading essay is one wherein a subject is examined according to specific, minute details. The meaning derived from analyzing these details is then expressed in an argumentative essay. In this particular case, a successful close reading essay would look at specific details from artistic depictions of ancient Greek athletes in order to draw conclusions about how athletics were understood within the particular cultural context.
An academic essay should have an introduction that ends with a thesis statement. This introduction should be followed by a series of body paragraphs that prove the claim asserted in that thesis statement. Each body paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that expresses (a) the idea you will prove in that paragraph, and (b) how that idea relates back to your thesis statement. Each body paragraph should also cover only one main idea. The essay should then end with a conclusion paragraph. The conclusion should both sum up your general argument in the essay, and give your argument some kind of big-picture significance (i.e. it should answer the “so what?” question).
A good academic essay requires a thesis statement, which will typically appear at the end of the introductory paragraph. A thesis statement is a sentence that expresses the entirety of your argument within the space of one or two sentences. As such, your thesis statement should succinctly cover all of the key points you will address in your essay as a whole. Since this particular essay is a compare and contrast assignment, a thesis statement for an essay of this type could appear in the following form:
While [object a] clearly shows [x] about ancient athletics, [object b] indicates [y].
Notice how this thesis (a) identifies both of the subjects being discussed, (b) makes a claim about each of those objects, and (c) indicates the larger point of what those claims prove. A good thesis statement will accomplish all of these goals and more.
A topic sentence should appear at the beginning of each of your body paragraphs. Topic sentences should function for your paragraph in the same way that you thesis statement functions for the essay as a whole. A topic sentence should express whatever main idea you will prove in that paragraph. It should then give the reader an idea of how that idea relates back to your thesis. An example of a topic sentence for an essay of this type could appear in the following form:
Because of [specific detail], [object a] indicates [x] about ancient athletics.
Notice how this topic sentence (a) mentions a key detail for analysis in that paragraph, (b) relates that detail to the object in question, and (c) connects that analysis back to the main claim in the thesis statement. Your body paragraph should always exactly match the idea laid out in the topic sentence.
The conclusion to an academic essay has two purposes. First, it should quickly summarize the overall argument the author has presented in the overall essay. This does not mean that the writer should copy word for word what he or she has written on previous pages. Instead, the writer should find a new and interesting way of expressing the ideas that have been laid out in his or her argument. Second, a conclusion should give a big-picture significance to the essay’s overall argument. In other words, the conclusion should answer the “so what?” question. Writers should ask themselves, “why does it matter that I have proven [x] about ancient athletics?” The answer to this question should identify the implications of the work you have produced in your essay.
Avoid the temptation here to give your argument more significance than it has. In a three to five page essay, you will not change how humanity understands the ancient world. Instead, keep the scope of your answer appropriate to the amount of evidence you actually have.
If you are unsure what is required for this assignment, or if you simply wish to ensure that you are proceeding along the right lines, please email Professor Ferriss-Hill or see her during office hours (Mondays 11am-12pm, Thursdays 1-2pm, or by appointment; Ashe 525c). If you feel you need additional help with your writing, we encourage you to visit the UniversityWriting Center.
If you have any further questions about the structure of an academic essay, please visit the Purdue University Online Writing Lab at the following URL: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/
This resource will provide you with more information about the above topics, along with some example essays that indicate how academic essays should be formatted.
Plagiarism is using the words or thoughts of another person without proper citation; specifically, it is submitting as one’s own work any portion of a book, magazine, journal, handout, original creation, speech, lecture, oral communication, paper, or examination written by someone else. Plagiarism is a serious offense. All members of the education community must carefully avoid plagiarism by fully acknowledging the sources of studies, projects, and ideas that have been produced by another person.
The punishment for plagiarism in this class can range from an F on the paper in question, to an F in the course as a whole, to action from the university honor council, depending upon the severity of the offense. Please visit the website http://www.miami.edu/honor-council for information regarding the honor code.
If you are in doubt about whether something you have written does or does not constitute plagiarism, feel free to email the Professor or TA, or to take your work to the University Writing Center.
Your paper will be graded primarily on how well it answers the assignment prompt, and adheres to the structure outlined above. Remember that this course is for Writing Credit, and in order to earn the Writing Credit you must: a) rewrite at least one of the two papers, and b) earn a passing grade (C- or higher) for the overall score on each paper. In the case of the paper that is rewritten, the initial draft will count for 75%, the second for 25% of that paper’s grade: it is therefore in your interest to make the initial draft as good as you possibly can. Each paper is worth 10% of the overall course grade.
Dr. Jennifer Ferriss-Hill ([email protected])
J. Andrew Gothard ([email protected])