Corcyra Questions

InF_headerKeep your answers brief for easy reference.

  1. The Corcyrans say right at the beginning that they need to prove two things to make their case. What are the two things? What proof, or at least support, do they offer in section 32, paragraph 1, and in section 35, paragraph 2?
  2. The Corcyrans talk about their old policy of not forming alliances. What was their reason for the old policy, and why did they change it? Why do they think it is important to explain the change? (See section 32, paragraphs 2 and 3.)
  3. What are the benefits to Athens from forming an alliance with Corcyra, as described in section 33?
  4. In section 34, the Corcyrans try to overcome possible objections to an Athens-Corcyra alliance. List the objections and briefly give the Corcyrans’ reasons for overruling them.
  5. In section 35, the Corcyrans claim Corinth is making unfair use of the peace agreement between Athens and the cities of the Peloponnesian League (including Sparta and Corinth). Briefly explain Corinth’s strategy, as alleged by the Corcyrans.

PnC_headerIn any controversy, both sides are likely to make one or two good points. It is your job as a voter to decide whether these points are decisive or secondary.

  1. Put yourself in the role of an Athenian voter, and list five reasons for forming an alliance with Corcyra. Rank them in order of importance. Explain why the top reasons are more important than the others.
  2. The Corcyrans say they need to prove two things. But are those two things the whole story? Think of an example — from history or from your own experience — to illustrate that there may be other factors in play that the Athenians should consider.
  3. It can be difficult to decide how much weight to give to an argument based on “what if.” One approach is to identify possible outcomes and rate each of them on a scale like this: 5 = much worse than now, 4 = somewhat worse than now, 3 = same as now, 2 = better than now, 1 = so good it’s worth the risk. Using this kind of approach, rate the following outcomes:
  • Athens forms an alliance with Corcyra, but then there is no war with Corinth.
  • There is a war with Corinth, and Corinth wins.
  • There is a war with Corinth, and Corinth loses.
  • There is a war, but Corcyra turns out to be a weak or unwilling ally.
  • There is a war, and afterward Corcyra becomes a threat to Athens.

RnW_headerLook for answers to questions raised in your reading.

  1. First write a brief paragraph explaining why you are pro-Corcyra or anti-Corcyra. Then read in Thucydides about the events that led up to the first sea battle (in History of the Peloponnesian War, I.24-30, “The Dispute over Epidamnus”). Did the reading change your view of Corcyra or Corinth? Write a 1 to 2 page paper that supports your current view of Corcyra.
  2.  The Declaration of Independence includes a list of grievances against King George III and an idea that “all men are created equal.” Compare and contrast the Declaration with details you find in the Corcyran complaints against Corinth (section 34). Is Corcyra like the American colonies before the Revolutionary War?
  3.  Use wikipedia (“Athenian democracy”) and other resources to gather background information on the city-states and voting practices in ancient Greece. Make a list of facts, or write a summary of your findings (300 to 500 words).

What Happened Next

After the Corcyrans finished their speech, Corinth presented its side of the story to the voters of Athens. Read the Corinthians’ speech in the next installment: Corinth. As you’ll see, Corinth had a different view of the situation and presented some strong opinions about the trustworthiness of Corcyra.

Next Up, Corinth: http//

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