Cross-Cultural Negotiation Role-Play:

Athens-Melos Role PlayWorkable Peace: Ancient Greece and the Peloponnesian War

Imam Soliman under the direction of David Fairman
The Athens-Melos Role Play is a simulation from the Workable Peace Curriculum Series unit on Ancient Greece and the Peloponnesian War.

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The Athens-Melos Role Play is a simulation from the Workable Peace Curriculum Series unit on Ancient Greece and the Peloponnesian War.

OVERVIEW OF THE ATHENS-MELOS ROLEPLAY:

The Athens-Melos Role Play is based on the historical conflict between the Greek city-states of Athens and Melos, in the year 416 BCE. It takes place during the seven-year interlude of peace in the middle of the Peloponnesian war between Athens and Sparta.

As background to the simulation, Melos is an island in the Aegean Sea that is culturally connected to Sparta, yet deeply values its independence. During the first phase of the war, Melos had favored neutrality, but in 426 BCE Athens had attempted to invade Melos. Melos successfully fought off the invaders, and, according to the report of a captured Melian sailor, appeared to have contributed money to the Spartan war fund.

In 416 BCE (the setting for the role play), Athens has sent a fleet and soldiers to demand that Melos join the Delian League, a coalition of Greek city-states led by Athens for more than 60 years. Athens is particularly worried about Melos’ connection to Athens’ enemy, Sparta, and is also interested in converting Melos into a democracy. The leaders of Melos do not want to give up their stable oligarchic government or their independence, and immediately send a messenger to Sparta to ask for help. Now, delegates from Athens and Melos are meeting to see if they can avoid war. The delegates must decide (a) whether Athens and Melos will establish a military truce to reduce tensions during the negotiations; (b) whether Melos will join the Delian League; (c) if so, whether Melos will contribute tribute, troops, or ships to the League; and (d) whether Melos will retain its own form of oligarchic government.

 

GOALS OF A WORKABLE PEACE ROLEPLAY:

The Athens-Melos Role Play aims to:

  • Provide accurate historical and background information on Ancient Greece, the Peloponnesian War, and the conflict between Athens and Melos, and provide opportunities for students to engage with this history in a direct and realistic context.
  • Stimulate and motivate student learning through active participation, as well as through reading, writing, class discussion, and other forms of analysis and expression.
  • Build students’ negotiation and conflict management skills by asking them to take on the roles of participants seeking to resolve a conflict through negotiation, with support and feedback as they prepare, conduct, and debrief the role play.
  • Challenge students to find the links between the conflict presented in the role play and the conflict resolution steps presented in the Workable Peace Framework, and the links to other conflicts in history and in their own lives.

 

Teacher’s Package includes:

  • History and General Instructions
  • Confidential Instructions for the Athenian Admiral, the Ruler of Melos, the Athenian General, and the General of Melos
  • Framework for a Workable Peace
  • Teaching Notes

 

If you would like additional information about the Workable Peace framework and teaching materials, including information about teacher training and support, please contact Workable Peace Co-Directors David Fairman or Stacie Smith at:

The Consensus Building Institute, Inc. 238 Main Street, Suite 400 Cambridge, MA 02142 Tel: 617-492-1414 Fax: 617-492-1919 web: www.cbuilding.org Email: stacie@cbuilding.org

 

Athens-Melos Role Play Attributes

Time required:
2-3 hours
Number of participants:
4
Teams involved:
Yes
Agent present:
Non-lawyer
Neutral third party present:
None
Scoreable:
No
Teaching notes available:
Yes
PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

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Soft copy vs. hard copy

You may order this role simulation in either soft copy (electronic) or hard copy (paper) format. If you select the soft copy option, you will receive an e-mail with a URL (website address) from which you may download an electronic file in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You are then permitted to view the document on your computer and either print the number of copies you purchased, or forward the electronic file as many times as the number of copies you purchased. You will only receive a link to one electronic file per document. So, if you order 25 soft copies, you may either forward copies of the link to 25 people via e-mail, or print (and/or photocopy) 25 hard copies of the document.

If you select the hard copy option, you will receive paper copies of this role simulation via the shipping method you select.

The purchase price and handling fee are the same for both soft and hard copies. Soft copies do not entail a shipping fee.

For additional information about the soft copy option, please visit our FAQ section, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu or 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 781-966-2751 (outside the U.S.).

Please note: At the present time, Teaching Negotiation Resource Center soft copies are compatible with the following versions of the Adobe Acrobat Reader: English, German, French, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean. If you have a different version of the Acrobat Reader, you may wish to download one of these at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu, 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.), or 781-966-2751 (outside the U.S.) for further assistance. This restriction does not apply to the freely available Teacher’s Package Review Copies.

Ordering a single copy for review

If you wish to review the materials for a particular role simulation to decide whether you’d like to use it, then you should order a single Teacher’s Package for that role simulation. A PDF, or soft copy, version of the Teacher’s Package is also available as a free download from the description page of most role simulations and case studies. There is no need to order participant materials as well as a Teacher’s Package, as all Teacher’s Packages include copies of all participant materials. In addition, some Teacher’s Packages (but not all) include additional teaching materials such as teaching notes or overhead masters. Please note that the materials in Teacher’s Packages are for the instructor’s review and reference only, and may not be duplicated for use with participants.

Ordering copies for multiple participants

If you wish to order multiple copies of a role simulation for use in a course or workshop, simply enter the total number of participants in the box next to “Participant Copies.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required; the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center will calculate the appropriate numbers of each role to provide, based on the total number of participants. For example, if you wish to order a 2-party role simulation for use with a class of 30 students, you would enter “30” in the box next to “Participant Copies.” You then would receive 15 copies of one role and 15 copies of the other role, for use with your 30 participants. As another example, if you ordered 30 participant copies of a 6-party role simulation, you would receive 5 copies of each role.

In the event that the number of participant copies you order is not evenly divisible by the number of roles in the simulation, you will receive extra copies of one or more roles. Participants receiving the extra roles may partner with other participants playing the same role, thus negotiating as a team. So, for instance, if you ordered 31 copies of a 2-party role simulation, you would receive 15 copies of the first role and 16 copies of the second role. One of the participants playing the second role would partner with another participant playing that same role, and the two would negotiate as a team.