Introduction to Greek Civilization
Days and Time:
Fulfills the L & S breadth requirement in Arts and Literature, Historical Studies or Philosophy and Values.
This course introduces students to the history, literature, and culture of ancient Greece from the 8th and 4th centuries BC. Greek civilization has had an enduring influence on many areas of Western thought and culture, and its surviving literature includes several works that continue to stand among the world's most significant. In weekly readings of epic, drama, philosophy, and history students will discover a culture both foreign and familiar. We will place the ancient texts in their historical and cultural contexts and try to understand ancient Greek civilization on its own terms.
Readings will be done in English translation. Lectures will provide cultural context as well as discussion of the readings. These will be supplemented by visual images of ancient art and of archeological sites.
Discussion sections will explore further the ideas and themes raised in the lectures.
Our goal will be two-fold: on the one hand, to try to understand better this remote, complex culture on its own terms, and on the other, to trace the connections between such ancient Greek innovations as democracy, tragedy, philosophy, and medicine, and the modern forms that these have taken in the West. We shall also consider some of the most prominent divisions and conflicts, both internal/social (e. g., between male and female, rich and poor, master and slave) and external/political (especially the encounters between "West" and "East") that marked this extraordinarily eventful and culturally adventurous period.
Get an introductory survey of Greek civilization from the Bronze Age to 4th-century B.C.E. ancient Greece. One of several civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean, Greek civilization has had an enduring influence on many areas of Western thought and culture, and its surviving literature includes several works that continue to stand among the world's most significant. The study of this culture, in both its similarities and differences with our own, helps us understand contemporary individual and societal conflict. You read and discuss works of several different types of literature, including epic poetry, lyric poetry, tragedy, comedy, history and philosophy. Three hours of lecture and one hour of discussion per week.
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