Ancient Greece continues to exert a powerful hold on our imaginations, from popular books like Percy Jackson and the Olympians to continued debates over the meaning of western civilization and democracy. In this class, we will study the ancient Greek world on its own terms by reading Greek literature in translation. Our selections will span the years 800-400 BCE, and will be drawn from Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Herodotus’ account of the Persian Wars, the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, and Plato’s dialogues, among others. Through lecture and discussion, we will explore why the Trojan War had such a hold on the Greek imagination, how Greece came to define itself in relation to the rest of the Mediterranean, what circumstances led some ancient Greek cities to develop democracies, and why this literature continues to resonate with us over two millennia later. We will also work to improve our academic writing, particularly our selection and use of evidence.
This course will include asynchronous written responses and synchronous discussions.
Meets L&S Breadth Requirement in Arts & Literature, Historical Studies, or Philosophy & Values