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Greece and the World

This course is expected to run but has not yet been scheduled.

Course Description

“Greece and the World” traces Greece’s evolution from ancient to modern times. The core course is divided into three 1-week course modules that explore the defining eras of Greek history.

Week 1: Ancient Greek World
In this first week, we will trace the history, politics and culture of the fifth century BC(500-400 B.C). The century began with the two leading Greek city states, Athens and Sparta, uniting to defeat invasion by Persia, and ended with the same two city-states at war with each other, and competing to win Persian support. The same period which gave birth to artistic forms and scholarly disciplines"among them tragedy, comedy, history and philosophy"was also marked by the clash of democratic ideals with imperial realities, and disputes over the ethics of warfare on land and sea. It was also profoundly shaped by ideas of divinity, kinship, gender roles and human rights quite different from those of today.

Week 2: Byzantine Heroes
The pre-modern Mediterranean world was the site of the appearance and spectacular expansion of a series of religious beliefs and accompanying artistic traditions. Relying heavily on the many historic sites of Naxos island, the second week of the summer program will be devoted to a history of these religious and artistic worlds. Naxos functioned as the main port in the Cyclades during the Byzantine Empire. Religious transformation and the rise of new forms of art are evidenced in the surviving monasteries and historical sites across the island. We will study this history through texts, images, and site-visits.

Week 3: Modern World, Ancient Ideas
This is an interdisciplinary course that draws on modern resonances of the ancient ideals. The course will be divided into two sections. The first one will deal with issues of continuity with ancient Greece and classical Athens as forming a golden age that informed the state ideology of the country. The course will deal with appropriations and representations of ancient ideals by such diverse actors as the authoritarian regimes of Metaxas (1936-1940) and the Colonels (1967-74), including the latter’s so-called festivals of military virtue, and up to the opening ceremony of the 2004 Olympic Games and the recently built Acropolis museum. The second part of the module will examine ancient concepts and the way they have been used, evoked, implemented and reappropriated in modern Europe. In particular, the idea of the “citizen”, as it was formed after 1789, was a direct evocation of the ancient Greek ideal.


This course is only open to students enrolled in Pre-College Global Programs.

**When registering in Banner, students must enroll in “Greece & the World” (CRN: 10403) AND a language course: “Ancient Greek” (CRN 10379) or “Modern Greek” (CRN: 10380).