GTBOOKS 201 - Great Books of the Ancient World
Section: 201 Plato and the Poets
Term: SU 2009
Subject: Great Books Program (GTBOOKS)
Department: LSA Classical Studies
Requirements & Distribution:
Credit Exclusions:
No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in GTBOOKS 191 or CLCIV 101.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course is introductory. Its primary goals are the introduction to classical texts of Western literature and improvement in critical thinking and writing.

In this course, we will read a wide variety of ancient texts, from Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, through the poems of Sappho, the books of Genesis and Revelation in the Bible, a number of ancient tragedies, including Euripides’ Bacchae, the dialogues of Plato, and one or two modern texts to wrap things up. Along the way, we will be looking for the particular variety of experience that each text embodies, and attempt to relate it to our own experience.

  • What do we know about experience?
  • What is it, how do we have it, and what does it do?
  • Is “experience” always the same, or does the experience of experience change with time and place?

In the book of Genesis, God says,

“You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.”

This passage outlines one variety of forbidden experience, linked intimately with knowledge and death. In this course, we will eat from the tree of knowledge, and see what varieties of ancient experience we encounter along the way.


  • two shorter papers
  • one longer paper
  • participation

  a href=href=" Course Guide/Summer 2009 docs/GB201_09.pdf">


GTBOOKS 201 - Great Books of the Ancient World
Schedule Listing
201 (REC)
MTuWTh 12:00PM - 2:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

No Syllabi are on file for GTBOOKS 201. Click the button below to search for a different syllabus (UM login required)

Search for Syllabus
The CourseProfile (ART) system, supported by the U-M Provost’s 3rd Century Initiative through a grant to the Office of Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (ART)