Great Books Courses (Division 382)

There are two sets of Great Books courses: Great Books 191 and 192, a two-term sequence for Honors freshmen, and Great Books 201, 202, 203, and 221, a set of four courses primarily for freshman and sophomores, but open to upperclassmen as well.

All of the Great Books courses share the same general objectives and entail similar kinds of work. The required reading in Great Books 191 and 192, and in 201, 202, 203, and 221, includes books of three different kinds: history, philosophy, and imaginative literature. Consequently these courses serve in part as introductions to those disciplines. The books for these courses are chosen for their intrinsic excellence, their nontechnical nature, and because of the influence which they exert on modern culture. These books present basic ideas and issues about the inner life of the individual, about the social and political life of man, and about the relationship between the two. Because of the range and depth of human experience which these books reflect and evaluate, they serve especially well to contribute to a student's appreciation of the development of the intellectual and emotional capacities of the mind, and of social understanding. These courses all carry humanities distribution credit.

Great Books 191 and 192 are ordinarily taken in sequence. Great Books 201 is a prerequisite for Great Books 202. There are no prerequisites for Great Books 203 or 221; Great Books 201 and 202, however, are recommended as preparation for Great Books 203. Great Books 221 Great Books of the Far East is offered only in the Winter Term; it is taught jointly by two professors, one in Chinese and one in Japanese, from the Department of Far Eastern Languages and Literatures.

191, 192. Great Books. Open to Honors freshmen only. (4 each). (HU).

Only Great Books 191 will be offered Fall Term, 1983. Great Books 191 will survey the classical works of ancient Greece. Among the readings will be Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, a number of the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes, Herodotus' Histories, Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian Wars, and several of Plato's dialogues. The course format is two lectures and two discussion meetings a week. Six to eight short papers will be assigned; there will be midterm and final examinations. Students are expected to read The Odyssey before the start of the fall term; the Richmond Lattimore translation is recommended. The reading assignment for the first lecture of the fall term is books 1-8 of The Iliad, in the University of Chicago Press edition, translated by Richmond Lattimore. Great Books 191 is open to freshmen in the Honors Program, and to other students with the permission of the Director of the Great Books Program. (Buttrey, Hornback, Graf, Paslick, and others)

201, 202. Great Books. Open to freshmen and sophomores; upperclass students by permission of the instructor only; Gt. Bks. 201, or permission of instructor, is prerequisite to Gt. Bks. 202. (4 each). (HU).

Great Books 201 is offered Fall Term, 1983.

Section 001. This section will cover literature and philosophical and historical writings from the classical civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome. Readings will include such works as Homer's Iliad, plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, some of Plato's Socratic dialogues, and Vergil's Aeneid. Several short papers and a final examination. (Cloyd)

Section 002. This course will focus on the enduring questions raised by the ancient Greeks about the human condition. The issues of human suffering, its origins and value (if any), of man's place in the universe (controller? survivor? servant?), of good and evil, reward and punishment, of life's meaning and death's connection, will be addressed through representative readings from Greek epic, tragedy, comedy, history, and philosophy. The course will consist of discussion of assigned readings with some lecturing on cultural and historical background. There will be short papers, a midterm, and a comprehensive final exam. In addition to Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, we will read some Hesiod, select tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, two comedies of Aristophanes, selections from the historical writings of Herodotus and Thucydides, and selected Socratic dialogues of Plato. (Anderson)

393. Great Books in Literature, Philosophy, and the Arts. (1). (N. Excl). May be elected for a total of 3 credits.
Section 001 VERGIL'S AENEID.
In this short-course we will read Vergil's Aeneid from as many different perspectives as we can manage. In the first three classes, however, we will focus on a close review of the text, Books I-IV, Books V-VIII, and Books IX-XII. Everyone should have read the first four books of the poem in preparation for the first class meeting. The Allen Mandelbaum translation, available as a Bantam Classic paperback, is required. We will make an attempt to understand the poem in its historical and literary contexts, interpreting the epic also as a vehicle for articulating and transmitting a culture's world view and value system. A background in the readings done in Great Books 191 or 201 is extremely desirable, but not essential. Students will write a short, two-page paper in week two or three and then a five to seven page paper due the week after the course ends. In addition to the papers, the grade will be based on the quality of discussion (for which each meeting will provide ample time). The class will meet on Monday and Wednesday mornings from 8:30 til 10:00 for nine sessions, beginning Monday, September 12 and ending Monday, October 10. Unless you care to think and talk about such matters as courage, fidelity, friendship, honor, love, justice, goodness, ambiguity, time, power, and faith, this course is not for you. If you do care about what is true or good or noble, this course may be for you. (Wallin)


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