Great Books Courses (Division 382)

201. Great Books. Gt. Bks. 201 is not open to students who have taken Gt. Bks. 191 or Classical Civ. 101. (HU).

SECTION 001. Achilleus, Odysseus, Pericles, Socrates through these "heroes" Greek authors expressed their ideas of discipline, intelligence, and order. That is, these heroes embody their creators' respective understandings of Greek ideals. At the same time, this tradition also produced Clytemnestra, Orestes, Oedipus, Antigone, Lysistrata, Medea, and Pentheus as well as counter-valued characterizations of many of the traditional heroes. Beginning with the Achilleus in Homer's ILIAD and ending with the Socrates of Plato's DIALOGUES, we will examine descriptions of heroes and heroic ideals as well as characters whose actions, situations, or stations in society are presented as anything but heroic. While always attempting first to encounter the works we read as artistic wholes, we will continually return to three specific questions: What values or characters does a work recommend? What values or characters does it recommend against? And what questions about the recommended values does it dare not voice? Course requirements: participation in class discussions; a one-page paper; 2 four-page papers; final exam. Class will be run as a lecture/discussion section. Texts:, ILIAD and ODYSSEY, ORESTEIA, OEDIPUS TYRANNUS, ANTIGONE, PELOPONNESIAN WAR, LYSISTRATA, CLOUDS, MEDEA, BACCHAE, ION, MENO, APOLOGY, CRITO, PHAEDO. (M. Martin)

Section 002. We shall explore in this course the development of body and soul as mutually determining (and exclusive?) concepts. Our reading will begin with the ODYSSEY and take us through representative texts of Euripides, Plato, Vergil, Augustine, and the BIBLE. Through these works we shall examine how flesh and spirit operate in early, middle, and late classical thought. To supplement and deepen OUR thinking, we shall take a look at choice tidbits, from time to time, from Sappho, Epicurus, Aristotle, Propertius, Catullus and others. Course requirements are 2 short papers, 2 hourly exams, and intellectual curiosity. (P. Armstrong)


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