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. (3). (HU).

SECTION 001. Journey through several classic texts in Western literature on a voyage of self-discovery. After beginning with Homer's ILIAD and ODYSSEY, we will read Aeschylus' ORESTEIA, selections from Thucydides' HISTORY OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR, Sophocles and Euripides' plays and Plato's works, ending with Virgil's AENEID. During our travels, we will encounter some of man's earliest attempts to define himself, his relationship to the community, and his place in the eternal in written texts. We as modern men and women can better understand ourselves, and our relationships with others in today's society, by grappling with these early attempts at definition. Discussion will be emphasized. Course requirements include: two 1000-1500 word essays, a midterm, a final examination AND class participation. (D.Mahoney)

Section 002. Through our reading of some of the texts that have been considered fundamental to Western literature, we will follow two red threads that are woven together: storytelling and memory. We will consider their significance to texts, implied authors, characters, kings, and emperors as we examine how storytelling makes history, seduces men and women, changes personalities, and supports or criticizes bodies politic. Our conversations about these issues will not be limited to ancient texts, but will include discussions of how storytelling and memory continue to function in these and other ways today. In short, we will work toward a greater understanding of what it means really to READ a text and what implications this process has for reading our world. Most of our time in class will be devoted to group discussion, so please come prepared to participate. Mini-lectures will fill in the gaps, when necessary. Requirements will include two short papers, a midterm, and a final exam. Listed below are the books you will need in the order we will be reading them: Latimore, Richmond, trans. THE ILIAD OF HOMER. Chicago: Chicago UP, 1961 (Phoenix paperback edition). THE ODYSSEY OF HOMER. New York: Harper and Row, 1975 (Harper Colophon edition). AESCHYLUS I/ORESTEIA. Chicago: Chicago UP, 1953., Christa. CASSANDRA. Trans. Jan van Heurck. New York: Farrar, Strauss, Giroux), 1988., David and Richmond Lattimore, trans. SOPHOCLES I/THREE TRAGEDIES. Chicago: Chicago UP, 1954. EURIPIDES V/THREE TRAGEDIES. Chicago: Chicago UP, 1969. Wole. THE BACCHAE OF EURIPIDES: A COMMUNION RITE. New York: Norton, 1975., THE AENEID. Trans. Robert Fitzgerald. 2nd ed. New York: Vintage, 1985. (The first edition is fine, but the second edition is in smaller format and therefore costs less.) (Mayfield)


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