201. Great Books. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Gt. Bks. 191 or Classical Civ. 101. (HU).
Great Books 201 will introduce the student to the major themes of classical Greek civilization which resonate throughout history even to our postmodern world. Beginning with Homer's foundational epic poem, The Odyssey, written in the Archaic Age, we will then move to the civic arena of fifth-century B.C. Athens, where we will read the plays of the Oresteia by Aeschylus, both Oedipus plays by Sophocles and The Medea by Euripides. Before moving into the fourth century B.C. and Plato, we will read selections from "the statesman's handbook," Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War. For the finale, we will grapple with the philosophy of Plato as found in three dialogues: The Apology, The Phaedo and The Symposium. Requirements include two essays, two exams, and - the real music of the class – participation in discussion and debate. This class presupposes no knowledge of classical literature or classical history, rather it seeks to aid the student to become attuned to some of the most significant motifs of thought emanating from the ancient world. Among the skills the student may expect to acquire in this class are a certain expertise in "close reading" and analysis of symbols, as well as familiarity with rhetorical techniques and logical argument. The idea is to give students the opportunity to become both sensitive and incisive readers, writers, and speakers. (Seigneurie)
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