Courses in Great Books (Division 382)

201. Great Books of the Ancient World. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Gt. Bks. 191 or Classical Civ. 101. (4). (HU).

"Oft of one wide expanse had I been told/ That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne." Not everyone has the same feeling about Homer as John Keats before reading the Iliad, but from the Oedipus complex to the bittersweetness of love, the writings of ancient Greece and Rome have shaped the way we think about the world, what we value, and who we believe we are. If all philosophy is footnotes to Plato, it's because Plato set the groundwork that thinkers have been wrestling with and against ever since. In this class, we'll look at texts in literature, philosophy, and history by Homer, Aeschylus, Vergil, Plato, Ovid, and others, using them to put our contemporary experience into perspective and using it to challenge these texts. We'll both celebrate these great works and question what "greatness" can mean now, when literary canons are open to criticism. Lectures and discussions, two papers, a final, and saturnalian revelry. Cost:2 WL:1 (West)


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