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Module AN INTRODUCTION TO GREEK AND ROMAN CIVILIZATION I: GODS AND HEROES: FROM MYTH TO HISTORY

Module code: GC151
Credits: 7.5
Semester: 1
Department: ANCIENT CLASSICS
International: Yes
Overview Overview
 

This module introduces the fascinating world of ancient Greece—its mythology, literature, politics, history, and art—from Homer to Pericles. The first part of the module explores major myths of the Greek gods and heroes, as reflected primarily in Homer’s Odyssey (selections of which will be read in English translation). Homer’s epic depicts the world of early Greece as it began to distinguish itself from Near Eastern predecessors, with city-states, Mediterranean colonies and panhellenic festivals. From the Odyssey, we turn to the important phenomenon of the Greek city-state, and to two city-states above all: militaristic Sparta and democratic Athens, with its rich social, literary and artistic culture. We study how Athens and Sparta allied to defeat the vast Persian Empire in key battles like Marathon and Thermopylae—events that inspired the subsequent Athenian empire, the building programme of the Periclean Acropolis, the career of Alexander the Great, and the enduring “myth” of Greek liberty. In all, through literary, historical and visual sources, the module offers an interdisciplinary introduction to the civilization that has remained foundational for much Western culture.

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