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Module PHILOSOPHY OF LOVE & FRIENDSHIP IN ANCIENT WORLD

Module code: GC216
Credits: 5
Semester: 2
Department: ANCIENT CLASSICS
International: Yes
Overview Overview
 

From Helen of Troy to Augustine of Carthage, love and friendship were central to ancient life and thought. After a targeted selection of mythical narratives about the divinity and power of eros, we focus first on Platoís Symposium and Phaedrus, where poetic and rhetorical praise of eros leads on to many-sided reflections on sexuality, creativity, knowledge, the soulís immortality and destiny. We turn then to various theories of friendship, in Platoís Lysis, the Cynics, Epicurus, Cicero, Seneca, but most of all Aristotleís Nicomachean Ethics where philia becomes both the culmination of the individual life and a transition to the communal life of the polis. In the final weeks, we glance at the New Testament and St Augustineís Confessions, with their introduction of a seemingly new conception of love that has been central to Christian culture ever sinceódivine agape.

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