From Homer's ODYSSEY (8th century BCE) to Heliodorus' ETHIOPIAN ROMANCE (3rd century CE), ancient Greek literature is a repository of entertaining and exotic other worlds. In this seminar we will follow both fictional and historical Greek travelers on their journeys to the ends of the world and survey, through their eyes, the bizarre and fascinating customs of foreign lands (real and imaginary). Why do the Persians, according to Herodotus, eat few main courses but many deserts? What does Heracles' mystical journey to the land of the Hyperboreans have to do with the Olympic victory celebrated in Pindar's third OLYMPIAN? How does Cloudcuckooland (a community of talking birds) govern itself in Aristophanes' BIRDS? While these narratives and others like them charm us with their pure inventiveness, they also engage serious themes: law, politics, ethnicity, race and religion, to name a few. Our investigations into the other worlds of the Greek imagination will lead us, ultimately, back to the Greeks themselves, as both created by and reflected in their literary tradition.
COURSE FORMAT: Seminar
Level: UGRD Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA CLAS Grading Mode: Student Option
Last Updated on MAR-30-2006
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