This course will investigate how ancient populations conceptualized the world in which they lived and the foreign peoples who inhabited it. We will explore the interactions of geography and exploration with myth, trade, philosophy, empire, and historiography.
An in-depth exploration of the cultural history of Sicily between the Bronze Age and the Norman conquest focusing on questions of change, recurrence, and continuity within the dynamics of the Mediterranean across these two millennia.
This course will provide a broad overview of Greek history and culture from the Bronze Age through the Hellenistic period. We will survey major political, social, and cultural transformations, as well as major achievements in literature, material culture, and philosophy. Students will acquire familiarity with a wide variety of primary sources (all read in translation), key examples of Greek art and architecture, and selected secondary literature as they learn to appreciate a civilization that is considerably stranger and more complex than the image conveyed by modern commonplaces about “the... Read more about Introduction to the Ancient Greek World
The course will focus on the development of new notions of time over the course of the Hellenistic period in conjunction with other cultural, political, and social dynamics. The theme will be explored through the reading of primary texts belonging to several different genres (historiographies, apocalyptic literature, ethnographies, and so on) in connection with theoretical reflections on the articulation of time and on the practices associated with it. Prerequisite: Working knowledge of Greek and/or Hebrew.
In the two centuries after Alexander the Great, Graeco-Macedonian political rule was extended from the Aegean to the Hindu Kush. This course will investigate the nature of the new imperialism that emerged and the modes of cross-cultural encounter it generated. Our first unit, Top-Down: The State, will explore the founding of urban centers, the reconfiguration of the economy, and the development of new religious ideas by the Graeco-Macedonian royal courts. Interfaces will examine the transformations of indigenous societies, especially...
This course will introduce students to the remarkable history of Alexander the Great, his campaign of conquest from Greece to India, its background in the organization and ideologies of the Macedonian and Persian kingdoms, and its afterlife in various classical and Near Eastern literary traditions. Students will become familiar with the complexity of the ancient world, the variety of the extant evidence, and the various methodologies by which historians seek to make sense of it.
We will read, in Greek, selections from Xenophon's Anabasis and Cyropaedia, examined as both literary texts and historical sources. The first work recounts Xenophon's own participation in the famous expedition of the Ten Thousand into the heart of the Persian Empire in support of the rebel prince Cyrus the Younger, and the troops' difficult homeward journey. The second work is a fictional biography of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian Empire.
This course will discuss the modes of ethnic, religious, and political encounters generated by Alexander the Great's successor kingdoms, addressing the cultural choices open to both Graeco-Macedonian colonizers and their Babylonian, Iranian, Egyptian, and Jewish subjects.