Muses and Maneaters

We will read and discuss numerous masterpieces of Greek literature, from Homer's epic poem of survival and revenge, The Odyssey, to Euripides's tragedy of Dionysian sensuality and excess, The Bacchae, to Herodotus's colorful and multicultural history of the ancient Mediterranean world. (For a complete list of the texts, see the Course Description and Requirements.) We will also watch a film that draws on the archetypal narrative patterns and themes of classical literature. All discussions will include reference to a variety of material in addition to the readings themselves, ranging from ancient art works (viewed through digital slides) to modern works of art and literature. The latter should help to place the readings in their cultural context, and highlight some of the similarities as well as significant differences between ancient Greek and Roman cultures and our own. We will also take account of different approaches to interpreting literature, many of which apply very well to written works and film of today.