Course No.

REL 272


India and Greece


William Mullen / Kristin Scheible


Tu Th            11:30 am - 12:50 am     OLIN 201

In this team-taught course, by  specialists in ancient Greek and in ancient Indic culture, we will explore the present state of the comparative method as applied to the histories and mythologies of two complex civilizations.  We will begin with the perennial question of  shared Indo-European origins and what, if anything, we might posit as “history.”  Turning to rich and  foundational cosmogonic and catastrophic myths operative in texts such as Hesiod's Theogony and Ovid’s Metamorphoses and in the Indic Vedas and Puranas, we will consider cosmological structures of time and space, and  also varying possible relations between males and females both mortal and immortal.  We will continue to pursue these themes in the enduring epics, the Odyssey and the Ramayana.  In a more intensive mode, reflecting the special scholarship of each professor, we will study the interaction of ritual and sacred places in selected texts, principally the Odes of Pindar and the Edicts of Asoka.  We will end the course revisiting historical questions, examining evidence of direct contact between the two civilizations, and how they represented each other as the other, the “barbarian.” Religion program category:  Historical