CLAS / HIST 2361   Greek Religion: Magic, Mysteries & Cult

Carolyn Dewald

M . . . .

M . W . .

2:00 pm -3:00 pm

3:00 pm -4:20 pm

OLIN 107

OLIN 305


See History section for description.



CLAS 311   Self and Society in Classical  Greek Drama

Daniel Mendelsohn

. . . . F

10:30 -12:50 am

OLIN 205


This course will involve a close study of nearly all of the major plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides in English translation, with the aim of gaining familiarity with the genre of tragedy as a complex art form and, in particular, as a preeminent vehicle for the transmission of core Western values—moral, political and aesthetic.  Emphasis will fall equally on tragedy’s formal aspects (plot, character, poetic language, questions of evolving genre) and its psychological, social and especially its political dimensions, the latter specifically within the context of tragedy’s ongoing presentation of conflict between the individual and society.  Special attention will be paid to aspects of staging and performance, both in ancient times and in contemporary productions.  Regular film showings will be a part of the course.



CLAS 320   Socrates: Man, Myth, Monster

Thomas Bartscherer

. T . . .

4:00 pm -6:20 pm

OLIN 303


In Plato's Phaedrus, Socrates claims to lack self-knowledge, suggesting that he does not know whether he is "a monster more complicated and savage than Typhon or a tamer and simpler creature, with a share in a divine and gentle nature." The identity and character of Socrates, which Plato here suggests is a mystery to the man himself, has been a persistent puzzle. The earliest portraits we have of Socrates are strikingly incompatible and have inspired widely divergent interpretations of the man, his philosophy, and his significance through to the present day.  In this course, we will study primary ancient sources on which our knowledge of Socrates is based—including Aristophanes' Clouds, Xenophon's Socratic texts, several Platonic dialogues, and selections from Aristotle— as well as a number of exemplary texts from the modern and contemporary reception and interpretation of Socrates (including Nietzsche, Vlastos, Kofman, Nehamas, Hadot and others). Our investigation will aim to give due consideration to the historical, philosophical, and literary questions that together constitute the enigma that is Socrates. All readings will be in English.