Birth of the West: Thinking about the Greek Origins of Western Civilization


Have you ever wondered about the many ways in which those in the West look back to the Greeks for the origins of civilization? There is a breathtaking array of such “beginnings” claimed by the Greeks, such as the invention of the alphabet, the first staged drama, the rise of formal logic and philosophy, democracy, realistic sculpture, the conventions of writing history (historiography), and much else. In this course, we will think through these claims to cultural “origins,” seeking both to learn and understand the narratives passed down to us, and to thoughtfully interrogate those narratives. An introductory course: no prior knowledge required.

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