21L.001 Foundations of Western Culture I: Homer to Dante, Spring 2000
Author(s)Kibel, Alvin C.
Foundations of Western Culture I: Homer to Dante
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Studies a broad range of texts essential to understanding the two great sources of Western conceptions of the world and humanity's place within it: the ancient world of Greece and Rome and the Judeo-Christian world that challenged and absorbed it. Readings vary but usually include works by Homer, Sophocles, Aristotle, Plato, Virgil, St. Augustine, and Dante. From the course home page: Course Description This subject introduces the student to some of the literary, philosophical and religious texts which became major sources of assumption about the nature of the universe and mankind's place within it and which continue to underlie the characteristically Western sense of things to this day. In particular, the subject will study closely texts from two broad ranges of texts, those of ancient Greece and some major texts of the Judeo-Christian tradition, which rivals the tradition of the ancient world and in many ways contests with it. In our discussions we will also examine the claims made in behalf of our texts that they are classics and we will explore some of the historical, literary, intellectual, and ethical significance that the question "what is a classic?" has had at different moments in the history of Western civilization.
culture, literature, judeo-christian, philosophy, religion, greece, history, Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, Saint Augustine, Dante, bible, classics, western civilization, Rome