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Poetry and Political Philosophy in Ancient Greece

ENGL 329.401
instructor(s):
TR 12-1:30
CLST 329
fulfills requirements:
Elective Seminar of the Standard Major

The goal of this course is to grapple authors who asked questions that are fundamental to a liberal education and who strove to answer those questions with a profundity that set a standard for great thinking after them.  Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Aristophanes, and Plato asked the questions central  to human life: wherein lie human happiness and  human dignity?   These authors also addressed the requisite corollary questions:   what is the nature of the human soul?  what is the best kind of polity? what virtue does a particular polity encourage?  what virtue does a particular kind of  literature teach?

            We will read the following works in whole or in part:  Homer’s Iliad, Herodotus’ Persian Wars,   Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound, Sophocles’ Antigone, Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, Aristophanes’ The Clouds, several dialogues of Plato (Apology, Meno,Gorgias,  Republic, Phaedrus).

            Course requirements:  3 short papers, final paper, regular class participation.