Sunday, September 01, 2013

Alice Studies: THE ANCIENT GREEKS with Andrew Szegedy-Maszak, PhD (Wesleyan University)


I'm really excited about this free course that I'm about to start with Coursera ("Like" their Facebook page here). This 7-week course begins tomorrow, 2 September.

About the Course
This course is a survey of ancient Greek history, covering the roughly 13 centuries that extended from the Minoan / Mycenaean Bronze Age (ca. 1800-1200 BCE) down to the death of Socrates in 399 BCE.  Along with studying the most important events and personalities, we will consider broader issues such as political and cultural values and methods of historical interpretation.

Some of the topics we will cover include: relations between the Greeks and their neighbors to the East; Homer and the heroic ideal; the development of the type of community called the "polis"; the diffusion of Greek civilization from Southern Italy to the shores of the Black Sea; gods and mortals in myth, religion and ritual; the roles of women; Athenian drama; the treatment of slaves and foreigners; and the birth and evolution of democracy. We will strive to get as full an understanding as we can of this extraordinary, and extraordinarily influential, society. 

What I liked about this is that I'll be looking into all these areas:
  • WEEK 1: Prehistory to Homer
  • WEEK 2: The Archaic Age (ca. 800-500 BCE)
  • WEEK 3: Two City-States: Sparta and Athens
  • WEEK 4: Democracy. The Persian Wars
  • WEEK 5: The Great 50 Years (ca. 480-431 BCE)
  • WEEK 6: The Peloponnesian War I
  • WEEK 7: The End of the War. The end of the Century

It does look like there will be a lot of readings for this course and I'm not sure how I'd fare with all the classical texts, but I'm going to give it a shot.

Do you know about Coursera? Have you enrolled in any of their free courses? Do share your experience here!