Designed to serve as an introduction to the language of modern Greece. Practice in speaking, grammatical analysis, composition, and graded reading. Four classes. No credit is given for HLS 101 unless followed by HLS 102.
Elementary Modern Greek I
Elementary Modern Greek II
A continuation of 101, aiming to develop the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing modern Greek in a cultural context. Classroom activities include videos, comprehension and grammar exercises, and discussions. Four classes.
Intermediate Modern Greek
Advanced grammatical analysis, composition, and graded reading, with further practice in speaking. An introduction to themes in the Hellenic tradition through readings in modern Greek literature. Four classes. Prerequisite: 102 or instructor's permission.
Advanced Modern Greek
Advanced composition and oral practice aimed at developing idiomatic written and spoken style. Discussions entirely in Greek. Introduces students to contemporary Greek culture and literature through the study of works by Cavafy, Sikelianos, Seferis, Elytis, Ritsos, and Anagnostakis, among others. Readings from articles on current Greek topics. Four classes. Prerequisite: 105 or instructor's permission.
The Classical Roots of Western Literature
An introduction to the methods and some major texts of comparative literary study. It will focus on the Greco-Roman tradition, asking what it means to call a work a "classic": it will consider the outstanding characteristics of this tradition, how it arose and gained influence and attempt to place it in a global context. Readings will be divided into three topics: Epic Heroes (centering on Homer's Odyssey), Tragic Women (in ancient and modern drama), and the "invention" of modernity (Aeneid). Selected additional readings in non-Western literatures and in influential critical essays. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Medieval Art in Europe
The art of Europe from the fall of Rome to the Renaissance. Emphasis on the effects of cultural, religious, and political change on artistic production. Works treated include the Lindisfarne Gospels, the Bayeux Tapestry, Chartres Cathedral, and the Ste. Chapelle. For department majors, this course satisfies the Group 2 distribution requirement. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Byzantine Art and Architecture
Art and architecture of the Eastern Mediterranean and Eastern Europe ca. 600-1500. The course will focus on the art of the Byzantine Empire and its capital, Constantinople, and on its broad sphere of cultural influence (Russia, Armenia, Georgia, Sicily, Venice, Serbia, Bulgaria, Rumania). An examination of principal factors that shaped the artistic legacy of eastern Christendom during the Middle Ages. Offered in alternate years. For department majors, this course satisfies the Group 2 distribution requirement. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Introduction to Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy
Professor/InstructorHendrik Lorenz, Mirjam Engert Kotwick
Designed to introduce the student to the Greek contribution to the philosophical and scientific ideas of the Western world through study of works of Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and Lucretius in English translation. Topics in moral and political philosophy, as well as epistemology and metaphysics, will be included. Attention will be focused on the quality of the arguments presented by the philosophers. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
The World of Late Antiquity
Professor/InstructorJack Boulos Victor Tannous
This course will focus on the history of the later Roman Empire, a period which historians often refer to as "Late Antiquity." We will begin our class in pagan Rome at the start of the third century and end it in Baghdad in the ninth century: in between these two points, the Mediterranean world experienced a series of cultural and political revolutions whose reverberations can still be felt today. We will witness civil wars, barbarian invasions, the triumph of Christianity over paganism, the fall of the Western Empire, the rise of Islam, the Greco-Arabic translation movement and much more.
Rhetoric: Classical Theory, Modern Practice
Stylish, seductive, surreptitious, and scorned, the ubiquitous art of persuasion will be the focus of this course. We will first approach rhetoric through the classical tradition, learning to recognize basic figures of speech and thought with an eye towards identifying what is persuasive and why. We will then consider how rhetoric continues to thrive, despite abundant moral and philosophical attacks, in public self-presentation, whether of household products, of politicians, or institutions such as Princeton.
A study of classical myths in their cultural context and in their wider application to abiding human concerns (such as creation, generation, sex and gender, identity, heroic experience, death, and transformations). A variety of approaches for understanding the mythic imagination and symbol formation through literature, art, and film. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
The Greek World in the Hellenistic Age
Professor/InstructorMarc Domingo Gygax
The Greek experience from Alexander the Great through Cleopatra. An exploration of the dramatic expansion of the Greek world into the Near East brought about by the conquests and achievements of Alexander. Study of the profound political, social, and intellectual changes that stemmed from the interaction of the cultures, and the entrance of Greece into the sphere of Rome. Readings include history, biography, religious narrative, comedy, and epic poetry. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Hellenism: The First 3000 Years
Professor/InstructorJack Boulos Victor Tannous, Katerina Stergiopoulou
Over the past 3,000 years, texts written in Greek played a central role for how people in Western Eurasia understood themselves, their society, their values, and the nature of the universe. Over the same three millennia, the Greek language played a central role in a variety of political communities, including ancient Athens, the empire of Alexander, the Roman empire, Byzantium, and the modern nation state of Greece. In this course, we will trace the history of these two phenomena: the political life and fortunes of Greek speakers and the cultural life of texts written in Greek, seeking to understand the relationship between the two.
The Worlds of the Middle Ages
Professor/InstructorHelmut Reimitz, Jack Boulos Victor Tannous
We will begin in 476 with the fall of Rome and will end in 1453, with the fall of New Rome (Constantinople). In between, we will trace the different trajectories that the area stretching from Iceland to Iran traveled along over the course of this fateful millennium. We will meet Northern barbarians, Arab armies, Vikings, Crusaders, Mongols, and the Ottomans; we will witness the birth of Islam and medieval Islamic civilization; Charlemagne's creation of the Western Roman empire; will see clashes between Popes and rulers and Caliphs and Muslim religious authorities. We will do all this and more, all the while asking: what were the Middle Ages?
Art and Power in the Middle Ages
In twelve weeks this course will examine major art works from the twelve centuries (300-1500 CE) that encompass the European Middle Ages. Presenting works from Europe and the Middle East, the course will introduce students to the art of Catholicism and Orthodoxy, Judaism and Islam; the great courts of the Eastern- and Holy Roman Empires, and the roving Vikings, Celts and Visigoths. Students will not only be invited to consider how art can represent and shape notions of sacred and secular power, but will also come to understand how the work of 'art' in this period is itself powerful and, sometimes, dangerous.
Ancient Greek and Roman Medicine: Bodies, Physicians, and Patients
Professor/InstructorBrooke A. Holmes
Where does medicine begin in the West? In this course, we will go back to the earliest medical texts written in ancient Greece that try to give an account of disease as a natural phenomenon that happens inside the biological body. Our aim is not simply to reconstruct the theories of health and disease that these authors put forth. It is also to see the kinds of questions and problems that arise when healers take responsibility for the care and treatment of bodies.
Introduction to Post-Classical Greek from the Late Antique to the Byzantine Era
Professor/InstructorMirjam Engert Kotwick
Readings will focus on historical, literary, philosophical, or religious texts with a range from the Hellenistic to the Byzantine periods. Two 90-minute seminars.
The New Testament and Christian Origins
This course is a historical introduction to early Christian texts within and outside of the New Testament canon. We investigate how the Christian movement began, using ancient sources - Jewish, Greek, Roman, and Christian - about Jesus of Nazareth. We read the letters of the Apostle Paul and New Testament gospels, and the recently discovered gospels of Thomas and Mary. We will discuss the formation of the New Testament canon, views of Jesus, and attitudes toward gender, race and community. The course is accessible to students new to these sources, as well as to those familiar with them. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Jesus: How Christianity Began
We investigate what is known about Jesus from earliest gospels, Roman and Jewish sources, and "gnostic gospels;" letters between a Roman governor and emperor telling why they had Jesus' followers tortured and executed; first hand accounts of conversion, trials and martyrdom's; how pagans saw Christians, and how the movement emerged from Judaism; debates over virgin birth, resurrection, sexual practices, gender roles; and how emperor Constantine's conversion-and the work of Augustine-transformed the movement. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Plato and His Predecessors
Professor/InstructorBenjamin Charles Atkin Morison
Readings in translation from pre-Socratic philosophers and from Plato's dialogues, to provide a broad history of Greek philosophy through Plato. Topics covered will include: Socrates's method of dialectic, his conceptions of moral virtue and human knowledge; Plato's theory of knowledge, metaphysics, and moral and political philosophy. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
The Art of the Iron Age: The Near East and Early Greece
Professor/InstructorNathan Todd Arrington
The course will focus on the formation of new artistic traditions in the ancient Near East and late-period Egypt after 1000 B.C.E. and then investigate their interrelationships with early Greece and the controversial theories of modern scholars of the dependence of early Greece on the ancient Near East. For department majors, this course satisfies the Group 1 distribution requirement. Two 90-minute classes.
Aristotle and His Successors
Professor/InstructorBenjamin Charles Atkin Morison
Aristotle's most important contributions in the areas of logic, scientific method, philosophy of nature, metaphysics, psychology, ethics, and politics. Several of his major works will be read in translation. Aristotle's successors in the Greco-Roman period will be studied briefly. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Political Theory, Athens to Augustine
A study of the fundamental questions of political theory as framed in context of the institutions and writings of ancient Greek and Roman thinkers from the classical period into late antiquity and the spread of Christianity in Rome. We will canvass the meaning of justice in Plato's "Republic", the definition of the citizen in Aristotle's "Politics", to Cicero's reflections on the purpose of a commonwealth, and Augustine's challenge to those reflections and to the primacy of political life at all in light of divine purposes. Through classic texts, we explore basic questions of constitutional ethics and politics. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Professor/InstructorElizabeth Anne Davis
This seminar addresses the social relations in which mental health, mental illness, and psycho-medical knowledge are entangled and produced. We will engage various cross-cultural approaches to mental conflicts and pathologies: psychoanalysis, ethnopsychology, biomedical psychiatry, transcultural psychiatry, and religious and "alternative" practices of diagnosis and healing. Drawing on ethnographic and clinical studies from Greek and other contexts, we will examine the role of culture in determining lines between normal and pathological, and consider the intertwining of psyche and body in human experience and behavior.
The Formation of Christian Art
Art in late antiquity has often been characterized as an art in decline, but this judgment is relative, relying on standards formulated for art of other periods. Challenging this assumption, we will examine the distinct and powerful transformations within the visual culture of the period between the third and sixth centuries AD. This period witnesses the mutation of the institutions of the Roman Empire into those of the Christian Byzantine Empire. The fundamental change in religious identity that was the basis for this development directly impacted the art from that era that will be the focus of this course.