The Bacchae and Other Myths About Dionysus
Online Ancient Greek Course: September 11th-November 6th
According to one legend, when it was announced that the other side of the Hydaspes had been invaded by a force of satyrs, dancers, and drunk old men who rode asses and panthers as cavalry with a young man wearing an ivy crown who led them, the kings of India alongside their counselors burst out in laughter and did not bother to assemble an army to repel their enemy. However, after learning that the cities of the Ganges had been captured and that all of India was in flames, they rushed to muster an army and fight the invaders, but ultimately were forced to kneel before a victorious Dionysus.
Dionysus, the son of Zeus and the mortal Semele, is one of the more enigmatic and stirring divinities of Greek religion: he is a god of wine and poetic inspiration, the theater and revelry, a god both sweet and terrible (δεινότατος καί ἡπιότατος), a dispenser of divine intervention and destruction, able to free his adherents from earthly suffering and to inspire them to commit ineffable cruelty.
In this course we will explore the Bacchae, the tragedy in which Euripides recounts the triumph of Dionysus and the unforgettable demise of his opponent, the Theban king Pentheus. We will also read various passages excerpted from the Homeric Hymns, the works of Aristotle, Callimachus, Nonnus of Panopolis all with the objective of better understanding this nuanced and enigmatic god along with his metamorphoses, the history of his worship, and his Thracian origins in the context of the Orphic Mysteries.
Lessons will be conducted entirely in Ancient Greek and will furnish participants with not only an opportunity to enhance their aural comprehension of the language but also an opportunity to appreciate the word play and discrepancies between tragic diction and Attic prose.Each lesson will take place live and recordings of the sessions will be available for seven days after the date of the lesson.Also featured in the course are two colloquia in which participants will be able to engage in dialogue with each other and the instructor, thus providing some practice with the active use of Ancient Greek.
In doing so, we will reexamine one of the most consequential body of myths in the history of European thought, whose elusive meaning and shifting contours have inspired many of the West’s greatest philosophers, poets, and artists.
Saturday, September 11th, 2021 17:00-18:15 CEST
|Wine and Folly|
|Saturday, November 6th, 2021 17:00-18:15 CET||Dionysus and the Sacred|
Saturday, September 18th, 2021 17:00-18:15 CEST
|The Myths of Dionysus|
|Saturday, September 25th, 2021 17:00-18:15 CEST||The Return of the God|
|Saturday, October 2nd, 2021 17:00-18:15 CEST||A New Cult in Thebes|
|Saturday, October 9th, 2021 17:00-18:15 CEST||The Wrath of Pentheus|
|Saturday, October 16th, 2021 17:00-18:15 CEST||The God Imprisoned|
|Saturday, October 23th, 2021 17:00-18:15 CEST||Deception|
|Saturday, October 30th, 2021 17:00-18:15 CEST||The Demise of Petheus|
September 10th 2021