Herodotus’ Histories discussed in Ancient Greek
Online Course: January 9th-February 27th 2021
While in the city of Sais, located on the Nile Delta, Solon dialogued with local learned men about the ancient past. After he had recounted the traditional myths of his own culture spanning the most distant genealogies of the gods to the creation of humanity and subsequent floods, an old priest said in reply: “O Solon, o Solon, you Greeks are all young children: there is not a single Greek who could be called old”
This account from Plato’s Timaeus is representative of the perception that the Greeks had of the distant culture residing on the banks of the Nile. Relative to the lively and new culture of Greeks “young at heart”, the world of Ancient Egypt with its cults and gods, with its millenia of history, its tombs, its temples, and its deserts, represented a body of knowledge that was simultaneously foreign and admirable, rooted in an extreme past and in fanciful places. At the same time, in Greek literature the representation of Egypt is a portrayal of an upside down world in which contemporary customs and conceptualizations are inverted.
In this course, conducted entirely in Ancient Greek, we will explore the Nile Valley through excerpts from the second book in the Histories of Herodotus, one of the most significant ethnological texts from antiquity. We will also examine various passages from the works of Plato, Iamblichus, and Horapollo. A number of well developed exercises will equip participants with an opportunity to practice spoken Attic Greek and to deepen their command of the Ionic Greek in which Herodotus composed this work.
|Saturday, Jan. 9th 2021, h. 17:00-18:00||An upside down world|
|Saturday, Jan. 16th 2021, h. 17:00-18:00||The Nile|
|Saturday, Jan. 23rd 2021, h. 17:00-18:00||Animals and gods|
|Saturday, Jan. 30th 2021, h. 17:00-18:00||Embalming and the afterlife|
|Saturday, Feb. 6th 2021, h. 17:00-18:00||Labyrinths and traps|
|Saturday, Feb. 13rd 2021, h. 17:00-18:00||South of the swamps|
|Saturday, Feb. 20th 2021, h. 17:00-18:00||Attire, medicine, and banquets|
|Saturday, Feb. 27th 2021,h. 17:00-18:00||
Philosophers and Egypt