The Adventures of Strepsiades and the Lampooning of Socrates
Online Ancient Greek Course, March 12th-May 7th, 2022
The plot of the Clouds begins at night, after the crowing of the rooster. Strepsiades the farmer tosses and turns about on his soft bed, tormented by his concerns about the debts he has incurred to appease his son Pheidippides, a reckless playboy obsessed with horse racing.Unable to sleep, he lights a lamp and begins to thumb through his expense registers: his financial situation is dire and the only way out is to rush off to Socrates, the charlatan and incomparable master of verbal tricks, with hopes that he can teach Pheidippides persuasive techniques to fool his creditors. Thus begin the vicissitudes of the elderly Strepsiades who, once admitted to the Thinkery of Socrates (a bizarre locale filled with filthy and bewildering wanderers), he receives a series of lessons about chicken sex, the jumping distance of fleas, the gait of gnats, and the divine nature of clouds. This theater of the absud comes to an end when Strepsiades is humiliated by Socrates and beaten by his son; his response is to climb to the top of the Thinkery and set it ablaze.
In this course of eight sessions, conducted entirely in Ancient Greek, we will explore the text of the Clouds, one of Aristophanes’ most lively comedies which blends the force of parody with a fantastical and whimsical creativity. We will also examine documents which shed light on the social and political context in which this comedy was composed. We will also take into account the evidence on the relationship between Aristophanes and other authors who mention Socrates alongside the perplexing reception of the comedy among Athenians at the time of the play.
The teaching approach of this course will be that which has been an outgrowth of what we have discovered to be best practice in previous Schola Humanistica courses. All lessons take place in real time via a Zoom meeting with alternating instructor-led sessions with occasional opportunity for course participants to speak with one another and practice spoken Ancient Greek under the guidance of the instructor. Each session will be recorded and made available for viewing throughout the duration of the course. An automated system will generate consent forms which will allow each course participant to decide wither or not they which to appear in the recording of the lesson.
|Saturday, March 12th 2022, h. 17:00-18:15 CET||One Night…|
|Saturday, March 19th 2022, h. 17:00-18:15 CET||Aristophanes against Socrates?|
|Saturday, April 2nd 2022, h. 17:00-18:15 CET||The Thinkery|
|Saturday, April 9th 2022, h. 17:00-18:15 CEST||Gnats, Mosquitoes, and Chickens|
|Saturday, April 16th 2022, h. 17:00-18:15 CEST||New Gods|
|Saturday, April 23rd 2022, h. 17:00-18:15 CEST||Against Creditors|
|Saturday, April 30th 2022, h. 17:00-18:15 CEST||Beatings|
|Saturday, May 7th 2022, h. 17:00-18:15 CEST||Burning Down the Thinkery|
Last day to register:
March 11th, 2022