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The Madness of Orestes in the Tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides

On-line Course in Ancient Greek, 25th February – 19th April, 2023. 

Stories about the house of Atreus stand among the more dark and unsettling stories that Greco-Roman mythology has to offer. There is the murder of a husband at the hand of his own wife and then her own murder by the hand of her son, followed by the madness and isolation that grip him for the matricide he committed. After this, he wanders feverishly through Greece, tormented by gods of earth and night, excluded all the while by every house and city alike. At the foundation of this tangle of catastrophe is an ancient transgression.

In this course, we will explore the stories of Orestes and Electra, with attention to assessing their dark violence and the vividness of the poetics of the tragedies which treat this myth. We will also consider the Erinyes, who were initially viewed as the personification of fatal storm clouds and then later characterized as chthonic and nocturnal goddesses focused on the punishment of murderers. As such, they brought resolution and peace to society and took on the additional name of Eumenides.

Part 1: The Story of Orestes Narrated in Ancient Greek 

Sessions will be organized around selections from the Orestes of Aeschylus, the Electra of Sophocles, and the Electra of Euripides, with additional passages drawn from texts that span the entirety of the Greek literary tradition.  The Erinyes and their development over the centuries will be of particular focus. We will furthermore reflect on the themes of guilt, crime, and madness in the world of the Greeks.

This part of the course will take place in seminar format via zoom (webinar) every Saturday from 17:00 to 18:15 CET.

Each seminar will be conducted entirely in Ancient Greek (Attic).

Each session will be recorded and made available up through the end of the course.

Part 2: Writing and Conversation in Ancient Greek

Every Wednesday at 18:00, Schola Humanistica will offer a series of Zoom sessions organized around on the themes of the readings with a focus on the practice of conversational and written ancient Greek. These sessions may be attended independently of the reading sessions.

These sessions will take special interest in vocabulary pertaining to crime, legal proceedings, revenge, madness, demons, and darkness.

Each of these sessions will be designed to provide participants with an opportunity to converse with one another and engage with them face to face on the Zoom platform.

Each of these special exercises will likewise be recorded and made available for the duration of the course.

 

Last day to Register: 24th February

Enrollment in both parts or only one part of the course is possible (see the columns below for more information).

    I wish attend:

     

    Program schedule

    Enrollment in both parts or only one part of the course is possible (see the columns below for more information).

     

    PART 1:
    The Story of Orestes Narrated in Ancient Greek (Zoom Webinar)

     

     

    Schedule Topic
    I. Saturday, 25 February,  h. 17:00-18:15 CET A Cursed Lineage
    II. Saturday, 4th March, h. 17:00-18:15 CET

    At the Tomb of the Father

    III. Saturday, 11th March, h. 17:00-18:15 CET Matricide
    IV. Saturday, 18th March, h. 17:00-18:15 CET Demons of Guilt
    V. Saturday, 25th March, 17:00-18:15 CET Restes Acquitted
    VI. Saturday, 1th April h. 17:00-18:15 CEST Return to Argos
    VII. Saturday, 8th April, h. 17:00-18:15 CEST From the Depths of Madness
    VIII Saturday,  15th April, h. 17:00-18:15 CEST You Do Not See Then, But I See Them…
    PART 2
    Writing and Conversation in Ancient Greek

     

    Schedule Topic
    I. Wednesday, 1th March, h. 18:00-19:15 CET

    Theft, Robbery, Adultery

    II. Wednesday, 8 March, h. 18:00-19:15 CET
    Slaughter and Carnage
    III. Wednesday, 15 March, h. 18:00-19:15 CET In Court (1)
    IV. Wednesday, 22 March, h. 18:00-19:15 CET Nocturnal Demons
    V. Wednesday, 29 March, h. 18:00-19:15 CEST Madness
    VI. Wednesday, 5 April, h. 18:00-19:15 CEST Balck Magic
    VII. Wednesday 12 April, h. 18:00-19:15 CEST In Court (2)
    VIII. Wednesday,  19 April, h. 18:00-19:15 CEST The Defense of a Murderer

     

     

     

    The three tragedians

    Orestes

    Electra

    Clytemnestra

    Erinyes

     


     

    Instructor

    Paolo Pezzuolo

     

    Intended course audience

    Teachers, students and scholars of the ancient world.

    Where

    Online, using Zoom as a platform

    Language

    Ancient Greek

    Level

    Intermediate or advanced

    Professional development credit

    At the end of the course, a certificate of participation will be issued on request.

    Registration fee

    88 € for part 1

    88 € for part 2

    145 € for both if you register by 12th February

    Course registration and Availability to Recorded Sessions

    Upon successfully registering for the course, you will be entered on the list of course participants and you will be emailed the sign in information needed to join the session meetings. At the end of each session, a recording will be made available for the entirety of the course.

     

     

     

     

      I wish attend: