CLGR 422
Crete in the Ancient Greek Imagination Spring 2024
Division I
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Class Details

The island of Crete appears across ancient Greek literature as a place of mythic origins, monstrosity, and technological marvels. It plays a paradoxical role as an origin point for quintessentially-Greek practices, such as the paean (hymn to Apollo), as well as a site of difference and even perversion. The god Zeus and the half-human, half-bull Minotaur were both, after all, born on Crete. In this course, we will explore the representation of Crete and Cretans in Greek poetry, including hexameter epic (Homer, the Homeric Hymns), lyric (Bacchylides), and tragedy (Euripides’ Hippolytus). The range of reading selections will improve students’ understanding of ancient Greek grammar and syntax, and deepen their appreciation of different metrical patterns, dialects, and genres. They will also enable us to consider how the representation of Crete functioned as a way for poets to articulate various elements of Greek identity. In addition to advancing their understanding of Greek language and literature, students in this course will learn about the history, geography, and culture of Crete in the Archaic and Classical periods as it relates to our literary sources, and complete research projects on significant Cretan sites in Greek art, literature, and culture. All students enrolled in this course will have the option of participating in a short-term travel course to Crete in May, conducted in collaboration with CLLA 422.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 10
Expected: 4
Class#: 3918
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation, translation exams, seminar paper and presentation
Prerequisites: CLGR 201
Enrollment Preferences: Classics majors and intending majors
Distributions: Division I

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