CLGR 406
Aristophanes and Plato Fall 2023
Division I

Class Details

This course explores Aristophanes’ comedy Clouds and Plato’s dramatic dialogue Apology of Socrates through close reading, commentary, translation, and analysis. Together, these texts provide a point of entry for grasping the political and social processes that culminated in the trial, conviction, and execution of Socrates in 399 BCE because “he corrupts the youth and does not recognize the gods the city recognizes (Apology 28b-c).” More broadly, these texts open up perspectives on how scientific inquiry, Socratic conversation, and rhetorical education were viewed in fifth-century Athens and prime us to reconsider core questions ranging from the proper methods, purpose, and stakes of scientific and rhetorical education to the proper role of tradition in familial and civic life and the costs of nonconformity.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 12
Expected: 5-6
Class#: 1539
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Evaluation will be based on class participation, several short written assignments, a midterm and final exam, and a longer final paper.
Prerequisites: CLGR 201 or instructor permission
Enrollment Preferences: intending or declared Classics majors
Distributions: Division I

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