This unit examines the legacy of the Classical Age of Greece and Rome in the formation of the ideas and institutions of Western Civilisation. It explores how the Greeks took a unique, and ultimately, world-transforming direction through their artistic, philosophical, political and scientific inventiveness. The unit spans the polytheistic and heroic world depicted in Homer's Iliad, the pedagogical role of the poets (and the different poetic modes) within the Greek polity, the Peloponnesian wars, the emergence of philosophy and its hegemonic political aspirations, the rise and fall of the Roman empire, the emergence of Christendom, and Augustine's vision of the Church as a 'City of God'. The course provides and interdisciplinary and comparative approach in which students will be able to see the continuing vital presence of the classical world.
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