Ancient Greece and Its Relevance Today
Summer 2017 | Athens, Attica, Delphi, Nafplion region + Naxos and Delos
Greece inspires students as the cradle of Western civilization and the crossroads of three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa. Spend one week in Athens, taking in historic icons (the Parthenon, the Agora) and vibrant streetscapes (picturesque Plaka, chic Kolonaki). Tour the Attic countryside, then head to Delphi (the site of the oracle of Apollo) and Nafplion (a hillside town hugging the Aegean Sea) with stops at the ancient sites of Mycenae, Argos, Corinth and Epidaurus. Complete your Greek odyssey by hopping a few islands: Naxos, Mykonos and Delos.
Historical and Cultural Influences
Explore ancient Greece and analyze its historical and cultural influence across the centuries and into the present day. How do Greek ideals—in art, government, architecture, philosophy, literature and more—echo in contemporary life? Consider also the role of Greece in the modern world, its relations with both America and Europe, and compare and contrast the cultural attitudes of Greece and your own country.
From Greek myths to the Olympic games, from Socratic philosophy to Athenian democracy, the contributions of the ancient Greeks—and our continuing curiosity about them—form the core of the liberal arts. Learn to connect Greek thought and culture across multiple disciplines, past and present. Spar intellectually with your travel companions, who bring unique perspectives from majors as different as economics, anthropology and theater arts.
City and Site Visits
Discover a landscape dotted with ancient, medieval and modern landmarks, visiting places that are relevant—and often foundational—across many academic disciplines. Tour metropolitan centers, coastal seaports and picturesque towns where modern life coexists alongside ancient temples. Site visits inspire daily group discussions, connecting past to present, discipline with discipline: Turkish ruins introduce an examination of the Muslim community in Greece today; the Theater of Dionysus sparks a conversation about the origins of modern drama.
Today’s assignment: Buy a Greek newspaper, then roam the city and strike up conversations about current events with people you meet. Tomorrow’s assignment: Share a meal with a group of Greek college students and gauge their perceptions of American culture. Exploring, talking with new people and finding information on your own directly immerses you in the host culture, challenging you to forge deeper insights and greater independence.
Reading, Writing and Reflecting
Morning begins and evening ends with group discussions, a chance to develop informed contexts and multiple perspectives on the day’s excursions. Use these discussions as background for reflecting on your own experiences in a daily journal. You also write short memos on assigned prompts and read Greek newspapers (in English) daily. Using skills in critical thinking and analysis, integrate these exercises in a final, reflective essay.