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Focus is on the interrelation of art, architecture, verbal description, poetry, and music (including the singing of psalms and recitation of the Qur'an). We explore how ekphrasis - the style of writing vividly intended to transform the listeners into spectators - structures the perception of and response to artistic production be it an art object, building, or a musical performance.
Chronological survey of Byzantine, Islamic, and Western Medieval art and architecture from the early Christian period to the Gothic age. Broad art-historical developments and more detailed examinations of individual monuments and works of art. Topics include devotional art, court and monastic culture, relics and the cult of saints, pilgrimage and crusades, and the rise of cities and cathedrals.
This is the second of two seminars on this topic.
Compared to most ancient societies, classical Greeks were strongly opposed to the idea that any humans had a divine right to rule over others. The unusual idea that the gods were largely indifferent to political structures created one of the central political and ideological problems in ancient Greece, and may have played a major part in the Greeks’ invention of male citizen democracy at the end of the sixth century BC.
Sallust, called the brightest flower among Roman historians, and Virgil, whose verses caused the Roman people to rise in homage, were contemporaries and members of the circle of Asinius Pollio. Yet (and even though Virgil's ancient commentators and scholiasts refer to Sallust dozens of times) the relationship between the two has hardly received any attention. We will study the works of both authors in their respective Greek and Roman traditions and explore their (possible) linguistic and ideological parallels.
The concept of definition plays a central role in Aristotle's treatment of both philosophical and scientific inquiry, as well as explanation. A definition is an account of what something is, and some definitions are used to guide causal inquiry whereas others function as explanatory starting points.
Literary and philosophical texts from Antiquity (including Homer, the Greek tragedians, Plato, Aristotle, Virgil, and Augustine). In each case, we will examine the cultural contexts in which each text was composed (e.g. political regimes and ideologies; attitudes towards gender and sexuality; hierarchies of class and status; discourses on "barbarians" and resident aliens). We will study various theoretical approaches to these books in an effort to "rethink" these texts in the 21st century.
A linguistic introduction to the history of the Greek language by way of focussed readings and intensive analysis of Homeric poetry. Attention will be given to problems of diachronic change, including developments in morphology tied to the demands of the hexameter; phenomena related to loss of digamma, vowel contractions, and diectasis; particle usage; development of the definite article; preposed relative clauses; and the dialect mix represented in the Homeric Kunstsprache.