By employing a methodology based in psychoacoustics, semiotics, and phenomenology, this course explores the relationship among sound, water, marble, meaning, and religious experience in the sixth-century church of Hagia
Sophia built by emperor Justinian in Constantinople. We will read medieval sources describing the interior and ritual, make short movies exploring the shimmer of marble in buildings on campus, and study the acoustics of domed buildings through computer auralization done at Stanford's CCRMA (Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics)
The course explores the art and architecture of the Athenian Empire in the age of Pericles, and then considers the effects of civil war and plague on Greek art and society in the later 5th and early 4th centuries.
Analysis of the material culture of the early Roman empire (1st and 2nd c. CE). Focus is on new archaeological perspectives, theories and anthropological insights. Imperialism, colonialism and novel perspectives on centres, peripheries and frontiers. Imperial conceptualizations of time and space. Imperial landscapes: colonies, cities (private and public buildings), the country side, roads and ports. Imperial memories: the past in the past, ancestor cult in the house and the tomb, imperial funerals. Experiencing empire, discrepant identities (gender, age, the Roman 'others').
In what sense does education, the acquisition of knowledge, and reflection make one a better person? This question was at the core of the beginning of European moral philosophy when Socrates is said to have asserted that ¿the unexamined life is not worth living.¿ The Socratic dialogues of Plato explore the link between knowledge and a just character. Yet for many of Socrates¿ Athenian contemporaries the newly emerging education in 5th c.
How did cross-cultural contact between Europe and Asia in the pre-modern era produce our modern concept of civilization?
Since Herodotus in the 5th century BCE, the Persian Empire has been represented as the exemplar of oriental despotism and imperial arrogance, a looming presence and worthy foil for the West and Greek democracy. History of the Achaemenid Empire, beginning with the rise of the Medes in the 7th century BCE to the fall of the Achaemenids to Alexander the Great's armies in 331 BCE. Focus on the intimate relationship between religion and empire and will also survey the diverse cultural institutions and religious practices found within the Empire.
How was mathematics invented? A survey of the main creative ideas of ancient Greek mathematics. Among the issues explored are the axiomatic system of Euclid's Elements, the origins of the calculus in Greek measurements of solids and surfaces, and Archimedes' creation of mathematical physics. We will provide proofs of ancient theorems, and also learn how such theorems are even known today thanks to the recovery of ancient manuscripts.
Comparative and archaeological view of urban design and sustainability. How fast changing cities challenge human relationships with nature. Innovation and change, growth, industrial development, the consumption of goods and materials. Five millennia of city life including Near Eastern city states, Graeco-Roman antiquity, the Indus Valley, and the Americas.
For the last 5,000 years, civilization has been growing at an exponential rate. The keys to this growth are the technologies of civilization: writing, numbers, and money. These technologies allow the creation of complex societies and enhance human cognition. We will investigate the role of cognition in shaping history and the role of history in shaping cognition. The perspective of the course is global, with an emphasis on the Western tradition and its ancient Greek roots.
The sex-gender system of ancient Greece. How did polarization of the sexes become a master metaphor for power struggles between husbands and wives, among men, and among parts of the self? How did religious activity, including drama, mitigate or intensify the stresses of living in a society polarized along gender lines?