A Brief Archaeology of (some) Western Myths (Code:59091)
The course critically examines and discusses key concepts and values that have conformed the so-called Western world and are still operating in full force in our everyday life as individuals and members of a community: political, social and otherwise. Focusing on the study of long-lived terms invested with honour and prestige through the centuries, such as republic (res publica), citizen (ciuis, polites), freedom (libertas), passion (pathos), love (eros), reason (logos), violence (hybris), order (cosmos), empire (imperium), beauty (forma), excellence (aristeia) etc., the course explores the circumstances of their birth in the Greco-Roman world, their original meaning and function, and what they have become as we perceive them today, when they are essential to our lives and to our ideals; that is, the way we think things should be. The topics are arranged around five traits that would easily be agreed upon to define what we call the Western values by a vast majority of people, but in itself this very arrangement will set the ground for reflection and discussion, from a synchronic and a diachronic perspective, encouraging critical analysis of both old and new.
Keywords: Western identity, Greco-Roman Literature, Ancient History, Ancient Thought, Cultural History