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CLS 95 — Why the Greeks Are Great: Cultural Legacies of the Ancient Greeks

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 22—Dec 8
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Sep 24
Units: 2
Tuition: $485
Instructor(s): Patrick Hunt
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
Please Note: No class on September 29 and November 24.
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Sep 22—Dec 8
10 weeks
Refund Date
Sep 24
2 Units
Patrick Hunt
Please Note: No class on September 29 and November 24.
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
How much do we owe the ancient Greeks? In this course, we will survey some of the many Greek contributions to our language, mythology, philosophy, politics, drama, literature, mathematics, medicine, economy, and music. (Even most of these subject names are directly Greek in origin.) Besides the best-known Greek cultural giants—Homer, Herodotus, Socrates, Sophocles, and Archimedes, to name a few—we should remember great thinkers like Aristarchus, who recognized the earth’s relation to the sun, and Galen, who left hundreds of medical texts on anatomy, physiology, and psychology. Linnaeus’s scientific classification system of taxonomy from the 18th century is often based on Greek descriptions. Numerous common proverbs, maxims, and even clichés also originated with the Greeks, such as “you cannot see the whole ship when you’re on board,” “familiarity breeds contempt,” and “the camel can’t see its own hump,” which recalls Greece’s connections with Egypt via Aesop.

Our cultural debt to the ancient Greeks obviously cannot be comprehensively studied in ten weeks, but in this course we will begin to see how we continue to share so many of their intellectual and cultural gifts.

Former Director, Stanford Alpine Archaeology Project; Research Associate, Archeoethnobotany, Institute of EthnoMedicine

Patrick Hunt is an author of twenty-four books and a lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America. He received a PhD from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers Club, and he is an explorer and expeditions expert for National Geographic. His Alps research has been sponsored by the National Geographic Expeditions Council.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Diane Harris Cline, The Greeks (ISBN 9781426216701)