Spring 2016

This course will explore the poetry of Euripides, a controversial Athenian playwright, who was born in the early fifth century BCE (perhaps 485/4 or 480) in the Attic deme of Phyle. He competed in the annual dramatic competition of the City Dionysia in Athens twenty-two times, but only won first prize on four occasions. One of the occasions was in 405 with the plays that included the Bacchae and Iphigenia at Aulis, after his death in Macedonia the previous year. Of the ninety plays Euripides is believed to have written, nineteen have survived either in complete or nearly complete form. This course will focus on five plays he composed about events connected with the Trojan War:

Iphigenia at Aulis
Rhesus
Trojan Women
Helen
Orestes

This will be an interinstitutional course connected with two initiatives sponsored by the Center for Hellenic Studies, a research institute based in Washington D.C.: Sunoikisis and Ancient Greece in the Modern Classroom, which is a joint venture with the Council of Independent Colleges. This course will involve faculty members and students from eight colleges and universities:

Alderson Broaddus University
Carthage College
Howard University
North Carolina Wesleyan College
Rhodes College
Southwestern University
University of Findlay

This course seeks to practice philology as described by F. Nietzsche:

For philology is that venerable art which exacts from its followers one thing above all — to step to one side, to leave themselves spare moments, to grow silent, to become slow — the leisurely art of the goldsmith applied to language: an art which must carry out slow, fine work, and attains nothing if not lento. Thus philology is now more desirable than ever before; thus it is the highest attraction and incitement in an age of ‘work’: that is, of haste, of unseemly and immoderate hurry-skurry, which is so eager to ‘get things done’ at once, even every book, whether old or new. Philology itself, perhaps, will not so hurriedly ‘get things done.’ It teaches how to read well, that is, slowly, profoundly, attentively, prudently, with inner thoughts, with the mental doors ajar, with delicate fingers and eyes (Daybreak, Preface 5, translated by J.M. Kennedy).

as part of a rigorous program of study and interaction within a diverse academic community.