What is the course about?
Pausanias was Greek, probably born around A.D.120 in Lydia in Asia Minor. He had travelled widely in the lands of the eastern Mediterranean. He wrote a fascinating account of his travels in Greece, and incorporated a great deal of tradition and romantic digression in his work. In this course we concentrate on Pausanias’ account of Athens and Attica as he saw it in around A.D. 175: it should enliven your travels whether you visit with feet on the ground or via the comfort of an armchair.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
We begin with the fortified port of Athens, the Peiraeus, with its three harbours, and the starting point for the walk between the remains of the Long Walls to Athens. The extensive Ceramicus area of north-western Athens includes the market-place of the ancient city, and many buildings and institutions integral to the civic life of Athens. We visit the theatres and Odeum about which Pausanias has tales to tell. Hadrian’s recent upgrade of many buildings in Athens, including the long-unfinished sanctuary of Olympian Zeus, is impressive. There is more to the Acropolis than meets the eye; also the Roman Agora and Tower of the Winds. Beyond the city itself we visit Marathon, Brauron, and Rhamnus, with a special excursion to Eleusis in pursuit of Panhellenes.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Describe the ways in which Athens had changed from its ‘classical’ presence in the 5th century B.C. to a modern city of the 2nd century A.D., a centre of education and touristic interest;
- Discuss the role of declamation and learning in 2nd century Athens;
- Explain why Hadrian devoted so much time and money to the development of Athens.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No previous knowledge is required, although there will be recommended reading for each session. Books should be available from a library, although you might wish to buy particular texts if you wish to explore a topic further.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Most sessions involve the tutor presenting prepared talk or lecture, illustrated with slides. There are opportunities throughout for questions and discussion. These are illustrated with slides. As the course progresses you may wish to review an aspect of our course to the group, but this is not a requirement. Detailed notes and bibliographies, with suggested topics for further enquiry, are provided for each session.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You may well wish to buy some books to further your study. Although visits may be recommended, involving travel and entrance fees, these are not part of the course itself.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Any other Ancient Civillisation classes. See website for details.