It is a fundamental aspect of human nature to question, to be curious, to look beyond, and to look up. Herodotus is not the father of history in the modern sense. He is the father of ἱστορίa (historia) or “learning by inquiry.” It is a method of questioning and an opening of dialogue which Herodotus excels at. He questions, he repeats what he had heard (he is, after all, a transient figure of oral / written culture). He does not feel compelled to believe all that he has heard, but he is compelled to tell as much as can be useful.
His goal is not merely to question “facts” such as the source of the Nile, but to get us to look more deeply at the world, to see beyond ourselves, and to realize the vast expanse of people, places, customs, piety or lack thereof. To make us question, dialogue, and discuss our roles in this world, with each other, and with the divine.
In this ten-week online course, you will be guided through this fascinating ‘inquiry’ which traces the intersection of Persian and Greek history and includes some of the finest selections of storytelling and wisdom the ancient world has to offer.
Course time will be divided between 1 hour presentation and 30 minutes discussion in which students are encouraged to participate. All texts (including supplemental scholarship) will be provided and no previous knowledge is necessary.
This course complements the OCR Classical Civilisation A level qualifications in the UK, and as such would be of value to students and teachers, as well as being of interest to anyone fascinated by the ancient Greek world.
This course is conducted via Zoom. Classes will meet for 90 minutes each week on on Tuesdays at 18:00 (UK time), on 16th January, 23rd January, 30th January, 6th February, 13th February, 20th February, 27th February, 5th March, 12th March and 19th March 2024.
Tutor: Lauren Heilman.