Herodotus was the first Western thinker to write a rational account of culture and its impact on the historical events of both his own day and the past. The scope of his work is breathtaking, covering diverse Ancient cultures such as the Lydians, the Egyptians, the Persians, and his own people, the Greeks. The culmination of his work is the story of the Persian invasions of Greece in 490 B.C and 480 B.C., which propelled the Greeks to become the great people we remember them as.
Along the way of his fascinating narrative, Herodotus gives us profound insights into basic human character and motivations, giving his work a universal rather than a merely provincial character. As well, he stimulates us to think seriously about such pivotal issues as the crucial difference between what seems to be true and what actually is true, the age-old battle between tyranny and liberty, and what it means to be a free, self-reflective human being pursuing the True, the Good, and the Beautiful.
In this 3-week seminar, we will explore these questions – and any others that arise – by engaging Herodotus’ text closely on our own throughout the week and then together in a live discussion at the end of the week.
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