Pre-College Programs

Global Programs: Naxos, Greece | Course Details

Ancient and modern Greek through humanities and social science

All students enroll in "Greece and the World" (CRN:10403) and in either Ancient or Modern Greek language study.

Week 1 – Ancient Greek World
An examination of the history, politics and culture of fifth century BC that began with the leading Greek city states of Athens and Sparta uniting to defeat the Persian invasion, and ending with the two city states at war with each other and competing for Persian support. This period gave birth to artistic forms and scholarly disciplines – including tragedy, comedy, history and philosophy – but was also marked by the clash of democratic ideals with imperial realities. This period was also profoundly shaped by ideas of divinity, kinship, gender roles and human rights.

Week 2 – Byzantine Heroes

The pre-modern Mediterranean world was the site of the appearance and spectacular expansion of a series of religious beliefs and accompanying artistic traditions. Relying heavily on the many historic sites of Naxos; week 2 is devoted to a history of these religious and artistic worlds. Naxos functioned as the main port in the Cyclades during the Byzantine Empire.  Religious transformation and the rise of new forms of art are evidenced in the surviving monasteries and historical sites across the island. Students study this history through texts, images, and site-visits.

Week 3 – Modern World, Ancient Ideas

This is an interdisciplinary course that draws on modern resonances of the ancient ideals. The course will be divided into two sections. The first one will deal with issues of continuity with ancient Greece and classical Athens as forming a golden age that informed the state ideology of the country. The course will deal with appropriations and representations of ancient ideals by such diverse actors as the authoritarian regimes of Metaxas (1936-1940) and the Colonels (1967-74), including the latter’s so-called festivals of military virtue, and up to the opening ceremony of the 2004 Olympic Games and the recently built Acropolis museum. The second part of the module will examine ancient concepts and the way they have been used, evoked, implemented and reappropriated in modern Europe. In particular, the idea of the “citizen”, as it was formed after 1789, was a direct evocation of the ancient Greek ideal.

Another concept/practice that the course will explore is that of “philoxenia” (hospitality), and the way it has been used by several Western European countries in the 1950s and 1960s. Last, but not least, the course will further the idea of “direct democracy” as well as the concept of “agon” and its derivatives, “agonism” & “synagonism”, and explore the way in which they informed directly or indirectly politics, civil conflicts, and entire protest cultures, ranging from environmental and civil rights around Europe. This part will be more comparative as the European framework and the topical content will be closer to the interests of today’s youth.



The Greek language is the basis of many foundational texts of Western philosophy. Native to the Balkans, the Greek language has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records.

Ancient Greek (CRN: 10379)

An introduction to the grammar and vocabulary of the Ancient Greek language provides the basis of study of other languages, as well as enriching knowledge of English etymology. Daily lessons consist of presentation of new grammar, and exercises consolidating learned grammar and vocabulary. Supplemental readings provide further insight into Ancient Greek mythology and society, and the development of Western civilizations.

Modern Greek (CRN:10380)

Designed for students with little or no prior knowledge of Modern Greek, this course is aimed at developing the ability to speak and understand spoken Greek. Focus is also on comprehending and extracting information from written texts within a specific framework of topics and functions. Students are provided an immersive experience into Greek culture and customs.

Field Trips

The program begins and ends with an exploration of the famous historical sites of Athens, including the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Acropolis.

Delos and Mykonos
The birthplace of Artemis and Apollo, the island of Delos was a major sacred site for the ancient Greeks, second in importance only to Delphi. Mykonos displays the special architecture of the Cyclades and the transformation of Greece over the millennia.  Offering 3000 year old archaeological sites, Delos and Mykonos are an ideal setting for discussion on adaptation, and the challenges and opportunities for Greece in the modern era.

Field trips include a visit to the valley of Melanes, home of half-finished ancient free-standing Kouros sculptures; Portara, 6th century BC temple ruins dedicated to Apollo; Temple of Demeter that dates back to 530 BC; Bazeos tower built circa 1600, monastery of the Holy Cross; and the village of Sangri with its Byzantine churches, monasteries and windmills.

Paros Island
A faculty-led discussion and exploration around the castle of Parikia and the famed Cathedral of 100 Doors underscores the curriculum topics taught throughout the program.

Daily Schedule

Morning Breakfast
  Greek Language
  Greece and the World
Afternoon Lunch
  Greece and the World
  Guest Lectures/Site Visits
Evening Dinner
  Evening Activities/Community Building
  Study Hall
11:00pm Curfew

Global programs are academically rigorous. Given the intensity of the program there is minimal free time.