Global Programs: Naxos, Greece | Course Details
Ancient and modern Greek through humanities and social science
Naxos students enroll in "Greece and the World" and choose from Ancient or Modern Greek language study.
Greece and the World (CRN: 10403)
All students enroll in the core course, “Greece and the World”, which traces Greece’s evolution from ancient to modern times. The core course is divided into three 1-week course modules that explore the defining eras of Greek history. To enhance classroom studies, students will explore the nearby Cyclades Islands and visit various sites that span 3000 years of history. The site visits are supported by guest lectures from local academicians. To conclude the program, students spend a day in Athens to visit the Acropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Week 1 – Ancient Greek World
In this first week, we will trace the history, politics and culture of the fifth century BC (500-400 B.C). The century began with the two leading Greek city states, Athens and Sparta, uniting to defeat invasion by Persia, and ended with the same two city-states at war with each other, and competing to win Persian support. The same period which gave birth to artistic forms and scholarly disciplines—among them tragedy, comedy, history and philosophy—was also marked by the clash of democratic ideals with imperial realities, and disputes over the ethics of warfare on land and sea. It was also profoundly shaped by ideas of divinity, kinship, gender roles and human rights quite different from those of today.
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 island, the second week of the summer program will be 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. We will 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 holds an important place in the histories of Europe as the language in which many of the foundational texts of Western philosophy are based. 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)
This course is an introduction to the grammar and vocabulary of the Ancient Greek language. Understanding grammar and knowing Greek vocabulary offers insight into the study of other languages and enriches knowledge of English. Daily lessons will consist of the presentation of new grammar, as well as exercises in which the learned grammar and vocabulary are consolidated. Through the stories we read, students will become familiar with Ancient Greek society, history, and mythology, and will gain a more informed understanding of Western civilization and its developments.
Modern Greek (CRN:10380)
This three week course is designed for students with little or no prior knowledge of Modern Greek and is aimed at developing the ability to speak Greek, to understand spoken Greek and comprehend and extract information from written texts, within a specific framework of topics and functions. Through a variety of resources, the students will be given the opportunity to learn something about Greece and get a glimpse of Greek culture and the customs of Greek people.
Delos and Mykonos
Delos and Mykonos offer archaeological sites revealing the 3000 years history of the island. The birthplace of Artemis and Apollo, the Greek 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. It is an ideal setting for discussion on adaptation and the challenges and opportunities for Greece in the modern era.
Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades Islands south of mainland Greece. It is an island of rolling green hills and valleys with clusters of Byzantine churches, medieval towers, and villages with handsome neoclassical houses. Field trips will include a visit to the valley of Melanes, home of a half-finished ancient Kouros, 6,40 meters long; the Portara, the ruins of a temple dedicated to Apollo dated 6th century BC; the Temple of Demeter, which dates back to 530 BC; the Castle Museum; the village of Sangri with its Byzantine churches, monasteries and windmills; the tower of Bazeos, which was built circa 1600 and served as a monastery of the Holy Cross; Panagia Drosiani, an Early Christian Church with murals, which date to the 6th and 7th centuries; Apeiranthos, a mountain village with marble paved climbing streets, breathtaking views of the Naxos valley, famous for its 14th century venetian towers and folkloric traditions.
The Island of Paros
Students will participate in a guided walk around the castle of Parikia, constructed in 1260 by the Venetians and a guided visit to the famed Cathedral of 100 doors and the adjacent Byzantine Museum. These guided walks are intended to show students the historical sites of significance, to underscore the topics of their curriculum, and include time for faculty-led discussion and exploration.
8:00 - 9:00am Breakfast
9:00 - 11:00am Language Course
11:30 - 12:30pm Greece and the World
12:30 - 2:00pm Lunch and Break
2:00 - 4:00pm Greece and the World
4:00 - 4:30pm Break
4:30 - 6:00pm Guest Lectures/Site Visits
6:00 - 7:00pm Dinner
7:00 - 9:00pm Evening Activities/Community Building
9:00 - 11:00pm Study Hall