January-May 2017

Ancient Mediterranean History and Culture

at the San Antonio Museum of Art and Tobin Branch Library

Reading: Herodotus, Histories  Tr. Robert Strassler

Three Seminars on Herodotus @ Tobin Library and  Three Gallery Talks  @ San Antonio Museum of Art [on Greek, Persian and Egyptian artifacts related to Herodotus]

Cost: Free and open to the public

Who were the ancient Greeks? What made them so special ? Herodotus of Helicarnassus can help you answer these questions. In this book is the account of the “300″ Spartans who died (in fact, 299 died) in the pass at Thermopylae in order to forestall the invasion of Persians.  But history for Herodotus is ethnography and anthropology, wonder-working storytelling, geography and geneaology, and not merely the chronicling of facts and events.  By contrasting the Greeks with Egyptians, Persians, and many other cultural groups, the reader is given rich opportunities for reflection on human nature and the nature of human customs and laws, as well the context and character of the growing conflicts between Greeks and Persians, the defeat of the Persians and the rise of Athenian city-state.

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Tobin Library Seminar And Museum event Full***Registration closed***

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*References are to Strassler, Robert B. [Ed.] The Landmark Herodotus: The Histories. New York: Pantheon Books, 2007.  A Complete list of readings and artifacts distributed to registrants of this course.

Session 1:

Seminar @ Tobin Library.  Thursday, January 19th,  6-8pm.  Book I; III, 37-38.  Seminar Focus:  What is the relationship between the Hellenes or Greeks and the ‘Barbarian periphery’, East, South and North – Lydian, Egyptian and Scythian?  

Session 2:

Gallery talk @ SAMA. Tuesday, February 7th,  7-9pm
Gallery Talk Focus:    1.1 – 1.5  Origins of the Conflict between the Hellenes and barbarians, 1.26 – 1.94  Croesus; Book 2.1 – 2.98  Egypt, Appendix C: The Account of Egypt: Herodotus Right and Wrong, Appendix J:  Greek Units of Currency, Weight, and Distance

Session 3:

Seminar @ Tobin.  Thursday, March 16th, Tobin 6-8pm:  Reading Focus: Book V, 62-78; VI, 94-140; VII, 1-60, 99-end 

Session 4:

Gallery talk @ SAMA. Tuesday, April 18th,  7-9pm.
Gallery Talk Focus: 5.30 – 6.33  The Ionian Revolt,  Appendix H: The Ionian Revolt, Appendix M: Herodotus on Persia and the Persian Empire, Appendix N:  Hoplite Warfare in Herodotus, Appendix O: The Persian Army in Herodotus

Session 5:

Seminar @ Tobin. Thursday, May 18th, Tobin 6-8pm: Books VIII, IX   Seminar Focus: Contrasting figures: Themistocles vs Xerxes, (VIII), Pausanius vs. Mardonius (IX)–8.40 – 8. 120  Battle of Salamis, 9.25 – 9.89  Battle of Plataea

Session 6:

Gallery talk @ SAMA  Tuesday, May 30th SAMA 7-9pm Gallery Talk Focus:  6.94 – 6.120  The Marathon Campaign, 7.178 – 7.238  Battle of Thermopylae, 8.40 – 8. 120  Battle of Salamis, 9.25 – 9.89  Battle of Plataea, Appendix R: The Size of Xerxes’ Expeditionary Force,Appendix S: Trireme Warfare in Herodotus

 Photo Courtesy of The SAN ANTONIO MUSEUM OF ART

Black-figure cup
Greek (Attic), ca. 500 BC
Attributed to the Leafless Group
Terracotta, h. 4 5/8 in. (11.7 cm); diam. 14 5/8 in. (37.2 cm)
Gift of Gilbert M. Denman, Jr., 86.134.50)


Plato's Meno
September - October 2017
January-May 2017: Herodotus Histories of the Persian Wars
Ancient Mediterranean Culture and History: Herodotus' Histories at the San Antonio Museum of Art, January-May 2017  
What is Socratic Education?
A journey through the shorter Platonic Dialogues, iSymposium coast-to-coast, January 2016
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