WGS 340 • Life in the Hellenistic City-W
3:00 PM-6:00 PM
The culture, politics, economy, and architecture of the Classical Greek polis were transformed during the period following Alexander the Great. A new form of city and of urban life developed and spread throughout the Hellenized world. Alexander's conquests brought Macedonian Greek rule to areas as far away as India and Egypt. We will investigate many aspects of life in the new urban setting, including, for example, a standardized city template, new realistic and baroque styles in art and architecture; bucolic and urban poetry and literature; the role of rulers and ruler cult; ideas of ethnic and cultural identity; major new philosophies; advances in the natural sciences and medicine; warfare and international relations; movements of goods and people; innovative political structures. In addition to learning about changes in the major categories of public life, we will consider their effect on the lives of individuals. Topics include the experience of public spaces and theatrical events, domestic architecture, changes in family life and gender roles, love and sex, magic, mystery religions and salvation cults, multiculturalism and the koine. Students will participate actively and, where appropriate, lead class discussions.