Society and the Divine in Ancient Greece

With its invention of democracy, the grandeur of the Parthenon, and the drama of Aristophanes, the Classical period in ancient Greece is often seen as the ‘Golden Age of Athens’. This module investigates religious, social and cultural life in ancient Greece in the Classical age, paying particular attention to how the Greeks negotiated relations with their gods, and how Greek religion interacted with politics, culture and other categories in the historical process. Major themes include Athenian democracy, the Olympic games, gender identity, archaeology of sacred space, monumentalization of the Greek past, deification of kings, dedicatory practices, divination and other means of communication with the divine.

You will engage with a range of evidence from Thucydides to Greek poetry and drama (in English translation), inscriptions on stone, and Greek art and iconography. One or two visits to museums will take place on certain Tuesdays at your own expense.