Classics Summer School 2014

The Classics Summer School is a chance for anyone to learn a little more about the ancient world by taking some informal courses over the summer. Classes are small, relaxed and fun, and anyone is welcome to take part. Participants typically include the general public, high school teachers, secondary/tertiary students and many others. Classes take place at the University of Melbourne, using university facilities and academic staff.

Five courses are on offer this year (see information below):

All courses will take place at The University of Melbourne, Parkville Campus.

A discount applies for anyone taking all classes.

Download the Summer School 2014 brochure (265kb pdf)

Further information

For further information please contact:

Dr Chris Gribbin

The School of Historical and Philosophical Studies
John Medley (Building 191)
The University of Melbourne, VIC 3010
Phone: +61 3 8344 5142
Email: cgribbin@unimelb.edu.au

 

Understanding Greek Tragedy Like an Ancient Greek

with Dr Christopher Gribbin

Location: Theatre B, Old Arts (Building 149), Parkville Campus, The University of Melbourne

Understanding Greek Tragedy Like an Ancient Greek

In this course, we look at the way that Greek tragedy was performed and understood in antiquity. Following three sessions looking at how Greek tragedy worked, we spend two sessions looking in detail at Sophocles' Oedipus Rex to see the theory in practice. We will explore questions like:

  • How did the Greeks' experience of tragedy differ from ours?
  • How and why did the Greeks use myth for their storylines?
  • What elements excited a Greek audience?
  • And what caused the audience to throw their food at the actors?

At the end of this course, participants will be able to look at Greek tragedies from a new perspective.

Timetable:

  • 5 x 1 hour sessions
  • 6-10 January 2014
  • 9.00-10.00 am each day
  • $130 full, $100 concession

 

Aristotle's Human Flourishing Project

with Dr Christopher Gribbin

Location: Theatre B, Old Arts (Building 149), Parkville Campus, The University of Melbourne

Aristotle's Human Flourishing Project

What's the best way to live our lives? Should we be generous or just worry about ourselves? What will make us happy? What will give us a sense of fulfilment? Questions like these were as important to the ancient Greeks as they are to us today and were just as heavily debated. Aristotle provided a powerful answer to these and other questions through his vision of the ideal life. In recent decades, Aristotle's views have gained increasing popularity, with his ideas appearing in discussions of topics ranging from personal ethics to international development. This course examines Aristotle's vision along with the modern research and thinking which continue his tradition.

  • Session 1: The Purpose of Life
  • Session 2: How to Be and How to Act
  • Session 3: Relationships
  • Session 4: Companies and Governments
  • Session 5: The Good Life - Money, Work, Leisure, Contemplation and Purpose

Timetable:

  • 5 x 1.5hr sessions
  • 6-10 January 2014
  • 10.15-11.45 each day
  • $150 full, $120 concession

 

Athenian Democracy in Practice

with Dr Christopher Gribbin

Location: Theatre B, Old Arts (Building 149), Parkville Campus, The University of Melbourne

Athenian Democracy in Practice

Athenian democracy was a radical and risky experiment, very different to what we call democracy today. Under Athenian democracy, every government decision was put to a vote of all citizens. Some people believe that this experiment enabled the greatness of ancient Athens, which included playwrights, philosophers and statesmen still known and respected today. Other people think the experiment was a leading cause of Athens' defeat by the Spartans at the end of the fifth century B.C. Through a careful reading of what the ancients had to say about Athenian democracy (short readings will be supplied), this course will look at how the system worked in practice and whether it helped or hindered the Athenian people.

  • Session 1: What was Athenian Democracy?
  • Session 2: The Start of the Experiment: the Birth of Direct Democracy at Athen
  • Session 3: From Complete Destruction to Boom Times: The Democracy Grapples with the Persian Threat
  • Session 4: The "Managed Democracy" under Pericles
  • Session 5: Arrogance and Downfall: The Athenian Democracy is Defeated

Timetable:

  • 5 x 1hr sessions
  • 6-10 January 2014
  • 12.00-1.00 pm each day
  • $130 full, $100 concession

 

The Big Issues in Ancient Greece

with Dr Christopher Gribbin

Location: Cussonia Court Room 1, G17, Old Quadrangle (Building 150), Parkville Campus, The University of Melbourne

The Big Issues in Ancient Greece

This course will explore what the ancient Greeks saw as the big issues in their society. To understand and relate to these issues, this course combines a reading of ancient texts with practical exercises from modern game theory. Rather than drugs, crime and climate change, the ancient Greeks worried about the unity of society, the bravery of the young and whether nature or convention should be the basis for our decisions. But social justice, freedom and the fair distribution of wealth were also concerns in antiquity, just as they are today. We'll look at why these were the big issues for the Greeks and how they tried to solve them. At the end of the course, we'll better understand the similarities and differences between the ancient Greeks and ourselves.

  • Session 1: Creating a United Society
  • Session 2: Making Brave Citizens
  • Session 3: The Distribution of Wealth
  • Session 4: Nature versus Convention
  • Session 5: Reason versus Emotion

Timetable:

  • 5 x 1hr sessions
  • 6-10 January 2014
  • 2.00-3.00 pm each day
  • $130 full, $100 concession

 

How to Argue Like Socrates

with Dr Christopher Gribbin

Location: Cussonia Court Room 1, G17, Old Quadrangle (Building 150), Parkville Campus, The University of Melbourne

Socrates

This course will develop your ability to argue effectively. Based on the techniques of Socrates, one of the greatest arguers of all time, this course mixes theory and practice. We'll look at passages from Plato's dialogues to understand what questions to ask and what mistakes people often make, and we'll put the principles into practice with in-class dialogues. Socratic method is a powerful tool for learning about other people and yourself, for getting at the reasons for disagreements and even teaching and persuading others. Readings will be provided.

  • Session 1: The Theory Behind Socratic Argument
  • Session 2: Definition - Why it's Important and How to Get it Right
  • Session 3: How to Find Contradictions
  • Session 4: Being Constructive - Using Socratic Argument to Persuade People
  • Session 5: Bringing it All Together

Timetable:

  • 5 x 1.5 hr sessions
  • 6-10 January 2014
  • 3.30 – 5.00 pm each day
  • $150 full, $120 concession