The 5 Sacred Cities of Ancient Greece

OVERVIEW

This is the quintessential introduction to the world of the ancient Greeks and their major contributions to the development of western civilization. This experiential program invites you on a grand tour of five evocative sites that represent all aspects of ancient Greek culture, society, religion, and mythology. The politics and art of classical Athens, the residual indefatigable athletic spirit and search for glory in ancient Olympia, the astounding luminescence of earth and sky on the sacred island of Delos (birthplace of Apollo), the mystifying aura surrounding the Great Mysteries in Eleusis, and the breathtaking natural beauty and oracular history of the temple of Apollo at Delphi form a quintet of destinations where a quest for our identity is fulfilled.

OVERVIEW

This is the quintessential introduction to the world of the ancient Greeks and their major contributions to the development of western civilization. This experiential program invites you on a grand tour of five evocative sites that represent all aspects of ancient Greek culture, society, religion, and mythology. The politics and art of classical Athens, the residual indefatigable athletic spirit and search for glory in ancient Olympia, the astounding luminescence of earth and sky on the sacred island of Delos (birthplace of Apollo), the mystifying aura surrounding the Great Mysteries in Eleusis, and the breathtaking natural beauty and oracular history of the temple of Apollo at Delphi form a quintet of destinations where a quest for our identity is fulfilled.

THE SYLLABUS

Classical Antiquity & the Politics of America

Ancient Greece has had a profound influence on Western Civilization and American politics. The purpose of this module is to raise the students’ awareness about the gradual and oftentimes painful development of a common conscience among the citizens of ancient Greek city-states. This was frequently a lengthy and strenuous process that involved contentious decisions, social unrest, political maneuvering, and civil war. The final product of this process could range from tyranny (a word that should not always be understood as carrying the contemporary negative associations) to oligarchy or full-fledged democracy. This module will examine the influence of the political history of the ancient Greek city-states and classicism in the formation of the United States of America and the evolution of American political theory and policy.

Art & Religion in Ancient Greece

This module highlights the direct connection between art and religion. The birth of art is rooted in the religious devotion of worshippers and their interaction with the divine. Art developed in response to the need of pious individuals and communities to express their dedication to the gods that ruled their lives. It also allowed them to put into material form their concepts about forces they could hardly understand or control. The divine is thus embodied in votive offerings such as statues, figurines, or painted vases. From such humble beginnings, the ancient Greeks eventually defined sacred spaces and erected magnificent temples. Students will explore how material culture brought gods and mortals into contact and how religion and sacred rituals became the driving force behind artistic expression.

Introduction to Philosophy

This module serves as a topical introduction to the discipline of philosophy, its methodology, some of its central questions, and its development throughout history. Philosophical thinking is the mental investigation of profound questions about the relationship of humanity with the world and its position in it. We will attempt to understand what philosophy is, what its characteristic aims and methods are, as well as explore philosophical concepts such as Knowledge, Morality, Ethics, and Beauty. Ultimately, students will be able to identify the link between contemporary systems of thinking and the ideas or theories of the great ancient Greek philosophers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

• Marvel at the foremost masterpieces of Classical Greece, the eternal Parthenon and the exquisite Acropolis of Athens

• Immerse yourself in the renowned Eleusinian Mysteries, the most sacred religious rites of ancient Greece

• Discover the mythical birthplace of Apollo and Artemis and a major religious center for the ancient Greeks, the sacred island of Delos*

• Explore Delphi, the “navel” of the world and home to the acclaimed oracle of Apollo

• Trace the origins of the Olympic Games at ancient Greece’s most significant religious and athletic center, the sublime Olympia

• Visit fascinating archaeological museums, such as the Acropolis Museum and the National Archaeological Museum, guided by highly-qualified, licensed archaeologists

• Indulge in the classical Greek heritage through intriguing, on-site seminars and workshops by enthusiastic lecturers

*If the weather gods (or any other conditions) do not allow us to travel to the islands of Delos and Mykonos, then Epidaurus, the greatest healing center of ancient Greece and home to the finest and best-preserved of all classical Greek theaters, will become the substitute destination.

PERKS

What is included in our programs?

  • 3 US credits provided by the Hellenic American University
  • Accommodation in hand-picked and well-located superior class hotels
  • Breakfast and lunch
  • Professionals e.g. licensed guides, lecturers, and tour managers
  • Entrance fees to museums and archaeological sites
  • All land and sea transportation included in the itinerary of the specific program
  • Information material
  • Local taxes
  • Travel insurance
  • Transport to and from the airport in Greece

Optional

  • Airfares to and from Greece
  • Any custom request

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