Honors Optional Humanities, Elementary
This course explores the classical Greek and Roman roots of American politics and culture. We will read a wide variety of ancient authors and genres, including poets (Sophocles, Homer), philosophers (Plato, Aristotle), historians (Xenophon, Livy), and statesmen (Pericles, Cicero). Periodically, we will bring our knowledge of the ancient world into dialogue with the political thought of various early American men and women (e.g. John and Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington) as well as with the political and educational thought of Alexander Meiklejohn, Professor (1927-32) and founder of UW-Madison’s “Experimental College.” In so doing, we will grapple with all sorts of phenomena common to both ancient and modern politics and culture—matters both theoretical (e.g. justice, types of constitutions, the “common good”) and practical (elections, free speech, etc.).