5 Courses on the West
The HALIFAXTHINKS! course on the Ancient World begins just before the appearance of the first cities on earth some 5000 years ago when all human families were still mutually repellent. Those cities introduced a totally new form of human community. That story is centered around the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Two lectures on the Iliad introduce us to the vastly the more complicated and developed view of the Greeks. This is an amazing world of the gods, goddesses and heroes who defined European civilization. This beautiful poem is the font of all European literature.

We then witness the actual discovery that all human beings are, in fact, brothers and sisters of one another and trace the revolutionary consequences of that realization in the formative literature of the Hebrew people (in Genesis and Exodus). We follow them as they, for the first time on earth, attempt to embody this realization in their lives.

The great tragedies, Oedipus the King and the Bacchae, disclose the absolutely unique communities which the Greeks developed (the polis) - as well as the problems that doomed them. And then, in two lectures on Plato’s Republic we get to follow, step by step, as he leads us to the discovery of the nature of a truly universal community and of the justice that makes it possible.

Finally, in a pair of lectures of Virgil’s Aeneid, which is perhaps the greatest poem of all time, we discover how Rome was able to put Plato’s theory into practice and made itself into the first actually universal community on earth.

But Virgil was mistaken and Rome turned out to be neither truly universal nor really eternal. The course ends with a final lecture on the Qur’an. In it we get to see how, by a brilliant reversal of the Roman formula, Islam was at last able to perfect the ancient dream of uniting humanity into a single, stable, community. This has been original goal when the first cities were formed some 4000 years earlier and the discussion of Islam brings our treatment of the Ancient World to its completion.

This is the most exciting imaginable journey. The cast of characters, situations, passions, thoughts and actions are unforgettable. They are, in fact, the great paradigms that have defined the West. What lies ahead is beautiful poetry, astounding thoughts, great lectures and like-minded companions. We hope you will join us.

COURSE REGISTRATION DATES
Register now for The Ancient World" beginning in late September.. [more]

LIVE TUTORIALS
Live tutorials will be on Sundays 2 - 4pm.
SAMPLE COURSE LECTURE
Click here for a sample lecture from 'The Ancient World' (without audio).

IN THE NEWS
Click here to view the Aug 2012 Halifax NewsNet article on us.
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