Final Essay Topics for Sacred Spaces in Greece and Southern Italy. Due by 5 pm, Wednesday, January 31st. Submit as MS Word files attached to an email addressed to email@example.com Write on ONE of the following topics in an essay of approximately five pages in length (typed, double spaced.) Incorporate in your essay both ideas from your pre-travel reading and classroom work and, very importantly, what you learned and felt while visiting the sites on our travel itinerary.
Though references may not be necessary to address the essay topic, if you do incorporate references in your essay, be sure to provide an appropriate citation.
Those students who wish to be eligible to earn a grade of Honors for this course should write on TWO of the essay topics. The quality of both essays should be equivalent to “A” level work.
The Essay Topics: Discuss some of the variants of monasticism that we encountered in our travels in Greece and Italy: anchorite, cenobite, Carthusian, Jesuit, etc. How do they differ from one another? If you were to choose one form of monasticism for yourself, which would it be? Why?
What was the “oracle of Apollo” as manifest at Delphi? Through what intermediaries did Apollo speak? How was the presence of Apollo at Delphi related in myth to the features of the landscape? Do the sayings inscribed on the façade of the temple at Delphi have value for us even today?
Describe two sites where you sensed an “axis mundi.” Review Eliade for the meaning of this term. What features of these sites – landscape, architecture, vegetation, painted and sculptural decoration – contribute to the definition of an axis mundi.
Discuss the identification of the ancient Greeks and Christians of later times with gods or saints as protectors of cities. How did legends support those beliefs? How were these relationships expressed in architecture, art, and ritual?
Discuss the opposition of cosmos and chaos as a religious concept (see Eliade.) In what ways have we found this concept expressed in myth, in architectures and its relationship to landscape and in sculptural decoration.
What features distinguish the sculpture of the Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman periods? How did the representation of the human figure change over the course of ancient cultural history? What place did sculpted figures have in the religious practices of the Greeks? Refer to specific works that we saw wherever possible to substantiate your discussion.
In what ways were athletics and religion intertwined in the culture of the Greeks. At what different locations were panhellenic games held? How did the games change over time and what impact did Christianity have on them?