The arts of ancient Greece: the birth of classical taste | E-Learning University of Athens

The arts of ancient Greece: the birth of classical taste

The arts of ancient Greece: the birth of classical taste

This online course aims to offer a journey to the fascinating developments in Greek art from ca. 1200 to ca. 30 BCE. The participant will have a unique chance to learn the very beginning of the Art developed in Greece and its evolution. The course learning journey begins with the decoration of tombs, till the first jewellery design. Even if you’re new to all this, it will surely be a good start to discover such peculiar forms of art and even more, get one fine first taste of the Greek culture, which will make you ask for more.

Greek art is instantly recognizable worldwide, even though most non-specialists find it difficult to understand its development or even name some of its most typical examples. Looking at Greek art in museums, illustrated books or tv documentaries may be fun, though it can sometimes  leave the viewer none the wiser as to its secrets. Why did the Greeks invent naturalism? Why did they paint their pots? Did they really exercise or even fight in the nude? In short, what is “Greek” about Greek art? The programme addresses these and many more questions through richly illustrated lectures and carefully planned assignments.

This course is the perfect introduction to an extraordinary cultural phenomenon, catering for the non-specialist, the art enthusiast, the beginner in the study of the classical world, the archaeologist many of us hide inside. After successfully completing the lessons, the participant will receive a training certificate while acquiring a magnificent one time experience. All of the above will be analyzed further and in detail in this online course part of the Arts and Culture category.

 

Associate Professor of Classical Archaeology

The famous city-states of ancient Greece have been gone for many centuries now. Their memory however is kept alive through the art they left behind. Stone temples, stadiums and theaters, statues carved in marble or casting bronze, clay vases and gold jewellery, frescoes and mosaics, all remain part of our global heritage. So much, so that the ancient Greeks today appear familiar to anyone even remotely associated with current aesthetics from high art to pop culture. But what is Greek art? Which were its founding principles? What were the stages of its evolution through time? Who were the greatest Greek artists, when did they live and how did their work affect the generations to come. Which creations of ancient Greek art are today thought of as masterpieces of unrivalled merit? Which archaeological discoveries have helped us understand classical Greece in its essence? The arts of ancient Greece - The birth of Classical taste is a programme designed to answer these questions and many more. Following the historical trajectory of Greek art from around 1200 BCE when the Messinian world is brought to a final collapse, until around 30 BCE when the last of the Hellenistic kingdoms succumbs under the pressure of Rome, we will study the forms, the types, the works and the creators that made Greek art an international brand name today. This programme is addressed to art enthusiasts and archaeology fans alike as well as undergraduate and graduate students in History, art history, archaeology and anthropology and anyone with an interest in the history of Greece or the classical world at large.

This Programme is addressed to art enthusiasts and archaeology fans, as well as anyone with an interest in the history of Greece or the classical world at large.

The famous city-states of ancient Greece have been gone for many centuries now; their memory, however, is kept alive through the art they left behind. Stone temples, stadiums and theatres, statues carved in marble or cast in bronze, clay vases and gold jewellery, frescoes and mosaics, remain part of our global cultural heritage so much so that the ancient Greeks today appear familiar to anyone even remotely associated with current aesthetics – from ‘high’ art to pop culture.

But what is Greek ‘art’?
Which were its founding principles?
What were the stages of its evolution through time?
Who were the greatest Greek artists, when did they live, and how did their work affect the generations to come?
Which creations of ancient Greek art are today thought of as masterpieces of incomparable merit?
Which archaeological discoveries have helped us understand classical Greece in its essence?

The arts of ancient Greece: the birth of classical taste is a Programme designed to answer these questions. Following the historical trajectory of Greek art from ca. 1200 BCE, when the Mycenaean World is brought to a final collapse, until ca. 30 BCE, when the last of the Hellenistic Kingdoms succumbs under the pressure of Rome, we will study the forms, the types, the works and the creators that made Greek art an international brand-name today.

After an introductory module, modules 2-3 survey matters of Greek art in Early, Classical and Hellenistic Greece respectively.

The Programme consists of 12 lessons in total, each focusing on a particular aspect of Greek art. Each named after a Greek technical term, these 12 lessons discuss the historical and aesthetic developments that shaped classical art, as well as the roles it performed within ancient society and culture. 

Module 1: Introduction

Lesson 1 Techne: what is ‘Greek’ about Greek art?
An introductory lesson defining the aesthetic principles and distinguishing features of Greek art.

Module 2: Early Greece, ca. 1200-480 BCE

Lesson 2 Sema: commemorating the dead in Early Greece.
From the word meaning ‘tomb marker’, a lesson devoted to burial practices and the art of commemoration in Early Greece.

Lesson 3 Anathema: gifts to the gods in Greek sanctuaries.
From the Greek word for ‘votive’, a session on early cult practices and their contribution to the development of Greek aesthetics.

Lesson 4 Agalma: pleasing immortals and mortals alike.
From the Greek word for ‘statue’, a session devoted to the first effigies of men, women, and their gods in Early Greece.

Lesson 5 Kerameus: the art of Greek pottery.
From the Greek word for ‘potter’, a discussion of the major styles of Greek pottery in the 6th c. BCE. 

Module 3: Classical Greece, ca. 480-336 BCE

Lesson 6 Mimesis: nature as aesthetic ideal.
‘Mimesis’ is the imitation of reality through art. Starting from the invention of naturalism by Greek sculptors in the early 5th c. BCE, a discussion of the significance of this new style and its repercussions for western art.

Lesson 7 Hieron: visiting a Greek sanctuary.
From the Greek word for ‘sanctuary’, an elucidating visit to Olympia, Delphi, and the Athenian Acropolis.

Lesson 8 Theatron: performing the myths on Greek stage.
Classical art as performative ritual; focusing on the architecture of the Greek theatre and the reflections of Greek drama on visual arts of the classical period.

Lesson 9 Skiagraphia: painting with shadows.
A session on monumental Greek painting from the early 5th to the early 3rd centuries BCE.

Module 4: Art in the Hellenistic World, ca. 336-30 BCE

Lesson 10 Pathos: sculpture in the Hellenistic period.
From the Greek word for ‘passion’, an account of Greek sculpture in the Hellenistic period.

Lesson 11 Eikon: immortalising the mortals.
From the Greek word for ‘portrait’, a survey of the Greek art of portraiture, from Alexander the Great and the philosophers of his time to the Ptolemies of Egypt and the Seleucids of Syria, other rulers of the Hellenistic world, as well as some private individuals. 

Lesson 12 Doron: the art of Greek jewellery.
From the Greek word for ‘gift’, a discussion of Greek jewellery across time: techniques and materials, representations, functions, sympolisms.

Assessment for this Programme is based on a short written assignment after week 5 and a longer one due at the end of the Programme. 

Online and distance training learning at National and Kapodistrian University of Athens offers a new way of combining innovative learning and training techniques with interaction with your tutor and fellow trainees from around the world.

The e-learning course is implemented via a user-friendly educational platform adjusted to the Distance Learning Principles. Courses are structured as weekly online meetings; interaction with the course tutor and other trainees takes place in a digital learning environment. The courses are designed to fit around your schedule; you access the course whenever it is convenient for you, however within the given deadlines.

The whole world becomes your classroom as e-learning can be done on laptops, tablets and phones as a very mobile method. Learning can be done on the train, on a plane or even during your trip to Greece!

The educational platform is a portal that offers access to electronic educational material based on modern distance learning technologies. The computer based nature of training means new technology is being introduced all the time to help trainees engage and learn in a tailored way that will meet their needs. E-learners have access to the educational platform with their personal code number in order to browse all relevant training material and interact with their instructors.

Moreover, an online communication system through own personal e-mail account is available in order to make the process easier and more interactive. Trainees can contact directly their tutors or the administration office of the course and share any concerns or anxieties related to the course in order to make the most of their experience.

Every week e-learners are provided with the relevant material, delivered either in the form of video-lectures, text notes and relevant presentations or as a combination of them. The educational material of the course is uploaded gradually, per educational unit. During the course, important info for the smooth conduct of the educational process, such as timetables for the submission of the exercises are announced on the Announcement section of the platform.

For successful completion of the course the e-learner should have fulfill her/his academic obligations, meaning should have submitted all corresponding assessment exercises and have achieved at least an average of 50% grade in the corresponding tests for each module. The score scale ranges from 0 to 100%. Finally, if the total score on one or more lessons of the course does not exceed 50%, trainees can ask for reassessment.

During the course trainees will be attending a training experience designed by academics and lecturers from the National University of Athens as well as from other Universities, Research Institutes and Cultural organizations around Greece.

Interactivity, flexibility and our long tradition guarantee that learning with us offers a successful and rewarding experience. Finally, access to a large variety of material and online resources available in each unit aims to excite your curiosity and guide you in exploring further your favourite topic. Part of the online material can be downloaded providing the chance to quickly refresh your memory after the completion of the course.

When will I receive the Certificate?

The Certificate will be sent to you electronically 30 working days upon completion, if you have no remaining academic or financial obligations. The Certificate will be also sent to you through traditional post services. Upon request the Certificate can be sent with the use of courier services. In this case, the relative cost should be covered by your side.