This course will trace a history of signs, using Greek divination as the primary focus. We will explore ancient and contemporary sign theories and their usefulness in illuninating ancient practices of divination--or the reading of signs thought to be embedded in the world. Participants in the seminar will be expected to contribute an expertise in one (or more) of three general areas: Greek literature, Greek and Roman religions, and contemporary theory in the humanities. The course is open to graduate students without Greek as well as classicists--though please register appropriately. The particular areas we cover will to some extent be determined by the interests of the participants, but will surely include: divination by dreams, entrails, and oracles as attested by literary and (to a lesser extent) archaeological evidence; Platonic, Aristotelian, Stoic and Neoplatonic theories of signs; and contemporary semiotics as articulated mainly by Saussure, Barthes, and Eco. Ancient authors will include: Homer, Xenophon, Sophocles, Cicero, Artemidorus, and Iamblichus.
Section 401 - SEM