Democracy and Aesthetics: Greece
More information can be found at Quiddity Tours


Democracy and Aesthetics in Western Civilization: The Greeks is an intensive summer-school interdisciplinary English course that explores the first humanist time period in European history by visiting actual sites in Greece. Students study a European period that distinctly resonates with our own American culture: the ancient world of Hellenic Greece—the time period and political form our Founding Fathers turned to when setting up the American government. Examining aesthetic forms such as literature, architecture, two-dimensional art, and sculpture, the course focuses on how the art and artifacts of Hellenic Greece came into existence and what they meant to the culture that produced them, as well as why we look at those pieces and that culture with such a keen interest and familiar feeling. Students also study how politics and economics played a shaping role in Hellenic Greece and in the creation of the artifacts we consider to be the founding literature, art, architecture, and thought of the West.

We will study how cultures reveal their values in the products and practices they create and support by examining how Hellenic Greece emerged and comparing it to contemporary American culture. We will study the roles of the artist and the changing notions of art over time. Along with practicing the skills of writing, research, and viewing, students will also hone basic skills in communication and thinking. Students will practice communicating—in clear, precise, and articulate forms—their understanding of what we Americans can learn today about democracy through the aesthetic objects of the first democracy. Students will also study genres of visual communication such as video documentary, slide shows, and graphic representation by writing, shooting, and producing their own visual communication of their journey. The course will end with a public display of learning.

Water, Technology, and Democracy in Ancient Greece, by Lucy A.

What Is a Throughline?

Articles for Study: General

Democracy Articles

Aesthetics Articles

Humanities Approach Articles

Articles for Study: Throughlines

The articles are arranged by site, and within each site visit, by throughline.

Various Sties around Athens


Acropolis Museum







National Archeological Museum, Athens


Panathenaic Stadium


Theater of Dionysus and Odion, Athens