7 days
Level 1 - Introductory to Moderate

Uncovering Ancient Greece

Top Five Questions for consideration across the week:

  • Who were the Greeks, where did they come from, where and what has been their influence especially on us?
  • Where do the Homeric legends fit both in myth and in reality?
  • How did it all develop between 800BCE to 322BCE?
  • What made Greece so great and so lasting in our culture and memory especially Athens in the 5th Century BCE?
  • What lasting appreciable characteristics have defined the Greeks for us then and now?

Bertrand Russell, in his 1946 masterpiece The History of Western Philosophy, noted that in all history, nothing is so surprising or so difficult to account for as the sudden as the rise of civilisation in Greece. ….

Other Questions:

  • We are told too that the Greeks invented democracy and theatre, both tragedy and comedy. How did that happen?
  • Can Greek theatre provide realistic historical evidence in our study of the ancient Greeks?

Leader: Dr Philip Dutton

Philip began reading in Ancient Greek history aged seventeen and has continued ever since as both a passion and professional pursuit. He teaches Ancient History: Greece in the History School at University of Wollongong and continues to lead tours to Greece for Odyssey Travel. He has previously presented studies in Ancient Greece for Odyssey in Hobart in previous summers.

The Method and Pre-reading

This course will use a variety of approaches including discussion, spontaneous research, direct presentation, read and report, audio-visual programs, maps, illustrations and images to deal with the range of questions. You will not be constantly lectured and you will be asked to conduct on the spot research, as if in a research team, to find answers.

You would benefit from a reading of the story of Ancient Greece generally by reading a book on the subject of your own choice from your local library, an iBook such as HDF Kitto The Greeks (1955). There are simply too many to name. In addition, see if you can find copies there also of Thucydides: The Peloponnesian War and Herodotus: The Histories. A silent, bilateral aim of this course is to bring you in touch with our first great historians – also Greek.

Summer School for Seniors with Odyssey Traveller

Over the last twenty-five years, Odyssey’s small group Summer School program has given countless travellers an unforgettable educational and travel experience. Each summer, we prepare and offer fun and challenging special interest courses and programs designed to give travellers the options and opportunity to learn about history, religion, Australian culture, and the arts, among many other topics. These courses are designed in such a way that enthusiasts can deepen their knowledge of a particular topic or be initiated into new understandings on a subject.

We don't quite live on campus, but we will be staying in a comfortable hotel in central Hobart! We will enjoy welcome and farewell dinners in between our seminars, as well as daily morning tea and lunch.

These programs offered are tailor-made for mature-aged and senior travellers who are eager to explore in-depth a particular topic. Read more about our teaching philosophy in this article.

Below are some of the feedback from our Summer School programs in January 2019:

"Mal was an extraordinary leader in this program about extraordinary women. The depth and breadth of her preparation was amazing and the information book was of publishable quality. The mix of text, documentaries, and various YouTube videos all combined to not only extend our knowledge but kept us focused and interested throughout the course."

"Pav was an outstanding programme leader. His knowledge of plants and Tasmanian gardens is exceptional. His local knowledge and contacts are impressive. At all times he led the group with good humour and tolerance and at all times I felt he was totally in control of the programme. We were very fortunate to have him as our leader."

"The program was so well organised that each day ran very smoothly. Extraordinary women - extraordinary program!"

"All of the local guides were passionate about their places...Everyone was very proud of Tasmania [and] eager for us to get the most out of our visit."

For further information, check out the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ pages above. If you want to attend Odyssey's Summer School and take part in our social activities, please call or send us an email.

PDF of Tour

Overview: After checking in to the Ibis, we come together for a welcome dinner at the Ibis Styles restaurant (TBC).  This gives you the chance to meet your program leader, catch up with old friends and meet other people hoping to discover all that they can about Ancient Greece.

Accommodation: Ibis Styles

Overview: We begin by introducing ourselves, our interests and our aims before proceeding to the first basic questions that identify the Greeks as Greeks even from Homeric times and the legends of Troy.

In the afternoon we plot as best we can how Greece looked even from pre-Homeric times and how it came to disappear as a culture into a Dark Age lasting at least 300 years.

Accommodation: Ibis Styles

Overview: After reviewing the previous day, we pick up our progress to witness the kind of Greece that emerges from around 800BCE and help explain the Dark Age and simply what and why it came about in the first place. We look again at Homer for some understanding.

Why do we see a different Greece emerge from the Dark Age from 800BCE and in what ways?

Accommodation: Ibis Styles

Overview: This morning, following review, we consider the development of characteristic and politically contrasting Greek city-states especially over the 100 years from 620BCE to 510BCE. This session will end with some ideas about how Athens managed to become the first model of democracy and what were its strengths and weaknesses by both ancient and modern measures?

Depending upon time and arrangements, will shall consider the emergence of the golden age of Athens in thought, word, deed and art including theatre.

Accommodation: Ibis Styles

Overview: Enter the Persians! Today we look closely at Athens’ great 5th Century BCE in all aspects of political, cultural and economic achievement despite being tested early by the Persians from 490BCE only to be defeated in a drawn out war with Sparta from 431 to 404BCE.

Why did the great pan Hellenic alliance against the Persians lead ultimately to a breakdown and to war between the major Greek city-states as a result? We read the historians of the period, Herodotus and Thucydides, to help us find answers.

Accommodation: Ibis Styles

Overview: We take an imaginary tour around the Acropolis, Attica and other ancient Greek centres.

In the evening we conclude our course with a farewell dinner at the Customs House Hotel Restaurant, starting at 6:00pm.

Accommodation: Ibis Styles

Overview: After breakfast, we say our farewells and the program draws to a close

Discover who were the Greeks and where they came from
Learn the Homeric legends then and now
How did it all develop between 800BCE to 322BCE?
What made Greece so great and so lasting in our culture and memory especially Athens in the 5th Century BCE?
What lasting appreciable characteristics have defined the Greeks for us then and now?

What’s included in our Tour

  • 6 nights in full en suite accommodation in central Hobart.
  • 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 2 dinners.
  • Lectures and handouts as indicated.
  • Services of a study leader and lecturers.
  • Complimentary wifi.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Return airfares to and from Hobart.
  • Airport transfers to/from your Hobart Hotel
  • Costs of a personal nature.

Odyssey Summer Schools map

Glory of Greece
Erechtheion in Acropolis of Athens, Greece
Rhodes island. Greece
Eastern Mediterranean
Temple of Athena, Delphi
Sparta ruins, Greece

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