Our purpose in this course will be to examine the foundations of Western civilization in antiquity. We will look at the culture of the ancient Hebrews, of the ancient Greeks, and of the Romans, and we will likewise look at how these cultures interacted with each other, sometimes happily, sometimes not. In the process, we will focus on how the questions they addressed and the answers they found live among us and continue to shape our lives to this very day.
"Great, Thought Provokong Lectures"
One of the Modern Scholar’s most popular professors, Timothy B. Shutt, brings his literary acumen and trademark enthusiasm to the study of the epic poems that sit at the very wellspring of Western culture. The earliest surviving works of Greek literature, Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey exert a continuing influence on modern culture, even today shaping people’s values and conduct. In the tales of Achilles and Hector, of Odysseus and Penelope, Homer explored the notion of arête, which translates as "excellence" or "virtue".
From the time of Homer himself in about 750 BCE - the epic has been the most highly regarded of literary genres. It is rivaled only by tragedy, which arose a bit more than two centuries later, as the most respected, the most influential, and, from a slightly different vantage point, the most prestigious mode of addressing the human condition in literary terms. The major epics are the big boys, the works that, from the very outset, everyone had heard of and everyone knew, at least by reputation.
"Insightful even if you've read the books"
One of Kenyon College’s most honored professors, Timothy B. Shutt is widely renowned as a gifted polymath and lecturer. The night sky was the ancient world’s cinema, and storytellers have used this panorama to weave fascinating tales since the earliest days of mankind. This captivating series of lectures explores the mythological sagas found in the night sky and the history behind the names of the great constellations.
"Intro to the Mythology"
The Odyssey of the West series addresses in chronological sequence the works that have shaped the ongoing development of Western thought both in its own right and in cultural dialogue with other traditions. Part four provides a close look at the period from the Renaissance to the Scientific Revolution and into the early Enlightenment. These lectures take in the immense variety and singular achievements that have helped mold our present societies.
Named one of the Best 300 Professors by the Princeton Review, Timothy B. Shutt has been repeatedly honored for his exceptional skills as a lecturer. In Greek Legacy, Professor Shutt explores the qualities that set the ancient Greeks apart from other ancient civilizations. The Greeks, more than any other culture, contributed to the formation of our own cultural system. These lectures show how that society developed, what it consisted of, and how it continues to impact the modern world.
American writers have long sought to compose "the great American novel", or "America's epic", Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn and F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby have been advanced as plausible contenders for the title, but no work can mount a more substantial claim than Herman Melville's Moby Dick, or The Whale.
"Some parts are good"
Odyssey of the West I and II explored timeless works from the ancient world that shaped, and continue to shape, the culture and philosophies of life today. Part three is a richly detailed look at St. Augustine, Beowulf, St. Thomas Aquinas, Authurian legends, Dante, Gothic art, and other highlights of the period. Through the course of these lectures, it becomes apparent that the "dark" ages were in fact a time of immense achievement, and a time that richly rewards those who study its art and philosophies.
A born teacher and lecturer, Professor Timothy B. Shutt examines the history and culture of ancient Sparta, a society renowned for military excellence and adherence to the values of courage, discipline, duty, and the overcoming of fear. Vastly outnumbered at the Battle of Thermopylae, the Spartan "300" held off an overwhelming Persian force before finally succumbing - but not without inflicting massive casualties and inspiring the rest of the Greeks with the notion that they could persevere.
"Can't get enough"
The Odyssey of the West series continues it grand exploration of the literature, revolutionary theories, and feats of intellectual progress that have shaped-and continue to shape-the modern world.
"Disappointed in Birmingham"
A fitting capstone for this comprehensive series, this sixth and final installment imparts a learned understanding of the forces that shaped - and continue to shape - Western culture.
This course addresses three wars fought in antiquity, each of which had - even 2,000 years and more later - a decisive effect in shaping our communal sense of who we are, not only in Europe, but throughout the European cultural diaspora, in the Americas, in Oceania, and to some degree, at least, in Asia and Africa as well - wherever, in short, Western values hold.
"a good overview of 3 ancient wars"
Naval battles have long captured the popular imagination, from confrontations between Athens and Sparta in the ancient world to the epic conflicts that took place during the World Wars and beyond. In this riveting series of lectures, Professor Timothy B. Shutt of Kenyon College explores the naval battles that have helped to establish empires and have changed history.
"I Agree with Chris and Matthew...to a Point"
Professor Shutt begins by exploring exactly what a novel is - and what it isn't - and what defines this unique literary expression. He explores both its antecedents and precursors and where exactly its place in the literary landscape can be found. He then moves on to Defoe's great work Robinson Crusoe which arguably marks the birth of the novel. Subsequent lectures explore works by powerful literary forces such as Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, Laurence Sterne, and Sir Walter Scott.
"As good as I'd hoped it would be"
Few writers are more often read, and better loved, than Charles Dickens and Samuel Langhorne Clemens - Mark Twain. Many of the characters populating their novels have become household words, cultural landmarks in their own right - Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, David Copperfield and Oliver Twist. It is as if we have known them life-long. In this course we take a look at the lives and works of both authors.