Academic Year 2011-12 (Spring)


New Approaches to Ancient Hermeticism

Ever since their rediscovery and translation in the Renaissance, the so-called hermetic tractates have intrigued the western world with their ostensibly Egyptian pedigree offering a distinctly idiosyncratic philosophical perspective of the world and human destiny, expressed in a language that appears to be equally indebted to the Greek philosophers and the Septuagint. This seminar will introduce students to some of the central texts of the Corpus Hermeticum.

Lucretius, De rerum natura

This course introduces students to the main doctrines of the most "modern" of the ancient philosophical schools, Epicureanism, by way of a close reading of selected passages from Lucretius' masterpiece of didactic poetry De rerum natura.