WHY LONDON AND ATHENS?
As major international cities, these metropolitan capitals have something in common: they share a majestic legacy, for each contains portions of the Parthenon, one of humanity’s greatest artistic achievements. The story of the Parthenon combines the beauty and epitome of Western art and architecture with the drama of looting antiquities, all in the name of “empire.” Your mission will be to put the Parthenon back together.
The Parthenon from Pericles to the Present (TX 200A) is a one-credit interdisciplinary travel seminar taught by Skidmore professors Michael Arnush and Leslie Mechem that will introduce students to the long and storied history of the Parthenon, its sculptures, and the age of Pericles that created them. For 200 years the Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis has been separated from its sculptural decorations, most of which reside in the British Museum in London as the “Elgin Marbles.” This travel seminar will enable you to reunite the marbles in London with the Temple to Athena in Athens and, to study, first on campus and then abroad, the art, architecture, history, politics and culture of ancient Athens during the golden age of Pericles.
Michael Arnush, Associate Professor and Chair of the Classics Department. Professor Arnush specializes in Greek and Roman history, especially the origins, development and collapse of Athenian democracy in the archaic and classical periods. His latest project is a book-length study of the 5th-century BCE defeat of the Persian empire by the Greeks, specifically the Athenian victory at the Battle of Salamis in 480.
Leslie Mechem, Lecturer in the Classics Department and Director of the Gender Studies Program. Professor Mechem specializes in Greek and Roman art and archaeology, especially the propagandistic significance of 5th-century Athenian architecture and sculpture, and the roles of women in ancient Greece and Rome. Her most recent work focuses on the looting and marketing of antiquities, including the Parthenon marbles, today conveniently called the “Elgin Marbles.”
Professors Arnush and Mechem are both alumni of the University of Pennsylvania and the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. They look forward to sharing their passions for London and Athens with students interested in the ancient world.
Enrollment in the accompanying on-campus course “Topics in Classical Civilization: The Parthenon from Pericles to the Present” (CC 265, 3 credits).
The anticipated fee for the travel seminar is $4,300 (subject to fluctuation). This includes round-trip airfare from the New York City area to London and Athens, ground transportation for program excursions, on-site accommodations (generally double occupancy), two meals per day, international medical insurance, entrance and performance fees, local guides, cultural excursions, Skidmore faculty on site, and the support of Skidmore’s OCSE. The fee does not include transportation to and from the New York City area, passport and visa costs, or personal expenses. Financial aid is available for eligible students.
For a tentative itinerary and more information, check out the program brochure!