Great Issues in Humanities: Early Travelers to the Mediterranean and Near East


Early Travel and Exploration of the Ancient and Medieval Worlds

HSP           CRN
Tuesdays & Thursday
3:10 – 4:30pm
Observatory Classroom
Dr. Veronica Kalas

This course will explore the practice of traveling for the purpose of gaining knowledge of foreign lands, peoples, and cultures of the ancient and medieval worlds.  We will begin by learning about the tradition of traveling from ancient and medieval authors themselves— including Pausanias of Greco-Roman antiquity and medieval Christian pilgrims like Egeria.  Our focus however will be with the tradition developed by early modern Europeans in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries.  The Grand Tour and related forms of investigation through travel to the sites and monuments of the Mediterranean and Near East will be studied.  Early exploration of the ancient Americas may also be considered.  Students will focus on either a particular theme or traveler, a group of travelers, or a region or site about which our knowledge still very much depends on the first narratives that were developed and created by these explorers.  Themes include travel and the development of the disciplines of archaeology, art history, and photography, women travelers, and travel writing.