Humanities I is a required course for Geneseo students, and satisfies SUNY's Western Civilization general education requirement. Based on great works, it examines the search for moral, social, and political alternatives and meaning in the institutions, culture, and literature of Western Civilization from its beginnings to 1600. Students taking Humanities I in Athens for four weeks are not only made intimate with the published works of the period, they can actually experience the location of so much of the course's content--in Athens and through field trips. There is ample free time to explore Athens and its surroundings and to take trips to places like the renowned Greek Islands.
Within the sprawling city of Athens it is easy to imagine the golden age of Greece, when Pericles ordered the building of the Parthenon, when the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides were performed in the Theater of Dionysus, and when democracy brought all citizens together to decide their common fate on the Pnyx Hill. Athens is built around the Acropolis which the goddess Athena was said to have dropped as a bulwark to defend the city. Dominating the Athenian landscape, the Acropolis is unsurpassed in beauty, architectural splendor, and historical importance.
Athens currently has over four million people and is packed with lively taverns and bustling shops. The hosting of the Olympics in the summer of 2004 has resulted in many renovations and projects that have added to the reputation of the city as one of the world's top tourist attractions.