Along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, over thousands of years stretching back to antiquity, civilizations have met and mingled, religious and political views have been exhorted and enforced, trade routes have been coveted and claimed, and imperial political and military power struggles have fashioned and refashioned the map time and time again. This springtime cruise, June 1-13, 2016, was conceived in part by Denis Feeney, Princeton’s Giger Professor of Latin, Professor of Classics, and the Chair of the Council of the Humanities. After a night on land in Malta, board the 36-cabin Variety Voyager for a ten-night cruise that will explore the sites and events that "have cumulatively left their mark on the geopolitical formations of the Mediterranean that we recognize today."
Concentrating on "three major sites of conflict where the fate of empires has been decided," the program begins in the key area of the Mediterranean on the Malta/Sicily axis, central to the conflict between the Ottoman Empire and Christendom as well as to events that catapulted Rome ahead of the Athenian Empire as the major power of the Western Mediterranean. On the western shoreline of modern Greece, consider events that ensured the Roman Empire's place as a western empire and measures that thwarted the Ottoman Empire's chances of expanding and ultimately led to an independent Greece. Finally, visit the Dardanelles and the site of Troy, where the first great clash between West and East was commemorated by Homer, ending in the crossroads city of Istanbul.
Please note: Princeton travelers will be joined on this Journey by those from Yale University and Smith College.
Denis Feeney, Giger Professor of Latin, Professor of Classics, at Chairman of the Council of the Humanities, will serve as Princeton Study Leader for this program.
Educated at Auckland University and Oxford, where he obtained a doctorate in 1982, Professor Feeney joined the Princeton faculty in 2000 after holding other teaching positions in both Britain and the United States. Named chairman of Princeton's Council of the Humanities in 2014, he also directs the Program in Humanistic Studies and the Stewart Seminars in Religion. As a classicist, he teaches and publishes on Latin literature and on Roman culture more broadly, with a focus on Roman religion and time.
In concert with his former doctoral student, Kirk Freudenberg, also a lecturer on this program, Professor Feeney has enthusiastically shaped this itinerary to focus on the turning points in history concentrated in the Mediterranean, relating them through the stories of the ancients.