Sicily from the Greeks to Garibaldi

GENINT 715.617

Osher (50+). In this course, we explore the history of Sicily from ancient times to the near present.


About this course:

The island of Sicily is rich in history—Plato wrote The Republic there, and Aeschylus died there. Fredrick the Great made Palermo the capital of the Holy Roman Empire, and Pirandello was the precursor of theatre of the absurd on the rocky island. Sicily produced and influenced Archimedes, Empedocles, Quasimodo, Verga, Bellini, Lampedusa, Scarlatti, Tornatore, Garibaldi—the names go on. We have not even mentioned the cuisine: the Smithsonian shows that pasta was invented in Sicily in the eleventh Century, and marinara is sighted as originating there as well, ironically named by fisherman after a bad day at sea. Is it any wonder Goethe loved the place? This course takes you on an armchair tour through the history of Sicily from the Sikeliotes; through the Greeks and Romans; to an island where Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Pagans all lived together in harmony. Thereafter, we move into subsequent periods all the way to the near present.

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