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People's University: Ancient History: Greece Part 1 - Minoan, Mycenean, and Homeric

January 19, 2023
7:00pm - 8:00pm

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Class : Greece Part 1 - Minoan, Mycenean, and Homeric

The Bronze Age lasts for approximately 2,000 years – 3,000-1170 BCE. During this period, we see a shift from the settled and (some still maintain) isolated cultures from Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, and the broader Mediterranean, to a highly-integrated, multicultural, globalized system. In this class, we will focus primarily on the Bronze Age Aegean and what we see in the iconographic and archaeological record, including the most famous sites and artworks from each region and period. We will cover Early Cycladic hilltop structures and the many fakes and forgeries of Cycladic Folded Arm Figurines that can be seen in museums around the world (and you’ll learn how to spot the authentic ones!); the site of Knossos on Crete, and some of its most important wall paintings and artifacts; The site of Akrotiri, on the island of Santorini, which survived by virtue of a cataclysmic volcanic eruption; and Mycenae, the great settlement from which the legendary Agamemnon and Menelaos sailed to Troy in Homer’s Iliad.

Instructor: Fresh off a European lecture tour,  DR. MARIE N. PAREJA, Marshall University (her students call her Doc) will teach two of the classes. She is a Bronze Age Aegean archaeologist and art historian who focuses on iconography, exchange, and identity in prehistoric Afro-Eurasia. She currently works as an Assistant Professor of Classical Archaeology and Religious Studies at Marshall University and as a Consulting Scholar for the University of Pennsylvania. Some of her most recent work has been featured in Smithsonian magazine, and her up-and-coming projects on the interconnectivity in the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods were hosted by the University of Oxford in early December 2022. She is thrilled to be part of People’s University.

Recommended Reading:

Aegean Bronze Age Art: Meaning in the Making by Karl Knappett

Antony and Cleopatra by Adrian Goldsworthy 

Creators, Conquerors, and Citizens by Robin Waterfield

A History of Ancient Greece in 50 Lives by David Stuttard

The Odyssey by Homer, Emily Wilson's Translation

Phillip and Alexander: Kings and Conquerors by Adrian Goldsworthy 

Red Land, Black Land: Daily Life in Ancient Egypt by Barbara Mertz

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard

When Women Ruled the World by Kara Cooney


Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

Circe by Madeline Miller

Mythos by Stephen Fry

Note: The OCPL is in the process of acquiring as many of the above titles as possible.



People's University: Ancient History

Class 1-Jan. 5, 2023 at 7 pm: Egypt Part 1 - Gods and Pyramids - Instructor: DR. LAURA MICHELE DIENER, Marshall University 

Class 2-Jan. 12, 2023 at 7 pm: Egypt Part 2 - The Pharaohs-Instructor: DR. LAURA MICHELE DIENER, Marshall University  

Class 3-Jan. 19, 2023 at 7 pm: Greece Part 1 - Minoan, Mycenean, and Homeric - Instructor: DR. MARIE N. PAREJA CUMMINGS, Marshall University 

Class 4-Jan. 26, 2023 at 7 pm: Greece Part 2-Archaic and Classical   - Instructor: DR. MARIE N. PAREJA CUMMINGS, Marshall University 

Class 5-Feb. 2, 2023 at 7 pm: Greece Part 3 - Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Egypt  -Instructor: DR. LAURA MICHELE DIENER, Marshall University  

Class 6-Feb. 9, 2023 at 7 pm: Rome Part 1-The Period of the Kings through the Republic - Instructor: DR. LAURA MICHELE DIENER, Marshall University 

Class 7-Feb. 16, 2023 at 7 pm: Rome Part 2-Early Empire - Instructor: DR. LAURA MICHELE DIENER, Marshall University   

Class 8- Feb. 23, 2023 at 7 pm: THE TRAGEDY OF POMPEII  -  Instructor: DR. LAURA MICHELE DIENER, Marshall University  

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Thursdays from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm on YouTube Live and Facebook Live

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In 1951, the Ohio County Public Library's librarian, Virginia Ebeling, referenced British historian Thomas Carlyle, who said, “the public library is a People’s University,” when she initiated a new adult education program with that name. Miss Ebeling charged the library with the responsibility of reaching “as many people in the community as possible.” In keeping with that tradition of public libraries as sanctuaries of free learning for all people, the Ohio County Public Library revived the series in 2010.

The People’s University features courses (taught by experts in each subject) that enable patrons to pursue their goal of lifelong learning in classic subjects such as history, music appreciation, philosophy, and literature. Patrons may attend as many classes as they wish. There are no tests of other requirements and all programs are free and open to the public. For more information about PU: The Cold War, EMAIL US,  visit, or call the library at 304-232-0244.

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