September 24th, 2020
On the final day of the Annual Interdisciplinary School of Oriental Studies, Ancient Greek and Egyptology, under the supervision of Associate Professor Maria-Luiza Oancea (University of Bucharest), the participants were able to read the original and translate certain passages of the Greek Myth of the Ages, captured by the poet Hesiod (8th-7th century BC) in his didactic opus Works and Days, as well as the oration of the famous Greek general Phormius during the Peloponnesiac War, as chronicled by the historian Thucydides (5th century BC).
In order to explain the necessity of working the earth, Hesiod tackles complex philosophical issues by linking the activity to sin and to punishment. From this myth of the ages, the poet disentangles a lesson addressed to his brother, Perses, as well as to the powerful gods: “listen to Justice, Dike, let not distemper grow to hubris”. In turn, Thucydides is the Greek poet who inaugurated the analytic method of researching sources and was the first to employ a scriptic chronology. His method contrasts with that of Herodotus, who was more interested in the anecdotal than in a strict and objective account of events. Over the course of the Rhetoric in Thucydides course, the students deciphered the discourse’s categories and parts, as well as the deontic and epistemological methods employed by the author.
The proceedings of the Annual Interdisciplinary School of Oriental Studies, Ancient Greek and Egyptology were concluded with the course given by Dr Cătălin-Ștefan Popa (IASLCC), Exegetical Examples in Syriac Literature, which discussed various passages relating to life and death from authors such as Ephrem the Syrian (4th century), Jacob of Sarug (5th century) or Narsai (5th century). The theology of Syriac Christianity developed substantially through images, metaphors and analogies. Themes such as Death as a dream, Death as a slumber vanquished by Resurrection, and the struggle against Death provided the guiding thread of a original theology insufficiently studied in the Romanian space.
The participants – students at the University of Bucharest and the “Hyperion” University of Bucharest – expressed their sastisfaction with the variety and depth of the courses offered over the course of the School, as well as their desire to attend as many like courses as possible, given their paucity among the offers of the Romanian academic curricula.