C303 History of Civilizations
Professor: Christos MERANTZAS
The curriculum of this course examines the genesis of the notions of culture and civilization in the European area after the 16th century, as well their differentiation in use. At the same time we examine the notion of culture having regard to the human sciences (sociology, anthropology, economy, psychology) and mainly to history. We also analyse the “vocabulary” of cultural particularities of ancient Civilizations and we make a special mention of their semantic differentials as well in space as in time. In order to make clear the process of creation of cultural identities through history, in relation with a duration of long or short time required for their arrangement in space, we turn to advantage a wide historical-archaeological material of past Civilizations of the Mediterranean world, of Mesopotamia, Asia and Central America, focusing on the rich spectrum of their structures, practices and alternations during centuries. Thus we bring out, by the use of many exemplary cases, their distinguishable particularities without devaluate the facts of local interest or the episodes of micro-history.
We analyse also, in the form of key studies, some common in all Civilizations cultural and a-chronic patterns, as for example death or body, insisting on the value of cultural-and symbolic-capital. We finally examine the speed of diffusion or dispersion of ancient, modern and post-modern cultural practices, the perennial character of habits and especially the possibility of democratic production and consumption of historic-cultural benefits in the actual anthropogenetic environment.