2023-2024 Catalog

ARTH 170 Introduction to the Arts of the Early Mediterranean World

What makes art  “European”? This fundamental question accompanies our survey of the different artistic traditions that emerged around the Mediterranean for more than 40,000 years of history, from prehistoric times through antiquity to the end of the medieval era. Rather than looking at art as the product of different monolithic “civilizations,” progressing through time in isolation from another, we will consider how a diversity of artistic cultures emerged through constant exchange and borrowing from one another.  Readings, lectures, assignments and discussion will encompass artworks from the realm of painting, sculpture, architecture and material culture from a “Europe” with constantly fluid and shifting borders. The course will develop skills of visual analysis in style, iconography and technique. Issues of gender, race, colonization and trade in the art of the ancient and medieval eras will also be addressed. In addition, we will explore how the art of the past has constantly been reimagined to fulfill more recent artistic and political ideologies.


4 units

Core Requirements Met

  • Fine Arts
  • Pre-1800
  • Global Connections