From Sicily to Athens: Exploring the Stepping Stones of Culture

Banner image promoting the From Sicily to Athens: Exploring the Stepping Stones of Culture travel program

Image of Knossos Palace promoting Sicily to Athens travel programDuration:
11 Days, September 2 – 12, 2023 (almost full)

From $7,990 from Palermo, Sicily

Tour Operator:
Thalassa Journeys

The history of the Mediterranean provides much of what we know of modern civilization—the values of democracy and scientific inquiry, and the expression of the human spirit in literature, art and music. On a splendid and informative voyage from Sicily to Athens, we’ll explore some of the most iconic sites associated with the rich legacy of the Greco-Roman World. Caleb Dance, associate professor of classics, will serve as W&L’s study leader.

Setting forth from Sicily's capital of Palermo, we’ll sail around the island to its southern shore to discover the Doric temples of Agrigento and, further to the east, the remarkably well-preserved Greek and Roman ruins of Syracuse. Leaving Sicily, we’ll call in Crotone, home to Pythagoras's philosophical academy, before crossing the Ionian Sea to visit Olympia, one of the most sacred places in the Hellenic world, site of the Sanctuary of Zeus, and home to the athletic games that drew competitors from the four corners of the known world. On Crete, we’ll be introduced to Minoan civilization and the great myths of King Midas and the Minotaur, as we explore the Palace of Knossos and the treasures of the Heraklion Museum. Mycenae brings us to the heart of the heroic age of Homer and the Trojan War. The shrine of Asclepios at Epidaurus reminds us of the Greek origins of medicine, while the great theater nearby invites us to reflect on Greek drama.

Our vessel for this extraordinary journey, the Swan Hellenic Diana, is a state-of-the-art, new-generation expedition cruise ship, currently under construction in Finland and launching in March 2023. Accommodating only 192 guests in beautifully appointed staterooms and balcony suites, Diana will feature several lounges, a restaurant, outdoor cafe, spa, and library. The Diana is equipped with the latest safety and environmentally-friendly technology.

Please join fellow W&L travelers and Professor Dance on this thoughtfully designed voyage of discovery and rediscovery of the ancient world.

Traveling With You

Caleb DanceCaleb Dance is an Associate Professor of Classics. Having earned his B.A. from Tulane University and his M.A., M.Phil., and PhD from Columbia University, he joined the Washington & Lee faculty

in 2014. Caleb cultivates broad interests in ancient Greek and Roman literature, teaching courses on ancient languages, sex and gender in Greco-Roman literature, canon formation,

and literary genre. His publications treat laughter, humor, and comic theory in the works of Homer, Ovid, and Lucian, and his newest project draws upon a collection of love poetry by Ovid—the Amores—to consider how the ways in which ancient literature was composed and published (from wax tablets to papyrus rolls) would have shaped ancient readers’ experiences of it...and continues to shape the experiences of today’s students and scholars

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