Deep Evil Scary Metaphysics

This site includes syllabi, assignments, and supplementary notes for courses in philosophy taught at George Mason University  by Prof. R. Cherubin. It also contains links to other sites pertinent to the study of ancient Greek philosophy, notices about conferences and other events, and suggestions for further reading.

Questions, comments, problems?

Contact me at rcherubi(at)gmu(dot)edu.

(This image comes to us from the Perseus vase collection.)

Why is the GMU ancient Greek philosophy site called "Deep Evil Scary Metaphysics?"

It's called a "metaphysics" site because its emphasis is on fundamental investigation of that which is - including investigation of whether we can ask whether, or what, that which is is. The study of these topics has come to be known within the discipline of philosophy as 'metaphysics.' But what you will find on these pages and what you will find in the ancient writers themselves should suggest that both modern and contemporary studies in "metaphysics" differ significantly in many respects from any ancient inquiry, both in focus and in approach. We can learn a great deal from appreciating these differences and by engaging in a dialogue with the ancient "roads of inquiry," as Parmenides called them.
Now, since ancient inquiries into that which is often reflected or prompted considerations pertinent to the fields we now call natural science, ethics, religious studies, political thought, and epistemology, this page will also present material relating to these topics.

As for whether this stuff is really deep, evil, and/or it and find out.

Exciting ancient world links

Perseus Project
Materials on Classical Antiquity: literature, art, architecture, archaeology, history, Greek and Latin languages. Check out the on-line edition of Liddell, Scott, Jones, A Greek-English Lexicon, the atlas tools, and the large and growing selection of Greek and Latin works in both the original languages and English.
        To read works by well-known Greek writers such as Homer, Hesiod, Plato, [some] Aristotle, and Pindar, click on "Collections," then "Greek and Roman materials," then scroll down to the author of your choice. Texts are available in both Greek and English. (Some of the translations may seem somewhat out-of-date, as they are largely from out-of-print editions of the Loeb Classical Library.) If you're going to use a translated text in your papers, it's better to get a fairly recent and good translation. But for quick reference, or to look up the Greek, Perseus is very handy to have.
         To look up Greek words, from the main page, click on "All search options" (top right) then select "show" next to "Dictionary Entry Lookup."

Electronic Resources for Classicists
What the name says: links to texts, discussion groups, software and more; usually but not always scholarly.

The Stoa
Home of Demos, the Suda On Line, and Diotima (below), plus several other web projects, the Stoa Consortium presents "news, projects, and links for digital classicists everywhere." Elegant, scholarly, and responsible. Check for frequent updates on issues having to do with online publishing, intellectual property, open-source collections, and more.

 A rich and rigorous project on classical Athenian democracy, replete with scholarly essays, images, links to ancient texts and secondary sources, an excellent glossary of relevant Greek terms, and an ever-increasing complement of additional good things. The site is easy to use, and its many hyperlinks are well-organized and helpful. The site's own description is best: "Our goal is to build a digital encyclopedia of classical Athenian democracy that will be useful to a wide audience. We hope to describe the history, institutions, and people of democratic Athens in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE, to publish the efforts of scholars to answer questions about Athenian democracy, and to invite you, our audience, to explore, discover, and judge for yourselves." Truly kalon kagathon, Blackwell et al.!

The Suda On Line
One thousand years in the making! The Suda is a tenth-century CE work containing excerpts from, and commentaries on, ancient philosophers. It's especially important as a resource for the study of philosophers who lived before Plato.

Diotima: Women and Gender in the Ancient World
A terrific and varied collection of materials: primary sources, scholarly papers, course syllabi, images, and much more. Take the time to explore.  

The Classics Page at Ad Fontes Academy
This page has won praise around the world. It contains resources in and links to all sorts of material pertaining to classical (mostly Roman) antiquity. There is an excellent on-line library of Latin texts here, along with links to discussion groups and language tutorials. Salvete, Winkler and Carey!

David Meadows' exciting classics blog: the ancient world lives! (And I do mean 'world' - all continents but Antarctica are included, since no ancient human artifacts have turned up there...yet.) There are daily updates of news and ideas relating to the ancient world, listings of television programs on ancient themes, links to images of archeological digs and art objects, meditations on applications of ancient ideas to today's world, and much more. Subscribe at this site to Meadows' free weekly e-mail newsletter Explorator, and get the latest about the ancient world every Sunday! Thaumasios!

Library of Ancient Texts Online: A wide variety of texts by ancient authors. Translation quality varies widely, and please read the site's discussion entitled "disadvantages of online editions." But if a text is not available in GMU, and you want to get an idea of whether you're going to need to order it from the Consortium Loan Service or InterLibrary Loan for your paper, this is a good way to tell. 

The Aperion Project
This group creates music based on themes from ancient cultures and pre-Socratic philosophy, among other inspirations. Be sure to check out "Anaximander's Lament," available  here. Kudos to the Aperion project, and thanks to Brandon Rizzo for permitting me to link to their site. Deep evil scary metaphysics takes to the airwaves (or the fiber-optic cables)!

Christopher Long's excellent Digital Dialogues Podcast series
Produced with insight, sensitivity, and impeccable use of available technology, these podcasts explore contemporary issues in dialogue with ancient Greek philosophy. Most of the podcasts are interviews; Long and his colleagues ask superb questions. This is a terrific use of modern technology for fundamental inquiry. (Full disclosure: I had the honor of contributing to a podcast on Parmenides.) You can subscribe to the Digital Dialogues series on iTunesU.