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Plato suggested several different models of gods around which to organize a polis or republic. This class studies the political, philosophical, and cultural implications of the different conceptions of the gods set out in Plato’s Republic; supplemented with texts important to three different religions located around the Mediterranean: the Olympic gods, Christianity, and Islam. Our understanding of these differences is mostly derived from the texts but is given context by an examination of classic art and architecture. Our visits to cities, ancient and modern, add further depth of understanding to the connections between gods and cities.Beginning in Athens, where Plato taught and Paul preached, we examine the ruins of ancient Greece, including the Parthenon, which has served as ancient temple to Athena, Byzantine church, Ottoman mosque, and modern museum. Our study tour continues through the most important cities and sacred sites in ancient Greece, including Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia, Delphi. We will also take a cruise to the island of Crete and visit the ancient ruins of Knossos (the legendary palace of King Minos). Then we will head to Istanbul, the capital of the Roman Empire, first visiting Ephesus, one of the best-preserved Roman cities and the location of an early Christian church. We will also spend some days and nights at Parmukkale, Pergamun, Aphrodesia, and Troy.Our final few days will be spent in Istanbul, a city that continues to echo with the words and actions of many different gods.