Honors Study Tour to Greece, June 2015

Bourtzi Fortress in Greece. Photo Courtesy of  St. Mary's College of Maryland

Bourtzi Fortress in Greece. Photo Courtesy of St. Mary’s College of Maryland

St. Mary’s College of Maryland, the public Honors College, is once again offering a 24-night study tour to Greece this June.

Professor Michael Taber is planning the eighth St. Mary’s Greece Study Tour, this time with days on the island of Samos (the birthplace of Pythagora–remember that theorem?) and two nights near Ephesus in Turkey.

This year’s theme, “Tyrants, Trials, and Triangles,” will cover three imperfect and halting moves:

  • from despotic rule to a version of democracy,
  • from a social system of vengeance to one governed by laws, trials, and juries,
  • from a view of the cosmos as a place dominated by fickle gods to one of orderly scientific laws and mathematical regularities.

We will examine these changes from about the time of the Trojan War (c. 1200 BCE) to the Classical period (5th and 4th centuries BCE), as well as looking at subsequent developments in Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman times.

Check out the website about the study tour:  www.smcm.edu/greece/

There is a description, a syllabus, an itinerary, photo galleries from past years, cost information, and applications.  Even packing tips.

Applications are processed on a rolling basis, but will not be considered after January 24. The first payment of $1600 is due January 27.

Warning: For the offering this past June, the course filled up by early January!

As the Honors College for the State of Maryland, we can work with honors directors and deans to discuss the 3-week course, so that students and their directors or advisors understand the level and intensity of academic work, and to provide any information needed for the student’s home institution considering the awarding of honors credit.

This is an upper-division course that assumes no particular prior coursework—either in classics, in ancient conceptions of law and justice, or the like.  But it is a course—not just a fun trip, and we hope to continue to have a range of disciplinary interests represented by the students. We’ve had majors from Anthropology, Art, Art History, Biology, Economics, Education, English, Environmental Studies, Foreign Languages, History, Math, Musical Theater, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, and Theater, Film, & Media Studies.  The mix of students traveling together constitutes a minor education in itself.

We also have had students from various honors programs and colleges, including:

George Washington University

Point Park University

University of Alaska at Anchorage

University of

American University (DC)

California State—Fullerton

Elizabethtown College (PA)


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Utah State University

Western Connecticut State University

Students other than those in honors programs or honors colleges are welcome to apply, too.  Any students who apply should do so in full realization of a credit-bearing academic experience.

If you are interested in finding out more about this opportunity in addition to the information on the website, get in touch with Professor Taber via e-mail (mstaber@smcm.edu) or phone 240-895-4900).