Today’s session will start at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time and end at 2:30 p.m.
11:00 a.m. Welcome, Orientation, Introductions. Our Group Leader will greet everyone and review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, Zoom meeting protocols, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions. We will then say hello to our fellow Road Scholars. 11:30 a.m. Lecture. We will start with a short introduction to Sicily’s topography, geography, and role in the Mediterranean as its largest island. This crossroads for human colonization was first inhabited some 10,000 years ago. We’ll learn about human settlements and how they shaped the Sicilian territories from the arrival of the first indigenous populations through the Punics, Phoenicians, and Carthaginians along the coasts.
12:00 p.m. Virtual field trip. In this virtual exploration, we will travel through time to the island of Mozia, emblem of the Punic world in Sicily. We’ll visualize the different archaeological layers of the Punic settlement from the foundation until its destruction. We’ll also see major artifacts conserved in Mozia Punic Museum that will help us understand Phoenician culture and rituals in Sicily. Mozia and the Carthaginian town of Lilibeo are a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. 12:30 p.m. We will have a Q&A session to discuss what we have learned so far. 12:50 p.m. Break. 1:00 p.m. Lecture. It has been said if you want to understand ancient Greece, come to Sicily. We will learn about the brilliant Greek history of Sicily from the first Greek colonies in the mid-8th century BCE through the island’s golden age. We’ll hear about development of the colonies, their culture, and architecture evidenced by the numerous archeological sites all around Sicily. 1:35 p.m. Virtual field trip. Pindar (5th Century BCE) called Akragas — modern Agrigento — the most beautiful of mortal cities. We will “visit” this important Greek city with its millennia-old Valley of the Temples, perhaps the most important testimony of ancient classical culture in Sicily and a unique example of a still existing Acropolis. We will “walk’ along sacred streets in to observe and learn about the superb Greek architecture. 2:05 p.m. Q&A session. 2:20 p.m. Wrap-up and notes for tomorrow. 2:30 p.m. Today’s session will end.