From the Greeks we got the whole structure of rational thought that led to modern science, the whole structure of democracy, the concepts of law and equality of the citizen before the law, the idea of freedom of speech and freedom of publication, the art of rhetoric, the art of theater and epic poetry. During our thirty weeks, we enquire where the Greeks came from, where they went and settled, where they traveled in their diaspora, how they built their cities, how they built an empire and lost it, and how they were conquered by the Romans—and how the Romans were conquered intellectually by Greece. Our 30-week course of study proposes that the Greeks invented something totally new in civilization and that what they invented is still at the core of our Western civilization: they were seagoing and adventurous, suspicious of authority, individualistic, enquiring, open to other cultures, articulate, humorous, competitive; and they had a passion for excellence, an appreciation of beauty, and they valued the pursuit of pleasure.
William H. Fredlund, the Director of the Institute, obtained his B.A. and M.A. from UCLA, where he specialized in European history and art history. He studied in Italy on a Fulbright Fellowship and completed a double Ph.D. in history and humanities at Stanford, specializing in Renaissance Italy. Dr. Fredlund has taught for UCLA, the University of Florence, Stanford, and UCSC Extension.