English 2000 Citizens in Time



Click here to see why this icon of Achilles' Shield is important.




Course Overview


Course Schedule




Main Project


Movie as Political Discourse


Group Dialogue

























Achilles' Shield celebrates the extraordinary vigor of life on this earth. It is also Homer's hopeful vision of a world moving toward peace as its citizens work in concert with nature and each other. Thus Achilles' Shield is a fitting icon for a course that asks, "What does it mean to be a human being living in society?"


























Welcome to English 2000: Citizens in Time, a course that asks hard questions with no easy answers.

Citizens in Time investigates fundamental issues of our human condition, focusing on the question “What does it mean to be a human being living in society?”

So what is a squirrel doing on the course home page, you may ask.
Meet Spunky, a backyard squirrel who has tamed a human family and lets the family feed her. In many ways, she is wiser in her pursuit of eudaimonia than we are.



Ideal Order
Shield of Achilles


According to Aristotle, humans are defined by their rational and political nature. We can think and figure things out: we are rational. We are meant to live and work together in cities: we are political.

How we govern ourselves in those cities is the big centuries-long debate. Do we resort to tribal justice, not really justice at all, but bloody revenge? Or do we try to solve our problems and conflicts peacefully, with persuasion--with the silver tongue, not the steel sword.

Achilles' Shield shows the beginnings of a democratic consciousness within the city--the establishment of justice that is achieved through persuasion. In the City at Peace (2nd circle), litigants have brought their dispute to a panel of histôrs, or judges. The histôr who judges the best will receive acclaim (and a bag of gold). We, the citizens, await breathlessly.

Homer does depict the world's violent nature in the 2nd circle's City at War and in the violent acts of nature's predators (lions attacking helpless cattle) in the 3rd circle, but violence is only 10% of the shield. Bad things happen, Homer is saying, but most of our world is peaceful and thriving. Homer's vision of the world the way it should be is a hopeful vision for all ages.




Eudaimonia is Aristotle-speak for human flourishing, or happiness. You'll learn more about flourishing by browsing the Website.

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Created by Dorothy McCaughey   09/26/2010

Louisiana State University