Thursday, December 18, 2014

Classroom Project Part 2

Supper in the Strophades

Excerpt from a CUISINE IN THE MEDITERRANEAN Project

The images are screen shots from a sample Prezi presentation I created for this blog.
In my last post 2015: A SEA ODYSSEY, I listed several possibilities for student projects on themes and images from the modern Mediterranean relevant to Aeneas and his journey. To review, some ideas for the presentation are to have the student:
  • Trace the journey on provided maps or maps of their choosing and make a brochure or itinerary of Aeneas’s route
  • Include images, screen shots, and annotations at each site, or provide their own to enrich and add color to the voyage
  • Calculate distances between each site (perhaps in Roman units!
  • Zoom in and add depth to each site, or step back and examine the whole picture
  • Follow a theme throughout the journey and set up a point of comparison between Aeneas’s journey and one taken today
Additionally, some programs students can play with include Google Maps, Google Earth, Zee Maps, and Prezi. Since my last post, my colleague showed me the AWMC: À-la-carte Map program. This is an effective geographic information system (GIS) that functions as an interactive, customizable atlas of the ancient world and features accurate historical, cultural, and geographical data. If you know of any other programs, please share them in the comments below!

In this post, I will give an example of how a student could present cuisine and explore what meals Aeneas could have eaten, were he to take his trip today.

With Prezi, students have the option of tracing
their routes, inserting pictures and including their notes.



After enjoying their artichokes, mixed vegetables, and snails on Crete, Aeneas and his companions make their way back to their ships and shove off, heading toward the Ionian Sea. The winds carry Aeneas and his crew to the shores of the Strophades, islands inhabited by Celaeno and other Harpies on Aeneas’s initial journey: “The straining sailors cut through the waves, making the spray fly across a sea that was blue once more, till we safely reached the Strophades, islands that lie out on the Ionian Sea” (Cobbold, G.B., Vergil’s AENEID: Hero - War - Humanity, pp. 68–69).

This red-figure water jar, from the J Paul Getty Museum
in Malibu, California, USA, and attributed to the
Kleophrades Painter, shows the Harpies snatching away
food from the blind king Phineus.
Aeneas and company planned their first feast shortly after arriving: “Everywhere peaceful herds of cattle and goats were grazing. There was no one to look after them, so we began at once to hunt them down, calling on all the gods, including Jupiter, to grant us a share of this prize” (Cobbold, 69). It was this feast, of oxen and goats, upon which the Harpies
“Swooping down . . . they seize our food” (Cobbold, 69)
swooped down, and this feast that they plundered during Aeneas’s stay on this island chain. Today though, Aeneas and his men (and the Harpies!) would have much more variety in their dishes.

Perhaps Aeneas and his crew would start their meals with an appetizer of currants, or maybe melitzanes skordostoubi, a dish of fried eggplant with a tomato and garlic sauce.

Prezi not only allows students to travel across maps
with ease, but adds depth to the project by taking you deeper
into an image.
For a main course, chances are, the crew would feast upon veal and drink locally produced wine. There are several popular ways inhabitants of the islands prepare it today. For example, stufado is a dish made with pieces of veal, bay leaves, rosemary, fresh tomatoes, olive oil and spices, whereas sartsa is a dish involving veal, olive oil, tomato, garlic, oregano, pieces of ladotyri cheese and spices. Not a fan of veal, Ascanius? Try the gemisto kouneli, a rabbit dish stuffed with potatoes, ladotyri cheese, or the sofigadoura, lamb or goat meat cooked with onion, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, olive oil, spices and a little white wine. Is Achates a vegetarian? Try the oven-baked boutridia, with vegetables such as runner beans, eggplant, courgettes, and okra, cooked with potatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil and spices.
Such depth takes away from clutter when all
is said and you zoom out to view the big picture!


If the Harpies have not snatched away their plates and appetites by now, Aeneas and his men would move on to dessert, where frygania, fitoura, and mandolato would be served. The former two are sweet breads and the latter a nougat. Place your orders now, before dread hunger forces you to devour your tables!

Do you have experience with similar projects or have ideas you would like to share? Perhaps something went really well, or terribly wrong? Maybe you know of other programs not mentioned in the last two posts? Share your experience! Need more examples on how to make this an effective class project? Leave a reply below! I welcome your comments.

– Connor Hart