a 14-day tour
through classical turkey

with Chris Downing

May 26-June 9, 2020


The Staircase Leading to Freud’s Consulting Room in Vienna, Up Which So Many Walked, Carrying Their Deepest Fears and Hopes

This trip will take us to the major sites associated with the Greek presence on the Aegean coast of Turkey, sites of important shrines to the Olympian deities. However, my lectures (unlike those of my 2007 Turkey tour or the 2018 trip to Sicily—or the several trips I’ve led to mainland Greece), will not be goddess or god focused, though of course I won’t be able to resist talking some about Aphrodite, Artemis, and Apollo.

What the 2020 tour will be focusing on is the literary unfolding of the Greek mythic imagination on the Ionian Coast of what we think of as Turkey. Greek myth, as it’s available to us, began with Homer from nearby Chios. His epics introduced the stories that the much-later tragedians revisioned. Lyric poetry also arose on the neighboring islands—think of Sappho of Lesbos. The so-called early “philosophers” (Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Heraclitus, and Pythagoras) with their very different ways of imagining the world and our relation to it came from Ephesus, or Miletus or Samos. Hippocrates, the quasi-historical, mostly mythic, founder of “rational” medicine, came from Kos. Herodotus who initiated the different kind of storying we call history—but relished relaying the myths of the many peoples he came in contact with—came from Halicarnassus (our Bodrum). All this happened in a radically multicultural context—a rich confluence of Greek, Ancient Near Eastern, and Persian perspectives.

Of course, to explore the unfolding of the Greek mythic imagination will also be to explore how myths and the imagination work in us, in our culture and in our psyches.

We hope you will join us for this very special trip.

Chris Downing.jpg

Dr. Christine Downing has been teaching at Pacifica Graduate Institute since 1987, primarily in its Mythological Studies Program. Before that for almost twenty years she taught at San Diego State University and concurrently at the California School of Professional Psychology. Christine has also taught at the Jung Institute in Zürich and lectures frequently to Jungian groups both in the US and abroad and at American and European universities. Her many books include The Goddess, Journey through Menopause, Myths and Mysteries of Same-Sex Love, Women's Mysteries, Gods in Our Midst, Psyche’s Sisters, The Luxury of Afterwards, Preludes, Gleanings, and most recently Mythopoetic Musings. A decade ago she led five study tours to Greece and one to Turkey. In 2018 she took a group to the classical sites in Sicily and in 2019 led a tour she called Exploring Freud’s World that went to the Czech Republic, Austria, and London. She is now planning her last tour, this return to Turkey.

Chris at Pergamum courtesy of River Malcolm.
Photo of Chris courtesy of Cheryle Van Scoy.