CLSC 230

The Classical Tradition

This course studies the enduring impact of what Edgar Allan Poe called "the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome." Why have European and American writers, artists, composers and thinkers so often sought inspiration from classical antiquity in search for models, subject matter, ideas, and standards of beauty and excellence? The emphasis in this course is on literary genres (such as epic, tragedy, lyric, pastoral) and on themes of perennial human significance (such as underworld journeys, metamorphosis, and the mythical figures of Odysseus/Ulysses, Cassandra, and Orpheus). The course also examines the impact of the classical world upon the other arts, as well as upon European and American intellectual life in general.