CLSC 305

Inventing the Barbarian

What did it mean to be a "Greek?" a "Roman?" a "barbarian"? This course examines the ways in which the Greeks and Romans understood themselves and the peoples they encountered. The course begins by exploring ancient and modern theoretical discussion of race and ethnicity, and then proceeds through a number of case studies to see how the experiences of the Greeks and Romans contribute to this discussion. Questions to be considered include how far religion or language, culture or blood-ties, can define a community, whether the ancients engaged in racial or ethnic stereotyping, and if so towards what end. An examination of how the concepts of race and ethnicity helped the Greeks and Romans to articulate their identities help us to see how those concepts have shaped our own society as well.