Students become familiar with the range of sub-specialties and sub-disciplines within the field of Classics, share their own thesis research, and comment on that of others. The proseminar is open to all levels, but junior and senior majors and minors are especially encouraged to enroll in the course.
This co-taught course introduces students to the ancient Mediterranean world and to the discipline of Classics. The course offers an overview of ancient Mediterranean cultures and how those cultures have been variously put to use by contemporaneous and subsequent cultures so as to produce notions of the "Classics" or the "classical tradition." Attention focuses especially on questions about essential content and methodologies in the discipline(s), the problem of assessing bias in our sources and ourselves, processes of canon formation that enable us to call some things "classical" and some things not, and the production of modern narratives about antiquity. The course aims to provide a shared foundation for students interested in the ancient world and to demonstrate what students and scholars can *do* with this material as an inherently multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary field of inquiry. To that end, all members of the department as well as faculty from related departments lead lectures and seminars on topics such as oral poetry, slave rebellions, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
For the past several centuries we have become accustomed to divide the world between "West" (North America and Europe) and "East" (including both the Middle East and Far East). Such a division did not exist in the Mediterranean basin during antiquity; indeed much of what we think of as "Western" has roots in the heart of Asia. Students in this course examine those roots, starting in the third millennium BCE, by exploring the historical, economic, literary, artistic and religious ties between Sumer, Akkad, Persia, Greece, and Rome from the Bronze Age to Late Antiquity, including the rise of Christianity and Islam. They study the peoples who lived in and around ancient Mesopotamia and Persia and the influence that these cultures had on the Greeks and Romans. Throughout the course students track the migrations of peoples, skills and knowledge across the Mediterranean and witness the rise and fall of some of the world's greatest empires. Finally towards the end of the course students explore the forces that began to bring about the split between East and West. Readings from primary sources (both literary and documentary) in translation help students learn how to read across temporal and cultural boundaries in order to gain a glimpse into the past.
This course provides a solid grounding in Greek and Latin roots and other word components used in English with the aim of facilitating comprehension of both technical and non-technical vocabulary, including the specialized vocabulary of particular technical and professional fields such as the biological sciences, medicine, and law. Students will learn the principles at play in word formation and develop the ability to quickly recognize and analyze vocabulary derived from ancient Greek and Latin. In the process, we will learn about the historical, cultural, and linguistic underpinnings of the etymological influence ancient Greek and Latin have exerted on the English language. No previous knowledge of Latin or ancient Greek is required.
This course explores myths and legends from the ancient Mediterranean and the light these narratives cast on ancient conceptions of the human, the divine, nature, and society. The course focuses on how ancient myths manifest in ancient epic, drama, art, and religious ritual. The course also takes note of the afterlives of myths in the Roman, medieval, Renaissance, and modern worlds and examines some modern theoretical perspectives on myth in general and Greek myth in particular.
This course centers on an intensive three-week academic tour of Greece where students use the sites, landscape, and, museums of Greece as the classroom from which they can make a holistic study of the Greece they had only previous experienced through texts. In other words, this course places ancient Greece and its texts in their real, physical context. In Greece, students spend about 10-12 hours each day on sites, in museums, and in active discussions, including a one-hour seminar discussion at the end of each day. During these three weeks, students engage with Greece ancient and modern as much as possible. During the spring semester, prior to the trip to Greece, students will meet one hour per week to start preparing for the trip. Such preparations will include sessions dedicated to learning fundamental information for the study of pre-historic, archaic, classical, and post-classical Greece, as well as necessary technical terminology and research tools for encountering sites and giving site reports. This course is open to all students, with preference given to students in Greek, Latin, and Ancient Mediterranean Studies courses.
This course centers on an intensive two-week sojourn in the Eternal City, Rome. Students use the urban topography, ancient ruins, modern reconstructions, and museums to immerse themselves in the lived experience of the city of Rome. Students learn architectural building techniques and systems of dating, problems in identifying surviving buildings, the iconography of Roman political sculpture, and issues of Roman copying and reuse of original Greek art. Students also engage with the incorporation of Roman monuments into subsequent architecture, including Mussolini's political (re)use of archaeology, as well as problems of conservation in the context of the modern city. Visits to the excavated cities of Pompeii and Ostia form part of the program and make visible the daily lives and activities of those individuals lost in the literary record, including women and slaves.
Students in this course examine the history of ancient Egypt, from the unification of upper and lower Egypt (ca. 3000 BCE) through the Roman conquest in 30 BCE and beyond. Egypt produced some of the oldest written texts and monumental constructions in the world, many of which had significant impact on other ancient Mediterranean civilizations including Greece and Rome. Students explore these sources to gain insight into the ways of life, rituals, beliefs, hopes and fears of the inhabitants of ancient Egypt. Themes of the course include the relationship between religious belief and political power, the tension between the forces of integration and disintegration (the Egyptian king, the Pharaoh, might say between the forces of order and chaos), Egypt's relationship with its neighbors, and the continuity and change of its traditions, institutions, values and beliefs over time. Special attention is paid to the role played by imperialism, Orientalism, and modern identity politics in the study of this region of ancient Africa.
This course makes an odyssey through Greek political, social, cultural, and economic history from the Bronze Age (c. 1200 BCE) to the death of Alexander the Great (323 BCE). The emphasis is less on the chronicle of events than on understanding the changing nature of Greek society during this period. Major topics to be explored include the development of the city-state as a political unit; notions of equality in ancient Greece; and the simultaneous flourishing of the arts and building of an empire at Athens under Pericles. Students learn to use both archaeological remains and literary texts, including histories and poetry, to reconstruct the nature of Greek society.
How did a small farming village on the banks of the Tiber River become mistress of an empire stretching from Britain to Egypt? This course explores the political institutions, social structures, and cultural attitudes that enabled Rome to become the world's only superpower at the time. One theme of the course is how that rise to power affected the lives of the Romans and how the Romans affected the lives of all those they encountered. Roman constitutional developments, the religions of the Roman world, and the connection between Roman culture (including art, literature, and popular entertainment such as gladiatorial games) feature prominently among the topics covered.
This course introduces the epic genre in Greece and Rome. The course concentrates on a selection of ancient epic poems including Homer's Iliad and Odyssey and Vergil's Aeneid. Students consider each epic as an individual cultural and artistic product, but also how later epics draw upon and respond to earlier ones. The gradually more complex understanding of the epic genre built into the class allows students to investigate how the Greek and Roman epics combine cosmology and human narratives in order to explore the place of human beings in the universe; the relationship between gods and mortals; and the connection between moral, social, or historical order and cosmological order.
This course explores ancient Greek and Roman tragedy. Students begin by examining the social, political, and physical contexts in which dramas were performed in classical antiquity. Students then read and discuss select plays by the three great surviving dramatists of fifth-century BCE Athens (Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides) and the one great surviving dramatist of Imperial Rome (Seneca the younger). Each week includes not only close reading and discussion of one drama, but also viewing or hearing a modern performance of that drama, an in-class performance of a scene from the drama by students, and panel presentations of two other dramas that may illuminate features of the week's main drama. Attention is given to understanding how these plays might have been performed and interpreted within the Athenian and Roman cultures in which they were produced, as well as modern critical approaches and creative responses. Thus this course provides students an opportunity to engage with and reflect on ancient drama in a critical and creative way, with respect to both its original historical context and its imaginative and transformative potential in the modern world.
This class surveys the surviving plays of Aristophanes, Menander, Plautus, and Terence. For Old Comedy, the class will discuss its structural features (such as the chorus and the parabasis), and look at the way that Aristophanes engages with the politics of his day as well as the role of women in Athens. Students learn the canonical definitions of Old, Middle, and New comedy, and see the revolution of style and taste that differentiates Menander from Aristophanes. The class looks at the ways in which comedy transgresses social norms and the role of the carnivalesque in ancient culture. Students need not know Greek or Latin but must be willing to perform for and with their classmates as well as contributing to a creative and generous environment.
This course explores the Greek and Roman ancestors of the modern novel. Ancient prose fiction is steadily attracting more and more attention, for it opens many windows onto ancient attitudes towards gender, love and sexuality, religious belief and practice, and social relations. The ancient novels also happen to be fun to read, full of hairbreadth escapes, wide-ranging travel, intense and often conflicting emotions, complex and surprising events, and humor, sometimes delicate, sometimes shocking.
Archaeology seeks to uncover artifacts and the material culture of human life in order to understand past civilizations and the long-term development of human societies across space and time. This course offers an introduction to the field of archaeology, providing an overview of its goals, theory, methods, and ethics. Students discuss specific archaeological sites in their historical, social, anthropological, economic, religious, and architectural contexts. Attention is given to issues relevant to classical archaeology today, including the looting of ancient sites, issues of cultural property, and ethics in archaeology. Students have the opportunity to learn and practice basic archaeological techniques, as well as to reflect on the significance of these techniques for understanding other peoples. The course will shift in its regional and historical foci, including an introduction to classical archaeology of the ancient Mediterranean world. Students thus gain an appreciation of the complexities of present-day archaeological research and both the benefits and limitations of the role of archaeology in creating our images of the past.
This course examines the history and architecture of the central institution of the Greco-Roman world, the city. The course focuses on the archaeological remains of cities throughout the ancient Mediterranean and addresses issues of the use of space in ancient town-planning and the political and ideological statements made by urban art and architecture. In addition to tracing historical changes in urban development, major topics of study include the city as an institution, the effect of urbanization on the lives of the inhabitants, and the interpretation of material remains.
Students examine the religions of ancient Greece and Rome and the ways in which these religious systems functioned within the context of their societies. 'Religion' meant something very different to the Greeks and Romans than it does to modern Americans: it penetrated daily life, politics and law in ways that can seem foreign to us. The course utilizes literary, archaeological and artistic evidence to understand religious practices from the time of the Greek city-states to the establishment of Christianity as the Roman state religion. Topics covered include Greek and Roman conceptions of divinity, temples and sanctuaries, rituals, personal or family religion, gender roles within ancient religion, and the existence of mystery cults. Students read both primary and secondary works to understand Greek and Roman religion as a system of 'things done' (ritual) and 'things said' (prayer, myth, etc.) and discuss the extent to which it is proper to add the phrase 'things believed.'
Students in this course explore ancient Greek and Roman ideas about race and ethnicity and reflect upon how that thinking remains influential today. Students investigate how categories of race and ethnicity are presented in the literature of the Ancient Mediterranean through reading such authors as Homer, Herodotus, Aristotle, Vergil, Caesar, and Tacitus and through examining visual evidence. They study concepts such as racial formation and origin; ancient theories of ethnic superiority; and linguistic, religious, and cultural differentiation as a basis for ethnic differentiation. They also examine ancient racism as seen in such social processes as colonization, migration, assimilation, and imperialism. Students have to consider the impact of a number of divergent factors on conceptions of race and ethnicity, including: power (who defines the categories?); source (do all authors treat these terms in the same way?); and context (in what ways do identities shift due to historical events and changing political or social contexts?).
This course examines sex, gender, and sexualities in ancient Greece and Rome. Building upon foundational readings in feminist and queer theory, this course examines critically both historical evidence for and representations of love, gender, sex, and sexuality in a wide range of ancient literary texts, as well as epigraphic, art historical, and archaeological sources. Through this combination of using both Greek and Roman primary sources and modern gender theory, this course aims to make sense of such topics as women's lives, marriage, prostitution, sexual violence, medicine, pederasty, sex manuals, and non-normative or "Other"-bodied (e.g. trans*) individuals.
This course examines classical, world, and contemporary myths, with a particular emphasis on the history of theories used to study myth. The course starts with Greco-Roman theories for analyzing classical myths, then analyzes in detail theories that have arisen since the end of the eighteenth century: comparative approaches, linguistics, psychology, structuralism, religion and ritual, class-, race-, and gender-based approaches. It is recommended that students have previously taken a course in myth or literary/gender theory (e.g., GLAM 210, ENGL 344, GNDR 201, etc.).
This course examines the ancient history of the future and the might-have-been--the role of Greco-Roman antiquity in modern science fiction and fantasy. This course begins with discussion about definitions, histories, and theories of 'science fiction' and 'fantasy,' with emphasis on their roots in and relations to ancient classics. Students then focus on representative modern texts in various media (e.g., short stories, novels, films, comics); such texts may include Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis, J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, episodes of Star Trek, the works of Ridley Scott, or J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels. Students focus on themes of perennial human significance (e.g., the uses of history, technology, fantastic voyages, metamorphosis, knowledge/wonder, etc.) and consider critical approaches that may help us understand more deeply the similarities and differences between classical and speculative thinking. To engage in this work, students will learn the basic concepts, tools, and research techniques of studies in the 'classical tradition' and 'classical reception,' a still-emergent but increasingly important field within the discipline of Classics.
This seminar involves an in-depth examination of selected topics in the classical world. A different topic may be selected each time the class is offered in accord with the interests of the students and the expertise of the faculty. Relevant theoretical approaches and current research are explored. Students are responsible for research papers and presentations under close supervision of the faculty.
This course provides the senior Classics major an opportunity to do independent research and to write a thesis on a topic in the ancient Mediterranean world. The student chooses the topic in consultation with a supervising instructor. Although the thesis is anchored in one discipline (e.g., history, art history, literature), the student is encouraged to take advantage of the multidisciplinary nature of the field.
Independent study is available to those students who wish to continue their learning in an area after completing the regularly offered courses in that area.
Independent study is available to those students who wish to continue their learning in an area after completing the regularly offered courses in that area.
This course is an introduction to the classical Greek of Athens in the fifth and fourth centuries BCE and is primarily designed to provide students a foundation for reading Greek tragedy, philosophy, and history in the original. Special emphasis is placed on the sound of Greek. Students also become familiar with some of the fundamental characteristics of Greek civilization.
This course is a continuation of 101. Students further their study of the basic grammar and vocabulary of classical Greek with the aim of reading Greek tragedy, philosophy, and history in the original. Special emphasis is placed on the sound of Greek. Students also become familiar with some of the fundamental characteristics of Greek civilization. Successful completion of this course and Greek 101 satisfies the university's foreign language requirement.
Students continue to develop Greek language skills at the intermediate level, with emphasis on reading ancient texts in either prose or poetry, as well as building a more sophisticated vocabulary and expanding their control of grammar. Greater emphasis is placed on cultural competency and understanding Greek society. Writing assignments emphasize close reading of a text to understand how ancient authors manipulated the language. The course sequence of Greek language instruction is Beginning Level (101-102), Intermediate Level (201), and Advanced (301). Students may repeat 301 for credit as often as they like.
Students read substantial selections from ancient authors. The majority of class time is spent on the study of the syntax, semantics, and stylistics of those readings in order to build students' speed and accuracy in reading Greek, and to facilitate appreciation of the texts. In addition, students become familiar with the cultural contexts of their readings through discussion, brief lectures, secondary readings, and student reports and papers. Reading selections vary: they may be centered on the production of a single author, or organized around a cultural theme, literary genre, or historical event.
This course is an introduction to classical Latin (particularly as spoken, written, and read in the first centuries BCE and CE) and provides students a foundation for reading Roman poetry, drama, oratory, and history in the original. Special emphasis is placed on the pronunciation of Latin. Students also become familiar with some of the fundamental characteristics of Roman civilization.
This course is a continuation of 101. Students further their study of the basic grammar and vocabulary of classical Latin with the aim of reading Roman poetry, drama, oratory, and history in the original. Special emphasis is placed on the pronunciation of Latin. Students also become familiar with some of the fundamental characteristics of Roman civilization. Successful completion of this course and Latin 101 satisfies the university's foreign language requirement.
Students continue to develop Latin language skills at the intermediate level, with emphasis on reading ancient texts in either prose or poetry, as well as building a more sophisticated vocabulary and expanding their control of grammar. Greater emphasis is placed on cultural competency and understanding Roman society. Writing assignments emphasize close reading of a text to understand how ancient authors manipulated the language. The course sequence of Latin language instruction is Beginning Level (101-102), Intermediate Level (201), and Advanced (301). Students may repeat 301 for credit as often as they like.
Students read substantial selections from ancient authors. The majority of class time is spent on the study of the syntax, semantics, and stylistics of those readings in order to build students' speed and accuracy in reading Latin, and to facilitate appreciation of the texts. In addition, students become familiar with the cultural contexts of their readings through discussion, brief lectures, secondary readings, and student reports and papers. Reading selections vary: they may be centered on the production of a single author, or organized around a cultural theme, literary genre, or historical event.