Click here for tentative 2011-2012 academic year courses
The following is a list of courses that are typically offered in rotation. For current offerings in the department, click here.
100 Level Courses- Introductory courses intended to expose students to a major field (i.e. archeology, history, literature) of evidence. Greek and Roman Literature (CLSS 150 and 160) and Greek and Roman Archeology (CLSS 110 and 120) are typically offered in alternating years; the three history courses will be offered over a two year period; mythology (CLSS 170) will be every two years.
110. Intro to Greek Archaeology. This course examines the techniques and methods of Classical Archaeology as revealed through an examination of Greek material culture. Study and discussion focus on the major monuments and artifacts of the Greek World from Prehistory to the Hellenistic Age. Architecture, sculpture, fresco painting, and the 'minor arts' are examined at such sights as Knossos, Mycenae, Athens, Delphi, and Olympia. We consider the nature of this archaeological evidence, and the relationship of Classical Archaeology, to other disciplines such as Art History, History, and the Classical Languages.
120. Intro to Roman Archaeology. This course traces the rise of Roman art and architecture beginning with its early formation under Etruscan influence, continuing on to the urbanization of Rome and Italy in the era of the Republic. The course continues to follow the development of Roman art and architecture under the Imperial system, focusing on the monuments from the reigns of emperors such as Augustus, Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, and Constantine. Finally, the rise of Christianity and the breakdown of the Roman Empire is examined through it artistic and archaeological remains. Lecture and class discussion will center on how the art and monuments of Rome and the provinces reflect the culture that produced them and how they relate to the major historical, social and philosophical developments of the era. Topics will include the following: methods and techniques for artistic and architectural production and trade, the problem of cultural affiliation and ethnic identity, urbanization, archaeology of the economy, iconography of political power, the art of engineering, interactivity in art and architecture, art and the viewer, and the material experience of everyday life. This course satisfies the Humanities and Writing II requirement.
130. History of Ancient Greece. This course traces the political, cultural, and social history of ancient Greece from the end of the 'Dark Age' in the eighth century BC through the conquests of Alexander the Great in the 330s B.C. The course focuses upon the development of the religious, political, military and social institutions of Athens and Sparta, but we also consider more widespread phenomena such as colonization, and the interaction between the polities of ancient Greece and the broader eastern Mediterranean world. Reading assignments include selections from Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, and Aristotle, as well as secondary source material. Texts are supplemented by presentations of the archaeological evidence for Greek history.
140. History of the Roman Republic. A survey of the history of Rome, from its earliest days as an Iron Age village to its conquest of the Mediterranean and the century of civil war-accompanied by further foreign aannexation-that followed. Special attention is paid to Rome's interactions with other civilizations (e.g., Greeks, Etruscans, Phoenicians) and the creation of its own distinctive culture, seen in such unique forms as veristic portraiture, verse satire, and gladiatorial combat. Primary sources for the era, both literary and archeological, are examined throughout this course.
142. History of the Roman Empire. This course offers a survey of the Roman Empire, from Augustus to Constantine. It asks what held its many peoples together-from the British Isles and the Black Sea to the Atlas Mountains and the Euphrates-and what threatened to pull them apart. Students will study a wide range of sources, including coins, statues, tombs, and temples.
150. Intro to Greek Literature. This course will survey a range of ancient Greek literature from the archaic period down to the Roman period (c. 750 BC-400 AD). Authors such as Hesiod, Homer, Sappho, Pindar, Aeschylus, Euripides, Callimachus and Theocritus will be covered in detail in terms of their own significance as well as in light of the features that comprise various prose and poetic genres such as epic, hymns, tragedy, comedy, history, dialogues and pastoral. By analyzing these texts and their generic attributes, we will learn about formal aspects of literature that is common to so much western literature. A central theme of the course will be the profound importance of the Homeric poems (both the Iliad and Odyssey) as both works of art and culturally definitive poems. We will consider various Greek reactions to and interpretations of these poems and what those points reveal about the diverse regions and periods of the ancient Greek world.
160. Intro to Roman Literature. This course will survey a range of ancient Roman literature from the late republic and early empire. Genres to be read include epic, history,lyric, and novels, covering the works of authors such as Cicero, Livy, Horace, Virgil, Ovid, Apuleius and others. A central theme of the course will be the profound importance of Vergil's Aeneid as both a work of art and a culturally definitive poem. We will study the literary background to Vergil's epic and then consider various ancient reactions to and interpretations of it. In the process, we will pay attention to formal aspects of the works that are common to so much western literature.
170. Intro to Classical Mythology. The origins and significance of gods and heroes, the dominant patterns of Greek myth, and a survey of major contemporary approaches to mythology.
200 Level Courses- More specialized courses that are offered less regularly
210. Cities and Sanctuaries of the Eastern Mediterranean. This course surveys the evidence for the primary archaeological sites of the Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic Greek world. Attention is given to cities and sanctuaries located on the Greek mainland, the Asia minor coast, and in South Italy and Sicily. Developments in town planning and building programs are studied both architecturally and on a more theoretical level as responses to important Greek institutions such as colonization and democracy. Readings are drawn from literary descriptions of the sites, notably the account of the second century traveler Pausanias, and from published excavation reports.
212. The City of Athens. This course will survey the history and archaeology of the city of Athens from the Greek Bronze Age (ca. 3000-1200 B.C.) through the present day. Most class sessions will focus on the archaeological evidence for the "golden age" of Athens in the fifth century B.C. and the city's subsequent fate under Macedonian and Roman rule. Students will research individual topics concerned with Athens and will present the results of their research in a class presentation and a paper.
221. The Trojan War. In this course, we will read literature about the Trojan War, beginning with Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, selections of lyric poetry, and several tragedies; we will then consider how Roman authors, including Vergil, Ovid, and Seneca, adopted and adapted the myth to their own cultural and aesthetic purposes. We will consider such themes as heroism, love, betrayal, suffering, memory, identity that define this mythical war as we investigate the relationship between divinity and humanity, history and mythology, the authority and flexibility of myth, and why the Trojan War has been such a popular subject for so many artists and writers.
241. The Age of Augustus. In April 44 BC the eighteen-year-old Gaius Octavius landed in Italy and launched his take-over of the Roman world. Defeating first Caesar's assassins, then the son of Pompey the Great, and finally Antony and the Egyptian queen Cleopatra, he dismantled the old Republic, took on the new name 'Augustus,' and ruled forty years more with his equally remarkable wife Livia. This class explores in depth Augustus' rise to power and the ways in which Rome's first emperor used monumental works of art, architecture, portraits, coins, literature, religious ceremonies, law, and public inscriptions to express his political and social vision; it also examines how these sweeping changes were greeted by men and women in the city of Rome, Italy, and the provinces of the empire. Students will study a range of contemporary visual material and literature as well as two seminal works of modern scholarship, Syme's Roman Revolution and Zanker's Power of Images in the Age of Augustus.
261. Greek Tragedy. Students read the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the fifth century B. C. Athenian playwrights whose works represent the remarkable birth of a genre that has captured the Western imagination for 2500 years. We consider the plays within the context of the culture saw their first productions: Athenian democracy and empire. We also study the genre of tragedy itself, thinking about what we can learn from the extant plays themselves as well as from Aristotle, in the Poetics, and other theoreticians who have speculated on the origin and meaning of the tragic and the drama meant to enact it. Whatever is profound and provocative—and indeed, original—in Shakespeare, Schiller, O’Neill, or Wilson must be set against the foundation of tragedy: the Oresteia of Aeschylus; the Oedipus Tyrannus and Antigone of Sophocles; or the Medea and the Bacchae of Euripides. This is the course for students who want to know that foundation.
278. The Novel in Antiquity. In this course, we will read the Roman novels, Petronius' Satyricon and Apuleius' Metamorphoses, as well as the Greek romances, including those of Chariton, Heliodorus, and Longus, detailing the adventures of lovers as they encounter shipwrecks, pirates, robbers, abductions, and enslavement in their travels. We will consider such questions as the development of the genre, the novel's relationship to other kinds of literature, narrative conventions, representations of love, magic, religion, the imperial context of the novels. We will contextualize our investigations with readings of contemporary scholarship.
Advanced Seminars - At least one semester per year will be offered. Topics will very widely, depending upon instructor and even student interest.
300- and 400-level Classics Seminars are designed especially for advanced majors and minors, to foster in-depth study of special topics. Seminars are discussion based, and emphasize research, methodology, and critical analysis.
Recent topics include:
Power, Image, and Propaganda
Greeks and the East
Rome after Nero
Alexander the Great and his Successors
The Ancient Economy
001. Beginning Latin 1. An intensive introduction to the Latin language and the culture of the ancient Romans. Readings and composition exercises will focus on the acquisition of solid reading skills. At the same time, the study of Latin will enlarge students' English vocabulary and their understanding of the structures of their own language.
002. Beginning Latin 2.
109. Medieval Latin. For students with three semesters of college Latin or the equivalent. The course is an introduction to the Latin writings of the Middle Ages. Slected works from a variety of genres are read and discussed, with particular attention paid to the development of the Latin language of the post-Classical period. Spring.
101. Intermediate Latin. For students with the equivalent of one year of college Latin. The course is designed to prepare students to read Latin prose and verse with facility. Readings vary from year to year, but will generally include both poetry and prose. Past authors have included Cicero, Caesar, Vergil, Ovid, and Catullus. Fall.
109. Medieval Latin. In this intermediate class we will read broadly in the Medieval Latin tradition, ranging from around AD 300 to 1300 - a vibrant and exciting *thousand years* of postclassical Latin. This long tradition is rich with various forms of literature from across the peoples of western Europe, during the period in which "Europe" as a multi-national entity is just beginning to come into focus. We will be concentrating on a series of exemplary lyric poems, extending from the early Christian poets Ambrose and Prudentius to the high medieval masters Hugh Primas and Alan of Lille, as well as famous song collections such as the Carmina Burana. Our goals will be 1) to review and cement basic Latin morphology, vocabulary, and grammar; 2) to become acquainted with medieval poetry in its diverse genres, including hymns and saints' Lives, as well as eulogies, courtly love poetry, and drinking songs; 3) to grow in an appreciation for the unique lexicon and syntax of Medieval Latin; and 4) to develop an awareness of the value of medieval literature for the development of the Western tradition, including both its religious and secular arms. We will also read select scholarship on the medieval period, in an attempt to develop our critical reading skills. The course will be valuable to classicists, medievalists, and students of the Bible and Church history. It will provide a solid basis for advanced study in Medieval, Classical, and Renaissance Latin.
Advanced Latin Courses:
210. Roman Drama. A survey of drama at Rome, from its origins to the high empire. We will examine what sorts of theatrical entertainments the Romans staged, where and when they took place, who performed in them, and how they were scripted - and also how these scripts came to be viewed as 'literature.' Readings in Latin will include one comedy of Plautus (Menaechmi), one tragedy of Seneca (Phaedra), fragments of otherwise lost dramas, as well as other Greek and Latin plays in translation and selected modern studies. There will be special emphasis in the first part of the class on the peculiar features of Plautus' language, and throughout the semester on mastering the basic dramatic meters.
215. Lucretius. For advanced students of Latin only. Selections of the great philosophic epic are read in Latin, the remainder in English. This poem is studied both for its literary beauty and its missionary fervor.
231. Catullus. In this course we will read the poems of Catullus in their entirety. We will consider such issues as the social and literary context of the late Republic, the elegant and refined world of neoteric poetry, the Roman adaptation of Greek poetic forms, the representation of myth, love, invective; we will contextualize our investigations with readings from contemporary scholarship.
243. Petronius. In this course, we will read substantial portions of Petronius' Satyricon, which recounts the exploits of the lovers Encolpius and Giton. We will explore such issues as the novel's relationship to other literary forms, the representation of imperial extravagance and excess, the innovative prosimetric language; we will supplement our investigations with reading from contemporary scholarship.
245. Tacitus on Germany.
249. Ovid: Metamorphoses.
264. Roman Elegy. In this course we will explore Roman love elegy through a reading of select poems of Propertius, Tibullus, and Ovid. We will consider such issues as the development of the genre, conventions and innovations, the representation of love, gender, the Augustan context we will supplement our investigations with readings from contemporary scholarship.
265. Roman Satire. Satire was thought to be one genre of poetry that Rome did not borrow from the Greeks. How, then, did Roman poets use this genre to reflect upon their particular form of art and its relationship to other genres such as epic and drama? And what did the unique status of this genre mean in terms of Roman conceptions of literature and its place in Roman life? In order to address these kinds of questions, we will read copious selections from the satirical works of Horace and Juvenal, two of the genre's greatest practitioners; other authors such as Persius will be considered as well.
270. Apuleius. This course will study the novel Metamorphoses, aka The Golden Ass, written by Apuleius of Madaurus in the 2nd century AD. Written on the basis of a Greek novel, Apuleius's Latin version represents a milestone both in the tradition of ancient novel as a genre and specifically in the development of Latin prose artistry, as well as having been a model for later novelists. Far from employing the weighty prose of historians or the vehement style of orators, Apuleius entertains readers with funny puns and clever narrative twists while they read of the adventurous, scary, or magical episodes in the life of Lucius, a young man who, at some point, morphs into a donkey and has to endure multiple vicissitudes until a goddess finally gives him back his human form. Students will read large portions of the novel in Latin, and the remainder in English (from both the main story, and the secondary tales). While the skill to read Apuleius's brand of Latin will be a worthy achievment in itsself, special attention will also be paid to broader literary questions of genre, narratology, and style.
280. Augustine: Confessions
300. Advanced Latin Reading Courses
001. Ancient Greek I. This is an intensive introduction to the ancient Greek language. By the end of the year, students will have been introduced to all basic Attic Greek syntax and grammar and will be able to read texts in the original with the aid of a dictionary.
002. Ancient Greek II. A continuation of CLSG 001
101. Intermediate Ancient Greek.
Advanced Greek Courses
200. Homer. For advanced students of Greek only. Extensive selections from one of the epics are read in Greek and the remainder in English. The poem is studied in the light of contemporary criticism based on theories about nature and transmission of oral poetry.
222. Euripides. For advanced students of Greek only. One play of Euripides is read in Greek, others in English, against the background of the changing outlook and mores in fifth century Athens under the pressures of the Peloponnesian War. Fall.
280. Plato's Symposium.
286. Herodotus. For advanced students of Greek only. Selections from Herodotus' Hsitories will be read in Greek and the remaining in translation. Clss discussions will focus upon Herodotus' methods of writing history, which will be explored through secondary source readings.
310. Sophocles. For advanced students of Greek only. Students read two plays in Greek, focusing on the playwrights poetic language and meter. The literary and cultural significance of the plays is also discussed.
325. Hellenistic Poetry.