Fall 2023 Courses

Classical Studies (Fall 2023)

CLSS 1010 Intro to Greek Art & Archaeology (Catherine Keesling)

This course offers both a chronological survey of ancient Greek material culture and an introduction to the methods of discovery and analysis employed by Classical (Greek and Roman) archaeologists. Most class meetings will focus on the major monuments, archaeological sites, art works, and other artifacts of the ancient Greek world from Bronze Age prehistory through to the Archaic (ca. 600-480 B.C.), Classical (ca. 480-323 B.C.), and Hellenistic (ca. 323-30 B.C.) periods. In addition to considering major sites such as Knossos, Mycenae, Athens, Delphi, and Olympia, we will trace the development of Greek architecture, sculpture, city planning, painting, and other art forms over time. We will also consider the nature of the archaeological evidence for the ancient Greeks and the relationship of Classical archaeology to other disciplines such as art history, history, and the classical languages. Midterm and final exams will be based upon slides seen in class and available through Powerpoint presentations; students will research and write two short papers.

CLSS 1035 Rise of Rome (Josiah Osgood)

This course offers a historical survey of the classical world, from the lifetime of Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) and the establishment of new kingdoms by his successors on to Rome’s liquidation of these kingdoms and establishment of a massive empire in western Europe. Particular topics of concern include comparisons between the rise of two superpowers, Macedon and Rome; the consequences of aggressive imperialism for the traditional city-state culture of the ancient Mediterranean, as well as the enduring significance of major social institutions and cultural practices (including the gymnasium, the drinking party, theatrical performance, public oratory, and religious cults); the writings of Cicero as a mirror for the Roman Republic. Class sessions will consist of lecture as well as discussions of major written sources (primary and secondary).

CLSS 1070 Intro to Mythology (Claire Catenaccio)

Myths are some of the longest-lasting and most powerful stories that humankind has created. They shape our understanding of transitions and crises: right and wrong, life and death, the natural and the supernatural. They are also playful, exuberant, and highly entertaining. This course introduces students to the myths of Greece and Rome, with comparative material drawn from other ancient texts. Throughout the course we will also think about the role of mythology today, and the way that we use stories to come to terms with ourselves and our world.

CLSS 2023 Roman Sexuality  (Charles McNelis)

Our understanding of any society is enhanced by an awareness of how it thinks about sexuality. The sexual act itself is often categorized in polar terms—such as “(un)natural” or “culturally constructed”—that reveal much about a society’s political, religious, and moral codes. Ancient Rome was no different. This course will examine ways in which ancient Roman society slotted sexual behavior into such categories, and/or used (or did not use) these extreme polarities as a way to formulate codes of social and sexual behavior. By the end of the course, students will have a clearer understanding of large dynamics of ancient Roman culture, and perhaps even of their own world. This course will involve explicit language and content. If such material will make you uncomfortable, this course will not be for you. On the other hand, this is an academic pursuit, and as such I expect that you will frame your discussions and papers in ways that reflect an appropriate level of scholarly discourse.

CLSS 2065 Alexander the Great  (TBA)

Alexander of Macedon lived an unbelievable life. He conquered from Greece all the way to India, forever changing the world as the Greeks knew it. Along the way he became the son of Zeus, and even a god. Who was Alexander? How did he view the world, and the world him? Together we will analyze the ancient narratives of Alexander’s life and afterlife, discerning as best we can his worldview, how others responded to and made sense of him, and how he shaped our institutions and imagination. Our reading includes: Arrian, Plutarch, Curtius, Hellenistic historiography, and the Alexander Romance.  

CLSS 2092 Before Machiavelli (Justin Haynes)

This course will explore the rich history of political treatises meant to instruct future rulers and statesmen from classical antiquity to the Renaissance. The genre, often known by its Latin name, specula principum (mirrors of princes), became especially popular in the late Middle Ages—not long before Machiavelli wrote what is probably the most famous instance of this genre. Authors read will include Cicero, Seneca, Dhuoda, John of Salisbury, Erasmus, and Machiavelli. The texts will be read in English translation, but since most were originally written in Latin, the course will also provide an overview of Latin literary history through the lens of a single genre.

Classics: Latin (Fall 2023)

CLSL 1011 Latin I  (TBA)

This is an intensive introduction to the Latin language. By the end of the year, students will have been introduced to all basic Latin morphology and syntax and will be able to read texts in the original with the aid of a dictionary. Unabridged selections from works by Julius Caesar and the poet Catullus are studied in the spring semester.

CLSL 1511 Intermediate Latin  (Josiah Osgood)

Intermediate Latin is intended for students who have successfully completed Latin II at Georgetown or have otherwise acquired the ability to read Latin texts in the original, with a good basic knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. While these same elements (vocabulary, morphology, syntax) will be constantly reviewed and constitute an essential part of home and class work, a new stress will be increasingly posed on matters related to literary genres, poetic diction, rhetoric, meter, etc. In fact, students will be introduced to handling Latin literature directly, and especially through the study of those very authors that represent the basis for virtually all grammatical notions and abstractions so far learned, i.e. Cicero and Virgil. Satisfies COL language requirement.

CLSL 2050 Horace: Odes and Epodes (Charles McNelis)

Horace (65 – 8 BC), the most versatile Roman poet, is perhaps most famous for his brilliant lyric poetry contained in his Odes. This course will focus upon the Odes (as well as some of the Epodes) in an effort to understand Horace’s construction of his lyric voice. In order to do so, we will examine, among other things, technical features of Horace’s diction and meter, as well as broader themes of politics, mythology and Roman culture. Students will gain a much deeper awareness of literary production and creativity in the ancient world, and will be able to discuss Latin and antiquity in general from a markedly different perspective.

CLSL 2083 Boethius (Justin Haynes)

This course will focus on Boethius’ most famous work, the Consolatio Philosophiae. Written in the early sixth century by a Roman senator facing execution, the Consolatio is a profound philosophical meditation on human nature that straddles the divide between classical antiquity and the Middle Ages. Its influence on later literature would be hard to overstate, and its authorial voice, calmly rational in the face of great adversity, has brought comfort to generations. Composed in alternating prose and poetry, the Consolatio has a multifaceted quality that encompasses many genres from autobiography to epic. The text will be read in the original Latin.

Classics: Ancient Greek (Fall 2023)

CLSG 1011 Ancient Greek I  (Claire Catenaccio)

Greek 001 is the first half of Georgetown’s year-long introduction to the Ancient Greek language, which is meant to instruct students to read Greek texts through an intensive study of morphology and syntax. During the course, students will be guided through the normative grammar of Attic Greek. By the end of the second semester, we will have completed all 20 units of Hansen and Quinn’s Greek: An Intensive Course as well as selections from the Attic orator Lysias. By the end of the year, after taking CLSG 001 and 002, students will have been introduced to all basic Greek syntax and grammar and will be able to read texts by Homer, Euripides, Plato and others in the original, with the aid of a dictionary.

CLSG 1511 Intermediate Ancient Greek  (TBA)

This course will consolidate students’ knowledge of Ancient Greek grammar and syntax, as well as introducing them to Attic literature through two of its most brilliant and influential authors, Plato and Euripides. This course is suitable for students who have taken two semesters of Ancient Greek at the college level, or have permission of the instructor. Satisfies COL language requirement.

CLSG 2078 Euripides  (Alexander Sens)

This class explores the plays of Euripides. Students will read two complete plays in Greek: Hippolytus, one of the earliest surviving tragedies; and Bacchae, one of the playwright’s final works. In addition, the class will read in Greek portions of the Euripides’ extant satyr play, Cyclops. The course will provide students an enhanced understanding of the Greek language as a whole and of the formal features of the plays (including meter, stylistic register, and dialect) in particular. Particular attention will be paid to Euripides’ representation of the divine world and to his engagement with other aspects of the Greek literary tradition.