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.
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 classical antiquity and the light they cast on ancient conceptions of men and women, civilization, nature, and the divine. The embodiment of myths in ancient literature and art is the central focus of the course, as is the role of myth in Greek and Roman religious ritual and belief. The course also takes note of the subsequent life of Greek myths in Roman, medieval, Renaissance and modern literature, art, and society and examines some of the principal 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 Classics 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.
This course is a true survey--a dizzying whirl through first Greek, then Roman writings. A central and unifying concern is how the various works students read in part react to the earlier Homeric material as well as how they expand and/or contradict Homeric notions of heroism, right action, knowledge, poetic ambition, the roles of gods, women, and slaves, authority, justice, et cetera. Texts from the time of Homer to the late Roman Empire are studied with an eye to how they echo and reshape the world of ideas within Homer's Iliad to speak to their own time period.
The course will study the growth and development of the ancient Near East with particular focus on the two great cultural empires, Mesopotamia and Egypt, as the foundations of the ancient Mediterranean civilizations. The ancient Near East produced the oldest written texts in the world, and these provide a window into the ways of life, rituals, beliefs, hopes and fears of people living 2,500 to 5,000 years ago. Students will use these texts to explore some of the most fundamental transformations in human history: the emergence of cities, the invention of the state, the creation and destruction of empires, and, overlooking it all, the gods who brought hope and terror to the inhabitants of the ancient Near East.
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. The class discusses the structural features of Old Comedy (such as the chorus and the parabasis), the canonical definitions of Old, Middle, and New comedy, as well as the revolution of style and taste that differentiates Menander from Aristophanes. In the mythic world of tragedy, mortal trespass results in tragic consequences. In comedy, on the other hand, the mortal realm ' flawed, confused, and rudely physical ' arrives at the curtain both victorious and fecund. 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 in front of their classmates.
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.
The Middle Ages tend to conjure up notions of castles and knights, ladies in pointy hats, and Monty Python-esque peasants in our minds. In reality, however, there was an incredible richness and diversity beyond this to be found on the edges of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas in the Medieval period, roughly 300-1400 CE. The places where cultures mingled acted as areas of intense creativity and vibrant artistic production, encapsulating shared and divergent experience in a variety of media, from frescoes and tapestries, to pottery, clothing, and sculpture. This course introduces students to these frontier cultures and explores the ways in which they interacted with each other through visual culture, changing not only themselves but areas much further afield through the negotiated language of creative production. Using the methodologies of Archaeology, History, and Art History, the course critically analyzes the beliefs, customs, and contexts behind Global Medieval visual culture, with an eye towards the ways in which these tools provide the means for understanding and appreciating the diversity and richness of contemporary frontiers.
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 explores the period encompassing the disintegration of the Republic and the emergence of autocracy in the Roman world (133 BCE ' 14 CE). Students study some of the most powerful personalities of Roman history (Sulla, Caesar, Cicero, Antony, Augustus) and some of its most tumultuous events (civil war, rebellion, riot, reigns of terror, and assassination). Students not only acquire a solid understanding and knowledge of the narrative of the period but also become familiar with its basic controversies, including the relative importance of both individuals and groups in the breakdown of the Republic and the problem of consolidation and institutionalization of autocracy.
This course explores the world of Late Antiquity and the problem of the "fall" of the Roman Empire. Students encounter a variety of perspectives on this period, but examine in some detail the impact of Christianity on the Empire, the Germanic invasions into the Western Empire in the fourth and fifth centuries, and the place of "moral decadence" in theories about the fall of the Empire.
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 Rom 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. transgendered) individuals.
This course examines classical, world, and contemporary mythologies, with a particular emphasis on the history of theories used to study mythology. 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., CLSC 210, ENGL 344, GNDR 201, etc.).
This course takes a large-scale approach to the archaeological remains of empires and states in the Mediterranean and Near East in the first millennium BCE. In this course, students will learn, through studying material remains of various states and empires, how to (1) outline and investigate the diverse configurations, enactments, and experiences of power in human history, and (2) situate the development of the Greek city-states and the Roman Empire within larger Mediterranean and Near Eastern imperial systems. Cultural groups to be considered include the Greeks and Romans as well as the Assyrians, Babylonians, Lydians, Phrygians, Persians, Egyptians, Israelites, Etruscans, and Phoenicians. Sources to be examined include the development and layout of cities as they relate to social stratification and power structures, funerary monuments, art and symbolism and their intersections with ideologies of power, the materiality of violence and resistance, and primary written sources in translation. As well, various theoretical approaches to imperialism, colonialism, identity, and resistance will be considered and evaluated. Overall, students will practice analyzing and evaluating both primary and secondary sources for the purposes of understanding state and empire formation in the ancient world.
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.
Between 300 CE and 1000 CE the Eastern Mediterranean and Near East changed dramatically. The Roman Empire converted to Christianity and what it meant to be Roman shifted. The ancient world was swept away and new ways of thinking and doing things took root; in the deserts of Arabia a new religion was born and a challenge was issued to the descendants of Rome and Persia. This world is still very much with us. Cathedrals glitter with the icons of martyrs, the call to prayer echoes from minarets in Baghdad, Damascus, and in Seattle; through it all the Torah is held aloft in temples and synagogues the world over. Combatants in seemingly eternal regional conflicts trace their identities and grievances to events in this period. This course examines the critical transition from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages, from the founding of Constantinople to the birth and maturation of Islam, through its art and archaeology. Through critical analysis of primary sources, both material and textual, and secondary scholarship, students will come to understand how the groundwork for much of our current world was laid, and gain the tools to assess the movements that continue to structure our future.
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. Does not count toward fulfillment of Communication II, Option B core requirement.
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. Does not count toward fulfillment of Communication II, Option B core requirement.