Classical Civilization

Fall 2017 Courses

CLAS 10140

Barbarians, the Church, and the Fall of Rome

Prof. R. Ford

MW 11:30 - 12:20, 3 credits

This course is an introduction to the Later Roman Empire and the period known as Late Antiquity. It will focus on the transformation of the Roman Empire between the third and sixth centuries A.D. and examine the major political, social, economic, and cultural developments that took place in this period. Central topics will include the political decline of the Roman Empire in the West; the rise of Christianity; the controversy over religious doctrines of the church; and the invasions, migrations, and kingdoms of barbarian peoples who would lay the foundations of Medieval Europe. The course will address the following questions: did the Roman Empire really fall or was it simply transformed? Is this a period of calamity or continuity? How did the church engage with the philosophical and political culture of Rome, and how did it change over this period? Who were the so-called barbarians and what role did they play in the collapse of the Roman imperial system in Western Europe? Must also register for CLAS 12140 co-requisite.


CLAS 12140 (Sections 1-4)

Barbarians, the Church, and the Fall of Rome Discussion sections

Christine Ascik, Cole McDowell, Thomas Hamilton, Cana Short

F 11:30 - 12:20, 0 credits

A weekly discussion section required for those registered for Barbarians, the Church, and the Fall of Rome. 


CLAS 13186 

Literature University Seminar

Prof. W. Bloomer, TR 9:30 - 10:45, 3 credits (Section 1)

Prof. E. Mazurek, TR 11:00 - 12:15, 3 credits (Section 2)

Fulfills University Literature Requirement

Introduces first-year students to the study of classical literature on a comparative basis, with readings from Greco-Roman and Egyptian literature. 


CLAS 20205 (Cross-list HIST 30230 and CNST 20603)

The History of Rome

Prof. D. Hernandez

MW 12:50 - 1:40, 3 credits

An outline introduction to the history of ancient Rome from Romulus to Constantine. The topics covered include the meteoric spread of Roman rule in the ancient Mediterranean, the brilliance of a republican form of government tragically swept away by destructive civil war, the rise of repressive autocracy under the Caesars, and the threats to empire in late antiquity posed inside by the rise of Christianity and outside by hostile invaders. Readings include narrative, documentary, and archaeological sources. The course prepares students for more detailed courses in ancient history. Offered biennially. 


CLAS 22205 (Sections 1 and 2)

The History of Rome Discussion sections

Ryan Walker, Kate Van de Loo

F 12:50 - 1:40, 0 credits

A weekly discussion group required for those registered for CLAS 20205, The History of Ancient Rome, or its cross-lists. 


CLAS 20300 

Film and the Ancient World

Prof. C. Schlegel

MW 3:30 - 4:45, 3 credits

This course examines how the literature and history of Greek and Roman antiquity are depicted in movies from the earliest days of the medium onwards, and how these films express social concerns contemporary with their making. Students will view films, study texts in translation from ancient Greece and Rome, and read secondary criticism on the subjects of ancient culture and modern representations. 


CLAS 30112 (Cross-list HIST 30223 and CNST 30600)

The Age of Alexander

Prof. C. Baron

TR 9:30 - 10:45, 3 credits

This course examines the military achievements of Alexander of Macedon (356-323B.C.) and their far-reaching political, social, cultural, and religious consequences. Topics covered include the Greek, Macedonian, Persian, and other cultural contexts of the time, Alexander's attitude toward divinity (including his own), his concept of empire, his generalship, and his legacy for Greco-Roman antiquity. Particular attention is devoted to representations of Alexander through the ages, beginning during his own lifetime with the accounts of ancient writers, historians and others, down to novels and films of the present day. Ancient authors and documents are read in translation. 


CLAS 30405 (Cross-list ARHI 30120 and ARCH 40211)

Greek Art and Architecture

Prof. R. Rhodes

TR 2:00 - 3:15, 3 credits

This course analyzes and traces the development of Greek architecture, painting, and sculpture in the historical period from the eighth through second century B.C., with some consideration of prehistoric Greek forebears of the Mycenaean Age. Particular emphasis is placed upon monumental art, its historical and cultural contexts, and how it reflects changing attitudes toward the gods, human achievement, and the relationship between the divine and the human. 


CLAS 30416 (Cross-list HIST 30234, ANTH 30017, ARHI 30131, and STV 30416)

Archaeology of Pompeii and Herculaneum: Daily Life in the Ancient Roman World 

Prof. D. Hernandez

MW 11:00 - 12:15, 3 credits

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79 buried two thriving Roman cities, Pompeii and Herculaneum, in a prison of volcanic stone. The rediscovery of the cities in modern times has revealed graphic scenes of the final days and an unparalleled glimpse of life in the ancient Roman world. The course examines the history of excavations and the material record. Topics to be discussed include public life (forum, temples, baths, inns, taverns), domestic life (homes, villas), entertainment (amphitheater), art (wall paintings, mosaics, sculpture), writings (ancient literary sources, epigraphy, graffiti), the afterlife (tombs), urban design, civil engineering, the economy, and themes related to Roman society (family, slavery, religion, government, traditions, diet). 


CLAS 50101

Honors' Thesis Workshop

Prof. C. Schlegel

T 5:05-6:20, 1 credit

The seminar meets once a week for an hour, and is required for students writing an honors' thesis in the Department of Classics. The purpose of the class is to provide structure for the process of writing a thesis in one semester and to be a supplement to the primary student-advisor relationship. Assignments are frequently due before the class meeting so as to discuss and edit individual work as a group; all the assignments are tasks aimed at completing the thesis in a competent and timely manner. Attendance and fulfillment of the assignments are required for honors in Classics. To enter the class in the fall students must have already met with their primary advisor during the previous spring term, have a bibliography of ten items, and have a one-page proposal for their thesis in hand that s/he has worked on over the summer. 


Spring 2017 Courses

CLAS 10200

Greek and Roman Mythology

Prof. T. Mazurek

MW 2:00 - 2:50, 3 credits

Fulfills University Literature Requirement

This first-year course introduces the mythologies of Greece and Rome–some of the foundational narratives of the Western literary and artistic tradition–and traces their transmission and influence over two and a half thousand years from ancient to modern times.  The course is particularly valuable as an initial course in the humanities because it pays special attention to such current interpretative theories as structuralism, psycho-analysis, feminism, and post-modernism that allow the many meanings of myths to be deciphered and understood. Offered annually.  Must also register for CLAS 12200 co-requisite.


CLAS 12200 (Sections 1-5)

Greek and Roman Mythology Discussion sections

F 2:00 - 2:50, 0 credits

A weekly discussion group required for those registered for CLAS 10200, Greek and Roman Mythology.


CLAS 13186 01

USEM: Ancient Emotions

Prof. B. Leyerle

TR 3:30 - 4:45, 3 credits

(Freshmen only)

Why do people react as they do? How can feelings be manipulated? And what is the role of emotion in life and literature? A desire to explore these questions will lead us in this seminar to read and discuss an assortment of ancient texts, ranging from the influential definitions of emotions penned by philosophers (especially Aristotle and the Stoics), to the “case studies” provided by classical drama and epic, to the various therapeutic strategies urged by early Christian preachers (especially John Chrysostom). Throughout the semester, we will bring modern studies of the emotions and current therapeutic approaches into dialogue with these ancient sources.


CLAS 20220

Nero’s Golden Age: the Power of Myth in Roman Imperial Ideology

Instructor: Elisabetta Drudi

TR 9:30 - 10:45, 3 credits

Fulfills University Literature Requirement

The purpose of this class will be to examine the relevance of the myth of the Golden Age in constructing and de-constructing Roman imperial ideology in the reign of Nero, from 54 to 68 CE. We will concentrate on passages from contemporary texts, such as Seneca’s Apocolocyntosis, De Clementia, and Moral Epistles, Calpurnius Siculus’ Eclogues, Petronius’ Satyricon and the pseudo-Senecan drama Octavia. These texts illustrate how the long-established Greek literary tradition of the Golden Age—a legendary time of bliss under the rule of the god Kronos when mankind lived in harmony, peace, and justice—came to center on the figure of the emperor in imperial Rome as the guarantor of a new blessed era.


CLAS 20400 (Cross-list ARHI 20100)

Introduction to the Art of Ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt and the Near East

Prof. R. Rhodes

MW 11:00 - 12:15, 3 credits

This course will examine the origins of western art and architecture, beginning with a brief look at the Bronze Age cultures of the Near East and Egypt, then focusing in detail on Greece and Rome, from the Minoan and Mycenaean world of the second millennium B.C.E to the rule of the Roman emperor Constantine in the fourth century C.E. Among the monuments to be considered are ziggurats, palaces, and the luxuriously furnished royal graves of Mesopotamia; the pyramids at Giza in Egypt and their funerary sculpture; the immense processional temple of Amon at Luxor; the Bronze Age palaces of Minos on Crete—the home of the monstrous Minotaur—and Agamemnon at Mycenae, with their colorful frescoes and processional approaches; the great funerary pots of early Athens and the subsequent traditions of Red and Black Figure vase painting; architectural and freestanding sculpture of the Archaic and Classical periods; the Periclean Acropolis in Athens, with its monumental gateway and shining centerpiece, the Parthenon; and finally, among the cultural riches of Rome, the painted houses and villas of Pompeii; the tradition of Republican and Imperial portraiture; the Imperial fora; the exquisitely carved Altar of Peace of Augustus; the Coliseum; and the Pantheon of the philhellene emperor Hadrian.


CLAS 30027 (Cross-list HIST 30213)

Sport and Society in the Ancient World

Prof. S. Oswald

TR 9:30 - 10:45, 3 credits

Fulfills History Requirement

In the modern world, sports and sport-like spectacles are a source of livelihood, entertainment, and social interaction for huge swathes of the global population. Fans and practitioners of physical feats of strength were likewise a major component of ancient Greco-Roman society, from the earliest Olympic Games at the dawn of Greek history to the gladiatorial contests and chariot races that characterized the most decadent phases of the Roman Empire. The purpose of this course is to provide an interdisciplinary examination of the origin and nature of sport and spectacle in the Classical world and to compare the role that athletics played in ancient society to the position it occupies in our own lives - from the point of view of athletes, spectators, and patrons alike. Topics covered will include: Near Eastern precursors to Greco-Roman sport; the development of Greek and Roman sport and spectacle through time, the Olympic Games; the role of religious thought in ancient sport; the position of the athlete within society; ancient and modern rewards for athletic valor; athletes in architecture, literature, and art; and the political appropriation of athletes and athletics. The course will focus mostly on formal athletic contests in ancient Greece and on athletic spectacles in ancient Rome, but general recreation and physical education will be considered as well.


CLAS 30211  (Cross-list HIST 30232,  POLS 30703)

Roman Criminal Law

Prof. T. Mazurek

MWF 9:25 - 10:15, 3 credits

Fulfills History Requirement

Perhaps our greatest inheritance from the ancient Romans is their law code and legal procedures.  Students will study the development of Roman criminal law from the 12 Tables to Justinian's Corpus Iuris Civilis, including the emergence of trials by jury and the persecution of Christians and heretics. While studying primary sources like Cicero’s speeches and laws etched in bronze tablets, students will explore the seedy side of Roman life. Topics for discussion include murder, sorcery, bribery, forgery, treason, extortion and sexual crimes.  Though not required, familiarity with Roman history and Latin is beneficial.  This course will complement, not duplicate, Roman Law and Governance (CLAS 30210). 


CLAS 30228 (Cross-list HIST 30024, LLEA 30228, ASIA 30228)

Perilous Frontiers of Rome and China

Prof. R. Ford

MW 2:00 - 3:15, 3 credits

Fulfills History Requirement

In the process of their formation and expansion, the empires of Rome and China came into contact with diverse societies along their borders, some of whom were able to be persuaded or forced to accept Roman or Chinese rule. Others, however, resisted the forces of imperial expansion, conquest, and assimilation. This course will concentrate on the latter group and the frontier zones along which peace and war were in constant vacillation. Rather than stark lines of demarcation, these zones were areas of frequent economic and cultural exchange along which political, social, and ethnic identities could be negotiated, transformed, and even created. This course will take a comparative approach to the study of imperial expansion and its strategies while also examining the effects of political and economic policies on the peoples inhabiting the periphery. While identifying their many shared attributes, it will attempt to isolate and characterize particular features of these two imperial experiences and their political ideologies. Moreover, it will examine the analogous processes of identity formation that occurred amongst the nomadic and sedentary peoples who surrounded the imperial frontiers and discuss the ways in which these peoples were not passive objects of Roman and Chinese imperialism but crucial participants in the historical trajectories of either empire.


CLAS 30417/60417 (Cross-list ANTH 30019, ARHI 30125, HIST 30239)

The Buried History of an Ancient City: ND’s Excavations at Butrint

Prof. D. Hernandez

MW 12:30 - 1:45, 3 credits

This course examines the archaeology of the ancient Greco-Roman city of Butrint (Buthrotum), an Ionian seaport situated uniquely between Greece and Italy. On the basis of current archaeological research sponsored by the University of Notre Dame, the course investigates the development of the city over 3,000 years, covering its origins as a Greek colonial trading post in the 8th century B.C., its founding as a Roman colony under Augustus in the late 1st century B.C., its Byzantine, Venetian, and Ottoman settlements, and its current status as the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the country of Albania. Students learn to analyze ancient artifacts and material remains, which range from buildings, inscriptions, coins, and statues to pottery, glass, bones, and seeds. The discussion includes the methods, results, and theory of archaeological research, particularly in the area of field excavation. The ancient city and its material remains are examined in the context of Mediterranean history. Major themes to be explored include ancient urbanism, colonization, acculturation, imperialism, government, the natural environment, architecture, religion, and ethnic identity.


CLAS 40410/60410 01 (Cross-list ARHI 40121)

Greek Architecture

Prof. R. Rhodes

MW 2:00 - 3:15, 3 credits

In this course the development of Greek monumental architecture, and the major problems that define it, will be traced from the 8th to the 2nd centuries B.C., from the late Geometric through the Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic periods.  Among themes to be related are the relationship between landscape and religious architecture; the humanization of temple divinities; the architectural expression of religious tradition and even specific history, architectural procession, and hieratic direction, emblem and narration in architectural sculpture, symbolism and allusion through architectural order, religious revival and archaism, and the breaking of architectural and religious canon.


CLAS 40450 (Cross-list ENGL 40144)

Classical Literature and its English Reception

Prof. C. Schlegel

TR 11:00 - 12:15, 3 credits

Fulfulls University Literature Requirement

Ancient Greek and Latin literature - history, epic, tragedy, novels, oratory - has a second life in English literature as it is reproduced, echoed, or recalled. Pairing important works in Greek and Roman literature (in translation) with works of English literature, this course will look at some of the ways that writers in English have used the traditions of western antiquity. Shakespeare uses Julius Caesar and Ovid, Milton reanimates Hesiod and Vergil, Alexander Pope and James Joyce share a Homeric inspiration but little else, and Victorian novelists plunder their classical educations to raise up and to tear down the social pretentions of their time. Students will study the ancient texts in their own right and will develop skills in interpreting the remarkable range of uses to which they are put by their modern translations, borrowings, and adaptations.