Classical Civilization

Fall 2018 Courses

CLAS 10100 01 (Cross-listed with HIST 10210 and CNST 10600)

Ancient Greece and Rome

Prof. T. Mazurek

MW 9:25-10:15, 3 credit hours

Fulfills History Requirement

Co-requisite:  CLAS 12100: Discussion section

This first-year course introduces the general history and culture of ancient Greece and Rome to students coming to the subject for the first time.  Literary texts central to the ancient Greek and Roman traditions receive prime attention, including works by Homer, Plato, Cicero and Virgil, but students are also exposed to the importance of learning from documentary texts, archeology, and art history.  Topics discussed include concepts of divinity and humanity, heroism and virtue, gender, democracy, empire, and civic identity, and how they changed in meaning over time.  The course allows students to develop a rich appreciation for the Greek and Roman roots of their own lives, and prepares them to study the Greco-Roman past at more advanced levels. Offered annually.

 

CLAS 12100 (Sections 1-3)

Discussion section for Ancient Greece and Rome

F 9:25-10:15, 0 credit hours

Co-requisite: CLAS 10100 or HIST 10210

A weekly discussion group required for those registered for CLAS 10100, Ancient Greece and Rome, or its cross-lists.

 

USEM 13186

University Seminar: Love Stories from the Ancient World

Prof. A. Tagliabue

TR 9:30-10:45, 3 credit hours
In our society everyone is exposed to love stories: most of us have watched Hollywood movies or TV series and read novels which focus a couple who share love and adventures, face threatening rivals and at the end reach a stable relationship. We like these stories because they are entertaining and give us a break from the busy rhythms of our life.
  The university seminar will explore the origin of these love stories, which goes far back to ancient Greek literature. By reading sections from Homer's Odyssey, two Greek tragedies (Aechylus' Agamemnon and Euripides' Helen), Aristophanes' speech in Plato's Symposium, and three ancient Greek novels, we will identify the key features of these narratives about love and adventures, and focus on the portrayal within them of different models of love, shifting from Odysseus and Penelope's conjugal fidelity to Helen and Clytemnestra's infidelity. We will also discover that in the ancient world love stories had both an entertaining and an educative function.

  Students will be encouraged to make connections to more recent love stories throughout, but the course will conclude with a unit that explicitly invites this: the last weeks of the seminar will be devoted to the reading of Manzoni's The Betrothed and the analysis of Hollywood movies and TV series focused on both love and adventure.

  This is a writing intensive seminar in which students will develop their critical writing skills through a combination of short discussion papers and longer essays, including the fascinating creative task of writing or performing a section of a love-story.

 

CLAS 10140 01 (Cross-listed with HIST 30240, MI 30603)

Barbarians, the Church and the Fall of Rome

Prof. R. Ford

MW 3:30-4:20, 3 credit hours

Fulfills History Requirement

Co-requisite: CLAS 12140: Discussion section

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?

 

CLAS 12140 (Sections 1-3)

Discussion section for Barbarians, the Church, and the Fall of Rome

F 10:30-11:20, 0 credit hours

Co-requisite: CLAS 10100 or HIST 10210

A weekly discussion group required for those registered for CLAS 10100, Ancient Greece and Rome, or its cross-lists.

 

CLAS 20105 01 (Cross-listed with HIST 30230, CNST 20603)

The History of Ancient Greece

Prof. C. Baron

MW 2:00-2:50, 3 credit hours

Fulfills History Requirement

An outline introduction to the history of ancient Greece from the Bronze Age to the Roman conquest. The topics covered include the rise of the distinctive Greek city-state (the polis), Greek relations with Persia, Greek experiments with democracy, oligarchy, and empire, the great war between Athens and Sparta, the rise to power of Philip and Alexander of Macedon, and the Greeks’ eventual submission to Rome. Readings include narrative, documentary, and archeological sources. The course prepares students for more detailed courses in ancient history. Offered biennially.

 

CLAS 22105 (Sections 1-2)

Discussion section for The History of Ancient Greece

F 2:00-2:50, 0 credit hours

Co-requisite: CLAS 20105, HIST 30230, or CNST 20603

A weekly discussion group required for those registered for CLAS 20105, The History of Ancient Greece, or its cross-lists.

 

CLAS 20365

The Art and Lit of Metamorphosis

Prof. M. Bloomer

TR 12:30-1:45, 3 credit hours

This course begins with a critical study of Ovid’s great poem, the Metamorphoses. The poem itself became a subject of metamorphosis in poetry and art in the hands of such figures as Statius, Dante, Botticelli, Bernini, Rembrandt, Hughes and Heaney. The course addresses the modeling of transformation within the literary text by examining first Ovid and his sources, and second, adaptations of his poem by writers such as Shakespeare and Kafka. Connections with folklore, magic, and religion are explored. The graphic arts receive equal consideration as the course explores how Ovid’s ideas of the transformation of the body, the capacity of the human body for allegory, and the fragility of identity have influenced later artists and authors.

 

CLAS 30220
The Romans and Their Gods

Prof. L. Grillo
MWF 12:50-1:40
“We have surpassed every people and nation in devotion, in respect for religious matters and in that peculiar wisdom which acknowledges that everything is ruled and guided by divine power.” Following Cicero’s bold claim, we will first focus on the Romans’ personal and public devotion (what did they believe? How did they worship?), on their respect for the divine (how did they conceive and communicate with the supernatural? Were they tolerant toward new and mystery religions?) and on their religious wisdom (how did they conceptualize their beliefs, individually and publicly?). Secondly, we will consider the rise of Christianity: how unique was Christianity? How was it shaped by being born in the Roman empire? How did Romans and Christians view each other in the ages of persecutions and apologists? Does ancient Rome add anything to the notion of Roman Catholic?

 

CLAS 30315 (Cross-listed with GS 30636)

Sex and Gender in Greco-Roman Antiquity

Prof. E. Mazurek

MW 9:30-10:45, 3 credit hours

This course examines the differing roles and stereotypes, forms of behavior, and values associated with women and men in Greco-Roman antiquity.  Special attention is given to the preoccupations of the Greeks and Romans with the categories of ‘female’ and ‘male’ and to the dynamics of relations and relationships between women and men.  The course both deepens knowledge of Greco-Roman society and provides an informed background for contemporary gender debates.

 

CLAS 30355/60355

Greek & Roman Epic Poetry

Prof. C. Schlegel

TR 2:00-3:15, 3 credit hours

This advanced course in literature provides detailed study of the major epic poems of the classical literary tradition—the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer, the Aeneid of Virgil, and the Metamorphoses of Ovid. Discussion centers on the cultural contexts in which the works were written or produced, and the literary conventions on which they rely for their ever-appealing aesthetic and emotional power.

 

ARHI 30120/60120

Greek Art and Architecture

Prof. R. Rhodes

MW 2:00-3:15, 3 credit hours

Fulfills Fine Arts Requirement

This course analyzes and traces the development of Greek architecture, painting and sculpture in the historical period, from the eighth through the second centuries BC, 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 towards the gods, human achievement, and the relationship between the divine and the human.

Spring 2018 Courses

CLAS 10022

Words of the Ancient Romans

Prof. K. Schlegel

MW 12:50-1:40, 3 credits

This course introduces students to the literary culture of ancient Rome, from the boisterous comedy of Plautus in the second century BCE to the Confessions of St. Augustine in the fourth century CE.  Along the way we will examine Cicero’s work as a defense lawyer and a politician, Vergil’s magisterial epic of foundation and loss in his Aeneid, erotic poetry of Catullus and Ovid, and the surreal worlds of the Roman novel.  Some history will accompany the works for context, but the course primarily asks students to explore some of the literary works of the world in which so many of our own institutions — from the church to the courts — took shape.  We will explore some of the ways that Roman literature describes and offers solutions to unchanging human dilemmas of the heart and mind.  

CLAS 12022: Words of the Ancient Romans Discussion Groups (Sections 1-4)

F 12:50-1:40, 0 credits

A weekly discussion group required for those registered for CLAS 10022, Words of the Ancient Romans.

 

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 20350

Ancient Heroes

Prof. A. Tagliabue

MW 11:30-12:20, 3 credits

Our contemporary world often prizes public fame and celebrity, whether it is earned by achievement, talent and distinction, or acquired through more notorious or media-driven means. More than two thousand years ago, extending outwards from a pocket of civilization in the Mediterranean, the ancient Greeks and Romans prized in a similar way success and glory, heroism and fame. Indeed many of its heroes, such as Achilles and Ulysses, are still remembered as heroes today. This seminar will explore the stories of some famous ancient Greek and Roman heroes, from Achilles to Aeneas, and compare these figures to heroes of our time, from the controversial Christopher Columbus to the heroic war objector Desmond Doss and the Olympic star-sprinter Usain Bolt. With the help of both literary and multimedial support, you will be able to feel the presence of these heroes in front of you, and you will be able to assess critically the value of their success along with its limits. Moreover, we will reflect upon the differences between our modern perceptions of heroes and those of the ancient Greeks. What does it say to us that the ancient Greek hero Achilles wants his friend’s concubine and is not willing to change his mind about this? What is the role of the community in the actions of ancient and modern heroes? Does the ancient heroes’ divine descent have any counterpart in the modern conception of heroes? If you would like to reflect more on ancient and modern notions of heroism, individuality, success and failure, in ways which can fill you with new ideals and ambitions, come along to this course for keen discussion and debate.

 

CLAS 22350

Ancient Heroism Discussion Group (Sections 1-4)

F 11:30-12:20, 0 credits

A weekly discussion group required for those registered for CLAS 20350, Ancient Heroism Discussion Group.

 

CLAS 20021 (Cross-list HIST)

Drinking and Drinking Culture

Prof. A. Pistone

TR 9:30-10:45, 3 credits

This course asks students to examine the role that drinking (both proper and improper drinking) plays in the ancient Greek world and use this to reflect on the modern world. Students will be encouraged to make connections to the modern world throughout, but the course will conclude with a unit that explicitly invites this. The course will lay the groundwork with an examination of the myths and worship of Dionysus, as the god of wine, and will then move into the literary and material evidence of what took place at symposia, including the games and poetry that were involved. Then we will move into literary depictions of symposia and contrast three very different accounts (Plato, Xenophon, and Lucian), beginning with Xenophon and then using him as a sort of baseline to look at Plato’s additions and Lucian’s parodic account. We will also compare these literary accounts to the image of symposia that lyric poetry, vase paintings, and other testimonia convey. Finally, we will conclude with a more explicit comparison of ancient and modern attitudes toward drinking (and the proper way to drink and be drunk).

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 30210 (cross-list HIST 30231; POLS 30702; CNST 30609; MI 30616)

Roman Law & Governance

Prof. T. Mazurek

MWF 2:00-2:50, 3 credits

An introduction to the nature and influence of Roman law, one of the most celebrated and distinctive elements of ancient Roman culture.  The course surveys the development of Roman civil and criminal law from the very early and enigmatic Twelve Tables to the very late and amazingly great Digest of Justinian.  Topics covered include legal procedures, the creation of law, and Roman jurisprudence, all of which are studied in the broad context of Roman government and administration.  The lasting effects of Roman law on modern legal systems are also considered.

 

CLAS 30216 (cross-list HIST 30241)

Roman Imperialism 200 BC-200 AD

Prof. R. Ford

MW 11:00-12:15, 3 credits

At its greatest extent, the Roman Empire stretched from Scotland in the north to Egypt in the south, from Spain in the west to beyond the Euphrates River in the east. Difficult to imagine in the present day, this vast territory was ruled by a single political and legal entity that imposed its norms upon a great diversity of peoples, languages, and cultures. How did a small Italian city-state come to rule the entire Mediterranean world and beyond? This is one of several questions the course will address. Others central questions include: What were the keys to Roman military success? Was imperialism a deliberate or accidental strategy? How did Romans perceive the frontiers and the peoples dwelling beyond them? In what ways did the Roman legacy condition colonialism in the modern world, and how has modern colonialism influenced modern perceptions of the Roman Empire? Over the course of the semester, students will read extensively in the primary sources (in translation) alongside current scholarly literature in order to address all of these questions and gain greater insight into the complexities of the Roman imperial experience.

CLAS 30341 (Cross-listed with MI 30604, 60604)

Public Speaking and the Early Christians: Teaching, Rhetoric and Preaching

Prof. G. Müller

MW 2:00-3:15, 3 credits

In this course, we will discuss the development of preaching in the Early Church. The genre of the sermon and the role of the preacher are among the most formative and enduring innovations of the ancient Church. Through them, the Christians transformed the ancient art of rhetoric, reused public space and reconsidered sacred buildings, reinvented education and created a focal point for their group identity.We will read early sermons and sermon-like texts, discuss the practical circumstances under which they were created and delivered (space, acoustics, light), consider the theory of preaching and the educational background of preachers, reimagine the audiences who listended to them, and encounter texts of great beauty and importance for the history and theology of the Early Church. The time of origin will range from the first to the seventh century. Texts will be read in English. You do not need to have any knowledge of Latin, Greek or theology.

 

CLAS 78599

Thesis Direction

Prof. C. Baron

Variable credits

For students doing thesis work for a research master’s degree.