Classical Civilization

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.

Fall 2016 Courses

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

Ancient Greece and Rome
Prof. T. Mazurek
3 credit hours
Fulfills History Requirement
Offered only in the fall semester
Co-requisite:  CLAS 22100: 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 1-5)

Discussion section for Ancient Greece and Rome
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

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

CLAS 30310 01 (Cross-listed with THEO 40126)

Christian Virtues/Ancient Passions
Prof. B. Leyerle

3 credit hours

How did people in the ancient world think about the passions?  Specifically, how did they regard the “positive” emotions of pity, love, joy, and gratitude? And what contribution did Christianity make to this understanding? In this course, we will explore ancient reflections upon these feelings (and, necessarily, their contrasting states of indignation, envy, jealousy, and hatred), by reading an assortment of texts from the ancient and early Christian world. These will include classical comedy and tragedy, poetry, novels, essays, and philosophical treatises, as well as apocryphal acts, homilies, biblical commentaries, and treatises. Assignments will include both creative and analytical papers as well as the requirement that all students stage a scene from ancient drama.

CLAS 30315 (Cross-listed with GS 30636)

Sex and Gender in Greco-Roman Antiquity
Prof. E. Mazurek

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 30405/60405 (Cross-listed with ARHI 30120/60120)

Greek Art and Architecture
Prof. R. Rhodes

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.

CLAS 40406 (Cross-listed with ARHI 40150, ANTH 40406)

Topography of Rome
Prof. D. Hernandez

3 credit hours

The course examines in detail the buildings and monuments of ancient Rome from the Archaic Period to the beginning of Late Antiquity (8th century B.C. to 4th century A.D.). The primary aim of the course is to consider the problems related to the identification, reconstruction, chronology, and scholarly interpretation(s) of Rome’s ancient structures. Students will investigate the history of excavations in Rome, analyze ancient literary sources, evaluate ancient art and architecture, and examine epigraphic, numismatic, and other material evidence related to Rome’s ancient physical makeup. This close examination of the city of ancient Rome in its historical context also explores how urban organization, civic infrastructure, public monuments, and domestic buildings reflect the social, political, and religious outlook of Roman society.