Fall 2013 Courses

Greek | Latin | Classical Culture


1001, MWF 12-110, Robin Mitchell-Boyask, Professor.

The beginning of the great adventure that is ancient Greek. Students learn the basics of Greek grammar and vocabulary, supplemented by brief readings from important Greek authors.

2001/3096/4002, TTh 1230-150, Alex Gottesman, Assistant Professor of Classics

We will spend most of the term on a close reading of Sophocles' Antigone, with particular attention paid to characterization, imagery, moral issues and the nature of Sophoclean choral odes.



01, MWF 1040-1150, David Ratzan, Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics

02, MWF 12-110, Karen Hersch, Associate Professor of Classics

The basic beginning of the Latin language. Students learn the basics of Latin grammar and vocabulary, with progressively more difficult passages of adapted Latin readings.

1002, MWF 1040-1150, Staff TBA

The continuation of the first year of the study of Latin language. Authentic Latin passages of increasing complexity are gradually introduced.

2001, MWF 11-1150, Jennifer Gerrish, Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics

This course introduces students to the basic conventions of Latin prose, with continuous readings accompanied by review of vocabulary and syntax. We will begin with a systematic grammar review alongside readings adapted from Latin authors; we will soon transition to "real," unadapted Latin prose, which will provide opportunities to discuss topics of literary and historical interest, as well.

Our focus this semester will be Livy's monumental history of Rome, De Urbe Condita (From the Founding of the City). We will read some of Livy's best-known passages in the original Latin, including his account of Aeneas, Romulus and the foundation of Rome, the rape of Lucretia and the expulsion of the kings, and Hannibal and the Second Punic War.

3096/4001, MWF 2-250, Jennifer Gerrish, Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics

Violence, riots, vendetta and murder: such was the climate in Rome of the mid-first century. We will explore this fascinating and troubled time by reading from one or more of the speeches of Cicero. These are masterpieces of oratory in their own right. While studying his rhetoric for its own sake and improving our skill in Latin grammar and comprehension we will also study the shift in Roman history which is generally known as the "Fall of the Roman Republic" from the perspective of someone who lived through it and participated in it, but did not survive it. We will read Cicero's Catilinarian Orations and his Philippics.

Classical Culture

Courses with texts read in English translation. No Greek and Latin needed!

0804.Race in Greece and Rome (Gen Ed Race). TTh 2-320 (1) 2-250 (2). Staff (01),David Ratzan, Visiting Assistant Professor (02).
An introduction to ancient thinking about race and ethnicity and to consider how ancient thinking remains current and influential today; how categories of race and ethnicity are presented in the literature and artistic works of Greece and Rome. Our case studies pay particular attention to such concepts as: notions of racial formation and racial origins; ancient theories of ethnic superiority; and linguistic, religious and cultural differentiation as a basis for ethnic differentiation. We will also examine ancient racism through the prism of a variety of social processes in antiquity: slavery, trade and colonization, migrations, imperialism, assimilation, native revolts, and genocide.

0811. Greek Theater and Society (Gen Ed Arts) MWF 9-950. Staff.
Through close readings of surviving texts, viewings of modern productions of ancient theatrical works, and classroom recreations of Greek performative media, we will examine and experience ancient Greek drama both as a product of its own historical period and as a living art form. Is this art just entertainment or does it engage and comment on the problems of Athens? How and why did this society invent theater in the Western world and why is ancient theater still powerful today?

0903. Honors The Art of Sacred Space. (01) MWF 10-1050 (Gen Ed Arts.) Karen Hersch, Associate Professor. (02) TTh 930-1050 Daniel Berman, Associate Professor of Classics
This course will investigate Greek and Roman interpretations of sacred spaces, the activities performed in them, and the works of art created to honor them, with a view to identifying, approaching and discussing aspects of the sacred. By learning about the Greek and Roman worlds, we will also begin to learn how to recognize and appreciate sacred spaces in the modern world and what these may represent and contain. Section 1will focus on Rome, while Section 2 focuses on Greece.

2101. The Greeks. TTh 11-1220. Alex Gottesman, Assistant Professor. This course explores who the ancient Greeks were, what they did, how they lived and what they believed. It focuses on both what we owe to the Greeks and how radically different they are from us. This is not a history of ancient Greece, but a journey through a series of interdisciplinary, connected units that explore different facets of ancient Greek civilization, from the Trojan War, to the ancient Olympics, to slavery, the family life and other topics, with evidence from Greek art, literature, history and philosophy. This course can serve the needs of students who seek a broad background in ancient Greek civilization and those who seek an introduction to this subject before pursuing more advanced work in Classics

3001. Classical Mythology (X-listed English 2014 and Religion 2000). TTh 930-1050. Robin Mitchell-Boyask, Professor.
An overview of the major myths and religions of Classical Greece and Rome, mainly through examining primary sources, both literary and visual, particularly focusing on heroes. We will also examine the nature and social function of mythology, studying a number of different ancient and modern theories, as well as the legacy of classical mythology in modern art and literature, including popular culture. Students will learn how mythic narratives and symbols function in Western culture.

3312. Ancient Roman Historians (X-listed History 3312). MWF 10-1050 (01)and 1-150 (02).
Jennifer Gerrish, Visiting Assistant Professor
. This course examines Rome's political and social history, from Romulus to Constantine; how Rome came to rule the Mediterranean world; also, its political transition from Republic (rule by Senate and elected magistrates) to Principate (rule by emperors), a period dominated by Pompey, Caesar and Augustus; the social, economic and political consequences of Rome's Mediterranean-wide hegemony. Students will read the works of Rome's own historians (e.g., Sallust, Livy and Tacitus) and biographers (Plutarch and Suetonius), learning how to use ancient evidence to formulate arguments about problems in Roman History.

3796 Ancient City: Rome. TTh 1230-150. Daniel Berman, Associate Professor
Rome was "The City," the capital of the world, at the height of its empire in the second century CE. But the city of seven hills grew from humble beginnings. This course begins with the earliest evidence for material culture in and around the city of Rome, and proceeds to examine how the Roman city -- its topography and the material objects and spaces associated with life in it, including art, architecture, and technology -- developed and changed as Roman influence expanded, Roman culture came into contact with neighboring cultures, and Roman rule came to dominate the Mediterranean basin. The course focuses on the city of Rome, but will also examine several other cities and sites, including Pompeii and Ostia. We shall attempt to understand the development of urban and extra-urban space in Rome, and how Roman material culture expressed and reflected cultural forces present in Rome and elsewhere in the Roman world, from Rome's early regal period to the reign of Constantine in the fourth century CE.