Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to sub-navigation

Classics

www.coloradocollege.edu/academics/dept/classics/ 

Professors CRAMER (chair), DOBSON; Assistant Professor THAKUR; Riley Scholar-in-Residence LEON

THE MAJOR — REQUIREMENTS:

Classics is the study of Greek and Latin languages, Greek and Roman material and intellectual culture, history, archaeology, linguistics, literature, mythology, and religion. Because the studies of these Mediterranean areas span East and West, as well as being rooted in at least 5,000 years of European history, they have profound influence on how we understand our own contemporary worlds. Classics and the classical tradition are of crucial importance in coming to understand the structures of our own minds and experiences, as well as helping us to think multiculturally in historically grounded ways. Because English and many other modern languages are historically dependent upon Greek and Latin, their mastery is crucial in helping us to use our own language with maximum effectiveness. 

Our program is an area study with connections to programs and departments of anthropology, art and archaeology, comparative literature, the performing arts, philosophy, political science, and religion. Its center is the study of languages and literature, available to students as a major with varying emphases and intensities.

A stringent major that might lead to graduate study in classics requires two years worth of work beyond the intermediate level in one language, preferably almost that much in the other, coverage of an extensive reading list and work (measured by the comprehensive examination) to establish historical, philosophical and art-historical framework for the literature. Other students will spend less time on the languages (perhaps concentrating on one of them) and emphasize one or more non-classics program areas. The department will provide formal or informal colloquia to bring together the studies of advanced students and faculty. Distinction in Classics will be awarded for the theses of an excellence beyond the mere grade of A.

All students majoring in classics will complete 7–14 units (including work at the 300 level or above in language) of courses in the department, pass comprehensive examinations including reading in at least one classical language, and present senior theses or the equivalent.

THE MINOR — REQUIREMENTS:

Students minoring in classics will complete:

  1. A two-block introductory sequence, normally chosen from our classics/history/First-Year Experience offerings;
  2. Two units of Greek and/or Latin language, including one unit at the intermediate level;
  3. One further unit at the 300 level or above, as a Capstone for the minor; and
  4. A paper or project, normally submitted in the Capstone course, which should draw on the student’s whole classical studies experience.

The department will provide formal or informal colloquia to bring together the studies of advanced students and faculty. Distinction in Classics will be awarded for the theses of an excellence beyond the mere grade of A.

Classics Courses

101 Greek for Beginners

Introduction to the structure and vocabulary of classical Greek, with attention to those features that form the classical basis of Biblical koine and for the classical side of Greek diglossia from Hellenistic times through the 20th century. Short texts from Homer to Kazantzakis and Cavafy provide practice in literary, philosophical and rhetorical reading and initiation in major areas of Western thought. Attention to the history of the language and its relation to ancient, medieval and modern culture. Meets the Critical Perspectives: The West in Time requirement.

2 units —

111 Latin for Beginners

Introduction to the structure of classical Latin; reading of short texts from Plautus to Milton and Newton to provide practice in literary and rhetorical reading and initiation in major areas of western thought. Attention to the history of the language and its relation to ancient, medieval and modern culture. Meets the Critical Perspectives: The West in Time requirement.

1 or 2 units —

114 Goddesses, Heroes, Sages and Statesmen: An Introduction to Greece and Rome

An introduction to ancient Greek and Roman cultures through readings of original sources and some study of the original languages. How human beings conceived the order of nature and culture and the sacred and secular in these periods constitutes the common inheritance of Western culture and predisposes views of self and individual in contemporary Western thought. Emphasis on how these cultures understood the destructive and creative powers of chaos and what forms of order they thought best for human beings. Block 1 will include selections from Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Hesiod's Theogony, the Presocratics, the ancient Greek dramatists Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes, the historians Herodotus and Thucydides, Aristotle's Poetics and Plato's Symposium and Phaedrus. Block 2 will include selections from the statesmen Cicero and Caesar, the historian Sallust and Livy, and lyric and epic poetry of Lucretius, Catullus, Vergil, Horace and Ovid. (Not offered 2013-14).

Prerequisite: First Year Experience Course, Freshmen Only.

1 to 2 units

116 Greek History and Philosophy: Origins of Western Culture

Aegean and Greek archaeological, historical, literary and philosophical texts, with emphasis on ideas formative of Western culture. The development and transformations of these ideas as reflected in selected texts from the early Christian era, the Enlightenment, and the Modern Age. We concentrate on concepts of what it means to be human, and the relation of individuals to community, nature, and the divine in such authors as Homer, Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripides, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Dante, Descartes, Goethe, Nietzsche, and Heidegger (Also listed as History 116 and Philosophy 116.) (Not offered 2013-14).

2 units

121 Intensive Latin Grammar Review and Reading Practice

Intensive Latin Grammar Review and Reading Practice. This course will use a morphological and syntactic approach to review and practice the essential structures and concepts of Latin grammar. It is intended to prepare students for courses at the 200 level.

.5 or 1 unit —

125 Ancient Multicultures

Survey of ancient history as an arena of cultural contact between different ethnic, religious and cultural communities. Emphasis on the Persian Empire as 'other' to Greeks and Jews, on Alexandria as a 'melting pot' or 'salad bowl,' and on the Greco-Roman society of later antiquity as locus of changing identities. Mixed and dialogical cultural forms such as History, New Comedy, Pastoral, Apocalypse, Romance, Acts, and Gospel. Reading selected from Herodotus, the Bible, Plautus, Theocritus, Polybius, Vergil, Caesar Augustus, Philo and Petronius.

Also listed as History 209.

1 unit —

141 Sanskrit

Starting with exercises for students with little or no experience in Sanskrit, a sequence of courses in basic reading and pronunciation skills (emphasizing Sanskrit's unique euphonic system), increasingly complex grammatical forms and structures, strong focus on in-class oral recitation from memory, vocabulary building, grammar and translation, culminating in independent translations of selected primary source material. (Not offered 2013-14).

.5 unit

142 Sanskrit

Starting with exercises for students with little or no experience in Sanskrit, a sequence of courses in basic reading and pronunciation skills (emphasizing Sanskrit's unique euphonic system), increasingly complex grammatical forms and structures, strong focus on in-class oral recitation from memory, vocabulary building, grammar and translation, culminating in independent translations of selected primary source material. (Not offered 2013-14).

Prerequisite: Classics 141.

.5 unit

143 Sanskrit

Starting with exercises for students with little or no experience in Sanskrit, a sequence of courses in basic reading and pronunciation skills (emphasizing Sanskrit's unique euphonic system), increasingly complex grammatical forms and structures, strong focus on in-class oral recitation from memory, vocabulary building, grammar and translation, culminating in independent translations of selected primary source material. (Not offered 2013-14).

.5 unit

144 Sanskrit

Starting with exercises for students with little or no experience in Sanskrit, a sequence of courses in basic reading and pronunciation skills (emphasizing Sanskrit's unique euphonic system), increasingly complex grammatical forms and structures, strong focus on in-class oral recitation from memory, vocabulary building, grammar and translation, culminating in independent translations of selected primary source material. (Not offered 2013-14).

Prerequisite: Classics 143.

.5 unit

201 Reading in Greek:

Introduction to Greek literature, including Homer and dramatic, philosophical or historical writing.

Prerequisite: Classics 101 or consent of instructor.

.5 or 1 unit —

202 Reading in Greek:

Introduction to Greek literature, including Homer and dramatic, philosophical or historical writing.

Prerequisite: Classics 101 or consent of instructor.

.5 unit —

209 Late Antiquity

Continuity and change from Roman antiquity to the Christian Middle Ages in the art and architecture of Mediterranean lands (200-600 A. D.). The 'decline' of Rome and the development of Christian imagery will be studied through art, archaeological sites, and texts-writings from the time as well as later historians.

Prerequisite: Art History 111, 112 or consent of instructor.

Also listed as Art History 209.

1 unit —

210 Greek Philosophy

Major writers and schools from the thousand year history of Greek philosophical research in the areas of nature, the gods, the mind, and ways of life: Ionian and Italian Pre-Socratics, Plato and the Academy, Aristotle, Pyrrho, the Cynics, the Stoa, Epicurus and Lucretius, and the revival in Late Antiquity of Pyrronian Scepticism and Platonism. Emphasis on close reading of the texts (including certain Greek terms) and on critical and comparative writing.

Also listed as Philosophy 101.

1 unit —

211 Reading in Latin:

Various ancient and medieval Latin works.

Prerequisite: Classics 111 or 2 yrs HS Latin. or consent of instructor.

.5 unit —

212 Reading in Latin:

Various ancient and medieval Latin works.

Prerequisite: Classics 211: 111 or 2yrs HS Latin. Classics 311: 212. Classics 411: 311,312. All are 'or consent of instructor'.

.5 unit —

216 Roman History I: The Ancient Roman Republic

Focus on the development of Rome, from a small city ruled by kings, to a regional power ruled under a Republic. The course will trace Rome's expansion through Italy, its conflict with Carthage and will closely examine the end of the Republic. Individuals discussed will include the Gracchi, generals Marius, Sulla, Pompey, Caesar, and Rome's greatest politician (and author) Cicero. (Also listed as History 216.) (Not offered 2013-14).

1 unit

218 Homer

The Iliad and Odyssey as oral traditional poems, preservers of Bronze Age and archaic lore, locus of the creation of classical Greek culture and predecessors of European epic; together with Hesiodic epic and Homeric hymns. Reading in English with attention to the formal Greek diction and the problems of translation, except that students who know Greek will read parts of the original text. (Not offered 2013-14).

1 unit

219 Greek Drama: Origins and Early Forms of Theater

A study of origins, early texts, performance practices and developing theatrical conventions in various cultures, with special emphasis on ancient Greek and Roman theatre.

Also listed as Comparative Literature 200 and Comparative Literature 352 and Theatre 220.

1 unit —

220 Myth & Meaning

Religion and myth of ancient Greece and Rome in relation to that of the ancient Mediterranean (Akkadian, Hittite, Sumerian, Egyptian). Female presence in art, literature and religion compared to treatment of women in their respective cultures. Theoretical approaches to the understanding of myth (Comparative, Jungian, Structuralist) in relation to myths as they are encoded in their specific cultures. Students may trace a myth through Medieval, Renaissance and modern transformations in art, music, poetry and film, or study myth in other cultures (e.g. Norse and Celtic). Meets the Critical Perspectives: Diverse Cultures and Critiques requirement. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement.

Also listed as Comparative Literature 200 and Feminist & Gender Studies 220.

1 unit —

221 The Invention of History

Herodotus, sometimes called the 'father of lies,' and Thucydides, sometimes called the first political scientist, treated as the first historians. Study of the ways of conceiving history and its relation to the peoples and periods explored. No Greek or Latin required.

Also listed as History 302.

1 unit —

222 Topics:

Courses vary from year to year, to include offerings in classical and comparative religion and mythology, history, language and literature, anthropology, archaeology and women's studies supplementary to those offered in the catalog. No Greek or Latin required.

Also listed as Comparative Literature 200 and Race and Ethnic Studies 200 and History 209.

1 unit —

223 Art of Greece & Rome

Minoan Crete and Mycenaean Greece. The development of Greek art from Geometric to Hellenistic with emphasis on the classical monuments of Athens. Etruscan art. Survey of Roman art from its origins to the late empire with emphasis on the imperial monuments and topography of Rome. Art of the mystery cults and early Christianity.

Also listed as Art History 207.

1 unit —

226 Roman History II: The Rise of the Ancient Roman Empire

Following a brief survey of prior Roman history, the course will examine the development of the Roman state in the late first century under the emperor Augustus. The course will proceed to consider the Empire's evolution and management under subsequent Julio-Claudian, Flavian, and Antonine dynasties. The city, its monuments, its art, its literature, bureaucracy and territorial expansion, the role of women, various social and minority groups, and the growth of Christianity will all be discussed. (Also listed as History 227.) (Not offered 2013-14).

1 unit

250 Athenian Democracy

Development of democratic institutions from Solon to Pericles, their operations in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE, the experiences of citizenship, legal equality, freedom, and love of country. Slavery, sexual inequality and imperialism as notable, perhaps essential features of the system. Reading from contemporary historians (Herodotus, Thucydides), theorists (Plato, Aristotle, the 'Old Oligarch'), dramatists (Aeschylus, Aristophanes), political orators (Lysias and Demosthenes) and later commentary from Plutarch to the present.

Also listed as History 213.

1 unit —

301 Advanced Reading in Greek:

Further exploration of ancient, medieval or modern Greek literature, done as independent reading.

Prerequisite: Classics 202 or consent of instructor.

.5 unit —

302 Advanced Reading in Greek:

Further exploration of ancient, medieval or modern Greek literature, done as independent reading.

Prerequisite: Classics 202 or consent of instructor.

.5 unit —

311 Advanced Reading in Latin:

Further exploration of ancient or medieval Latin literature.

Prerequisite: Classics 212 or consent of instructor.

.5 unit —

312 Advanced Reading in Latin:

Further exploration of ancient or medieval Latin literature.

Prerequisite: Classics 212.

.5 unit —

322 Advanced Topics:

Study for advanced students in the languages, arts, drama and literature.

1 unit —

401 Directed Readings in Greek:

Independent study of various authors and special topics.

Prerequisite: 301, 302.

.5 unit —

402 Directed Readings in Greek:

Independent study of various authors and special topics.

Prerequisite: 301, 302.

.5 unit —

411 Directed Readings in Latin:

Independent study of various authors and special topics.

Prerequisite: 311, 312 or consent of instructor.

.5 unit —

412 Directed Readings in Latin:

Independent study of various authors and special topics.

Prerequisite: 311, 312.

.5 unit —

431 Thesis

Thesis subjects chosen by student and approved by department. Senior Classics, Classics-History-Politics and Classics - English majors.

Prerequisite: Senior Majors Only.

1 unit —