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Classics

Applicable for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Classics Website

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

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.

Major Requirements

The Classics Major

Our program is an area study with connections to programs and departments of anthropology, art and archeology, 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: 

Click here to see the Major Requirement checklist.

Minor Requirements

Requirements of the Departmental Minor in Classics

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.

Click here to view the Minor Requirements checklist

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.

Courses

Classics

CL101 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 — Buxton

CL111 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.

2 units — Thakur

CL114 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 2016-17).

Prerequisite: First Year Experience Course, Freshmen Only.

1 to 2 units

CL115 Introduction to Classical Literature and Archaeology:

Introduction to Ancient Greek and Roman cultures through reading of original sources and an examination of material culture. Part One: literature from various genres (such as epic, dramatic, lyric and philosophical); modern ways of receiving and interpreting them. Part Two: art, architecture and topography of ancient Greece and Rome. This course will consider the long-standing influence these civilizations played in the development of later Western cultures, and will examine modern outcomes and parallels to the historical forms and movements, such as Athenian democracy as a precedent for American democracy, colonization in antiquity and European colonialism in the c. 16-19, and the Roman Empire as a precedent for the expansive American State of late c. 19 to the present. Meets the Critical Perspectives: The West in Time requirement.

1 unit — Thakur

CL116 Greek History and Philosophy: Self and Soul from Antiquity to Modernity

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.)

2 units — Dobson, Riker

CL121 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.

Prerequisite: Classics 111, placement above Classics 111 on department placement test or consent of department.

.5 unit — Henry

CL125 The Ancient Mediterranean

Survey of the civilizations that flourished in and around Mesopotamia, Egypt, Syria-Palestine, Greece and Italy from the time of the first cities (3000 BC) to the rise of Islam (seventh century AD). Beyond providing a historical overview, the course explores the surprising ways in which the various peoples of this area influenced one another culturally. We will also learn about the different types of evidence, both literary and archaeological, on which knowledge of the ancient world is based. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement.

1 unit — Buxton

CL200 Latin Language

Latin Language course taken on Mediterranean Semester Program. (Not offered 2016-17).

.75 to 1 unit

CL201 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 — Cramer

CL202 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 — Dobson

CL209 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.

1 unit — Kolarik

CL210 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.

1 unit — Daly

CL211 Reading in Latin:

Various ancient and medieval Latin works.

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

.5 or 1 unit — Cramer, Thakur

CL212 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 or 1 unit — Thakur

CL216 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 2016-17).

1 unit

CL218 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.

1 unit — Cramer

CL219 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.

1 unit — Hughes, Lindblade

CL220 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). May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement.

1 unit — Dobson

CL221 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.

1 unit — Cramer

CL222 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.

1 unit — Lee, Mason, Reaves

CL223 Art of Greece & Rome

Surveys the art and architecture of Greece and Rome from their origins in Bronze Age Greece to their transformation in the late Roman Empire using methods of art history and archaeology. Ancient Greek cities and sanctuaries with emphasis on Athens and the monuments of the Acropolis. The spread of Hellenism and the formation of an imperial visual language under Alexander the Great and his successors. The influence of Etruscan and Greek art in the Roman Republic. Imperial monuments of the city of Rome and throughout the empire as instruments of power. The class will consider political and social factors in the formation and utilization of Classical forms in both ancient and modern times. (Also listed as AH 207). (Not offered 2016-17).

1 unit

CL226 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.)

1 unit — Buxton

CL250 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.

1 unit

CL255 The Life of the Soul

Since the beginning of time, humans have been searching into the nature of the soul, its life and its meanings. Starting from the Greeks, this course seeks to discover how the concept of “soul” is understood, and how its life is conceived. We will explore the roots of these questions in ancient Greek epic, drama and philosophy, how these answers transform in medieval and renaissance literature, and how modernity offers strikingly new answers to them. (Not offered 2016-17).

1 unit

CL260 Gender and Sexuality in the Ancient World

An introductory survey of issues relating to gender and sexuality in Greece and Rome. The focus will be on the role of women in ancient society and their characterization in literature. Though our sources are dominated by male perspectives, the class will attempt a balanced and accurate picture of ancient society. The course will also place these literary depictions in the broader context of art, political and societal structure, religious belief and family relations. Authors examined will include Hesiod, Homer, Aristophanes, Virgil, the female poets Sappho and Sulpicia, Ovid, and many more. (Not offered 2016-17).

1 unit

CL275 Ancient Sports and Entertainment

The course considers the role sport and entertainment played in ancient society. We begin by examining athletics in the Greek world, specifically the Olympics and other major games. We will discuss the different types of events and then consider the evolving role athletics played in Greek education and society. We will then transition to the Roman world, examining gladiatorial games, chariot racing, the theatre, and the Olympics in the Roman period. We will trace the development of the status of athletes from amateurs to the professionalization of sport, and pause to consider the place of musicians and actors in Greek and Roman society. Throughout the course students will become familiar with the architecture of related venues and investigate the role of spectators. Students will continually be challenged to relate ancient athletics to the sports of today. Sources will include Homer, Pindar, Virgil, Ovid, Martial and various inscriptions.

1 unit — Thakur

CL299 Independent Study

Supervised readings or investigations in areas of interest to the students that are not covered in regular Classics Department offerings. Readings and/or investigations to be followed up with discussions and written reports. Must be approved by the Chair on behalf of the Department, in addition to the supervising professor.

Prerequisite: consent of department.

1 unit — Cramer

CL301 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 — Cramer

CL302 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 — Dobson

CL311 Advanced Reading in Latin:

Further exploration of ancient or medieval Latin literature.

Prerequisite: Classics 212 or consent of instructor.

.5 unit — Cramer, Thakur

CL312 Advanced Reading in Latin:

Further exploration of ancient or medieval Latin literature.

Prerequisite: Classics 212.

.5 unit — Thakur

CL322 Advanced Topics:

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

.5 to 1.5 units

CL401 Directed Readings in Greek:

Independent study of various authors and special topics.

Prerequisite: 301, 302.

.5 unit — Cramer

CL402 Directed Readings in Greek:

Independent study of various authors and special topics.

Prerequisite: 301, 302.

.5 unit — Dobson

CL411 Directed Readings in Latin:

Independent study of various authors and special topics.

Prerequisite: 311, 312 or consent of instructor.

.5 unit — Cramer, Thakur

CL412 Directed Readings in Latin:

Independent study of various authors and special topics.

Prerequisite: 311, 312.

.5 unit — Thakur

CL431 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 — Cramer, Thakur