Classics (CLASS)

CLASS Course Offerings

CLASS-205 Cleopatra: "The Not Humble Woman

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

In this course Cleopatra will be considered both as a political figure of importance in her own right and also as an enemy queen, representing a presumptuous challenge to the political hegemony and cultural values of the Romans. She may serve, therefore, as a lens through which one may view social and political tensions within Roman society over the nature of authority and empire. Readings include Vergil, Horace, Propertius, Lucan, Caesar, Sallust, Plutarch and the plays of Shakespeare and Shaw, where she is ambivalently portrayed as a woman who desires power or, contrariwise, as a romantic idealist who scorns temporal powers in fulfillment of private desires.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
B. Arnold
Notes: Taught in English.

CLASS-211 Ancient Greek and Roman Myth

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

We will accompany Odysseus on his return from Troy, retrieve the Golden Fleece with Jason, and race with Ovid through his witty -- and often troubling -- retelling of Greek myths from a Roman perspective. This course examinies how Greek and Roman authors and artists from very different periods used myth to explore questions about life, art and politics. Works may include: Homer, Odyssey; Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica; Ovid, Metamorphoses and Heroides; Greek tragedy, and ancient images representing myths.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
P. Debnar
Restrictions: This course is limited to First-year and Sophomore students.
Advisory: Juniors and seniors should contact the professor for permission.
Notes: Taught in English. Optional screenings of films related to ancient myth.

CLASS-212 Greek Tragedy, American Drama, and Film

Spring. Credits: 4

This course examines the critical influence of the three most important Athenian dramatists, Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, on the works of modern dramatists and filmmakers, including Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, Ridley Scott, Jules Dassin, Theodoros Angelopolous, and others. Attention is given to the different concepts of tragedy underlying the genre, such as the tragedy of self-knowledge and illusion, the tragedy of desire, the tragedy of sin and redemption, and tragedy as protest against social injustice.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
B. Arnold

CLASS-215 Classical Political Thought

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Through the works of such thinkers as Aeschylus, Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Seneca, and Pizan, this course explores the broad themes of ancient and medieval political thought. We will pay particular attention to the ways these writers characterized the relationship between the individual and community; the roles knowledge, reason, emotion, and rhetoric play in political life; the link between gender and citizenship; and the various forms political community can take.

Crosslisted as: POLIT-211
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
E. Markovits
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors

CLASS-225 Athenian Democracy and Its Foes

Spring. Credits: 4

Democracy first took root in Athens in the late sixth century BCE and flourished, with only brief interruptions, until the city came under the power of Macedon in the latter part of the fourth century BCE. This course will trace the development of Athenian democracy and examine such topics as citizenship; the role of women, the family, and non-citizens in Athens; the legal system; education; and public entertainment. It will also compare democratic Athens with Sparta, its antithesis in the classical period. Sources will include Herodotus, Thucydides, Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle, Demosthenes, and others.

Crosslisted as: HIST-225
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
P. Debnar

CLASS-226 Bread and Circuses: The Politics of Public Entertainment in Ancient Rome

Spring. Credits: 4

Bread and circuses (panem et circenses) was a catchphrase in the Roman empire that described the political strategy of controlling an unruly populace through free bread and public entertainment. Against a backdrop of Roman social and political institutions, this course focuses on the imperial ideology, aristocratic ethos, and cultural practices that underpinned this catchphrase, as well as questions concerning the careers of entertainers--gladiators, charioteers, and actors--who were at once celebrities and social outcasts; the rules of spectatorship at the games; the use of these games as a form of social control; and the logistics of feeding the city population.

Crosslisted as: HIST-226
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
G. Sumi

CLASS-227 Ancient Greece

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course will trace the emergence and expansion of Greek civilization in the Mediterranean between the Bronze Age and Alexander the Great. Among themes to be explored are political structures, trade, slavery, gender relations, and religion, as well as the contributions of ancient Greeks to literary genres (drama, rhetoric, historiography, philosophy) and to the visual arts. Throughout we will consider how the history of the ancient Greeks can speak to modern concerns. Sources will include works of ancient Greek literature and history (e.g., Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides, Aristophanes, Plutarch) as well as archaeological and epigraphic evidence.

Crosslisted as: HIST-227
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
P. Debnar

CLASS-228 Ancient Rome

Fall. Credits: 4

Ancient Rome and its empire can be viewed both as a measure of human achievement and a cautionary tale of the corrupting effects of unbridled power. This course covers the history of Ancient Rome from its mythologized beginnings (753 BCE) to the rise and spread of Christianity under the Emperor Constantine (312 CE). Topics include the creation and development of Rome's republican form of government as well as its eventual transition to monarchy, the causes and consequences of the acquisition of empire, the role of the army in administering the provinces and defending the frontiers, the image of emperor, the economy, and religion.

Crosslisted as: HIST-228
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
G. Sumi

CLASS-229 The Tyrant and Gladiator: Bad Roman Emperors from Caligula to Commodus

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Caligula was a god (or so he thought); Nero fiddled while Rome burned; Commodus dressed as a gladiator and fought man and beast in the arena.The history of the Roman empire is replete with scandalous stories about eccentric and even insane emperors whose reigns raise questions about the nature of the emperor's power and his role in administering the empire. In this course a close study of Roman imperial biography and historiography--the source of so many of these stories of bad emperors--will be weighed against documentary and archaeological evidence in order to reveal the dynamic between the emperor, his court, and his subjects that was fundamental to the political culture of imperial Rome.

Crosslisted as: HIST-229
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
G. Sumi

CLASS-231 The City of Athens from Theseus to Alaric

Fall. Credits: 4

A detailed survey of the principal surviving monuments and overall architectural development of the city of Athens from its origins in the Bronze Age to the end of the 4th century C. E. The archaeological evidence will be discussed against a broader cultural and historical background, with an emphasis on the specific people and events that helped to shape the city and the general social and political circumstances that gave the monuments meaning.

Crosslisted as: Art History 290TH
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
M. Landon

CLASS-295 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

The department
Instructor permission required.

CLASS-349 Socrates Against the Sophists

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

In a number of Plato's dialogues we find the character Socrates debating various sophists--itinerant teachers-for-hire whose views were often diametrically opposed to Socrates' own. This seminar is structured around a close, careful reading of three such dialogues: the Euthydemus, the Protagoras, and the Gorgias. These dialogues will offer a general introduction to Socratic philosophy, but we will also focus on a few issues in much greater detail. Chief among those special topics will be questions about the nature and value of moral knowledge, the possibility of moral education, and the efficacy of the Socratic method of inquiry.

Crosslisted as: PHIL-350SO
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
P. Debnar
Prereq: 8 credits in Philosophy or Classics (or in a combination of Philosophy and Classics).

CLASS-395 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 8

The department
Instructor permission required.

Related Courses

Art History
ARTH-216Empire: The Visual World of Ancient Rome4
ARTH-290APIssues in Art History: 'Ancient Painting and Mosaic'4
ARTH-290PMIssues in Art History: 'Pompeii'4
ARTH-290THIssues in Art History: 'The City of Athens from Theseus to Alaric'4
ARTH-310CASeminar in Ancient Art: 'The Lure of the Past: Collecting Antiquity'4
ARTH-310LMSeminar in Ancient Art: 'Love and Metamorphosis'4
ARTH-310RLSeminar in Ancient Art: 'Roman Luxury'4
CLASS-205Cleopatra: "The Not Humble Woman4
CLASS-211Ancient Greek and Roman Myth4
CLASS-212Greek Tragedy, American Drama, and Film4
CLASS-215Classical Political Thought4
CLASS-225Athenian Democracy and Its Foes4
CLASS-226Bread and Circuses: The Politics of Public Entertainment in Ancient Rome4
CLASS-227Ancient Greece4
CLASS-228Ancient Rome4
CLASS-229The Tyrant and Gladiator: Bad Roman Emperors from Caligula to Commodus4
CLASS-231The City of Athens from Theseus to Alaric4
CLASS-295Independent Study1-4
CLASS-349Socrates Against the Sophists4
CLASS-395Independent Study1-8
GREEK-101Elementary Greek: Homer's Iliad4
GREEK-102Elementary Greek: Homer's Iliad4
GREEK-222Classical Greek Prose and Poetry4
GREEK-250Intermediate Greek Tutorial2-4
GREEK-322Classical Greek Prose and Poetry4
GREEK-350Advanced Greek Tutorial2-4
HIST-225Athenian Democracy and Its Foes4
HIST-226Bread and Circuses: The Politics of Public Entertainment in Ancient Rome4
HIST-227Ancient Greece4
HIST-228Ancient Rome4
HIST-229The Tyrant and the Gladiator: Bad Roman Emperors from Caligula to Commodus4
LATIN-101Elementary Latin I4
LATIN-102Elementary Latin II4
LATIN-201Intermediate Latin I4
LATIN-207The Slender Muse4
LATIN-209Vergil: Aeneid4
LATIN-210Ovid: Metamorphoses4
LATIN-213Myth, Memory, and History: Writing the Past in the Roman Republic4
LATIN-250Intermediate Latin Tutorial2-4
LATIN-302Cicero and the Enemies of the Roman Republic4
LATIN-307The Slender Muse4
LATIN-309Vergil: Aeneid4
LATIN-310Ovid: Metamorphoses4
LATIN-312Roma Ludens: Comedy and Satire in Ancient Rome4
LATIN-313Myth, Memory, and History: Writing the Past in the Roman Republic4
LATIN-350Advanced Latin Tutorial2-4
PHIL-201Philosophical Foundations of Western Thought: The Greek Period4
PHIL-350SOTopics in Philosophy: 'Socrates Against the Sophists'4
POLIT-211Classical Political Thought4