Classics



Associate Professor:  Adler; Assistant Professor:  Myers; Assistant Professor in Arabic:  Athamneh; Visiting Assistant Professor:  Papathanasopoulou; Associate Professor Phillips, chair

Associated Faculty in Medieval Studies:

Professor:  Paxton (History); Associate Professor:  Alchermes (Art History and Architectural Studies); Assistant Professor:  Ferhatovic (English)

The Major in Classics

Classics majors must select one of the following three concentrations:

Classical Languages:  Students must complete a total of nine courses in Greek, in Latin, or in a combination of both languages, at least two of which must be at the advanced level.  Students may, in consultation with the department, substitute two classics courses taught in English.

Classical Studies:  Students must complete eleven courses from the following set of requirements, six of which must be at the 200 level or higher:

  1. Classics 101 and 102.
  2. Either Classics 104 or Art History 101.
  3. Two 200-level courses in classics.  In place of one of these courses, students may substitute a freshman seminar taught by a faculty member in classics.
  4. Four courses in Greek, in Latin, or in a combination of both languages.
  5. Two 300-level courses in classics.  Students may also satisfy this requirement by completing Classics 497-498.

Classical and Medieval Studies:  Students must complete eleven courses from the following set of requirements, six of which must be at the 200 level or higher:

  1. One course in Arabic, Greek, or Latin at the intermediate or advanced level.
  2. Four of the following:  Art History 101; Classics 101, 102; History 231; Religious Studies 158.
  3. Four of the following:  Art History 207, 211, 220, 221, 310; Classics 230, 314; Government 211; Hispanic Studies 301; History 232, 249; Music 247; Philosophy 241; Religious Studies  203, 207; Slavic Studies 220 (formerly 248).
  4. One of the following:  Art History 411, 412, 413; English 330A, 330B, 333; Italian 302; Medieval Studies 493L/494L; Religious Studies 493L/494L.  In addition, students must complete either a second course from the preceding list or one of the following:  Medieval Studies 491, 492; Classics 497-498.

Advisers:  T. Myers (Classical Languages and Classical Studies); J. Alchermes, F. Paxton (Classical and Medieval Studies)

The Minor in Classics

Classics minors must select one of the following four concentrations:

Latin:  Students must complete five courses in Latin, including either Latin 301 or 302.

Greek:  Students must complete five courses in Greek, including either Greek 301 or 302.

Classical Studies:  Students must complete the following requirements:

  1. Two of the following:  Classics 101, 102, 104.
  2. Two 200-level courses in classics.
  3. One 300-level course in classics.

Classical and Medieval Studies:  Students must complete the following requirements:

  1. Classics 102.
  2. One of the following:  Art History 220, 221; Slavic Studies 220 (formerly 248).
  3. History 231 and 232.
  4. One of the following:  Art History 413; English 330A, 330B, 333; Italian 302; Religious Studies 203; Medieval Studies 491, 492.

Learning Goals in the Classics Major

The discipline of Classics comprises the study of Greek and Roman antiquity.  It is an inherently interdisciplinary program which disposes students to look for connections which can link disparate areas of human experience.

Students majoring in Classics gain insight into the foundations of the modern Western world.  They come to understand the achievements of Greek and Roman antiquity and how they illuminate many ideas and aspects of the contemporary world.  Students will gain experience and insight in all the fields which constitute and support Classics.  These include the study of Latin and Greek, ancient art and architecture, literary criticism, philosophy and the physical remains of antiquity (archeology).  In addition to courses in Latin and Greek which provide the foundation of English and modern Romance languages, students will find available to them a broad spectrum of traditional Classics courses in translation, including Greek and Roman civilization, epic, tragedy, Greek philosophy, and Roman political history.

To the extent that it is practical, students majoring in Classics will encounter a variety of theories both traditional and modern that apply to Classics.  They will thus learn how different interpretative frameworks can be applied to the constituents of a discipline.  These theories may include feminism, structuralism, deconstruction, post-colonial theory, eurocentricity (e.g. orientalism), and occidentalism (the prejudice that inverts the errors of orientalism), Marxism, Freudianism, multiculturalism, nationalism, and transnationalism.  Importantly, students will develop a critical spirit and a suspicion of ideology.

Students will understand the Classical world as part of a community of ancient cultures (e.g. Egypt, Israel, Persia, Phoenicia, the various Mesopotamian Empires, etc.).  They will learn the vital role that Classics played in the foundation of subsequent civilizations such as Christian Europe, Byzantium, and Islam, and through them the modern world.  They will attain a sense Classics' role had in the foundation of the liberal arts, which were originally the ancient educational groups the Trivium (Grammar, Rhetoric/Literature, and Logic), and the Quadrivium (Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, and Astronomy).  The students should understand that Classics is common ground on which most disciplines can meet in disciplinary cross-fertilization.

One of the most important goals of Classics is to teach students to think, read, and write critically and clearly.  Classics faculty do this by the example of their professional practice; by the encouragement of logical rigor, intellectual honesty, and fairness in the student.  A notable goal is to develop skills in close reading, both of primary texts and secondary scholarship.  Students learn how to analyze in detail, and how to describe the results of analysis in interpretative and research essays.  This ability enables Classics students to work in numerous professions.  Our graduates have gone into such fields as education, museum work, law, government, medicine, business and religious ministry.  There are many other fields which would benefit from students trained in Classics.

Courses

In Greek

GREEK  101  ELEMENTARY GREEK I  

The first semester of a two-semester sequence course introducing students to the fundamentals of the ancient Greek language.  While tackling progressively more challenging puzzles of grammar, students will learn Greek using sentences taken from some of the earliest surviving scientific, historical, literary, and religious texts in the West, including Euclid, Homer, Plato, and the New Testament. 

            Open only to students with fewer than two years of Greek at entrance.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  T. Myers

GREEK  102  ELEMENTARY GREEK II  

The second semester of a two-semester sequence course introducing students to the fundamentals of the ancient Greek language. While tackling progressively more challenging puzzles of grammar, students will learn Greek using sentences taken from some of the earliest surviving scientific, historical, literary, and religious texts in the West, including Euclid, Homer, Plato, and the New Testament. 

            Prerequisite:  Greek 101 or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  T. Myers

READINGS IN GREEK AUTHORS  Students may only receive credit for two of the following courses at the 200 level.  Students may not receive credit for the same topic at different levels.

First semester:

GREEK  211/311  PLATO AND ATTIC PROSE  Students will expand their facility with ancient Greek by reading and discussing selections from Plato’s dialogues, focusing on Plato's ideas about poetry, love, and the divine.  Readings may include passages from Ion, Euthyphro, Symposium, Phaedrus, and the Republic, including the Allegory of the Cave.

               Prerequisite for 211:  Greek 102 or two years of Greek at entrance.

               Prerequisite for 311:  Three years of Greek at entrance; or any 200-level Greek course; or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  Staff

GREEK  212/312  XENOPHON AND ATTIC PROSE  An introduction to Attic Greek prose through the translation of Xenophon’s Anabasis.

               Prerequisite for 212:  Greek 102 or two years of Greek at entrance.

               Prerequisite for 312:  Three years of Greek at entrance; or any 200-level Greek course; or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  E. Papathanasopoulou

Second semester:

GREEK  221/321  HOMER, HESIOD, AND THE HOMERIC HYMNS  Students will acquire proficiency in the Homeric dialect of ancient Greek while reading and discussing the oldest and most influential poetry in the Western canon.  Selections will be chosen from the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer, Hesiod's creation poem Theogony, and the Homeric Hymns

               Prerequisite for 221:  Greek 101 and 102, or the equivalent. 

               Prerequisite for 321:  Two semesters of Greek at the 200 level, or the equivalent.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  T. Myers

GREEK  222/322  EURIPIDES  An introduction to Athenian tragedy through selections from the plays of Euripides.

               Prerequisite for 222:  Greek 211 or 212, or permission of the instructor.

               Prerequisite for 322:  Three years of Greek at entrance; or any 200-level Greek course; or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  T. Myers

GREEK  391, 392  INDIVIDUAL STUDY  Advanced study on a subject to be chosen by the student in consultation with the department.

In Latin

LATIN  101  ELEMENTARY LATIN I   The first semester of a year-long sequence introducing the fundamentals of the Latin language with readings from the Roman authors.  Emphasis on developing a facility in reading classical Latin.

            Open only to students with fewer than two years of Latin at entrance.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  E. Papathanasopoulou

 LATIN  102  ELEMENTARY LATIN II  The second semester of a year-long sequence introducing the fundamentals of the Latin language with readings from the Roman authors.  Emphasis on developing a facility in reading classical Latin.

            Prerequisite:  Latin 101 or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  E. Papathanasopoulou

LATIN  201  INTERMEDIATE LATIN:  CATULLUS AND CICERO  A review of Latin grammar and syntax providing a transition from learning grammar to reading works of Catullus and Cicero.

               Prerequisite:  Latin 102; or two years of Latin at entrance; or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  Staff

READINGS IN LATIN AUTHORS  Students may only receive credit for one of the following courses at the 200 level.  Students may not receive credit for the same topic at different levels.

               Prerequisite for 200-level courses:  Latin 201 or permission of the instructor.

               Prerequisite for 300-level courses:  One of the following:  Latin 221, 222, 223, or 224; or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  Staff

First semester:

LATIN  311  HORACE AND OVID

LATIN  312  LIVY AND OVID

LATIN  313  PETRONIUS AND APULEIUS

Second semester:

LATIN  221/321  VERGIL  A study of Roman epic through selected readings from Vergil’s Aeneid.

LATIN  222/322  CATULLUS AND CICERO

LATIN  223/323  ROMAN TRAGEDY AND COMEDY

LATIN  224/324  SALLUST AND LUCRETIUS

LATIN  391, 392  INDIVIDUAL STUDY  Advanced study on a subject to be chosen by the student in consultation with the department.

LATIN  401  LATIN PROSE COMPOSITION  A course offering advanced students the chance to hone their Latin skills through exercises in composition.  Beginning with basic English-to-Latin translation problems, students will proceed to projects involving free composition in prose.  Two credit hours.

               Prerequisite:  Two Latin courses at the 300-level, or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  T. Myers

In English

CLASSICS  101  GREECE  The history and archaeology of Greece from the Bronze Age to the time of Alexander the Great, with special attention to the history of the Athenian democracy.  This is the same course as History 108.

              Enrollment limited to 40 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 7.  T. Myers

CLASSICS  102  THE ROMAN WORLD  This course examines Roman civilization from its inception to the fall of the Roman Empire.  It focuses on the major achievements in the history, literature, art, philosophy, and religion of the Romans.

              Enrollment limited to 40 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 7.  T. Myers

CLASSICS  104  CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY  A study through reading, illustrated lectures, and discussion of the more important myths of Greece and Rome and of their relation to literature, art, and religion.  Some consideration will be given to comparative mythology and to the structural analysis of myth.

               Enrollment limited to 40 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6. Staff

CLASSICS  105  MYTH AND NARRATIVE  Greek and Roman stories about the gods, heroes, and monsters are still retold to American audiences as bedtime stories, adventure films, or novels.  But these retellings radically change many of the details and themes of the older stories.  This course will introduce the corpus of Greek and Roman myth, paying attention to social and cultural contexts of myths' performances (oral, written, visual, dramatic, etc.) and interpretations in the ancient world.  We will also discuss the ways that modern contexts lead to particular modern versions of some of those myths, focusing on the ways that narratives shape, and are shaped by, their tellers and audiences' expectations. 

               Enrollment limited to 40 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6 and is a designated Writing course.  T. Wellman

CLASSICS  200  DIONYSUS:  CULTURE AND THE IRRATIONAL  A comparative study of classical and modern significations of the irrational.  Emphasis on the classical background to modern versions of eros, transcendence, and madness.

               Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  Staff

CLASSICS  204  GREEK TRAGEDY  A reading of the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides with emphasis on their cultural, political, and social values.  Study of Aristotle's Poetics and classical theory of literary criticism.  Consideration will be given to the origin and development of Greek drama, the ancient Greek stage, and the influence of classical tragedy on later literature.

                  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 4.  Staff

CLASSICS  205  REPRESENTATIONS OF VIOLENCE IN CLASSICAL LITERATURE AND MODERN FILM  An exploration of the ethical and aesthetic dimensions of violence in classical literature and modern cinema, with a special focus on the historical and cultural factors that shape the way violence is portrayed, the uses to which it is put, and the limits of its representation.  Consideration will be given to questions of genre and medium as we explore the evolution of attitudes toward literary and cinematic violence in classical antiquity and contemporary America.  Texts include portions of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil's Aeneid and Lucan's Bellum Civile; films include Psycho, Saving Private Ryan, Bonnie and Clyde, and Funny Games.  This is the same course as Film Studies 205.     

               This course satisfies General Education Area 4 and is a designated Writing course.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  T. Beasley

CLASSICS  209  THE ROMAN FAMILY  An investigation of the relationships, dynamics of power, and roles of members of the Roman family.  The course employs a variety of primary sources in translation including ancient literary, epigraphic, and legal texts, as well as archaeological remains.

               Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 7.  D. Phillips

CLASSICS  210  GREEK AND ROMAN ETHICS  Greek ethical thought from the Sophists, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle to Epicurus and the Stoics with attention to the Roman development of these views.  Topics include pleasure, the nature of goodness, happiness, love, and friendship in relation to the political and social background of ancient society.  This is the same course as Philosophy 230.

               Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6.  Staff

CLASSICS  216  WARFARE IN GRECO-ROMAN ANTIQUITY  An examination of the practice of war in ancient Greece and Rome.  The focus will be on the conduct of war by classical states from the early polis period of Greece to the Roman Empire under Augustus, with attention to asymmetrical warfare and the campaigns of great enemies of Greece and Rome.  The course concentrates on land warfare with attention to the development and use of naval forces.  Topics include war and the state, reasons for war, the moral rationale of conflict, strategy and tactics, logistics, the training of officers and men, pivotal battles, and great commanders such as Epaminondas, Alexander, Hannibal, Marius, and Caesar.

               Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 7. Staff

CLASSICS  217  GREEK AND ROMAN RELIGIONS  An examination of the practices and beliefs of the ancient Greeks and Romans from the Classical Period to Late Antiquity.  Students explore the basic dynamics of ancient Greek and Roman religious practices, how certain elements remained stable over time, and how others changed in response to the experience of empire and rise of Christianities.

               Prerequisite:  Open to freshmen and sophomores.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6 and is a designated Writing course.  T. Wellman

CLASSICS  218  ATHENS AND ITS CRITICS  An examination of the politics and political culture of Classical Athens, with special attention to the role of the individual in political community.  Other topics include theater as education, the role of religion, justice and litigiousness, leadership and demagoguery.  Students will approach these themes through close reading of the literature of Athens, by role-playing Athenian decision-making processes, and in course assignments modeled on Classical literary forms.  Readings include Thucydides′ history, Sophocles′ tragedies, Aristophanes′ comedies, Plato′s dialogues, Aristotle′s philosophy, and Demosthenes′ speeches. 

               Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  D. Gonzalez Rice

CLASSICS  219  SEXUALITY AND EROS IN CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY  An examination of sexuality, gender, and the characterization of the erotic in ancient Greece and Rome as reflected in literature, philosophy, and material culture. This is the same course as Gender and Women's Studies 219.

               Enrollment limited to 30 students.  T. Beasley

CLASSICS  222  ANCIENT COMEDY  A study of the ancient comedies of Aristophanes, Plautus, and Terence.  Students will analyze the comic forms and themes of the plays, and what the works reveal of the societies that produced them.  This is the same course as Theater 222.

               Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 4.  E. Papathanasopoulou

CLASSICS 229  PROPAGANDA AND TRUTH IN THE AGE OF AGUSTUS  An examination of the program and politics of Augustus, the first emperor of Rome, including modern interpretations of him as either benevolent or cunningly manipulative.  Emphasis on the historical, literary, artistic, and cultural aspects of his rule, particularly on the use of propaganda to solidify political power.  This is the same course as History 229.

               Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 7.  E. Adler

CLASSICS  230  ROMAN IMPERIALISM AND ITS CRITICS  An examination of Roman imperialism, with particular emphasis on the differing views of modern scholars.  The class will also focus on the general nature of imperialism, and the influence of contemporary political views regarding modern imperialism on assessments of the Roman world.  This is the same course as History 230.

                Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors; and to freshmen with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 7.  E. Adler

CLASSICS  231  ROMANS, BARBARIANS, AND THE CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM, 300-1000 C.E.  This is the same course as History 231.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

CLASSICS  234  THE TRANSFORMATION OF WESTERN CULTURE  A study of the profound kinship and contradictions between classical antiquity and Western modernity through a series of parallel readings of thematically linked ancient and modern texts:  Homer's Odyssey and Nikos Kazantzakis' The Odyssey:  A Modern Sequel; Sophocles' Philoctetes and Defoe's Robinson Crusoe; Tacitus' Agricola and Camus' The Stranger; and Cicero's Dream of Scipio and John Varley's Steel Beach.

                Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors; and to freshmen with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  Staff

CLASSICS  242  CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY IN WESTERN ART, RENAISSANCE TO MODERN  This is the same course as Art History 242.  Refer to the Art History listing for a course description.

CLASSICS  300  SELECTED TOPICS IN CLASSICS  Topics to be chosen in accordance with student interest.

               Prerequisite:  Two courses at the 200 level.

CLASSICS  303  CLASSICAL EPIC  A study of ancient epic with special emphasis on Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, and Virgil's Aeneid.  Other examples of epic literature will be included.  Attention will be given to the development of oral and written forms of epic and to epic's influence on later literature.

               Enrollment limited to 30 students.  Students may not receive credit for both this course and Course 203.  This course satisfies General Education Area 4.  T. Myers

CLASSICS  314  GRECO-ROMAN HISTORIOGRAPHY  An examination of the ways in which the ancient Greeks and Romans wrote history.  The course focuses on a variety of ancient authors and includes examinations of historical subgenres, such as biography, world history, monographs, and annals.  Student will read secondary scholarship on ancient historians embodying different perspectives on Greco-Roman historiography.  This class will also discuss modern historiography and its influence on our perceptions of Greek and Roman historians.  This is the same course as History 314.

               Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  E. Adler

CLASSICS  315  PLATO  An intensive study of Plato's philosophy with emphasis on his metaphysics, epistemology, and cosmology.  This is the same course as Philosophy 330A.

               Open to classics and philosophy majors and minors, and to others with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  Staff

CLASSICS  316  EMOTION AND VIOLENCE IN CLASSICAL THOUGHT  An examination of the experience and expression of violence, and the instability assigned to emotions generally in Greek and Roman culture.  Evidence found in ancient literature will be considered, with attention to the philosophical analysis of the emotions in human life from Plato to Seneca.

               Prerequisite:  A course in classics or philosophy, or permission of the instructor.  Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  Staff

CLASSICS  317  EARLY GREECE AND WESTERN CIVILIZATION:  A DISPUTED LEGACY  An examination of the foundations of ancient Greek civilization.  Through an analysis of the historical, archaeological, and linguistic evidence, the course will shed light on the so-called Black Athena Controversy, which raised doubts about the ancient Greek contribution to Western culture.  The course also focuses on the impact of modern politics on scholarly discussions of antiquity and the ways in which the Culture Wars of the 1980s and 1990s have influenced analyses of the ancient Greek world.  This is the same course as History 317.

               Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  E. Adler

CLASSICS  380  GRAND STRATEGY, ANCIENT AND MODERN  A theoretical and practical study of the comprehensive ways−diplomatic, military, economic, cultural−in which civilizations and states advance their values and interests in the world vis-à-vis other civilizations and states.  Readings range from classic texts such as those of Sun Tzu and Thucydides to modern case studies and secondary literature.  A major course emphasis is to encourage a holistic approach to the subject matter and to engage broad questions of why and how civilizations and states wax and wane.  This is the same course as Government 493L, 494L.

               Open to juniors and seniors.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  E. Adler and W.J. Coats

CLASSICS  391, 392  INDIVIDUAL STUDY  Advanced study on a subject to be chosen by the student in consultation with the department.

MEDIEVAL STUDIES  493L, 494L  TO HELL AND BACK:  PAGAN, CHRISTIAN, AND MODERN VISIONS OF HUMANITY  This is the same course as Religious Studies 493L, 494L.  Refer to the Religious Studies listing for a course description.

MEDIEVAL STUDIES  491, 492  INDIVIDUAL STUDY  Advanced study on a subject to be chosen by the student in consultation with the department.

CLASSICS  497-498  HONORS STUDY