CLCIV 120 - First-year Seminar in Classical Civilization (Humanities)
Section: 002 Ancient Cities and Modern Urbanism
Term: FA 2017
Subject: Classical Civilization (CLCIV)
Department: LSA Classical Studies
Requirements & Distribution:
FYSem, WorldLit
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Enrollment restricted to first-year students, including those with sophomore standing.
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:

Man is a political animal, said the Greek philosopher Aristotle, that is, an animal that lives in the “polis,” the Greek word for city. We are still political animals, and the study of ancient Greek cities is of abiding interest, both historical and contemporary; for our image of the Greek polis continues to exert a powerful hold on modern culture.

This course will consider current perspectives on the reality of ancient Greek city-life, together with a number of case studies intended to illuminate its relevance to modern understanding of urban issues. We will begin by examining the variety of types of ancient Greek cities: from Athens, an unplanned town famous as the birthplace of democracy, to Alexandria in Egypt, a grid-planned city founded as a royal capital by Alexander the Great. At the same time, we will also investigate the underlying characteristics common to all Greek cities, such as the sanctuaries often situated on a "high place" or acropolis, and the main civic and commercial meeting place, the agora. Then we will proceed to consider a number of points of comparison with modern cities, such as grid planning; the interaction between public, private, secular, and sacred space within the city; and the relationship between town and countryside. We will pay special attention to examination of ancient cities being studied by archaeologists at the University of Michigan (in Italy, Greece, and Turkey), in comparison with the modern city of Detroit, a major focus of study by members of the faculty of the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. The course will be taught in connection with the development of an exhibition at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, and students will also be introduced to the processes of planning and mounting a museum display.

Course Requirements:

The course will be conducted as a seminar, with weekly readings and short writing assignments. Students will be expected to participate actively in discussion, and to write a medium length (10-15 pp.) paper at the end of the semester.

Intended Audience:

First-year students only.

Class Format:

Seminar meeting 3 times per week for one hour.

CLCIV 120 - First-year Seminar in Classical Civilization (Humanities)
Schedule Listing
002 (SEM)
MWF 9:00AM - 10:00AM
003 (SEM)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
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