Classical Studies

The Department of Classical Studies believes that the literature, monuments, and social institutions of the ancient world, together with the reflections of the Greek and Roman thinkers about their own cultures, are of unique value in themselves, well worth our contemplation and understanding; and that as we attempt to learn about and appreciate classical civilization, we necessarily learn as well a variety of contemporary methodologies and disciplines.

The department offers three groups of courses for distribution, those in Classical Civilization (introductory courses that require no knowledge of Greek or Latin), courses in Classical Archaeology, and upper level language courses in Greek and Latin authors or genres. While only a few courses are repeated in yearly or biennial rotation, most courses are offered less regularly. This system guarantees that the instructor approaches the subject each time with fresh impetus. We believe in a healthy change and variation in our course offerings. The undergraduate advisor of the Department of Classical Studies will consider and, if appropriate, authorize other classical civilization, literature, and archaeology courses for distribution credit upon request by students during the first drop/add period each term.

Classical Civilization offerings include the general surveys of Greek and Roman civilizations (CC 101 and 102), which provide (through readings, lectures, and discussions) a broad understanding of the literatures, thought, and social development of ancient Greece and Rome, and thus provide the student with knowledge of and appreciation for our cultural origins, as well as an acquaintance with modern methods for understanding an ancient culture. These courses are taught each year. CC 101 is offered in the Fall and CC 102 is offered in the Winter. Other courses provide understanding of particular aspects of the ancient world, approached from a variety of disciplines and studies literary, philosophical, historical, sociological, and so on. Some students (particularly those who have already developed special interests in such disciplines) may wish to explore one of these topics without having had a broader introduction.

Classical Archaeology offerings include the broad surveys of the archaeology and monuments of Greece (Cl.Arch 221 offered in the Fall) and Rome (Cl.Arch 222 offered in the Winter) and a general introduction to archaeological field methods (Cl.Arch 323). Other courses use the material remains of specific cultures both to introduce students to the diversity of the ancient world and to demonstrate how, through a variety of multi-disciplinary approaches, the archaeological record can be used to reconstruct the life-ways of past societies.


221/Hist. of Art 221. Introduction to Greek Archaeology. (4). (HU).

This course surveys the history and art of Crete and Greece as revealed by archaeology from the third millennium through the 4th century B.C. In the prehistoric period, particular attention is given to architectural and ceramic developments as well as to the crosscurrent of trade and economic contacts among Asia Minor, Crete, and mainland Greece. Emphasis is also given to the impact archaeology has had on views and theories of history: the destructions of the civilizations of Crete and Troy, the end of the bronze age, the volcanic eruptions of Thera. In the historic period, major artistic developments in architecture, sculpture, and painting are considered and special attention is given to social interpretations: temples as banks and monasteries; sculpture as dedication, decoration, and commemorative propaganda; architectural sculpture as realized myth. Discussions in the sections will concentrate on the historical background, archaeological field techniques, methods of dating and stratigraphy. The sections will meet in the Kelsey museum where it will be possible to work with the actual ancient artifacts recovered in University of Michigan excavations. There are two one-hour examinations and a final, as well as illustrated lectures and assigned readings. Cost:3 WL:1 (Herbert)

436/Hist. of Art 436. Hellenistic and Roman Architecture. Hist. of Art 101 or Class. Arch. 221 or 222; or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

Architecture in the Hellenistic and Roman world from 323 BCE to the close of the Roman Empire. Emphasis is given to the architectural centers of the ancient classical world: the Greek mainland, the Asian Minor coast, Syria, North Africa, Gaul, Spain, and Italy. WL:1.

443/Hist. of Art 443. Greeks in the West. Class. Arch. 221, or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

The course will address the archaeological and historical evidence for the arrival of the Greeks in Italy and Sicily, for the expansion of their communities, for their relations with indigenous populations, and for their contributions to the arts and to architecture. Motives for Greek westward colonization will be examined along with the sitings for settlements; sanctuaries yielding information on religious life and the distribution of cults and cemeteries telling of social stratification (grave goods and wall paintings) will be surveyed; temples which witness imaginative interpretations of the architectural Orders and relief sculpture telling stories will all be investigated. Type sites to be examined in detail will be Syracuse in Sicily, and in South Italy Poseidonia-Paestum. The chronological range of the course will be from the 8th century BC to the Roman conquest. One hour exam, one paper, reports and a final exam. Cost:2 WL:3 (Pedley)

Classical Civilization (Division 344)

Courses in this division do not require a knowledge of Greek or Latin. They are intended for students who wish to acquire knowledge of ancient literature, life, and thought, and of the debt modern civilization owes the Greeks and Romans.

101. Classical Civilization I: The Ancient Greek World (in English). No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Great Books 191 or 201. (4). (HU).

This course serves as an introduction to the civilization of ancient Greece from its beginnings to the fourth century BCE. All reading is in English translation. Lectures will trace the development of Greek literature and thought within the context of Greek society, with emphasis on gender relations and the crisis in traditional values during the late fifth century. Literature read includes Homer's Iliad and Odyssey; selected lyric poetry; selected tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides; selected comedies of Aristophanes; selections from the historians Herodotus and Thucydides; and philosophical writings of Plato. The readings average about 90 pages per week. There will be a midterm, two brief papers, and a final examination. Freshmen Honors students in Honors sections will write enough to meet the Introductory Composition requirement. Cost:3 WL:1 (Scodel)

120. First-year Seminar in Classical Civilization (Humanities). (3). (HU).

Section 001 The Hero and Heroism in Greece and Rome. Who is a hero? What do heroes do? If Superman (or Rambo) is all-powerful, can he be of any interest to us, the merely human? Can he make a mistake? But if heroes can have human failings, can they still be heroic? What sorts of times produce what sorts of heroic literature? Could you write a heroic epic today ? If you did, could it have any more reality than a sci fi novel? These are the sort of questions we might ask as we look at the beginnings of heroic literature in the Western literary tradition. What makes Achilles more than Rambo, and Ajax more than a figure from science fiction? What was the nature of the ancient hero, and how did the concept of heroism change and develop in Greece and Rome? We will think about the Homeric hero, the tragic hero of Sophocles, the more "modern" hero of the Alexandrian poets, the hero of Virgil's Aeneid, the anti-hero of Petronius' novel, and others. We will also consider some contemporary heroes. At the end, I hope we will have arrived at a better understanding not only of our literature, and why we read it, but of ourselves. Course requirements: to read selected works of heroic literature with interest and an inquiring attitude, and to write two papers (6-8 pp. each) on the concept of heroism in what we have read and discussed. (D.O. Ross)

121. First-year Seminar in Classical Civilization (Composition). (4). (Introductory Composition).
Section 001 Socrates and Democracy.
Who was that "strange" man in late fifth-century BCE Athens who claimed "the unexamined life is not worth living by a human being"? How, according to this teacher and moral philosopher, should one lead one's life? And why was this philosopher put to death by the Athenian democracy? Was his death political? Can democracy and philosophy not co-exist? What was the relationship between Socrates and the democracy of Athens? What was this democracy like? What exactly were the charges brought against Socrates and how did he defend himself against them? Why, after he was found guilty and imprisoned, did he refuse to attempt an escape? These and related questions will form the focus of our seminar as we search for the historical Socrates and the nature of the Athenian democracy in his day. We will read, discuss, and write about both ancient primary sources in translation (Aristophanes' comedy The Clouds and Xenophon's Memorabilia (Conversations with Socrates) as well as several of Plato's earlier Socratic Dialogues) and at least one contemporary secondary source (the 1988 bestseller The Trial of Socrates by the American political journalist I.F. Stone who taught himself ancient Greek in retirement and produced this book). Since this seminar meets the Introductory Composition requirement, you can expect to write occasional impromptu essays as well as five or six formal papers (beginning with one or two pages and moving up to six or eight pages). We will give attention to drafts and to revision of the formal essays. Cost:2 WL:1 (Wallin)

372. Sports and Daily Life in Ancient Rome. (4). (HU).

Readings include selections from ancient writers in translation and from recent scholarship on topics in Roman history and society available in a course pack obtainable from AccuCopy at the corner of Maynard and East William. In the lectures we begin with some background on Roman religion and history and then consider the different social classes and their lifestyles; the second half of the course deals with the major sports of chariot racing, gladiator fights, and wild beast hunts, and also includes activities at the baths. Grades will be based upon midterm and final examinations and upon participation in class. (Porter)

388/Phil. 388. History of Philosophy: Ancient. One Philosophy Introduction. (4). (HU).

See Philosophy 388.

476/Hist. 405/Rel. 476. Pagans and Christians in the Roman World. (3). (HU).

The course, tracing the formation of Christian identity in the Roman empire, examines religion as a form of cultural and political expression, and as a method of imagining a supernatural world. We thus begin with what at the time was meant by culture and politics, and with ancient concepts of the supernatural. The period covered, from the mid-first century BCE to the later 6th century CE, may be subdivided into three phases. (1) The formation of diverse Christian collective identities will be contextualized by also studying the membership and opinions of other religious groups. These include devotees of heroic founders, of civic and agricultural deities and of personal saviours such as Isis, as well as adherents of gnostic and philosophical sects. (2) By the end of the second phase, in the late 4th century CE, non-Christian worship had been officially banned, and Christian groups had formed into an empire-wide organization. Non-Christians now tended to be described by the blanket term "pagan," even though their beliefs and forms of worship were and had always been very diverse. Simultaneously, monotheistic ideas became more prevalent in "pagan" thought. We will ask why this was so, while also studying pagan and Christian concepts of holiness and political identity. (3) Finally, we will study the transformation of "paganism" into a cultural tradition, and the evolution of a Christian power structure spanning the entire mediterranean world, and reaching beyond it into Northern Europe and the Middle East. We will conclude by asking to what extent and why Christians succeeded in becoming the exclusive bearers of religious authority. Reading will be mainly from original sources, e.g., Cicero, On the Nature of the Gods; the first Book of Maccabees; Acts; The Letter to the Romans; Lucian, Peregrinus; Acts of Perpetua and Felicity; Porphyry, Life of Plotinus; Julian, Caesars; Symmachus, Third Relatio; Augustine, Confessions; John Lydus, Magistracies; John of Ephesus, Lives of the Eastern Saints. (MacCormack)

Classical Greek (Division 385)

Elementary Courses

101. Elementary Greek. Graduate students should elect the course as Greek 502. (4). (LR).

In combination with Greek 102, this is the first half of a year-long introduction to ancient Greek and is designed to prepare students for the reading of Greek texts. Greek 101 concentrates on fifth-century B.C. Attic Greek which was the language of the "golden age" of Athens. The Greek language of that time and place represents a cultural and linguistic central point from which students can pursue their own interests within a wide range of Greek literature which extends from the Homeric epics to the Byzantine era and which includes the archaic, classical, and hellenistic periods as well as the koine Greek of the New Testament. The purpose of the course is to develop the fundamentals of the language so that these fundamentals can then be applied to whatever area of ancient Greek students wish to pursue. Cost:2 WL:1 (Dobrov)

301. Second-Year Greek. Greek 102 or equivalent. The language requirement is satisfied with the successful completion of Greek 301 and 302. Graduate students should elect the course as Greek 507. (4). (LR).

This course is the first half of the second-year ancient Greek language sequence. Emphasis will be put upon reading Greek prose texts (Lysias, Plato); upon linguistic and grammatical skills; and upon translation and comprehension. Its sequel is Greek 302 (Winter term), in which poetry is read (Homer). Cost:2 WL:2 (Dillery)

Intermediate Courses

401. Readings in Classical Greek Prose. Greek 302 or permission of instructor. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of nine credits.

We will concentrate on translation, comprehension, and explication of Herodotus or Thucydides. Course requirements: an hour exam at midterm, a final exam, and a paper some 5-10 pp. in length. Cost:1 WL:3 (Pedley)

Advanced Courses

486. Readings in Later Greek Prose. Greek 402. (3). (Excl).

This course will focus on the History of Alexander (the Anabasis Alexandri by the historian Arrian (c.85-160 CE), a Greek highly placed in the government of the Roman empire. Particular attention will be paid to the sources of the text, the evolution of Alexander historiography, and the social and political milieu of Arrian himself. Students will be expected to translate every class period. There will be one oral report, one paper, a midterm, and a final. Advanced reading knowledge of Greek required. Cost:1. Permission of Instructor. (Dillery)

506. Advanced Greek Composition. Greek 410 or equivalent. (3). (Excl).

The writing of continuous Greek prose: includes the writing of versions i.e. rendering of original English passages into classical Greek, and free compositions in Greek. Not open to undergraduates. Cost:4 (Garbrah)

516. Aristophanes. (3). (Excl).

Greek 516 is an introduction to the field of Ancient Athenian Comedy in which we shall concentrate on the extant scripts of Aristophanes such as Acharnians and Birds. Topics covered will include the origins of drama, the development of the comic competition in the Athenian polis, the relationship of comedy to other genres (epic, tragedy, dithyramb), the evolution of comedy from the generation of Cratinus through the early fourth century (Middle Comedy), comedy as a vehicle for political satire and appeal, gender and sexuality, ritual and drama, comic prosopography, the language and meters of drama. A knowledge of Greek is essential as much of the fragmentary material and testimonia are not (satisfactorily) translated. (Dobrov)

Modern Greek (Division 433)

101. Elementary Modern Greek. Graduate students should elect Modern Greek 501. (4). (LR).

An introductory course in language with special emphasis on developing speaking skills. Most of the classroom time is spent on drills and on elementary dialogues among the students and between the students and the instructor. A creative approach to language learning is followed, whereby the class simulates everyday life situations and the students are asked to improvise responses to those situations. Instruction also focuses on elementary grammar and syntax. Homework involves preparation for the dialogues and drills. Additional exercises at home and in the classroom - include descriptions of objects and contexts, problem-solving, interviews among students, and conversion of dialogues into narratives. There are weekly quizzes or tests, a midterm and a final examination.

201. Second Year Modern Greek I. Modern Greek 102. Graduate students should elect Modern Greek 503. (4). (LR).

This course is designed to improve the speaking, reading and writing, as well as listening skills of students. The course begins with a thorough review of materials taught in the first year and continues with the completion of grammar and syntax and writing. Besides the familiar drills, homework includes a greater amount of creative writing. Journalistic prose, short stories, literary excerpts, as well as films and television materials are included in the course. There are weekly quizzes or tests, a midterm and a final examination. (Gagos)

Latin Language and Literature (Division 411)

Elementary Courses

Two convictions are basic to the Elementary Latin Program of the Department of Classical Studies: (1) it is possible for every able-minded person to master the basic facts of a foreign language and (2) the learning experience leading to such a mastery is a privilege that is very specifically human and ought to be most satisfying. Essential facts of morphology, syntax, semantics, vocabulary, history and culture are taught, and a knowledge of these facts enables students to understand Latin written by the famous authors of the Golden Age. Since at least 50% of the vocabulary of an educated speaker of English is Latin in origin, English vocabulary improves as Latin stems and derivatives are learned. The program normally takes four terms to complete. A placement test may be taken at the beginning or end of a term, and a student may succeed in placing out of one or more courses in the introductory sequence.

In the Elementary Latin Program, the department is offering Latin 101, 102, 193, 231, and 232. Latin 101 (see below) is for students with little or no previous Latin. A placement examination will determine the appropriate course for other students who enter the elementary sequence. Students with questions about which course to elect are encouraged to visit Professor Knudsvig in Angell Hall, 764-8297.

101. Elementary Latin. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 103, 193, or 502. (4). (LR).

All of the assigned tasks/exercises in Latin 101 are directed toward the reading and translation of Classical Latin and not toward writing or conversation. The course has as its primary objective the acquisition of a fundamental understanding of basic Latin grammar. The text for the course is Knudsvig, Seligson, and Craig, Latin for Reading. Latin 101 covers approximately the first half of the text. Grading is based on quizzes, class participation, hours examinations, and a final. Cost:1 WL:3

102. Elementary Latin. Latin 101. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 193 or 502. (4). (LR).

All of the assigned tasks/exercises in Latin 102 are directed toward the reading and translation of Classical Latin and not toward writing or conversation. The course continues the presentation of the essentials of the Latin language as it covers the last half of Knudsvig, Seligson, and Craig, Latin for Reading. Extended reading selections from Plautus (comedy) and Eutropius (history) are introduced. Grading is based on class participation, quizzes, hour examinations, and a final. Cost:1 WL:3

193. Intensive Elementary Latin I. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 101, 102, 103 or 502. (4). (Excl).

This course is a rapid introduction to Latin and is intended for students with little or no prior Latin. Upperclass undergraduates in such fields as history, medieval or renaissance literature, or linguistics and who need to acquire a reading competence in Latin as quickly and as efficiently as possible should elect this course. So should other undergraduates who intend to continue the study of Latin and want a rapid introduction that enables them to take upper-level Latin courses as soon as possible. (Note: completion of 193-194 alone does not fulfill the undergraduate language requirement). This first term course covers elementary grammar and syntax. Cost:1 WL:1 (Ross)

231. Introduction to Latin Prose. Latin 102 or 103. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 194, 222, or 503. (4). (LR).

This course reviews grammar as it introduces students to extended passages of classical Latin prose through selections from such authors of the first centuries B.C. and A.D. as Caesar and Livy and Pliny the Younger. Class discussions center upon the readings. Grading is based on class participation, quizzes, hour examinations, and a final. Cost:1 WL:3

232. Vergil, Aeneid. Latin 231 or 221. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 194, 222, or 503. (4). (LR).

The goal of this course is simple: to learn to read extensive passages of the greatest work of Latin literature, Vergil's Aeneid, with comprehension and enjoyment. This course will ask you to bring together and apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired up to this point and to build on these as you learn to read poetry. There will be some grammar review as necessary. You will also study Vergil's epic poem in English translation. By term's end you should have both a good understanding and appreciation of what the Aeneid is all about and an ability to handle a Latin passage of the poem with control and comprehension. Grading is based on class participation, quizzes, hour exams, and a final. Cost:2 WL:1,3

Intermediate Courses

301. Intermediate Latin I. Latin 194, 222, 232 or equivalent. (3). (HU).

The primary goal of this course is to serve as an introduction to the study of Latin literature, and, through the literature, of Roman culture. Texts by a major poet and a major prose author will be read with a view to their literary, historical, and political contexts. Reading strategies, and review of morphology and syntax as needed, will be stressed. There will be quizzes, a midterm, and final exam. Cost:2 WL:3,4 (Knudsvig)

401. Republican Prose. Latin 301 or 302 or permission of instructor. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of 9 credits.

Section 001 Livy. We will read Books 21 and 22 of Livy's history of Rome. In these books Livy tells how Hannibal crossed the Alps and attacked Rome in 218-216 B.C., inflicting three great defeats that temporarily staggered the Romans; but Livy also then describes how the Romans began their slow recovery. These books, among the best that survive from Livy's hand, are famous above all for their fine portrait of the most brilliant and resourceful enemy that Rome ever faced. The course has as its goals to improve reading ability in Latin prose, to confront historical issues in Livy, and to develop understanding of ancient historical methods. Two short papers; mid-term exam. Cost:1/2 WL:1. (Frier)

409. Augustan Poetry. Latin 301 or 302 or permission of instructor. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of 9 credits.
Section 001 Roman Comedy.
We will read the Menaechmi of Plautus and the Adelphoe of Terence. Other plays will be read in translation, and we will consider the time, place, and function of comedy at Rome, but we will be primarily concerned with understanding the language of comedy and with developing a facility in reading the Latin of the Roman stage. There will be several translation tests throughout the term, and a final exam. Cost:2 WL:1. (D.O. Ross)

Advanced Courses

421/Education D421. Teaching of Latin. Junior standing in Latin and permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

A workshop-type course designed to provide prospective secondary and college teachers with the skills necessary to analyze structures and texts and to design instructional materials and class presentations. The course will also introduce the students to those aspects of modern linguistic theories that have practical application to teaching and learning Latin. Cost:1 WL:3 (Knudsvig)

426. Practicum. Junior or senior standing, and permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

Permission of the instructor is required to elect Latin 426. Students must submit a plan for a project related to the teaching of Latin. The course is designed for students who wish to continue work begun in Latin 421. Cost:1 WL:3 (Knudsvig)

436/MARC 441. Medieval Latin II, 900-1350 A.D. Two years of college Latin or equivalent. (3). (Excl).

A detailed study of an author, period, or genre of later Medieval Latin literature, to be decided upon in consultation with students enrolled. Latin 435 (MARC 440) is not a prerequisite. Midterm, final, and paper. (Witke)

lsa logo

University of Michigan | College of LS&A | Student Academic Affairs | LS&A Bulletin Index

This page maintained by LS&A Academic Information and Publications, 1228 Angell Hall

The Regents of the University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA +1 734 764-1817

Trademarks of the University of Michigan may not be electronically or otherwise altered or separated from this document or used for any non-University purpose.