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.


Courses in Classical Archaeology (Division 342)

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 eruption 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:2/3 WL:1 (Pedley)

323. Introduction to Field Archaeology. (4). (HU).

Admit it you wanted to be an archaeologist when you were a kid. This course offers the chance to see what such a career would be like. We will investigate issues such as: What is left from past human activity and how do we retrieve it? How were societies organized? What did ancient peoples eat? What did they think? What were they like? Who owns the past? Archaeological case studies will be drawn from all over the world, and from a range of prehistoric and historic periods. The course is lecture-based, with field trips organized to various university museums and other facilities, such as the Phoenix Laboratory. The text book is C. Renfrew and P. Bahn, Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice; there will also be a supplemental course pack. Requirements are midterm, final and one project, which offers the chance to experiment with some 'real' archaeology. No prerequisites. Cost:2 WL:1 (Alcock)

365/Class. Civ. 365. Alexander the Great: The Making of a Legend. (3). (HU).

See Classical Civilization 365. (Cherry)

427/Hist. of Art 427. Pompeii: Its Life and Art. (3). (Excl).

The development of the city of Pompeii, from the Etruscan, Greek, and Roman periods through its destruction by volcanic eruption in 79 A.D. Illustrated lectures will treat the growth of the city plan, architectural features (in both the public and domestic sectors), religious developments (public ritual, private worship, foreign cults), artistic achievements, social stratification and diversity, women inside and outside the family, slavery, food and drink, the economy, political organization and expression, attitudes towards death and burial practices, and the destruction of the city. Throughout, attempts will be made to consider the ways in which a knowledge of Pompeii contributes to a modern appreciation of ancient Roman civilization and culture; to this end, contrasts between Pompeii and the capital city of Rome will be developed, also comparisons between Pompeii and other cities of Roman Italy, such as Ostia, Herculaneum, and other sites on the Bay of Naples. Some attention will also be given to the history of the excavations, and to the contributions to 18th century artistic and cultural taste which resulted from the rediscovery of the buried city. (We will also seek to arrange a special showing of the early film "The Last Days of Pompeii.") There will be a midterm and final examination, and students will be expected to write a paper on a Pompeiian topic of their choosing. (D'Arms)

439/Hist. of Art 439. Greek Vase Painting. (3). (HU).

An introductory survey of the painted pottery produced on the Greek mainland from Mycenaean times through the early Hellenistic period. Pottery will be examined for art historical, cultural, and archaeological information. The artist's progress in realistic representation of the human figure as revealed on Greek vases will be studied. Emphasis will be placed on the domination of the pottery market by different cities at different times. The use of pottery as an archaeological tool in dating and evaluating an excavation will be discussed. There are illustrated lectures and extensive reserve reading. A midterm, final, and a paper are expected. Cost:1 WL:1 (Herbert)


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 (Rappe)

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 Women in Ancient Rome: Gender and Identity.
This course will focus on women's roles and lives in Ancient Rome. We will examine the cultural identity or ideal constructed for women in Roman literature in comparison with the historical evidence. Subjects addressed will include sexual stereotype and ideals, power-relations of gender, familial roles, social and economic status, social and political history, visual art, medical theory, and religion. In addition to the ancient literary texts, attention will be given to the historical evidence, such as inscriptions and archaeological remains, as well as modern feminist theory. The readings for this course will include key Latin texts in translation, including poetry (Catullus, Vergil, Propertius, Sulpicia, Ovid, Juvenal), history (Livy, Sallust), comedy (Terence), rhetoric (Cicero's Pro Caelio), and inscriptions (Sourcebooks for Women). Class will be divided between lectures and discussion of the readings. Student participation will be an important component of the course. Regular reports will be expected. There will also be papers and a final. Cost:2-3 (Myers)

365/Class. Arch. 365. Alexander the Great: The Making of a Legend. (3). (HU).

Alexander's world-conquering exploits and early death in 323 B.C. made him a legend not only in his own time, but for posterity. This course employs historical, literary, archaeological, artistic, and other forms of evidence to focus critically on the 'reality' and 'image' of Alexander in antiquity. Its scope, however, extends far beyond Alexander's own world, to examine his legacy and how knowledge about him has been transmitted and distorted, used and abused: what the Romans made of him, the Medieval Alexander tradition, even his relevance in contemporary politics. There are illustrated lectures, supplemented where possible by the occasional use of film and museum resources. Students will read about Alexander in selections from two ancient lives, a medieval romance-legend, modern scholarly study, and a novel about Alexander. A midterm, final, and short paper are expected. Cost:2 WL:1 (Cherry)

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, and books available from Shaman Drum. 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 athletic events of chariot racing, gladiator fights, and wild beast hunts. Grades will be based upon midterm and final examinations and upon computer assignments and participation in class. (Potter)

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

See Philosophy 388. (Everson)

452. Food in the Ancient World: Subsistence and Symbol. (3). (HU).

Food keeps people alive a universal truth. But it is also true that patterns of eating and drinking are peculiarly individual to each culture, and the ancient Mediterranean world was no exception. This course will trace the mechanics of producing food in the Mediterranean environment, as well as investigating the types of foods available and levels of general health. How successfully, for example, were malnutrition and famine avoided? Styles of consumption also marked out both symbolic and religious boundaries (through dietary restrictions) and social distinctions (through lavish feeding). Social occasions where food and drink were key (the Greek symposium, the Roman banquet) will be analyzed, and possibly even reenacted. All manner of ancient evidence archaeological and textual will be employed to study a time span ranging from Homer to Constantine. There are no course prerequisites. Requirements will include a mid-term and final examination, and a 5-10 page paper. Cost:2-3 WL:1 (Alcock)


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 (Dillery)

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 (Cameron)

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

501. Special Reading Course in Greek. First-year graduate student or permission. (3). (Excl).

Specially designed to help students increase their speed and comprehension in reading Greek prose and poetry. Works read in the course are chosen from the Ph.D. reading list.

554. Plato: Meno and other Early Dialogues. Greek 302. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 Plato's Theaetetus.
This course serves as an introduction to epistemology (theory of knowledge) in Classical Greek philosophy. The Theaetetus is important both for understanding Plato's views of how the mind works and for its digression on the views of the sophist, Protagoras. In this course we will translate Plato's dialogue along with other texts relevant to the study of ancient Greek epistemology. These will include fragments of the Sophists, parts of Aristotle's De Anima, book III, as well as some readings in Alexander of Aphrodisias and Plotinus. We will also work with several recent English commentaries, especially that of Myles Burnyeat. Requirements: quizzes, oral reports, paper,final exam. Cost:3 (Rappe)

591. History of Greek Literature, Homer to Sophocles. 20 credits of Greek or permission of instructor. (2-3). (Excl).

A survey of the development of Greek literature from the beginning to the Periclean Age, including epic, lyric, tragedy (Aeschylus and Sophocles), and the beginnings of philosophy and historiography. Lectures and assigned readings.


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. (Michelaki)

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. (Fotiadis)


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 and the development of basic reading skills. 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, hour 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 (D.O. 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 several authors of the first centuries B.C. and A.D., but primarily from Pliny the Younger. Class discussions center upon the readings. Some course materials require the use of a computer. 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.

The cultural and political ferment of the Late Republic gave rise to an extraordinary range of expression. Readings in this course are intended to give students a view of various reactions to this turmoil. These readings include Cicero's Republic, Letters (selection), Caesar's Civil War (book 1) and Sallust's Catiline. Course requirements will include two hour exams, a final, and a paper based on an oral report in class. The exams will concentrate on translation skills. (Potter)

409. Augustan Poetry. Latin 301 or 302 or permission of instructor. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of 9 credits.
Section 001 Horace's Lyric Poetry.
The course will focus on the nature and function of the Latin lyric, its poetical structures and techniques, themes, symbols, and style. The course aims to improve students' reading ability in Latin verse, by means of class recitation of prepared and some sight passages. Hour and final examinations. (Witke)

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)

445. Tacitus, Histories. (3). (Excl).

We will read, as time permits, the first several books of Tacitus' Annals, which describe the growing tension between the Emperor Tiberius and his nephew Germanicus. No special background is required beyond an advanced intermediate level of Latin. One midterm, final; several short papers on related topics. (Frier)

568. Reading of Augustan Poetry. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 Ovid.
This course will be a close reading (translation and analysis) of the poetry of the Augustan poet Ovid. Our aim will be to explore in detail Ovid's poetry through careful translation of the Latin text, consultation of secondary sources, and discussion of literary and cultural issues. We will have the opportunity to translate a variety of Ovid's works. Close attention will be paid to poetic techniques, his language and style. Simultaneously, issues of poetic interpretation, such as allusion, utilization of modern critical approaches, historical sitedness, literary polemic, and narrative voice, will also be an integral part of the course. Students will be required to present short in-class reports on selected poems and secondary materials. There will be an hour midterm and a final exam (primarily translation, sight and prepared) and a paper. Cost:2-3 (Myers)


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.