Fall Course Guide

Classical Studies

Fall Term, 1998 (September 8-December 21, 1998)

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.

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.

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.

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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)
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120. First-year Seminar in Classical Civilization (Humanities). (3). (HU).
Section 001 Our English Vocabulary: Historic and Current Origins and Development.
Why have the Greek and Latin languages had such an impact on English vocabulary? How have other languages influenced the development of English vocabulary? What are the origins of, and the reasons for, the thousands of new words that appear in English each year? This course will address these and similar vocabulary-related questions raised by students interested in the words they meet and use. (G. Knudsvig)

Section 002 The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. "Everyone has heard of the Seven Wonders of the World," wrote Philo of Byzantium two millennia ago, and it's still true today. But what is a "wonder," and why seven of them? Why make such a list, anyway, and what would a modern equivalent look like? This seminar reads ancient authors and examines modern archaeological investigations of these ancient wonders, exploring not only the Near Eastern and Greek cultures that produced them but, more generally, how members of one culture view other cultures. The goal will be to learn about some of the most famous monuments of the past, and in doing so to gain a better understanding of archaeological methods, the interpretation of archaeological evidence, and the evaluation of ancient written sources. Classes will include illustrated lectures, discussions, videos, and short student presentations. There will be several fact-oriented tests spread throughout the term, but the main emphasis will be on thinking critically (presentations and discussion in class) and writing clearly (short papers). Cost:2 WL:1 (J.F. Cherry)
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215. Ovid. (1). (HU).
Ovid has been among the most influential writers in the European literary tradition, and he is one of the most enjoyable authors in the canon. This mini-seminar will examine both the original contexts of his works and what he has meant for later readers, with emphasis on the love poetry and the "Metamorphoses." Themes will include his treatment of women and sexuality, his narrative technique and wit, his relationships with Augustus and with Roman power, his presentation of self, and whatever aspects the group finds most interesting. We will look at both recent adaptations, including Ted Hughes' "Tales from Ovid" and the collection "After Ovid," and Elizabethan translations, including Golding's "Metamorphoses" (which Shakespeare used) and Christopher Marlowe's "Amores." We will also look (briefly) at paintings based on Ovidian themes from the Renaissance to the present. There will be two short papers and oral reports. Cost:1 WL:3 (Scodel)
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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)
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388/Phil. 388. History of Philosophy: Ancient. One Philosophy Introduction. (4). (HU).
See Philosophy 388. (Everson)
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451/Class. Arch. 451. Death in the Ancient World. (3). (HU).
See Classical Archaeology 451.
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481. The Classical Tradition. Class. Civ. 101 or 102. (3). (Excl).

The course examines the role of the classical heritage in Western Europe and early modern America. Emphasis will be placed on the literary, political, and legal aspects of this heritage. In studying original texts relevant to these themes, students will be asked to consider different meanings of the concept "tradition" and of the cultural and political importance of collective memory. Students are requested to attend class having read, and being able to discuss assigned readings (which will be substantial but manageable). Work for the class will culminate in a research paper, to be submitted at the end of the semester, with draft versions being reviewed and discussed earlier. A final exam will test basic knowledge and research skills that will have been taught during class meetings. (S. MacCormack)
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