College of LS&A

Fall '00 Graduate Course Guide

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Courses in Classical Civilization (Division 344)

This page was created at 7:51 AM on Fri, Oct 20, 2000.

Fall Term, 2000 (September 6 December 22)

Open courses in Classical Civilization

Wolverine Access Subject listing for CLCIV

Take me to the Fall Term '00 Time Schedule for Classical Civilization.

To see what graduate courses have been added to or changed in Classical Civilization this week go to What's New This Week.


Class. Civ. 452. Food in the Ancient World: Subsistence and Symbol.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Susan Alcock (salcock@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Food keeps people alive that is a universal truth. But patterns of eating and drinking are individual to each culture, offering one means by which groups distinguish and identify themselves. The ancient Mediterranean world was no exception. This course will trace the mechanics of food available and levels of general health. Styles of consumption were also used to mark out both symbolic boundaries and social distinctions: religious cults followed dietary restrictions, the rich displayed their wealth through lavish banquets, men ate and drank differently (and usually better!) than women. Social occasions where food and drink were key (the Greek symposium, the Roman dinner party) will be analyzed, and possibly even reenacted. The course will consider a range of periods and case studies and utilize a variety of textual and archaeological evidence.

We will also spend part of the course specifically studying animals in the ancient world: what animals were eaten, how they helped in food production, what forces or virtues they were taken to symbolize. Students in this course will work with objects in the holdings of the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, and we will create a small museum exhibit Animals in the Kelsey as a class project.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: 4

Class. Civ. 481. The Classical Tradition.

Section 001 Pagans and Christians: The formation of Christian identity in the Roman empire. Meets with Religion 380.001.

Instructor(s): Sabine MacCormack (sgm@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Class. Civ. 101 or 102. (3).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

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 cultural 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) Then 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 fended 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; Porphry, Life of Plotinus; Julian, Caesars; Symmachus, Third Relatio; Augustine, Confessions; John Lydus, Magistracies; John of Ephesus, Lives of the Eastern Saints.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: 4

This page was created at 7:51 AM on Fri, Oct 20, 2000.


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