Classical Studies

Spring 1997


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.

372. Sports and Daily Life in Ancient Rome. (3). (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, and also includes activities at the baths. Grades will be based upon midterm and final examinations and upon computer assignments and participation in class. (Potter)

453. Magic and Magicians in the Greco-Roman World. (3). (Excl).

This course is an introduction to the world of Greco-Roman magic, from the 5th century BC to the 4th century AD. We will examine a wide range of sources from literary descriptions of magicians to the magicians' own tool-boxes, with their recipe-books, voodoo-dolls, lions' hearts and snakes' blood. We will also survey the different spheres of life in which magic had a role to play - in the courtroom and assembly hall, where speakers tried to outwit their rivals by "binding" their tongues, in the theater and the hippodrome, where magical skills could ensure a competitor's victory, in the realm of love and sex, in the worlds of business, agriculture, medicine, and divination. Finally, we will look at the actual practitioners exorcists, rain-makers, priests, sages, and frauds. There are no prerequisites for this course. Work load is moderate. Cost:1 WL:4 (Bohak)

468. Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians. (3). (Excl).

This course will focus on issues relating to Greco-Roman Egypt, and especially to the Greek and Roman encounter with a civilization very different from their own. We shall read the detailed discussions of Egypt by Herodotus, Diodorus, Strabo, Plutarch, and others, as well as the Egyptians' own attempts to explain their culture to a Greek-reading audience. We shall also focus on some of the papyri found in Egypt itself, and what they can teach us about daily life in an ancient multicultural society. Throughout the course, we shall be paying special attention to ethnic stereotypes and biases on the one hand, and to cross-cultural interaction on the other. Cost:1 WL:4 (Bohak)


Latin Language and Literature (Division 411)

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.

504. Intensive Latin. Permission of instructor. No credit granted to those who have completed 102, 193, or 502. (4). (LR).
Intensive Beginning Latin.
This course is designed to provide the student having little or no prior Latin with the skills necessary for reading Classical Latin. It covers the material presented in Latin 101 and 102, using Knudsvig, Seligson, and Craig, LATIN FOR READING. It is primarily intended for graduate students and upperclass undergraduates in fields requiring reading knowledge of Latin. For students seeking to fulfill a language requirement, successful completion of this course will permit entry into Latin 231. Grading is based on class participation, quizzes, hour examinations, and a final. Cost:1 WL:3 (Pennell-Ross)


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