CLAS – Classics
Approaches to the Ancient Mediterranean World
This course introduces students to the study of ancient, classical history. Students learn and practice the processes of interpreting texts, monuments, and artifacts from the ancient Mediterranean and Mesopotamian worlds. The course includes elements of ancient history, textual criticism/literary analysis, and art criticism/art history. The course focuses on seminal events in Greek and Roman history, with attention also paid to major events and themes in Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean as a whole. By focusing on specific problems connected with these events, students develop skills in interpreting different types of ancient sources and analyzing historical processes.
Greek and Roman Mythology
In this survey course, students learn the most significant myths and sagas of Greece and Rome. Selected readings from ancient literature and illustrations from Classical art emphasize the cultural, historical, and religious contexts of the myths within ancient society. The continuing influences of the myths as a source of inspiration for some of the major themes in Western art and culture are discussed. The course also examines ancient and modern theories and interpretations of the myths.
Classics and Film: Classical Reception in the Cinema
This lecture course uses Classics-themed films to explore the literature and history of the Classical Period. By analyzing cinematographic interpretations of the ancient world, students examine on a critical level canonical myths, literature, and historical events/figures in their original contexts as well as modern assessments and interpretations of their themes and significance. The course analyzes three to five films.
Survey of Greek and Roman History
This course surveys ancient Greek and Roman history from the Greek archaic period through the reign of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great. Students study major events, figures, and trends in Greece and Rome, drawing upon the works of major ancient historians, such as Herodotus, Plutarch, Suetonius, Tacitus, or Thucydides.
Literature of Greece and Rome
This intermediate survey course introduces students to the detailed study of major works from Greek and Latin literature in English translation. Students read and interpret epic poems, prose, lyric poetry and dramatic plays in their cultural, historical and literary contexts. Students are introduced to the general moral, aesthetic and social values of the Greeks and Romans through their literature.
Greek and Roman Religion
This course is one of several new 200-level courses which are being created in Classics to facilitate a more effective rotation of second year courses. This course in particular addresses a gap in the Classics curriculum: Classics 333 (Ancient Religion) is currently taught as a topics course, with the theme and focus of the course varying from offering to offering. CLAS 233 will serve as a survey course, allowing the instructor of CLAS 333 to focus the topics more narrowly.
Ancient Art and Architecture
This course surveys the most important artwork and architectural monuments created in Greece and Rome. Through the evidence of archaeological finds, students study the earliest examples of art in sculpture, pottery and painting as well as the beginnings of urban and monumental architecture in Greece. Students examine the development of these and innovations upon these in the Roman and Byzantine periods. They also consider the legacy of ancient art and architecture on western civilization.
Women in the Ancient World
This course surveys the history of women in the Graeco-Roman world, ranging historically from the second millennium BC to the fourth century AD. Students examine the portrayals of women in literary and historical documents to assess women's roles in family life, marriage customs, religious cults, and legal problems. Students analyze the abundant representations of women by men and the few surviving representations of women by other women in literary, epigraphic and artistic evidence.
This course is an introduction to Greek cultural history illustrated by reference to contemporaneous literature and artefacts, as well as archaeological discoveries. Students study the origins of Greek culture in the Bronze Age and its development through the Archaic and Classical Periods, especially in fifth-century Athens. Students also consider the effects of Alexander the Great’s campaigns on Greek culture during the Hellenistic Period.
This course is an introduction to Roman civilization. Students consider the culture, literature, and history of Ancient Rome, from the mythological foundation of city down to the imperial period. The lectures, readings, and assignments draw on contemporary literary, artistic, or archaeological evidence in order to illustrate and explain various Roman cultural values, practices, and norms.
This course is an introduction to the culture, literature, art and history of the Byzantine (or Eastern Roman) Empire, during the period from the foundation of Constantinople in AD 324 to the Ottoman conquest of the city in AD 1453. Topics covered include government, family, religion, law, education, philosophy and entertainment; all presented in their historical context. Students also consider Byzantine literature, history and art, and the role of Byzantine scholars, artists and rulers in preserving many of the cultural achievements of the Greeks and Romans through the barbarian invasions which put an end to the Roman Empire in the west in AD 476.
Identity and Belonging in Antiquity
The question of who belongs is timeless. Greek and Roman communities generated a variety of responses and reactions to this question, some harshly exclusionary, some surprisingly liberal. Belonging was configured differently for men and women, adults and children, citizens and non-citizens, slaves and free people, and was mediated through social and cultural institutions. This course explores several of the institutions by which Greek and Roman societies and individuals defined themselves, and may include concentrations on social organization, law, or cultural and religious practices related to identity.
In this course students compare Greek and Roman mythology to other world mythologies such as Norse or Native American myth. One or more bodies of mythology are selected for particular attention in each offering of the course. Students identify the common features shared by various bodies of myth, as well as important differences and their significance. Students also examine a number of explanatory theories of myth and their application to specific problems.
Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in CLAS 102.
Topics in Ancient Greek History
This course explores themes and trends in the history of ancient Greece from the Mycenaean age to the Roman imperial period. Each offering of the course concentrates on a specific theme, process, or period, and varies from year to year. Students analyze problems and questions in Greek social, political, and/or cultural history on the basis of primary and secondary source material. Note: This course may be taken up to three times, provided the course topic is different.
Topics in Roman History
This course explores themes and trends in the history of ancient Rome from the republican period to the late empire. Each offering of the course concentrates on a specific theme, process, or period, and varies from year to year. Students analyze problems and questions in Roman social, political, and/or cultural history on the basis of primary and secondary source material. Note: This course may be taken up to three times, provided the course topic is different.
Greek Literature in Translation
This course discusses Greek verse and prose in the era from Homer to late antiquity. Each offering of the course concentrates on a specific significant genre, theme, or period and varies from year to year. Students examine the works read in their social, cultural, intellectual, and historical contexts, and apply various theoretical and comparative models to the texts.
Latin Literature in Translation
This course discusses Latin verse and prose from the Republic to late antiquity. Each offering of the course concentrates on a specific significant genre, theme, or period chosen at the instructor’s discretion. Students examine the works read in their social, cultural, intellectual, and historical contexts, and apply various theoretical and comparative models to the texts.
Topics in Greek and Roman Religion
In this course, students analyze a topic in Greek or Roman religion, related to religious belief, cultic practice, or public religion. This course typically focuses on literary evidence, but may also draw on archaeological material, to examine the influence of religion on social, cultural, and intellectual life in Greece and Rome. Topics may include, but are not limited to, personal religion in the ancient world, mystery cults, classical philosophical responses to and interpretations of classical religion. Note: Students may take this course up to three times, provided that the topic is different.
Art and Architecture of Periclean Athens
This course examines the art and architecture of fifth century Athens. Students consider the role of Pericles in shaping the appearance and idea of Athens, situating the material remains of the Periclean Age in their historical, social and cultural contexts. Students also study the role of Athenian art and architecture in shaping the perception of Athens by other Greek and non-Greek cities in the fifth century BC and later.
Art and Architecture of Augustan Rome
This course examines the artistic, religious and historical trends of ancient Rome during the Augustan Age as manifested in the art and architectural monuments of the city and empire. Students consider Augustus’ use of architectural and cultural patronage to shape public perceptions of political change. Students also examine primary literature in order to understand the social and cultural milieux of the late Roman Republic and early Roman Empire. Students with credit in CLAS 354 cannot receive credit in CLAS 353.
Life and Culture in Ancient Rome
In this senior-level course, students study Roman society, history and culture in Rome. Students read accounts of Rome, its art and its architecture, and study the archaeological remains of the ancient city, from a historical, cultural and architectural perspective. Students examine sites and monuments from three distinct phases of Roman history: the Republican period, the early Empire and the Christian empire. The course runs for 21 days in Rome, during which the students attend lectures of two professors in situ. Note: Tuition and fees for this course cover the expenses of room and board; students are responsible for their own airfares.
Myth in Classical Art
This course explores the telling and use of myth in the visual art of ancient Greece and Rome. Students examine various art forms that serve as visual narratives, including pottery, sculpture, and coin types, among others. Students also explore political and ideological uses (and re-uses) of myth in art and the ways in which the artistic exposition of particular myths changed throughout Classical Antiquity.
This senior level course in ancient social history focuses on in-depth analysis of the ancient Greek and Roman families in their historical and cultural contexts. Students consider the Graeco-Roman family in comparison to Near Eastern and Egyptian antecedents. The nuclear and extended families are emphasized, as are interventions in the family through law. Through reading of ancient sources and analysis of archaeological evidence, students also examine gender roles within the family and social and familial expectations of the household.
Prerequisites: Minimum grade of C- in any 100 or 200 level CLAS course.
This course permits an intermediate-level student to work with an instructor to explore a specific topic in depth through research or directed reading in primary and secondary sources. The student plans, executes and reports the results of their independent research or study project under the direction of a faculty supervisor. To be granted enrollment in the course, the student must have made prior arrangements with a faculty member willing to supervise his or her project. This course can be taken twice for credit.
Advanced Independent Study
This course permits a senior-level student to work with an instructor to explore a specific topic in depth through research or directed reading in primary and secondary sources. The student plans, executes and reports the results of their independent research or study project under the direction of a faculty supervisor. To be granted enrollment in the course, the student must have made prior arrangements with a faculty member willing to supervise his or her project. This course can be taken twice for credit.