This course introduces students to the masterpieces of the ancient Greek world in English translation and to the extraordinary civilization that produced them. We will explore the development of Greek civilization through celebrated texts -- for example, Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey"; the poetry of Sappho; plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides; and Plato's philosophical dialogues -- as well as through lesser known but still fascinating works. We will work toward a better understanding of the texts themselves, the people and the culture that produced them and the enduring relevance they hold for us today. No prerequisite. Offered every other year.
This course introduces students to the masterpieces of the ancient Roman world in English translation and to the extraordinary civilization that produced them. We will explore the development of Roman civilization through celebrated texts -- for example, the plays of Plautus, Terence and Seneca; Cicero's speeches; the poetry of Catullus, Horace, Vergil and Ovid; and the novels of Petronius and Apuleius -- as well as through lesser known but still fascinating works. We will work toward a better understanding of the texts themselves, the people and the culture that produced them and the enduring relevance they hold for us today. No prerequisite. Offered every other year.
This course surveys the history of ancient Greece from its occluded origins in the pre-Homeric past to the widespread diffusion of Hellenic culture that accompanied the conquests of Alexander the Great. At the heart of the course will be a careful study of the emergence and development of the Greek city-state in its various incarnations. The course will provide a solid grounding in political history but also will explore aspects of the cultural milieu -- for example, religion, sexual mores and the economy -- that fostered some of the greatest literary and artistic works produced by Western civilization. We will read from the celebrated Greek historians Herodotus and Thucydides, as well as from a variety of other sources, ranging from the familiar to the recondite. No prerequisite. Offered every other year.
This course surveys the history of the ancient Romans from their early years as a negligible people in central Italy, to their emergence as the supreme power in the Mediterranean, and, finally, to the eve of their displacement as rulers of the greatest empire in antiquity. The course combines a chronological account of the Romans' remarkable political history with an examination of Roman society, including subjects such as gender, demography and slavery. We will read from a variety of ancient sources, including the historians Polybius, Livy and Tacitus and the poets Horace and Vergil. We also will mine the evidence offered by coins, inscriptions, papyri and even graffiti, which provide invaluable insight into the realia of daily life. No prerequisite. Offered every other year.
We will explore the ancient Greek world through its material remains -- art, architecture and commonplace objects -- from the early cultures of the Bronze Age to the dominance of Athens in the Classical period, and the great Hellenistic cities that followed. Houses, sanctuaries, civic buildings and tombs will all reveal aspects of Greek society, from the everyday to the extraordinary. We will discuss how archaeologists study this material, and some of the current debates regarding the preservation and presentation of Greek antiquities and archaeological sites. The course will include PowerPoint lectures and discussion, reading from both textbooks and scholarly articles and an optional trip to the Cleveland Museum of Art. No prerequisite. Generally offered every other year.
This course introduces the artistic, architectural and archaeological remains of ancient Italy and the Roman Empire from c. 900 BCE to 330 CE. We will study Roman material culture from its early beginnings under Etruscan influence through the era of the Roman republic, the imperial period, the rise of Christianity and the dissolution of the empire. We will examine architecture, sculpture, pottery and coins in their social and political contexts, with the goal of understanding all aspects of Roman society and those under Roman rule. The course will be based on slide lectures with assigned readings to supplement the images seen and discussed in class. No prerequisite. Offered every other year.
It is impossible to understand the cultures of the West without some knowledge of classical mythology. Not only are some myths wildly entertaining, they permeate popular imagination and life to this day. This course focuses on the evidence from ancient Greece and Rome but may also include material from other traditions. Class discussion will explore some of the overarching themes contained within the myths themselves and also how these stories have influenced modern culture through literature and art. At the same time, students will have a chance to observe how the treatment of different myths changes from author to author, thus revealing what issues were important to the people who told them. No prerequisite. Offered every year.
In this course we will explore ancient drama as an art form that is deeply rooted in the specific historical context where it originated and yet continues to resonate powerfully with audiences all over the world today. Readings will be taken from the works of such famous playwrights as Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Menander, Plautus, Terence and Seneca. The scope and format of the course will vary. Thus the course may take the shape of a chronological survey or focus on a particular type of play, cultural period or theme. No prerequisite. Offered occasionally.
Who owns the Classical past? In this seminar we will discuss a broad range of ethical dilemmas presented by the practice of archaeology in the 21st century. We will focus on issues concerning the looting of ancient sites; ethical, political, and legal aspects of the international trade in art objects and antiquities; authenticity and forgery of ancient art and the scientific technologies applied in the analysis of ancient objects; the management of museums and repatriation of cultural property; conservation and preservation of cultural heritage; and the protection of cultural property in armed conflict. No prerequisite.
The ancient city-state of Athens is renowned for its achievements in architecture, art, politics, literature, philosophy and drama. In this course we will study the development of Athens from the Bronze Age to the Roman period in order to understand the context of these accomplishments. Our examination of Athenian topography and monuments will include the geography of the city and its natural resources, the architectural plan of the city as it develops over time, and the functions of different areas of the city, such as sanctuaries, cemeteries and private dwellings. This study of the archaeological record, along with ancient texts, will reveal many aspects of Athenian society, including religion, economy, government and social stratification. No prerequisite. Offered occasionally.
What did the ancient Greeks and Romans imagine faraway places and peoples were like? What were the social, religious, military, and economic factors that led them to contemplate and travel to distant locales? How did ancient notions of the periphery and the "Other" shape post-Classical perceptions of the world's fringes during, for example, the Age of Discovery? In this course we will study ancient descriptions of journeys to far-off places, ethnographic texts, the causes of human movement in the classical world and the development of views on the structure and dimensions of the earth that led to the achievements of early geographers. We will investigate Greek and Roman travel through archaeological and historical evidence, as well as through seminal texts ranging from Homer's "Odyssey" and Herodotus' "Histories" to Tacitus' descriptions of Britain and Germany. The course will consist mainly of discussion. No prerequisite. Offered occasionally.
Training in rhetoric -- the art of public speaking -- was a cornerstone of education in antiquity. The techniques developed in Greece and Rome for composing and analyzing speeches remain invaluable today, but the formal study of these techniques has all but disappeared from undergraduate curricula. This course seeks to fight this trend. In the opening weeks, we will read ancient handbooks on rhetoric, which anatomize the strategies and tropes available to the public speaker, and will engage in classroom exercises in speechmaking developed millennia ago. We will then examine the crucial role that rhetoric played in three venues: the assembly of democratic Athens, the criminal courts of republican Rome and the cathedrals of Christian bishops in late antiquity. We will read and analyze extant speeches delivered in these three venues, by figures such as Pericles, Cicero, and the Cappadocian Fathers, as well as comparable speeches delivered by more contemporary figures such as Churchill, Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. It is hoped that the academic study of ancient rhetoric will aid students in developing their own skills as public speakers. No prerequisite. Offered occasionally.
Individual study in classics allows students to explore aspects of the field not covered or minimally covered in the curriculum. To be eligible for an individual study, a student must have completed two courses germane to the study's topic. One of these must be the core civilization course that provides the essential background for the project; the core courses are CLAS 101, 102, 111, 112, 121, 122 and 130. (E.g., a student seeking to pursue an individual study on some aspect of Greek archaeology must have taken CLAS 121.) The student should present a case for the approval of the second course in the proposal to the department. To enroll in an individual study, a student should meet with an appropriate faculty member for a preliminary discussion of the project. If the faculty member is willing to supervise the study, then the student must submit a proposal by email to all members of the department on campus. Departmental approval is required for the individual study to proceed. If the proposal is approved, the student should take the initiative in designing the course and, in consultation with the supervisor, develop a syllabus. The student and supervisor should meet at least one hour each week. For an individual study worth 0.5 units, the workload must be equivalent, at minimum, to that encountered in one of the core courses in translation. For individual studies worth 0.25 units, the work should be approximately half that encountered in those courses. Because students must enroll for individual studies by the end of the seventh class day of each semester, they should begin discussion of the proposed individual study preferably the semester before, so that there is time to devise the proposal and seek departmental approval before the registrar's deadline.
In this capstone course, the content of which will change on a regular basis, students will study closely a particular topic in classics that benefits from an investigation based on a wide range of approaches (e.g., literary, historical, archaeological). The course seeks to further students' skills in written and verbal communication. Each student will write a major research paper on a subject related to the topic of the seminar and will outline the results of his or her inquiry in an oral presentation. This course is required of and restricted to classics majors and minors in their senior year. Offered every year.
This course offers independent study for senior candidates for honors. Students enrolled in this course will be automatically added to CLAS 498Y for the spring semester. Permission of instructor and department chair required.
This course offers independent study for senior candidates for honors. Permission of instructor and department chair required.