Classical civilization courses (courses in translation) survey courses clas 10100: Ancient Greece and Rome

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CLAS 10100: Ancient Greece and Rome (Offered annually)

This first-year course introduces the general history and culture of ancient Greece and Rome to students coming to the subject for the first time. Literary texts central to the ancient Greek and Roman traditions receive prime attention, including works by Homer, Plato, Cicero and Virgil, but students are also exposed to the importance of learning from documentary texts, archeology, and art history. Topics discussed include concepts of divinity and humanity, heroism and virtue, gender, democracy, empire, and civic identity, and how they changed in meaning over time. The course allows students to develop a rich appreciation for the Greek and Roman roots of their own lives, and prepares them to study the Greco-Roman past at more advanced levels.


CLAS 10200: Introduction to Greco-Roman Mythology (Offered annually)

This first-year course introduces the mythologies of Greece and Rome—some of the foundational narratives of the Western literary and artistic tradition—and traces their transmission and influence over two and a half thousand years from ancient to modern times. The course is particularly valuable as an initial course in the humanities because it pays special attention to such current interpretative theories as structuralism, psycho-analysis, feminism, and post-modernism that allow the many meanings of myths to be deciphered and understood.

CLAS 10225: Christianity in the Roman World (Last taught S2016)

A survey of the political and cultural history of the ancient Mediterranean world from the age of the philosopher-king Marcus Aurelius, the late second century AD, to the rise of Islam in the seventh century.  Exploring a variety of sources, the course examines such topics as the ‘fall’ of the Roman Empire, the emergence of Byzantine rule, and the social, cultural, and artistic impact on the Greco-Roman world of early Christianity. With readings from Ammianus Marcellinus, Julian the Apostate, Ausonius of Bordeaux, Augustine, Jerome, and Zosimus, among others, the course offers a special introduction to the literary splendors of late antiquity.

CLAS 12100: Ancient Greece and Rome Discussion Sections

(0 credits)

A weekly discussion group required for those registered for CLAS 10100, Ancient Greece and Rome.
CLAS 12200: Greek and Roman Mythology Discussion Sections

(0 credits)

A weekly discussion group required for those registered for CLAS 10200, Greek and Roman Mythology.
CLAS 13186: (USEM) Literature University Seminar

Introduces first-year students to the study of classical literature on a comparative basis with readings from Greco-Roman literature.

CLAS 20050: Introduction to Classical Archaeology (Last Taught Fall 2015)

The course examines the archaeology of the ancient Mediterranean, primarily of Ancient Greece and Rome, from prehistoric times to Late Antiquity. Students will learn how archaeologists interpret material remains and reconstruct past events. Discussions of stratigraphy, chronology, and material evidence will introduce students to the fundamental principles of archaeology. Archaeological methods and theory will be studied in relation to field excavation and intensive surface survey. Students will assess the architecture of important sites, such as Troy, Mycenae, Athens, Pompeii, and Rome, and will learn how to analyze material artifacts from the Greco-Roman world, including ceramics, coins, glass, inscriptions, paintings, sculpture, and metal work. The course aims to teach students how to evaluate the material culture of the ancient world on the basis of archaeological research and historical and social context.

CLAS 20060: Heroes revisited Baroque reception of classical models (Last taught S2016)

Baroque heroes are different from classical heroes for several reasons. They operated in different religious settings and matched a different kind of morality and status. Nonetheless, Baroque writers heavily depended on classical sources to create their leads. In particular, they lived in constant dialogue with the ancient heroic code in the attempt to revitalize the corrupted customs of sixteenth century European society. This course will examine four central texts of European Baroque, which explore the tension between heroism and appearance in a comparative analysis of classical and modern works. We will look at literary examples from an expanded time period (1581-1686) and from European countries as diverse as Italy, France, Spain and England. Along the way, we will discuss themes that are common to the study of the reception of the classics in the 1600, such as the rise of a new epic genre, the role of imagination and folly, the presence of irony and the notion of mask as constitutive features of new characters. We will ask ourselves questions, such as: should classical heroes be considered models for writers in the 1600, or does this comparison lessen or even ignore the significance of historical and cultural differences?; Should Baroque literature have specific qualities, and what qualities should those be?; Should models be imitated and to what degree?: Should texts only be read in their original language?;

By the end of this course you will have gained a broad understanding of the classics as source of inspiration for European modern literature and will be able to approach the classical tradition from various times and nations, and from a variety of exemplary discourses. All readings are in translation. This course satisfies the University Literature requirement.
CLAS 20070: Friendship and Literature: Classical and Early Christian Perspectives (Last Taught F2014)

In the ancient world, both pagans and Christians considered friendship an important type of human relationship. By means of literature, they sought to explore how one achieves perfect friendships in the midst of the suffering and trials of human existence. This course will examine texts from Classical Greece to Late Antiquity. In our analysis, we will consider the following questions: 1.) What are the forms of friendship for the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Christians? 2.) How does the literary genre (ex. Poetry, philosophical dialogue, and epistle) shape the author’s presentation of friendship? 3.) What are the theological, philosophical, political, and social factors that contribute to each author’s understanding of friendship? 4.) Why does one seek to form friendships, and never seek to be alone in one’s life? All readings are in translation.

CLAS 20100: Words in Time: Greek, Latin, and the History of English (Last taught S2007)

Greek and Latin language and literature exercised a profound influence on the growth and development of English, affecting everything from vocabulary to literary structure. This course examines that influence. Topics to be covered include: the phonological and morphological development of Greek, Latin and English from Indo-European; Greek, Latin, and Romance borrowings into English; borrowings as a sign of cultural interaction; the mechanics of semantic change; and the translation of literary style. Illustrative readings will include Chaucer, Milton, Shakespeare, and Tennyson. Knowledge of Greek and Latin not required.

CLAS 20105: The History of Ancient Greece (Offered biennially)

An outline introduction to the history of ancient Greece from the Bronze Age to the Roman conquest. The topics covered include the rise of the distinctive Greek city-state (the polis), Greek relations with Persia, Greek experiments with democracy, oligarchy, and empire, the great war between Athens and Sparta, the rise to power of Philip and Alexander of Macedon, and the Greeks’ eventual submission to Rome. Readings include narrative, documentary, and archeological sources. The course prepares students for more detailed courses in ancient history.

CLAS 20205: The History of Ancient Rome (Offered biennially)

An outline introduction to the history of ancient Rome from Romulus to Constantine. The topics covered include the meteoric spread of Roman rule in the ancient Mediterranean, the brilliance of a republican form of government tragically swept away by destructive civil war, the rise of repressive autocracy under the Caesars, and the threats to empire in late antiquity posed inside by the rise of Christianity and outside by hostile invaders. Readings include narrative, documentary, and archaeological sources. The course prepares students for more detailed courses in ancient history.

CLAS 20300: Film and the Ancient World (Schlegel) (To be taught F2017)

This course examines how the literature and history of Greek and Roman antiquity are depicted in movies from the earliest days of the medium onwards, and how these films express social concerns contemporary with their making. Students will view films, study texts in translation from ancient Greece and Rome, and read secondary criticism on the subjects of ancient culture and modern representations.
CLAS 20400: Introduction to Ancient Art of Greece, Rome, and Egypt (Last Taught S2015)

This course will examine the origins of Western art and architecture, beginning with a brief look at the Bronze Age cultures of the Near East and Egypt, then focusing in detail on Greece and Rome, from the Minoan and Mycenaean world of the second millennium B.C.E. to the rule of the Roman emperor Constantine in the fourth century C.E. Among the monuments to be considered are ziggurats, palaces, and the luxuriously furnished royal graves of Mesopotamia; the pyramids at Giza in Egypt and their funerary sculpture, the immense processional temple of Amon at Luxor; the Bronze Age palaces of Minos on Crete—the home of the monstrous Minotaur and Agamemnon at Mycenae, with colorful frescoes and processional approaches; the great funerary pots of early Athens and the subsequent traditions of Red and Black Figure vase painting; architectural and freestanding sculpture of the Archaic and Classical periods; the Peridean Acropolis in Athens, with its monumental gateway and shining centerpiece , the Parthenon; and finally, among the cultural riches of Rome, the painted houses and villas of Pompeii; the tradition of republican and Imperial portraiture, the Imperial fora; the exquisitely carved Altar of Peace of Augustus; the Colosseum; and the Pantheon of the Philhellene emperor Hadrian.

CLAS 20500: Introduction to Early Christian and Byzantine Art (ARHI 20250) (Last Taught F2012)

This course will introduce students to the visual arts of the period ca. AD 200 to ca AD 1600. Our work will take us from the first fashioning of an identifiable Christian art through to the remarkable poetics of Late Byzantine painting. In so doing, the student will be introduced to the full array of issues that arise around the question of there being a Christian art. Working from individual objects and texts, we will construct a variety of narratives that will reveal a vital, complex, and rich culture that, in a continuing tradition, has done so much to shape the visual imagination of Christianity.

CLAS 22105: The History of Ancient Greece Discussion sections

(0 credits)

A weekly discussion section for those registered for CLAS 20105, The History of Ancient Greece, or its cross lists.
CLAS 22205: The History of Ancient Rome Discussion sections

(0 credits)

A weekly discussion section for those registered for CLAS 20205, The History of Ancient Rome, or its cross-lists.
CLAS 30021: Greek Literature and Culture (Last taught F2009)

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