Graduate Courses, 2011-2012
30400. Who Were the Greeks? (=HIST 20701/30701, CLCV 20400) If the current resurgence of interest in ethnic studies is a direct reflection of a contemporary upsurge in ethnic conflict throughout the world, it remains the case that notions of peoplehood and belonging have been of periodic importance throughout history. This course studies the various expressions of Greek identity within shifting political, social, and cultural contexts from prehistory to the present day, though with a strong emphasis on classical antiquity. Particular attention is given to theoretical issues such as anthropological definitions of ethnicity, the difference between ethnic and cultural identities, methods for studying ethnicity in historical societies, and the intersection of ethnicity with politics. J. Hall. Autumn.
31200. History and Theory of Drama I. (=CLCV 21200, CMLT 20500/30500, ENGL 13800/31000, TAPS 28400) May be taken in sequence with ENGL 13900/31100 or individually. This course is a survey of major trends and theatrical accomplishments in Western drama from the ancient Greeks through the Renaissance: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, medieval religious drama, Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Jonson, along with some consideration of dramatic theory by Aristotle, Horace, Sir Philip Sidney, and Dryden. The goal is not to develop acting skill but, rather, to discover what is at work in the scene and to write up that process in a somewhat informal report. Students have the option of writing essays or putting on short scenes in cooperation with other members of the class. End-of-week workshops, in which individual scenes are read aloud dramatically and discussed, are optional but highly recommended. D. Bevington, H. Coleman. Autumn.
32611. History of Strategy. (=HIST 21900/31900, CLCV 22611) This is a lecture and discussion course on the emergence of and changes in European thinking about strategy and command from the end of antiquity to 1815. Topics include the gradual evolution of European military thinking away from dependence on classical thinking about warfare; relationships between firepower and the character of warfare after the appearance of gunpowder; changing conceptions of strategy, tactics, and generalship; and thinking about warfare, maneuver, and battle. Readings are drawn from classics of military history in historical context. W. Kaegi. Autumn.
33707. Pompeii. (=ARTH 20600/30500, CLCV 22707) Pompeii is an iconic site because of its preservation and excavation history. It is tempting but problematic to treat it as “the” paradigmatic Roman city. When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, Pompeii was a small country town well past its prime and not the home of wealthy and educated aristocrats that the more aesthetically minded branch of classical scholarship tends to populate it with. New results on the actual living and economic conditions, such as the predominance of rented housing, throws a new light on the visual culture of the city. We discuss Pompeii’s urban development and social life in relation to evolving trends in what is traditionally called “art.” E. Mayer. Spring.
34309. Byzantium and Islam (=HIST 22001/32001, CLCV 24309) This is a lecture/discussion course on selected Byzantine-Islamic experiences from the emergence of Islam in the seventh century through the middle of the eleventh century. This is not a narrative survey. There is no single textbook. Topics include diplomatic (political), military, economic, cultural, and religious relations that range from subtle influences and adaptations to open polemics. Readings include modern scholarly interpretations as well as primary source readings in translation. Texts in English. W. Kaegi, Spring.
34311. Byzantine Empire, 1025 to 1453. (=HIST 21703/3170, CLCV 24311, ANCM 36700) This course covers internal and external problems and developments in the Byzantine Empire from 1025 to 1453 (e.g., internal tensions on the eve of the arrival of the Seljuks). Other topics include eleventh-century economic growth, the Crusades, achievements and deficiencies of Komnenian Byzantium, the Fourth Crusade and Byzantine successor states, and the Palaeologan political and cultural revival. We also discuss religious topics such as Bogomilism, Hesychasm, and relations with the Papacy. Readings include M. Angold, The Byzantine Empire, 1025-1204; D. M. Nicol, Last Centuries of Byzantium; and the histories of Michael Psellos and Anna Comnena. W. Kaegi. Autumn.
36011. Ancient Views of the Economy. (=CLCV 26011) The ancient economy is a topic that for a long period had fallen into neglect. But for a few years it has experienced an exceptional revival in the field of ancient studies. This is why it is time to revisit classical authors and examine what they can tell us on the economic world they were living in. Starting with Herodotus, moving on with Thucydides, Ps-Iamblichus, Xenophon, Plato, Aristotle, Polybius, Livy and Cicero, this course will provide a general outlook of what the writers of the Classical and Hellenistic period (for Greece) or Republican period (for Rome) can teach us on the topic. It will show certain continuities between some of them but will also be explicit on the vivid debates that could oppose others. Beyond the economic paradigm, it will also provide a new approach to a series of ancient authors. A. Bresson. Winter.
36206. Roman Visual Culture. (=CLCV 26206, ARTH26805/36805) This general survey of Roman material cultureuses the archaeological evidence complementary to literary sources in order to delineate the development of Roman society from the Early Republic down to the first sacking of Rome in 410 C.E. Urban planning, public monuments, political imagery, and the visual world of Roman cities, houses, and tombs are discussed in relationship to the political and social processes that shaped their formal development. E. Mayer. Winter,
36311. Roman Technologies, Machines and Merchants. (=CLCV 26311). It has always been known that the Greeks and Romans could construct complex machinery. But it is a fairly recent discovery that, in the Roman Imperial Period, machines were used on a large scale to maximize profit in agriculture, mining and manufacturing. This course explores this technological revolution and its economic, social and cultural ramifications. E. Mayer. Winter.
36511. Ancient Economies from Mesopotamia to Rome. (=NELC 20772/30772, CLCV 26511) This team-taught course introduces concepts and methods used in the study of premodern economies and then surveys the economies of the ancient Near East and the Mediterranean from the period of the emergence of literate civilization in the fourth millennium B.C. until the period of the Roman Empire. Separate lectures are devoted to the economic aspects of successive periods in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the eastern Mediterranean, including ancient Greece and Israel. The course concludes with surveys of the economy of the Persian Empire, the Hellenistic empires, and the Roman Empire. D. Schloen. Spring.
36811. Plotinus. (=CLCV 26811, SCTH, PHIL25720/35720) We will read selections from the Enneads of Plotinus with an emphasis on the nature of beauty and its role in spiritual ascent. We will consider the relationship between spiritual vocation and the beauty of the world, the proper orientation to human embodiment as a condition for the successful pursuit of the contemplative life, and the power of language to communicate the ecstatic accomplishment of this life. M. Payne, G. Lear. Spring.
37311. Oracles and Divination. (=CLCV 27311) We will study the role of prognostication in ancient Greek life and history, in its two major forms: oracles (divine or divinely inspired words usually in the form of hexametrical poetry) and divination (various rituals used to ascertain the will of the gods, for example, the interpretation of the movements of birds or the entrails of sacrificial animals). C. Faraone. Winter.
41211. Sem. The History of Metaphor from Antiquity to the Middle Ages. Ancient metaphor is frequently interpreted as a largely rhetorical phenomenon, and analyzed in those terms. In this seminar we will seek to understand the history of metaphor in broader terms by reading philosophical and literary texts as well as rhetorical treatises. Our concern will be to grasp the fundamentals of both the practice and the theory of metaphor in pagan and early Christian texts. Readings will cover a broad span from Aristotle to Augustine and beyond. S. Bartsch. Spring.
41811. Sem: Civil War in Lucan and Flaubert: Literature, History, Theology (=CDIN) How to narrate the disintegration that is civil war? Lucan explodes the textual surface of his epic, Civil War, while Flaubert’s novel, Sentimental Education, pushes the disturbing events into the background. Analysis along several disciplinary angles will clarify each author’s textual strategies. The epic and novel challenge, each in different ways, contemporary or near contemporary attempts to redeem civil war as bringing a fated empire or otherwise fulfilling God’s plan. Comparison with historical accounts by Caesar, Appian, and Michelet shows that style is a battleground for debate about legitimation. Secondary material on emperor worship and selections from Augustine’s City of God reveal the theological moves used to subordinate human suffering to some larger plan. Flaubert’s engagement with antiquity is polemical and corrects the assumptions of his age: Paris is not the new Rome of Augustus’ refoundation celebrated by Vergil, but the Roman republic that Lucan shows riven by civil war. All texts will be available in English; students are encouraged to read as much as they can in the original languages. M. Lowrie, B. Vinken. Spring.
42411. Sem: Plotinus. (=SCTH, PHIL25720/35720) We will read selections from the Enneads of Plotinus with an emphasis on the nature of beauty and its role in spiritual ascent. We will consider the relationship between spiritual vocation and the beauty of the world, the proper orientation to human embodiment as a condition for the successful pursuit of the contemplative life, and the power of language to communicate the ecstatic accomplishment of this life. M. Payne, G. Lear. Spring.
44011. Sem: Ancient Aesthetics. (=CLAS 34011) The seminar will investigate the development of ancient aesthetics from pre-Socratic thought to Longinus’ On the Sublime, with emphasis on Plato and the Stoics. The ancient Greeks and Romans are often thought to have a different conception of beauty from moderns. Yet there are obvious similarities. The Greeks and Romans gave us much that we, too, consider beautiful. How did they explain this beauty? In this seminar, we will explore ancient notions of beauty in art, nature, and human conduct. Among the questions that we will address are: What does beauty reside in? How is it experienced? What is the relation of beauty to morality? The seminar is open to graduate students, as well as advanced undergraduates. Knowledge of Greek or Latin is welcome, but not required. E. Asmis. Autumn.
45911. Sem: Time, Space, Self, and Other in Ancient Empires. (=HREL 45501) The seminar will consider in historical and comparative perspective the role of religious discourse and practice in the structuring of meaning in ancient empires. Topics for consideration will include the role of ritual in collapsing space and time; the imbrication of religious and other discursive systems and the embeddedness of religion in systems of power relations; the place of religion in theories of the social and in creating and sustaining self-understandings; and the politics and practice of imperial rulership in respect to cultural and political formations in colonial spaces. Students may enroll for either one or two quarters. C. Ando. B. Lincoln. Autumn.
45912. Sem: Time, Space, Self, and Other in Ancient Empires. The seminar will consider in historical and comparative perspective the role of religious discourse and practice in the structuring of meaning in ancient empires. Topics for consideration will include the role of ritual in collapsing space and time; the imbrication of religious and other discursive systems and the embeddedness of religion in systems of power relations; the place of religion in theories of the social and in creating and sustaining self-understandings; and the politics and practice of imperial rulership in respect to cultural and political formations in colonial spaces. Students may enroll for either one or two quarters. C. Ando. B. Lincoln. Winter.
48511. Plato on Technê (=PHIL55309, SOCT) We’ll read various dialogues in whole or in part to understand what sort of capacity counts as a genuine craft for Plato and how (if it does) his view of craft changes over the dialogues; some topics: the relation between craft and practical wisdom/virtue; the distinction between theoretical and applied sciences; the repeated suggestion that sophists, orators, and poets “pretend” to be craftsmen.(IV) G. Lear. Winter.
21400/31400. Aristophanes. PQ: GREK 20600 or equivalent. We will read in Greek Aristophanes' Lysistrata, a play whose timeless popularity often overshadows the fact that it was produced during a particularly menacing period of Athens’ history. Students will prepare translations for class on Mondays and Wednesdays while Fridays will be devoted to discussions, based on secondary readings, that will include staging issues, the function of political comedy, and the potential uses of Aristophanes’ plays as historical evidence. J. Hall. Autumn.
21500/31500. Herodotus. PQ: GREK 20600 or consent of instructor. Book I is read in Greek; the rest of the Histories are read in translation. With readings from secondary literature, historical and literary approaches to the Histories are discussed, and the status of the Histories as a historical and literary text. C. Faraone. Winter.
21600/31600. Euripides. PQ: GREK 20600 or equivalent. We will try to read all of Euripides’ Hippolytus in Greek. Students will be expected to prepare translations for class as well as read secondary material in English. Discussions will focus on the representation of shame aidos and desire, transgression and punishment, and speech and silence in the play. S. Bartsch. Spring.
28000/38000. The Greek City and its Inscriptions. In the kingdoms of the Near East, the power was in the hands of a single ruler. In the world of the Greek cities of the first millennium BCE, it was in the hands of a group of men, defined as citizens. Among the peculiar achievements of the Greek cities is to be acknowledged an exceptional number of inscriptions, written mostly on stone. This course will explore the link between the inscriptions and the Greek city, both from a conceptual viewpoint and from a practical one. It will concentrate on the public inscriptions of the Greek cities, from the seventh century BCE to the early imperial period. Attending this course supposes mastering ancient Greek, in order to be able to translate the original documents. A. Bresson. Winter.
32800. Survey of Greek Literature II: Prose. A study of the creation of the canonical Greek prose style in the 5th and 4th centuries. Rapid reading and translation exercises. H. Dik. Autumn.
32700. Survey of Greek Literature I: Poetry. Greek poetry, including drama, from Homer to Callimachus. Lectures and discussions will be concerned chiefly with genre, style, meter, and rhetorical structure. There will be some close study of passages chosen to exemplify problems of interpretation or to display the major themes in each poet's work. J. Redfield. Winter.
32900. Survey of Greek Literature III. In this class we will extend the reading of Greek literature into the postclassical era. We will read major works of poetry, philosophy, and history from the Hellenistic and Imperial periods. Authors will include Callimachus, Oppian, Plotinus, Porphyry, and Plutarch. M. Payne. Spring.
34400. Greek Prose Composition. PQ: Consent of instructor. This course focuses on intensive study of the structures of the Greek language and the usage of the canonical Greek prose, including compositional exercises. D. Martinez. Autumn.
34500. Justin Martyr. (=BIBL 41800, GREK 24500) A careful reading of the Greek text of first apologia of Justin and (as time permits) the Epistle to Diognetus, with attention to his language and literary style. We will also concentrate on Justin as an early defender of and advocate for the Christian faith, the importance of his logos doctrine, his demonology, his sacramental ideas and theology of worship. D. Martinez. Winter.
34611. The Shepherd of Hermas. (=BIBL xxxxxx, GREK 24611) The first eight weeks of the course will focus on a careful reading of the Greek text of the Shepherd with attention to its language, structure, and literary strategies. We will consider the importance of this text as the most frequently read non-biblical Christian book in Egypt and one which itself hovered on the edge of canonicity. The last two weeks of the quarter will be devoted to an examination the papyrus fragments of this important treatise. D. Martinez. Winter.
35808/45808. Sophocles’ Antigone. (=SCTH 31221) Heroine or harridan? Political dissident or family loyalist? Harbinger of the free subject or captive of archaic gender norms? Speaking truth to power or preserving traditional privilege? Sophocles’ Antigone has been good to think with since its first production in the fifth century BCE. From ancient commentators through Hegel to contemporary gender theorists like Judith Butler, readers have grappled with what Butler calls “Antigone’s Claim.” The play’s exploration of gender, kinship, citizenship, law, resistance to authority, family vs. the state, and religion (among other issues) has proved especially compelling for modern thought. We will supplement our reading of the play with modern commentary grounded in literary interpretation and cultural poetics, as well as philosophy and political theory. Although no knowledge of Greek is required for this course, there will be assignment options for those who wish to do reading in Greek. Requirements: weekly readings; brief class presentation; final paper. It is open to advanced undergrads by consent only. L. Slatkin. Spring.
42811. Contemporary Virtue Ethics. This graduate seminar will study the revival of a neo-Aristotelian ethics of virtue in contemporary moral philosophy, considering, among others, Iris Murdoch, John McDowell, Bernard Williams, Philippa Foot, and Alasdair MacIntyre. Is virtue ethics a single movement, with a single set of philosophical motivations and normative commitments, or is it a complicated plurality of positions, motivations, and debates? What is the relationship of virtue ethics to the idea of ethical theory? To the aspiration to put reason in charge of human life? Is virtue ethics inherently conservative, deferring to socially formed passions and patterns of conduct, or is (some form of) it capable of radical criticism of entrenched social norms, e.g. of class, race, and gender?
A prerequisite for this course is a solid background in philosophy, comparable to that which would get someone admitted to our graduate program. (For example, a law student with an undergraduate major in philosophy would be a strong contender.) People who are not from the Philosophy Ph.D. program should apply directly to me for permission by September 15.
We will be alluding to the Greeks throughout, so some background in ancient Greek ethics, particularly Aristotle, is highly desirable. M. Nussbaum. Autumn.
46611. Euripides, Bacchae. (=SCTH 35912) Euripides’ Bacchae was probably the last play Euripides finished and is certainly one of the latest plays of the three great 5th century Athenian tragedians. Unusually among Greek tragedies, it takes as its subject a myth about the god of tragedy himself, Dionysus; and explores the relations between city and cult, rationality and religious fervor, man and woman, among other issues; it has always played a central role in interpretations of Euripides and of Greek tragedy in general. The seminar will work through the text closely, examining its philological problems and the history of scholarship but also considering its literary, religious, political, anthropological, and other dimensions. Some attention will also be given to the reception of the play in art and literature and to modern stagings and films. While knowledge of ancient Greek is not indispensable, students planning to take the course who do not know Greek should get in touch with the professor beforehand. G. Most. Winter.
22100/32100. Lucretius. We will read selections of Lucretius' magisterial account of a universe composed of atoms. The focus of our inquiry will be: how did Lucretius convert a seemingly dry philosophical doctrine about the physical composition of the universe into a gripping message of personal salvation? The selections will include Lucretius' vision of an infinite universe, of heaven, and of the hell that humans have created for themselves on earth. E. Asmis. Autumn.
21500/31500. Roman Satire. The course will focus on Juvenal, and also consider the commentary tradition. M. Allen. Winter.
21600/31600. Roman Oratory. Two of Cicero's speeches for the defense in the criminal courts of Rome receive a close reading in Latin and in English. The speeches are in turn considered in relation to Cicero's rhetorical theory as set out in the De Oratore and in relation to the role of the criminal courts in Late Republican Rome. M. Lowrie. Spring.
25711/35711. Cicero's De Finibus and Hellenistic Ethics. ( LAWS 52401, PHIL 22215, PHIL 32215, RETH 34200) Cicero's dialogue De Finibus (On Ends) is his attempt to sort out the major arguments for and against the ethical theories characteristic of Epicureanism, Stoicism, and the "New Academy." It thus provides us with some of our best information about the views of these schools, as well as with critical arguments of great interest. We will read extracts from the dialogue in Latin, focusing on Epicureanism (Books I and II) and Stoicism (Books III and IV), and we will study the entire work in translation, along with relevant primary sources for the views of the schools (the surviving letters of Epicurus, central texts of Greek and Roman Stoicism). The course will thus aim to provide a solid introduction to the major ethical theories of the Hellenistic period.
The course is open to all who have had five quarters of Latin, or equivalent preparation. Translation will always take place during the first hour, and students without Latin are invited to take the course for an R or audit, arriving after that time and doing all the readings in translation. In some cases Independent Study numbers may be arranged for students who want to do some of the course requirements (paper and exam essays) without Latin. M. Nussbaumn. Winter.
43611. Sem: Lupus of Ferrières. Lupus of Ferrières towers as a main figure of Carolingian humanism: the ninth-century study, recopying, and valorization of pre-Christian Classical authors that ensured the survival of many of our most prized Ancient Latin texts. We shall study the nature and reach of Lupus's humanism via his letters and the two score manuscripts that concretely document his role in the afterlife of Cicero, Livy, Priscian, and Boethius. M. Allen. Spring.
44311. Cicero. A close reading of several of Cicero's most brilliant speeches with emphasis on their rhetorical structure and stylistic devices. W.R. Johnson. Autumn.