Graduate Courses 2019-20



CLAS 30419.  Empire in Ancient World.  (ANCM 40419, HIST 40400, CLCV 20419) Empire was the dominant form of regional state in the ancient Mediterranean. We will investigate the nature of imperial government, strategies of administration, and relations between metropole and regional powers in Persia, Athens, the Seleucid empire, and Rome. C. Ando. Autumn.

CLAS 31019 Ancient Stones in Modern Hands. (=HIST 2/39422, ARTH 2/303304 CLCV 21019) Objects from Classical antiquity that have survived into the modern era have enticed, inspired, and haunted those who encountered or possessed them. Collectors, in turn, have charged ancient objects with emotional, spiritual, and temporal power, enrolling them in all aspects of their lives, from questions of politics and religion to those of race and sexuality. This course explores intimate histories of private ownership of antiquities as they appear within literature, visual art, theater, aesthetics, and collecting practices. Focusing on the sensorial, material and affective dimensions of collecting, we will survey histories of modern classicism that span from the 18th century to the present, from the Mediterranean to the Pacific. Historical sources will include the writings of Johann Gottfried Herder, Johann Joachim Winckelmann, Emma Hamilton, Vernon Lee, and Sigmund Freud, among others, while secondary source scholarship will draw from the fields of gender studies, history of race, history of art, and the history of emotions. We will supplement our readings with occasional museum visits and film screenings. This course is team taught as an interdisciplinary course, and we welcome students from all backgrounds, with no previous experience in ancient art or modern history required. S. Estrin and A. Goff.  Winter.

CLAS 31919.  Plato’s Representation of Socrates.  (=SCTH 31931)  This course is intended for students who have already read a fair amount of Plato (usually in English), and are still wondering what to make of it. Readings will include the 7th Letter and particular dialogues to be chosen in consultation with the class as we go along. Topics will include the relevant 4th c. context, also the representation of 5th c. society, also Plato’s biography, the Academy, Plato’s competitors, the origins and development of the dialogue form, others which may turn up in discussion.  The Bollingen Complete Works of Plato has been ordered through the Seminary Coop.  J. Redfield.


CLAS 33119 Uncanny Resemblances. (=ARTH 2/34106, CLCV 23119, CLAS 33119, KNOW) This course examines one of the most captivating bodies of portrait art in the Western tradition. Captivating because they are at once disquietingly familiar and strange: familiar in their realism and psychological presence, yet foreign in their temporal remoteness. For well over a century, the study of Roman portraiture, an essentially German subfield of classical archaeology, has largely confined itself to forensic problems of dating and identification. More recent work has focused on social and political topics ranging from site-specific issues of context and display, patronage and power, gender, and the ideological stakes of recarving and reuse. Additionally, we will consider the historiographical and media-archaeological contexts that have profoundly shaped and framed our understanding of these objects, both in antiquity and modernity: e.g., the production (and reproduction) of wax and plaster death masks in Roman funerary custom; ancient theories in the domain of optics that were used to explain the phenomenon of portraits whose eyes appear to follow a beholder in space; how the stylistic category of “veristic” portraiture in the Roman Republic has its origins not in antiquity (despite the Latin etymology), but rather in the painting and photography of the Neue Sachlichkeit in Weimar Germany; and how the contemporary use of digital craniofacial anthropometry to study the recarving and reuse of Roman portraits relates to Sir Francis Galton’s criminological apparatus for creating composite photographic images using portraits from ancient coins as early as 1885. P. Crowley. Spring.

CLAS 33608. Aristophanes’ Athens. (CLCV 23608, ANCM 33900, HIST 30803, HIST 20803) This course will focus on a number of Aristophanes’ plays in translation (including Acharnians; Wasps; Clouds; Peace; Birds; Lysistrata; Thesmophoriazousai; and Frogs) in order to determine the value Old Comedy possesses for reconstructing sociohistorical structures, norms, expectations, and concerns. Among the topics to be addressed are the performative, ritual and political contexts of Attic comedy, the constituency of audiences, the relationship of comedy to satire, the use of dramatic stereotypes, freedom of speech, and the limits of dissent. J. Hall.  Winter.

CLAS 34319. The Idea of Freedom in Antiquity. (CLCV 34319) Freedom may be the greatest of American values. But it also has a long history, a dizzying variety of meanings, and a huge literature. This course will be an introduction to critical thinking on freedom (primarily political freedom) with an emphasis on Greco-Roman texts. The first half of the class will focus on Greek authors, including Herodotus, Euripides, and Aristotle. The second half will focus on Roman authors, from Cicero to Livy to Tacitus. The ancient texts will be supplemented by modern literature on freedom, such as John Stuart Mill and Isaiah Berlin. A. Horne.  Autumn.

CLAS 34519.  Dreams in the Ancient World. (CLCV 24919, NEHC 20613/30613). Dreams belong to the universals of human existence as human beings have always dreamt and will continue to dream across time and cultures. The questions where do dreams come from and how to unravel a dream have always preoccupied the human mind. In this course we will focus on dreams in the Greco-Roman and Greco-Egyptian cultural environments. We will cover dreams from three complementary perspectives: dreams as experience, dream interpretation and dream theory. The reading materials will include: (a) a selection of dream narratives from different sources, literary texts as well as documentary accounts of dreams; (b) texts which document the forms and contexts of dream interpretation in the Greco-Roman and Greco-Egyptian cultures and (c) texts which represent attempts to approach dreams from a more general perspective by among others explaining their genesis and defining dream-types. S. Torallas. A. Maravela. Autumn.

CLAS 34719. Same-Sex Sexuality: History, Philosophy, and Law. (=PHIL 24799/34799, CLAS 34719).  This new course examines two important historical periods in Western thought during which same-sex conduct and attraction were extensively debated, both politically and philosophically: ancient Greece and Rome, and Victorian and post-Victorian Britain. We will examine the evidence for ancient Greek and Roman attitudes and practices and the normative arguments of the philosophers, especially Plato and the Greek Stoics. Then we leap forward to Victorian Britain, where a newly honest reading of the Greek evidence provided gay men with a rallying point against Christian laws (female same-sex acts were never illegal in Britain), and philosopher Jeremy Bentham provided eloquent arguments for the decriminalization of same-sex acts (fully published only in 2013). We then pause to study a literature that questions whether sexual orientation is a timeless category or a cultural artifact, and a related debate about alleged biological accounts of same-sex desire. Then we move on to the Wolfenden Commission Report of 1957 that recommended the decriminalization of same-sex acts in Britain (with the case of Alan Turing as a central example of what troubled the reformers), along with the related legal-philosophical debate between H. L. A. Hart and Lord Devlin debate (and its roots in the earlier debate about liberty between J. S. Mill and Fitzjames Stephen). We then shift to US law, discussing legal developments regarding sodomy laws, same-sex marriage, and the use of nuisance law to regulate sex clubs, including discussion of the legal notion of “privacy” and philosophical debate about its various confusions. We then examine the recent issues surrounding religious accommodation. We pause to study recent philosophical writings in "queer theory" by Michael Warner and David Halperin, as well as their target Andrew Sullivan, and the relevance of these arguments for legal debates. Finally, we turn outward to examine the history of the legal struggle against (Victorian British) sodomy laws in India, successful only in 2018, and current struggles of the gay rights movement in Russia and Kyrgyzstan. 
Undergraduates may enroll only with the permission of the instructor. Graduate students (Ph.D. and MA) do not need permission. Assessment is by an 8 hour take home final exam, although Ph.D. students and law students may select a paper option. M. Nussbaum. Spring.

CLAS 35219.  Art of Rhetoric from Aristotle-Cicero. (CLCV 25219).  Rhetoric was the supreme technology of the Greco-Roman world, and the principal focus of formal schooling up to the end of antiquity and beyond.  The readings for the course show how the psychology of persuasion was reduced to a system, how the system was adapted to political structures of the very different societies in which it flourished, and how orators put it into practice: Aristotle’s Rhetoric, Cicero’s On the Orator and Brutus, and selected speeches of Demosthenes, Cicero, and others.  P. White.  Spring.

CLAS 35319.  Gender and Sexuality in Late Antiquity: Precursors and Legacies (= BIBL 42919 RLST 22910, GNSE 22910/42910, CLCV 25319)  In this course students will trace how gender was theorized and normative behavior was prescribed and enforced in the ancient world. We will begin with materials from the Greco-Roman world, Hebrew Bible, and the Second Temple Period. As the quarter progresses, we will turn our attention to early and late ancient Christian authors, focusing on the way asceticism and emergent ecclesial institutions shaped the lives of women and gender non-conforming individuals. Throughout the course students will learn to navigate the pitfalls and opportunities the study of gender affords for understanding the development of biblical interpretation, the transformation of classical Graeco-Roman culture, and the formation of Christian doctrine. How did Christianity challenge and preserve norms for female behavior? How did Rabbinic and early Christian authors approach questions of sexuality differently? Along the way we will bring 20th-century theorists of sexuality and gender into our conversations to illuminate pre-modern discourses of virginity, sexual experience, and identity. Primarily we will approach texts through a historical lens while paying attention to the theological and ethical issues involved. At the end of the course we will examine the legacy of late ancient debates, tracing how earlier teaching about gender and sexuality co-exists with, challenges, and informs modern secular worldviews. Open to both undergraduate and graduate students. PQ: No languages are required, but there will be ample opportunity for students with skills in Greek, Latin, Syriac, and Hebrew to use them. Erin Galgay Walsh.  Autumn.

CLAS 25808. Roman Law. (=CLCV 25808, HIST 213004/31004, SIGN 26017, LLSO 21212) The course has two chief aims. First, to investigate the Roman law as a topic of historical inquiry and to chart its development over time; to study its implication in political and demographic changes in the society it sought to map; and to raise problems of evidence and method in grappling with the sources of knowledge that survive to us. Second, to consider some areas of legal doctrine and legal practice both in Rome itself and in the communities over which Rome ruled.  C. Ando, Spring.

CLAS 36017. Gods and God in Roman Asia Minor.  (CLCV 26017, HIST 2/30308, NELC DIV) Roman Asia Minor in the Imperial period provides an extraordinary case of religious plurality and creativity. Pagans, Jews, Christians, even already Christian heretics, interacted in the same space. The frontiers between Jewish and Christian communities were, at least at the beginning, more fluid than was long thought. But even the frontiers between paganism and Judaism or Christianity were certainly not as rigid as was later imagined. This does not mean, however, that there were no tensions between the various groups. This class will examine the various aspects of this religious diversity as well as the social and political factors that may explain the religious equilibrium prevailing at that time in Asia Minor. Course Requirements: two papers, two quizzes.  A. Bresson.  Winter.

CLAS 36419.  Magic in the Ancient Mediterranean. (CLCV 26419, ANCM 46419)  In this course we will mainly focus on the magical rituals (e.g. curses, necromancy, erotic spells, amulets and divination) practiced in the ancient Mediterranean beginning with the Greeks in archaic times and ending with the fall of the Roman Empire, with some discussion of Near Eastern and Egyptian influence at the beginning and Jewish and Christian reception at the end.  Course requirements include a midterm and final and the option to write a paper.   C. Faraone. Spring.

CLAS 38219.  Self Interest and Other Concerns in Greek and Roman Philosophy. (=ANCM 48219, BIBL 38219)  Self-Interest, Selfishness, and a Concern for others in Greek and Roman Philosophy
This course will examine how Greek and Roman philosophers sought to balance a concern for oneself with a concern for others. We will study four main philosophical approaches: those of Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, and the Epicureans. Each will be studied through close attention to selected texts. The texts will be primarily philosophical, but will also include some literary treatments. Plato and Aristotle will provide a background for the thought of the Stoics, who developed a notion of a world-wide community of humans, and the Epicureans, who were hedonists. In each case, we will ask what an individual owes to oneself, one's family, fellow citizens, and human beings as a whole. E. Asmis.  Winter..

CLAS 49000. Prospectus Workshop.  A workshop for students who have completed coursework and qualifying exams, it aims to provide practical assistance and a collaborative environment for students preparing the dissertation prospectus. It will meet bi-weekly for two quarters. D. Wray. Autumn, Winter, Spring.



GREK 31116. Herodotus. (= GREK 21116, FNDL 21116, NEHC 2/31116, RLST 21116, BIBL 31116) “I, Herodotus of Halicarnassus, am here setting forth my history, that what has been done may not fade in time from the memory of man, and great and remarkable achievements , whether of Greeks or foreign (barbaroi) peoples, may not lack the honor of remembrance” (I 1.1).
“I am going to give an extended account of Egypt, because it has a greater number of remarkable things in it, and presents us with a greater number of extraordinary works, than any other country. For that reason I shall say more about it” (II 35.1).
With those two sentences Herodotus expresses the over-all vision of his great History and his particular fascination with Egypt as a special case study of human civilization and man’s “great and remarkable achievements.” We will read Book II this quarter, with attention to Herodotus’ language and his unrivalled status as master of the older Ionic prose style. We will also focus on his historical method, his relish for narrative detail and diversion, and his interpretatio Graeca of Egyptian culture, civilization, and religion.
D. Martinez. Autumn.

GREK 31216. Greek Philosophy. (=GREK 31216, FNDL 21005, BIBL 2/31200,) The Phaedrus is one of the most fascinating and compelling of Plato’s dialogues. Beginning with a playful treatment of the theme of erotic passion, it continues with a consideration of the nature of inspiration, love, and knowledge. The centerpiece is one the the most famous of the Platonic myths, the moving description of the charioteer and its allegory of the vision, fall, and incarnation of the soul. We will read the entire dialogue, with special attention the language and style, with a particular focus on religious and theological ideas. E. Asmis. Spring.

GREK 31300. Greek Tragedy. (=GREK 21300) This course is an introduction to Aeschylean drama in general, seen through the special problems posed by one play. Lectures and discussions are concerned with the play, the development and early form of Attic drama, and philosophical material. Modern Aeschylean scholars are also read and discussed. C. Faraone. Spring.

GREK 34519. Lucian. (=GREK 34519) Lucian’s sparkling dialogues and essays are among the best of Greek humorous writing. Conscious of his long tradition, Lucian explores such topics as moral philosophy, literary history, and issues of fantasy, escapism, and belief—all while maintaining a light touch. We will read several works of Lucian in the original Greek. Translation will be supplemented by thematic discussions of Lucian’s comic technique and intellectual concerns. A. Horne.  Winter.

GREK 35116. Reading Greek Literature in the papyri  (=GREK 25116, BIBL 36916 HCHR 36916, ANCM 45116).
The earliest—and often the only—witnesses for Greek literary works are the papyri. This makes their testimony of great importance for literary history and interpretation, but that testimony does not come without problems. In this course we will cover some of the concepts and techniques needed to recover the literary treasure contained in this highly complex material: from the history of book forms, the textual tradition of literary works, and the creation of the canons to more philological aspects such as editorial practice, Textkritik and paleography. Our literary corpus will include biblical texts, paraliterary (school and magical) texts, and translations of Egyptian texts into Greek. We will work with photographs of the papyri, and every part of the course will be based on practice. As appropriate we will also work with the University of Chicago’s collections of papyri. Requirements: at least two years of Greek. S. Torallas. Autumn.

GREK 32700. Survey of Greek Literature 1. This course will cover the long life of ancient Greek poetry, touching on many genres in their first forms: epic and hymns, poetry that is didactic, theogonic, iambic, elegiac, lyric, epinician, tragic, comedic, pastoral, dithyrambic and some poems that are practically unclassifiable. We will seek to discuss key moments, passages, and poems that give us entry to larger literary questions and themes. We will pay particular attention to details of genre, dialect, and meter, while also being attentive to the history of scholarship that attends on these traditions. We will read some secondary literature and a lot of Greek.  S. Nooter, Autumn.

GREK 32800. Survey of Greek Literature 2.  A study of the creation of the canonical Greek prose style in the 5th and 4th centuries. Rapid reading and translation exercises. E. Asmis, Winter.

GREK 34400. Greek Prose Composition.  The goal of this course is to write accurate sentences and paragraphs in classical Attic Greek.  We are not concerned here with stylistic imitation, but rather to write Attic prose clearly and correctly. The most obvious benefits of this exercise will be thorough review of basic morphology and syntax as well as fine-tuning one's grasp of the more subtle nuances of the Greek language. Another important benefit is cultivating Attic prose as a kind of linguistic standard or canon by which we are able to better understand other Greek styles of writing and types of diction. The vantage point of a standard allows us to analyze and understand other styles on their own terms and merits, whether Herodotos, Epic, New Testament, etc.  H. Dik. Spring.

GREK 36819. The Corpus Hermeticum.  (=BIBL 49900, GREK 26819). PreReq: 2 years of Greek.  According to Clement of Alexandria Hermes Trismegistus authored 42 "fundamental books" on Egyptian religion. The writings under his name which are extant, dating between the first and third centuries AD, incorporate many styles and genres, including cosmogony, prophecy, gospel, popular philosophy, anthropology, magic, hymn, and apocalypse. The first treatise in the collection well represents the whole. It tells how the god Poimandres manifests to his follower a vision, revealing the origin of the kosmos and humanity, and how archetypal man descends to his fallen state and may be redeemed. We will begin with the Poimandres and then read other sections of this strange but absorbing body of material (including Books 4, 10, 13 and 16). D. Martinez..  Winter.


LATN 31100. Roman Elegy. (=LATN 21100) This course examines the development of the Latin elegy from Catullus to Ovid. Our major themes are the use of motifs and topics and their relationship to the problem of poetic persona. D. Wray. Autumn.

LATN 31219. “Philosophical Prose: Cicero, Tusculan Disputations”. (=LATN 21219, FNDL 21219) Several months after the death of his beloved daughter and just two years before his own death, Cicero composed a dialog with an imaginary interlocutor arguing that death, pain, grief, and other perturbations were an unimportant part of the big picture.  A reading of this famous contribution—all of it in English, selections in Latin—to the genre of consolation literature affords an opportunity to weigh his many examples and his arguments for ourselves.   P. White. Winter.

LATN 31300. Vergil. (=LATN 21300, FNDL 21301) Vergil’s ten Eclogues are some of Latin literature’s most enigmatic poems. In addition to reading this collection carefully in Latin, we will sample some of Theocritus’ pastoral in translation, Calpurnius Siculus’ Eclogues in Latin, and Milton’s Lycidas. Class time will focus on translation, interpretation, and discussion of secondary readings. M. Lowrie. Spring.

LATN 35200. Medieval Latin (LATN 25200, HIST 23207/33207, HCHR 35200) The Practice of Carolingian Saints’ Tales. Spoken “Lingua Romana rustica” departed from canonical Ancient Latin long before the late eighth century. But at this time the renewed study of the Classics and grammar soon prompted scholars and poets to update the stories of their favorite saints, and to inscribe some for the first time. We shall examine examples of ninth-century Carolingian “réécriture” and of tandem new hagiography in both prose and verse by authors such as Lupus of Ferrières, Marcward of Prüm, Wandalbert of Prüm, Hildegar of Meaux and Heiric of Auxerre. All source readings in Classical Latin adapted to new Carolingian purposes, which we shall also explore historically in their own right.  M. Allen. Autumn.


Program in the Ancient Mediterranean World:

ANCM 40419.  Empire in Ancient World.  (CLAS 30419, HIST 40400, CLCV 20419) Empire was the dominant form of regional state in the ancient Mediterranean. We will investigate the nature of imperial government, strategies of administration, and relations between metropole and regional powers in Persia, Athens, the Seleucid empire, and Rome. C. Ando. Autumn.