Undergraduate Courses 2017-18

Classical Civilization:

CLCV 20017. Art and Archaeology of Death and Mourning in Ancient Greece. (=ARTH 17302) No aspect of human existence so preoccupied the ancient Greeks as the condition of mortality—the knowledge that, unlike their immortal gods, they would inevitably die. This course will explore the role that material culture played in helping individuals process the effects of death in a variety of times and places within ancient Greece. It will provide an overview of burial and commemoration practices, tomb offerings and funerary monuments, as well as artistic and literary representations of death, mourning, and the afterlife. Many of the readings will be primary texts in translation—epic poems and plays, myths and stories that offered the Greeks paradigms for their own experiences. Throughout, we will consider the role works of art play in helping individuals cope with as personal an issue as bereavement, and we will draw on parallels from contemporary culture to help frame the ancient material.  S. Estrin. Spring.

CLCV 20517. The First Great Transformation: The Economies of the Ancient World. (SIGN 26015, HIST 20505, KNOW 27007) This class examines the determinants of economic growth in the ancient world. It covers various cultural areas (especially Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome and China) from ca. 3000 BCE to c. 500 CE. By contrast with the modern world, ancient cultures have long been supposed to be doomed to stagnation and routine. The goal of this class is to revisit the old paradigm with a fresh methodology, which combines a rigorous economic approach and a special attention to specific cultural achievements. We will assess the factors that indeed weighed against positive growth but we will also discover that, far from being immobile, the cultures of the ancient world constantly invented new forms of social and economic organization. This was indeed a world where periods of positive growth were followed by periods of brutal decline, but if envisaged on the longue durée, this was a period of decisive achievements, which provided the basis for the future accomplishments of the Early Modern and Modern world. A. Bresson. Autumn

CLCV 21517. Minoan Art, Modern Myths, and Problems of Prehistory. (=ARTH 20510/30510, CLAS 31517) This course will provide an introduction to the art of the Bronze Age culture of Minoan Crete, with an emphasis on the Palatial Period (ca. 1900-1450 BCE). We will cover both well-known works and recent archaeological finds, including those from outside of Crete that have altered our view of Minoan art in recent years. At the same time, we will investigate how our knowledge of this civilization and its art has been shaped by the mentalities of those who have excavated its remains and collected and displayed it. We will look closely at archaeological reports, restorations, forgeries, and concepts of style and iconography to reveal how archaeological remains are transformed into historical narratives. While focused on the Minoans, the class is designed to build the analytical skills necessary for engaging with the art of prehistoric cultures and other ancient cultures heavily shaped by modern imaginaries. S. Estrin.

CLCV 21717. Sophocles, Ajax.  (=SCTH 31616, CLAS 31717). PQ: Either an adequate knowledge of ancient Greek or the consent of the instructor is required; students should have refreshed their familiarity with the Iliad and Odyssey.  A close literary and philological analysis of one of the most remarkable and perplexing of all Greek tragedies. We will consider the play’s portrayal of the nature and limits of one form of male heroism against the background of earlier poetry and contemporary history; and we will attempt constantly tor elate philological and literary approaches to one another in order to understand better not only Sophocles’ play but also the strengths and limitations of the ways in which scholars try to come closer to it. G. Most. Winter.  Day/time/location:  1:30-4:20p on Mondays in Foster 305a.

CLCV 22917. How to Build a Global Empire. (=HIST26128, KNOW 23002, LACS 26128) Empire is arguably the oldest, most durable, and most diffused form of governance in human history that reached its zenith with the global empires of Spain, Portugal and Britain. But how do you build a global empire? What political, social, economic, and cultural factors contribute to their formation and longevity? What effects do they have on the colonizer and the colonized? What is the difference between a state, an empire, and a "global" empire? We will consider these questions and more in case studies that will treat the global empires of Rome, Portugal, and Britain, concluding with a discussion of the modern resonances of this first "Age of Empires." S. McManus, Spring.

CLCV 24017. The Spartan Divergence. (=CLAS 34017, HIST 20307/30307) Sparta was a Greek city, but of what type? The ancient tradition, or at least the larger part of it, paints the portrait of an ideal city-state. The city was supposed to be stable and moderately prosperous. Its citizens were allegedly models of virtue. For many centuries the city did not experience revolutions and its army was invincible on the battlefield. This success was attributed to its perfect institutions. Following the track opened by Ollier's Spartan Mirage, modern scholarship has scrupulously and successfully deconstructed this image of an ideal city. But what do we find if we go beyond the looking glass? Was Sparta really a city "like all the others?” This class will show that we must go deeper into our evidence in order to make sense of the extraordinary success followed by the brutal collapse of this very special city-state. A. Bresson. Winter.

CLCV 25017. Peripheries of the Greek World. (=CLAS 35017) What happens when we consider the cultures, histories, and politics of the ancient Greek world from outside its Aegean ecumene?  From Homeric ethnographies to Hellenistic expansion, the borders and peripheries of Greek life became rich spaces for both imagining and constructing Greek identity and civilization through interactions with myriad “others”: barbarians, allies, kings, and monsters. In recent decades, interdisciplinary research has examined what life was like on these peripheries, at the intersections of Greek colonization, trade, religion, and the state. In this course we will examine the concept of peripheries (and cores) and question the methodologies that historians and archaeologists use to consider the dynamic spaces around the edges of the Aegean Sea: colonial settlements, sites of pilgrimage, industrial districts, and exotic fringes, among others. Using textual and material evidence, and taking a broad approach by exploring case studies from Iberia to India, we consider the practices through which diverse peripheries became intertwined with Greek culture (or not). C. Kearns. Winter.

CLCV 25417. Censorship from the Inquisition to the Present. (=HIST 25421/35421, CLAS 35417) This course will be a collaborative research seminar on the history of censorship and information control, with a focus on the history of books and information technologies. The class will meet in Special Collections, and students will work with the professor to prepare an exhibit, The History of Censorship, to be held in the Special Collections exhibit space in spring. Students will work with rare books and archival materials, design exhibit cases, write exhibit labels, and contribute to the exhibit catalog. Half the course will focus on censorship in early modern Europe, including the inquisition, the spread of the printing press, and clandestine literature in the Renaissance and Enlightenment. There will be a special focus on the effects of censorship on classical literature, both newly rediscovered works like Lucretius and the lost books of Plato, as well as authors like Pliny the Elder and Seneca who had been available in the Middle Ages but became newly controversial in the Renaissance. The other half of the course will look at modern and contemporary censorship issues, from wartime censorship, to the censorship comic books, to digital rights management, to free speech on our own campus. Students may choose whether to focus their own research and exhibit cases on classical, early modern, modern, or contemporary censorship. A. Palmer. Autumn.

CLCV 25808. Roman Law. (=CLAS 35808, HIST 213004/31004, SIGN 26017) 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..

CLCV 26017. Gods and God in Imperial Asia Minor (1–300 CE).  (=CLCV 26017, HIST 2/30308)  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.  A. Bresson. Spring.

CLCV 26517. Ancient Greek Aesthetics. (=PHIL 29911/39911, CLAS 36517, SCTH ) The ancient Greek philosophical tradition contains an enormously rich and influential body of reflection on the practice of poetry.  We will focus our attention on Plato and Aristotle, but will also spend some time with Longinus and Plotinus. Topics will include: the analysis of poetry in terms of mimesis and image; poetry-making as an exercise of craft, divine inspiration, or some other sort of knowledge; the emotional effect on the audience; the role of poetry in forming moral character and, more broadly, its place in society; the relation between poetry, rhetoric, and philosophy; aesthetic values of beauty, wonder, truth, and grace. G. Lear. Winter.

CLCV 27017. How to Build a Global Empire. (=HIST 26128, KNOW 23002) Empire is arguably the oldest, most durable, and most diffused form of governance in human history that reached its zenith with the global empires of Spain, Portugal and Britain. But how do you build a global empire? What political, social, economic, and cultural factors contribute to their formation and longevity? What effects do they have on the colonizer and the colonized? What is the difference between a state, an empire, and a "global" empire? We will consider these questions and more in case studies that will treat the global empires of Rome, Portugal, and Britain, concluding with a discussion of the modern resonances of this first "Age of Empires."

CLCV 28300. Ephron Seminar. The goal of this annual seminar of changing context is to promote innovative course design. Examples of past topics are gender, death, violence, and law in the ancient world.  Spring.

CLCV 28517. History of Skepticism. (=HIST 29516/39516, CLAS 38517) Before we ask what is true or false, we must ask how we can know what is true or false. This course examines the vital role doubt and philosophical skepticism have played in the Western intellectual tradition, from pre-Socratic Greece through the Enlightenment, with a focus on how criteria of truth—what kinds of arguments are considered legitimate sources of certainty—have changed over time. The course will examine dialog between skeptical and dogmatic thinkers, and how many of the most fertile systems in the history of philosophy have been hybrid systems which divided the world into things which can be known, and things which cannot. The course will touch on the history of atheism, heresy and free thought, on fideism and skeptical religion, and will examine how the scientific method is itself a form of philosophical skepticism. Primary source readings will include Plato, Sextus Empiricus, Lucretius, Ockham, Pierre Bayle, Montaigne, Descartes, Francis Bacon, Hobbes, Voltaire, Diderot, and others. A. Palmer. Spring.

CLCV 29000. Myth Course. This course examines the social, political, cultural, and religious functions of ancient myth. We will also explore the various theoretical interpretations of myth that have been proposed in a variety of fields in order to investigate what myth can tell us about the ancient Greeks and Romans, as well as those who regard themselves as the inheritors of classical culture. Spring.

CLCV 29800. BA Paper Seminar. This seminar is designed to teach students the research and writing skills necessary for writing their BA paper. Lectures cover classical bibliography, research tools, and electronic databases. Students discuss research problems and compose preliminary drafts of their BA papers. They are expected to exchange criticism and ideas in regular seminar meetings with the preceptor and with other students who are writing papers, as well as to take account of comments from their faculty readers. The grade for the BA Paper Seminar is identical to the grade for the BA paper and, therefore, is not reported until the BA paper has been submitted in Spring Quarter. The grade for the BA paper depends on participation in the seminar as well as on the quality of the paper. Students may register for this seminar in either Autumn or Winter Quarter, but they are expected to participate in meetings throughout both quarters. Autumn, Winter.
Prerequisites: Fourth-year standing.


GREK 10100. Introduction to Attic Greek I. This course introduces the basic rules of ancient Greek. Class time is spent on the explanation of grammar, translation from Greek to English and from English to Greek, and discussion of student work.

GREK 10200. Introduction to Attic Greek II. Study of the introductory textbook continues through this quarter, covering further verbal morphology (participle, subjunctive, optative) and syntax of complex clauses. Students apply and improve their understanding of Greek through reading brief passages from classical prose authors, including Plato and Xenophon.

GREK 10300. Introduction to Attic Greek III: Prose. Concurrently with finishing the final chapters of the textbook in the beginning of the quarter, students read a continuous prose text (Lysias 1). This is followed by extensive review of the year's grammar and vocabulary and further reading (Plato's Crito). The aim is familiarity with Greek idiom and sentence structure.

GREK 20100. Intermediate Greek I: Plato. PQ: GREK 10300 or equivalent. We read Plato’s text with a view to understanding both the grammatical constructions and the artistry of the language. We also give attention to the dramatic qualities of the dialogue. Grammatical exercises reinforce the learning of syntax. Autumn.

GREK 20200. Intermediate Greek II: Tragedy PQ: GREK 10300 or equivalent. We will focus on translation of the Greek text and close reading of syntax and metrical analysis. We will also discuss Sophoclean language, dramatic technique, and tragedy in fifth-century Athens. H. Dik. Winter.

GREK 20300. Intermediate Greek III: Homer. PQ: GREK 10300 or equivalent. Close reading of two books of the Iliad, with an emphasis on the language along with elements of Greek historical linguistics.  E. Austin. Spring.

GREK 22300. Hellenistic/Imperial Literature. (=GREK 33200). PQ: GREK 20300 or equivalent. This class features selections from the poetry and/or prose of the Hellenistic and Imperial periods. This year we will read selections from Hellenistic poetry, with a particular focus on the Hymns of Callimachus. D. Wray. Winter.

GREK 22400. Greek Comedy: Menander. (=GREK 32400) PQ: GREK 20600 or equivalent. We will read in Greek Menander’s Dyskolos, with an eye to understanding “New Comedy” and its robust afterlife in Renaissance Europe and modern sitcoms. We will also devote some time to reading and assessing fragments from Menander’s contemporaries. Coursework will include translation as well as secondary readings. E. Austin. Autumn.

GREK 22515. Greek Historians: Thucydides. (=GREK 32515). In this course we will read book 1 of Thucydides, his description of the run-up to the Peloponnesian War, in Greek. We will pay attention to Thucydides' style and approach to historiography, sinking our teeth into this difficult but endlessly fascinating text. H. Dik. Spring.

GREK 24600.  Philo of Alexandria. (=BIBL 44500, GREK 34600) Pre-reg: At least two years of Greek. In this course we will read the Greek text of Philo’s de opificio mundi, with other brief excerpts here and there in the Philonic corpus. Our aim will be to use this treatise to elucidate the thought and character of one of the most prolific theological writers of the first century. We will seek to understand Philo as a Greek author and the nature and origins of his style, Philo as a proponent of middle Platonism, and Philo as a Jew in the context of Alexandrian Judaism. We will also examine his use of the allegorical method as an exegetical tool, and its implications for pagan, Jewish and early Christian approaches to sacred texts. D. Martinez. Autumn.

GREK 26515. Indo-European Linguistic Paleontology. (=LING 2/31360, GREK 36515) Linguistic paleontology is a set of methods of inspecting reconstructed linguistic data (including early lexical borrowings) in order to derive information about the original geographical location ("homeland"), natural environment (terrain, flora, fauna), economy, and material and spiritual culture (cosmology, pantheon, etc.) of the speech community that spoke the reconstructed protolanguage. In this course we will examine the reconstructed lexicon of Proto-Indo-European and correlate it with evidence from archaeology and textual compositions in the oldest IE languages to formulate hypotheses about PIE homeland, as well as economic and cultural practices. Time permitting, we may apply these methods to language families outside Indo-European. Y. Gorbachov


LATN 10100. Introduction to Classical Latin I. This course introduces students to the rudiments of ancient Latin. Class time is spent on the explanation of grammar, translation from Latin to English and from English to Latin, and discussion of student work.

LATN 10200. Introduction to Classical Latin II. This course continues through the basic text begun in LATN 10100.

LATN 10300. Introduction to Classical Latin III. After finishing the text, the course involves reading in Latin prose and poetry, during which reading the students consolidate the grammar and vocabulary taught in LATN 10100 and 10200.

LATN 11100. Accelerated Introduction to Classical Latin I. This course covers the first half of the introductory Latin textbook. Classes are devoted to the presentation of grammar, discussion of problems in learning Latin, and written exercises.

LATN 11200. Accelerated Introduction to Classical Latin II. This course begins with the completion of the basic text begun in LATN 11100 and concludes with readings from Cicero, Caesar, or other prose texts in Latin.

LATN 11300. Accelerated Introduction to Classical Latin III. Students apply the grammatical skills taught in LATN 11100-11200 by reading a continuous prose text, such as a complete speech of Cicero. Our aim is familiarity with Latin idiom and sentence structure.

LATN 20100. Intermediate Latin-1.  PQ: LATN 10300 or 11300, or equivalent. Primary readings are drawn from Cicero’s orations on the conspiracy of Catiline in 63 BC, and are accompanied by background readings on the period. The purpose of the course is to consolidate the knowledge of Latin gained at the first-year level and to extend it. P.White. Autumn

LATN 20200. Ovid. PQ: LATN 20100 or equivalent. This course is a reading of selections from Ovid with emphasis on his language, versification, and literary art. M. Allen. Winter

LATN 20300. Vergil. PQ: LATN 20200 or equivalent. This course is a reading of selections from the first six books of the Aeneid, with emphasis on Vergil’s language, versification, and literary art. Students also are required to read

LATN 21500. Roman Satire. (=LATN 31500). PQ: LATN 20200 or equivalent. The object of this course is to study the emergence of satire as a Roman literary genre with a recognized subject matter and style. Readings include Horace Satires 1.1, 4, 6, 10 and 2.1, 5 and 7; Persius 1 and 5; and Juvenal 1 and 3. S. Bartsch-Zimmer. Winter.

LATN 22100. Lucretius. (=LATN 32100) PQ: LATN 20200 or equivalent. We will read selections of Lucretius' magisterial account of a universe composed of atoms. The focus of our inquiry is: 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 include Lucretius' vision of an infinite universe, of heaven, and of the hell that humans have created for themselves on earth. M. Lowrie. Autumn.

LATN 21600. Roman Oratory. (=LATN 31600) PQ: LATN 20200 or equivalent. Two of Cicero's speeches in the criminal courts of Rome receive a close reading in Latin and in English. The speeches are considered in relation to theories set out in Cicero's rhetorical writings and in relation to the role of the criminal courts in late Republican Rome. P. White. Spring.

LATN 37017. Einhard. (=LATN 37017)  Einhard’s Life of Charlemagne combined Ciceronian rhetorical theory, the modeling of Suetonius, and personal reminiscences to create one of the best-sellers of the Middle Ages. That work has a situational logic and stylistic place among Einhard’s other activities and literate creations, including letters, epigraphy, theological reflection, and hagiographical narrative. We shall consider the inspirations, styles, and goals of the courtier, biographer, and pious lay retiree, who stands emblematically as both a “typical” and nonpareil figure of the Carolingian Renaissance.  M. Allen. Winter.

2/3xxx. Reason and Religion.  S. Bartsch-Zimmer. Winter.

29700. Reading Course. PQ: Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. Autumn, Winter, Spring.