Undergraduate Courses 2018-19


Classical Civilization:

CLCV 15000. Myth & its Critics. (HIST 17000, SIGN 26037). C. Ando. Spring.

Myth is essential to how humans make sense of the world: our foundational stories explain the nature of the world; they justify and explore social and sexual difference; they teach and test the limits of human agency. The course will survey contexts and uses of myth-making in the ancient Mediterranean world. We will also explore the many traditions of critique and anxiety about myth-making, among philosophers, literary critics and religious authorities.

CLCV 20118. Changing, Resting, Living: Aristotle's Natural Philosophy (PHIL 2/30102, CLAS 30118). A. Callard. Winter.

How can many things be one thing? Aristotle’s answer to this question treats living things—plants and animals—as the paradigm cases of unified multiplicities. In this class, we will investigate how such things are held together, and what makes it possible for them to change over time. Readings will be from Aristotle’s Physics, Metaphysics, De Anima, Parts of Animals, On Generation and Corruption and De Motu Animalium.

Students who are not enrolled by the start of term but wish to enroll must (a) email the instructor before the course begins and (b) attend the first class.

CLCV 21500. The Medieval Book: History, Typology, Function. (CLAS 31500). M. Allen. Spring.

The course will survey the cultural setting of books and book-learning from the end of Antiquity to the Age of Print. We shall consider the new and varied historical impulses that shaped medieval techniques of writing, reading, and ordering of knowledge, and also the details of physical construction, textual presentation, and decoration, which often survived the transition from script to print culture. To illustrate our discussions, we shall make use of holdings in Regenstein Special Collections and also take a special trip to the Newberry Library.

CLCV 21718. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle on Courage. (PHIL 2/31720, CLAS 31718). A. Callard. Autumn.

What is courage? Is it: doing what you should do, even when you are afraid? Can you be courageous without being afraid? Can you be courageous and know that you are doing the right thing? Can you be courageous if you are not in fact doing the right thing? Can you have precisely the correct amount of fear and still fail to be courageous? Could you be courageous if you weren’t afraid to die?

Courage is, arguably, the queen of the virtues. In this class, we will use some Socratic dialogues (Laches, Protagoras, Republic, Phaedo) and some Aristotelian treatises (Nicomachean Ethics, Eudemian Ethics) as partners in inquiry into the answers to the questions listed above.

Students who are not enrolled by the start of term but wish to enroll must (a) email the instructor before the course begins and (b) attend the first class.

CLCV 21915. Present Past in Greece since 1769. (HIST 21/31006, CLAS 31915, ANCM 31915). J. Hall. Winter.

This discussion-based course will explore how conceptions of the ancient past have been mobilized and imagined in the political, social, and cultural discourses of modern Greece from the lead up to the War of Independence through to the present day. Among the themes that will be addressed are ethnicity and nationalism; theories of history; the production of archaeological knowledge; and the politics of display.

CLCV 22518. Humor in Antiquity. A. Horne. Autumn.

Satire, spoof, social comedy—much of what we think of as funny today was also funny to the Greeks and Romans. In this course we will look at highlights of Greco-Roman humorous writing, with a special focus on dramatic comedy (Aristophanes, Menander, Plautus, Terence) and on satire (Horace, Persius, Juvenal). We will also look at some more recondite gems, including Lucian’s comic essays and the cheeky biographies of the Roman emperors. Topics include the way that comedy comments on power and society, and the way that comic tropes persist or differ across time and genre.


CLCV 22718. Sports and Leisure in the Ancient World.  A. Horne. Winter.

For many of the ancients, leisure was more than a pastime: it was the most serious business of life. This course examines Greco-Roman reflections on athletics—the games—alongside philosophical discussions of leisure. Our goal is to study a wide range of perspectives on the use of non-work time, from the flippant (Ovid) to the deathly serious (Pindar, Aristotle). The unifying theme is that, for almost every figure we study, leisure is not only more important than work, but requires deeper reflection to do well. Ancient readings will be supplemented by selections from modern writers on leisure.


CLCV 23518.  “Persia: The First World Empire.”  (=NEHC 20735) R. King. Winter.

Stretching from Pakistan to Egypt and Greece, the Achaemenid Persian Empire dominated the Middle East for over 200 years (559-330 BCE) and was the first world empire in history.  The Persian Empire brought diverse cultures, such as those of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece, under a single rule, and witnessed transformations in the economies, religions, and political structures of the ancient world.  In this course, we will trace the rise and fall of the Persian Empire and its afterlife, as the history of the Persian Empire continues to affect how we conceive of the Middle East today.


CLCV 24118. Coptic Bible. (CLAS 34118, NEHC 24118/34118, RLST 21450, BIBL 34118, MDVL 24118). S. Torallas. Autumn.

The Coptic versions of the Bible present one of the earliest translations of Christian scripture as the new religion spread. Understanding how the Bible (canonical and non-canonical) was read and used in Egypt at this early stage implies studying the development of Christian communities in those agitated times, as well as paying attention to questions of literacy and linguistic environment, book production, Bible (both Greek and Coptic) on papyrus, and translation and interpretation in Antiquity. The course will draw on materials assembled from my work on the critical edition of the Gospel of Mark, but will also look into other materials like the Coptic Old Testament, and non-canonical scriptures such as Nag Hammadi and the Gnostic scriptures. No previous knowledge of Coptic is required. A brief introduction to the Coptic language will be part of the class, and parallel sessions of additional language instruction will be planned for those who are interested in learning more.

CLCV 24818. The Body and Embodiment in Ancient Greek Art. (CLAS 34818, ARTH 2/34810). S. Estrin. Winter.

Whether naked or clothed, male or female, mortal or divine, the body takes pride of place in the visual worlds constructed by ancient Greek artists. Yet this emphasis on depicting the body begs the question: What is a body that exists as an image? What, in other words, is a body that is not embodied? This problem, articulated already in our ancient sources, serves as the starting point for this course’ investigation of the relationship between images of the body in Greek art and the experiences such images solicited from their viewers. It examines, on the one hand, how Greek art promoted the body as a social construct—through artistic practices that configured the body’s appearance, like distinctive techniques, styles, and iconography; through conceptual categories that ascribed identities, like gender, class, and race; and through contexts that integrated depictions of the body into lived experience, like sanctuaries, cemeteries, and domestic settings. But we will give equal attention to the viewer’s subjective experience of embodiment, including its sensorial and affective dimensions, and the ways in which that experience is negotiated and articulated as a function of works of art. Finally, we will turn to the legacy of the Greek body in more recent centuries and consider its enduring impact as a visual paradigm today.

CLCV 24918. Early Traveling Writing: Pausanias in Roman Greece. (CLAS 34918, FNDL 24918). C. Kearns. Spring.

Through a close reading of Pausanias, who wrote a Description of Greece during the Roman imperial period, this course explores ancient forms of travel writing and associated interests in the places, peoples, myths, ruins, and material objects of the Mediterranean world. Moving from the apparent ethnographic lens of earlier Greek literature to Roman imperialist expeditions, readings and discussions will examine the sociopolitical contexts out of which Pausanias emerged as a literary author, and his legacies in and relationship to the wide array of genres of modern travel writing, from Lewis and Clark to John Steinbeck. Key topics will include: movement through space, tourism, nature, landscape, town and country, sites and spectacles, myth, ritual, and acts of remembering and forgetting.

CLCV 25218. Mediterranean Islands: Odd and Insular Histories. (CLAS 35218). C. Kearns. Spring .

Islands, and Mediterranean islands in particular, have long provoked curiosity and intrigue, and have persisted as places for thinking about utopia, incongruity, distinctiveness, or backwardness since antiquity. This course interrogates the representations of islands in ancient thought as well as their own archaeological and historical records in order to trace their often elliptical categorization in modern scholarship. Are islands unique because they are isolated, or rather because they become crossroads of interaction? From the mythical island of the Cyclopes, to the Aegean archipelagos, to the large masses like Sicily or Cyprus, discussions will explore approaches to insularity, isolation, connectivity, and identity using a wide range of textual and material evidence and theoretical insights from geography, anthropology, history, literature, and environmental science.

CLCV 25415. Text into Data: Digital Philology. (CLAS 35415, DIGS 2/30009). H. Dik. Autumn.

Corpus research used to mean collecting data by hand by copying examples from texts onto index cards, or consulting indices to particular authors and works to collect examples. Digital text corpora allow us to query large corpora, and to develop our own corpora to suit our particular research questions. This course introduces students to Digital Philology in the Classics, arguably the most flourishing sector of the Digital Humanities. Students will do a combination of readings from secondary literature, 'lab work' to suit their own research interests, and present a final project. This course is open to undergraduates and graduates.

CLCV 25418. Empires and Peoples: Ethnicity in Late Antiquity. (HIST 20902/30902, CLAS 35418) R. Payne.

PQ: Open to advanced undergraduates and graduate students.

Late antiquity witnessed an unprecedented proliferation of peoples in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Vandals, Arabs, Goths, Huns, Franks, and Iranians, among numerous others, took shape as political communities within the Roman and Iranian empires or along their peripheries. Recent scholarship has undone the traditional image of these groups as previously undocumented communities of "barbarians" entering history. Ethnic communities emerge from the literature as political constructions dependent on the very malleability of identities, on specific acts of textual and artistic production, on particular religious traditions, and, not least, on the imperial or postimperial regimes sustaining their claims to sovereignty. The colloquium will debate the origin, nature, and roles of ethno-political identities and communities comparatively across West Asia, from the Western Mediterranean to the Eurasian steppes, on the basis of recent contributions. As a historiographical colloquium, the course will address the contemporary cultural and political concerns—especially nationalism—that have often shaped historical accounts of ethnogenesis in the period as well as bio-historical approaches—such as genetic history—that sometimes sit uneasily with the recent advances of historians.

CLCV 25818. Stoic Ethics Through Roman Eyes. (PHIL XXXX, LAW XXXX, DIVS XXXX, CLAS 35818). M. Nussbaum. Winter.

PQ: ability to read the material in Latin at a sufficiently high level, usually about two-three years at the college level. Assignment will usually be about 8 Oxford Classical Text pages per week, and in-class translation will be the norm.

The major ideas of the Stoic school about virtue, appropriate action, emotion, and how to live in harmony with the rational structure of the universe are preserved in Greek only in fragmentary texts and incomplete summaries. But the Roman philosophers give us much more, and we will study closely a group of key texts from Cicero and Seneca, including Cicero's De Finibus book III, his Tusculan Disputations book IV, a group of Seneca's letters, and, finally, a short extract from Cicero's De Officiis, to get a sense of Stoic political thought. For fun we will also read a few letters of Cicero's where he makes it clear that he is unable to follow the Stoics in the crises of his own life. We will try to understand why Stoicism had such deep and wide influence at Rome, influencing statesmen, poets, and many others, and becoming, so to speak, the religion of the Roman world.

CLCV 26216. Pagans and Christians. (RLST 20505). D. Martinez. Spring.

This course will examine some of the ancient Greek roots of early Christianity. We will focus on affinities between Christianity and the classical tradition as well as ways in which the Christian faith may be considered radically different from it. Some of the more important issues that we will analyze are: "The spell of Homer." How the Homeric poems exerted immeasurable influence on the religious attitudes and practices of the Greeks. The theme of creation in Greek and Roman authors such as Hesiod and Ovid. The Orphic account of human origins. The early Christian theme of Christ as Creator/Savior. Greek, specifically Homeric conceptions of the afterlife. The response to the Homeric orientation in the form of the great mystery cults of Demeter, Dionysus, and Orpheus. The views of the philosophers (esp. Plato) of the immortality of the soul compared with the New Testament conception of resurrection of the body. Ancient Greek conceptions of sacrifice and the crucifixion of Christ as archetypal sacrifice. The attempted synthesis of Jewish and Greek philosophic thought by Philo of Alexandria and its importance for early Christianity.

CLCV 26518. Introduction to Women and Gender in the Ancient World. (=HIST 17001) M. Andrews, Winter. Th. 9.30-10.50.

This course provides an introduction to aspects of women's lives in the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean: primarily Greece and Rome, but drawing occasionally on examples also from the Near East and Egypt. We will examine not only what women actually did and did not do in these societies, but also how they were perceived by their male contemporaries and what value to society they were believed to have. The course will focus on how women are reflected in the material and visual cultures, but it will also incorporate historical and literary evidence, as well. Through such a comparative and interdisciplinary approach, we will examine the complexities and ambiguities of women's lives in the ancient Mediterranean and begin to understand the roots of modern conceptions and perceptions of women in the Western world today.

CLCV 26618. Cities and Urban Space in the Ancient World. (=ANCM 36618, CLAS 36618, HIST 20805/30805) M. Andrews, Spring. Th. 9.30-12.20.

Cities have been features in human landscapes for nearly six thousand years. This course will explore how cities became such a dominant feature of settlement patterns in the ancient Mediterranean and Near East, ca. 4,000 BCE–350 CE. Was there an "Urban Revolution," and how did it start? What various physical forms did cities assume, and why did cities physically differ (or not) from each other? What functions did cities have in different cultures of the past, and what cultural value did "urban" life have? How do past perspectives on cities compare with contemporary ones? Working thematically and using theoretical and comparative approaches, this course will address various aspects of ancient urban space and its occupation, with each topic backed up by in-depth analysis of concrete case studies.



GREK 10100. Introduction to Attic Greek I. Autumn.

Knowledge of Greek not required.

This course introduces students to 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. Winter.

PQ: GREK 10100.

The remaining chapters of the introductory Greek textbook are covered. 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. Spring.

PQ: GREK 10200.

Students apply the grammatical skills taught in GREK 10100-10200 by reading a continuous prose text by a classical author such as Lysias, Xenophon, or Plato. The aim is familiarity with Greek idiom and sentence structure.

GREK 20100. Intermediate Greek I: Plato. Autumn.

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.

GREK 20200. Intermediate Greek II: Sophocles. Winter.

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.

GREK 20300. Intermediate Greek III: Homer. Spring.

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.

GREK 21700. Lyric and Epinician Poetry. (GREK 31700). M. Payne. Autumn.

PQ: GREK 20300 or equivalent.

This course will examine instances of Greek lyric genres throughout the archaic and classical periods, focusing on the structure, themes and sounds of the poetry and investigating their performative and historical contexts. Readings will include Alcman, Sappho, Alcaeus, Anacreon, Ibycus, Alcaeus, Simonides, Bacchylides, Pindar and Timotheus in Greek.

GREK 21800. Greek Epic: Homer. (GREK 31800). E. Austin. Winter.

PQ: GREK 20300 or equivalent.

This course is a reading of sections from Homer's Iliad. We will focus on character, emotions, and relationality in the poem, with an eye to evaluating the poem's many perspectives on mortality, relations with the divine, conceptions of the polis, and the nature of excellence.

GREK 21900. Greek Orators: Demosthenes, Isocrates. (GREK 31900). H. Dik. Spring.

PQ: Two years or more of Greek.

"With Isocrates, Greek artistic prose reached its technical perfection," says L. R. Palmer in The Greek Language. Yet Isocrates has not found nearly so prominent a place in the university curriculum as have Demosthenes and Lysias. This course will attempt to give the great orator his due. We will start with his speech on Helen, comparing it with Gorgias' famous Encomium. We will also read the ad Demonicum, which became something of a handbook in later Hellenistic and Roman-period schools, and the Panegyricus. We will consider carefully Isocratean language and diction, and why it has merited such sustained praise among connoisseurs of Greek prose style, ancient and modern. We will also emphasize the centrality of Isocrates' contribution to Greek paideia.

GREK 24718. Longinus' On the Sublime. (GREK 34718, FNDL 24718). E. Asmis. Winter.

PQ: Two years of Greek.

Composed around the first or second century C.E., Longinus' On the Sublime marks a new direction in ancient aesthetics and later had a profound influence on the aesthetics of  the Romantic period and afterward. It was a watershed between viewing art as imitation and viewing it as self-expression. Great literature was now seen as producing ecstasy, not instruction; and the hearer was thought to share in the creativity of the author. We will read most of this text in Greek, with a view to understanding what is so innovative about it.

GREK 25806. The Epigraphy of the Greek World. (GREK 35806, HIST 2/30309). A. Bresson. Spring.

Greek inscriptions provide us with a unique and specific approach to the ancient Greek world. This class will investigate both private and public inscriptions of ancient Greek city-states, from the Archaic to the Imperial period. It will allow us to explore both new forms of expression of the Greek language and specific and highly diversified cultural features. The class is open to students with Greek proficiency at the intermediary level or higher.

GREK 26515. History of the Greek Language. (GREK 36515, LING 21420, LING 31420, BIBL 35615). S. Torallas.

Greek is one of the oldest continuously written languages: we have testimonies of it across three millennia. This course will review the various stages of this language from its first written texts (Mycenaean Greek) to Medieval and Modern Greek, including the Greek dialects, the rise of the Koiné, Biblical Greek, and the contact of Greek with other languages through history. We will read and discuss texts from all phases, including literary texts, epigraphy, papyri and medieval manuscripts. Two years' previous study of Greek is a requirement for enrollment.



LATN 10100. Introduction to Classical Latin I. Autumn.

No knowledge of Latin required.

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. Winter.

PQ: LATN 10100.

This course begins with the completion of the basic text begun in LATN 10100 and concludes with readings from Cicero, Caesar, or other prose. Texts in Latin.

LATN 10300. Introduction to Classical Latin III: Cicero. Spring.

PQ: LATN 10200.

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 20100. Intermediate Latin I. Autumn.

PQ: LATN 10300 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.

LATN 20200. Intermediate Latin II: Ovid. E. Austin. Winter.

PQ: LATN 20100 or equivalent.

This course is a reading of selections from the Metamorphoses, with emphasis on Ovid's language, versification, and literary art.

LATN 20300. Intermediate Latin III: Vergil's AeneidSpring.

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 the whole of the epic in an English translation.

LATN 21800. Roman Historiography. Tacitus. (LATN 31800). P. White. Winter.

PQ: Latin 20300 or equivalent.

Primary readings are drawn from the Tiberian books of the Annals, in which Tacitus describes the consolidation of the imperial regime after the death of Augustus. Parallel accounts and secondary readings are used to help bring out the methods of selecting and ordering data and the stylistic effects that typify a Tacitean narrative.

LATN 21900. Roman Comedy. (LATN 31900). D. Wray. Spring.

Plautus' Pseudolus is read in Latin, along with secondary readings that explain the social context and the theatrical conventions of Roman comedy. Class meetings are devoted less to translation than to study of the language, plot construction, and stage techniques at work in the Pseudolus.

LATN 23400. Boethius Consolation of Philosophy. (LATN 33400, FNDL 23405). P. White. Spring.

PQ: LATN 20300 or equivalent.

The Consolation of Philosophy, which Boethius wrote in prison after a life of study and public service, offers a view on Roman politics and culture after Rome ceased to be an imperial capital. The Consolation is also a poignant testament from a man divided between Christianity and philosophy. About 70 pages of the text are read in Latin, and all of it in English. Secondary readings provide historical and religious context for the early sixth century AD.

LATN 26000. Latin Paleography. (LATN 36000). M. Allen. Winter.

The course will emphasize the development of Latin handwriting, primarily as book scripts, from its origins to the waning of the Carolingian minuscule, ca. AD 1100. By mastering the foundational types of writing, the students will develop skills for reading all Latin-based scripts, including those used for vernacular languages and the subsequent Gothics and their derivatives down to the sixteenth century.


LATN 36118.  Cicero's "De Oratore."  (LATN 26118). J. Zetzel. Autumn.

De oratore, composed in the mid-50s BCE, was Cicero's first major work of non-oratorical prose. A dialogue responding to Plato's Phaedrus and Gorgias, it offers simultaneously a theory of rhetoric, a claim for the importance of oratory as a form of civic engagement, and an exploration of the role of Greek culture in Roman life. In this course we will read most of the first book of De oratore in Latin and the remainder of the work in English while examining Cicero's arguments in the context of the long-running ancient battle between rhetoric and philosophy. We will also look at the dialogue as a representation of Roman aristocratic culture in the late Republic.