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Willamette University

900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301

503-370-6300 voice

Classical Studies View this department's website

The roots of Western civilization can be traced to the various classical cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world. Our forms of government, education, religion, and artistic and literary expression all have their beginnings in ancient Greece, Rome and the Near East. Classical Studies thus serves two purposes: it introduces us to the languages, literatures and cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world and it provides insights into our contemporary world by exploring the roots of Western civilization.

Requirements for the Classical Studies Major (12 Credits)

Seven credits in two of three classical languages (7)

4 credits in one language, 3 in the other from the following:

Four additional credits in courses related to the ancient Mediterranean selected in consultation with the student's advisor (4)

At least 1 of which must be a course in material culture (marked with an *)

  • ARTH 270 (TH; 4th Sem Lang Req) Roman Art and Architecture (1)*
  • ARTH 349 (W, 4th Sem Lang Req) History of Ancient Greek Painting (1)* 
  • ARTH 353 (4th Sem Lang Req) History of Greek Sculpture (1)*
  • CLAS 171 (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) Love and War, Gods and Heroes: Greek and Roman Epic Poetry (1)
  • CLAS 221 (IT) Greek and Roman Lives (1)
  • CLAS 244 (IT; W; 4th Sem Lang Req) The Greek and Roman Stage (1)
  • CLAS 247 (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) Women in Roman Literature and Life (1)
  • HIST 313 Greece and the Hellenistic World (.5)
  • HIST 314 Ancient Rome (.5)
  • IDS 351 (W) Culture of Ancient Greece (1)*
  • PHIL 230 History of Philosophy: Ancient & Medieval (1)
  • REL 113 (TH) Introduction to Old Testament/Hebrew Bible (1)
  • REL 221 Hellenistic Mystery Religions (.5)
  • REL 237 (W; 4th Sem Lang Req) Introduction to Syro-Palestinian Archaeology (1)*
  • REL 340 Hebrew Torah/Pentateuch (1)
  • REL 341 Religions of the Ancient World (1)
  • RHET 231 Classical Rhetoric (1)

Senior Seminar (1)

  • CLAS 496 (W) Senior Seminar in Classical Studies (1)

Student majors will choose a topic in consultation with the Classics faculty and will read an ancient text appropriate to that topic in the original language(s) and write a substantial research paper.

Requirements for the Classical Studies Minor (5 Credits)

Two Credits in one of the three classical languages (2)

One credit in Classics (1)

  • CLAS 171 (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) Love and War, Gods and Heroes: Greek and Roman Epic Poetry (1)
  • CLAS 221 (IT) Greek and Roman Lives (1)
  • CLAS 244 (IT; W; 4th Sem Lang Req) The Greek and Roman Stage (1)
  • CLAS 247 (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) Women in Roman Literature and Life (1)
  • REL 113 (TH) Introduction to Old Testament/Hebrew Bible (1)
  • REL 340 Hebrew Torah/Pentateuch (1)

Two credits from the following (2)

  • ARTH 270 (TH, 4th Sem Lang Req) Roman Art and Architecture (1)
  • ARTH 349 (W, 4th Sem Lang Req) History of Ancient Greek Painting (1) 
  • ARTH 353 (4th Sem Lang Req) History of Greek Sculpture (1)
  • HIST 313 Greece and the Hellenistic World (.5)
  • HIST 314 Ancient Rome (.5)
  • IDS 351 (W) Culture of Ancient Greece (1)
  • PHIL 230 History of Philosophy: Ancient and Medieval (1)
  • REL 221 Hellenistic Mystery Religions (.5)
  • REL 237 (W, 4th Sem Lang Req) Introduction to Syro-Palestinian Archaeology (1)
  • REL 341 Religions of the Ancient World (1)
  • RHET 231 Classical Rhetoric (1)

Faculty

  • Mary R. Bachvarova, Assistant Professor of Classics
  • Ortwin Knorr, Assistant Professor of Classics

Classical Studies Executive Committee

  • Lane C. McGaughy, Professor, Religion, Chair
  • Catherine A. Collins, Professor, Rhetoric and Media Studies
  • Louis F. Goble, Professor, Philosophy
  • Ortwin Knorr, Assistant Professor of Classics
  • Robert H. Lucas, Professor, History
  • David W. McCreery, Professor, Religion
  • Ann M. Nicgorski, Associate Professor, Art History

Course Listings

CLAS 171 (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) Love and War, Gods and Heroes: Greek and Roman Epic Poetry (1)

The great stories of Greek and Roman epic poetry continue to inspire modern literature, art, and film. In this course, Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Hesiod's Theogony, and Vergil's Aeneid will be read and discussed in English translation. Emphasis will be on plot and narrative technique, genre characteristics, changes in world view, and the reception of these poems in later periods.

Mode of Inquiry: Interpreting Texts

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Fourth Semester Language Requirement (Latin and Greek)

  • Offering: Alternate springs
  • Instructor: Knorr

CLAS 221 (IT) Greek and Roman Lives (1)

An introduction to some of the most famous and infamous personalities of the classical world through the ancient literary form of biography.

Mode of Inquiry: Interpreting Texts

  • Offering: Alternate years, spring
  • Instructor: Knorr

CLAS 244 (IT; W; 4th Sem Lang Req) The Greek and Roman Stage (1)

Select plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Plautus and Terence will be read as literature and as documents in the cultural history of Greece and Rome. Emphasis will be placed on the performance of these works in their historical context. Continuity and change in the dramatic tradition will be addressed through viewings of modern adaptations of the Greek and Roman models.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

  • Offering: Alternate years, fall
  • Instructor: Knorr

CLAS 247 (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) Women in Roman Literature and Life (1)

Through the study of ancient Roman texts in translation, this course explores the life experience of women in ancient Rome and the way their lives are reflected in 500 years of Roman literature. Since most Roman authors were men, students will try to reconstruct women's voices and their human experience by exploring both literary and non-literary sources, such as laws, grave inscriptions, and graffiti. In addition, students will examine artistic representations of women in the form of portrait sculptures and funerary monuments.

Mode of Inquiry: Interpreting Texts

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Fourth Semester Language Requirement

  • Offering: Alternate springs
  • Instructor: Knorr

CLAS 496 (W) Senior Seminar in Classical Studies (1)

Required course for Classical Studies majors. Students will choose a topic in consultation with Classics faculty, read a text appropriate to that topic in the ancient language(s) and write a substantial research paper.

Prerequisite: Senior standing in Classical Studies or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor:  Staff

GREEK 131 Elementary Ancient Greek I (1)

Introduction to the morphology and syntax of ancient Greek.

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Knorr, McGaughy

GREEK 132 Elementary Ancient Greek II (1)

Introduction to the morphology and syntax of ancient Greek.

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Knorr, McGaughy

GREEK 231 Ancient Greek Prose (1)

Reading and translation of selected ancient Greek prose texts, including works by Herodotus, Plato, Lysias and others.

Prerequisite: GREEK 131 and 132 or equivalent

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Knorr

GREEK 232 Ancient Greek Poetry (1)

Selections from Greek epic poetry or a complete Greek tragedy will be read and discussed.

Prerequisite: GREEK 131 and 132 or equivalent

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Knorr

GREEK 390 Independent Study (.5-1)

Advanced study of selected Greek texts.

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Knorr, McGaughy

HEBR 131: Elementary Classical Hebrew I (1)

An introduction to the original language of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. Using the inductive methods, students will be introduced to the morphology and syntax of ancient Hebrew by translating selected passages from the Hebrew Bible.

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: McCreery

HEBR 132: Elementary Classical Hebrew II (1)

An introduction to the original language of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. Using the inductive methods, students will be introduced to the morphology and syntax of ancient Hebrew by translating selected passages from the Hebrew Bible.

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: McCreery

HEBR 231: Intermediate Classical Hebrew I (1)

Reading and translation of selected passages from the Hebrew Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Some of the finer points of Hebrew grammar, poetry and orthography will be examined.

Prerequisite: HEBR 131 and HEBR 132 (open to freshmen with good Hebrew background)

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: McCreery

HEBR 232: Intermediate Classical Hebrew II (1)

Reading and translation of selected passages from the Hebrew Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Some of the finer points of Hebrew grammar, poetry and orthography will be examined.

Prerequisite: HEBR 131 and HEBR 132, HEBR 231 (open to freshmen with good Hebrew background)

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: McCreery

HEBR 390 Independent Study (.5-1)

Advanced study of selected Hebrew texts

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: McCreery

LATIN 131 Elementary Latin I (1)

Introduction to the morphology, syntax and style of classical Latin.

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Knorr

LATIN 132 Elementary Latin II (1)

Introduction to the morphology, syntax and style of classical Latin,

Prerequisite: LATIN 131 or consent of instructor.

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Knorr

LATIN 231 Latin Prose (1)

Close reading of classical Latin prose authors. Texts by Cicero, Sallust, Livy, Suetonius, Seneca and/or Apuleius will be translated and discussed.

Prerequisite: LATIN 132 or consent of instructor.

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Knorr

LATIN 232 Latin Poetry (1)

Close reading of classical Latin poetry. Works by Catullus, Propertius, Vergil, Horace, Ovid and others will be translated and discussed.

Prerequisite: LATIN 231 or consent of instructor

  • Offering: Alternate years Spring
  • Instructor: Knorr

LATIN 390 Independent Study (.5-1)

Advanced study of selected Latin texts.

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Knorr, Bachvarova