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2010-2011 CLA Catalog


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Willamette University

900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301

503-370-6300 voice

Course Listings

Classical Studies

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: Triennially in spring
  • Instructor: Knorr

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

Tragedy and comedy are among the most important genres of ancient literature. The study of major plays by writers such as Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Seneca, Aristophanes, Menander, Plautus, and Terence will illustrate the development of ancient theater and the immense influence these dramatic creations still exert on modern Western literature and film. Emphasis will be laid on the historical context of these works, their structure and generic conventions (and the conscious play with them), and on practical issues of staging and performance.

Mode of Inquiry: Interpreting Texts

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

  • Offering: Triennially in spring
  • 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: Triennially in spring
  • Instructor: Knorr

CLAS 250 (TH; W; 4th Sem Lang Req) Greeks, Romans and Barbarians (1)

Herodotus, Caesar, and Tacitus will be consulted, along with comedy, tragedy, fragments of ethnographers and passages from other primary sources to see how perceptions of barbarians changed over time, affected by the ways that Greek and Roman interaction with them changed. In order to better understand how recent history shapes our interpretation of ancient culture, we will study post-colonialist, Afro-centric, and "anti-anti-Semitic" approaches to the Greco-Roman image of Egyptians, Persians, Indians, Scythians, Libyans, Ethiopians, Phrygians, Lydians, Gauls, Britons, and Germans. Credit may only be earned in one of the following: GREEK 350, LATIN 350 or CLAS 250.

Mode of Inquiry: Thinking Historically; Writing Centered

Prerequisite: No seniors.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Fourth Semester Language Requirement

  • Offering: Triennially in spring
  • Instructor: Bachvarova

CLAS 260 (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) Gender and Sexuality in Greek Society (1)

This course explores Greek attitudes towards gender roles and sexuality, drawing on primary medical texts, tragedy, comedy, didactic poetry, forensic speeches, the romance novel, philosophy, early lyric poetry, and secondary scholarship about these texts. Topics include gender construction, misogyny, hysteria, virginity, marriage, rape, seduction, inheritance, female and male desire, homosexuality, and rites of passage.

Mode of Inquiry: Interpreting Texts

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Fourth Semester Language Requirement

  • Offering: Triennially in spring
  • Instructor: Bachvarova

CLAS 351 (US; 4th Sem Lang Req) Greek and Near Eastern Religion (1)

Ancient Eastern Mediterranean religion cannot be understood without taking into account the interplay between economic, political and religious spheres, and the key role it played in justifying social structures, and coercing individuals to play their proper part in upholding social institutions. A variety of sociological and anthropological theories and approaches will be applied to the following topics within ancient Eastern Mediterranean religion: divination, Aphrodite, Apollo, cosmogony, festivals, and worship of the dead. The course will end with a reading of a Greek tragedy, Aeschylus' Eumenides, situating it in its religious and ritual context. Throughout students will constantly be confronted with the question, why are Greek and Near Eastern religions so similar? Can specific similarities be attributed to a common source, borrowing, membership in a single cultural area, or is this "how humans think?" Credit may only be earned in either GREEK 351 or CLAS 351.

Mode of Inquiry: Understanding Society

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Fourth Semester Language Requirement

  • Offering: Triennially in spring
  • Instructor: Bachvarova

CLAS 358 Advanced Topics in Classical Studies (1)

A study of topics in Classical Studies. Topics may be organized around literary themes as well as material culture, focusing on a major author, an idea, a genre, a major work, a literary movement, a critical approach, a historical period, a social phenomenon. Topics, texts, and emphases will vary according to the instructor. Intended primarily for Classics majors and minors and other students with some background in Classical Studies. This class may be repeated for credit with different topics.

  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Staff

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.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Staff