2014-2015

Classical Studies

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 *)

  • ARCH 237W (4th Sem Lang Req) Introduction to Archaeology (1)*
  • ARTH 115 (IT) Introduction to Ancient and Medieval Art History (1)*
  • ARTH 270 (TH; 4th Sem Lang Req) Roman Art and Architecture (1)*
  • ARTH 271 (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) Greek Art and Architecture (1)*
  • CLAS 171 (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) Love and War, Gods and Heroes: Greek and Roman Epic Poetry (1)
  • CLAS 244W (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) The Greek and Roman Stage (1)
  • CLAS 247 (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) Women in Roman Literature and Life (1)
  • CLAS 250W (TH; 4th Sem Lang Req) Greeks, Romans, and Barbarians (1)
  • CLAS 260 (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) Gender and Sexuality in Greek Society (1)
  • CLAS 358 Advanced Topics in Classical Studies (1)
  • ERTH 351W Archaeological Geology (1)*
  • GREEK 350W (TH; 4th Sem Lang Req) Greeks, Romans and Barbarians: Readings in Greek (1)
  • HIST 231 (TH) Greek History From Homer to Alexander (1)
  • HIST 251 (TH) Rome: From Republic to Empire (1)
  • HIST 345 Studies in Greek and Roman History (1)
  • HIST 443 Advanced Topics in European History (when on an appropriate topic) (1)
  • IDS 351W Culture of Ancient Greece (1)*
  • LATIN 350W (TH; 4th Sem Lang Req) Greeks, Romans and Barbarians: Readings in Caesar and Tacitus (1)
  • LATIN 353 (IT) Latin Sources on Roman Women (1)
  • PHIL 230 History of Philosophy: Ancient & Medieval (1)
  • REL 113 (TH) Introduction to Old Testament/Hebrew Bible (1)
  • REL 227 (TH, 4th Semester Lang Req) Paganism: The Religions of Greece and Rome (1)
  • REL 340 Hebrew Torah/Pentateuch (1)
  • REL 341 Religions of the Ancient World (1)
  • RHET 231 Classical Rhetoric (1)

Senior Seminar (1)

  • CLAS 496W 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)

A minimum of two, maximum of four, credits in one of the three classical languages: Greek, Hebrew, or Latin (2 to 4)

A minimum of one, maximum of three, credits from the following, to result in 5 total credits for the minor (1 to 3)

  • ARCH 237W (4th Sem Lang Req) Introduction to Archaeology (1)
  • ARTH 115 (IT) Introduction to Ancient and Medieval Art History (1)
  • ARTH 270 (TH; 4th Sem Lang Req) Roman Art and Architecture (1)
  • ARTH 271 (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) Greek Art and Architecture (1)
  • CLAS 171 (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) Love and War, Gods and Heroes: Greek and Roman Epic Poetry (1)
  • CLAS 244W (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) The Greek and Roman Stage (1)
  • CLAS 247 (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) Women in Roman Literature and Life (1)
  • CLAS 250W (TH; 4th Sem Lang Req) Greeks, Romans, and Barbarians (1)
  • CLAS 260 (IT; 4th Sem Lang Req) Gender and Sexuality in Greek Society (1)
  • CLAS 358 Advanced Topics in Classical Studies (1)
  • ERTH 351W Archaeological Geology (1)*
  • GREEK 350W (TH, 4th Sem Lang Req) Greeks, Romans and Barbarians: Readings in Greek (1)
  • HIST 231 (TH) Greek History From Homer to Alexander (1)
  • HIST 251 (TH) Rome: From Republic to Empire (1)
  • HIST 443 Advanced Topics in European History (When on an appropriate topic) (1)
  • IDS 351W Culture of Ancient Greece (1)
  • LATIN 350W (TH; 4th Sem Lang Req) Greeks, Romans and Barbarians: Readings in Caesar and Tacitus (1)
  • LATIN 353 (IT) Latin Sources on Roman Women (1)
  • PHIL 230 History of Philosophy: Ancient and Medieval (1)
  • REL 113 (TH) Introduction to Old Testament/Hebrew Bible (1)
  • REL 227 (TH, 4th Sem Lang Req) Paganism: The Religions of Greece and Rome (1)
  • REL 340 Hebrew Torah/Pentateuch (1)
  • REL 341 Religions of the Ancient World (1)
  • RHET 231 Classical Rhetoric (1)

Indicators of Achievement

The department expects that graduating Classical Studies Majors (and, to a lesser extent, also Classical Studies Minors) show evidence of the following five learning outcomes.

Student Learning Outcomes for the Classical Studies Major

  1. Demonstrate a critically informed understanding of the various cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world, including primarily Greek, Roman, and/or Near Eastern civilizations
    • Knowledge of the history and culture of ancient Greece, Rome, and/or the Near East.
    • The ability to explain the cultural, historical, and literary context of an ancient text or artifact
    • The competence to evaluate the validity of a scholarly thesis about the ancient world based on one’s knowledge of the primary texts, the history, and the material culture of the ancient Mediterranean
  2. Demonstrate intermediate to advanced reading ability in one of the three ancient languages we teach (Latin, Ancient Greek, and Classical Hebrew) and beginning intermediate skills in another ancient language
    • Knowledge of the morphology and syntax of two ancient languages. (Latin, Greek, and/or Classical Hebrew).
    • The ability to translate intermediate to advanced texts in two ancient languages.
    • The ability to interpret ancient texts with regard to their content, style, and genre
  3. Apply research skills and show familiarity with philological, historical, and archaeological approaches to the study of the ancient world
    • The competence to frame and pursue a research question.
    • Knowledge of different philological, historical, and archaeological approaches to the study of the ancient world.
    • The ability to identify and evaluate relevant primary and secondary sources.
  4. Demonstrate evidence of critical thinking skills
    • The ability to synthesize knowledge.
    • The ability to think critically, weigh arguments, and reach conclusions that go beyond merely summarizing the current state of research.
  5. Demonstrate discipline-based and interdisciplinary writing and presentation skills
    • The ability to write persuasively, following scholarly conventions.
    • Effective presentation and oral communication skills.

Faculty

  • Mary R. Bachvarova, Associate Professor of Classics; Department Chair
  • Robert Chenault, Associate Professor of History and Classics
  • Catherine A. Collins, Professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies
  • Ortwin Knorr, Associate Professor of Classics; Director, Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology (CASA); Chair, Comparative Literature and History of Ideas
  • David W. McCreery, Professor of Religious Studies
  • Ann M. Nicgorski, Professor of Art History and Archaeology; Co-Chair, Department of Art History; Faculty Curator, Hallie Ford Museum of Art
  • Scott Pike, Assistant Professor of Environmental and Earth Sciences; Chair, Department of Environmental and Earth Sciences

Part-Time and Visiting Faculty


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.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Interpreting Texts; Fourth Semester Language Requirement (Latin and Greek)
  • Offering: Triennially in spring
  • Instructor: Knorr

CLAS 244W (IT; 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.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered; Interpreting Texts; 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.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Interpreting Texts; Fourth Semester Language Requirement
  • Offering: Triennially in spring
  • Instructor: Knorr

CLAS 250W (TH; 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 350W, LATIN 350W or CLAS 250W.

  • Prerequisite: No seniors.
  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered; Thinking Historically; 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.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Interpreting Texts; Fourth Semester Language Requirement
  • Offering: Triennially in spring
  • Instructor: Bachvarova

CLAS 358 (4th Sem Lang Req) 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.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: 4th Semester Language Requirement
  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Staff

CLAS 496W 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

GREEK 131 Elementary Ancient Greek I (1)

Introduction to the morphology and syntax of ancient Greek.

  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Staff

GREEK 132 Elementary Ancient Greek II (1)

Introduction to the morphology and syntax of ancient Greek.

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Staff

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: Fall
  • Instructor: Staff

GREEK 232 Ancient Greek Poetry (1)

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

  • Prerequisite: GREEK 231 or equivalent
  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Staff

GREEK 232a Hellenistic Greek Texts (1)

Reading and translation of selected Greek texts from the Greco-Roman period, including the New Testament, the Septuagint, Josephus, Philo, and the Apostolic Fathers; some attention to Hellenistic grammar, papyrology, and textual criticism.

  • Prerequisite: GREEK 231
  • Offering: On demand
  • Instructor: Staff

GREEK 350W (TH; 4th Sem Req) Greeks, Romans and Barbarians: Readings in Greek (1)

Taught 3 hours a week in conjunction with CLAS 250W (Greeks, Romans and Barbarians), one hour per week translating Herodotus and/or Heliodorus. Primary sources will be consulted to see how perceptions of barbarians changed over time, affected by the ways that Greek and Roman interactions 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 350W or CLAS 250W.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered; Thinking Historically; Fourth Semester Language Requirement
  • Prerequisite: GREEK 232 or consent of instructor
  • Offering: Triennially in Spring
  • Instructor: Bachvarova

GREEK 362W Advanced Research and Writing on Greek Literature (1)

This course is intended to provide students with appropriate preparation in Greek, an additional opportunity to read Greek in the original and to polish their research and writing skills.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered
  • Prerequisite: GREEK 231
  • Offering: On Demand
  • Instructor: Staff

GREEK 390 Independent Study (.5-1)

Advanced study of selected Greek texts.

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

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 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: Staff

LATIN 132 Elementary Latin II (1)

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

  • Prerequisite: LATIN 131 or consent of instructor.
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Staff

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: Staff

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: Spring
  • Instructor: Staff

LATIN 350W (TH) Readings in Caesar and Tacitus: Greeks, Romans and Barbarians (1)

Taught 3 hours a week in conjunction with CLAS 250W (Greeks, Romans and Barbarians), one hour per week translating Caesar, and Tacitus. 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 interactions 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 not be earned for both LATIN 350W and CLAS 250W.

  • Prerequisite: LATIN 232
  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered; Thinking Historically
  • Offering: Triennially in spring
  • Instructor: Bachvarova

LATIN 353 (IT) Latin Sources on Roman Women (1)

Taught 3 hours a week in conjunction with CLAS 247, one hour per week translating original Latin texts by and about Roman women. 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, focusing on issues such as female literacy, "female" genres, and gender-specific language. In addition, students will examine artistic representations of women in the form of portrait sculptures and funerary monuments. Credit may only be earned in one of the following: LATIN 353 or CLAS 247.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Interpreting Texts
  • Offering: Triennially
  • Instructor: Knorr

LATIN 390 Independent Study (.5-1)

Advanced study of selected Latin texts.

  • Offering: Every semester
  • Instructor: Staff

LATIN 391 Advanced Reading in Latin Literature (1)

This course allows for intensive study at the third-year level of a text or texts in a single genre or time-period of Latin literature. The primary focus remains translation, but secondary readings will be incorporated and discussed.

  • Prerequisite: Completion of LATIN 232, or equivalent, or permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit.
  • Offering: Fall
  • Instructor: Staff

LATIN 394W Advanced Research and Writing on Latin Literature (1)

This course is intended to provide students with appropriate preparation in Latin, an additional opportunity to read Latin in the original and to polish their research and writing skills.  Meets concurrently with the Latin-based Classics Senior Thesis.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered
  • Prerequisite: LATIN 232 or consent of instructor
  • Offering: As needed
  • Instructor: Staff

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