Classics Courses

Classics Courses

  • Fall 2022

    Note that all coursese are now labelled AMS (Ancient Mediterreanean Studies) and not CLAS (Classical Studies) as of summer 2022.

    AMS 180A – Achilles to Zeus: Ancient Greek Lit – Professor Carina de Klerk – GenEd: H

    This course offers a survey of ancient Greek literature in translation, covering the key genres and texts in their social and historical contexts. Many of the texts read in this class are masterpieces that have had and continue to have an extraordinary influence on writers, thinkers, and artists of all kinds. Therefore, this course effectively offers students not only a window into the world of the ancient Greeks but also into any later period that they influenced. Readings will include primary texts in translation as well as adaptations of these works (poems, art, film, graphic novels etc.).


    AMS 180M/COLI 180Q/ENG 180M – Mediterranean Myths, Then & Now – Professor Tina Chronopoulos – GenEd: H
    In this course we will examine and think about myths from the Ancient Mediterranean alongside some of their modern retellings in order to get a sense of how and why these stories continue to resonate today. We will read and learn about myths from regions/empires such as ancient Greece and Italy, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Carthage, the Achaemenid empire, and others.


    AMS 215/COLI 281C/ENG 200R/THEA 289K – Ancient Tragedy, Greece & Rome – Professor Andrew Scholtz - GenEd: H

    Today, the word “tragedy” conjures up images of disaster and suffering. In classical Athens, tragedy above all meant entertainment for a mass audience. But what beyond entertainment did tragedy entail? Is the suffering it depicted wholly foreign to modern sensibilities? Or shall we moderns find in ancient Greek and Roman tragedy something to identify with? In this course, students will pursue that and similar questions.

    AMS 280A/ARTH 281C – Roman Art: An Introduction – Professor Jeffrey Becker – GenEd: A
    This course provides an introduction to the visual culture and art forms of the Italo-Roman world from the Early Iron Age to the beginning of Late Antiquity. The course examines the developmental arcs of art forms in various spheres (public, private, sacred, funereal) and considers key media (sculpture, painting, mosaic, decorative arts). Notable case studies include art in the Vesuvian cities (Pompeii, Herculaneum, Stabiae), the Roman port of Ostia Antica, provincial art in the Roman empire (western and eastern provinces, North Africa), the public art and iconographic programs of key emperors including Augustus, Nero, Trajan, Hadrian, and Constantine I.


    AMS 380A/ANTH 380T - Mediterranean Landscape Archaeology – Professor Jeffrey Becker – GenEds: CN
    This course offers a survey of the archaeology of settled landscapes in the ancient Mediterranean world, including both the ancient Near East and the Mediterranean basin. In particular, the course will focus on city-country dichotomies in order to study the patterns of development, demography, and land use in selected case study areas. While the emergence of urban centers in the Mediterranean and Near East will be an important consideration, the main focus of the course will be to study these landscapes in a contextualized way, exploring the interrelatedness of the city center and its hinterland and examining the ways in which human activity in the landscape over time brings about change. 


    GRK 102/502 – Elementary Ancient Greek II – Professor John H. Starks, Jr.
    Homer, Herodotus, Sappho, others — experience ancient Greece through the language of the ancient Greeks. This course introduces you to ancient Greek grammar, vocabulary at the elementary level. Reading of simple texts, including actual quotations from ancient authors. Simple conversation in the target language to aid in learning. For majors and non-majors. Students beginning with GRK 101 will be prepared in their fourth semester to join a reading course on texts in the original language. Format may vary by sections: Class participation and attendance required. 


    LAT 101 (01 & 02) – Elementary Latin I – Professor Carina de Klerk
    First of two semesters of essential grammar and vocabulary for developing reading skills in classical Latin. Second half of the assigned grammar textbook will be completed along with a significant introduction to Roman literature and culture and supplementary work in prose composition. For majors and non-majors. 

  • Spring 2022

    CLAS 180C/ANTH 280A/HIST 281H/GEOG 180C – Archaeology of Rome and Pompeii – Professor Hilary Becker – GenEd: N

    While it is true that Rome and Pompeii are ancient cities, the archaeology and social history can help us to reanimate them. This course will focus on key cities of Roman Italy and will examine them in a topic-based approach that seeks to illuminate and explicate key pieces of archaeological and historical evidence so that we might arrive at a better understanding not only of these ancient places but also of the people that inhabited them. 


    CLAS 232/COLI 230/ENG 200M/MDVL 280I – Classical Mythology – Professor Pavlovskis-Petit – GenEd: H

    Classical myth in ancient literature and art. Myth as theology, cosmology, explanation of psychological and social phenomena. Correlations between history and mythology. Modern schools of myth interpretation. For majors and non-majors. Weekly lecture and discussion session.  One final examination, one 15-page paper. 


    CLAS 281G/HIST 202 – The Greek World – Professor Nate Andrade – GenEd: GN & Harpur W

    This course examines the societies of the classical and Hellenistic Greek worlds, the social and economic factors that underpinned them, and the cultural and intellectual narratives that shaped their ideological perspectives. It also explores how some Greeks defined self-hood through their encounters with foreign peoples in ways that have shaped modern concepts of the “West” and “East.” Main topics include the Greeks’ encounters with “barbarians,” sexuality and gender, slavery, the significance of sports and athletics, the effects of Athenian democracy and empire, the career of Alexander the Great, and the rise of the Hellenistic world.


    CLAS 283A /ANTH 280X/HIST 281T – The Archaic Mediterranean – Professor Jeffrey Becker – GenEds: GN

    This course considers the archaeology and settlement history of the Mediterranean basin from the later ninth century B.C. to the middle of the fifth century B.C. in order to study, in a contextualized way, the interconnectedness of cultures and economies in this region. The interchange and exchange that occurred in the archaic Mediterranean world was formative - it shaped the trajectory of settlement and economy for well over a millennium. 


    CLAS 380A/HIST 381C – Archaeology of Athens – Professor J. Becker – GenEds: CN

    The ancient city of Athens provides us with a wealth of archaeological and cultural information about the ancient world. Using Athens and its surroundings as our laboratory, this course will focus on the development and growth of the ancient city-state from the Bronze Age through to the third century A.D. 


    CLAS 381U/HIST 386 – Ancient Christianity – Professor Nate Andrade – GenEds: CGN

    This course probes key themes and topics in the history of ancient Christianity, especially as they pertain to the Middle East, East Africa, and Asia. We will examine the ancient Christian communities and landscapes of these regions and analyze their relationships with Jews, Zoroastrians, and polytheists. We will assess the impact of imperialism, martyrdom, monasticism, and relic cults on Christianity’s formation. 


    CLAS 383Z/ARTH 389C/PPL 380A – Archaeological Ethics – Professor H. Becker – GenEds: GNO & Harpur W

    The ethical issues confronted by archaeologists are anything but past. This course aims to provide a forum for informed discussion about cultural property and cultural heritage. Students will think about what stakeholders are involved in issues raised by archaeology; what ethical, financial, legal, and political considerations affect decisions these stakeholders make; what legal statutes, ethical codes, and disciplinary practices are involved.


    CLAS 480H/PHIL 458H – Legal Theory in Greece and Rome - Professor Anthony Preus – GenEds: HJ

    Around 600 BCE, Solon formulated and reformed the laws of Athens. At about the same time, Lycurgus is said to have established the laws of Sparta. Over subsequent centuries we can trace the development of law and legal theory in the Greek and Roman world. Philosophers often called attention to theoretical issues with law – what is the source of law? The source of its authority? What is the relationship between law and morality? What justifies punishment? 


    CLAS 481K/PHIL 481C – Knowing and Being in Ancient Philosophy – Professor Anthony Preus – GenEds: HJ

    Philosophical examination of ancient philosophical texts exploring knowledge and existence, starting from Heraclitus and Parmenides, through Plato (Phaedo, Theaetetus, Sophist, and other dialogues), and Aristotle (sections of On the Soul and Metaphysics, and other works), to some passages from Stoic and Neoplatonic texts. 


    GRK 101 – Elementary Ancient Greek I – Professor John Starks 

    Homer, Herodotus, Sappho, others — experience ancient Greece through the language of the ancient Greeks. This course introduces you to ancient Greek grammar, vocabulary at the elementary level. Reading of simple texts, including actual quotations from ancient authors. Simple conversation in the target language to aid in learning. For majors and non-majors. 


    LAT 102 –Elementary Latin II – Professor Carina deKlerk

    Second of two semesters of essential grammar and vocabulary for developing reading skills in classical Latin. Second half of the assigned grammar textbook will be completed along with a significant introduction to Roman literature and culture and supplementary work in prose composition. For majors and non-majors. Prerequisites: Latin 101 or equivalent as determined by permission of instructor.

  • Fall 2021

    CLAS 180M/COLI 180Q/ENG 180M – Mediterranean Myths, Then & Now – Professor Tina Chronopoulos – GenEd: H

    In this course we will examine and think about myths from the Ancient Mediterranean alongside some of their modern retellings in order to get a sense of how and why these stories continue to resonate today. We will read and learn about myths from regions/empires such as ancient Greece and Italy, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Carthage, the Achaemenid empire, and others.


    CLAS 215/COLI 281C/ENG 200R/THEA 289L – Ancient Tragedy, Greece & Rome – Professor John Starks - GenEd: H

    Today, the word “tragedy” conjures up images of disaster and suffering. In classical Athens, tragedy above all meant entertainment for a mass audience. But what beyond entertainment did tragedy entail? Is the suffering it depicted wholly foreign to modern sensibilities? Or shall we moderns find in ancient Greek and Roman tragedy something to identify with? In this course, students will pursue that and similar questions.


    CLAS 280C/ANTH 280S/HIST 2587C/JUST 280Q – Ancient Cities – Professor Jeffrey Becker – GenEds: GN

    This course is an introductory survey of the urban centers of the ancient Near Eastern, Egyptian, and Mediterranean worlds. In this course students will explore the development of urbanism in these areas by studying the archaeological remains from the cities of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, from the Neolithic period until the foundation of Constantinople in the 4th century A.D.


    CLAS 281M/UNIV 280M – Materials Matter – Professor Hilary Becker – GenEds:  AL

    Science and the humanities are ordinarily understood to be entirely separate domains of inquiry, each with its distinctive objects and modes of study. This course draws these two fields into conversation with each other through an interdisciplinary focus on specific materials.


    CLAS 281P/PHIL 201 – Plato & Aristotle – Professor Anthony Preus – GenEd: H

    Introduction to Greek Philosophy to 323 BCE. Brief introduction to philosophy before Socrates; study of several Socratic dialogues and Plato’s philosophy; general introduction to Aristotle’s ethics, politics, theory of language, science and metaphysics. For majors and non-majors. Short quizzes and three equal essay exams. I>Clicker required. Two lectures, one discussion section per week. No prerequisites or co-requisites. This course is appropriate for first-year students.


    CLAS 283E/AFST 280F/ANTH 282R/HIST 281G/JUST 284E – Race/Ethnicity in Ancient N. Africa - Professor John Starks – GenEds: GN & Harpur W

    We will examine several cultures that inhabited ancient North Africa (Egyptians, Nubians/Kushites, the Jewish communities in Egypt, the Carthaginians, and possibly, given enough time, several ethnic groups of northwest Africa often collectively described by outsiders as ‘Berbers’) before and during the period of Greek and Roman influence around the Mediterranean. To understand these diverse societies we will use the tools of cultural anthropology: ancient Greek and Roman literary texts, native and western art and archaeology, inscriptions, papyri, and coins, qualitative and some quantitative analysis of data, and modern scholarly studies in ethnicity to see how these cultures lived and how they influenced, and were influenced by, the Greeks and Romans.


    CLAS 375/SOC 380G/WGSS 383D – America & Classical Antiquity – Professor Tina Chronopoulos – GenEds: HP

    This course entails a study of the reception of—that is, the treatment and responses to—the cultural products of Ancient Greece and Italy in the United States, with special attention to how these products were appropriated in politics and popular culture and continue to shape how we see ourselves and the past. After an examination of how the study of Ancient Greece and Italy developed into an academic discipline in Western Europe and how it arrived in North America.    


    CLAS 380H/ARTH 381D – Hellenistic & Roman Sculpture – Professor J. Becker – GenEds: AC

    A survey of sculptural forms in the Hellenistic and Roman worlds from the time of Alexander the Great to Late Antiquity. Key sculptural media will be considered from chronological and thematic perspectives. Attention to contextual analysis, social history, form, technique, regionalism, the tradition of copying, artists’ workshops.


    CLAS 450D/PHIL 458D – Justice in Ancient Thought – Professor Tony Preus – GenEd: HJ

    Ancient thought was always concerned with the idea of justice – from Egyptian Ma’at and Hebrew tzedek to Greek dike and dikaiosyne, and Roman lex and justicia, the rule of law and fairness were a persistent concern. We will discuss a variety of texts from the ancient Mediterranean world, with special emphasis on Plato’s Republic and other dialogues, on Aristotle’s Ethics and Politics, and Cicero, On the Laws.


    GRK 102 – Elementary Ancient Greek II – Professor Andrew Scholtz

    Homer, Herodotus, Sappho, others — experience ancient Greece through the language of the ancient Greeks. This course introduces you to ancient Greek grammar, vocabulary at the elementary level. Reading of simple texts, including actual quotations from ancient authors. Simple conversation in the target language to aid in learning. For majors and non-majors. Students beginning with GRK 101 will be prepared in their fourth semester to join a reading course on texts in the original language. Format may vary by sections: Class participation and attendance required.


    LAT 101 – Elementary Latin I – Professor Carina de Klerk

    First of two semesters of essential grammar and vocabulary for developing reading skills in classical Latin. Second half of the assigned grammar textbook will be completed along with a significant introduction to Roman literature and culture and supplementary work in prose composition. For majors and non-majors.


    LAT 203 – Intermediate Latin  – Professor Hilary Becker

    Review of grammar and introduction to Latin literature and development of proficient reading skills through topical passages of real Latin literature written by various Roman authors. Three hours of class each week devoted to discussion and translation of select passages. Over the course of the semester students will transition from Latin exercises highlighting grammatical precision to genuine Latin prose and verse texts. Authors likely to be encountered include Catullus, Cicero, Ovid, Petronius, Suetonius, and others.