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Classics Course Descriptions


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[CL133]    Greek Myth and Literature      A survey of the Greek myths, with emphasis on their content and significance in both ancient and modern society; the creation of myths; and the impact of myths on the evolution of our moral and political concepts.     Three or four credit hours.  L, I.  
[CL138]    Heroes of the World      The Greeks, the Romans, the Irish: peoples around the globe have produced their own unique heroes appropriate to the needs and desires of their particular cultures. Nevertheless, these heroes share a variety of traits and experiences. The similarities and differences of the heroes of Ireland, Greece, Rome, and other cultures; why we crave heroes and how that craving has shaped us all.     Three or four credit hours.  L, I.  
[CL141]    Snake Goddesses and One-Eyed Wall Builders: Prehistoric Greek Archaeology     What does prehistory have to do with us? This survey of the prehistoric cultures of Greece and the Aegean islands seeks to answer just that question. Through the study of the material remains from sites like Troy, Mycenae, and Knossos and cultures of the Palaeolithic period (100,000 B.C.) down to the Iron Age (1000 B.C.), we will focus on universally understood topics such as social eating and drinking, human effect on the environment, city versus country, and economic booms and busts, in order to understand what prehistoric people can tell us about ourselves.     Three credit hours.  H.  
CL145j    Between Revolution and Tradition: Julius Caesar and Augustus      How Julius Caesar and Augustus both contributed to the crisis of the Roman republic and tried to resolve it. Topics include conflicts between republican traditions and a monarchical regime, Caesar's dictatorship, his image, the Ides of March, Augustus's attainment of sole power, his relationship with senators, commoners, and slaves, the Roman games, and society and literature in the Augustan age.     Two credit hours.    J. ROISMAN
[CL151]    Anatomy of Bioscientific Terminology      Teaches the Greek and Latin word elements that combine to form most of the specialized terms in biological sciences. The student who learns the meanings of these elements and the rules of word formation will usually recognize the basic meaning of any unfamiliar word in this field. Attention is also given to misformation, common errors, and words still in use that reflect scientific theories since rejected.     Two credit hours.  
CL197f    Myths into Medals: The (Hi)stories of the Olympic Games      From their origins to the international fanfare of their modern descendants, the Olympic Games have maintained a firm grip on the public imagination and represent one of our most direct links to the ancient world. Then as now, athletic competition offered opportunities to celebrate civic and individual achievements and promised fame and fortune to the victor. Students will examine the literary history and material remains of ancient athletic contests and their place in religion, education, and politics, as well as the changing role of athletes in society. Previously offered as CL398 (spring 2011).     Three credit hours.  H, I.    BROMBERG
CL197Jj    Digging for Homer: The Archaeology of the Iliad and Odyssey     Where does a story end and history begin? Homer's epic tales of war and homecoming, the Iliad and the Odyssey, are cornerstones in the canon of Western literature—but they also depict a world where mythology meets history and fact meets fiction. We seek out the physical remains of the Trojan War in order to understand the Bronze Age culture and society of legendary Greeks like Helen, Achilles, Agamemnon, and Odysseus, and their Trojan counterparts. We will read excerpts from the Iliad and the Odyssey alongside publications about archaeological research that has taken place around the Mediterranean since the 19th century.     Three credit hours.    SWAN
[CL231]    Hero's Rage in the Iliad      A close reading of Homer's Iliad in English translation. Focuses on oral composition, the meaning of heroism, the role of the gods in the epic, and Homeric social and ethical values. Was war idealized by the ancients? What roles were open to women in the society portrayed? Special attention to the methodologies employed in classics for the examination of an ancient text and to oral and written structuring of an argument. Learning goals include refining and honing attention to detail, distinction between facts and views, enhancement of critical and analytical skills, improvement of oral presentation skills, and refinement of writing skills.     Three credit hours.  L, I.  
[CL234]    In Search of a Strong Man: Greece in the Fourth Century      The fourth century B.C.E. was a transition period for the Greeks. They were forced to reassess basic values relevant to their political systems, their ways of life, and their relationship with non-Greeks. They re-examined the role of great individuals in a community that looked at such men with suspicion. The challenges faced by the city-state, the search for a powerful individual as a solution for social and political problems, the phenomenon of mercenaries, and the accomplishments of the kings of Macedonia, Philip II, and Alexander the Great. Open to first-year students.     Three credit hours.  H, I.  
CL236s    Roman Legends and Literature      Through reading the works of selected Roman authors in translation, an examination of major concepts in mythology: cosmogony, the hero, the interplay of legend and history, etc. Open to first-year students.     Four credit hours.  L.    O'NEILL
[CL238]    Aeschylus: Beginnings of Greek Tragedy      Examines the origins of Greek drama and discusses Aeschylus as traditionalist, innovator, and father of Western dramatic theater. Reading the seven extant tragedies of Aeschylus with special emphasis on moral and political dilemmas as portrayed in the Oresteia as well as Prometheus Bound.     Three credit hours.  L.  
[CL240]    The Tragic Hero: The Drama of Sophocles      Aristotle considered Sophocles the most sublime of the great Greek tragedians. The Sophoclean heroes are self-destructive by nature, beset by doubts, constrained by fate, and hobbled by an ambiguous code of honor. Their motives reveal human fragility behind the heroic facade. Among other tragedies, readings include Oedipus the King, Antigone, Ajax, and Electra.     Three credit hours.  L, I.  
CL242f    Tragedies of Passion: Euripides      Euripides's tragedies show the effects of passion and reason on human actions. His characters are not only ambiguous about their choices but often act contrary to their professed intentions. Reading from a selection of plays, such as Medea, Hippolytus, Bacchae, Alcestis, Helen, Trojan Women, Hecuba, and Electra, as well as secondary literature on Greek tragedy.     Three credit hours.  L, I.    H. ROISMAN
[CL244]    Myth and Archaeology      Is myth fiction or does it have some basis in fact? Since the 19th century, there have been numerous claims that archaeological evidence has been discovered to prove the veracity of myths from the Trojan War to episodes in the Bible. An exploration of the often explosive and controversial intersection between myth and archaeology.     Four credit hours.  L.  
[CL356]    Alexander the Great      A seminar that aims to familiarize the student with major aspects of Alexander the Great's career and its impact on his contemporaries as well as future generations. Focus on the ancient sources' portrayal of Alexander; relations with his father, Philip II, and other members of the royal house; his dealing with Greek states; his military conquests; his interaction with the Persians, the Macedonian masses and elite; his divine aspirations, and other related topics. Students are expected to develop their analytical and interpretative skills through oral presentation and argumentation and by writing an in-depth research paper.     Four credit hours.  H.  
CL397f    Athenian and American Law and Jurisprudence      Focuses on key aspects of Athenian and American law, the meaning of justice in both civilizations, and how Athenian and American trials have been conducted. Students will analyze cases of homicide, assault, sexual misconduct, tort and property, and insult and libel in Athenian and American courts, and will compare and contrast their legal, social, and ideological underpinnings. They will also examine the rhetoric of presenting a case in court, constructing mock trails in which they play the roles of prosecutor, defendant, witness, and juror in both systems.     Four credit hours.  H.    JABAR, ROISMAN
CL398As    After Alexander: The Disintegration of an Empire      A seminar on major political, military, and social aspects of the fall of Alexander the Great's empire and the emergence of the Hellenistic age. Students will examine mutinies in Alexander's army, his death (by poison?), the controversy over his succession, the changing coalitions and conflicts among his former marshals, major battles fought in this period, formative characteristics of the Hellenistic world, and other related topics. Students are expected to develop their analytical and interpretative skills through oral presentation and argumentation and by writing a paper. Prerequisite:  Prior knowledge of Classics and Classical civilization.     Four credit hours.  H.    J. ROISMAN
CL398Bs    Presence of the Past: Studies in Classical Reception      We live in a world suffused with Classical influences: our political processes, the plots of our dramas, our methods of scientific inquiry and athletic training, even the shape and mission of our college all owe debts to generations of intellectuals and innovators engaged in interpreting, appropriating, adapting, revising, or rejecting the past. This seminar explores the reception of these (and other) ancient texts, ideas, and values by post-Classical cultures and encourages students to recognize and appreciate the changing attitudes towards the ancient world.     Four credit hours.  L.    BROMBERG