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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.  
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.  
CL171f    Liar, Liar! Homer's Odysseus      Through tall tales and bold-faced lies, Odysseus reinvents himself to suit every audience and situation. His adaptability and elastic sense of the truth are the keys to his success and survival. How could a liar like Odysseus become one of the best-known and most admired heroes of the ancient world? Why did the Odyssey become an integral part of ancient literature education? Readings include translations of the Odyssey, part of the Iliad, and secondary literature on Homeric poetry.     Three credit hours.  L.    H. ROISMAN
CL197j    Introduction to Greek and Roman Archaeology      Classical archaeology focuses on the "old things"—-the material remains—-from ancient Greeks and Romans, two peoples whose cultures comprise an enormously influential chunk of human development. We study Greek and Roman archaeology because it provides a series of time-capsule views of peoples living in a deeply material world, within complicated, class-riven societies surprisingly similar to our own. We will address such large questions as: how did political life affect religious practices? how did the spread of literacy affect society? did ethnicity matter? who had status, and how was it communicated?     Three credit hours.  H.    WELLS
[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.  
CL234s    In Search of a Strong Man: Greece in the Fourth Century      The fourth century BCE 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.    J. ROISMAN
[CL236]    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.  
[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.  
[CL242]    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.  
CL244s    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.     Three or four credit hours.  L.    O'NEILL
[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.