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|This page was last updated: 07/04/01 04:00:14 AM|
Courses offered by the Classics Department include "Classics," "Greek," and "Latin." Also offered are courses in "Ancient History," which are listed under "Ancient History."
Chair, Professor Joseph Roisman
Professors Peyton Helm, Hanna Roisman, and Joseph Roisman; Associate Professor Kerill O'Neill
The Department of Classics encourages the study of the civilizations of Greece and Rome. The study of classics and classical civilization is an interdisciplinary endeavor based on courses in languages, literature, history, archaeology, philosophy, political science, religion, and art. The pursuit of classics and classical civilization allows the acquiring of a liberal education by examining humanistic values of the ancient world and their impact on the pre-modern and the modern ages. Most students find the study of the classics beneficial in developing methodological and analytical thinking and most advantageous in pursuing careers in higher education, law, management, medicine, government, art, teaching, and other fields.
The department offers majors and minors in classics and classical civilization, as well as majors in classics-English, classical civilization-English, and classical civilization-anthropology.
Students majoring in classics may concentrate in one of the following: Greek literature, Latin literature, a combination of both, or in classical civilization. There is also the opportunity to study in Greece or Italy in programs especially for American students, as well as occasion for experiencing field archaeology through arrangement with other institutions.
Requirements for the Major in Classics
The major consists of at least 10 courses, with three courses numbered 200 or higher in Greek or Latin and four additional courses selected from at least two of the following categories:
Requirements for the Major in Classical Civilization
Requirements for the Major in Classics-English
In English: six semester courses approved by the departments.
Requirements for the Major in Classical Civilization-English
In English: six semester courses approved by the departments.
Requirements for the Major in Classical Civilization-Anthropology
In anthropology: 112, 113, 313, 332, 333, and one elective seminar at the 300 or 400 level.
The point scale for retention of each of the above majors applies to all courses that may be credited toward the major. No requirement for the major may be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.
Requirements for the Minor in Classics
The courses are selected in consultation with the advisor.
Requirements for the Minor in Classical Civilization
The point scale for retention of each of the above minors applies to all courses that may be credited toward the minor. No requirement for a minor may be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.
 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.
 History and the Homeric Epics An exploration of the Homeric epics, their historical context, and the extent to which they can be used as historical source material. Readings include the Iliad and the Odyssey as well as secondary scholarship on Homeric poetry and Greek history. Three credit hours. H.
 Literature of Greece and Rome An introduction to the literature and thought of ancient Greece and Rome. Readings in translation will include epic and lyric poetry, tragedy and comedy, and historical, political, and philosophical writings. Discussion will include a consideration of the impact of classical literature on Western civilization. Three or four credit hours. L.
138s 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. O'NEILL
139j Athens, Rome, and Jerusalem The Greek, Roman, and Jewish civilizations came into direct contact and also conflict with each other. How did they first make contact? What impact did they have on one another? What were their views of each other? Were their values, beliefs, and ambitions irreconcilable or amenable to peaceful coexistence? The periods when Greeks, Romans, and Jews fought yet also lived together in peace. Readings in translation include Plutarch, Josephus, and the New Testament. Fulfills Historical Studies distribution requirement if taken for three credits. Two or three credit hours. J. ROISMAN
145j 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. Fulfills Historical Studies distribution requirement if taken for three credits. Two or three credit hours. J. ROISMAN
 Anatomy of Bioscientific Terminology 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 also to misformation, common errors, and words still in use that reflect scientific theories since rejected. Three credit hours.
 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.
 Greek Tragedy The tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. Study of the themes of tragic drama, its form and meaning in the fifth century B.C.E. and today; discussion of possible stagings, significance of variations in the treatment of myth, and political background. Special attention to critical writings on methods, spirit, and purpose of tragedy. All readings in translation. Three or four credit hours. L.
234s 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 or four credit hours. H. J. ROISMAN
 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.
 The Beginnings of Greek Tragedy:Aeschylus The origins of Greek drama. The seven extant tragedies of Aeschylus reveal him as a traditionalist, innovator, and father of Western dramatic theater. Emphasis on moral and political dilemmas such as portrayed in The Oresteia and Prometheus Bound. Four credit hours. L.
240f The Tragic Hero: The Drama of Sophocles Aristotle considered Sophocles as 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. H. ROISMAN
 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.
 Romans and Jews: History and Religion Drawing upon both literary and archaeological evidence, the course deals with the relationship between the Romans and the Jews in the early centuries of the common era, a period important for the development of religious and cultural forms that greatly affect nearly all subsequent history. Focus is especially, but not entirely, on cultural conflict and its resolution. Roman culture, Jewish culture, and early Christianity seen in juxtaposition. Topics considered include the demise of the Hasmonean dynasty, the Jewish War, Masada, Qumran, and the Dead Sea Scrolls; considerable attention to writings of the first-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus. Three credit hours. H, D.
 Manhood in Greek Society and Literature A seminar on the concept of manhood and its impact in shaping Greek society and literature. Among topics discussed are: the Homeric hero and his family, man at war, male and female on the tragic and comic stage, Greek sexuality, masculine competitiveness, the cultural construction of the male, and the rhetoric of manhood in the Athenian courts. Enrollment limited; preference to classics and classical civilization majors and minors. Four credit hours. H, D.
356f Alexander the Great Alexander in Europe and Asia; his relations with Greeks and non-Greeks, his military conquests, his divinity, and the creation of the Hellenistic states. Enrollment limited. Four credit hours. H. J. ROISMAN
491f, 492s Independent Study Individual projects in areas where the student has demonstrated the interest and competence necessary for independent work. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. One to four credit hours. FACULTY
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Colby is a four-year, residential, liberal arts college in Waterville, Maine. Colby offers undergraduate courses during fall and spring semesters and grants bachelors of arts degrees.