Classics Department


Courses of Study

CL133s    Greek Myth and Literature Greek myth has shaped how we understand ourselves, each other, and the world around us. We will explore the answers that the myths of ancient Greece offer to life’s biggest questions by reading texts that form the foundation of western culture. Four credit hours. L. O'Neill
[CL135]    Myth and Cosmos in Ancient Greece Famous for recounting the deeds of heroes and heroines such as Heracles, Achilles, and Helen of Troy, the myths of ancient Greece were more than entertainment: they played a key role in making sense of an otherwise opaque and inscrutable universe. We will ask what they can reveal about the inner workings of the cosmos inhabited by ordinary people in ancient Greece from the time of Homer through the classical period. Close study of key literary texts will form the basis of our work. Four credit hours. L.
CL138f    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. We will examine the similarities and differences of the heroes of Ireland, Greece, Rome, and other cultures and explore why we crave heroes and how that craving has shaped us all. Four credit hours. L. O'Neill
CL143j    Introduction to Greek and Roman Archaeology The material remains of the ancient Greeks and Romans—pottery, sculpture, monuments, temples, and other artifacts. Our inquiry will focus on construction of identity, development of religion and myth, organization of social and political structures, and components of everyday life. Our exploration of the remains of Greek and Roman civilizations from the Trojan War through the fall of Rome will take us from temples in the mountains of Greece to Roman shipwrecks in the deepest trenches of the Mediterranean Sea. The broad range of evidence will also highlight the diverse archaeological methodologies used to uncover and interpret these remains. Three credit hours. H. Garland
[CL145]    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.
CL147j    Representing Rome No bygone civilization remains as alive in the modern consciousness as that of ancient Rome. Ever since the end of the Roman Empire, people have tried to bring Rome to life again in works of the imagination. In this class, we look at representations of Rome in literary works such as Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and Stephen Saylor's "Roma sub Rosa" mystery novels and in films and television series including Cabiria (1914), Spartacus (1960), and HBO's Rome (2005-2007). We will consider how successfully various works of historical fiction achieve the often irreconcilable aims of faithfully recreating the reality of ancient Rome while telling stories with contemporary relevance and appeal. Previously offered as Classics 197 (Jan PLan 2019). Three credit hours. L. Welser
[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.
[CL161]    Reading Greek Philosophy Listed as Philosophy 161. One credit hour.
CL197f    Tragedy from Greece to Rome When composing tragedies, the Romans did not create mere imitations of their Greek predecessors: instead, they adapted stories and characters to suit a new context. In this course, we will compare several Greek tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides with their counterparts by the Roman playwright Seneca. By closely engaging with these parallel works, we will see how different these new versions really are. Considerations will include the role of politics, rhetoric, and women in drama, among many others. Four credit hours. L. Currie
CL197Bj    Gladiators and Ghosts: Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Rome Offers an introduction to death - and life - in ancient Rome. Come explore Roman culture, history, philosophy, art, and literature (from love poetry to ghost stories) as we investigate Roman attitudes toward death and the afterlife. We will consider questions like how death was linked to spectacles, how the dead were memorialized, and how famous death scenes in literature served as rubrics for judging an individualƢs virtue. Special emphasis will be placed on Roman attitudes as compared to what is found in other ancient and modern societies. Three credit hours. L. Currie
[CL234]    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 reexamined 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. Four credit hours. H, I.
[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. Open to first-year students. Three credit hours. L.
[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.
CL297f    Travelers' Tales: Exploration, Ethnography and Fantasy in Greeceand Rome From their earliest history, the Greeks looked outward, toward the mysteries that lay beyond the limits of the known world. In works ranging from the Odyssey to Herodotus' Histories to the medical treatise Airs, Waters, Places to the legends of Alexander's conquests, Greek stories of faraway regions occupied an uneasy middle ground between fantasy, history, and science, and often reveal as much about the Greeks as they do about the peoples who lived at the edges of their imagination. In this course, we will look at ethnography, geography, and anthropology in works from throughout antiquity and consider how and why the Greeks, and their Roman successors, created their images of other peoples and other lands. Open to first-year students. Four credit hours. H. Welser
CL324s    History of Gender and Sexuality in Antiquity Listed as History 324. Four credit hours. H, I. Taylor
[CL341]    Athenian and American Law and Jurisprudence Aims to make students familiar with key aspects of Athenian and American law, the meaning of justice in both civilizations, and how Athenian and American trials have been conducted. Students analyze cases of homicide, assault, sexual misconduct, tort and property, insult and libel in Athenian and American courts and compare and contrast their legal, social, and ideological underpinnings. Students 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. Co-taught with Maine Supreme Course Justice J. Jabar. Four credit hours. S.
[CL356]    Alexander the Great A seminar 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.