Classics Department


Courses of Study

[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. Four credit hours. L.
CL135s    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. Barrett
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. Jarriel
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
CL151j    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. H. Roisman
[CL171]    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, the Iliad, and secondary literature on Homeric poetry. Three credit hours. L.
[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.
[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. Analyze the great stories of classical myth in Roman epic, tragedy, comedy, elegy and lyric. 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. Open to first-year students. Three credit hours. L.
[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. 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.
CL341f    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. Jabar, Roisman
[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.