Definitions, sources, and interpretations of myth as a cognitive system in ancient and modern culture. Survey of major divinities, mortals, myths, hero-legends, and cycles of saga, chiefly Greek. Their function in Greco-Roman civilization, their enduring power in Western culture, and their influence upon Western intellectual and artistic achievement. Open to all students. [H]
This course explores the Roman military and its conflicts, equipment, tactics, and contemporary consequences through analyses of modern scholarship and literary accounts of Roman historians, generals, and soldiers. Key conflicts include the Punic Wars, Caesar's Gallic campaign, the Jewish War, and the reclamation campaigns of Julian. These writings, supplemented with secondary sources, will trace the rise and decline of the most powerful military in antiquity and its multiple echoes in the modern world. [GM1, H]
Greek tragedy is one of the most powerful, complex, and influential literary forms of all times. This course will introduce the Athenian institutional framework that made Greek tragedy possible; thoroughly familiarize students with representative works of the three Athenian playwrights Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides; trace how Greek tragedy has inspired later dramatists and filmmakers in their work; enhance ''deep learning'' by providing the opportunity to stage and direct select scenes from Greek tragedy. [H]
An introduction to how ancient Greek and Roman scientists expressed their ideas. Provides a systematic foundation in the analysis and interpretation of Greek/Latin terminology. Also investigates aspects of the emerging scientific culture and literature (such as Hippocrates' writings) within the context of ancient society, particularly how the competition among disparate value systems shaped the development of medical theory and practice in antiquity. Besides medicine and bioscience, we consider mathematics, politics, and other scientific disciplines. [H, V]
An investigation of how residents of ancient Rome from diverse origins and different social statuses would have portrayed life in that great, sprawling city: what was most distinctive about how their society was organized, how did people of different statuses and backgrounds inter-relate, and how did public and private civic institutions shape their experiences? An interdisciplinary approach to reconstructing ancient attitudes, critiques, and justifications regarding the many ways of experiencing Roman identity. [GM1, GM2, H]
In the Persian Wars, Greek city-states twice defended themselves against the invading 'Barbarian' forces of the Persian Empire (490 and 480/79). Students in this course will be introduced to ancient Near Eastern politics and culture from a Persian (not Greek!) perspective, will analyze Western literary and filmic representations of the Persian Wars, and will acquire critical awareness of the cognitive and psychological processes (beneficial or harmful) behind formations of collective identity, stereotypes, and Us vs. Them world views. [H, GM1, V]
This course explores Roman technology and engineering within the social and geographical contexts of the ancient Mediterranean world and its cultures. Manifestations of ancient technology, from the grand (temples, roads, aqueducts, ships, etc.) to the small (weapons, armor, household goods, etc.), were crafted with hew modern techniques or equipment, yet many still stand today, and echoes of their craft reverberate into modern times. [H]
From the wide chronological, thematic, and generic range of ancient classical literature, students will explore in-depth a special topic in Classical literature in translation and essential accompanying secondary literature. The course work entails, first, extensive readings of ancient literature and modern scholarship; second, writing assignments of various types that will eventually lead to a clearly-argued final essay. This course is recommended for, but not restricted to, students pursuing a minor or self-designed major in Classical Civilization.
From the wide chronological, thematic, and generic range of ancient classical literature, students will choose-in consultation with the instructor-a topic for their own research. The course work will entail, first, extensive and intensive readings of ancient literature and modern scholarship; second, student research that will lead to a research paper. This course may, and oftentimes will, function as a capstone course for students pursuing a self-designed Classical Civilization major.