Classics Courses

WORD ORIGINS (CLAS 111)

Useful to those who want to increase English vocabulary for reading and exam preparation, to acquire analytical skills for deciphering unfamiliar terminology in a variety of fields, and to explore the evolution of English. Learn word roots systematically, and read, hear and write about the history of English and influxes of new words from cultures around the world.

SCIENTIFIC/MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY (CLAS 121)
Systematic study of the structure and formation of medical and scientific terms derived from Greek and Latin roots. Provides tools to determine the meaning behind scientific words by breaking down their structure into key prefixes, stems, suffixes as adopted into English. No background knowledge of Greek or Latin is required.

GREEK AND ROMAN BIOGRAPHY (CLAS 212)
Greeks and Romans, like most modern societies, developed strong interest in the public and private lives of the most famous personalities from their political and cultural traditions. Augustus' diet and Cleopatra's appearance were just as interesting as Pyrrhus' attempted imperial policies and Alexander the Great's military tactics. THIS COURSE IS APPROPRIATE FOR FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS.

ANCIENT TRAGEDY, GREEK AND ROMAN (CLAS 215)
Whereas today the word “tragedy” conjures up images of disaster and suffering, in classical Athens, tragedy above all meant entertainment for a mass audience. But what beyond entertainment did tragedy entail? Is the suffering it depicted wholly foreign to modern sensibilities? Or shall we moderns find in ancient tragedy, Greek as well as Roman, something to identify with? In this course, students will pursue that and similar questions.

ART IN THE ANCIENT GREEK WORLD (CLAS 280A)
Art and culture of Greek world, Late Bronze Age to Romans: architecture, sculpture, vase and wall painting. Artistic/stylistic developments within their social, political, historical contexts.

ANCIENT CITIES (CLAS 280C)
Urban centers of ancient Near Eastern, Egyptian, Greek, Roman worlds. Development of urbanism by studying archaeological remains, 4th millennium BCE till 4th century CE

BANDS OF BROTHERS: EPIC HEROES (CLAS 280E)
Multiple epics from around the globe, including Greek, Roman, Indian and Sumerian texts. Explore issues of heroics, friendship, warrior ethics, social and political duty, and the relationship between myth and epic.

PAGANS CHRISTIANS AND JEWS (CLAS 280P)
Study religions of ancient Mediterranean: state-sponsored pagan rites of Greece and Rome, philosophies, popular mystery cults from Middle East and Egypt, Diaspora Judaism in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, emergence and spread of various Christianities. Explore the growth and development of these interconnected belief traditions and communities. 

ETERNAL CITIES: ROME & POMPEII (CLAS 280R)
Roman life and urban structure through examination of the buried (and thus, preserved) city of Pompeii and the continuously inhabited and redesigned capital of the Roman Mediterranean world. Illustrated lectures and discussion sections built into class time.

DAILY LIFE IN GREECE AND ROME (CLAS 281D)
Explore the daily life of ancient Greeks and Romans by examining different aspects of their daily life ranging from the economy to the legal system, drama, religion, athletics, and art. By considering Greece and Rome side by side and placing these varied social and historical aspects within a comparative framework, this course will highlight not only similarities and differences that existed between these civilizations in the ancient world but also make connections to the twenty-first century.

ANCIENT ROMAN ECONOMY (CLAS 281E)
Mechanics of ancient economy, special attention to ancient Italy and Roman empire; topical focus on different components of diverse ancient Mediterranean economies

ANCIENT COMEDY IN PERFORMANCE (CLAS 305)
Study of ancient Greek and Roman comedy as scripts through deconstruction of humor and production of live comedy. Live, public performance of a choreographed, musical production of Aristophanes’ Women Rule (Congresswomen) late in term.

SATIRE FROM ROME TO COLBERT (CLAS 315)
Searing wit and unrelenting mockery employed in perceptive socio-political critique can arouse deep understanding, cheap laughs, or both—maybe neither. Satirical humorists from Petronius and Juvenal, to Swift and Twain, to Stewart and Colbert touch the rawest of nerves to fortify, rectify or undermine societal norms.

COMPARATIVE ANCIENT MYTHOLOGY (CLAS 380M)
Myths from around the globe, including Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Indian and Sumerian/Babylonian. Compare how cultures portray creation, gods and goddesses, heroes, tricksters, etc.

PERSUASION IN ANCIENT GREECE (CLAS 381A)
"Peitho" is the Greek word for persuasion, the influencing of future action and thought. Yet "peitho," as object of cult, a figure of myth and an essential element in love, marriage and commerce, meant more to Greeks than simply words designed to change minds. Nor did "peitho" always operate through a verbal medium.

THE ETRUSCANS (CLAS 381E)
The Etruscans were an important culture in central Italy from the 9th century to the 1st century B.C., who in addition to their own achievements, exerted great influence over the city of Rome, especially in terms of political and religious institutions, art and architecture. The best possibility of understanding who the Etruscans really are is revealed by archaeological evidence.

WOMEN IN ANCIENT THEATER (CLAS 381F)
Compelling female leads and characters of ancient stage in Greece and Rome, as entertaining and stimulating re-presentations of feminine/unfeminine, as perceived by their cultures and our own. Tragic and comic scripts + contemporary art, music/opera and esp. dance, and performance exercises.

HEROINES/GODDESSES/WHORES/WIVES IN GRECO-ROMAN ANTIQUITY (CLAS 381W)
Exploring archetypes and representations of women in Classical literature and art to analyze the myriad characterizations and depictions of Woman. Read and discuss antiquity’s views on the role, function and value of women in society. These readings will provide insight into issues of gender and sexuality within the ancient world.

ANCIENT SEXUALITY AND GENDER (CLAS 382A)
In thinking about ancient Greece and Rome, we often stress continuities and similarities between us and them. Yet in many ways "they," ancient Greeks and Romans, were different, especially in their attitudes to sexuality and gender. How, then, did they view sexual and gender identity? What cultural values lay behind those constructs? How can modern approaches help us grasp ancient realities?

RACE AND ETHNICITY IN ANCIENT NORTH AFRICA (CLAS 383B)
Students in this course examine several cultures that inhabited ancient North Africa (Egyptians, Nubians/Kushites, the Jewish communities in Egypt, the Carthaginians, and several ethnic groups of northwest Africa often collectively described by outsiders as 'Berbers') before and during the period of Greek and Roman influence around the Mediterranean.

Last Updated: 4/20/17