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Classics Courses

CLASSICS (CLSC) COURSES require no prior knowledge of Greek or Latin and are taught in English. All courses except CLSC 395 and the individual parts of CLSC 295 carry three (3) hours’ credit.

 

CLSC 193 THE ANCIENT WORLD (3)

Ancient history from the origins of civilization in Mesopotamia to the dissolution of the Roman Empire in the West. Lectures and discussion. Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement. Cross-listed as HSTY 193 (formerly known as CLSC 201/HSTY 200).

CLSC 199 SPRING TRAVEL TO GREECE (3)

Students take a trip to Greece over Spring Break. Prereq.: Instructor approval. Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement.

CLSC 202 CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY (3)

The myths of Classical Greece and Rome, their interpretation and influence. Lectures and discussion. Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement.

CLSC 203 HEROES, MYTH AND PERFORMANCE IN GREEK LIT (3)

This course constitutes the first half of a two-sequence course on Classical literature (although it may be taken after the second in the sequence, CLSC 204). As such, it examines the major myths and heroes in Greek literature and seeks to place them within their immediate historical, literary and cultural context. It traces the evolution of heroes to citizens and analyzes oral and live performances while interpreting myth from a literary and socio-political standpoint. Constant themes are war and community, wandering, tyranny vs. democracy, and the literary manifestations of men’s and women’s roles within the household and the city. Parallels with modern life and politics will be drawn. Lectures and discussion. No knowledge of the original languages required. Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement. Cross-listed as WLIT 203.

CLSC 204 HEROES AND HUSTLERS IN LATIN LITERATURE (3)

This course constitutes the second half of a two-course sequence on Classical literature (although it may be taken without having taken, or before having taken, the first in the sequence, CLSC 203). Its main themes are heroism vs. self-promotion, love vs. lust, and the struggle between democracy and tyranny. These topics are traced in a variety of literary genres from the period of the Roman Republic well into the Empire. Parallels with modern life and politics will be drawn. Lectures and discussion. No knowledge of the original languages required. Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement. Cross-listed as WLIT 204.

CLSC 210 BYZANTINE WORLD A.D. 300-1453 (3)

Development of the Byzantine empire from the emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity and founding of the eastern capital at Constantinople to the fall of Constantinople to Turkish forces in A.D. 1453. Lectures and discussion. Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement. Cross-listed as HSTY 210.

CLSC 220 ART & LITERATURE IN THE CLASSICAL TRADITION I: RENAISSANCE & BAROQUE (3)

Through lectures, varied assignments, and visits to the Cleveland Museum of Art this course will introduce students to the major issues in the study of early modern art and literatures. Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement. Cross-listed as WLIT 220.

CLSC 221 BUILDING ON ANTIQUITY (3)

This course provides orientation in the architectural orders and in most periods of European and Euro-American architectural history and criticism. Students will learn how to research buildings from different epochs, how to work with the relevant databases, both on-line and print. Cross-listed as ARTH 221.

CLSC 222 CLASSICAL TRADITION II: BIRTH OF ARCHAEOLOGY (3)

The course will focus on the history of diverse methods for studying societies remote in time and space; i.e., on the formation of the distinct disciplines of archaeology and anthropology, and the interest in the origins of human society and cultural practices. Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement.Cross-listed as WLIT 222.

CLSC 224 SWORD & SANDAL: THE CLASSICS IN FILM (3)

Students will watch and discuss a number of movies about the ancient world, running the gamut from Hollywood classics such as Ben-Hur and >Spartacus to more recent treatments such as The 300 and Gladiator, and from the mainstream and conventional (Clash of the Titans, Disney’sHercules) to the far-out and avant-garde. Cross-listed as WLIT 224.

CLSC 226 GREEK & ROMAN SCULPTURE (3)

This course explores the history of sculpture in ancient Greece and Rome. Students learn to analyze works of sculpture in terms of form, function, and iconography. Particular emphasis is placed on situating sculptures within the changing historical, cultural, political, and religious contexts of the classical world, including the Greek city-state, the Hellenistic kingdoms that followed Alexander the Great, the Roman Republic, and the Roman Empire. We will consider questions of design, patronage, artistic agency, viewer reception, and cultural identity. We will also consider the cultural interaction between ancient Greece and Rome and what impact this had on the production and appearance of sculpture. The course will include visits to the Greek and Roman galleries at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Cross-listed as ARTH 226.

CLSC 227 ANCIENT CITIES AND SANCTUARIES (3)

A selection of cities and sanctuaries from the ancient Near East, Egypt, the Aegean, Greece, Etruria, and Rome; their political and religious institutions and the relationship to contemporary art forms. Lectures and discussion. Cross-listed as ARTH 227.

CLSC 228 ANCIENT GREEK ATHLETICS (3)

Exploration of the role of athletics in the ancient, primarily Greek, world, and their reflection in the art of the period. Lectures and discussion. Cross-listed as ARTH 228.

CLSC 231 CLASSICAL CIVILIZATION: GREECE (3)

This course constitutes the first half of the Department’s Classical civilization sequence (although it may be taken after having taken the second in the sequence, CLSC 232). It examines the enduring significance of the Greeks studied through their history, literature, art, and philosophy. Lectures and discussion. Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement. Required of all Classics majors and cross-listed as HSTY 231 (formerly known as CLSC 111/HSTY 111).

CLSC 232 CLASSICAL CIVILIZATION: ROME (3)

This course constitutes the second half of the Department’s Classical civilization sequence (although it may be taken without having taken, or before having taken, the first in the sequence, CLSC 231). It examines the enduring significance of the Romans studied through their history, literature, art, and philosophy. Lectures and discussion. Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement. Required of all Classics majors and cross-listed as HSTY 232 (formerly known as CLSC 112/HSTY 110).

CLSC 295A GREK & LATN ELEMENTS IN ENGL: BASIC COURSE (1.5)

The first course of a two-course sequence (see CLSC 295B) in which students, assisted by computer drills on the web, learn the classical foundations (etymology) of modern English as well as the basic principles on which roots, prefixes, and suffixes combine to give precise meanings to composite words. Students will read the textbook and do the computerized drills on their own and then come to class in order to take exams.

CLSC 295B ADV ELEMENTS IN ENGL: BIOMED TERMINOLOGY (1.5)

This is the second course in a two-course sequence (see CLSC 295A) on the etymology of English words. The advanced section is oriented especially toward scientific and medical terminology. Students will read the textbook and do the computerized drills on their own and then come to class in order to take exams. Prereq: Previous or concurrent registration in CLSC 295A.

CLSC 301 ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY (3)

Western philosophy from the early Greeks to the Skeptics. Emphasis on the pre-Socratics, Plato and Aristotle. Prereq: PHIL 101 and consent of department. Cross-listed as PHIL 301.

CLSC 302 ANC. GREECE: ARCHAIC TO HELLENISTIC PERIODS (3)

This course constitutes the first half of a GER Humanities Sequence on Classical History (for second course in sequence, see CLSC 304). It treats rise of Hellenic thought and institutions from the eighth to the third centuries B.C., the rise of the polis, the evolution of democracy at Athens, the crises of the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars, fifth-century historiography, the growth of individualism, and the revival of monarchy in the Hellenistic period. Lectures and discussion. Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement. Cross-listed as HSTY 302.

CLSC 304 ANCIENT ROME: REPUBLIC & EMPIRE (3)

This course constitutes the second half of a GER Humanities Sequence on Classical History (although it may be taken without having taken, or before having taken, the first in the sequence, CLSC 302). It covers the growth and development of the Roman state from the unification of Italy in the early 3rd century B.C. to the establishment of the oriental despotism under Diocletian and Constantine. The growth of empire in the Punic Wars, the uncertain steps toward an eastern hegemony, the crisis in the Republic from the Gracchi to Caesar, the new regime of Augustus, the transformation of the leadership class in the early Empire, and the increasing dominance of the military over the civil structure. Lectures and discussion. Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement. Cross-listed as HSTY 304.

CLSC 305 SANSKRIT RELIGIOUS TEXTS I (3)

This class is an introduction to Sanskrit language and culture. Students will learn basic Sanskrit grammar and syntax, both of which are inextricably linked to the culture of ancient South Asia. No previous knowledge of Sanskrit is required. Cross-listed as RLGN 305.

CLSC 309 SANSKRIT RELIGIOUS TEXTS II (3)

This class is a continuation of CLSC 305. In it students will learn advanced Sanskrit grammar and syntax. They will then translate sections from the Bhagavad Gita. Prereq: CLSC 305 or equivalent. Cross-listed as RLGN 309.

CLSC 311 ROME: CITY AND IMAGE (3)

This course explores the architectural and urban history of Rome from the Republican era to the eighteenth century using the city itself as the major “text.” Emphasis will be placed on the extraordinary transformations of the city by powerful rulers and/or elites. Recommended preparation: at least one 200-level course in ANTH, ARTH, CLSC, ENGL, HSTY, or RLGN. Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement. Cross-listed as ARTH 311/411.

CLSC 312 WOMEN IN THE ANCIENT WORLD (3)

The course offers a chronological survey of women’s lives in Greece, Hellenistic Egypt, and Rome. It focuses on primary sources as well as scholarly interpretations of the ancient record with a view to defining the construction of gender and sexuality according to the Greco-Roman model. Additionally, the course aims to demonstrate how various methodological approaches have yielded significant insights into our own perception of sex and gender. Specific topics include matriarchy and patriarchy; the antagonism between male and female in myth; the legal, social, economic, and political status of women; the ancient family; women’s role in religion and cult; ancient theories of medicine regarding women; paederasty and homosexuality. Lectures and discussion. Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement. Cross-listed as WMST 312.

CLSC 314 THE POETICS OF EROS: LOVE POETRY FROM SAPPHO TO SHAKESPEARE AND BEYOND (3)

Introduction to the love poetry of ancient Greece and Rome and its impact on the later European tradition in such poets as Petrarch, Chaucer, and Shakespeare. Readings will focus especially on questions of generic convention, audience expectation, and the social setting of love poetry in the different ages under consideration. No knowledge of the original languages required. Lectures and discussion. Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement. Cross-listed as WLIT 314.

CLSC 316 GREEK TRAGEDY IN ENGLISH TRANSLATION (3)

Students will read numerous Greek tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides in modern English translations. An attempt will be made at understanding the plays as literature for performance.Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement. Cross-listed as CLSC 416 & WLIT 316/416.

CLSC 318 LANDSCAPE ARCHAEOLOGY & EPIGRAPHY (3)

The course provides students with a firm grounding in skills fundamental to landscape archaeology and epigraphy, including intensive landscape surveying, sampling strategies, applications of GIS to archaeology, how to read, record and interpret inscriptions, and how to work with an international team of students and researchers in the field. Cross-listed as CLSC 418.

CLSC 320 DEPARTMENTAL SEMINAR: ALEXANDER THE GREAT (3)

This seminar offers Classics students a firm grounding in the discipline, with an emphasis on the diverse materials, methods, and approaches that can be brought to bear on the study of Greco-Roman antiquity. Students will read and discuss contemporary scholarship on the enigmatic Alexander the Great drawn from various sub-fields of classics including history, archaeology, art history, and gender studies. Approved SAGES Departmental Seminar. Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement. Cross-listed as HSTY 320.

CLSC 321 THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF IRON AGE ITALY AND SICILY, CA. 1000-300 BCE (3)

This course traces the early history and archaeology of the Italian peninsula and Sicily from ca. 1000 BCE to 300 BCE. During this period, the movement of people brought with a transfer of people, ideas, and culture (both social and material) that would transform the population and landscape of ancient Italy and Sicily. We will look first at Southern Italy and Sicily, where, from about 750 BCE, Greek and Phoenician colonists settled. We will examine the characteristics of Greek and Phoenician colonies and monuments, as well as the characteristics of the interactions between the new arrivals and the indigenous population, especially the Sikels. We will then examine how the Villanovan culture was supplanted by the Etruscans in west-central Italy. Through the close examination of the material culture we will address topics such as status, urbanization, religion and ritual, and the cultures of Italy and Sicily within the wider Mediterranean world. Finally, we will look at another movement of people and politics: the expansion of Roman hegemony throughout the peninsula. Numerous theories attempt to explain the effect Roman occupation had on the other populations. We will analyze critically these theories and look for ourselves on the numerous ways indigenous populations could respond to “foreign” occupiers and how the occupiers responded to the indigenes. We will “read” material culture almost like text, guided by concepts such as “style,” “agency” and “habitus” among others. Through these lenses we will examine the archaeological material from multiple points of view (social, economic, religious, political). In turn, recent theoretical advances that seek to explain the processes of accommodation and emulation of, and resistance to, outside cultural influences will be looked at with a critical eye so that we can come away with fresh ideas about understanding what, and who, culture really is. Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement. Offered as CLSC 321 and HSTY 321.

CLSC 322 ROMAN DRAMA AND THEATER (3)

This course is designed as a continuation of and companion to CLSC/WLIT 316/416 Greek Tragedy in English Translation, although it may be taken without having taken, or before having taken, that course. Students in Roman Drama and Theater will read a significant number of ancient Roman plays in modern English translation and study non-literary theatrical entertainment of the Roman Republic and Empire, including mime and pantomime, gladiatorial shows, political speeches, courtroom drama, and various other spectacles. The dramatic texts that we shall study include the fragments of early Latin drama, selected comedies by Plautus and Terence, and the tragedies of Seneca, and the forensic speeches of statesman such as Cicero. We shall also consider Greek and Roman literature that comments on Roman theatrical practices. These works will be read for their literary merits and theatrical possibilities, while at the same time examining them for what they can tell us about Roma culture and society. Similarly, when studying the non-literary theatrical works we shall examine historical and theatrical context including archaeological evidence from theaters and amphitheaters and material remains (masks, depictions of actors and gladiators on vases, terra cotta lamps, mosaics, etc.). Finally, while the majority of the course focuses on drama originally written in Latin and theatrical entertainments performed in ancient Rome, the course will conclude with a survey of selected post-classical works indebted to the tradition of Roman drama and theater. Authors to be studied include Hrotsvitha, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Racine, Mollère, and the legacy of Roman drama and theater in contemporary stage and cinema such as Sondelm’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Thus a secondary concern will be to consider how and in what ways the legacy of Roman drama and theater has continued to shape the dramatic arts since antiquity. Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement. Cross-listed as WLIT 322, and WLIT 422.

CLSC 323/423 ANGELS AND DAIMONS: THE ORIGINS OF INSPIRATION (3) 

The age old myth of the pact with the devil is central to some of the masterpieces of Western literature. Goethe’s poem is focused on the battle between good and evil, angelic and demonic as archetypes of humanity. The confrontation between the two forces illustrates the perennial dichotomy of creation vs. destruction (apocalypse). They represent the origin of life and its continuation even when the angelic has been defeated.

The course will contain philosophical and literary readings that treat the opposition, and sometimes simultaneity, of angelic and daimonic. Plato and the Neo-Platonic tradition will be explored in the course as well as various readings from Middle Ages up to 18th century that address the issue of inspiration through contamination with the mysterious forces of the invisible world. Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement. Cross-listed as WLIT 323 and WLIT 423.

CLSC 324/424 THE SUBLIME AND GROTESQUE IN LITERATURE (3)

Early on in Western culture the question of sublime and grotesque was addressed by philosophers and writers. Aristotle and especially Longinus initiated the debate over what exactly made a work of art “sublim” or “Grotesque.” This debate eventually in the 18th century gave birth to the discipline of aesthetics, which is one of the main foci of this course. To that end, in this course we will examine a few literary works in light of the most representative theories around the concept of sublime and grotesque: Aristotle, Longinus, Kant, Burke, Baumgartner, Nietzsche and Kierkegaaard. Their theories will be applied to some of the most celebrated literary masterpieces written by Homer, Ovid, Dante, Cervantes and others. Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement. Cross-listed as WLIT 324 and WLIT 424.

CLSC 326/426 ROME ON SITE: THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE ETERNAL CITY (3)

This course offers the opportunity to examine firsthand Roman remains spanning 500 years of the city’s history. For three weeks we will explore all sections of Rome and discover how different spheres of Roman life, such as religion, politics, leisure, and death, combined to shape one of the most renowned cityscapes of the ancient Mediterranean world. The course constitutes a mix of museum and site visits to expose us to the artifacts that help us interpret the Roman world, including art and other types of material culture, and the monumental architecture dominating much of Rome to this day. We will also explore important sites outside of the city, including Rome’s remarkably well-preserved port at Ostia, the Emperor Hadrian’s magnificent villa at Tivoli, and an optional visit to Pompeii and Herculaneum during an extended weekend. Some of the questions we will be asking when visiting the sites include: How did the expansion of the Roman Empire influence the stylistic repertories of the capital’s artists and architects? How did the changing political environment shape the topography of the city from Republic to Empire? How can we read political messages and propaganda in the ancient structures? How did (and does) Rome live among, use, and reuse ancient remains? Students will be expected to be active participants in the daily tours. All students will be presenting on various structures as we come to them (topics to be assigned in advance of the trip). Graduate students are responsible for leading a day tour (with my assistance) – to create the itinerary and develop the thematic framework. Grades will be based on participation on site, presentations, and a paper. Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement.

CLSC 327/427 THE PARTHENON: THEN AND NOW (3)

The Parthenon is an icon of western art and culture. Over 250 years of scholarship on this world-renowned building have revealed many of its secrets, but numerous questions still remain. New finds on the Acropolis itself and elsewhere in Greece have shed light on some of these issues, and as a result new theories abound. This seminar offers an overview of the temple, its architecture and sculpture, and will investigate its place in the civic and religious ideology of classical Athens. The course will also trace the Parthenon’s many post-classical permutations, into a Christian Church and an Islamic mosque, and its impact on later western art and architecture. Finally the class will debate the moral and ethical issue of the Elgin Marbles-to repatriate them to Greece or to retain them in the British Museum in perpetuity. Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement. Cross-listed as CLSC 427 and ARTH 327/427.

CLSC 328 GREEK SCULPTURE (3)

Greek sculpture from the Archaic period through the Hellenistic style; the development of specific types, and the uses of architectural sculpture. Lectures and discussion. Cross-listed as ARTH 328/428.

CLSC 329 MARVELS OF ROME: MONUMENTS AND THEIR DECORATION IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE (3)

This course examines some of the most famous monuments of the Roman Empire, including Nero’s Golden House, the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli, and the lavish villa of Piazza Armerina in Sicily. We will study each monument in depth, delving into the architecture, paintings, sculptures, mosaics, and social functions of each monument. Students will learn to analyze artistic and archaeological evidence, ancient textual evidence (poems, prose, and inscriptions), and secondary scholarship to reconstruct the visual appearances and historical and cultural contexts of the monuments in questions. Cross-listed as ARTH 329.

CLSC 330 TOPICS IN CLASSICAL TRADITION (3)

Cross-listed as CLSC 430.

CLSC 331 DANTE AND THE CLASSICAL TRADITION: MIDDLE AGES TO MODERNITY (3)

This course will introduce through the complex work of Dante the concept of classical tradition as an all-encompassing cultural term. Dante represents the grandiose example of the artist who seeks the complete synthesis between humanities and sciences and their incessant collaborative effort to broaden as much as possible the depths of human knowledge. Philosophy, Geography, Physics, Linguistics, Astronomy and Literature are steady landmarks in Dante’s work through which he aims to speak about the necessity of ever maintaining continuity between all domains of human knowledge. Dante’s work proposes proposes high levels of excellence and while the course’s focus will be on his literary output the scientific interests and treatises he demonstrates will not be omitted during class discussion and bibliography included in the syllabus. Last but not least the focus will be on how we understand today the concept of classical tradition as a result of Dante’s writings. Fulfills Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement. Cross-listed as WLIT 331 and WLIT 431. 

CLSC 332 ART & ARCHAEOLOGY OF ANCIENT ITALY (3)

The arts of the Italian peninsula from the 8th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D., with emphasis on recent archaeological discoveries. Lectures deal with architecture, sculpture, painting, and the decorative arts; supplemented by gallery tours at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Cross-listed as ARTH 332/432.

CLSC 333 GREEK & ROMAN PAINTING (3)

Greek vase painting, Etruscan tomb painting and Roman wall painting. The development of monumental painting in antiquity. Lectures and discussion. Cross-listed as ARTH 333/433.

CLSC 334 ART & ARCHAEOLOGY OF GREECE (3)

A survey of the art and architecture of Greece from the beginning of the Bronze Age (3000 B.C.) to the Roman conquest (100 B.C.) with emphasis on recent archaeological discoveries. Lectures deal with architecture, sculpture, painting and the decorative arts, supplemented by gallery tours at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Cross-listed as ARTH 334/434.

CLSC 340 SEMINAR IN ENLIGHTENMENT ART & LITERATURE: PIRANESI & VICO (3)
This course explores aspects of the European eighteenth century as a transformative epoch in the history of western culture. Though the Enlightenment is usually associated especially with France, in this course we will focus on Italy, as the irresistible goal of travelers taking part in the “Grand Tour,” and as a landscape of powerful ancient and modern architecture and artworks universally recognized as exemplary. In particular we will study one of the strangest and most fascinating visual artists of the period, the self-proclaimed architect Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720 –1778). Finally we will place Piranesi within a current of discussion of the origins and nature of linguistic and other forms of human communication and indeed of human society in general, not least as manifested in architecture and other symbolic practices. The leading figure here is the Neapolitan G.B. Vico, whose New Science of 1725 remains one of the most stimulating texts in the western intellectual tradition.
Cross-listed as CLSC 440, COGS 340, & WLIT 340/440.

CLSC 381 SENIOR CAPSTONE (3)

The capstone is the final requirement of the SAGES program and is normally taken in the fall semester of senior year. It involves an independent study paper resulting from exploration of a topic chosen in consultation with the student’s capstone advisor, who will regularly review progress on the project. In the capstone students employ, integrate, and demonstrate analytical, rhetorical, and practical skills developed and honed through the SAGES curriculum as well as their major or minor studies. The Capstone Project has both a written and an oral component: oral presentation and argumentation will be stressed. The product of the capstone may take different forms: there will always be a written component, but other forms of expression are also encouraged, such as a webpage or poster for a poster session. As for the kind of project that might be done: students interested in literature might work on an annotated translation of a classical text; archaeology students might produce a virtual exhibit centered on a specific site or problem. Approved SAGES Capstone.

CLSC 382 SENIOR THESIS (3)

A course of independent study and research culminating in the preparation of a thesis on a topic approved by the supervising faculty member. Enrollment in this course must be approved by the Chair of the Department. Prereq: CLSC 381.

CLSC 395 DIRECTED READINGS (1-3)

Readings in English on a topic of interest to the student and acceptable to the instructor. Designed and completed under the supervision of the instructor with whom the student wishes to work. Prereq: Consent of department.

CLSC 481 GRADUATE LEVEL SPECIAL STUDIES (1-6)

Subject matter varies according to need. Prereq: Consent of department.