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Classics Department Courses Spring 2015

For courses listed as “200/400” or “300/400,” undergraduates should list only the “200” or “300” number on their registration forms; graduate students should list only the “400” number.  All courses are three credits unless otherwise stated.

CLASSICS

CLSC 199 – Athens: Environment and Ethics
M – 6:00 – 7:00 , Spring Break Study Abroad Component
Rachel Sternberg

(Limit 15) Through one very intensive week in Greece, students will become acquainted with the birthplace of Western Civilization: its landscape, monuments, and other material traces. With field trips to Delphi, Mycenae, Epidaurus, and Sounion, they will also encounter Modern Greece, of course, and receive some instruction in modern Greek, but the overwhelming emphasis lies on Classical Athens, the historical-cultural setting for the emergence of Western moral philosophy. Our  focus is on the figure of Socrates and the agenda of moral philosophy that the Athenian sage established. Via the Socratic method, students will study Aristotle’s Ethics and test the applicability of that foundational text to their own lives. Class will convene 8 times prior to travel and 2-3 times after our return. Fulfills the Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement.

CLSC 204 – Heroes and Hustlers
M.W. 3:00 – 4:15
Ricardo Apostol

(Cross-listed as WLIT 204) The Romans were a lot of things – Greek speakers and Latin speakers, Christians, Jews, and every sort of pagan you could possibly imagine – but when they wrote, they were invariably sophisticated, witty, and very, very alien. This course offers a window into the diversity of ancient Rome and its literary sensibilities, whether you want to be titillated by the erotic verse of Ovid and Catullus, chortle at the misadventures of Lucius as he wanders around the Mediterranean in the shape of a donkey, thrill at the stories of Rome’s foundation as depicted by Vulcan on the shield of Aeneas, or stand stupefied before the deeds of historical ne’er-do-wells like Clodia and Antony. In addition to learning about major works and trends in Roman literature, we’ll also take a crash course on the basics of literary study and especially contemporary criticism and theory as we try to come to terms with 400 years’ worth of the glory and the squalor of the Eternal City. Fulfills the Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement.

CLSC 222 – Classical Tradition 2: The Birth of Archaeology
T.R. 2:45 – 4:00
Florin Berindeanu

(Cross-listed as WLIT 222) 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. The birth of archaeology occurred in the context of the profound transformation of European cultural life in the eighteenth century, the era of the Enlightenment. On the basis of a range of cultural productions (literary and historical texts, objects of luxury and use, etc.), we will study visual and literary works and consider the relationship between different modes of artistic production and expression, as well as the marketing and display of prestigious objects, whether ancient or modern. We will consider the eighteenth-century model of experiential education, the “Grand Tour,” and the formation of private and public collections, as well as the emergence of the museum as institution. Finally, we will also consider important recent work on the relationship between the production of luxury commodities (sugar, coffee, tea, etc.) through the plantation economy in the Americas and beyond and the development of attitudes and ideas in Europe. Fulfills the Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement.

CLSC 224 – Sword and Scandal: The Classics in Film
T.R. 2:45 – 4:00
Ricardo Apostol

(Cross-listed as WLIT 224) Gladiator. Alexander. The 300. Contemporary society’s continuing fascination with putting the ancient world on the big screen is undeniable; and yet the causes underlying this phenomenon are not quite so readily apparent. In this course we 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 (the aforementioned 300 and Gladiator, for starters), and from the mainstream and conventional (Clash of the Titans, Disney’s Hercules) to the far-out and avant-garde (Fellini’s Satyricon, anyone?). As we do so we’ll learn quite a bit about the art and economics of film, on one hand, and the ancient world, on the other. And yet what we’ll keep coming back to are the big questions: what does our fascination with the ancient Mediterranean tell us about ourselves as a society? Why do such movies get made, and what kinds of agendas do they serve? To what extent can we recapture the past accurately? And if we can’t, are we doomed to just endlessly projecting our own concerns and desires onto a screen, and dressing them in togas? No knowledge of ancient languages is required for this course.

CLSC 226 – Greek and Roman Sculpture
T.R. 10:00 – 11:15
Maggie Popkin

(Cross-listed as ARTH 226) 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.

CLSC 232 – Roman Civilization
M.W.F 2:00 – 2:50
Kevin Dicus

Ancient Rome excites the imagination of people throughout the modern world, but how did the city resonate with its ancient inhabitants? How did both the elite and common classes live in, use, and experience the urban setting in which they found themselves? This course approaches such questions in two quite different but complementary ways. Firstly, we will trace the development of Rome over nearly 1000 years, from its foundation on a marshy land beside the Tiber River, to its rise as one of the most complex and powerful cities in the ancient world, to ultimately, its decline. We will examine the architecture through a perspective of engineering and design, as works of art, and as assertions of political authority. Secondly, the bulk of the course will examine primary texts (in translation) that insert people within this setting. Passages from contemporaneous historians, poets, playwrights, politicians, and satirists reveal vivid, and often contradictory, observations of what it meant to be and act “Roman” in Rome. Particular topics will include the use of urban space as political theater; domestic space as markers of prestige; ritual performance and sacred space; the dangers and hardships suffered by the urban poor; the role of women; and leisure time in the city, including love and romance, dining and drinking, and attending gladiatorial games. Fulfills the Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement.

CLSC 295 – Greek and Latin Elements in English
Section A: Basic Course (1.5 hrs), January 12 – February 27
Section B: Biomedical Terminology (1.5 hrs), March 2 – April 27

T.R. 2:45 – 3:45
Timothy Wutrich

(Limit 10 for each section. Prerequisite to CLSC 295B: Previous or concurrent registration in CLSC 295A.) This course utilizes self-paced computer-assisted instruction and is directed to students of all academic backgrounds who wish to acquire a solid foundation in English etymology. The course has two parts: the first  part (CLSC 295A, 1.5 credits) emphasizes Greek and Latin suffixes, prefixes, and verb roots.  Through the recognition of these elements the student will become familiar with word concepts and word-building processes in the English language.   After  completion of CLSC 295A, the student may elect to take the second section (CLSC 295B, also 1.5 credits).  The second part of the course deals with the etymology and precise word meanings of high-frequency terminology in the biological and medical fields.

CLSC 320 – Departmental Seminar: Alexander the Great
T.R. 10:00-11:15
Rachel Sternberg

(Cross-listed as HSTY 320, Approved SAGES Departmental Seminar)This writing-intensive 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 Alexander the Great draw from various sub-fields of Classics, including history, archaeology, art history, and gender studies. Considerable class time will be devoted to writing instruction, often via workshops in which students respond to and critique professional writings and one another’s work. The two intertwining strands of the seminar — research and writing — should enable each student to produce a strong research paper on a chosen topic that need not have anything to do with Alexander. Fulfills the Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement.

CLSC 321 – Archaeology of Iron Age
M.W. 12:30 -1:45
Kevin Dicus

(Cross-listed as HSTY 321) 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 the Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement.

CLSC 324/424 – The Sublime and Grotesque in Literature
T.R 11:30 – 12:45
Florin Berindeanu

(Cross-listed as WLIT 324/424) 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. 

CLSC 329 – Marvels of Rome: Monuments and Their Decoration in the Roman Empire
T.R. 1:15 – 2:30
Maggie Popkin

(Cross-listed as ARTH 329) 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.

CLSC 334 – The Art of Classical Greece
M.W. 12:30 – 1:45
Jenifer Neils

(Cross-listed as ARTH 334/434) This course explores the development of Greek art and architecture over three millennia from abstract Cycladic marble figurines to replicas of fresco painting buried in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. It will address the latest archaeological discoveries and examine major sites such as Athens, Olympia and Delphi. There will be a midterm, final, and paper, presented both orally and in written form.

GREEK

GREK 102 – Elementary Greek II
M.W.F. 10:30 – 11:20
Rachel Sternberg

Beginning course in Greek language, covering grammar (forms and syntax) and the reading of elementary selections from ancient sources. Makes a start toward reading Greek authors. Prereq: GREK 101 or equivalent.

GREK 202/402 – Introduction to Greek Poetry (Homer)
T.R. 10:00 – 11:15
Timothy Wutrich

(Cross-listed as WLIT 202/402) Homeric poetry is the subject of this course. Students will review Homeric Greek vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and prosody, and read selections from the Iliad. Prereq: GREK 102 or equivalent.

GREK 380/480 – Advanced Topics in Greek Literature: Hellenistic Poetry
T.R. 11:30 – 12:45
Ricardo Apostol

Reading and interpretation of selections from Callimachus, Theocritus, Moschus, Bion, Apollonius of Rhodes, and other Hellenistic Greek poets. Prereq: GREK 200-level course or equivalent.

LATIN

LATN 102 – Elementary Latin II
M.W.F 11:30 – 12:20
Kevin Dicus

An introduction to the elements of Latin: pronunciation, forms, syntax, vocabulary, and reading. Prereq: LATN 101 or equivalent.

LATN 202/402 – Vergil
T.R. 4:30 – 5:45
Timothy Wutrich

(Cross-listed as WLIT 232/432) In this course we read and discuss selections from Vergil’s poetry, looking briefly at the Eclogues and Georgics, but dealing primarily with the Aeneid. We consider language, style, and meter, and continue to build Latin vocabulary and reinforce the command of Latin grammar and syntax. Literary analysis and interpretation of the Aeneid as well as the performance aspect of Latin epic also features in class meetings. In addition to daily translation, course work includes vocabulary quizzes, two exams (midterm and final), a passage to memorize and recite, and a paper. Prerequisite:  LATN 102 or equivalent.

LATN 380/480 – Advanced Topics in Latin Literature: Satire
T.R. 1:15 – 2:30
Peter Knox

This course offers a survey of the development of Roman verse satire with readings from Horace and Juvenal, as well as selections from Persius and the fragments of Lucilius. Prerequisite: LATN 200-level course or equivalent.

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