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Department of Classics

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Classics Department Courses Fall 2014

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 193 — The Ancient World
Kevin Dicus M.W.F. 2:00-2:50   

(Limit 50.  Cross-listed as HSTY 193.)  This course presents a concise, overall view of the Ancient Mediterranean World from the emergence of Near Eastern complex societies to the end of the fourth century of our era. Three are the main focal points: ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt to 500 B.C.; Greece from the Bronze Age to the Hellenistic period; and Rome, Republic and Empire. In all three periods there will be specific attention paid to the nature of our evidence and the varied processes of discovery and interpretation. Imperialism, urbanization and politics will be the main areas of discussion.

CLSC 203 — Gods and Heroes in Greek Literature
Timothy Wutrich T.R. 11:30-12:45   

(Limit 50.  Cross-listed as WLIT 203.)  Students read selected works of Homer, Hesiod, Pindar, Aeschylus, Euripides, Aristophanes, and Plato in English translation to explore the nature and significance of Greek myth, hero-making, and dramatic performance. The original social and historical context of these works will be examined, and we will also notice the power that mythic narratives have continued to hold over the western imagination. Mixed lecture and discussion.

CLSC 220 – Art and Literature in the Classical Tradition I: Renaissance and Baroque (14th to 17th Centuries)
Florin Berindeanu T.R. 10:00-11:15

(Limit 40. Cross-listed as WLIT 220.) 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 literature. The emphasis will inevitably be on Italy, as the place where the physical remains of ancient Rome and Florence challenged and inspired visitors from Petrarch in the 14th century to Michelangelo, Bernini, and a host of remarkable artists and intellectuals in the 16th and 17th centuries. As the capital of the western church and seat of the papal court, resources flowed to Rome, and many popes relied on the arts to bolster the sacred authority that they claimed. As such, Rome was an important model for other cities and courts.

This was also a period of grave conflicts and tensions, not least in the intellectual sphere as new cosmologies were elaborated (the idea of a solar system!), and the place of humans in the universe placed in question, while the known earth itself expanded. A new political formation, the nation state, dominated Europe. We will move between the court and the city, between scenes of often-endangered order and scenes of sometimes-productive disorder, in which classical models provided a key cultural and even psychological resource in challenging times. No prerequisites; recommended preparation: CLSC 232.

CLSC 231 – Greek Civilization
Paul Iversen T.R. 1:15-2:30   

(Limit 40.  Cross-listed as HSTY 231.)  This course provides a comprehensive view of the more important aspects of Greek civilization and its legacy to Western culture. We will cover approximately 3,000 years of Minoan and Greek Civilization on a wide variety of topics including history, archaeology, art, architecture, athletics, slavery, literature, gender roles, philosophy, and political institutions.

CLSC 304 – Ancient Rome: Republic and Empire
Ricardo Apostol T.R. 2:45-4:00 

(Cross-listed as HSTY 304) The focus of this course will be the Roman Empire from its inception as a response to the changes and instability of the Late Republic to the ‘Fall’ of the Empire in 476. Primary sources will play a strong role throughout as we study the private and public lives of the Caesars; changes in Roman society and values (was there a ‘Decline’?); life on the frontiers and in the provinces; the incursions of tribes of nomadic barbarians; and the role of religion, from traditional Roman worship and the importation of exotic eastern cults to the rise and eventual triumph of Christianity.

CLSC 305 – Sanskrit   
Deepak Sarma, T.R. 2:45-4:00

(Cross-listed as RLGN 305) Introduction to Sanskrit. Students will learn Sanskrit grammar and will learn to read basic Sanskrit.

CLSC 327/427 – The Parthenon: Then and Now
Jenifer Neils, M 9:00-11:20, W 9 – 10:15

(Cross-listed as ARTH 327/427) 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. This course meets the Global and Cultural Diversity Requirement.

CLSC 381 — Classics Senior Capstone
Staff, Times TBA

(Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.)  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.

CLSC 395 — Directed Readings (1 to 3 credits)
Staff, Times as arranged

(Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.)  Directed readings on specific themes or authors selected to serve the individual interests and needs of undergraduate students.

GREEK

GREK 101 — Elementary Greek I
Rachel Sternberg, M.W.F. 10:30-11:20

(Limit 20.)  Learn the language of Sophocles and Plato! The first semester of Greek provides an introduction to Ancient Greek grammar, syntax, and vocabulary.  Emphasis is placed on reading continuous texts, while the reading material invites students to explore the culture and history of Greece in the Classical period.

GREK 201/401 — Greek Prose Authors
Paul Iversen, T.R. 2:45-4:00

(Limit 10.  Prerequisite: GREK 102 or equivalent.)  In this course we will read selections from the Histories of Herodotus, who has often been called “the father of history.”  The primary aim of the course is to solidify the grammar learned in GREK 101 by reading continuous prose passages of real Greek.  Much of the course, therefore, will involve reviewing Attic Greek and comparing it with Herodotus’ Ionic Greek.  In order that the class not become monkish, we will, however, take many excursus on topics such as the claim that Herodotus was the “father of lies,” Herodotus’ working methods, his use of mythology, the Persian wars, Athenian History, Spartan History, historiography, source-criticism, and the ethnographic tradition.

GREK 306/406 – Tragedy
Rachel Sternberg T.R. 10:00-11:15  

(Prerequisite: GREK 202 or equivalent.) Reading and interpretation of selected plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides.

LATIN

LATN 101 — Elementary Latin I
Kevin Dicus, M.W.F. 3:00-3:50

 (Limit 20.)  This is the first half of a two-semester introduction to Latin, with primary emphasis on grammar, syntax, and vocabulary.

LATN 201/401 — Latin Prose Authors: Cicero and Caesar
Timothy Wutrich, T.R. 10:00-11:15

(Limit 15.  Prerequisite: LATN 102 or equivalent.)  This course is designed to finish the grammar not completed in LATN 102. We will read continuous prose texts from Cicero, and, time permitting, from Caesar. Our main objective is therefore to gain a routine in reading real Latin, to understand easy sentences almost without translating every word and to analyze complex sentences so as to understand fully how they fit together. LARGE SCALE VOCABULARY ACQUISITION is a major course objective. To further this, we will work through the Basic Latin Vocabulary in the course of the semester.

LATN 351/451 — Latin Didactic Literature
Ricardo Apostol T.R. 11:30-12:45   

(Limit 15. Prerequisite: LATN 202 or equivalent.)

Ah, the didactic; deriving its name from the Greek didasko, to teach, didactic poetry allegedly sets out to educate as well as entertain its readers, with what are usually considered to be mixed results. It is a testament to the genre’s ambivalent reception that comparatively little Greek or Roman didactic poetry was written, and even less survives. One might justifiably ask, then, why on earth one ought to read such things as, say, a poem on Epicurean doctrine; the variety of snakes; the movements of the heavenly bodies; or, New Zealand pop icon Lorde help you all, what we will concentrate on this semester, Vergil’s Georgics, a longish poem detailing techniques and best practices in farming (including, I might add, a section on queen bees). The answer to that question has remained the same throughout the ages: because it’s good for you.

It’s good for you, because you don’t really know Vergil unless you know all his work, and every serious Latinist ought at the very least to know her Vergil. It’s also good for you because it brings you face to face with some interesting problems: why would sophisticated writers and readers spend their time on such a thing? Is it a radical aesthetic statement, a kind of declaration of love for the form of beautiful poetry regardless of its content? Or does it contain hidden meanings that rescue it from charges of irrelevance or banality? How does it relate to the Greek tradition of didactic stretching back to Hesiod, who wrote his own great farming poem, the Works and Days? And how do we explain the disturbing fact that, as guides to farming, both the Georgics and the Works and Days are both completely useless? This course, highly didactic itself, aims to confront these and many other questions, and requires knowledge of Latin through the second-year level or its equivalent.