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Classics Department Courses: Fall 2013

CLSC 193 — The Ancient World (3 hrs) Staff, M.W. 12:30-1:45

(Cross-listed as HSTY 193. Limit 50.) 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 (3 hrs) Staff, T.R. 11:30-12:45
(Cross-listed as WLIT 203. Limit 50.)

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) (3 hrs) Florin Berindeanu and Charles Burroughs, 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 221 — Building on Antiquity Charles Burroughs, T.R. 2:45-4:00
(Cross-listed as ARTH 221.)

This course is an introduction to the history of western architecture, both in Europe and North America. With few intervals, this is a history of the creative imitation and development (and occasional rejection) of so-called classical forms and ideas that emerged in the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean. Therefore we will begin with an exploration of Greek and Roman architecture, especially the emergence and use of the orders of architecture, as well as key building types and the idea of classicism itself. Though often regarded as an expression of conservative if not reactionary political and cultural ideologies, classicism was surprisingly often associated with artistic and even political struggle against the status quo. We will survey the major periods of revival of ancient architectural forms and principles – the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and attempts to tame the metropolis in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, notably the Beaux Arts or City Beautiful Movement in the United States. Cleveland is an especially good place to study the American deployment of classicism, which we will do (once the weather gets better!) by researching and analyzing actual buildings in the city, which early in the 20th century was a key site of innovation in city planning, though using traditional architectural forms.

CLSC 231 — Greek Civilization (3 hrs), Rachel Sternberg, M.W.F. 11:30-12:20
(Limit 40. Cross-listed as HSTY 231.)

What was the “glory that was Greece”? How did the great flowering of Greek civilization occur? What are the connections between that civilization and our own? This course explores the history of ancient Greece from the Bronze Age through the Hellenistic period, with special emphasis on Athens at the time of Socrates.

CLSC 301 — Ancient Philosophy (3 hrs) Chin-Tai Kim, T.R. 1:15-2:30
(Limit 20. Cross-listed as PHIL 301. Prerequisite: PHIL 101 or consent of instructor.)

The Pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, and the three major Post-Aristotelian schools of philosophy, Skepticism, Stoicism, and Epicureanism will be studied in some philosophical depth. A special effort will be made to show how some of the themes of Pre-Socratic thought such as reality and appearance, being and becoming, unity and plurality, and nature and culture contributed to the grand philosophical designs of Plato and Aristotle, as well as to explain the lasting significance of the issues these two philosophers addressed for subsequent epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, and political theory. Selected translated works of the philosophers covered will be read.

CLSC 314 – Love Poetry from Sappho to Shakespeare (3 hrs) Ricardo Apostol, T.R. 2:45-4:00
(Cross-listed as WLIT 314. Limit 30.)

Sappho to Shakespeare and, in this version of the course, very much beyond! Our purpose in this class will be to come to terms with love, a little word with a big concept, in all its multiplicity of meanings and changes over time from its first appearances in Near Eastern poetry (Song of Songs) and Greek lyric (the titular Sappho) through its various elaborations, Roman, Medieval, Renaissance, and Romantic, right up through Modernist poetry and into pop culture today. We’ll read some hot poetry, do heavy-duty intellectual history, and try to answer some of the big questions for the human condition, such as: What is love? How do I get it? What’s love got to do (got to do) with “It”? Is it a natural thing we all feel (i.e. “real”), or is it a cultural construct (a “second-hand emotion”)? And many, many more. No foreign languages required.

CLSC 321 — The Archaeology of Iron Age Italy and Sicily, ca. 100-300 BCE (3 hrs) Staff, M.W. 9:00-10:15
(Cross-listed as HSTY 321. Limit 30.)

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 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 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.

CLSC 323/423 — The Topic of Creativy in Art and Literature, Ancient to Medieval Florin Berindeanu, T.R. 1:15-2:30
(Cross-listed as WLIT 323/423.)

Inspiration is a fundamental part of the aesthetic genesis and it has instantly become one of the most frequented themes of artistic expression. Where does inspiration come from? Are artists “chosen ones” who implicitly stand out from the “non-inspired” rest? Trying to answer these questions and others related to the phenomenon of creativity, one direction that this course will take is the theme of the “divine” or “transcendent”as source of inspiration in art and literature. The course will start with the mystical teachings and theories of Pythagoras that influenced Plato and the Neo-Platonists that will be carried further on into the general tradition of Christian literature.

CLSC 381 — Classics Senior Capstone (3 hrs) 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.

GREK 101 — Elementary Greek (3 hrs) Rachel H. Sternberg, T.R. 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 (3 hrs) Paul Iversen, M.W. 9:00-10:15
(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 307/407 — History Paul A. Iversen, M.W. 12:30-1:45
(Prerequisite: GREK 201 or equivalent)

In this course we will read selections from Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War, including the Sicilian Expedition of Book VII. The primary goals of this course will be to become proficient readers of Attic Greek prose, to become familiar with the history of the Peloponnesian War, and to become acquainted with some of the issues central to Greek historiography. Along the way we will examine Thucydides’ style of composition, his methods of reporting, his use of sources, and his reaction to prior models of history writing, especially Herodotus.

LATN 101 — Elementary Latin I (3 hrs) Staff, M.W.F. 3:00-3:50

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

LATN 201 — LATIN PROSE AUTHORS: CICERO AND CAESAR (3 hrs) Staff, 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 356/456 — Elegiac Poetry (3 hrs) Ricardo Apostol, T.R. 11:30-12:45
(Limit 15. Prerequisite: LATN 202 or equivalent.)

“Finally love has come …” (Sulpicia). This course will cover everything from the origins of love-elegy in Catullus to the Tibullan Corpus and Propertius. It will also cover Ovid’s irreverent treatment of his predecessors and finally his abandonment of love-elegy in favor of plain lament during the years of his exile. The emphasis will be on each individual poet’s original handling of the conventions of the genre, myth, allusions, and ‘double entendres.’