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Classics Department Courses: Spring 2012

CLSC 112 — Classical Civilization: Rome (3 hrs). Charles Burroughs, T.R. 1:15-2:30 PM, classroom TBA.
(Cross-listed as HSTY 110.  Limit 60.)

Introduction to Ancient Roman social, political and cultural history, from the beginnings to the fall of the empire and the triumph of Christianity. The focus throughout will be on the Romans’ own words and their material culture (e.g., as represented the Roman Art Gallery in the Cleveland Museum of Art). We will study Roman achievements in literature from the national epic, Vergil’s Aeneid, to texts criticizing or mocking the political or cultural status quo. We will review Roman achievements in technology, administration, and architecture (especially such immense and influential buildings as the Colosseum and the Pantheon). We will learn about the Romans’ private lives, as revealed especially through the excavation of the buried cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Finally we will explore the relationship between Roman actions and social practices and their image of themselves, especially as embodied in legends of the origin of the state.

CLSC 204 — Heroes & Hustlers in Latin Literature: (3 hrs). Timothy Wutrich, M.W.F. 3:00-3:50 PM, classroom TBA.

(Cross-listed as WLIT 204)

Sex and violence are two of the recurring themes in Latin literature and in this course. We will read in English translation selections from major Roman works including the comedies of Plautus, Caesar’s commentaries and Cicero’s speeches, Vergil’s epic, Ovid’s love poetry, Tacitus’s history, and more. We will meet heroes and villains, rulers and revolutionaries, brides and harlots. The question will often be who is which. This will lead to a consideration of what the Romans thought of themselves and what we think of ourselves by comparison.

 

CLSC 210 – The Byzantine World: 300-1453 (3 hrs) Elizabeth Todd, M.W.F. 10:30-11:20 AM, classroom TBA

(Cross-listed as HSTY 210.)

This course will trace the 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 that city to Turkish forces in 1453. In a history spanning over a millennium, the empire faced constant military challenges on all sides. In addition, political and administrative intrigue were interwoven with religious controversy. Topics and figures to be explored will include iconoclasm, monophysitism, Procopius’ Secret History, Greek fire, eunuchs, Basil the Bulgar-Slayer, and Nicephorus Phocas, Pale Death of the Saracens. Byzantine civilization will be explored its own sake, and not just as a factor in the development of “more successful” western European culture.

CLSC 221 – Building on Antiquity (3 hrs) Charles Burroughs, T.R. 10:00-11:15 PM, classroom TBA

(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 attempt 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 224 — Sword and Sandal: The Classics in Film (3 hrs). Ricardo Apostol, M.W.F. 11:30 AM – 12:20 PM, classroom TBA.
(Cross-listed as WLIT 224)

GladiatorAlexanderThe 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 228 — Ancient Greek Athletics (3 hrs). Jenifer Neils, M.W. 9:00-10:15 AM; classroom TBA

(Cross-listed as ARTH 228)

A survey of Greek athletics, from their Egyptian and Near Eastern predecessor up to gladiatorial combat in the Roman period, with a brief look at the end of the semester at the modern recreation of the Olympic games. The specific events will be examined, as will theories about the meaning and origins of competitive athletics. Since Greek Sport touched all parts of Greek culture and society – art, poetry, politics, war – all these aspects with relevance to sport will be studied.

CLSC 295 Greek and Latin
Elements in English
, Timothy Wutrich, w/ 2:00 – 2:50 PM, classroom TBA.

Section A: The
Basic Course (1.5 hrs)

Section B: Biomedical Terminology (1.5 hrs) Timothy Wutrich

(Prerequisite to CLSC 295B: Previous or concurrent registration in
CLSC 295A
)

 

This course, available on CWRUnet, 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 is comprised of two parts. The first (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. At the successful completion of CLSC 295A, the student may elect to take the second section (CLSC 295B, also 1.5 credits). The design of this section is the presentation of the etymology and precise word meanings of high-frequency terminology in the biological and medical fields.

 

CLSC 304 — Ancient Rome: Republic to Empire (3 hrs). Andrea U. De Giorgi, T.R. 2:45 PM – 4:00 PM, classroom TBA.

(Cross-listed as HSTY 304)

This is a survey of Roman history from the City’s early days to the fourth century C.E., when the state and Christianity joined their engines. The course will follow a chronological trajectory, with special attention to the events that led to Roman hegemony over the Mediterranean and beyond. Tangentially, it will also address key-topics such as economy, colonialism, ethnicity, and, not least, the nature of Rome’s imperial regime. A wide range of evidence and media, from papyri to visual culture will form the backbone of the course.

CLSC 309 — Advanced Sanskrit Religious Texts (3 hrs). Venkatakrishnan Ramaswamy, T.R. 1:15 PM – 2:30 PM, classroom TBA.

(Cross-listed as RLGN 309)

This class is a continuation of CLSC/RLGN 305, the introduction to the Sanskrit language and culture. In CLSC/RLGN 309, students will learn advanced Sanskrit grammar and syntax. Previous knowledge of Sanskrit is required. We will finish the lessons from Devavanipravesika that we began in the introductory course. We will then translate sections from the Bhagavad Gita.

CLSC 312 – Women in the Ancient World (3 hrs) Rachel Sternberg, M.W.F. 2:00 – 2:50 PM, classroom TBA

(Cross-listed as WGST 312.)

The course offers a thematic survey of women’s lives in Greece, Hellenistic Egypt, and Rome. Images of women in literature, myth, philosophy, and art are considered, alongside the daily realities as reflected in the evidence for Greek and Roman religion, politics, law, and medicine. Students will spend most of their time reading and interpreting primary sources (literary, documentary, and artistic) as well as scholarly interpretations of the ancient record with a view to defining the construction of gender and sexuality according to the Graeco-Roman model. Specific topics include: the antagonism between male and female in myth; the legal, social, economical, and political status of women; the ancient family; prostitution; women’s role in religion and cult; ancient theories of medicine regarding women; paederasty and homosexuality.

CLSC 319/419 — Epic: The Sublime and Terrible in Literature (3 hrs). Florin Berindeanu, T.R. 1:15-2:30 PM, classroom TBA.

(Cross-listed as WLIT 320/420)

The course focuses on the epic genre that dominates the dawn of Western literature as well as the literary traditions of much of the rest of the world. From the Homeric epic to the Middle Ages and deep into the Renaissance, there was a collective urge to record both in verse and in prose extraordinary adventures with exceptional heroes as central figures. Thus, the epic genre typically encouraged variations in the aesthetic treatment of the hero that eventually came to define distinct categories within the genre. “Sublime” and “terrible” are common notions in the aesthetics of classicism, from antiquity to the early modern period. Authors studied in the course include such key figures in the creation and development of epic as Homer, Virgil, Ovid, Gotffried von Strassburg, Dante, and Cervantes. The works of these authors exemplify, on the one hand, the aesthetic directions mentioned above and, on the other hand, provide opportunities for using the close engagement with particular texts to illuminate wider cultural fields, in which various aesthetic perceptions of social, political, and religious reality coexist and therefore stimulate remarkable innovations in the standard epic narrative.

CLSC 320 — Departmental Seminar: Alexander the Great (3 hrs). Paul Iversen, M.W. 12:30 – 1:45 PM, classroom TBA.

(Cross-listed as HSTY 320)

This SAGES-approved Departmental Seminar offers students a firm grounding in the discipline of Classical Studies, 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 in English translation the ancient and medieval sources as well as contemporary scholarship on the enigmatic Alexander the Great drawn from various fields of Classics, including history, archaeology, art history, gender studies, epigraphy, numismatics, and reception. Based upon this, they will then write a research paper using commonly accepted conventions in the field of Classical Studies, which research they will present to the class.

CLSC 332 — Art and Archaeology of Ancient Italy (3 hrs). Andrea U. De Giorgi, T.R. 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM, classroom TBA.

(Cross-listed as ARTH 332/432)

Greek stone temples in Southern Italy and Sicily and Etruscan terracotta sculpture are just two of the components contributing to the brilliant development of the art and architecture of ancient Rome. This course will explore the arts of the Italian peninsula from the archaic to the imperial periods, with emphasis on recent archaeological discoveries and with vistas onto the Mediterranean east and west. Lectures will deal with architecture, sculpture, painting and the decorative arts and will be supplemented by gallery tours at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Students will be expected to attend lectures held in conjunction with the course. One research paper, midterm, and final examination.

CLSC 381 — Classics Senior Capstone (1-3 hrs). Staff, times as arranged.

(Prerequisite: Consent of 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 (1-3 hrs). 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 102 — Elementary Greek II (3 hrs). Rachel Sternberg, M.W.F. 9:30-10:20 AM, classroom, TBA.

(Prerequisite: Greek 101 or equivalent)

This course continues to teach elementary Ancient Greek with written and oral exercises to ensure mastery of grammar and vocabulary. Readings included passages adapted from classical authors, as well as the occasional unadapted passage.

GREK 202 — Introduction to Greek Poetry — Homer (3 hrs). Rachel Sternberg, M.W.F. 3:00-3:50 PM, classroom TBA.

(Prerequisite: GREK 102 or equivalent)

In this course we will read selections from Homer’s Odyssey, especially the Great Wanderings recounted in Book 9-12. The central aim of the course will be to help students become proficient readers of Greek oral hexameter verse, but we will also review Attic Greek while comparing it with the Homeric dialect. Scansion included. We will explore themes of trickery, revenge, homecoming, family, love, loss, and death, and we will discuss the relationship of Homeric heroes to the historical worlds in which their stories were sung.

GREK 307 — History (Thucydides) (3 hrs). Paul Iversen, M.W. 9:00-10:15 AM, classroom TBA.

(Prerequisite: GREK 202 or equivalent)

In this course we will read selections from Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War, particularly 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 including the writing of history in general. 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.

GREK 382 — Senior Dissertation (3 hrs). Paul Iversen, times as arranged.

(Prerequisite: consent of Department Chair)

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.

GREK 395 — Directed Readings (1-3 hrs). Staff, times as arranged.

(Prerequisite: Consent of instructor)

Directed readings in authors selected to serve the individual interests and needs of undergraduate students.

LATN 102 — Elementary Latin II (3 hrs). Andrea U. De Giorgi, T.R. 8:30-9:45 AM, classroom, TBA.

(Prerequisite: LATN 101 or equivalent)

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

LATN 202 — Vergil (3 hrs). Timothy Wutrich, M.W.F. 4:00-4:50 PM, classroom TBA.

(Prerequisite: LATN 201 or equivalent)

In this course we shall read and discuss selections from Vergil’s Aeneid, especially Books I, IV, and VI. We shall consider language, style, and meter, as we develop further our Latin vocabulary and reinforce our command of Latin grammar. The performance aspect of Latin epic will also be our concern. Additionally we shall consider literary analysis and interpretation of the Aeneid in general.

LATN 305 — Literature of the Republic (3 hrs). hrs). Ricardo Apostol, M.W.F. 10:30 – 11:20 AM

(LATN 202 or equivalent)

The Twelve Tables; the Song of the Salii; Ennius, Naevius, the Elder Cato – these are names most students of Latin will recognize, but whose texts undergraduates (and even graduate students) rarely get to read. In this course we will focus on archaic Latin authors, our earliest extant sources for understanding Roman society before the late Republic. In doing so, we will not only gain a familiarity with these puzzling, fascinating, and rarely-read texts, as well as a window into Republican Rome – we will also get to the heart of fundamental questions as to the meaning of “literature” and its development among the Romans. Texts will include Archaic Latin Verse, Archaic Latin Prose, and a play of Plautus.

LATN 382 — Senior Dissertation (3 hrs). hrs). Ricardo Apostol, times as arranged.

(Cross-listed as GREK 382; Prerequisite: GREK 381 or LATN 381)

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.

LATN 395 – Directed Readings (1-3 hrs). Staff, times as arranged.

(Prerequisite: Consent of instructor)

Directed readings in authors selected to serve the individual interests and needs of undergraduate students.

Page last modified: December 20, 2013