CLSC 224: Sword and Sandal: The Classics in Film
TR 2:30-3:45, Evelyn Adkins
(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 231: Athens to Alexandria: The World of Ancient Greece
MW 3:20-4:35, Rachel Sternberg
(Cross-listed as HSTY 231) This course constitutes the first half of a year-long sequence on classical civilization. It examines the enduring significance of the Greeks studied through their history, literature, art, and philosophy. Lectures and discussion. (For the second course in the sequence, see CLSC 232 and HSTY 232.)
CLSC 319/419: Greek Tragedy: Plays and Performance in Ancient Athens
TR 2:30-3:45, Timothy Wutrich
(Cross-listed as WLIT 319/419 and THTR 319/419) This course provides students the opportunity to read a significant number of ancient Greek tragedies in modern English translations. We read, study, and discuss selected works by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, as well as selected criticism, ancient and modern, of these plays. All semester we read the plays as literature composed for performance. We study literary elements within the plays and theatrical possibilities inherent in the texts. As we read the plays, we pay close attention to the historical context and look for what each play can tell us about myth, religion, ethics, and society in ancient Athens. Finally, we give attention to the way these tragic dramas and the theater in which they were performed have continued to inspire literature and theater for thousands of years. Lectures provide historical background on the playwrights, the plays, the mythic and historical background, and possible interpretation of the texts as literature and as performance pieces. Students discuss the plays that they read in class. The course has three examinations and a final project that includes writing an essay and staging a monologue or scene from one of the tragedies.
CLSC 336: Representations of War in Ancient Rome
MW 12:45-2:00, Maggie Popkin
Few societies in history have been as militaristic as ancient Rome–or as proud of their warrior culture. This course examines the many ways that Romans constructed and contested their conceptions of war from the founding of the Roman Republic in 509 B.C.E. to the reign of Constantine (306-337 C.E.). Why did Romans choose to represent war in certain ways, and how did these artistic representations shape Romans’ military values? What can the visual record tell us about how different groups (soldiers, women, slaves) experienced war in the Roman world? We will explore major public monuments in the city of Rome (including triumphal arches and the Colosseum) and private objects (such as silver drinking vessels) to observe how Roman militarism pervaded different walks of life. We will also examine monuments on the edges of Rome’s empire, such as the towering trophies in modern France and Romania, to explore how works of art and architecture mediated the relationship between Romans and the peoples they conquered. Students will be encouraged to think about how art and architecture contributed to the construction of militarism as a chief Roman value, but also about how visual representations provided an important means to debate the value of Rome’s military efforts, to subvert Rome’s rigidly hierarchical social order, and to grapple with what it meant to “be Roman” as wars transformed Rome from a small city in Italy to a massive, pan-Mediterranean empire. After exploring Romans’ conceptions of war and victory, students also may ask whether the common comparison between the Roman Empire and modern America is appropriate. Offered as ARTH 336, ARTH 436, CLSC 336 and CLSC 436.
AKKD 395/495: Advanced Topics in Akkadian Literature
MW 4:50-6:05, Maddalena Rumor
(Cross-listed as WLIT 395/495) Directed readings in selected Akkadian texts in the cuneiform script either of the Old Babylonian or the Neo-Assyrian periods to serve the individual interests and needs of students (texts may be drawn from a variety of text genres: mythological, historical, scientific, medical, correspondence, religious, etc.). Prereq: AKKD 101 and AKKD 102.
ANCIENT NEAR EAST AND EGYPT
ANEE 107: Introduction to the Ancient Near East and Egypt
MW 12:45-2:00, Maddalena Rumor
(Cross-listed as HSTY 107) This is an introduction to the history and culture of the Ancient Near East and Egypt, a land spanning from modern Iraq to Egypt that was home to the earliest known societies in written history. In this course we will learn about the relatively recent discoveries of these ancient civilizations, the first deciphering of their scripts, about the political, social, and cultural history of the peoples who gave rise to the Babylonian, Assyrian, and Egyptian empires (besides other Levantine and Anatolian powers and smaller nations such as Israel). Various aspects of the literary/scientific production of these societies will also be discussed, while reflecting upon their cultural legacy. Counts for CAS Global & Cultural Diversity Requirement.
ANEE 320/420: Gods and Demons in the Ancient Near East and Egypt
MW 3:20-4:35, Meghan Strong
(Cross-listed as RLGN 320/420) In this course we will examine various components of the religious, divinatory and magical systems of these cultures, and reflect upon their relationship with the stories that are found in the Hebrew Bible. We will learn (through a critical analysis of a selection of ancient texts) about ancient Mesopotamian and Egyptian deities, demons, myths, and magical rituals. We will also explore notions of creation, cosmic order, the human condition, death, afterlife, divine favor, and a wide variety of beliefs that, while often contradictory to modern ways of thinking, combined into unified religious systems.
GREK 102: Elementary Greek II
MWF 11:40-12:30, 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
MWF 2:15-3:05, Paul Hay
(Cross-listed as WLIT 202/402) Primarily readings from Homer, Hesiod, and Theocritus. Selections from Greek lyric may be introduced at the instructor’s discretion.
GREK 306/406: Tragedy
TR 2:30-3:45, Paul Hay
(Cross-listed as WLIT 306/406) Reading and interpretation of selected plays of Aeschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles. Prereq: 200-level GREK or equivalent.
Prereq: 200-level GREK or equivalent.
LATN 101: Elementary Latin I
MWF 10:35-11:25, Paul Hay
An introduction to the elements of Latin: pronunciation, forms, syntax, vocabulary, and reading.
LATN 201/401: Latin Prose Authors
TR 10:00-11:15, Timothy Wutrich
(Cross-listed as WLIT 241/441) Reading and discussion of such prose authors as Cicero, Caesar, Livy or Pliny. Prereq: LATN 102 or equivalent.
LATN 380/480: Advanced Topics in Latin Literature
TR 11:30-12:45, Evelyn Adkins
Study and discussion of important authors, works, and topics not covered regularly. Content will reflect particular interests of students and faculty and timeliness of topics.