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Office Location: Ladd Hall, Room 210

DEPARTMENT CHAIR:
Michael Arnush, Professor and Chair
(518) 580 - 5463

ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR:
Ruby Grande

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CLASSICS COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

LATIN

CL 110: ELEMENTARY LATIN (4 credits)
Latin, the root of the Romance languages of French, Spanish, and Italian, and the language of the sciences and medicine, lies at the heart of Western civilization. The study of Latin and Roman culture leads to a greater understanding of our own literature and civilization, improves writing and reading skills, and helps to develop precise thinking. Students in this course acquire the basics of Latin grammar and vocabulary while reading selected prose passages and poems by Cicero, Catullus, Vergil, Martial, and Caesar.

CL 210: INTERMEDIATE LATIN (4 credits)
In the continuation of CL110, students focus on the acquisition of Latin vocabulary and grammar, and the development of their skills as readers of Roman prose and poetry. Students read passages drawn from, among others, the poetry of Catullus and Ovid and the prose of Petronius and Caesar. Prerequisite: CL110 or permission of the chair.

CL 310: SEMINAR IN LATIN POETRY (4 credits)
Advanced reading and critical examination in Latin of the works of Roman playwrights or poets from the Republic and Empire. Recent courses have focused on “Ovid’s Theater of Epic,” “The Plays of Plautus,” and “Horace’s Odes” and “Love, Death, and Springtime.” This course may be taken more than once for credit. Prerequisite: CL210 or permission of the chair.

CL 311: SEMINAR IN LATIN PROSE LITERATURE (4 credits)
Advanced reading and critical examination in Latin of the works of Roman historians, biographers or novelists from the Republic and Empire. Recent courses have focused on “Private Lives, Private Worlds,” Petronius’ Satyricon, and Suetonius’ Lives of the Caesars. This course may be taken more than once for credit. Prerequisite: CL210 or permission of the chair.


GREEK

CG 110: ELEMENTARY GREEK (4 credits)
Why study ancient Greek? To study Greek is to study ourselves as creators, leaders, thinkers, and as humans. Greek sharpens awareness and understanding of how languages work and offers speakers of English the opportunity to rediscover their own language; over thirty percent of all English words (particularly those of the sciences and humanities) are formed from ancient Greek roots. Students in this course acquire the basics of Greek grammar through reading selections from a variety of authors and texts, including Aesop, Plato, Herodotus, and the New Testament.

CG 210: INTERMEDIATE GREEK (4 credits)
In this continuation of CG110, students focus on reading one of the most stirring accounts from antiquity—Xenophon’s Anabasis, or “Going Up–Country.” This account of an expedition by Greek mercenaries in support of a pretender to the Persian Empire’s throne reveals a great deal about how the Greeks viewed the “barbarian” Persians and, ultimately, how they viewed themselves. Prerequisite: CG110 or permission of the chair.

CG 310: SEMINAR IN GREEK POETRY (4 credits)
Advanced reading and critical examination in Greek of the works of Greek playwrights or poets from the Homeric age to the Hellenistic era. Recent courses have focused on Aristophanes’ Clouds, Homer’s Iliad, Apollonius’ Argonautica, and Sophocles’ Bacchae. This course may be taken more than once for credit. Prerequisite: CG210 or permission of the chair.

CG 311: SEMINAR IN GREEK PROSE LITERATURE (4 credits)
Advanced reading and critical examination in Greek of the works of Greek historians, biographers, novelists, orators or philosophers. Recent courses have focused on the Histories of Herodotus, “Oratory: Murder, Bravado, Persuasion,” “Truth, Justice, and the Athenian Way,” “The Greek Novel,” and “The Sophists.” This course may be taken more than once. Prerequisite: CG210 or permission of the chair.


GATEWAY AND CAPSTONE TO THE MAJOR

CC 220: CLASSICAL WORLD (4 credits)
An introduction to classical antiquity for students interested in ancient Greece and Rome and a general background in the Western tradition. This interdisciplinary course is taught every spring semester by a team of faculty members addressing Greek and Roman literature, history, philosophy, science and art and archaeology. Highlights of the course include a visit to the Library’s Pohndorff Room to examine our permanent collection of Renaissance Greek and Latin texts; a field trip to NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Homerathon!; and the annual Classical World lecture. Fulfills the Humanities requirement. Fulfills writing requirement in the major with CC 365.

CC 222: CLASSICS MAJOR AND BEYOND (1 credit)
An introduction to classical antiquity for students interested in ancient Greece and Rome and a general background in the Western tradition. This interdisciplinary course is taught every spring semester by a team of faculty members addressing Greek and Roman literature, history, philosophy, science and art and archaeology. Highlights of the course include a visit to the Library’s Pohndorff Room to examine our permanent collection of Renaissance Greek and Latin texts; a field trip to NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Homerathon!; and the annual Classical World lecture. Fulfills the Humanities requirement. Fulfills writing requirement in the major with CC 365.


ANCIENT ART HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY

AH 222: GREEK ART AND ARCHAEOLOGY (3 credits)
An exploration of the major developments in architecture, sculpture, and painting from Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations through the Hellenistic period. Attention is given to the influences on Greek art from the East and to the influence of Greek art on other cultures. Fulfills the Humanities requirement.

AH 223: ROMAN ART AND ARCHAEOLOGY (3 credits)
An exploration of the major developments in architecture, sculpture, and painting beginning with the Villanovan and Etruscan cultures and continuing through the Republic and Empire (fourth century CE). Topics covered include wall painting, narrative sculpture, city planning, and the development of art for and by the masses. Fulfills the Humanities requirement.


ANCIENT HISTORY

CC 226: GREEK AND ROMAN HISTORIANS (3 credits)

The Greeks invented the writing of history, and in the hands of Herodotus and Thucydides, historiography developed into a powerful literary genre for presenting and analyzing recent events. Roman historians like Livy and Tacitus elevated historiography to an art form and, in so doing, offered sharp critiques of imperial ideologies. Students focus on Greek and Roman historians and their sources and methods; plots, themes, and characters; and literary stylistics. As a final project, students compose and perform histories imitating a particular ancient historian’s methods and style. Counts toward the History major.

HI 203: RISE OF ATHENS (3 credits)
A study of Greece with a focus on Athens from the Mycenaean age to the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War. Students examine the heroic age, the development of the city-state, the origins of democracy, the nature of imperialism, intellectual and cultural achievements, economic conditions, and family life. Special emphasis is given to the study of the ancient sources: literary, historiographic, archaeological, and numismatic. Fulfills the Social Science requirement. Counts toward the History and International Affairs majors.

HI 204: ATHENS, ALEXANDER THE GREAT, AND CLEOPATRA (3 credits)
A study of Greece from the Peloponnesian War to the end of Greek independence. Students examine the war between Athens and Sparta and its aftermath, the struggle for preeminence among Greek city-states, the rise of Macedonia, the monarchies of Philip and his son Alexander the Great, the Hellenistic kingdoms, the development of scientific thought, and the last “Greek” monarch, Cleopatra of Egypt. Special emphasis is given to the study of the ancient sources: literary, historiographic, archaeological, and numismatic. Fulfills the Social Science requirement. Counts toward the History and International Affairs majors.

HI 205: RISE OF ROME (3 credits)
A study of Rome from its foundation by Romulus to the end of the Republic and onset of the Roman empire. Students examine the Etruscan world, the rise of Rome in Italy, the impact of Hellenism, social and political institutions in the Republic, the evolution of Roman culture, and the end of the Senatorial aristocracy. Special emphasis is given to the study of the ancient sources: literary, historiographic, archaeological, and numismatic. Fulfills the Social Science requirement. Counts toward the History and International Affairs majors.

HI 206: FALL OF ROME (3 credits)
A study of Rome from the foundation of the empire by Augustus until the sack of the city of Rome and the empire’s demise. Students examine the Julio-Claudian and succeeding emperors, political intrigue in the imperial court, the development of an imperial mindset and responses to it in the provinces, the multiculturalism of the empire, social and political institutions, the evolution of Roman culture, the rise of Christianity, and the end of the empire. Special emphasis is given to the study of the ancient sources: literary, historiographic, archaeological, and numismatic. Fulfills the Social Science requirement. Counts toward the History and International Affairs majors.

HI 363: TOPICS IN ANCIENT HISTORY (4 credits)
Selected aspects of ancient Greek or Roman history. Topics vary year to year based upon instructor and student interests. Recent courses have included the “Age of Augustus,” “Alexander the Great,” and “Decadent Rome.” Cross–listed with CC 365: Special Topics in Classical Studies (see below). Counts toward the International Affairs major.

ANCIENT LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION

CC 220: CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY (3 credits)
A study of the important myths in Greek and Roman culture, with attention to their religious, psychological, and historical origins. Comparative mythology, structural analysis, modern psychological interpretations, and the development of Classical myths in Western literature and art receive attention. Fulfills the Humanities requirement.  

CC 222: GREEK TRAGEDY: MYTH IN ACTION (3 credits)
In the theater of Dionysus at Athens, Greek myths and legends came to life. Heroes and heroines alike took the stage and, through their stories, which were at once familiar and new, demonstrated the frailty of human existence. In this course, students explore the works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the three great tragedians, in the context of Athenian society of the fifth century BCE. In addition, students have the opportunity to write and produce an original Greek tragedy in English. Fulfills the Humanities requirement. Counts toward the Theater major.

CC 223: GREEK AND ROMAN COMEDY: SOCIETY ON THE STAGE (3 credits)
Comedians of ancient Athens and Rome were poets of elegance, anger, obscenity, and morality. Despite these contradictory messages, the plays have stood the test of time. In this course students survey the works of Aristophanes, Menander, Plautus, and Terence in order to understand how they function as plays and as artifacts of individual artists and their societies. In addition, students stage one of Aristophanes’ plays as a semester project.

CC 224: THE HERO(INE)'S TALE: TRADITIONS OF GREEK AND ROMAN EPIC (3 credits)                           
“Rage—Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles, murderous, doomed....” Thus Homer inaugurated a poetic tradition celebrating gods and mortals, heroes and heroines, singers and listeners. Students read Homer, Hesiod, Vergil, and Ovid, the foremost epic poets, yet look beyond the canon to Apollonius and Callimachus, whose poems reaffirmed and reinvented epic as a vehicle for myth-making. The class examines the journeys of patriarchal heroes and the heroines’ matriarchal domains. This course is recommended for students interested in myth, narration, genres, and issues of gender. Fulfills the Humanities requirement.

CC 225: THE ANCIENT NOVEL (3 credits)      
A study of ancient prose fiction with a focus on its multi-cultural scope, the use of literature as entertainment, and the interplay of fictionality and historicity. Students read the most important examples of ancient Greek and Roman novels in translation (including extraordinary adventures, travels to distant lands, romances, and fantasies) while developing skills in literary analysis and interpretation. Fulfills the Humanities requirement.


CLASSICAL CIVILIZATION

CC 227: RACE AND ETHNICITY IN ANCIENT GREECE AND BEYOND (3 credits)
In this course students will consider the way race and ethnicity were constructed in antiquity, in particular how literature and art were used to make Greekness and Romanness hegemonic identities over and against other identities, notably Persian, African, and Egyptian. We will explore the role that this ancient construction has been made to play in the racial and ethnic identity-politics of former British colonies (including the USA) where the legacy of enslaving Africans still looms large. Of special interest will be the influence Classics has had on the works of writers and artists of African descent in these former colonies. Students will examine the reception of classical authors, such as Homer, Sophocles, Euripides, Horace and Vergil, in the output of a selection of Black writers and artists including Phillis Wheatley, Ola Rotimi,Kamau Brathwaite, Lee Breuer, Wesley Enoch, Rita Dove, Toni Morrison, Gwendolyn Brooks, Derek Walcott, Wole Soyinka, Ralph Ellison and Romare Bearden. We will focus in particular on how these modern authors, poets, playwrights, and artists have revised and re-imagined classical models to challenge and refute the discourses of racism and imperialism.

CC 265: TOPICS IN CLASSICAL CIVILIZATION (3 credits)
Selected aspects of Classical antiquity that embrace both the Greek and Roman worlds. Topics vary from year to year based upon the instructor's specialization and interests. Students work on basic research, analytical, and writing skills. Courses may include Greek and/or Roman religion, lyric poetry, and early Christianity. The course in a different subject area may be repeated for credit. Recent courses have included “Roman Religion,” and “Ancient Science and Technology.”

One recent example of CC 265:

CC 265: ANCIENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (3 credits)
Students explore the major achievements in science and technology in antiquity, with a focus on the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The class investigates such questions as, what was Archimedes’ screw or the Antikythera computer? Was there a difference between astrology and astronomy? Since the Romans invented the steam engine, why didn’t they invent the locomotive? Students also consider how some of these achievements were represented in literature, asking the question, “If the Greeks and Romans had science, did they also have science fiction?”

CC 365: ADVANCED TOPICS IN CLASSICAL CIVILIZATION (4 credits)
Selected aspects of Classical antiquity that embrace both the Greek and Roman worlds. Topics vary from year to year based upon the instructor's specialization and interests. Building upon the skills acquired in 200-level courses, students analyze primary and secondary evidence and conduct independent research in major writing projects. Courses may include such topics as women in antiquity, sex in the ancient world, Classical poetics, and ancient historiography. The course in a different subject area may be repeated for credit. May be cross-listed with HI 363.  Recent seminar topics have included “Women in Antiquity,” “Classics on Film,” “Bronze Age Art and Archaeology,” “Greek Sanctuaries,” “Murdering Mothers,” “Roman Art in the Private Sphere,” and “Singer, Song, & Society.” Fulfills writing requirement in the major with CC200.

Recent examples of CC 365 seminars:

CC 365: TRUE CONFESSIONS-THE AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL TRADITION (4 credits)
This course examines the classical foundations of modern biography. The course’s study is grounded in Suetonius’ landmark and scandalous works on the Caesars and the poets, as well as Plutarch’s moralizing Parallel Lives. From there the class surveys key post-classical efforts, especially Boswell’s Life of Johnson, whose warts-and-all portrait is often considered the finest ever written. Attention will also be paid both to representations of and by women and to autobiography. Students consider the genre in the context of history, propaganda, moral exemplar, philosophy, literature, and fantasy.

CC 365: ANCIENT SEXUALITY: SEX & SOCIETY IN HELLENISTIC & ROMAN EGYPT (4 credits)
Students examine documentary and literary sources for sexual life in Egypt during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The class analyzes sexuality in a society where classical Greek and traditional Roman norms came into contact with ancient Egyptian values. While the course does not search for some monolithic ancient “attitude” to sexuality in the ancient world – “a one size fits all” – students identify what was more or less constant across these cultures and what were the important differences. For example, each culture wrestled with the question of who penetrates, and who is penetrated. These questions are the keys that unlock ancient notions about sexuality. Where ancient and modern concepts of sexuality diverge is a topic which should be of particular interest for students, especially those who want to explore the role of power in sexual relationships or the social boundaries for certain sexual behaviors. Counts towards Gender Studies & Classics Majors.

HI 363: AGE OF AUGUSTUS (4 credits)
“I found Rome a city of bricks, and I leave it clothed in marble." These are the words of Rome's first Emperor, Gaius Iulius Caesar Augustus, who ruled an empire stretching from Spain to Syria, from Britain to Egypt. Students in this seminar explore the social, artistic, literary and political successes and failures of this "Golden Age" of Rome's past. Each student selects a topic from the Augustan age—such as Vergil's Aeneid, the Imperial Forum of Augustus, art as propaganda, the creation of empire, the multiculturalism of the Mediterranean, the role of women in the Roman world—and assess it within the context of Augustan ideology and history.

CC 365: SACRED PLACES / RITUAL SPACES (4 credits)
Although the boundary between sacred and secular space was less rigid in ancient Greece, sanctuaries were areas set aside specifically for encountering the divine. Students explore a number of questions associated with Greek sanctuaries from their inception in the Archaic age through the Hellenistic period. Such questions include what physically constituted a Greek sanctuary, what sorts of rituals and religious practices occurred in the sanctuary, and what the social functions of these sites were. Students examine the fundamentals of Greek religion and then focus on specific sanctuaries: two of the four Panhellenic sites, one of which also served as an oracular shrine (Olympia, Delphi), the healing cult of Asklepios at Epidauros, and the Eleusinian mysteries. Counts toward the Art History and Religion majors.


TRAVEL STUDY COURSES

CC 265: PARTHENON & TX 200A. TRAVEL-STUDY TO LONDON & ATHENS (4 credits)
Students in this interdisciplinary seminar study on campus the art, architecture, history, politics and culture of ancient Athens during the classical or “Golden Age” of Pericles on campus, and then travel to London to examine the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum and debate the ethical implications of the acquisition of the Parthenon’s art by England. Students in this travel-study course then continue their study in Greece with a close investigation of the Parthenon, the Acropolis, and collections in major Athenian museums. The last portion of the course includes a variety of religious sanctuaries and economic and military sites in Attica, from the home of the Mysteries at Eleusis; to the scene of the Battle of Marathon; to Laurion, where the Athenians hit the mother-lode of silver that fueled the Athenian empire and the construction of the Parthenon. At the heart of the seminar lies the enduring question: who owns the Parthenon? Students must enroll in CC265 and TX200A concurrently. Counts towards the art history cluster of the Classics major/minor.

CC 265: READING ROME, WRITING ROME & TX 201A. TRAVEL-STUDY TO ROME (4 credits)
Students explore on campus the construction of Rome, not only the geographical layout, layering, and growth of the city over time, but also the reception of the city in the texts of ancient and modern authors. Every text about Rome — including stories of its foundation, praise of its buildings and monuments, and laments by those forced to leave it — creates a new Rome, which replicates, reimagines or even replaces the actual city. The intersection of physical and textual space, and the many Romes that abide there, is the subject of this course. The course concludes with a travel-study program in the city of Rome, where students apply what they learned on campus in the spring semester to the rich tapestry and layers of ancient-to-modern Rome. Students must enroll in CC265 and TX200A concurrently. Counts towards the literature cluster of the Classics major/minor.


HONORS FORUM COURSES

HF 200: HONORS FORUM SEMINARS IN CLASSICS (1 credit)
In these Honors Forum seminars, students explore specific issues related to the larger concerns addressed in the Classics curriculum.  Past projects have included "The Family," an examination of the Greek (oikos) and Roman (domos) households; "Greco-Roman Games," a study of the nature of sport and entertainment; and "Mythology," a deeper exploration of Roman mythology.


INDEPENDANT STUDY, THESIS AND INTERNSHIP

CC 371, 372: INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-4 credits)
Individual research in any aspect of Classics not available in existing course offerings which results in a written work. Supervised by a member of the Classics faculty. Prerequisite: Approval of the chair.


CC 390: Thesis (3 credits)

The senior student undertakes a substantial advanced research project in any aspect of Classics which results in a written thesis of approximately fifty pages. Supervised by a member of the Classics faculty. Prerequisite: Approval of the chair.

CC 399: PROFESSIONAL INTERNSHIP IN CLASSICS (3 or 6 credits)
Professional experience at an advanced level for juniors and seniors with substantial academic and cocurricular experience in the major field. With faculty sponsorship and departmental approval, students may extend their educational experience into such areas as education, communication, the arts, libraries, and law and government. Does not count toward the major or minor. Must be taken S/U.


CLASSICAL CIVILIZATION: GOVERNMENT AND PHILOSOPHY

GO 303: CLASSICAL POLITICAL THOUGHT (3 credits)
Students in this course study the development of Western political thought through the ancient and medieval periods. Primary attention is given to the writings of Plato and Aristotle. Selected Greek, Roman, and medieval thinkers may also be considered. Topics to be discussed include the activity of philosophy, the relation of ethics and politics, justice, and the rule of law. Prerequisite: GO 102 or permission of the instructor.

GO 351: TOPICS IN POLITICAL THOUGHT: THUCYDIDES (3 credits)
Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War addresses a conflict lasting from 432 to 404 BCE, when democratic Athens nearly defeated oligarchic Sparta in a bid to rule the Greek world. Thucydides intended this work to serve as a guide for future ages, “something useful...a possession for all time.” The class examines the deeds and speeches of the war as narrated by Thucydides in order to find solid guidance in the face of permanent problems and issues of political life, such as “What are the causes of a war and the conditions of peace? Are human beings compelled to pursue their own advantage over and against the self-sacrifice that justice demands? What are the arguments for and against imperialism? What are the arguments for and against oligarchy and democracy?” Other topics courses include “Xenophon’s Anabasis” and “The Political Plays of Aristophanes.” Prerequisite: GO 102 or permission of instructor.

PH 203: HISTORY OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY (3 credits)
Ancient Greek thinkers engaged in a continuous dialogue about certain core philosophical questions, such as: What is the origin of philosophy? What is the nature of the cosmos? What is the relation between being and becoming? What is knowledge? What is the nature of human beings? What is happiness and how can human beings achieve it? It will be our task to enter into that conversation and consider its relevance for our own lives. Special attention will be given to Plato's and Aristotle's approaches to these questions.
Prerequisite: None. Fulfills the Humanities requirement.

PH 327A or B: PLATO OR ARISTOTLE (3 credits)
Aristotle's philosophy aspires to be a systematic whole. At the same time his writings are rich in suggestions and open to the multiplicity of the phenomena. Our goal will be both to identify the fundamental and pervasive principles of his thought and to appreciate the complexity of the treatises we will study. We will focus primarily on his theory of human nature and his view of the distinctive place of human beings in the cosmos. Prerequisite: one course in Philosophy. Counts towards the Classics and Philosophy majors.


 

Latin Document

Latin Documentary Text
2nd Century AD

 

 


 

 

Priceless pieces of ancient Greek and Egyptian literature

Ancient (early 3rd century A.D.) papyrus document.  The Greek text is Daniel 7:11-14.

 

 

 

 

Homer

A Bust of Homer,
1st c. BCE