Spring 2011 Courses
CC 200 Classical World (4)
Jackie Murray & Dan Curley
An introduction to classical antiquity for students interested in ancient Greece and Rome, the impact of antiquity on Medieval and Renaissance Europe, 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 their reception in Medieval and Renaissance Europe. 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
CC 225 The Ancient Novel (3)
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 will 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.
CC 265 Reading Rome (3)
Dan Curley & Jackie Murray
“All roads lead to Rome.” This maxim guides our survey of Rome from classical to modern authors. In Reading Rome students will explore the construction of Rome: not only the geographical layout, layering, and the 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. NOTE: Reading Rome is a prerequisite for Writing Rome (TX 201), a study tour of the Eternal City slated for May-June 2011.
CL 210 Intermediate Latin (4)
M, 10:10-11:05 & Tu/Th, 9:40-11:00)
In this continuation of CL 110, students will refine their mastery of Latin grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. We will concentrate on two very different Latin texts, each with its take on life and how to live it: one, Cornelius Nepos' biography of Atticus, famous friend of Cicero and an exemplary Roman; two, the fables of Aesop, whose wry sketches of the animal world provided morals for his human readers. Prerequisite: CL 110 or permission of instructor.
From the death of Alexander in 323 BC to the principate of Augustus in 31 BC, the literary genre of the novel developed and flourished. Greek schools of rhetoric served as one of the backdrops for the origins of this genre, for it was there that students articulated imaginary and fantastic stories as they practiced their declamations. Other literary developments, such as romantic narratives in Greece and the near East, and satire in Rome, contributed to the development of the novel. We will examine the earliest Latin manifestation of the novelistic form: Petronius’ Satyricon. Composed most likely by the “arbiter of elegance” in the court of the Roman emperor Nero, the Satyricon drew upon these genres and, with wit, bawdiness and a keen sense of culture, gave shape to the Roman novel. Our focus will be on a set-piece within the larger work: the Cena Trimalchionis or the “Dinner of Trimalchio.”
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
Sophocles is unquestionably among the world's greatest tragedians, and his plays take on new meanings for each generation, including our own. In this course we shall read either Antigone or Oedipus Tyrannos in Greek and the other extant plays in translation; will work on mastering Sophocles' varied and expressive meters; and will review a broad swath of contemporary Sophoclean scholarship. There will be midterm and final exams, focused largely on translation, and students will give periodic in-class reports and will write a 10-15-page term paper.
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 humanities requirement.)
We will explore the social, political, economic and artistic contributions of the Romans, from the origins of the city of Rome to the end of the Republic. Using literary, historical and archaeological methodologies, we will examine Rome's history from its foundation by the mythical Romulus, its domination over the Mediterranean world and central Europe, the dissolution of a corrupt republican form of government and the emergence of an empire under the rule of one emperor. Our topics will include the elegance of Etruscan civilization, Roman relations with foreign nations, social and political institutions, republican rule and the power of the aristocracy, the emergence of Latin literature, and the destructive civil war that engulfed the Mediterranean. We will give special attention to Roman daily life, both in the city and throughout the provinces.
Our nine plays depict the struggle to maintain human virtue—during erotic attraction, through philosophy, or despite loneliness—and each (from Athens, Rome, France, and England) takes place in ancient Greece. We also study Plato and Aristotle on the development of drama and its role in living the good and examined life. The most vivid problems depicted in our works will be perhaps the most accessible: the hopes of love; the fears and desires for self-knowledge; the traps of cynicism. Our works—dramatizing conversation, confession, and decision—provide exemplary occasions and models for reflective exchange and the attainment of political and domestic self-understanding. We start with Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, and continue with Sophocles’ Philoctetes; three rewritings of the same story: Euripides’ Hippolytus, Seneca’s Phaedra, and Racine’s Phèdre; Aristophanes’ Frogs, depicting a contest between the Greek tragedians; the same comic dramatists’ Clouds and Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens; Plato’s Ion and Symposium and Aristotle’s Poetics; and Molière’s The Misanthrope. The principal graded work will be frequent short- and mid-length writing assignments.