SPRING 2013 COURSES
CC 200 Classical World (4)
Prof. Arnush, Prof. Mechem, Prof. Westerhold
Students in this gateway course explore four periods of Greek and Roman civilizations: the age of Homer, the age of Pericles, the age of Cicero and the age of Augustus. In this interdisciplinary course taught by a team of faculty members, students will examine works of literature from each period; the history and historiography of archaic and classical Greece and Italy; the art and architecture of Athens and Rome; and as well philosophy and political theory. The course includes visits to the Special Collections in the Library’s Pohndorff Room; the Tang Gallery & Museum; and the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, where students will examine and present works of art in the Greek and Roman collections. The course also sponsors two special campus-wide events: the Homerathon!, the annual reading of portions of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey; and the Classical World Lecture, which brings to campus a nationally-renowned scholar to speak on a theme connected to the course.
CC223 Society on the Stage: Greek and Roman Comedy (3)
The comedians of ancient Athens and Rome were poets of elegance, anger, obscenity, and morality. Despite these often contradictory messages, their plays have stood the test of time. In this course we shall survey the works of Aristophanes, Menander, Plautus and Terence. We shall approach the plays from different perspectives and contexts—historical, cultural, theatrical—in order to understand better how they function, not only as plays, but also as artifacts of individual artists and their societies. In addition, we shall augment our survey with the testimonies of a tragedian, Euripides, some of whose plays fall between comedy and tragedy.
CC 265 001 Ancient Science and Technology (3)
Students will explore the major achievements in science and technology in antiquity, with a focus on the Hellenistic and Roman periods. We will investigate 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? We will 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?”
Students in this interdisciplinary seminar will study 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, mined by 20,000 slaves, fueled the Athenian empire and, subsequently, the construction of the Acropolis and its monuments. At the heart of the seminar lies the enduring question: who owns the Parthenon?
CC 365 Ancient Sexuality (4)
Students will examine documentary and literary sources for sexual life in Egypt during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. We analyze sexuality in a society where classical Greek and traditional Roman norms came into contact with ancient Egyptian values. While we will not be searching for some monolithic ancient “attitude” to sexuality in the ancient world – “a one size fits all” – we will try to 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 will be 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.
In this transitional course, all senior majors will reflect on their work in the Classics curriculum and look ahead to life as Skidmore graduates. Working both individually and collaboratively, students will examine the relevance of classical studies to continuing intellectual, cultural, and civic engagement; explore options for future work and study; compile a portfolio documenting and evaluating coursework in the Classics major; and strengthen the presentation and communication skills essential to professional success. Must be taken S/U.
In this continuation of CG 110, students read 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.
CG 311 Euripides' Bacchae (4)
Students in this seminar will focus on coming to know Euripides’ Bacchae well. The class will read the entire play closely in Greek, analyze its various meters (and read them out loud!), and discuss the play in detail, often with reference to some of the many articles and books that have been written about it. Students in this seminar will also develop an understanding of the Bacchae in the larger context both of late-fifth century BCE Athens and of Euripides’ other plays, several of which we shall read in translation.
CL 210 Intermediate Latin (4)
M 10:10-11:05, T/TH 9:40-11:00
Students will refine their mastery of Latin grammar, syntax and vocabulary with excerpts from various Latin authors, including the commentaries of Julius Caesar. Written in the 50s BCE as observations on Caesar’s own campaigns against the people of Gaul, the “Commentaries on the Gallic Wars” provide opportunities to explore the nature of historical prose, life in the army and the provinces, the end of the Roman res publica, and the types of people Caesar conquered — particularly the Druids, whose mysterious ways both fascinated and horrified Caesar.
CL 310 Catullus and his World (4)
"I hate and I love..." Follow the poet Gaius Valerius Catullus as he chronicles his blazing love-affair with the mysterious Lesbia. Along the way we will consider how politics, myth, gender, and sexuality are refracted through the prism of Latin love poetry.
AH 222 Greek Art & Archaeology (3)
In this Art History and Classics course, students examine major developments in architecture, sculpture, and painting from Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations through the Hellenistic period. In doing so, they sharpen their ability to analyze works of art and archaeology formally, spatially, temporally and iconographically. The objects and monuments under consideration help students develop a deeper understanding of the past and its relationship to the present. Attention is given to the influences on Greek art from the East and to the influence of Greek art on other cultures.
A myth (Greek muthos) is a story that has been told and retold through the ages, with each teller shaping it in his or her own way and passing it along to others. One writer has compared myths to tramp steamers that roam the seas, stopping at countless ports, and picking up distinctive tastes and aromas at each. In this class we shall take several such voyages, in each following a particular myth from its early appearances down to our own times, with attention primarily to literary sources but also sampling other media—art, music, film, etc. Exploration of what others have done with a particular myth or group of myths will provide the backdrop for students to create their own versions, with writing again the usual medium—a poem, a story, a parody, a monologue, a scene from a play?—but other media also possible. After creating their own versions of myths, students will for their final assignment create a more substantial work based on a myth or myths of their own choosing.
HI 206 Fall of Rome (3)
Students will examine the Roman empire, from its foundation by the first emperor Augustus until the sack of the city of Rome and the empire’s demise. We will study the family of Julio-Claudian emperors – Caligula, Nero, and others – and as well 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 rise of Christianity; and the end of the largest empire the world had ever seen.