Prospective Students

In their first fall semester, students interested in Classics should take either Greek or Latin and one of the departmental courses on mythology, literature, or history. Can't decide which language to begin? Click here! In the spring, students should continue their study of an ancient language, enroll in the gateway to the major, CC200: The Classical World, take a course on art and archaeology or another course in ancient history. 

FALL SEMESTER YEAR 1

CL110     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 will acquire the basics of Latin grammar and vocabulary while reading selected prose passages and poems by Cicero, Catullus, Vergil, Martial, and Caesar.

or      

CG110     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 will acquire the basics of Greek grammar through reading selections from a variety of authors and texts, including Aesop, Plato, Herodotus, and the New Testament.

CC220     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.

One of the following literature courses:

CC222     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.

CC223     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.

CC224     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.

CC225     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.

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.

One of the following history courses:

HI203     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.

HI205     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. 

SPRING SEMESTER YEAR 1

CL210     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.

or     
       

CG210     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.

CC200     Classical World. 3 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.   

One of the following:

AH222     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.

AH223     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.  

One of the following:

HI204    Athens, Alexander the Great, adn 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.

HI206     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.

SCRIBNER SEMINARS

SSP: Scribner Seminars are courses of 15-16 first-year students, which are designed to help first-semester Skidmore students develop critical thinking, speaking and writing skills.  The Classics faculty contributes annually to the FYE.  Some recent seminar titles:

Democracy Inaction

Myth Conceptions

Den of Antiquities

Sex and the Ancient City

Classics on Film

Empire: Athens, Rome, Britain & the US


CREATIVE THOUGHT MATTERS
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