Classics

Course Descriptions

1001 Ancient Civilizations of the Near East and Egypt
3 credit hours

An introduction to the civilizations and cultural contributions of the ancient Near East and Egypt.  Aided by illustrated lectures and the study of ancient literature, students will explore the history, political organizations, art and monuments of these early civilizations.

Note: This course is not open to students with credit in CLAS 2200.


1002 The Ancient Civilizations of Greece and Rome
3 credit hours

A general introduction to the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome with particular regard to history, political organization, material culture, and contributions to western cultural development.  Students will examine primary sources relevant to the history, social, and political organization of Greek and Roman society, and be introduced to the art, architecture, and material culture of these two ancient cultures

Note: This course is not open to students with credit in CLAS 2200.


1003 Material Culture from Prehistory to the Middle Ages
3 credit hours

Students examine the artistic, artifactual and architectural remains of Europe, the Mediterranean and
Western Asia from prehistoric times to the 14th century CE.


1004 Introduction to Archaeological Method and Theory
3 credit hours

Students are introduced to the practice, method, and theory of the discipline of archaeology through a careful examination of select case studies drawn from archaeologists working on ancient Mediterranean sites.


1100 Introduction to Ancient Greek

6 credit hours

This course is an introdustion to the major grammatical points of the ancient (Attic) Greek. Students will meet the challenges of learning an inflected language.

1100 Introduction to Latin

6 credit hours

A course in the essentials of Latin grammar for students beginning their study of this ancient language.  Since Latin is an inflected language with many changes in endings, students should be prepared to work hard at understanding and learning its basic structures.

2000 Legacies: the Archaeology of Ancient Greece
3 credit hours

Students are introduced to the art and archaeology of the ancient Greek world from the Late Bronze Age through the Hellenistic period.  Students consider the “major arts” (ceramics, painting, sculpture, architecture) within their broader social, historical and religious contexts. Students apply art historical and archaeological method and theory as well as explore the relevance of the artistic and architectural innovations of the ancient Greeks on subsequent cultures, including our own.


2100 Secrets of the Dead: Roman Archaeology
3 credit hours

Students investigate important issues and current problems in the art and archaeology of the ancient Roman world. Students focus on a careful examination of the material record of the ancient Romans, including architecture, works of art, and artifacts, and through the lens of art historical and archaeological method and theory, complex cultural phenomena such as imperialism, urbanism, gender definitions, ethnicity, economic behaviour, cultural interaction, and culture change.  Students consider the images of the great works of art and architecture of the Roman world, such as the Pantheon and the Augustus Prima Port, and examine the great sites of the Roman world, including: Pompeii, Ostia, Rome, Ephesus, and Constantinople. 

Note: Students who have taken CLAS 3312, “Art of the Hellenistic World and/or Rome,” are not eligible to receive credit for this course.


2200 Intermediate Ancient Greek

6 credit hours

Prerequisite: GREK 1100 or equivalent.

Students develop the techniques of ancient Greek-English translation. The first part of the course will continue the study of Attic Greek grammar; in the second part of the course, students apply their skills in translation by reading selections from ancient Greek prose and poetry.

2201 The Mythology of Greece and Rome I: Gods and Heros
3 credit hours

Students explore the nature of mythology in ancient Greece and Rome through a survey of the principal myths of the gods and goddesses. Emphasis will be placed on myths describing the creation of the universe, the gods and their powers, the origin of humans and the relationships between gods and mortals. Students read a selection of works of Classical literature and assess how these myths helped shape the life and thought of the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome.


2450 The ‘Cradle of Civilization’: The Ancient Near East
3 credit hours

Students explorethe history and cultures of Anatolia, Mesopotamia, and the Levant from the first cities, ca. 3000 BCE, to the fall of the Persian Empire, ca. 323 BCE. Students unravel the complex histories of the ‘first civilizations’, exploring such topics as kingship and religion, urbanization, commerce, legal and social structures and scientific innovations.


2451 Greek History I: From Minos to the Medes [HIST 2451]
3 credit hours

An introduction to the history and culture of the ancient Greeks from the Bronze Age through the Persian Wars.  Students will explore Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations and the social, historical and cultural development of the Archaic period, including the origins of the Greeks and the evolution of the polis and early political systems.  Among the topics students will examine are the evaluation of the Spartan military state, Athenian democracy, pre-Classical Greek religion, art, architecture and literature.  Students will be asked to read the works of various ancient authors and to consider the archaeological and epigraphical evidence for this period of Greek history.

Note: This course is not open to students who have received credit in CLAS 3303/HIST 2350


2452 Greek History II: The Golden Age of Greece [HIST 2452]
3 credit hours

An introduction to the history of the Greeks from the Persian Wars through the death of Alexander the Great.  Students will study the historical, political and cultural developments of the Greeks in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, including the rise and fall of Athens, democracy in action and the cultural achievements of Athens in her “Golden Age” (e.g. religion, theatre, philosophy, art and architecture).  Students will also explore the activities of other Greek states (e.g. Sparta, Boeotia, Syracuse), the roles of men and women in Greek society, the causes and aftermath of the Peloponnesian wars, the conquest of Greece by Phillip II of Macedon and of the Persian Empire by his son, Alexander.  Students will be asked to read various works of ancient authors and to consider archaeological and epigraphical evidence relevant to this period of Greek history.


2453 Republic and Revolution: Roman History I [HIST 2453
3 credit hours

An introduction to the history of Italy and the city of Rome from the Iron Age through the end of the Roman republican system of government.  This course will explore the origins and evolution of the Roman Republic, including the interaction among Romans, their Italian neighbours such as the Etruscans, and the Greek and Phoenician peoples of the eastern Mediterranean.  Among the topics students will examine are the political and military history of the period as well as the social and cultural context that encapsulates and informs this history, and the eventual decline of the republican system amidst the political turmoil and revolution of the first century BC.  Students will be asked to read the works of various ancient authors and to consider archaeological and epigraphic evidence for this history of the Roman republic. Content will vary from year to year.

NOTE: This course is not open to students who have received credit in CLAS 3304/HIST 2351.

2454 Bloody Caesars: Roman History II [HIST 2454]
3 credit hours

An introduction to the history of the Roman world from the establishment of the Principate under Octavian/Augustus to the decline of the Roman empire in the western Mediterranean and Europe.  This course will explore the evolution of the Principate and its eventual replacement by the Dominate, the nature of Roman imperialism, the role of the emperor as a political and religious figure, the interaction among the Romans and their neighbours in central Europe and the Near East, and the eventual political and economic disintegration of the imperial system.  Students will be asked to consider such topics as different models of Roman economic, social, and political organization, the role and status of women in the Roman world, the codification of the Roman legal system, and the intellectual and religious developments that laid the foundations for subsequent historical periods in Western Europe and the Mediterranean.  Students will be asked to read the works of various ancient authors and to consider archaeological and epigraphic evidence relevant to the history of the Roman imperial period.  Content will vary from year to year.


2455 Ancient Empires
3 credit hours

This course is an introduction to the empires of the ancient Near East, Egypt, and the Mediterranean, including Greece and Rome. Throughout the course various imperial systems and experiences will be contrasted, and models of imperialism and colonialism explored. Students are also introduced to ancient history, culture, art, architecture, and literature as these topics relate to imperialism.


2500 War and Society in the Ancient Mediterranean [HIST 2500]
3 credit hours

This course is an introduction to warfare as it was practiced by the peoples of the ancient Mediterranean and the degree to which military organization and the act of waging war affected other aspects of these societies, including political ideology, religious beliefs, and economic exchange systems.


3000 Topics in Greek Art and Archaeology
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 6 credit hours in CLAS or 30 credit hours overall

This course addresses a specific topic, theme, period, or geographical region related to the study of Greek Archaeology. The specific topic and course content will be different each time the course is offered, so the students should check with the program coordinator for Classics about the specific topic on offer for the current semester.  Topics may include art and architecture of the Aegean Bronze Age (Minoans and Mycenaean), urban life in the Greek city-state, art and politics in Archaic and Classical Greece, cultural interaction between Greece, the Near East and Egypt or Greek iconography.  This course is intended to follow CLAS 2000, “Legacies: the Archaeology of Ancient Greece”, but students with a background in archaeology, history, Classics, or art history are also encouraged to enroll.


3100 Topics in Roman Archaeology
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 6 credit hours in CLAS or 30 credit hours overall

This course addresses a specific topic, theme, period, or geographical region related to the study of Roman Archaeology.   The specific topic and course content will be different each time the course is offered, so students should check with the Program coordinator for Classics about the specific topic on offer for the current semester.  Topics may include art and architecture of the Augustan Age, Etruscan art and archeology, the art and archaeology of the Roman provinces, or the art and architecture of empire.  This course is intended to follow CLAS 2100, “Secrets of the Dead: Roman Archaeology,” but students with a background in archaeology, history, Classics, or art history are also encouraged to enroll.


3310  Classical Literature [ENGL 3310]
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 6 credit hours in CLAS or 30 credit hours overall

This course is a survey of the literature of ancient Greece and/or Rome in English translation.   Course content will be organized either thematically, for example on women in Classical literature or metamorphosis, or by genre, for example on epic, tragedy, or comedy.  The course is intended for  students who have some background in Classics and/or Classical literature.


3317 Greek Sanctuaries [RELS 3314]
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 6 credit hours in CLAS or 30 credit hours overall

This course explores ancient Greek religion and the role of the sanctuary in Greek culture.  Students will study the archaeological remains and documentary evidence for the role and function of domestic, civic, and panhellenic sanctuaries (e.g., household cults, the Athenian Acropolis, Olympia, Delphi).  Students will also consider sites which provide examples of specialty cults (healing, oracular, mystery religions) or which illustrate particular social, political or archaeological issues.


3318 Classical Archaeology
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 6 credit hours in CLAS or 30 credit hours overall

A study of the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome based on the material remains (e.g., artifacts, architecture, epigraphy).  Students will learn how archaeology has helped shape our understanding of these ancient cultures through an exploration of the pioneer days of Classical archaeology, modern methods of interpretation, and of the sites, artifacts and monuments in their cultural contexts.


3319  Pompeii
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 6 credit hours in CLAS or 30 credit hours overall

Students examine the archaeological remains of Pompeii, including the site’s depositional history and the history of its excavation, as well as its architectural remains, material culture, and art. Students are introduced to current archaeological research at the site which is changing our understanding of Roman urban life.


3320  Hellenistic Art and Culture
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 6 credit hours in CLAS or 30 credit hours overall

The main objective of the course is for students to gain a basic familiarity with the major trends in Hellenistic art and architecture. In addition to learning basic art historical analysis, students place the material studied in its appropriate cultural, historical and archaeological contexts. 


3321 Swords and Sandals: the Classical World Through Film
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 6 credit hours in CLAS or 30 credit hours overall.

Students examine aspects of the Classical world through the lens of film as a means to understand ancient Mediterranean cultures. Students view and discuss modern versions of ancient stories, modern performances set in the ancient Mediterranean world, and films that present classical themes and allusions. 


3352 Women and Family in Ancient Greece [WMST 3352]
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 6 credit hours in CLAS or 30 credit hours overall

Students study the ancient Greek oikos (family, household) and the daily activities, roles and legal position of women, children and other dependents in the ancient Greek households (ca. 800-31 BCE).  The focus will be on women of different social classes and family life in ancient Greece, with some comparative consideration of the lives of women in other regions of the ancient world (Italy, Mesopotamia, the Levant and Egypt.  


3354 Love and Sexuality in the Ancient World
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: 6 credit hours in CLAS or 30 credit hours overall.

Students study Greek and Roman attitudes towards gender, love and sexuality. Literary and artistic evidence will be used to explore the ancient Greek and Roman attitudes towards gender roles, social morality, homosexuality, marriage and adultery, sexuality and erotic art. Students study these topics in context and discuss how they relate to modern values and gender issues.


3400 Rome’s Eternal Glory: The Age of Augustus [HIST 3400]
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 6 credit hours in CLAS or 30 credit hours overall

Students examine a key transitional historical period in the Roman world, with the dissolution of the republic and its replacement with a monarchy during the reign of Rome’s first emperor. Through a close analysis of ancient material and textual evidence, students will examine and evaluate the Age of Augustus.


3409 On the Edge of Empire: Roman Britain and the Western Provinces [HIST 3409]
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 6 credit hours in CLAS or 30 credit hours overall
 
Students examine the history, organization, material culture, and cultural diversity of Rome’s western provinces, with particular attention paid to Britannia. Students also consider Roman imperialism and the interaction of Romans and subject peoples.

3411 Great Trials of Ancient Athens
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 6 credit hours in CLAS or 30 credit hours overall.

Students study Athenian democracy, law, life in 5th-4th century BC Athens through speeches (in translation) from a selection of cases (e.g. homicide, impiety, sexual misconduct and slander) in combination with other documentary evidence, iconography and archaeological remains. Topics include: aspects of the legal and political systems, Athenian social life and the core Athenian.


3420 International Relations Eastern Mediterranean Style
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 6 credit hours in CLAS or 30 credit hours overall

Students study the intercultural relationships among the inhabitants of the eastern Mediterranean during the Archaic and Classical periods of Greek history (ca. 900 to 323 BCE). The focus will be on the interactions among the Greeks, the Phoenicians and the Persians and the impacts their exchanges had on the political, commercial and cultural activities of the regions.


3610 Field Study in Roman Archaeology
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 6 credit hours in CLAS or 30 credit hours overall

The practical application of archaeological field techniques and method as it pertains to the study of Classical Roman sites in the Mediterranean and Europe.  This course is always taught off-campus at one or more ancient Roman sites in Europe, most frequently Italy.  Consequently, the course is dependent upon external funds and has a limited enrollment.  Please consult the Program Coordinator of Classics regarding availability.


3611 Laboratory Methods in Roman Archaeology
3 credit hours

This course introduces students to the laboratory method used by Roman archaeologists in the study of archaeological materials recovered from Roman-period sites.  The course is taught on-site in the Mediterranean and is to be taken in conjunction with CLAS3610 during the same academic year.


3612 Ancient Cities and Sanctuaries
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 6 credit hours in CLAS or 30 credit hours overall

This field course of ancient Greek and/or Roman history and culture is organized around visits to archaeological sites and major museums in one or more countries associated with these ancient civilizations (e.g.: Greece, Turkey, or Southern Italy and Sicily).


3826 –  3849 Thematic Selected Topics in Classics
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 6 credit hours in CLAS or 30 credit hours overall

A series of courses on selected topics that will be determined by the course instructor.  Each course will focus on particular themes in Classical culture (history, archaeology, art and/or literature) and/or specific chronological periods.  The subject matter of these courses will be announced occasionally.


4405 Advanced Reading and Tutorial
6 credit hours
Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

A course based on directed readings and research. The contents of the course will be determined by the specific interests of the professor and the students involved. Students will have the opportunity to pursue in depth their individual interests in the field of Classics, and will meet regularly with a member of the Department to discuss their research. To register in this course students must demonstrate a satisfactory background in Classics or the Ancient World of the Near East and an ability to do independent research.


4406 Seminar in Classical Studies
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: 12 credit hours in Classics or permission of the instructor.

A seminar on selected topics in Classical culture (history, archaeology, art, literature and/or a specific chronological period) intended as an advanced course for Classics majors and students in their graduating year.  Topics to be examined will be selected by the instructor.  Students will be required to give seminar presentations and write a major research paper.


4407 Greek Art, Life and Politics
3 credit hours
Prerequisites: Twelve (12) credit hours in CLAS or the permission of the instructor.

In this seminar the social history of Archaic and/or Classical Greece is explored through the function and meaning of material culture. The material remains, which include metal, ivory, ceramic vessels, and sculpture, are important sources of evidence for understanding the daily lives of the ancient Greeks and their social values.


4610 Advanced Field Study in Roman Archaeology
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: CLAS 3610 or ANTH 3373, and permission of the instructor 

This course is for students who wish to increase their proficiency as field archaeologists. Students will take an active part in an ongoing archaeological research project, to record archaeological data in a professional manner, and to assist in the supervision of students at the introductory level. This course is taught on-site in Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.


4611 Advanced Laboratory Methods in Roman Archaeology
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: CLAS 3611 or ANTH 3374

Students have the opportunity to learn and apply advanced field laboratory methods and techniques to the study of Roman material culture. The course is normally to be taken in conjunction with CLAS 4610. This course is taught on-site in Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.


4876 – 4899 Directed Study
3 credit hours
Prerequisite: At least twelve (12) credit hours in Classics or permission of instructor.

A three (3) credit hour course open to students who wish to pursue a special topic or topics in Classics through tutorials, independent study, and research. The availability of this course depends upon the agreement of a particular faculty member who is prepared to direct the tutorial and study program.


Classics - Greek (GREK)

Classics - Latin (LATN)