Classical Studies

  • Department Information

    Classical Studies

    Julie Laskaris, Chair
    Professor Simpson
    Associate Professors Baughan, Damer, Laskaris, Stevenson
    Assistant Professor Gunkel

    The Department of Classical Studies offers majors and minors in classical civilization, Greek language and literature and Latin language and literature. The Department supports the minors in Archaeology and Linguistics and the First-Year Seminar program. FYS's taught by our faculty can count towards our majors and minors (see list below). Several courses are offered that fulfill requirements in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program and the Healthcare Studies Program. The Department values community-based learning and offers CBL components in some of its classes.

    The Department of Classical Studies also offers three combined majors with the Department of English. The combined programs in Classics and English, Greek and English, and Latin and English are intended for students who wish to pursue in-depth work in both the classical and the English literary traditions.

  • Major

    The Classical Civilization Major

    Note: The grade point average of the coursework comprising the major must be no less than 2.00 with no course grade below C- (1.7).

    Nine units, including:

    CLSC 306 The Classical Tradition (or approved CLSC substitute)

    CLCV 498 Major Seminar

    Seven units selected from courses offered by the Department of Classical Studies or approved courses in related fields

  • Minor

    The Classical Civilization Minor

    Note: No course grade below C- (1.7) will count toward the minor.

    Five units selected from courses offered by the Department of Classical Studies (excluding courses in Greek and Latin) or approved courses in related fields, of which three must be in the Department of Classical Studies.

    Students are expected to fulfill all prerequisites necessary for courses within the major or minor. Prerequisites do not count toward the major or minor unless otherwise noted.

  • Approved Courses

    Approved Courses in Related Fields for the Classical Civilization Major or Minor

    ANTH 101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

    ARTH 121 Survey I: Prehistory through the Middle Ages

    ARTH 309 Image and Icon in Medieval Art

    ARTH 310 Late Antique and Early Christian Art

    ARTH 312 Medieval Art in Western Europe, 8th-15th Centuries

    ARTH 315 Art of the Italian Renaissance

    ARTH 316 Art in the Age of Reform

    ARTH 322 Museum Studies

    ENGL 234 Shakespeare

    ENGL 302 Literature of the English Renaissance

    ENGL 304 Shakespeare

    ENGL 308 Interdisciplinary Studies in the Middle Ages and Renaissance

    HIST 221 Classical Greece

    HIST 222 Hellenistic Greece and Republican Rome

    HIST 223 The Roman Empire

    HIST 225 Medieval Italy

    HIST 227 High Middle Ages

    PHIL 271 Ancient Greek Philosophy

    PHIL 281 Philosophy of Art

    PLSC 311 Classical Political Thought

    RELG 200 Symbol, Myth and Ritual

    RELG 230 The History of Israel

    RELG 241 Introduction to the New Testament

    RELG 258 Religion & the Medieval Imagination

    RELG 331 The Hebrew Prophets

    RELG 332 Hebrew and Christian Wisdom Literature

    RELG 342 Whores, Dragons, and the Anti-Christ:Revelation and the Apocalyptic Imagination

    RELG 347 Women in Early Christianity

    Other courses considered at the coordinator's discretion.

  • First-Year Seminars

    First-Year Seminars

    FYS 100 Death and Commemoration in Antiquity

    Through literary texts, inscriptions, and monuments from the ancient Mediterranean (including Egypt and the Near East as well as Greece and Rome), we will explore ancient approaches to death and memorial and what these may tell us about ancient beliefs, social structures, and ideologies. Themes to be explored include: death and the "hero," the tomb monument as a source of memory, the language of burials, the symbolism of funerary rituals, the significance of funerary banquets, war memorials and communal graves, and beliefs concerning the "underworld" and afterlife.

    FYS 100 Euclid's Elements and Birth of Geometry

    Most of the plane and solid geometry students learn in high school essentially comes from the same source, Euclid's tour de force book, "The Elements." In this book, Euclid, the famous Greek mathematician, teacher, and cataloger of mathematics, complies and refines much of the mathematics known to the Greeks into one remarkable book that had an incredible journey from ancient Greece to the modern education of most geometry students. In this course, we begin with early results of the Egyptians, Thales, Pythagoras and then look forward from Euclid to Archimedes, Descartes, Euler, and Legendre all the way to modern geometry and topology. This course is designed for students who appreciate mathematics and mathematical proofs. No prior college-level mathematics is required.

    FYS 100 Gender, Violence, and Rome

    What role can literature from and influenced by the Roman world play in universities in the 21st Century? Ovid's Metamorphoses will guide a careful examination of gender violence in the Roman world and in contemporary U.S. universities. Gender, Violence, Rome will study the ways that Ovid's Metamorphoses has offered solace and resistance against gendered violence, and been read as supporting power hierarchies that enable violence against women and men. In this course, students will meet Roman literature, and films, drama, and novels inspired by the tradition of Roman culture in Shakespeare, the Godfather, and in Toni Morrison's novel, Love.

    FYS 100 Myth and Cult in Ancient Greece

    Explores ritual practice in ancient Greece and its reflection in Greek myth. Students interested in classical studies, history, archaeology, art history, anthropology, religion, and literary studies will find it useful. Some main goals will be for students to learn the meanings and functions of ritual practice in Greek culture and to see how myth may elucidate those meanings and functions.

    FYS 100 Socrates and His Legacies

    Concerns the reappraisal of one of ancient Greece's best known figures, Socrates, whose historical significance is obscured by his fame. The philosophical dialogues written by Plato give so many vivid images of Socrates, that we can hardly help believing that he looked and sounded and thought just as Plato says. The ancient sources, however, are not unified on the question of the historical Socrates, and they gave rise to contrary traditions of Socratic influence that have been as important as Platonic philosophy.

    FYS 100 Wining and Dining in the Ancient Mediterranean

    From sacrificial feasts to private dinner parties, banqueting played a critical role in ancient societies. Food and drink were shared with the gods, the dead, and the living community. Ways of eating and drinking served to construct, define, and negotiate relationships of power, status, and friendship. In this seminar, we will explore the social and cultural significance of banqueting and conviviality in the ancient Mediterranean world, from the Bronze Age through the Byzantine era, using primary ancient sources that depict and discuss eating, drinking, and partying.

Required Course for the Classical Civilization Major

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  • CLCV 498 Major Seminar

    Units: 1

    Description

    Methodologies appropriate to the study of classical civilization and the writing of a research paper.

    Prerequisites

    Permission of department.

Courses Offered in English for Classical Civilization Major and Minor

Expand All
  • CLSC 101 Classical Mythology

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSLT)

    Description

    Introduces students to the myths of the ancient Greeks and Romans and to some of the modern theoretical and interpretive approaches to them.

  • CLSC 201 Classical Elements in the English Language

    Units: 1

    Description

    A study of how Latin and Greek have contributed to English vocabulary -- basic, learned, and technical. In addition to developing the skill of seeing within English words meaningful prefixes, roots, and suffixes, topics of interest include the history of English, the expansion of English vocabulary via borrowing and neologism, and the ways words' meanings may change over time.

  • CLSC 205 Ancient Myth in Epic Poetry

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSLT)

    Description

    Selected mythic themes in epic literature, drawing especially from the literary traditions of the Greeks and Romans, with possible comparison to the epic poetry of the Near East and India. WGSS special cross-list.

  • CLSC 207 Greek Magic

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSHT)

    Description

    Exploration of magic as a means to understanding and affecting the natural world. Major topics include erotic magic, dreams and divination, ritual purification, sacred plants, and healing. WGSS special cross-list.

  • CLSC 208 Mythology: Greek Drama

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSLT)

    Description

    Study of myths preserved in Greek dramas, and historical and literary analysis of these plays. Authors read may include Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes.

  • CLSC 210 A History of Early Medicine

    Units: 1

    Description

    Medical concepts and practices of several ancient peoples of the Aegean and Mediterranean, with a focus on the Greeks and Romans. The development of medicine in the medieval East and West and in the later Western tradition. WGSS special cross-list. May be applied to the Health Care Studies major/minor.

  • CLSC 212 Dining and Drinking in Classical Antiquity

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement FSSA

    Description

    A social history of eating and drinking in the ancient Mediterranean world, from communal religious feasts to private banquets.

  • CLSC 220 Introduction to Archaeology

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement FSSA

    Description

    What can we learn about people and societies, past and present, from their material remains? Introduces archaeological method and theory, with special focus on sites of the ancient Mediterranean basin.

  • CLSC 232 Daily Life in Roman Pompei

    Units: 1

    Description

    Study of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and the destruction of Pompeii, including daily life in a Roman town in the 1st Century in Italy; the Roman world in advertisements, social media, business records, and contracts; and building dedications and correspondence. Uses digital tools and resources for the study of Roman texts. Study of Roman writing from the archaeological context of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and surrounding communities.

  • CLSC 250 Introduction to Syntax

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSSR)

    Description

    Analysis of how words are combined to form phrases and sentences. Translation of syntactic structures into symbolic systems; modification of systems to model increasingly complex data. Requires no mathematics.

  • CLSC 252 Introduction to Indo-European Linguistics

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement FSHT

    Description

    Familiarizes students with the Indo-European language family, its history, its textual artefacts, and the cultures that produced them; also introduces students to the methods used by working Indo-Europeanists. Readings, lectures, and discussions cover the grammar reconstructed for proto-Indo-European (PIE) as well as its vocabulary, which facilitates reconstruction of PIE culture (e.g. law, family structure, mythology, and various other aspects of the way of life of PIE speakers). Also explores the results of cross-disciplinary collaboration between IE linguistics and archaeology.

  • CLSC 301 Greek Art and Archaeology

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSVP)

    Description

    A survey of architecture, sculpture, ceramics, and painting in the Greek world, from the Bronze Age through the Classical period, and an exploration of how art and buildings functioned in Greek society. Introduces students to basic methods of analyzing and interpreting archaeological remains. WGSS special cross-list.

  • CLSC 302 Roman Art and Archaeology

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSVP)

    Description

    A survey of Roman art and architecture from the early republic through the late empire, and throughout the Roman world, from Spain to Syria. Explores the meanings of 'style' in Roman art and the social and political significance of Roman sculpture, painting, and architecture. WGSS special cross-list.

  • CLSC 306 The Classical Tradition

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSHT)

    Description

    Legacy of classical Greece and Rome in Medieval, Renaissance, and modern worlds.

  • CLSC 308 Ethnicity, Gender, and Class in Greece and Rome

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSSA)

    Description

    Structure of Greek and Roman societies based on analysis of their constructions of ethnicity, gender, and class. WGSS special cross-list.

  • CLSC 320 Cultural Property: Archaeology, Ethics, and Law

    Units: 1

    Description

    Exploration of current issues of archaeological ethics and cultural heritage management. Topics range from the ancient history of looting and appropriation to the illicit antiquities market and site preservation today, and how local and international property and tax laws affect collecting practices. Same as LAWE 647.

  • CLSC 321 Archaeology of the Middle East

    Units: 1

    Description

    Art and cultures of the ancient Middle East, from the dawn of civilization to the age of Alexander, with a primary focus on Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and Syro-Palestine. Also considers how cultural heritage has played a role in the history of archaeology and the creation of modern identities, and how it may be used in varying ways today as 'cultural capital.'

  • CLSC 329 The Ancient World in Cinema

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSLT)

    Description

    Examines cinematic representations of the ancient Greek and Roman Mediterranean, viewed through a variety of literary and cinematic genres in European and American cinema of the 20th Century. The films offer an opportunity to reflect on how our various modern visions of (and desires for) the ancient world illuminate the present as much as they animate the past. Students will read selections from Greek and Roman history and poetry (in translation) in conjunction with weekly viewings and written assignments; secondary readings will be drawn from contemporary film criticism and theory.

  • CLSC 388 Individual Internship

    Units: .5-1

    Description

    Supervised independent work. No more than 1.5 units of internship in any one department and 3.5 units of internship overall may be counted toward required degree units.

    Prerequisites

    Permission of department.

  • CLSC 398 Selected Topics

    Units: 1

    Description

    Topics or themes in Classics.

  • CLSC 406 Summer Undergraduate Research

    Units: 0

    Description

    Documentation of the work of students who receive summer fellowships to conduct research [or produce a creative arts project] in the summer. The work must take place over a minimum of 8 weeks, the student must engage in the project full-time (at least 40 hours per week) during this period, and the student must be the recipient of a fellowship through the university. Graded S/U.

    Prerequisites

    Approval for summer Arts and Sciences fellowship by faculty mentor and permission of department.

  • CLSC 499 Independent Study

    Units: .5-1

    Description

    Content suited to the requirements and interests of student, chosen by student and faculty director in advance of the semester in which the independent study is to be done.

    Prerequisites

    Permission of department.