This course introduces students to the masterpieces of the ancient Roman world in English translation and to the extraordinary civilization that produced them. We will explore the development of Roman civilization through celebrated texts for example, the plays of Plautus, Terence and Seneca; Cicero's speeches; the poetry of Catullus, Horace, Vergil and Ovid; and the novels of Petronius and Apuleius as well as through lesser known but still fascinating works. We will work toward a better understanding of the texts themselves, the people and the culture that produced them and the enduring relevance they hold for us today. No prerequisite. Offered every other year.
This course surveys the history of ancient Greece from its occluded origins in the pre-Homeric past to the widespread diffusion of Hellenic culture that accompanied the conquests of Alexander the Great. At the heart of the course will be a careful study of the emergence and development of the Greek city-state in its various incarnations. The course will provide a solid grounding in political history but also will explore aspects of the cultural milieu for example, religion, sexual mores and the economy that fostered some of the greatest literary and artistic works produced by Western civilization. We will read from the celebrated Greek historians Herodotus and Thucydides, as well as from a variety of other sources, ranging from the familiar to the recondite. The course will combine lecture and discussion. No prerequisite. Offered every other year.
This course introduces the techniques and methods of classical archaeology as revealed through an examination of Greek material culture. Emphasis will be placed on the major monuments and artifacts of the Greek world from the Bronze Age through the Hellenistic period. Along with sculpture, architecture and painting, we will examine coinage, epigraphy and other material remains that reveal aspects of life in ancient Greece. The course will be based on slide lectures with assigned readings to supplement the images seen and discussed in class. No prerequisite. Offered every other year.
Who owns the Classical past? In this seminar we will discuss a broad range of ethical dilemmas presented by the practice of archaeology in the 21st century. We will focus on issues concerning the looting of ancient sites; ethical, political, and legal aspects of the international trade in art objects and antiquities; authenticity and forgery of ancient art and the scientific technologies applied in the analysis of ancient objects; the management of museums and repatriation of cultural property; conservation and preservation of cultural heritage; and the protection of cultural property in armed conflict. No prerequisite.
It is a great pleasure to read Homer in Greek, and this course seeks to help students do so with accuracy and insight. Students will acquire a working knowledge of Homer's vocabulary and syntax and will explore some of the key literary and historical questions that have occupied his readers. Offered every spring.
Emphasis will be placed on improving reading efficiency through careful reading and translation of passages from Vergil's poetry. In addition, students will develop an appreciation of the often-subtle intricacies of Vergil's poetic language and the untranslatable music of his verse. Attention will be given both to understanding Vergil in his cultural and historical context and to exploring his continuing significance. Offered every spring.