Classics
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Amherst College Classics for 2011-12

390, 490 Special Topics

Fall and spring semesters. Members of the Department.

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014

498, 499 Senior Departmental Honors

Fall semester. Members of the Department.

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013

Classical Civilization

221 Greek Mythology and Religion

A survey of the myths of the gods and heroes of ancient Greece, with a view to their original context in Greek art and literature as well as their place in Greek religion. We will give particular attention to myths that live on in Western art and literature, in order to become familiar with the stories which were part of the repertory of later artists and authors. Three class hours per week.

Omitted 2011-12.

 

2014-15: Not offered

222 Political Rhetoric

(Offered as POSC 222 [PT] and CLAS 222) Rhetoric is the art of persuasion, of using language--both written and oral--to convince others of one’s point of view. Yet many perceive such convincing as dangerous, especially to democracies where individual voice matters so much to politics. The line between persuasion and manipulation is not always clear, and the effects of crossing it can be incredibly corrosive. This course investigates the history and theory of political rhetoric. How and when should we be rhetorically persuasive? Which rhetorical techniques are persuasive and how do they operate? To what extent do rhetoric and persuasion determine our understanding of politics? When might persuasion prove dangerous to politics? This course revisits classical debates on the use and function of rhetoric in politics, as well as modern reflections on this tradition. The first section of the course addresses the thought of the three central figures in this debate--Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero. In close engagement with key texts of the rhetorical tradition, our task will be to uncover precisely how ancient conceptions of rhetoric developed, exploring how rhetoric was viewed as both dangerous and necessary to successful governance.  Building on these models, the course will then examine more recent theoretical discussions, reflecting on the development of attitudes and ideas about the rhetorical craft in modern and contemporary political thought. These investigations allow us to discover the risks and rewards of persuasion for our own political lives.

Fall semester. Visiting Professor Poe and Professor van den Berg.

2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011

223 Greek Civilization

(Offered as CLAS 223 and WAGS 223.)  We read in English the major authors from Homer in the 8th century BCE to Plato in the 4th century in order to trace the emergence of epic, lyric poetry, tragedy, comedy, history, and philosophy. How did the Greek enlightenment, and through it Western culture, emerge from a few generations of people moving around a rocky archipelago? How did oral and mythological traditions develop into various forms of “rationality”: science, history, and philosophy? What are the implications of male control over public and private life and the written record? What can be inferred about ancient women if they cannot speak for themselves in the texts?  Other authors include Sappho, Herodotus, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, and Thucydides.  The course seeks to develop the skills of close reading and persuasive argumentation. Three class hours per week. 

Omitted 2011-12.

 

 

2014-15: Offered in Spring 2015
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2013

224 Roman Civilization

A study of Roman civilization from its origins to the Empire, with emphasis on major Roman writers. The material will be interpreted in the light of Roman influence upon later Western civilization. The reading will be almost entirely from Latin literature, but no knowledge of the ancient language is required. Three class hours per week.

Omitted 2011-12.

 

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2010, Fall 2013

228 Life in Ancient Rome

An introduction to the people of ancient Rome, their daily routines and occupations as well as their place in the developing Roman state. Topics will include religious practices, the Roman army, games, slavery, women’s lives, and Roman law. We will focus on primary sources, including literary as well as archaeological evidence, but will make use of modern representations of ancient Rome for the sake of comparison. Three class hours per week. 

Omitted 2011-12.

 

2014-15: Not offered

333 History of Rome

This course examines the political and social systems and struggles that marked Rome's growth from a small city-state to a world empire. Through various sources (Roman works in translation and material evidence) we will focus on the development of the republican form of government and its transformation into an empire. We will study also the daily life of the people and the impact of Christianity on the Roman Empire. Three class hours per week.

Spring semester.  Visiting Professor Libby.

2014-15: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010, Spring 2012

334 Archaeology of Greece

Excavations in Greece continue to uncover a rich variety of material remains that are altering and improving our understanding of ancient Greek life. By tracing the architecture, sculpture, and other finds from major sanctuaries, habitations, and burial places, this course will explore the ways in which archaeological evidence illuminates economic, political, philosophical, and religious developments in Greece from the Bronze Age to the Hellenistic Period. Three class hours per week.

Spring semester.  Professor R. Sinos.

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Spring 2012

338 Greek Drama

(Offered as CLAS 338 and WAGS 338.) This course addresses the staging of politics and gender in selected plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes, with attention to performance and the modern use of the plays to reconstruct systems of sexuality, gender, class, and ethnicity. We also consider Homer's Iliad as precursor of tragedy, and the remaking of plays in contemporary film, dance, and theater, including Michael Cacoyannis, The Trojan Women; Rita Dove, The Darker Face of the Earth; Martha Graham, Medea and Night Journey; Pier Paolo Pasolini, Oedipus Rex and Medea; and Igor Stravinsky, Oedipus Rex.

Omitted 2011-12.

 

 

 

2014-15: Not offered

Greek

111 Introduction to the Greek Language

This course prepares students in one term to read Plato, Greek tragedy, Homer, and other Greek literary, historical, and philosophical texts in the original and also provides sufficient competence to read New Testament Greek. Three class hours per week. This course is normally followed by GREE 212 and then GREE 215 or 217.

Fall semester. Professor Griffiths.

This course prepares students in one term to read Greek tragedy, Plato, Homer, and other Greek literary, historical and philosophical texts in the original and also provides sufficient competence to read New Testament Greek. Three class hours per week. This course is normally followed by GREE 215 or 217 and then GREE 212 or 318.

Spring semester.  Professor R. Sinos.

 

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014

212 Greek Prose: Plato's Apology

An introduction to Greek literature through a close reading of the Apology and selected other works of Attic prose of the fifth and fourth centuries BC. Additional readings in translation. Three class hours per week.

Requisite: GREE 111 or equivalent. Spring semester. Professor Griffiths.

2014-15: Offered in Spring 2015
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014

215 An Introduction to Greek Tragedy

An introduction to Greek tragedy as a literary and ritual form through a close reading of one play. We will read Euripides' Bacchae, with attention to poetic language, dramatic technique, and ritual context. This course aims to establish reading proficiency in Greek, with review of forms and syntax as needed. Three class hours per week.

Requisite: GREE 111 or equivalent. Fall semester.  Professor R. Sinos.

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013

217 Reading the New Testament

This course offers an introduction to New Testament Greek. We will read selections from the Gospels and Epistles and will discuss the social and philosophical context as well as the content of the texts. Three class hours per week.

Requisite: GREE 111 or equivalent.  Fall semester.   Professor D. Sinos.

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013

318 An Introduction to Greek Epic

A reading of selected passages from the Iliad with attention to the poem’s structure and recurrent themes as well as to the society it reflects. Three class hours per week.

Requisite: GREE 212, 215, 217 or equivalent, or consent of the instructor.  Spring semester. Professor D. Sinos. 

2014-15: Offered in Spring 2015
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014

441 Advanced Readings in Greek Literature I

The authors read in GREE 441 and 442 vary from year to year, but as a general practice are chosen from a list including Homer, choral and lyric poetry, historians, tragedians, and Plato, depending upon the interests and needs of the students. GREE 441 and 442 may be elected any number of times by a student, providing only that the topic is not the same. In 2011-12 Greek 441 will read Sophocles' Ajax. Three class hours per week. Seminar course.

Requisite: A minimum of three courses numbered 111 to 318 or consent of the instructor. Fall semester.  Professor R. Sinos.

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013

442 Advanced Readings in Greek Literature II

The authors read in GREE 441 and 442 vary from year to year, but as a general practice are chosen from a list including Homer, choral and lyric poetry, historians, tragedians, and Plato, depending upon the interests and needs of the students. GREE 441 and 442 may be elected any number of times by a student, providing only that the topic is not the same.  In 2011-12 GREE 442 will read Plato's Symposium. Three class hours per week. Seminar course.

Requisite: A minimum of three courses numbered 111 to 318 or consent of the instructor.  Spring semester.  Visiting  Professor Gregory (Smith College).

2014-15: Offered in Spring 2015
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014

Latin

111 An Introduction to Latin Language and Literature

This course prepares students to read classical Latin. No prior knowledge of Latin is required. Three class hours per week.

Fall semester.  Professor van den Berg.

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013

202 Intermediate Latin

This course aims at establishing reading proficiency in Latin. Forms and syntax will be reviewed throughout the semester. We will read selections from Seneca’s Epistulae morales and possibly other authors. Three class hours per week.

Requisite: LATI 111 or equivalent. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Libby.

2014-15: Offered in Spring 2015
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014

215 Latin Literature: Catullus and the Lyric Spirit

This course will examine Catullus’ poetic technique, as well as his place in the literary history of Rome. Extensive reading of Catullus in Latin, together with other lyric poets of Greece and Rome in English. Three class hours per week.

Requisite: LATI 202 or equivalent.  Fall semester.  Visiting Professor Libby.

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013

316 Latin Literature in the Augustan Age

An introduction to the literature and culture of Augustan Rome through a close reading of selections from Augustan authors. Three class hours per week.

Requisite: LATI 202, 215 or equivalent.  Spring semester. Professor van den Berg.

2014-15: Offered in Spring 2015
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014

441 Advanced Readings in Latin Literature I

The authors read in LATI 441 and 442 vary from year to year, the selection being made according to the interests and needs of the students. Both 441 and 442 may be repeated for credit, providing only that the topic is not the same. In 2011-12 LATI 441 will read Latin Poetry. Three class hours per week. Seminar course.

Requisite: LATI 215 or 316 or equivalent.  Fall semester.  Visiting Professor Libby.

2014-15: Offered in Fall 2014
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013

442 Advanced Readings in Latin Literature II

See course description for LATI 441. In 2011-12 LATI 442 will read Cicero and the intellectual tradition at Rome. Three class hours per week. Seminar course.

Requisite: LATI 215, 316, 441 or equivalent.  Spring semester.  Professor van den Berg.

2014-15: Offered in Spring 2015
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014

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