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Amherst College Classics for 2019-20

121 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.

Limited to 75 students. Spring Semester. Professor R. Sinos. 

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016, Fall 2017

123 Greek Civilization

(Offered as CLAS 123 and SWAG 123) 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 2019-20. 

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2017, Spring 2019

124 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.

Limited to 50 students. Spring semester. Professor Zanker.

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2010, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2019

134 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.

Omitted 2019-20.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2009, Spring 2012, Fall 2014, Spring 2018

136 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.

Limited to 50 students. Fall semester. Professor Zanker.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Fall 2018

138 Greek Drama

(Offered as CLAS 138 and SWAG 138) 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 a precursor of tragedy, and the remaking of plays in contemporary film, dance, and theater, including Michael Cacoyannis, Electra and The Trojan Women; Martha Graham, Medea and Night Journey; Pier Paolo Pasolini, Edipo Re Medea; Igor Stravinsky, Oedipus Rex; and Spike Lee, Chi-Raq.

Limited to 30 students. Fall semester. Professor Griffiths.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Spring 2016

154 Re-Imagining the Classics

(Offered as THDA 154 and CLAS 154) How can we look back to classic plays that were written one or two millennia ago and use them as the basis for a new piece of art that will be relevant and inspiring to a contemporary audience?

This course will explore how artists from various media—theater, film, TV, dance, music, painting—have interpreted and re-authored classical texts. We will discuss western classics as well as canonical texts from Japan, India, Africa and Latin America.

Are there any shared fundamental human elements among these very different continents and cultures? What made these texts enter the eternal dramatic canon of our civilization? Why are artists from various disciplines constantly attracted to re-authoring these classics? How can we build upon these works of the past to create something new, personal and relevant to our time?

This course will examine these questions using a variety of audio-visual examples, dramatic and critical texts, and studio exercises. Students will also re-author a classical text as a contemporary piece, in various artistic media.

Limited to 20 students. Omitted 2019-20. Professor Eliraz.

2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2016, Fall 2017

490, 390 Special Topics

Independent reading course.

Fall and spring semesters. The Department.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

498, 499 Senior Departmental Honors

Fall semester. The Department.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

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.

In the Fall semester, this course is normally followed by GREE 212 and then GREE 215 or 217. In the Spring semester, this course is normally followed by GREE 215 or 217 and then GREE 212 or 318.

Fall semester: Professor Griffiths. Spring semester: Professor R. Sinos.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
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, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

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 BCE. Additional readings in translation. Three class hours per week.

Requisite: GREE 111 or equivalent. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Higgins.

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

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.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

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.

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

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 2019-20 GREE 441 will read The Homeric Hymns. Three class hours per week. Seminar course.

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

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

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 2019-20 GREE 442 will read Plato's Symposium. Three class hours per week. Seminar course.

Requisite: A minimum of three courses numbered GREE 111 to 318 or consent of the instructor. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Scarborough.

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

490, 390 Special Topics

Independent reading course.

Fall and spring semesters. The Department.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

498, 499 Senior Departmental Honors

Fall semester. The Department.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

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 Zanker.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

202 Intermediate Latin: Introduction to Literature

This course aims at establishing reading proficiency in Latin. Forms and syntax will be reviewed throughout the semester. We will read selections from Caesar's De Bello Gallico and possibly other authors. Three class hours per week.

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

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

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 Scarborough.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

316 Latin Literature in the Augustan Age

An introduction to the literature and culture of Augustan Rome through a close reading of selections from Vergil, Horace and the Roman love elegy. Three class hours per week.

Requisite: LATI 202, 215 or equivalent. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Scarborough.

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

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 2019-20 LATI 441 will read selections from Vergil's Eclogues and Georgics. Three class hours per week. Seminar course.

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

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

442 Advanced Readings in Latin Literature II

See course description for LATI 441. In 2019-20 LATI 442 will read selections from Sallust and Cicero concerning the Catalinarian War. Three class hours per week. Seminar course.

Requisite: LATI 215, 316, 441 or equivalent. Spring semester. Professor Zanker.

2019-20: Offered in Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Spring 2011, Spring 2012

490 Special Topics

Fall and spring semester. Members of the Department.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

498, 499 Senior Departmental Honors

Fall semester. The Department.

2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

Related Courses

EUST-121 Readings in the European Tradition I (Course not offered this year.)