Undergraduate Courses Spring 2014

CLAS-UA 4, Elementary Latin II
001 M-TH, 9:30-10:45, Benjamin Sammons
002 M-TH, 3:30-4:45, Katia Kosova   

Continuation of Elementary Latin I. Introduction to the essentials of Latin vocabulary, morphology, and syntax.  Five hours of instruction weekly, with both oral and written drills and an emphasis on the ability to read Latin rather than merely translate it.

CLAS-UA 6, Intermediate Latin II
001 M,T,W, 9:30-10:45, Inger Kuin
002 M,T,W, 4:55-6:10, Calloway Scott

Intermediate Latin II: Virgil: Writings of the greatest Roman poet, focusing on the most generally read portions of his most celebrated poem, the Aeneid. The meter of the poem is studied, and the student learns to read Latin metrically to reflect the necessary sound for full appreciation of the writing. Readings in political and literary history illustrate the setting in the Augustan Age in which the Aeneid was written and enjoyed, the relationship of the poem to the other classical epics, and its influence on the poetry of later times.

CLAS-UA 8, Elementary Greek II, M-TH, 11:00-12:15, Benjamin Sammons
Introduction to the complex but highly beautiful language of ancient Greece--the language of Homer, Sophocles, Thucydides, and Plato. Students learn the essentials of ancient Greek vocabulary, morphology, and syntax. Five hours of instruction weekly, with both oral and written drills and an emphasis on the ability to read Greek rather than merely translate it.

CLAS-UA 10, Intermediate Greek II: Homer, M,T,TH, 11:00-12:15, Phil Mitsis

Prerequisite: V27.0009 or equivalent.
Extensive readings from the Iliad or Odyssey. Proficiency in Homeric grammar is expected, as well as a good command of Homeric vocabulary; the course will also address scansion and meter in Homeric epic. Relevant topics ranging from the problems of oral tradition to questions of heroism, divine intervention and 'Homeric Society' in Dark and Iron Age Greece will be discussed in class or developed by the student through oral or written reports.

CLAS-UA 143 (same as DRLIT-UA 210), Greek Drama, T&TH, 3:30-4:45, Peter Meineck
Of the ancient Greeks’ many gifts to Western culture, one of the most celebrated and influential is the art of drama. This course covers, through the best available translations, the masterpieces of the three great Athenian dramatists. Analysis of the place of the plays in the history of tragedy and the continuing influence they have had on serious playwrights, including those of the 20th century.

CLASS-UA 291.001, Special Topics: Aeneas Among the Ruins: Reading Augustan Literature and its Monuments, M&W, 3:30-4:45, Stefano Rebeggiani
One of the most fascinating aspects of the Augustan age, the period in Roman history marked by the principate of the Emperor Augustus, is the opportunity that this period offers to make multiple connections between ideology, literature, art and the cityscape. The reign of Augustus is characterized by an impressive literary output, but also by the creation of a new language in the figurative arts and by a thorough reshaping of the cityscape. We read Augustan authors and we study the monuments of Augustan Rome. But what are the methodological gains of looking at the two sets of evidence together? What connections can be traced between the literature and the art of this exceptional period? What do we learn from reading Augustan texts with one eye on the archaeology, art and numismatics of Augustan Rome? In this course, we will experiment with this sort of reading. We will read some of the great authors of Latin Literature, including Virgil, Livy, Ovid, Horace, Tibullus and Propertius. We will also explore Augustus’ capital and its main monuments (the Forum Romanum, the Pantheon, the Forum Augustum, the Ara Pacis and many others). In particular, we shall pay attention to the presence of parallel strategies, similar topics and comparable aesthetic conceptions in both the art and the literature of this age, and we shall explore mutual influences between the visual Rome and its texts. We will also investigate the relationship between Augustus’ political and cultural revolution and the new language of literature and art. The course will be arranged around four main areas of inquiry: mythical role play, Augustus and the Republic, religious renewal, eternity and transience - the Augustan family. Each area will be explored through a selection of key texts, monuments and material evidence. No previous knowledge of Roman history or Latin is necessary: all texts will be read and discussed in translation.

CLASS-UA 291.002, Special Topics: Bad Poets of Ancient Greece, T&TH, 2:00-3:15, Benjamin Sammons
We all know that Homer, Pindar and Euripides were great poets.  But where there are good poets there are also bad ones -- lots of them.  If the Greeks thought poetry came from the gods, how did they identify, explain and fend off bad poetry and its practitioners?  What was the Greek ideal of poetry and in what ways did actual poets fail to live up to it?  What roles did poets play in Greek society outside of those prescribed by this ideal?  How did some Greeks arrive at the belief that poetry in general is a bad thing?  This course addresses ancient Greek attitudes to poetry from Homer to Aristotle, with particular emphasis on criticism that questions the value or quality of poems or poetry.  We will consider how good poets define and address their bad (less good?) rivals, how representatives of new genres (history, philosophy) sought to marginalize poetry as a medium of thought, how ancient criticism shaped the canon of Greek literature known to us, and what kind of poems stood outside of that canon.  Authors include Homer, Pindar, Euripides, Aristophanes, Plato and Aristotle.  We will also read ancient poems of dubious quality, fragmentary poems, unattributed and falsely attributed poems, literary hoaxes, and parodies.

CLASS-UA 293.001, Special Topics: Representing the Divine: Images of Gods and Goddesses in Ancient Greece, M, 12:30-3:15, Joan Connelly
From the earliest Minoan and Mycenaean cult images, to aniconic stones and tree trunks fallen from the sky, to Pheidias’s colossal statues of Athena Parthenos and Zeus at Olympia, this seminar examines the ways in which ancient Greeks represented the divine.  Considering evidence from literature, inscriptions, vase painting, and sculpture, we will look at sanctuaries, temples, and traditions of representation and meaning across the Greek world.  The images of gods and goddesses present within Greek sanctuaries were no mere representations but the divine essence itself. Rituals of feeding, bathing, dressing, decorating, parading, and interacting with these images established direct lines of communication between humans and the deities they worshipped.

CLASS-UA 293.002 (same as ARTH-UA 150), Special Topics: A Millennium Miracle: 1000 Years of Roman Art & Archaeology, T&TH 2:00-3:15, Katherine Welch

CLASS-UA 294.001, Special Topics: Pliny, M&W, 11:00-12:15, Michael Peachin
C. Plinius Secundus (a.k.a., Pliny the Younger) was one of the more important Roman senators during the early years of the second century AD. He was a close associate of the emperor Trajan, was apparently friendly with Tacitus, and with many other of the most important figures of his day. Fortunately for us, Pliny was fond of writing. In particular, we have his oration thanking the emperor for a position as consul, one of the two eponymous yearly officials of the Roman state. This speech, now called the Panegyricus, is effectively an essay, which seeks to present a theoretically ideal version of the gradually evolving Roman imperial system of government. Pliny also published a large corpus of his personal correspondence. Some of these letters were exchanges with the important men of his time, while a whole group of them involve Pliny and the emperor Trajan, as they write back and forth regarding a province in Asia Minor, where Pliny had been sent as special governor (the province, Bithynia, had apparently been plagued by financial and other woes). We will read, in the main, Pliny's writings. And then, via these pieces of literature, we will attempt to understand Pliny, and the Roman world at the turn from the first to the second century AD.

CLASS-UA 404 (same as RELST-UA 404), Classical Mythology, T&Th 11:00-12:15, Peter Meineck
Discusses the myths and legends of Greek and Roman mythology and the gods, demigods, heroes, nymphs, monsters, and everyday mortals who played out their parts in this mythology. Begins with creation, as vividly described by Hesiod in the Theogony, and ends with the great Trojan War and the return of the Greek heroes, especially Odysseus. Roman myth is also treated, with emphasis on Aeneas and the foundation legends of Rome.

CLASS-UA 873, Advanced Latin: Lyric & Elegy, M&W 12:30-1:45, Stefano Rebeggiani
This course involves extensive readings from the works of one of Rome’s great elegiac poets, Sextus Propertius. We will read selections from the most innovative and experimental books (3 and 4) of the Elegies, with attention to language, grammar, meter, style, and all the necessary elements to make sense of Propertius’ poetry. After books centered on his mistress Cynthia, in Book 3 Propertius covers a broader range of subjects, discussing luxury, nudity, art, the empire, and the dangers of travel for profit and war. Book 4 pushes the boundaries of the elegiac genre even further, featuring a dazzling series of poems – extremely diverse in subject, scope and speakers – which engage with historical subjects, myths, legends, rituals, Augustus and his victories, Rome etc. Students will be introduced to the world of elegy, its features, rules and cultural impact. We will also discuss Propertius’ transformation of the genre in his last two books, as well as his relationship with the Augustan cultural and political revolution. Particular attention will also be payed to Propertius’ Greek literary models, especially Callimachus’ Aetia.

CLASS-UA 973, Advanced Greek: Euripides’ Helen, T&TH, 11:00-12:15, Anne Carson

Back to Top