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Meet the Faculty
The Ancient Greek and Roman Studies program provides students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture and civilization of Ancient Greece and Rome. As a program of study, Ancient Greek and Roman Studies concerns itself with all aspects of ancient Greek and Roman culture and its influence through the Middle Ages and Renaissance up to the present day. The program focuses not just on Greek and Roman language and literature but also on material culture (art history and archaeology), on economic, political, social, and intellectual history, and on philosophy, religion, and myth. Unlike most other areas of study, Ancient Greek and Roman Studies is truly interdisciplinary and, as such, provides a unique experience for students with many different interests and intended career paths.
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Ancient Greek and Roman Studies is particularly well suited to students with a range of interests, and it provides them with exposure to a wide variety of disciplines—as wide as they chose. This major concentration is at once structured and extremely flexible, as it allows students to tailor their curriculum to their particular interests. Program courses consist of language, literature (focusing on ancient Greek and Latin authors), and culture courses taught by Foreign Languages and Literatures faculty as well as courses taught by faculty from a range of collaborating departments (Theater, Art History, History, English, Anthropology, and Philosophy).
The university experience of students concentrating in Ancient Greek and Roman Studies is enhanced by the option to study abroad. The ancient studies program abroad focuses on the civilization and culture of ancient Greece. The program is based in Athens, in an exquisite neoclassical villa, where students may enroll in a variety of courses, including Art and Architecture of Ancient Greece, Ancient Greek History, Ancient Greek Comedy, and Modern Greek Language. The program in Greece comprises frequent visits to archaeological sites and museums, and weekends are reserved for trips to more remote sites such as the sanctuary of the god Apollo at Delphi and the sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia.
Because Ancient Greek and Roman Studies is interdisciplinary in nature, it prepares students for a diversity of career paths. Students selecting this course of study have, for example, successfully pursued careers in law, medicine, advertising, business, architecture, art, archaeology, communication, journalism, museum work (curatorial, conservation, exhibition design), and education both at the university and high school level.
Semester course offerings are listed in the Course Catalog
Description: Ever wonder how those ancient stories of Greek gods and heroes come down to us? How we know about the great minds of Plato, Herodotus, and Aristotle, or about the Greek dramas that sowed the seeds for modern theater? Are you pursuing any number of STEM majors with technical and scientific terms that derive largely from Greek? Or maybe curious how an ancient Greek would pronounce sorority and fraternity names? We welcome you to “Elementary Ancient Greek I”, a course for all those interested in exploring the early stages of Western mythology, literature, philosophy, and science through the original language. You’ll be surprised how much ancient Greek you actually know!
Description: Ripped from the headlines of ancient Athenian true crime – a husband has murdered his wife’s lover: it is premeditated? A minor has accidentally killed another boy with an errant javelin: should it be considered a homicide? A series of sacred statues have been defaced by nocturnal vandals: could this be connected to a secret cult? Join our keen jury of fellow Greek prose readers as we explore courtroom dramas presented by the most famous Classical Athenian orators. Don’t be found guilty of missing out!
Satisfies: GREK 301 satisfies Group “A” breadth requirementPrerequisite: GREK 102 or equivalentOffered with an honors section (080)
Description: What does the motto of Harry Potter’s school mean? How about “carpe diem”? What are we to make of such expressions as ipso facto, et cetera, or habeas corpus? Would you like to learn how to puzzle out the words behind words and increase your vocabulary and understanding of grammar? Please join us for “Elementary Latin I”, where we set off to explore the fascinating ancient world of the Latin language and encounter along the way the rich legacy it leaves for us. It’s sure to be of interest to history, language, and wizardry fans alike.
Description: This course will extend your mastery of Latin grammar while increasing your reading proficiency from the intermediate to the advanced level. We will complete our introduction to Latin grammar and begin to read longer passages of prose in Latin. Texts may include selections from Petronius (“Trimalchio’s Dinner Party,” about a bawdy feast), Apuleius (Metamorphoses, about a man turned into a donkey), or Eutropius (“War with Hannibal,” about Rome’s war against Carthage). In addition to translating works from Latin to English, we will also explore the texts’ cultural contexts and literary aspects.
Prerequisite: LATN 102 or equivalentOffered with an honors section (080)
Ever wonder how those ancient stories of Greek gods and heroes come down to us? How we know about the great minds of Plato, Herodotus, and Aristotle, or about the Greek dramas that sowed the seeds for modern theater? Are you pursuing any number of STEM majors with technical and scientific terms that derive largely from Greek? Or maybe curious how an ancient Greek would pronounce sorority and fraternity names? We welcome you to carry on your studies in “Elementary Ancient Greek II”, a course for all those interested in exploring the early stages of Western mythology, literature, philosophy, and science through the original language. You’ll be surprised how much ancient Greek you actually know!
Prerequisite: GREK 101 or equivalent
The house of the Theban king Oedipus had seen its fair share of troubles: from Ares’ curse on the city’s legendary founder Cadmus to Oedipus’ infamous marriage, the royal household has felt the accumulating effects of family trauma. The final children of that line are faced with the burden of trying to sort out the messy past. Enter Antigone, daughter of Oedipus, who after his death tries fiercely to protect her family’s last vestiges of honor in the face of the oppressive new despot Creon. Will she succeed? Please join us in our reading of Sophocles’ Antigone as we peek behind closed doors of the Theban palace to catch a glimpse of the political and family scandals concealed within.
Offered with an honors section (080)Prerequisite: GREK 201 or equivalentSatisfies: GREK 302 satisfies Group “A” breadth requirement
What does the motto of Harry Potter’s school mean? How about “carpe diem”? What are we to make of such expressions as ipso facto, et cetera, or habeas corpus? Would you like to learn how to puzzle out the words behind words and increase your vocabulary and understanding of grammar? Please join us for “Elementary Latin II”, where we set off to explore the fascinating ancient world of the Latin language and encounter along the way the rich legacy it leaves for us. It’s sure to be of interest to history, language, and wizardry fans alike.
Prerequisite: LATN 101 or equivalent
“All’s fair in love and war”: a sentiment that, however true, has resonated in various forms across time. In Latin 202, we’ll be strapping on our most fetching Latin armor and wading into the tumultuous themes of Roman love and war. We shall begin the course by following the Roman poet Virgil’s account of the Trojan hero Aeneas as he lands on the shores of Carthage and meets its queen Dido, with destructive ends. We’ll then turn to selections from Ovid’s Amores, a collection of poems on themes of love. He too offers visions of the harsh conflicts and (sometimes) beautiful resolutions of the heart. As Ovid remarks, militat omnis amans (“every lover is a soldier”). Will any of our characters make it out unscathed? Join us to find out!
Offered with an honors section (080)Prerequisite: LATN 201 or equivalent
Romans loved their theatre. It’s an unfortunate historical accident, then, that no complete ancient Roman tragedy survives outside of a single collection traditionally attributed to Seneca, the tutor, advisor, and finally victim of Emperor Nero. What kind of plays would a Roman philosopher, politician, and the richest man outside of the imperial family write? Very strange ones. Drawing mostly on famous Greek versions, Seneca produces a form of Roman fanfic for an audience accustomed to the blood of the arena and vulgar themes of Roman improv. Brace yourself as we explore selections from the avant-garde playground of Senecan drama: it’s a wild ride.
Offered with an honors section (080)Prerequisite: LATN 202 or equivalentSatisfies: Group “A” breadth requirement
Description: In your previous journeys through the world of Latin prose, you’ve likely sampled from a banquet of works exploring the public facing lives of famous ancient figures. Join us for this iteration of Latin 301/401 as we explore ‘epistolography’, or the study of ancient letters. Here, we shall grab glimpses of the private lives made public of famous (and not so famous) Romans. Along the way, we also explore the social and private lives of ancient people, the survival of these ephemeral writings, and textual analysis.
Satisfies: Group “A” breadth requirementPrerequisite: LATN 202 or equivalentOffered with an honors section (080)
Description: How close are original Greek and Roman myths to the versions you’ve heard? You would probably be surprised by the differences. The Classical tales of gods, heroes, and monsters form a tapestry of the raw and brutal elements of our universe. Woven into this are the threads of human adversity and, as is so often the case, human fragility in the face of legendary beasts, cruel kings, and the powerful Olympian gods.
Join us as we explore both popular and lesser-known myths from the Greek and Roman worlds. Along the way, we’ll uncover the fascinating origins, meanings, and histories of these stories that continue to inspire, shock, and amaze us today.
Satisfies: Group “A” breadth requirementPrerequisite: NoneOffered with an honors section (080)
From the dude who killed his father and slept with his mother to the child-slaying sorceress from the Far East, Greek tragedy is rife with monstrous, moving, and memorable characters. Join this course as we explore the Classical Greek tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides and the unique society that produced them. With the help of visual images and videos we will investigate the evolution of Greek tragedy from its ritual beginnings through to the modern era exploring such topics as the cultic origins of theatrical performance, the nature of Greek theaters as well as ancient theatrical production techniques and modern adaptations and reperformance, the social, political and psychological function of theater in Classical Athens, and ancient and modern views of the value and impact of tragic drama.
Satisfies Group A breadth requirementNo previous background in Classics requiredHonors credit available
Description: In 79 C.E., the devastating eruption of Mt. Vesuvius obliterated the Roman town of Pompeii. Preserved in the volcanic debris was an astonishing window onto the ancient world: the bodies of Pompeii’s unfortunate residents; the buildings where they lived and worked; the objects that they used in their daily lives. Join us as we investigate what the physical remains of the city – bodies, architecture, art, and material culture – reveal about Roman society. We also will consider how ancient texts and modern theoretical approaches expand our understanding of the archaeological record, explore Pompeii’s rediscovery and excavation, and survey current discoveries at the site. No prior knowledge of Latin is required.
Prerequisite: NoneSatisfies: Group “B” breadth requirement
Description: From the political machinations of the Athenian tyrant Peisistratus to the mysterious death of the Roman empress Agrippina; from the legendarily strange customs of Spartan men and women to the bloody gladiator and gladiatrix in the Roman arena, Classical culture provides a bounty of stories that continue to engage, surprise, and influence the modern world. In this course, we navigate the changing spaces for women and men to see and be seen as spectacles in antiquity. Specific topics include ancient combat, political intrigue, and the gendering of public and private entertainment.
Satisfies Group B breadth requirementNo previous background in Classics requiredHonors credit available