Classics and Ancient History

Below are brief descriptions for the courses which deal with material in English translation. 

Descriptions of Latin and Greek language courses can be found under the GREEK and LATIN courses

CLAS1323Discovering Ancient Civilization (Cross-Listed: ARCH 1323)3 ch (3C) [W]

Through the lens of archaeology, students explore the sites, monuments, and artifacts of civilizations (in Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Egypt, the Indus Valley, Greece, Italy, and Roman Britain) that shaped Western society. The Tomb of King Midas, the pyramids of Egypt, the Greek theatre, and Roman amphitheater are among the topics covered.

CLAS1403The Ancient Greeks: Gods, Heroes, Politicians and Poets3 ch (3C) [W]

An introduction to ancient Greek civilization, including its history, religion, literature, art, architecture, and thought. Readings include selections in translation from timeless mythologies epics such as Homer's Odyssey and the first major prose work in the Western world, Herodotus' Histories. Lectures are supplemented with images of the achievements of the Greek Classical Age, such as Parathenon on the Athenian Acropolis and the Apollo from the temple of Zeus at Olympia.

CLAS1413The Romans: Gladiators and Senators, Engineers and Emperors3 ch (3C) [W]
An introduction to ancient Roman civilization, including its history, religion, literature, art, architecture, and thought. Readings include selections in translation from tales of gods and heroes such as Vergil's Aeneid, and the autobiography of the great emperor Casear Augustus, Lectures are supplemented with images of Rome's spectacular acheivements, from the Colosseum and Pantheon in Rome to theatres and aqueducts from North Africa and the Middle East.
CLAS1503Introduction to Mythology: The Gods and Heroes of Greece and Rome3 ch (3C)

A survey of the myths which helped to shape the life and thought of the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome. Emphasis will be placed on myths describing the gods and their powers, the beginnings of the world, the earliest humans, the tales of the heroes, and miraculous experiences in the lives of ordinary persons. Students who have successfully completed CLAS 3503 may not enrol in this course. 

CLAS1703Greek and Latin Roots of Scientific Terminology3 ch (3C)

Designed for anyone with an interest in the origin of words, this course introduces the student to basic scientific terminology, especially that of the life sciences, through the Greek and Latin sources of these words. This course aids in the understanding of these modern terms by exploring their basic meanings, the connections between these words, how they came to be created, and the rules that govern the formation of new terms.

CLAS2333"To Dig is to Explore": Approaches to Classical Anthropology (Cross-Listed: ARCH 2333)3 ch (3C) [W]

This course includes a brief survey of the history of archaeological investigations and the scientific methods used in identifying and excavating a site and analyzing the material remains. Representative examples that illustrate the above scientific advances are drawn from major Mediterranean civilizations: Mesopotamian, Anatolian, Egyptian, Persian, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman. A lab component includes cataloguing ‘ancient shards’ from Greece and Turkey, and copies of Greek and Roman vessels.

CLAS3003Ancient History: The Greeks from the Trojan War to Alexander the Great (A) 3 ch (3C) [W]

A survey of Greek history from its begginings in the Bronze Age to the empire forged by Alexander the Great. Topics include the era of the Trojan War and Mycenaean palaces, the origins of the world's first democracy, the Battle of Marathon and the Persian Wars, Percicles and the Athenian Golden Age, the Peloponnesian War and the clash of Athens and Sparta, and the rise of the Macedonian warlords, Phillip and his son Alexander. Special emphasis is placed on the enduring impact Greek history and Greek civilization have had on the modern world.

Students cannot recieve credit for both CLAS 3003 and CLAS 3013.
CLAS3023Ancient History: Alexander and the Hellenistic World (O) 3 ch (3C)[W]

The social and political impact of Alexander the Great, his empire and his successors on the Mediterranean world, down to the Roman conquest.

CLAS3033Ancient History: The Romans from Republic to Empire (A)3 ch (3C) [W]

A survey of Roman history from its foundation to the fall of the Roman Empire in the west. Topics include Rome's mythological founding by Romulus and Remus, the age of the kings and the rise of the Republic, Rome's expansion to rule the Mediterranean, the violent transition from Republic to Empire under Julius Cesear and Caeser Augustus , the Pax Romana and the High Roman Empire, the Christianization of the Roman world under Constantine, and the fall of the Empire in the west. Special emphasis os placed on the enduring impact Roman history and Roman civilization have had on the modern world.

Students cannot recieve credit for both CLAS 3033 and CLAS 3043.
CLAS3063Ancient Greek Warfare (O)3 ch (3C) [W]
This course examines the history of warfare in the ancient Greek world, from the Bronze Age to the Hellenistic period and the rise of Rome.  Topics include the development of military theory and practice through the eras of heroic combat, the hoplite phalanx and naval warfare, and the innovative armies of Alexander the Great and his successors; and the social and cultural factors of importance to ancient Greek military history.
CLAS3073Ancient History: Jewish Civilization from the Babylonian Exile to the Great Revolt (A)3 ch (3C) [W]

 An examination of the social, cultural, intellectual and political history of the Jews during the period of the second temple (516 BCE - 70 CE).

CLAS3083The Byzantine Empire3 ch (3C) [W]

A historical analysis of Byzantine civilization from its emergence from the Late Roman Empire to its medieval zenith under Basil II (r. 976-1025). Topics include the development of a distinctive Byzantine culture, its interaction with Western Europe, confrontation with Islam and its civilizing role in Eastern Europe. 

CLAS3093The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (A)3 ch (3C) [W]

Traces the more important changes which overtook the Roman world from the late third to the seventh centuries AD. The course concentrates on the Roman experience at the court and in the provinces, and considers some of the dramatic upheavals that swept the empire in this period, which include the change of the principate into an autocracy, the intrusion of the government in to all aspects of life, the decline of the cities, the politicization of Christianity, and the loss of the western provinces.

CLAS3313Field School in Classical Archaeology (O)3 ch (3C) [W]

This course is an introduction to archaeological field techniques through participation in a field research project in the Classical lands. It introduces students to survey methods, excavation techniques, documentation/recording of field procedures, recovery of artifacts, and their preparation for storage. 

CLAS3323The Jewel of the East: The Art and Archaeology of Byzantium (A) 3 ch (3C) [W]

The eastern Roman empire, known today as Byzantium, flourished for over 1000 years (AD 324-1453). The art and architecture of this multicultural society, united under a single state religion, reflect contemporary political and religious attitudes. They tell the story of an evolving state that slowly drew away from Roman traditions to create its own identity. Clinging to its classical-Hellenic past through education, it laid a firm foundation for humanisitic studies and the emergence of the Renaissance period. The surveying luxury items (jewelry, textiles, metalwork), the iconography (icons, wall paintings, and mosaics), the elegantly decorated books and illuminated manuscripts, the great basilicas and high-domed churches, most of which survive intact, are just some of the remains of material culture discussed. With the assistance of historical documents and anthropological and scientific studies, this course traces the story of this 'mystical' empire and its legacy to the development of western civilization.

CLAS3333From Kingship to Democracy: The Art and Archaeology of Greece (A)3 ch (3C) [W]

From prehistoric settlement to the great city states and from the monumental works and 'masterpieces' of art to the humble tomb and domestic pot, this course presents the material remains of a culture which continues to inspire artists, architects, engineers and city planners worldwide. The material is examined within a political, religious, and social context with the aid of historical documents, anthropological studies, and modern science. Topics include the contributions of eastern Mediterranean cultures (Egypt, Phoenicia, etc.), the development of the architectural orders (Doric, Ionic) and free-standing male and female sculpture, the ancient theatre, and the development of democracy as interpreted through the archaeological record are just some of the topics covered.

Students cannot receive credit for both CLAS 2303 and CLAS 3333.
CLAS3334Classical Archaeology: Method and Theory3 ch (3C) [W]

In this course students examine the evolution of the discipline of classical archaeology and the scientific approaches to the study of material remains from the classical world: Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Egypt, Greece, Italy and Britain. A pottery lab component will complement this course.

Students may receive credit for only one of the following courses: CLAS 2333, or ARCH 2333, or CLAS 3334.

CLAS3343Archaeologies of the Roman Empire: Art, Landscapes and Memories (A)3 ch (3C) [W]

The enduring monuments of Roman art, architecture, and engineering feats such as aqueducts and baths, still in use today, are a reminder of the ingenuity of a culture that has left its imprint on the modern world. With the aid of textual sources, anthropological studies, and the sciences, the course acknowledges and the cultures that inspired the Romans (the Hellenistic kingdoms of Alexander the Great and the Etruscans) and then examines the political agenda and building programs of the Republic and the emperors. Topics include Iron Age huts and the imperial palace of Domitian on Palatine Hill; the simple funerary monuments of the masses and the pompous display of statuary and monumental tombs of the wealthy; and grand temples, villas and amphitheatres (such as the Colosseum).

Students cannot receive credit for both CLAS 2313 and CLAS 3343.
CLAS3373Pompeii and Herculaneum (A)3 ch (3C) [W]

Buried by volcanic eruption in 79 CE, Pompeii and Herculaneum are our richest source of evidence for daily life in the Roman Empire, from public buildings to private houses, from temples to taverns to brothels, from city streets to tombs, from sculpture and paintings to graffiti and bones. By studying the archaeological remains of these cities, students learn about ancient Roman city structure, class and gender relations, political life, religious observances, hard work, and spectacular entertainment.

CLAS3403The Comice Theatre of Greece and Rome (O)3 ch (3C) [W]

The development of comedy from the kômos in Greece; the reading, in English translation, of an Old Comedy by Aristophanes, a satyr-play by Euripides and a New Comedy by Menander; the development of comedy in Rome through the reading of plays by Plautus and Terence. The history of the theatre, its changing structure, conventions, the production of plays and their performance and the festivals at which they were performed.

CLAS3413The Tragic Theatre of Greece and Rome (A)3 ch (3C) [W]

The history of the Theatre of Dionysus in Athens and a survey of the origins of Greek tragedy; the reading in English translation of a representative sample of the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides; the dramatic festivals at which they were performed, the production and performance of the plays, the dramatic conventions. The role of the serious theatre in Rome; a tragedy of Seneca, in English translation, is read.

CLAS3433The Ancient World on Film (A)3 ch (3C) [W]

The course aims to help students understand and enjoy the reception of Greek and Roman civilization in Hollywood and European films. History will be studied via cinematic versions (such as Troy, Alexander, Spartacus, Life of Brian, Fellini’s Satyricon, Gladiator, etc.) and Greek and Latin literature in translation. Attention will be given to the ways in which filmmakers adapt historical subjects and how classical literature is recast as films, offering an exciting commentary on our relationship with our classical heritage. By introducing students to some of the literature and films about the ancient Greek and Roman worlds, it will encourage them to address questions of how they shape our views about the past. The focus will be on analyzing and discussing literature, film, and culture within a historical context.

CLAS3463History of Modern Greece (Cross-Listed: HIST 3063) 3 ch (3C) [W] [O]

An introductory survey course of the history of Modern Greece beginning with the Greek War of Independence in 1821 to World War II. Special attention will be paid to various events and themes (such as the Asia Minor Catastrophe in 1922 and the Greek Diaspora etc.) by utilizing literature and other historical sources and documentaries in order to present the society, culture and politics of Greece and gain a better understanding of the modern Greek identity. There are no prerequisites.

CLAS3473Introduction to Modern Greek Literature3 ch (3C) [W] [O]

An introductory survey course of Modern Greek literature in translation. Emphasis will be placed on the history and development of literature from the 19th and 20th centuries by examining a selection of poetry, short stories and novel/s. Included in this survey are the Nobel prize winners George Seferis and Odysseas Elytis. There are no prerequisites.

CLAS3483Surfing the Agean: Waves in Modern Greek3 ch (3C) [W]
Surfing the Agean is a holistic approach to modern Greek identity which seeks to dive beneath the surface of stereotypes and misconceptions to understand the real modern Greece. The course uses film, music and written and digital sources as well as hands-on activities to engage students to discover the cultural, historical, and social elements that form contemporary Greece.
CLAS3503The Greek Gods and Their Cults (A)3 ch (3C) [W]

The Greek myths of creation and the Greek gods and their mythology. The historical origins of the gods, the development of Greek religion from pre-historic times. Parallels are adduced from Middle Eastern mythologies. Major Greek religious sites are illustrated.

CLAS3513The Trojan War: Myth and History (A)3 ch (3C) [W]

Fought over the theft of a woman, the Trojan War has been a part of popular culture for 3000 years. It has been told and retold by poets since Homer, depicted in the arts of ancient Greece through the Middle Ages and Renaissance into modern times, sparked the romantic imaginations of early archaeologists, and most recently been interpreted on the screen in films such as Unforgiven and Troy. This course will explore the Trojan War through literature, historical texts, archaeology, the visual arts, drama and film.

CLAS3523The Mythology and Religion of the Romans (A)3 ch (3C) [W]

A study of the legends surrounding the foundation and growth of early Rome and of the Italian gods. Roman religion is studied under such headings as prayer, sacrifice, divination, the religious year and calendar, priests and emperor-worship. [Not open to students who received credit for CLAS 4023 .] 

CLAS3623Remembering War in Ancient Greece (O)3 ch [W]
A course taught on location in Greece that considers the phenomenon of ancient Greek warfare through onsite investigation of the topography and archaeology of several important battlefields and fortifications within central and southern Greece, as well as the art-historical and material evidence of warfare and its commemoration on display in Greek museums. In addition to reconstructing the context and events of key battles, this course consider how the realities of the battlefield and the commemoration of warfare on physical monuments shed light on ancient Greek politics, society, and culture.
CLAS3703Socrates and the Intellectual World of Classical Athens (O)3 ch (3C/S) [W]

Examines the central intellectual, political, religious and social controversies of the Golden Age of Greece (450-350 BC), by focusing on Socrates in conflict with the citizens of Athens, the writers of comic theatre, and the new professional teachers, the “Sophists.”

CLAS3723Ancient Science (A)3 ch (3C) [W]

An examination of the development of scientific theory and practice among the ancient Greeks and Romans.

CLAS3733Ancient Philosophers (A)3 ch (3C) [W]

A survey of the various forms of philosophical literature produced in the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome. 

CLAS3803The World of Jesus (O)3 ch (3C) [W]

Examines the social, literary, philosophical, and religious milieu of Judea in the time of Jesus. 

 

CLAS3813The Early Church (A)3 ch (3C) [W]

The history of Christianity from the apostles to the fifth century: its organization and doctrinal development, and its interaction with Roman civil authority and paganism.

CLAS3913Gender and Power in Ancient Greece and Rome (O) 3 ch (3C) [W]

By investigating interactions between gender and power in ancient Greece and Rome, this course delves into the social norms and taboos that shaped public and private life in the great cities of atiquity. Drawing on modern theoretical writings as well as ancient texts and images, students investigate ideals of feminity and masuclinity in the ancient mythology and public ritual; the gendering of public and private space; licit an illicit sexual practices; love, marriage, adultery and prostitution; and gendered narratives of good and bad politicians, emperors, and those perceived to be "barbarians."

CLAS3923Roman Law (A)3 ch (3C) [W]

A survey of the development and practice of the Roman legal system, upon which all modern civil law systems are based. Topics include: sources of Roman law and legal institutions; legal procedure; Roman legal concepts (persons, property, obligations, succession); equity and social change in legal reform; survival and modern revival.

 

CLAS3933Sports and Recreation in Greece and Rome (A)3 ch (3C) [W]

An examination of sport and recreational activities among the ancient Greeks and Romans, the ancient values they reflect and their influence on modern sport in such matters as organization and policing of events, professionalism, athletes as celebrities, and 'blood' sports. Students cannot receive credit for both CLAS 2903 and CLAS 3933. 

CLAS3943Spectacle in Ancient Rome3 ch (3C) [W]
This course examines the importance of spectacle in Roman culture, from gladitorial combat to political oratory, tragic theatre to comice fierce, military triumph to eroctic mime. Working with literary and archeological sources, students explore the many spaces in the city (Colosseum, forum, circus, temples, even crossroads) where citizens, slaves, and foriegners gathered to see and be seen. Special attention is paid to how Roman spectacles were shaped by the dynamics of Roman history and politics and to how the spectacles shaped Roman society in turn.
CLAS4063Cesar Augustus: Architect of the Roman Empire (A)3 ch (3C) [W]

A seminar dealing with the controversial career of Caesar Augustus, from his unexpected rise to power to his establishment of the Imperial system of government at Rome, through systematic analysis of the primary sources, using the Res Gestae, Augustus' own public statement of his achievements, as a starting point. 

Prerequisite: 60 ch, or permission of the instructor.

CLAS4303Exploring Ancient Athens (A)3 ch (3S) [W]

This course traces the birth, development, and eventual decline of one of the most important city states of Greek antiquity: Athens and its environs.  By exploring the archaeological and written records, students work towards an understanding of the topography and monuments of the area from the Bronze Age to Late Antiquity.

CLAS4313Exploring Ancient Rome (A)3 ch (3S) [W]
This course traces Rome's growth from a cluster of mud huts on a hilltop into one of the most magnificent cities the world has ever known. Working with archaeological and written records, students explore the topography and a monuments of the eternal city from the Iron Age to Late Antiquity. Special attention is paid to questions of ideology and cultural memory. What ideas about Roman history, and identity were built into the city's monumnetal landscape? Who had the power to shape this landscape, and how did they use it to reshape Roman ideas about the past, present, and the future of the city.
CLAS4333Living in the Ancient World: Greek and Roman Housing (A)3 ch (3C) [W]

This course focuses on Greek and Roman dwellings from a socio-historical, archaeological, and anthropological perspective.  Students will examine domestic plans, interior decoration (mosaic pavements, wall paintings, sculptural adornment, etc.) household contents, and ancient literary records in order to explore the religious beliefs of the occupants, the social dynamics of family organization (women, children, and slaves), and the role of the household within the private and public spheres.

CLAS4353Greek Sculpture (A)3 ch (3C) [W]

This course examines Greek sculpture, free-standing and relief, from the Archaic period through the Classical and Hellenistic. Special emphasis will be placed on the development of the human form and the representation of pose, as well as the problems of pedimental construction. Material from contemporary arts, such as pottery, will also be used to illustrate the course. 

Prerequisite: 60 ch, or permission of the instructor.

CLAS4363Roman Sculpture (A)3 ch (3CS) [W]

This course looks at free-standing and monumental sculpture of Ancient Rome, both as an art form and as a socio-political phenomenon. Special attention is paid to imperial portraiture and questions of ideology in both the public and private realms.

Prerequisite: 60ch or permission of the instructor.

CLAS5003Directed Studies in Classics3 ch (3C) [W]

A detailed study of a specific area of Classical Studies. Uses primary sources (in translation) to illuminate the chosen topic. 

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

CLAS5013Topics in Classical Archaeology3 ch (3C) [W]

Students are introduced to various research methods and skills in Classical Archaeology by working in groups on a specific time period (Bronze Age, Classical, or Hellenistic periods), developing individual projects in consultation with the instructor, and delivering in-class presentations.  Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

CLAS2643Rome: The Eternal City I (O)3ch

An introduction to the history of Rome from ancient times to the Renaissance. Taught on location in Italy. Students may not receive credit for both CLAS 2643 and 3643 . Travel costs not included in tuition. 

CLAS3603The Art and Architecture of Greece I (O)3 ch [W]

A study of the art and architecture of Greece organized around visits to important archaeological sites and major museums in Greece. Travel costs not included in tuition.

CLAS3605Ancient Athens (O)3 ch [W]

A practical workshop introducing students to the Greek and Roman remains found at archaeological sites and museums in and around Athens. Taught on location. Travel costs not included in tuition.

CLAS3613Mythology and Archaeology I (O)3 ch [W]

The mythology and cults of the Greek gods, seen in the context of the archaeological remains of some of their major cult centres, and the Mycenaean origins of the sagas of the Greek heroes from the focus of this course. Travel costs not included in tuition.

CLAS3623Remembering War in Ancient Greece (O)3 ch [W]

A course taught on location in Greece that considers the phenomenon of ancient Greek warfare through onsite investigation of the topography and archaeology of several important battlefields and fortifications within central and southern Greece, as well as the art-historical and material evidence of warfare and its commemoration on display in Greek museums.  In addition to reconstructing the context and events of key battles, this course consider how the realities of the battlefield and the commemoration of warfare on physical monuments shed light on ancient Greek politics, society, and culture.

CLAS3633The Art and Architecture of Imperial Rome3 ch [W]

A study of the art and architecture of Classical Rome organized around visits to important monuments, archaeological sites and museums in Italy. Travel costs not included in tuition.

CLAS3653Mythology and Archaeology II (O)3 ch [W]

Directed study of selected topics in the mythology and cults of the Greek gods undertaken through study of the archaeological remains of major cult centres in Greece. Travel costs not included in tuition. 

CLAS3663Religion in Ancient Rome (O)3 ch [W]

A study of religion in Rome from its pagan origins to the rise of Christianity in the late Empire, based on first-hand examination in Rome of temples, altars, churches, sculpture, inscriptions and other material on site and in museums. Travel costs not included in tuition.

CLAS3673Ancient Cities and Civilizations of Western Turkey: Myth, Cult and Ancient History (O)3 ch [W]

A study of the history and civilizations of western Asia Minor, in particular the Hittite, Lydian and Graeco-Roman. Myth, cult and history are introduced in varying degrees as appropriate to the various sites visited during the tour. Particular attention is paid to the Greek cities of the Aegean coast, their sanctuaries, public buildings and theatres. Travel costs not included in tuition.

CLAS3683The Art and Architecture of Asia Minor: Hellenistic, Roman and Early Christian (O)3 ch [W]

A survey of the art and architecture of Asia Minor, organized around visits to important archaeological sites and major museums in Turkey, and studying selected remains from the Hellenistic, Roman and early Christian periods, including sculpture, temple architecture, and examples of the early Christian basilica. Travel costs not included in tuition. 

CLAS3693Roman Britain (O)3 ch [W]

A study of ancient Roman presence in Britain based on firsthand examination of Roman remain, including visits to Roman cities, villa and bath complexes, museum collections in London elsewhere, and Hadrian's Wall and other military instillations. Travel costs not included in tuition.

CLAS3933Rome: from Ancient Times to the Renaissance (O)3 ch

A study of the ancient and mediaeval history of the city of Rome, through on-site examination of the material remains. Students may not receive credit for both CLAS 2643 and 3643 . Travel costs not included in tuition.