In our society, "myth" is often perceived as "storytelling" that has an element of falsehood built into it. For archaic Greek society, like many traditional societies that operate on ancestral principles, myths are the ultimate way of encoding truth values. Storytelling, therefore, is not just entertainment; it is a set of patterns set up by a specific society that gives the members of that culture a sense of their own identity. In this course we will begin to understand how the storytelling traditions of Greece establish social order and define what it means to be truly civilized. Offered annually.
In the 5th century BCE Athens was the intellectual and artistic center of Greece. Here the dramatic festival of the god Dionysus was held every spring in his theater at the foot of the Acropolis. The ideas and values presented in these ancient plays have profoundly influenced Western thought ever since, and have been produced continuously by actors and theatre companies all over the world for 2500 years. In this course we will study twelve of the best plays, written by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes. We will examine the structure, style, and significance of the ancient plays and modern adaptations and interpretations, as well as issues of Athenian politics, gender, and religion. Offered alternate years, spring.
In this course we will survey works by four great ancient comic playwrights of Greece and Rome: Aristophanes, Menander, Plautus, and Terence. We will examine the structure, style, and significance of the ancient plays and the modern adaptations and interpretations. Students will have an opportunity to perform a staged reading of select scenes. Offered in alternate years, spring.
Great works of literature from classical antiquity studied in English translation. Readings will be selected from Greek or Latin poetry, prose, and drama and will typically vary from year to year. Course may be applied to the minor in classical studies and may be repeated for credit if course content is not duplicated. Offered occasionally.
Myths and rituals constitute the religion of ancient Greece, and are expressed in art, monuments, and in writing. The culture, ideas, and values imparted through the varied expressions of Greek myths influenced Western thought in a profound and lasting way. In this course, we will study the intimate relationship between myth, art, history, and culture of ancient Greece. Recommended prerequisite: GRS/REL 210
A survey of cultural artifacts and monuments of ancient Greece from the “Age of Homer” (Bronze Age) to the “Age of Alexander” (Hellenistic Period). The goal is to develop an understanding and appreciation of Greek artistic expression, its influences, and its impact on Western art and thought. Course includes a field trip. Offered in alternate years, fall.
This course follows the development of the forms and ideologies of Roman art from the republic to late antiquity. The issues to be discussed will include public and private and civic and religious art and architecture, urban planning, and the interaction of Roman art forms and provincial cultures in the forging of identity. Offered occasionally.
This course examines issues of sex, sexuality, and gender in the ancient societies of Greece and Rome through the study of literature, art, and science. We will investigate the representation of sexuality and gender cross-culturally over time to learn what we know, and what we can't know, about the role they play in ancient Greek and Roman culture and society. Offered occasionally.
Ancient Roman religion was uniquely open to foreign influence while respecting its own customs. This course will examine how the Roman people demonstrated this quality as they adopted or adapted new religious ideas and traditions from the beginnings of the Roman monarchy in 753 BCE to the fifth century CE. Offered occasionally . May Term.
A major research project related to the study of classical language, culture, or literature under the close supervision of a faculty member. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Offered occasionally.