Classics, Greek and Latin (CLA, GRE, LAT)

Academic Catalog: 2012–2013

  • Matthew Panciera, Chairperson
  • Valerio Caldesi-Valeri (Visiting, 2012–2013
  • Eric Dugdale
  • Seán Easton
  • William Freiert (Fall 2012)
  • Yurie Hong
  • Mary McHugh (On leave, 2012–2013)

The Department of Classics introduces students to the foundations of Western culture in the civilizations of Greece and Rome. The department offers courses in the Greek and Latin languages and literatures as well as Classical Studies courses, which do not require knowledge of Latin or Greek.

Greek and Latin courses aim at equipping students to read the masterpieces of ancient literature in the original as quickly as possible. Classical Studies courses give students a broad overview of Greek and Roman literature, history and society, and of the surviving monuments of ancient art and architecture. The study of Greek helps students learn essential vocabulary and concepts in the sciences, philosophy, and theology. Greek is especially helpful for those interested in studying the Christian scriptures. Recent research has shown that study of Latin markedly improves one’s knowledge of English vocabulary and grammar. A knowledge of Latin provides skills useful in many careers, including business, law, and medical careers.

Majors are encouraged to study abroad. The department offers interested and qualified students the opportunity to study for one or two semesters of the junior year in Athens through the College Year in Athens program or in Rome with the Intercollegiate Center program. For students who come to classics because of an interest in archaeology, the department can assist in making arrangements for participating in archeological excavations and field-schools.

Majors are available in either Classics or Latin. Those interested in Latin teaching should consult the Classics chairperson and the teacher education coordinator. Those considering studying classics at the graduate level should consult the department about specific coursework.

Classics Major: Students major in Classics for its value as the backbone of the traditional liberal arts education. Most majors do not plan careers in classics, but in the professions for which a liberal education is the best preparation. A major in Classics consists of nine courses:

  1. Greek concentration or Latin concentration. Four courses above GRE-102 or LAT-102.
  2. One course in Classical Studies at level 2 or 3.
  3. CLA-399 Classics Capstone Seminar.
  4. Three additional courses chosen from Classical Studies, Greek, or Latin. With the consent of the Department of Classics, students may count appropriate courses in Art, Communication Studies, English, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Religion, Theatre, or other ancient languages toward their major.

Latin Major: A major in Latin consists of 9.5 courses:

  1. Six courses in Latin above LAT-102.
  2. CLA-101 and CLA-202.
  3. LAT-375.
  4. CLA-399 Classics Capstone Seminar.

Major with Honors: In addition to fulfilling all the regular requirements for the major, students wishing to graduate with Honors in Classics or Latin should:

  1. Have at least a 3.2 cumulative GPA and a 3.5 in the major at the time of application.
  2. Register for the Capstone Seminar in the spring semester of the junior year, if possible.
  3. Conduct a research project culminating in a thesis during the fall of the senior year. The thesis is registered as CLA-398 Honors Thesis (.25 course), is presented publicly, and must receive a grade of B or better to qualify for honors.
  4. Finally, Honors majors are strongly encouraged to take at least one year of study of a second classical language.

Minor: A minor in Classical Studies consists of five courses:

  1. Two Greek or two Latin courses above GRE-102 or LAT-102.
  2. One course in Classical Studies.
  3. Two additional courses chosen from Classical Studies, Greek, Latin, or from among appropriate courses in other departments.

A minor in Greek consists of five courses:

  1. Four courses in Greek above GRE-102.
  2. One course in Classical Studies.

A minor in Latin consists of five courses:

  1. Four courses in Latin above LAT-102.
  2. One course in Classical Studies.

Classical Studies (CLA)

101 Myth and Meaning (1 course) An introduction to the mythology of the ancient Greeks and Romans. The course surveys the major gods and heroes of classical antiquity, the most significant literary and artistic influences of classical myth, and the major schools of interpretation of myth. Illustrated lectures. Small-group discussions. Particular emphasis on the power of myth to represent meaning and value. LARS, Spring semester.

103 Theatre of Greece and Rome (1 course) A comprehensive study of the ancient Greek and Roman theatre. Students read and discuss a wide selection of classical tragedies and comedies and study ancient staging and production techniques, theatre architecture, the cultural context of Greco-Roman drama, and the influence of classical theatre on modern drama. Students perform a scene from ancient drama in the Festival of Dionysus. ARTS, Spring semester, even years.

201 Ancient Greek History and Culture (1 course) A chronological survey of Greek history and civilization from the Bronze Age to Alexander the Great. Readings from Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides, the tragedians, Aristophanes, and others. The class will concentrate on the rise and fall of democracy, on the nature of the Greek city state, and on the development of national consciousness in ancient Greece. HIPHI, Fall semester, odd years.

202 Roman History and Culture (1 course) A chronological survey of Roman history from its beginnings until its decline and collapse. Emphasis on the religious, social, cultural, and political developments in Rome through an analysis of great works of Roman literature. HIPHI, Fall semester, even years.

211 Art and Archaeology of Greece (1 course) An introduction to the art and archaeology of Greece, focusing on the classical art of fifth-century Athens. The course explores the origins and meaning of the classical style by examining the archaeological remains of the Minoans and Mycenaeans, the art and architecture of the geometric and archaic periods in Greece, and literary parallels in Homeric epic and Greek tragedy. The class studies the changes classical art underwent as it reflected the values and perceptions of the later Greeks. ARTS, Spring semester, even years.

212 Art and Archaeology of Rome (1 course) A survey of the art and archaeology of ancient Rome, beginning with its Etruscan origins, and focusing on the Republican and Imperial periods and the transition to the early Christian era. Statues, paintings, pottery, jewelry, temples, aqueducts, houses, forums, and town planning will be discussed in relationship to the culture that produced them. The course will explore Greek influence on Roman art and Roman influence on later art and architecture. ARTS, Spring semester, odd years.

398 Honors Thesis (.250 course) In the Spring semester of the senior year, honors majors write a major thesis involving independent research under the direction of a member of the Classics faculty. The work is preceded by a series of colloquia with faculty members on research methods in classics. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Offered occasionally.

399 Classics Capstone Seminar (1 course) The goals of this seminar are three: to familiarize students with the variety of disciplinary methods used in the field of classics, to prepare students for independent research, and to integrate the academic experiences of Classics majors concentrating in different ancient languages. Each year the seminar will have a specific topic chosen by the instructor. The seminar will culminate in a significant research paper and presentation by each student. Prerequisite: junior status and at least one year of an ancient language. The seminar may be repeated for credit and is open to non-majors with permission of the department chair. Spring semester.

Greek (GRE)

101, 102 Beginning Greek I, II (2 courses) Students master grammar and syntax by reading a series of dialogues, which gradually increase in complexity. The readings which draw faithfully from the works of Plato, Aristophanes, Euripides, and Demosthenes, introducing students to the public and private life of classical Athens. By the end of the second semester students will be reading substantial selections from original ancient texts. Offered annually.

201 Plato and the Intellectual Revolution (1 course) Readings from Greek literature develop proficiency in reading and understanding Greek. The course centers on a close reading of one of Plato’s Socratic dialogues and documents related to the Socratic Problem and the birth of philosophy. The course includes a review of grammar. Prerequisite: GRE-102 or equivalent. HIPHI, Fall semester.

202 The Greek New Testament (1 course) An exegetical study of the First Epistle of John, the Gospel according to Mark, Paul’s Letter to the Romans, and other texts from the Greek New Testament selected jointly by the students and instructor. In each case the class will also address issues of compositional analysis, historical setting, tradition development, and modern hermeneutical application. The investigation of Mark and Romans will include the writing of a critical essay on each and exercises in Greek composition, which help to clarify ancient narrative and epistolary style. Prerequisite: GRE-201 or equivalent. LARS, Spring semester.

301 The Greek Historians (1 course) A close reading and discussion of significant portions of the works of Herodotus and Thucydides together with excerpts from their predecessors and successors. Prerequisite: GRE-202 or equivalent. HIPHI, WRITD, Fall semester, even years.

302 Greek Drama (1 course) A study of selected Greek tragedies. Students read plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides in Greek and study and discuss tragedy as an art form, the origin and production of Greek drama, and especially the social and cultural context of fifth-century Athens. Prerequisite: GRE-202 or equivalent. ARTS, WRITD, Spring semester, odd years.

303 Homer (1 course) Reading of The Iliad or The Odyssey of Homer and study of the nature of oral poetry, selected contemporary criticism of the poems, and the cultural and social context both of the world Homer portrays and of his own era at the dawn of Western literature. Prerequisite: GRE-202 or equivalent. LARS, WRITD, Fall semester, odd years.

304 Greek Orators (1 course) Reading, discussion, and analysis of speeches by the most significant ancient Greek orators, especially Lysias and Demosthenes. Students study the Greek origins of Western oratory, the techniques of rhetorical prose, and the historical and cultural contexts of Athenian public discourse. The course also traces the influence of the Greeks on the history of Western rhetoric as a whole and examines how ancient oratory influenced the greatest modern public speakers. Prerequisite: GRE-202. LARS, WRITD, Spring semester, even years.

Latin (LAT)

101, 102 Beginning Latin I, II (2 courses) Students master grammar and syntax by reading a series of dialogues, which gradually increase in complexity. The readings, which are based on the lives of Romans during the first century ce, introduce the students to the public and private life of Imperial Rome. By the end of the second semester students will be reading substantial selections from ancient texts. Offered annually.

201 Reading Latin Literature (1 course) Readings from Latin literature develop proficiency in reading and understanding Latin. The course focuses on poetry and/or prose of the late Republican period and their cultural and artistic context. The course includes a review of grammar. Prerequisite: LAT-102 or equivalent. LARS, Fall semester.

202 Vergil’s Aeneid (1 course) Students read selections from Vergil’s Aeneid in Latin and the entire epic in English. Emphasis on the characteristics and techniques of poetry and in particular of Latin epic poetry, the place of the Aeneid in Roman history, its influence on writers throughout the centuries, and contemporary criticism and interpretation. Prerequisite: LAT-201 or equivalent. LARS, Spring semester.

301 Roman Historians (1 course) Reading, discussion, and analysis of Livy’s Ab Urbe Condita, or selections from the works of Tacitus. In this course, students will gain not only a better understanding of classical Latin prose style, but also detailed knowledge of Roman political, social, and religious institutions. Prerequisite: LAT-202 or equivalent. HIPHI, WRITD, Fall semester, even years.

302 Horace and the Roman Poets (1 course) Readings from the lyric poetry of Horace, Catullus, Tibullus, and Propertius, and sampling of other Roman poets. Discussion and papers concentrate on poetic technique, style, metrics, and effective communication of emotion and ethos. Study of the cultural background of first-century Republican Rome. Prerequisite: LAT-202 or equivalent. LARS, WRITD, Spring semester, odd years.

303 Cicero and Sallust: The Fall of the Roman Republic (1 course) Reading, discussion, and analysis of several orations by Cicero, including the speeches against Catiline, and Sallust’s historical treatise, Bellum Catilinae. Students study the purposes and techniques of rhetorical prose, interpretations of a rhetorical text, the political problems of the late Roman Republic, and the influence of Cicero on public speaking up to the present. Prerequisite: LAT-202 or equivalent. LARS, WRITD, Fall semester, odd years.

304 Roman Drama (1 course) Reading, discussion, and analysis of selected Latin plays, the comedies of Plautus and Terence, and the tragedies of Seneca. Students will study the plays as adaptations of Greek originals, and as native Roman literature. Students will also study the contribution of the Latin plays to Elizabethan and modern theatre. Prerequisite: LAT-202 or equivalent. ARTS, WRITD, Spring semester, even years.

375 Latin Prose Composition (.5 course) Practice in composing Latin sentences and paragraphs which imitate the style and usage of Golden Age Latin. Cicero is the model. Required for the Latin major and the Latin Teaching major. Prerequisite: LAT-201 or equivalent. Offered occasionally.