Classics

Hobart Professor of Classical Languages Reger, Chair; Associate Professor Risser; Assistant Professors Ewegen and Safran∙∙; Visiting Assistant Professor Regan

The department offers two majors: classical studies and, in cooperation with the Department of Language and Culture studies, a “Plan B” major.

Within the liberal arts, classics is the discipline that represents the Greek and Roman foundations of Western civilization in their purest form, for it entails the study of Greek and Roman literature in the original languages and the analysis of objective remains recovered through archaeological exploration. The classical studies and “Plan B” majors at Trinity not only prepare students to read original Greek and Latin texts with confidence, but promote in them an awareness of intercultural and interdisciplinary learning, since the study of classics involves history, philosophy, literary criticism, art, and architecture.

The classical studies major—Twelve courses are required, and students must earn a grade of at least C- in each. The requirements include:

The Plan B major—Under this plan, students may combine ancient Greek or Latin with any of the languages taught in the Department of Language and Culture Studies. A minimum of seven courses in a primary language and five in a secondary language is required, as well as two courses in a cognate field or fields (e.g., ancient art, Greek and Roman history, archaeology). A paper integrating the three fields of study must be completed in one of the primary language upper-level courses. Except under exceptional circumstances, this project will be undertaken in the primary language section’s senior seminar and must be done at Trinity College.

The award of honors is determined by the excellence of the candidate’s work in courses and assessment of the optional year-long thesis.

For students who wish to pursue graduate study, command of both classical languages is essential; a reading knowledge of French and German is also recommended. For courses in Biblical Hebrew and Sanskrit, see the offerings of the Religion Department; for post-classical languages, see the Department of Language and Culture Studies.

For special programs at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies at Rome, Trinity College’s Rome Campus, or the summer excavations at Akko, Israel, see “Special Curricular Opportunities,” p. 25. The department also recommends programs in classics and ancient history offered by universities in the United Kingdom under the auspices of Arcadia University. For departmental prizes, see the section on prizes.

Minors—Four minors are housed in the Classics Department.

Ancient Greek—For students who wish to minor in ancient Greek, this is a sequence of six courses designed to develop linguistic skills to read ancient Greek literature in its original language. In addition, the minor will include either a .5-credit Language Across the Curriculum unit or a .5-credit integrating paper, typically written in conjunction with the last course taken for the minor. No more than one transfer credit may be applied to the “minor.”

Latin—For students who wish to minor in Latin, this is a sequence of six courses designed to develop linguistic skills to read ancient, and possibly medieval, Latin literature in its original language. In addition, the minor will include either a .5-credit Language Across the Curriculum unit or a .5-credit integrating paper, typically written in conjunction with the last course taken for the minor. No more than one transfer credit may be applied to the minor.

Classical antiquity—The purpose of the minor is to allow students to acquire a general knowledge of the achievements of ancient Greece and Rome, which traditionally have constituted, along with the Judeo-Christian tradition, the chief ingredients of Western civilization. Despite the advance of technology, shifts in educational and societal priorities, and an increasing awareness of other civilizations in the 20th century, Homer, Plato, Cicero, and Caesar remain lively figures, and the classical tradition still pervades our poetry and prose, our philosophy and law, our ideas of history, our conceptions of education, and our art and architecture. The student electing this minor will have the opportunity to become acquainted with the classical achievements in each of these areas and to shape that knowledge into an integrated view of antiquity. Students take six approved courses, then either take a short essay exam or submit an integrating paper.

Classical tradition—The minor in the classical tradition will establish a basic acquaintance with the history and cultural landmarks of ancient Greece and Rome, and promote a contextual understanding of later achievements significantly influenced by them, especially in literature and history, the arts, and philosophy. The minor is based on two groups of courses: the first comprises courses in the civilization of classical Greece and Rome, the second courses in subjects in which the presence of the Greek and Roman experience is felt. In addition, students take a short essay exam or submit an integrating paper.

The Classics Department also contributes courses to minors in architectural studies, Jewish studies, literature and psychology, mythology, and women, gender, and sexuality.

Classics

Fall Term

399. Independent Study— Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairman are required for enrollment. (1 - 2 course credits) –Staff

401. Senior Seminar: Special Topics— A senior capstone course that combines seminar meetings with independent study and the writing of a final essay under the direction of a member of the department. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the chair are required. Required of all Classics majors and open to Classical Antiquity and Classical Tradition minors (counts as a course toward fulfilling the minor). (WEB) (Enrollment limited) –Reger

466. Teaching Assistant— (0.5 course credit) –Staff

Spring Term

399. Independent Study— Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairman are required for enrollment. (1 - 2 course credits) –Staff

402. Senior Thesis— A continuation of Classics 401 for students pursuing honors in the Classics major. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the chair are required. (WEB) –Staff

466. Teaching Assistant— (0.5 course credit) –Staff

Greek

Fall Term

102. Introduction to Classical and Biblical Greek II— A continuation of Greek 101. The aim of the course is to enable students to read Greek as soon as possible. Prerequisite: a Grade of C- or better in Greek 101 or Permission of the instructor (1.5 course credits) (HUM) (Enrollment limited) –Reger

[301. Egypt from Alexander to Amr. The Nile and Desert Under the Greeks and Romans]— From the advent of Alexander the Great to the Muslim conquest in 640 CE by the then governor of Palestine, Egypt was under the rule of Greeks and Romans. Thanks to the dry climate, thousands of texts on stone, papyrus, and fragments of pottery (ostraka) have been preserved. In this course, students will become familiar with the style, conventions, and language of these texts by reading the in the original Greek; they will also learn how to use scholarly aids to the study and interpretation of these texts. Prerequisite: C- or better in Greek 102 or equivalent, or permission of instructor. (Enrollment limited)

325. Greek Religious Texts— A survey of religious beliefs, concepts, practices, and history based on close study of ancient Greek sources. Readings include selections from Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns, Herodotus, tragedy, the philosophers, the Septuagint, Josephus, and the New Testament, as well as epigraphic material. Topics addressed include myth, ritual, sanctuaries, conceptions of divinity, the soul, mystery cults, the emergence of Christianity, and religious warfare and conflict. Core readings are in ancient Greek. (HUM) (Enrollment limited) –Regan

[330. Homer and Homeric Hymns]— Substantial readings selected from the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Homeric Hymns with attention to Homeric language, the Homeric depiction of gods and heroes, and ancient and modern reception of these works (Enrollment limited)

466. Teaching Assistantship— Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment. (0.5 - 1 course credit) –Staff

Spring Term

101. Introduction to Classical and Biblical Greek I— A course in the fundamentals of classical Greek, designed for those who begin the language in college. (1.5 course credits) (HUM) (Enrollment limited) –Reger

315. Plato— Selected readings from the dialogues, with special emphasis on Plato’s style, thought, and characterization of Socrates. (HUM) (Enrollment limited) –Regan

[324. Greek Oratory]— Review of grammar and reading of selected texts by Athenian orators of the fourth century BCE. Prerequisite: C- or better in Greek 102 or equivalent, or permission of instructor. (HUM) (Enrollment limited)

[325. Greek Religious Texts]— A survey of religious beliefs, concepts, practices, and history based on close study of ancient Greek sources. Readings include selections from Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns, Herodotus, tragedy, the philosophers, the Septuagint, Josephus, and the New Testament, as well as epigraphic material. Topics addressed include myth, ritual, sanctuaries, conceptions of divinity, the soul, mystery cults, the emergence of Christianity, and religious warfare and conflict. Core readings are in ancient Greek. (HUM) (Enrollment limited)

[466. Teaching Assistantship]— Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment. (0.5 - 1 course credit)

Latin

Fall Term

101. Fundamentals for Reading Latin— This course focuses on the fundamental knowledge required to read and write in Latin. In addition to acquiring core vocabulary for reading major Latin authors, students learn the forms of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs, with a special emphasis on the flexibility of noun cases, and basic subordinate clauses. This course is suitable for students who are embarking on the study of Latin, and an excellent review for students who have studied Latin previously. (1.5 course credits) (HUM) (Enrollment limited) –Regan, Safran

203. Advanced Latin Grammar and Reading— This course begins with a brief review of the material covered in Latin 102, especially complex subordinate clauses involving the subjunctive, indirect statement, and participial constructions. Students will then cover advanced topics, including the gerundive and the supine. The second half of the semester will be devoted to reading a suitable ancient text with commentary, as well as a selection of related scholarly articles, in preparation for the translation and interpretation of Latin texts at the 300 level. Prerequisite: C- or better in Latin 102 or appropriate score on the placement exam. (HUM) (Enrollment limited) –Risser

[308. The Fall of the Roman Republic]— In the first century BCE, the Roman Republic was plunged into chaos and civil war after Caesar made his fatal decision to cross the Rubicon. Using selections from Julius Caesar’s Civil War and contemporary letters from Cicero, Pompey and others, we will explore this tumultuous time from the perspective of the participants themselves who struggled to understand and shape the course of events in the midst of political and military turmoil. Through the contemporaneous observations of these major players, we will become eyewitnesses to the fall of the Republic and the triumph of Caesar. LATN 203 (formerly 221) or and equivalent course, or permission of instructor. (HUM) (Enrollment limited)

321. Virgil— Readings in the Eclogues, Georgics, and Aeneid with particular emphasis on literary appreciation. (HUM) (Enrollment limited) –Safran

[351. Horace]— Readings in the Odes, Satires, and Epistles with particular emphasis on poetic theory and analysis. (HUM) (Enrollment limited)

466. Teaching Assistantship— Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment. (0.5 - 1 course credit) –Staff

Spring Term

102. Intermediate Grammar for Reading Latin— This course begins with a brief review of material covered in LAT101, then proceeds to cover complex subordinate clauses involving the subjunctive, indirect statement, and varieties of participial constructions, in addition to further vocabulary acquisition. Students begin to read passages from ancient Latin literature, such as Julius Caesar’s Gallic Wars, Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura, the Res Gestae of Augustus Caesar, and Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Prerequisite: C- or better in Latin 101 or appropriate score on the placement exam. (1.5 course credits) (HUM) (Enrollment limited) –Regan

312. Cicero— Selections from the letters, orations, and philosophical essays. (HUM) (Enrollment limited) –Regan

[325. Livy’s History of Rome]— This course introduces students to selections from Livy’s magnum opus Ab urbe condita, which treated Roman history from the fall of Troy down to the author’s lifetime, as the Roman Republic gave way to Augustus’ new Roman Empire. In addition to gaining familiarity with Livy’s prose style and the distinction between history and historiography, we will consider the interpretations of recent translators, the apparatus criticus, scholarly commentary, and select secondary literature. LATN 203 (formerly 221) or and equivalent course, or permission of instructor. (HUM) (Enrollment limited)

[352. Ancient Novel]— A study of Petronius’ Satyricon and Apuleius’ Metamorphoses (“The Golden Ass”) as the two surviving examples of Latin prose fiction: the one, a ribald social satire written by a member of Nero’s court; the other, an extravagant fantasy by a Roman African of the second century A.D. (HUM) (Enrollment limited)

Classical Civilization

Fall Term

The following courses presuppose no knowledge of Greek and Latin.

203. Mythology— Generally, this course is a study of the role of myth in society; particularly, the emphasis will be laid on the body of Greek myth and its relationship to literature and art. Readings within the area of classical literature will be wide and varied, with a view to elucidating what “myth” meant to the ancient Greeks. Whatever truths are discovered will be tested against the apparent attitudes of other societies, ancient and modern, toward myth. Lectures and discussion. (HUM) (Enrollment limited) –Regan

214. Greek and Roman Architecture— An examination of building materials and methods used in the construction of domestic, civic, and religious buildings of the Greek and Roman worlds. The way in which the functions of these buildings influenced their forms is also examined. Further topics of discussion include comparative studies of the works of individual architects, architectural adaptations to local topography, and the use of building programs for propaganda purposes. (ART) (Enrollment limited) –Risser

[224. Sex and Sexualities in Ancient Greece and Rome]— Do current Western attitudes toward sex and sexuality have a history? How and why did ancient Greek society glorify and institutionalize homosexuality and consider it superior to heterosexuality? What were the origins and evolution of Greek and Roman sexual attitudes and practices, and in what ways did Roman sexuality differ from Greek? This course will examine ancient Greek and Roman sexual values and practices in order to illuminate contemporary attitudes toward sex and the body. Readings will include selections from Homer, Sappho, Plato, Juvenal, Martial, Petronius, Catullus, and other ancient writers, as well as modern critical analyses. This course is intended for and open to all students. There is no prerequisite for enrollment. (GLB2) (Enrollment limited)

230. Greek Democracy in Theory and Practice— As we all know, the Greeks invented democracy or did they? This course explores the emergence and development of democracy in the city-states (poleis) of the ancient Greek world from roughly 1000 BCE to 300 CE. We focus especially on possible Near Eastern origins for democratic institutions and practices and the borrowing or parallel development of democracy in early Greek poleis; the features of the best-known Greek democracy, that of Athens in the fifth and fourth centuries BCE; and the adaptation of democracy to rule by Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors. We will also examine closely the treatment of democracy in Greek philosophy, especially Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics. (HUM) (Enrollment limited) –Reger

[239. Rome on Film]— This course seeks to provide you with both cinematic and classical treats: knowledge of the basic tools with which to approach the study of film, and an acquaintance with not only several major stories of Roman mythology but several major historical events, as well. Throughout the term, we will also consistently be evaluating the ways in which the tales told in our films differ from their original sources, the extensive debt classical films of the past two decades owe to their predecessors, and how contemporary concerns flavor the way the ancient myths and history are represented on screen. (HUM) (Enrollment limited)

[241. Classical Ideals: Representations of the Human Body in Ancient Mediterranean Art]— Representations of the human body in Greek and Roman art raise various issues including standards of beauty and their implications; social status; the athletic ideal; clothing and lack of clothing; character and emotions; gender and sexuality; and concepts of the “classical ideal” during and after antiquity. Through studies of classical sculpture, painting, and minor arts, this course will explore perceptions of the human body that persist in the Western tradition. Readings include studies in the history of art, critical approaches to conceptions of the human form, ancient medical texts, and classical poetry. (ART) (Enrollment limited)

[321. Seminar in Roman Art, Artists and Patrons]— Through an examination of Roman art in its cultural context, this course assesses the role of art in the lives of the ancient Romans. To what extent did wealthy Romans commission art that reflected their personalities, social standing, personal interests, and private fantasies? Students will examine a variety of decorative arts, from tableware to wall paintings. Differing interpretations of the ancient evidence will be examined and students will be encouraged to draw their own conclusions. (ART) (Enrollment limited)

399. Independent Study— Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment. (1 - 2 course credits) –Staff

466. Teaching Assistantship— Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment. (0.5 - 1 course credit) –Staff

Spring Term

The following courses presuppose no knowledge of Greek and Latin.

[111. Introduction to Classical Art and Archaeology]— A survey of the art and archaeology of the classical world, from the Neolithic period through the Roman Empire. Topics of discussion include sculpture, pottery, painting, architecture, town planning, burial practices, and major monuments, as well as archaeological method and theory. (ART) (Enrollment limited)

216. Archaeological Method and Theory— An introduction to interdisciplinary archaeological enquiry, drawing on material selected from American studies, anthropology, art history, classics, geology, history, Middle Eastern studies, religion, and women’s studies. Students will consider archaeological methods, techniques, and specific applications to various disciplines. Central to the discussion will be the uses of archaeology in reconstructing aspects of pre-historic, historical, and more contemporary human life. The course has a strong hands-on component. (GLB2) (Enrollment limited) –Risser

[222. Ancient Cities of the Near East, Egypt, and the Mediterranean World]— This course traces ancient urbanism from the development of Neolithic sedentism to the massive cities of the Hellenistic kingdoms and the Roman Empire. We will examine both primary and secondary texts, together with evidence from art and archaeology, to assemble a composite view of urban life and the environmental, topographical, political, cultural, and economic factors that shaped some of the most impressive cities ever built, many of which remain major metropolitan centers today. (HUM) (Enrollment limited)

223. Roman Philosophy— This course will examine the work of a number of Roman philosophers during the period of roughly 1 BCE 200 CE. Through reading the works of Seneca, Cicero, Lucretius, Sextus Empiricus, and others, we will become familiar with various ancient Roman schools of thought such as Stoicism and Skepticism, as well as certain then prevalent political theories. Above all, focus will be given to the manner in which philosophy undergoes certain fundamental changes as it transforms, transfers, and translates from an Ancient Greek worldview into a Roman (i.e., Latin) one. (HUM) (Enrollment limited) –Ewegen

[227. Drinking and Dining in Antiquity]— This course offers a history of banqueting in the ancient Mediterranean world, from communal feasts at religious festivals to the private banquets of the Greek symposium, and the Roman convivium. Using primary ancient sources (literary texts, artistic representations, and archaeological finds), we will examine the roles of dining and drinking in ancient societies and social ideologies. What, for instance, was the significance of food and drink offerings in tombs and images of banqueting in funerary art? Where did the custom of reclining to dine originate, and what social implications did it carry? And, of course, what kind of food and drink was consumed at these banquets? (HUM) (Enrollment limited)

[234. Greek Comedy: Aristophanes and his Influence]— This course will explore the literary, political, and philosophical elements of ancient Athens’ greatest comic playwright, Aristophanes. By carefully reading several of his plays we will gain an appreciation for Greek comedy as a form of political satire, as a highly successful criticism of philosophy and sophistry, and as a method of philosophical inquiry in its own right. In order to better understand the humor and references of Aristophanes’ plays, we will read a variety of other texts, including works of Greek history, tragedy, and philosophy. Finally, we will study some contemporary works in which the spirit (if not the structure) of Greek comedy is echoed. (HUM) (Enrollment limited)

[235. Family, Law & Society in Ancient Rome]— What comes to mind when you hear the phrase traditional family?’ The Roman family probably aligns in most ways with whatever model you have in mind, but there are some striking departures from it. The father of the Roman family (paterfamilias), for instance, was granted an extraordinary degree of legally sanctioned control over his descendants, not just while they were children, but for their entire lives. This class examines the makeup and dynamics of the Roman household, considering issues such as the architecture of the Roman house, marriage, divorce, funerary ritual, discipline of children, adultery, procreation, adoption, and women’s rights, and the all-important role of the paterfamilias in these matters. In this course students carefully study a number of cases from Roman jurists and so are introduced to the process of legal reasoning. (HUM) (Enrollment limited)

241. Classical Ideals: Representations of the Human Body in Ancient Mediterranean Art— Representations of the human body in Greek and Roman art raise various issues including standards of beauty and their implications; social status; the athletic ideal; clothing and lack of clothing; character and emotions; gender and sexuality; and concepts of the “classical ideal” during and after antiquity. Through studies of classical sculpture, painting, and minor arts, this course will explore perceptions of the human body that persist in the Western tradition. Readings include studies in the history of art, critical approaches to conceptions of the human form, ancient medical texts, and classical poetry. (ART) (Enrollment limited) –Risser

[242. Kings, Tyrants, Emperors: Autocracy in the Greek and Roman World]— From the Homeric lords to the pharaoh-kings of Hellenistic Egypt to the emperors of Rome, one-person rule played an essential part in both political discourse and political reality in the ancient Mediterranean world. What differentiated a good autocrat from a bad one—a “king” from a “tyrant”, in the developing political rhetoric of classical antiquity, which we have inherited? Investigations in this course may include the terminology for such autocrats, primarily “king”, “tyrant”, and “emperor”; theoretical treatments of autocratic rule by Plato, Aristotle, and Polybius; and the representation of autocrats in literary and visual art, historical sources, and archaeological remains. (GLB2) (Enrollment limited)

308. The Art, Architecture, and Archaeology of Ancient Greek Religion— This course examines the material evidence for ancient Greek religion, cults, and rituals; methods of approaching ancient religion and analyzing cult practices through art, architecture, and artifacts; exploration of votive, sacrificial, and feasting practices; distinctions between sacred and civic space in ancient Greece; differences between urban, extra-urban, rural, and panhellenic sanctuaries; the role of the city in establishing, maintaining, and supporting religious places and practices. There are no pre-requisites for this course. (Enrollment limited) –Risser

[316. Ovid’s Metamorphoses]— This course explores one of the most influential works of art in the Western tradition: the epic weaving-together of centuries’ worth of classical mythology into one poetic masterwork by Ovid, who completed this work as his fortunes turned from celebrated poet to political exile in the twilight of the Emperor Augustus’ reign. No less controversial today than it was in antiquity, students will explore the many facets of this literary monument by reading the poem and critical writings, and through a mixture of discussion and written work. (HUM) (Enrollment limited)

[325. Philosophy of Tragedy and the Tragedy of Philosophy]— Throughout the history of Western philosophy, ancient Greek tragedy has continued to be a source of great fascination. This course shall focus on a number of philosophical analyses of ancient tragedy, including those offered by Plato, Aristotle, Nietzsche, Hegel, and Heidegger. Additionally, several ancient Greek tragedies will be read in order to test the validity of these philosophical analyses. We will see that philosophy itself, owing to this preoccupation with tragedy, takes on a tragic character through the guise of some of these thinkers. (HUM) (Enrollment limited)

466. Teaching Assistantship— Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment. (0.5 - 1 course credit) –Staff