Department of Classics

Associate Professor Emerita: Helen E. Moritz

Professors: William S. Greenwalt, John R. Heath

Associate Professors: Scott LaBarge (courtesy appointment with Department of Philosophy), Daniel W. Turkeltaub (Department Chair)

Assistant Professor: Carolynn E. Roncaglia

Lecturer: Angela Holzmeister

Classics in the broad sense is the study of all aspects of the life and culture of ancient Greece and Rome in their Mediterranean context. The Department of Classics offers all levels of ancient Greek and Latin as well as courses that explore the origins of Western literature, history, art, mythology, philosophy, religion, ethics, and government and their enduring relevance to our lives. Most courses in the department require no knowledge of an ancient language and are open to any interested student. Latin or Greek may be taken to satisfy the second language requirement. Because of the multidisciplinary nature of the field, classics provides an ideal liberal arts curriculum that is an excellent background for careers in many areas.

Students majoring or minoring in classics may pursue one of three different tracks: classical languages and literatures, classical studies, or ancient studies. Students who want to major and minor in classics must do so in different tracks.

Requirements for the Major in Classics

In addition to fulfilling Undergraduate Core Curriculum requirements for the bachelor of arts degree, students majoring in classics must complete the departmental requirements for the track desired:

Bachelor of Arts in Classics

Classical Languages and Literatures Track

  • Nine upper-division courses in the language of concentration

  • First-year proficiency in both classical languages

  • CLAS 197A and CLAS 197B

Classical Studies Track

  • Six classes in either Latin or Greek, which may include the elementary sequence (but not both sequences)

  • Six classics courses, at least four of which must be upper-division

  • CLAS 197A and CLAS 197B

Ancient Studies Track

  • CLAS 60 or CLAS 61

  • Eleven classics courses, at least seven of which must be upper-division

  • CLAS 197A and CLAS 197B

Requirements for the Minor in Classics

Classical Languages and Literatures Track

  • Completion of five upper-division courses in either Latin or Greek (Latin 3 or Greek 3 can be counted as an upper-division course for these purposes)

Classical Studies Track

  • Latin 3 or Greek 3, or one upper-division Greek or Latin course

  • Four classics courses, at least two of which must be upper-division

Ancient Studies Track

  • CLAS 60 or CLAS 61

  • Four classics courses, at least two of which must be upper-division

Approved Courses towards Major and Minor in Classics

Approved classics courses include all classes (including cross-listed courses) with a CLAS prefix, as well as courses in other departments such as ARTH 104, 106, 110; ARTH 152 may also count for the Ancient Studies Track; PHIL 14, 141; POLI 111. Other courses in the ancient worlds may count as well---consult with the Department Chair of Classics before enrolling. With the approval of the chair, a classical language class may be substituted for a non-language course.

Lower-Division Courses: Latin

1. Elementary Latin I

Introduction to vocabulary, forms, and grammar of classical Latin. Development of the reading skills with supporting exercises in writing. No language laboratory. (4 units)

2. Elementary Latin II

Continuation of Latin I. (4 units)

3. Elementary Latin III

Completion of elementary Latin. (4 units)

Upper-Division Courses: Latin

101. Intermediate Latin

A course for students who have finished basic Latin grammar. Students will review Latin forms and syntax while reading prose and poetry of increasing complexity. Students will be prepared to enroll in Latin reading courses covering individual authors and genres. Offered in fall quarter only. (5 units)

121. Caesar

Reading course in Latin. Representative selections from the Commentarii on the Gallic War and/or Bellum Civile. Consideration of the adaptation of history to political ends. (5 units)

122. Catullus

Reading course in Latin. Lyric poems, short epigrams, and longer mythological poems by the late Republican. (5 units)

123. Roman Comedy

Reading course in Latin. One or more plays by Plautus or Terence. Origins and nature of Roman comedy. (5 units)

124. Ovid: Metamorphoses

Reading course in Latin. Selections from Ovid's epic compendium of mythology. (5 units)

125. Cicero: Philosophical Works

Reading course in Latin. Consideration of Cicero's eclectic philosophy through a careful reading of one or more of his philosophical dialogues. (5 units)

126. Cicero: Oratory and Rhetoric

Reading course in Latin. One or more exemplars of Cicero's rhetorical style or rhetorical theory. Consideration of rhetorical form, figures, and topoi. (5 units)

127. Vergil: Aeneid

Reading course in Latin. The epic poem on the effort of founding Rome and the cost of its greatness. Consideration of the traditional and innovative features of Vergil's epic style and purpose. Attention to epic meter. (5 units)

128. Seneca

Reading course in Latin. Careful reading and discussion of a play by Seneca, with particular consideration of Seneca's cultural context and importance in literary history, including his influence on later dramatists such as Shakespeare. (5 units)

129. Roman Novel

Students will study a Roman Novel, with selections read in Latin and supplementary materials in English. Possible texts include Petronius's Satyricon, a trenchant satire of Roman society under Nero; and Apuleius's Golden Ass, the grim yet ribald tale of a man who accidentally turns himself into a donkey. (5 units)

130. Roman Elegy

Reading course in Latin. Representative selections from the works of Tibullus, Propertius, and Ovid. Origins and development of the elegiac genre. (5 units)

131. Vergil: Eclogues and Georgics

Reading course in Latin. Vergil's earlier works: pastoral poems set in an idealized landscape and the didactic poem on the agriculture and countryside of his native Italy. (5 units)

132. Horace

Reading course in Latin. Selections from the odes and epodes. Attention to the adaptation of Greek lyric forms and rhythms to the Latin language. (5 units)

133. Livy

Reading course in Latin. Selections from the Ab Urbe Condita---the history of Rome from its semimythical founding through monarchy, early Republic, and Punic Wars. (5 units)

134. Roman Letters

Reading course in Latin. Selections from various authors: Cicero, Seneca, Pliny. Discussion of the epistle as literary genre, with focus on the social and historical background of the author. (5 units)

135. Medieval Latin

Major works of prose and poetry from the fourth century to the Renaissance. St. Augustine's Confessions; the histories of Gregory of Tours, Bede, and Einhard; Latin fables; popular songs such as the Carmina Burana; and the humanistic writings of Dante and Petrarch. (5 units)

137. Special Topics in Latin Poetry

Occasional courses in selected authors or genres for advanced students. Possible topics: Lucretius or satire. (5 units)

138. Special Topics in Latin Prose

Occasional courses in selected authors or genres for advanced students. Possible topics: the Roman novel, Tacitus, or other Roman historians. (5 units)

Lower-Division Courses: Greek

21. Elementary Greek I

Introduction to vocabulary, forms, and grammar of Attic Greek. Development of reading skills with supporting exercises in writing. No language laboratory. (4 units)

22. Elementary Greek II

Continuation of Greek I. (4 units)

23. Elementary Greek III

Completion of Greek grammar. Introduction to reading Greek literature. (4 units)

Upper-Division Courses: Greek

116. Greek Art

The course examines Greek art, architecture, and material culture from the Bronze Age through the Roman period. Special attention is paid to the development of art and architecture within political, historical, and cultural contexts. Also listed as ARTH 104. (5 units)

151. Lucian

Reading course in Greek. Selections from the author's satirical treatments of mythology, history, philosophy, and rhetoric and/or from the fantasy called A True Story. Lucian's place in the Second Sophistic. (5 units)

152. Homer: Odyssey

Reading course in Greek. Selected passages demonstrating the fusion of the heroic and the romantic in an epic of peacetime. Consideration of epic meter and conventions. (5 units)

153. Euripides

Reading course in Greek. A complete tragic drama. Attention to characterization, dramatic structure, and poetry, and to Euripides' place in the history of tragedy. Metrical reading of dialogue. (5 units)

154. Herodotus

Reading course in Greek. Selections from the Persian Wars. Herodotus' achievements and limitations as the "Father of History." Peculiarities of the Ionic dialect. (5 units)

155. Plato

Reading course in Greek. Careful reading from one or more dialogues such as Apology, Crito, Phaedo, and Republic. Detailed study of dialogue mode of discourse; overview of Plato's philosophy. (5 units)

156. Greek New Testament

Reading course in Greek. Readings selected from the Koine Greek text of the New Testament with a concentration on the gospels or the epistles. Close reading of the text with a view to theological implications of the vocabulary. Introduction to primary research tools. (5 units)

157. Hesiod

Reading course in Greek. Selected readings from Hesiod's two poems, Works and Days and Theogony. (5 units)

159. Greek Novel

In this Greek reading course, we will study selected chapters from one or more of the ancient Greek novels, paying particular attention to language and style. In addition to our reading, we will also explore the genre of the novel and the literary, historical, and social contexts surrounding the development of this literary phenomenon. (5 units)

161. Homer: Iliad

Reading course in Greek. Selected passages illustrating the course and consequences of the wrath of Achilles and the nature of the hero. Consideration of epic meter and conventions. (5 units)

162. Sophocles

Reading course in Greek. A complete tragic drama. Attention to characterization, dramatic structure, and poetry, and to the author's particular contributions to the development of the tragic form. Metrical reading of the text. (5 units)

163. Aeschylus

Reading course in Greek. A complete tragic drama. Attention to characterization, dramatic structure, and poetry, and to the author's particular contributions to the development of the tragic form. Metrical reading of the text. (5 units)

164. Oratory

Reading course in Greek. Selections from a representative Greek orator such as Demosthenes or Lysias. Consideration of classical rhetorical forms and topoi. (5 units)

165. Aristophanes

Reading course in Greek. A complete comic drama. Attention to dramatic structure, characterization, poetry, political and social commentary, comedic style, and to Aristophanes' place in the history of comedy. (5 units)

167. Special Topics in Greek Poetry

Occasional courses in selected authors or genres for advanced students. Possible topics: Lyric, Homeric Hymns, or Pindar. (5 units)

168. Special Topics in Greek Prose

Occasional courses in selected authors or genres for advanced students. Possible topics: Thucydides or Xenophon. (5 units)

Lower-Division Courses: Classics

11A. and 12A. Cultures & Ideas I and II

A two-course sequence focusing on a major theme in human experience and culture over a significant period of time. Courses emphasize either broad global interconnections or the construction of Western culture in its global context. Courses will address significant texts, ideas, issues, and events in their historical context from a humanistic perspective. Classics topics include Barbarians and Savages, Gods and Mortals, and Heroes and Heroism. Successful completion of C&I I (CLAS 11A) is a prerequisite for C&I II (CLAS 12A). (4 units each quarter)

41. Word Workshop: Scientific Etymology

English derives much of its everyday vocabulary from Latin and much of its scientific vocabulary from Greek. This class will help you build your vocabulary and acquire the tools to figure out words that you do not already know by teaching you the basics of English word formation and some common Greek and Latin morphemes. (2 units)

42. Greek and Roman Heroes in Hollywood

Movies have fascinated their audiences with Greek myths for decades but are notorious for playing fast and loose with the ancient stories. This course examines the classical sources for, and some cinematic versions of, classical figures such as Perseus or Heracles (topic varies). (2 units)

51. History of Philosophy: Classical and Medieval

Beginnings of Western philosophy. Representative philosophers of the Greek and Medieval traditions, with attention to their historical milieu and their relevance to contemporary thought. Also listed as PHIL 14. (4 units)

60. Introduction to Ancient Studies

An exploration of the nature of political and religious authority; that is, the relationship between the individual, the state, and the divine---in three different ancient civilizations. The primary "texts" for this investigation are the representative monuments of each culture: the pyramids of Egypt (particularly the Old Kingdom), the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem in the united monarchy, and the roads of classical Rome. (4 units)

61. Ancient Empires

The course examines the construction and manipulation of identities in three ancient empires---Achaemenid Persian, Seleucid, and Roman---as well as cultures on their peripheries. Both literary and material sources are used to study how the inhabitants and rulers of these large, cosmopolitan empires defined themselves. (4 units)

63. Ancient Eros: Sex and Religion in Ancient Greece

This course explores the various manifestations and significance of sex ("Bittersweet Eros"), both the deity and the divinely-inspired passion, in ancient Greece. While this course focuses on examining the socio-religious significance of Aphrodite and her son, Eros (the Roman Cupid), it is also designed to provoke an open conversation about responses to sex found in relevant contemporary religious expression. Assignments are derived from Greek and Roman literature, philosophy, historiography, and art, as well as from contemporary magazines, scholarly journals and books, religious documents, and movies. Participation in class discussion is mandatory for this seminar-style course. (4 units)

65. Classical Mythology

Principal gods and heroes of Greek and Roman antiquity: their stories, significance, and pictorial representations. Implications of myth in society and possible origins of myth. Important background for European and English literature. (4 units)

67. Ancient Greek Religion

Consideration of the differing attitudes and expectations of polytheisms and monotheisms, and of religious expression in the context of classical Greek cult and ritual. Readings are drawn from a wide variety of literary, historical, philosophical, and epigraphical texts. Also listed as HIST 16. (4 units)

68. Ancient Roman Religion

Examination of religious practices, institutions, and beliefs of the ancient Romans. Special consideration of interconnections in Roman religiosity between the acts/beliefs of individuals and the concerns of the state. Concludes with philosophic mysticism, magic, mystery religions, and Christianity. Also listed as HIST 17. (4 units)

75. Classics in Cinema

A survey of the classical world through selected dramatic films illustrating sequentially the cultural and political history of ancient Greece and Rome. Close viewings of popular films, with comparative reference to sources and practice in the techniques of film criticism. (4 units)

Upper-Division Courses: Classics

108. Ancient Greece

A survey of Hellenic history from the Bronze Age to Alexander the Great. Emphasis on the rise and fall of the polis as an independent social, cultural, and political community. Also listed as HIST 108. (5 units)

109. The Hellenistic Age

A cultural, social, and political review of Alexander the Great's conquests and their Hellenistic ramifications through the reign of Egypt's Cleopatra VII. Also listed as HIST 109. (5 units)

110. Roman Republic

A political, military, social, and cultural review of the rise and fall of the most successful state the West has ever known. Also listed as HIST 110. (5 units)

111. Roman Empire

A political, social, and cultural survey of the Roman Empire beginning with Augustus and tracing changes in Rome from the development of the Roman Empire as a world state to the development of Christianity as a world religion. Also listed as HIST 111. (5 units)

113. Democracy Under Siege: Ancient Athens and Modern America

This course will trace the fate of the Athenian democracy after the Peloponnesian War through the Hellenistic Age (circa 404 to 307 CE). It will cover the foreign and domestic policies of Athens through this period, and cover both the problems and the opposition to democracy by non-democratic polities as well as by those opponents of democracy who lived in Athens itself. Although the United States is a republic and not a democracy in the Athenian mode (which in fact, was the intent of our republic's founders), the U.S. in the 21st century is facing comparable opposition both domestically and in the realm of foreign affairs to those which confronted the ancient Athenians. Parallels between the world of the 4th century CE and 2012 will not only be noted, they will be emphasized through readings and class discussions. Also listed as HIST 132. (5 units)

115. Numismatics

This course will study how the minting of coins changed the Western world politically, sociologically, and economically. It will use the minting of ancient coins to investigate ancient economies and the political structures from which they emerged. Technical aspects of the minting of coins will be addressed, as will the artistic achievements of ancient engravers. (5 units)

118. The Rise of Macedonia Through the Youth of Alexander the Great

Europe's first royal dynasty---that of the Macedonian Argead House---produced two kings in 4th century BCE, Philip II and Alexander III (the "Great"), who changed the course of Western history forever. Thoroughly steeped in the culture of the polis, Macedonia and its kings nevertheless represented the antithesis of the city states' political achievements. This course will focus on the development of the Macedonian kingdom from its earliest days through the reign of its greatest king, Philip (circa 650--336 BCE). It will preface the meteoric career of Macedon's most famous monarch, Alexander, and the Hellenistic age that followed. Also listed as HIST 106. (5 units)

141. Love and Relationships in Classical Antiquity

An examination of the many forms of loving and erotic relationships as they pertained to the Greek and Roman quest for the best human life. Readings in Euripides, Sappho, Ovid, Plato, Aristotle, and many others from genres of poetry, essays, letters, tragedy, and philosophy. Also listed as PHIL 141D and WGST 133. (5 units)

146. Age of Socrates

A study of Socrates as both a historical and literary figure, with special attention to his political and cultural context, and to our three chief sources on him and his philosophical activities: Aristophanes, Plato, and Xenophon. Also listed as PHIL 141. (5 units)

148. Classical Moral Crises: Torture, Slavery, and other Ethical Dilemmas in the Ancient World

This course explores some of the difficult topics (e.g., slavery, torture, rape) discussed by ancient Greek and Roman authors. We will read a variety of texts to examine some of the issues important to these ancient cultures and how Greek and Roman authors advised on these issues in order to live a more politically, socially, and spiritually correct life. In addition to our critiques of the ancient texts, we will be discussing similar modern issues, and evaluating the ways in which the ancient materials provide a cultural and rhetorical foundation for understanding and talking about these matters. (5 units)

171. Ancient Science and Technology: Atoms, Aqueducts, and Alchemy

This course examines the development of science and technology in the ancient Mediterranean, with a focus on Greek city-states, Hellenistic kingdoms in the age of Alexander the Great and Cleopatra, and the Roman Empire. The creation and evolution of ancient scientific disciplines are studied, as is the use of technology in construction, warfare, agriculture, religion, manufacturing, and medicine. Both ancient theory and practice are examined within their cultural, social, political, and economic context. (5 units)

172. Roman Studies: Rocks, Coins, and Pots

This course provides an introduction to the study of the Roman world, with emphasis on the use of quantitative and qualitative research methods. Students will be introduced to the disciplines of archaeology, numismatics, epigraphy, and ceramic studies, and within these disciplines will examine and compare different methods of evaluating ancient evidence and data sets. Through utilizing different types of evidence and modes of analysis, this course introduces students to the society, culture, history, and economy of the Roman world from the Iron Age to Late Antiquity. Also listed as HIST 107 and ANTH 173. (5 units)

175. Topics in Classical Literature

Occasional courses or seminars in specialized topics. Consult current course descriptions for details. (5 units)

176. Topics in Ancient History

Occasional courses or seminars in specialized topics. Consult current course descriptions for details. (5 units)

177. Topics in Ancient Philosophy

Occasional courses or seminars in specialized topics. Consult current course descriptions for details. (5 units)

178. Topics in Classical Culture

Occasional courses or seminars in specialized topics. Consult current course descriptions for details. Also listed as HIST 129. (5 units)

180. Ancient and Modern Laughter

Students will investigate the nature and psychosocial functions of laughter, with a particular eye to the Greek and Roman roots of Western comedy. Readings will focus on comedic plays by Aristophanes, Plautus, and Terence, supplemented with readings of ancient and modern humor theorists and psychologists. For each playwright, we will also analyze one popular recent movie and other modern analogs of humor and plot structures. Students will demonstrate their understanding of the material by collaborating over the course of the term to write, costume, and perform original plays in imitation of the ancient playwrights. (5 units)

181. Classical Tragedy

Representative works of the principal Greek tragic playwrights: Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. Features of the tragic genre, its origins, and the conventions of its performance. Also listed as THTR

  1. (5 units)

184. Classical Mythology in the Western Tradition

An exploration of some of the ways authors from the classical period through the 20th century have manipulated Greek myths for their own poetic and political purposes. Focus is on the legends surrounding the fall of Troy, with particular attention paid to the shifting character of perhaps the two most protean figures in Greek mythology: Odysseus and Helen. Texts include selections from Homer's Iliad, Vergil's Aeneid, and Dante's Inferno, and unexcerpted works by Homer, Sophocles, Euripides, Gorgias and Isocrates, Ovid, Seneca, Dictys and Dares, Shakespeare, Tennyson, Giraudoux, modern Greek poets, and the Coen brothers. (5 units)

185. Gender in Antiquity

Investigation into the representation and the reality of gender in social, economic, political, and religious contexts in the classical world. Also listed as WGST 157. (5 units)

187. The Democratic Muse: Public Art in Athens and the United States

This course will compare and contrast the function of publicly funded art in the two most celebrated Western democracies, classical Athens and the United States. After exploring the "meaning" of the Parthenon, students will discuss the civic role and thematic significance of important (and usually controversial) examples of Greek and American public art and examine what they have to say about imperialism war, religion, gender, and economic policy. In what way can the arts promote a civil society? How is art "good" for democracy, and vice versa? Should a democracy fund the arts, and if so, how? (5 units)

188. Justice: Ancient and Modern

This course explores classical Greek concepts of justice in philosophy, literature, mythology, and dramas and as practiced in the classical courtroom. Student debates about controversial modern American court cases will demonstrate the relevance of these ancient thoughts and practices to the complex issue of how justice is defined and practiced today. (5 units)

197A. Capstone I

Biweekly seminar on various topics, combined with initial research for senior thesis. The identification of a coherent topic of thesis, development of a detailed outline, and preparation of an annotated bibliography, are conducted under the active direction of a member of the classics faculty. Prerequisites: For senior classics majors only; permission of instructor and department chair required. (3 units)

197B. Capstone II

Continuation of seminar in addition to supervised completion of the final draft, public oral presentation, and defense of the senior thesis. Prerequisites: CLAS 197A. For senior classics majors only; permission of instructor and department chair required. (3 units)

199. Directed Reading/Research

Individually designed programs of reading or research, in Latin, Greek, or classics (i.e., literature in translation or culture). Prerequisites: Available to advanced students. Permission of instructor and department chair required. (5 units)

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