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CLST 200

Topics in Classical Studies

Study of a specific topic in Mediterranean civilizations or literature. May be repeated for credit with different topics.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

Spring Semester information

Michael Seaman

200A: Tps:Ancient Warfare

"War is the father of all and king of all." With these words, the ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus expressed the view that strife was a natural and necessary state of affairs in the world. Indeed, warfare as a deliberate state policy is a theme that runs through Western Civilization, if not world history. War and its consequences were an unavoidable part of daily life in the ancient world. This course is a study of ancient warfare with an emphasis on Greece and Rome. We begin with a brief look at warfare in the ancient Near East, including Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Assyria. We then shift our focus to the ancient Greek world with studies of the Bronze Age, Homeric warfare, the hoplite phalanx, Sparta, the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars, and the Age of Alexander the Great. Lastly, we look at Roman Warfare from the Punic Wars and Hannibal to Julius Caesar to the Fall of Rome. We look not only at major battles but pay particular attention to the function of warfare in society and its impact on political and social history. Additional topics studied include battle formations, armor, generalship, tactics and strategies, weapon lethality, technology and warfare, siege warfare, civilians in warfare, the economics of war, and treatment of the defeated.

Fall Semester information

James Wells

200A: Tps:Backroads, Witchcraft, Romance: The Ancient Novel

Ancient popular literature offers a portrait of the Mediterranean world that depicts figures underrepresented in other ancient literature, such as women, slaves, bandits, witches, merchants, and practitioners of mystery religions. Works include Greek authors of popular literature such as Lucian and Longus , The Life of Aesop and Aesop's fables, the Roman novels Petronius' Satyricon and Apuleius' Metamorphoses (or The Golden Ass). No prior knowledge of ancient Greek and Roman literature and culture is required for this course.

Michael Seaman

200B: Tps:Ancient Athletics

With the opening ceremonies in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil of the Summer Games on August 5, 2016, the modern Olympic Games will turn 120 years old; they are a renewal, after a lapse of 1600 years, of the peaceful competition of the ancient Olympics, which continued for almost 1200 years (since 776 BC). We are well informed by ancient authors about the sites and facilities of ancient athletics, the sites, their monuments and programs and the history of these ancient contests. This course will study the world of sports in Greco-Roman Antiquity, with an emphasis on the social, political and economic impact the games had on ancient Greek and Roman civilization. Some themes of ancient athletics to be explored are: the origin of athletics, women in ancient athletics, motivations of athletes and their rewards, the architecture of sports, and the violence of ancient athletics. When appropriate, comparisons will be made between Greek and Roman athletics as well as between ancient and modern concepts of sports. Our time will be divided equally between ancient Greece, where we will look in depth at the ancient Olympics and the other pan-Hellenic athletic contests, and ancient Rome, home to the infamous gladiatorial contests and celebrated chariot races. No previous knowledge of ancient history is required.