Study of a specific topic in Mediterranean civilizations or literature. May be repeated for credit with different topics.
Fall Semester informationJames 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.
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.
Spring Semester informationPedar Foss
200A: Tps:Roman Republic
This course examines the development of the Roman Republic from its `Age of Kings' to its disintegration in the throes of first-century BC civil war. From the beginning, Rome was a mix of social and cultural groups, and the Roman skill for adapting to and integrating other societies into its system (though rarely peacefully) was one of the city's greatest strengths, and a secret to its longevity. Despite massive political and social changes, the 'Roman phenomenon' marched onward, propelled by frightening military destruction, skillful diplomatic maneuvering, and economic opportunism. Students will analyze primary sources (histories, inscriptions, letters, speeches, philosophies, and poetry), and practice interpreting that evidence towards making persuasive arguments about early Roman civilization. The course is designated as a 'W'; students will do significant writing and re-writing. In addition, we will engage historical evidence and experience (and the contingency of history) through re-enactment and game-play.