The advanced study of a specific topic in Mediterranean civilizations or literature. Recent courses have treated such topics as Plato on Love and Pleasure, Gender in the Greek and Roman World, Damnation and Salvation, Socrates--The Mind and the Myth, Great Archaeological Discoveries, Greek and Roman Law, and Ancient History and Film. May be repeated for credit with topic changes. Information on upcoming topics courses can be found on the departmental Web page.
Fall Semester informationMichael Seaman
300A: Tps:Ancient Athletics
With the opening ceremonies in Tokyo, Japan of the postponed 2020 Summer Games on July 23, 2021, the modern Olympic Games turned 125 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, 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 origins 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.