Classical Studies Course Offerings
CLAS 101 Elementary Latin
An introduction to classical Latin with emphasis on the grammar, syntax and vocabulary necessary for reading Latin prose and poetry. The course also stresses the influence of Latin on English vocabulary. Fall semester.
CLAS 102 Intermediate Latin – GS7
A continuation of CLAS 101, with extended reading passages in Latin prose and poetry. Prerequisite: CLAS 101 or instructor’s consent. Spring semester.
CLAS 111 Elementary Greek 1
An introduction to Attic Greek with emphasis on the grammar, syntax and vocabulary necessary for reading Greek prose and poetry. Fall semester.
CLAS 112 Elementary Greek 2 – GS7
A continuation of CLAS 111, with extended reading passages in Greek prose and poetry. Prerequisite: CLAS 111. Spring semester.
CLAS 200 / RELS 200 Augustine and the Classical World
This course surveys the life and times of Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354-430), one of the great thinkers of the Western world. With more than 100 books, 200 letters and 500 sermons, he left a lasting impact on Western philosophy, religion and culture, and was a major influence in shaping the theology of Western Christianity. The classical heritage of Greece and Rome influenced Augustine’s thinking and in turn his impact on the late Roman world. We will attempt to understand how the synthesis produced by Augustine is both a final flowering of classical civilization and a cornerstone of the coming Christian civilization of the Middle Ages. Spring semester, alternate years.
CLAS 203 Readings in Latin – GS7
An in-depth reading and study of an extended work by a major Latin author. Normally this would be from the writings of Cicero or Seneca. Depending on the students’ interests, readings may also be selected from the Roman historians or early patristic Christian authors. Fall semester.
CLAS 207 / PHIL 207 Greek Philosophy
A study of the ancient Greek thinkers who began Western philosophy with a focus on Plato and Aristotle. Fall semester.
CLAS 209 / PHIL 209 Hellenistic Philosophy
The course introduces students to the three major schools of Hellenistic philosophy that dominated Greek thought after Aristotle (Skepticism, Stoicism and Epicureanism) and their respective attempts to refine or reject the classical conception of the good life. Students explore principally the ethical implications of the Hellenistic movement, though certain issues in metaphysics and epistemology are covered as well. J-term.
CLAS 213 Intermediate Greek – GS7
A completion of the study of grammar, syntax and vocabulary of Greek prose and poetry. Readings include selections from Herodotus, Thucydides and Plato. Prerequisite: CLAS 112. Fall semester.
CLAS 260 / RELS 260 Early Christian Monasticism
This course traces Christian monasticism from its rise in the deserts of Egypt and Syria to its spread throughout the Roman Empire and beyond, specifically to Ireland. In the Christian and non-Christian contexts, concepts of asceticism and holiness prevalent in various cultures of antiquity, and monasticism’s relationship to the wider Church and society will be examined. Early monasticism exerted a powerful influence on the development of medieval Christian culture in both the Latin West and Byzantine Greek East, and continues to be an important factor in models of asceticism and holiness in many parts of the modern world. Spring semester, alternate years.
CLAS 314 / PHIL 314 / POLI 314 Classical and Medieval Political Thought
An examination of the political theories of major ancient and medieval thinkers. Issues such as the origin, purpose, nature and types of political societies, the meaning of citizenship, the relation of the individual to society and the meaning of authority and rulership will be investigated in the writings of Plato, Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas. Fall semester, alternate years.
CLAS 325 / WOLT 325 Classical Mythology – GS10
This course will study both Greek and Roman mythology in their literary and cultural contexts. The course will consider the meanings, purposes and universality of various myths, such as the stories of Prometheus, Orpheus, Oedipus and Aeneas. It may also include comparative elements, touching for example, Norse, Celtic and American Indian myths.
CLAS 326 / HIST 326 The History of Ancient Greece
This course explores ancient Greek civilization from its dawn in the second millennium B.C. to its absorption by the Roman Empire in the third century B.C. Key themes will include: tyranny and democracy; innovations in philosophy and science; competition through warfare and athletics; mythology, poetry and history; and new standards in art and architecture. This course seeks to illustrate how different our world would be without the vibrant and creative culture of ancient Greece. Fall semester, alternate years.
CLAS 327 / RELS 327 Ancient Wisdom and the Modern Search for Meaning – GS 1 (Upper)
What is the good life? What can a person truly know? Is there justice in the world? These are some of the fundamental, universal questions of the human condition. Answers to these questions from the biblical tradition are most readily found in those books of the Hebrew Bible collectively known as the wisdom literature. This course will raise these fundamental questions and look at how the biblical wisdom literature answers them, along with similar writings from elsewhere in the ancient world as well as modern literature and film. As a result of this analysis, students will have the opportunity to construct a coherent and viable structure of meaning for their own life’s journey.
CLAS 328 / HIST 328 The History of Ancient Rome
This course is an exploration of Roman civilization from its origin in a tiny Italian village in the eighth century B.C. to the decline of its vast empire in the fifth century A.D. Key themes include political, administrative and legal achievements; conquest, imperialism and multi-culturalism; the shift from republic to empire; daily life in town and country; the impact of Christianity; architecture and urbanism. This course is designed to provide students with a firm grounding in the Roman experience and a keen awareness of what we today owe the Romans of the distant past. Spring semester, alternate years.
CLAS 334 / PHIL 334 Tragedy and Philosophy – GS 10
A study of tragedy as a dramatic and literary form, and the different Western philosophical theories of tragedy inspired by that art form. One half of the course concentrates on Greek tragedy (Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides) and its commentators, both ancient (Plato, Aristotle) and modern. The second half examines both Renaissance and modern examples of the tragic tradition with contemporary philosophical readings on the significance of that tradition. Spring semester.
CLAS 335 A Brief History of Body Parts – GS 10/12
The course traces the impact of ancient medical thought on modern medical theory and practice, studying how concepts foundational to modern medicine got their start in the classical world. Such concepts include not only certain anatomical structures and physiological functions, but the very idea of anatomy itself – literally, a “dividing up” of the body into parts – as the basis for a naturalistic understanding of health and disease and ultimately for the therapeutic approaches characteristic of Western medicine. Maymester.
CLAS 490 Independent Study
This course allows a student and instructor to read a major classical author or text of particular interest. Prerequisites: instructor’s consent and approval of the associate dean of humanities and fine arts.
RELS 314 The Origins of Biblical Monotheism – GS 1 (Upper)
This course explores the development of monotheism in ancient Israel, the culture which produced the Hebrew Bible. The course will focus on the reflections about the divine found in the Bible, alongside central religious texts from Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome. In particular, the course will examine criticisms of these traditional religious visions as articulated by ancient intellectuals such as Plato, Cicero and, most importantly, the anonymous biblical authors who argued forcefully that the God of Moses could not be represented by any kind of figure in the limited human sphere. The course will expose students to a number of influential and classic ancient texts and interpret their varying religious claims. Fulfills General Education Area 1 Upper – Religious Studies Requirement.