02412/Greek, Hebrew, and Roman Classics

The department offers two types of courses: (a) Classics courses in English on various aspects of Mediterranean life and literature. No knowledge of Greek, Hebrew, or Latin languages is required; (b) courses in Greek, Hebrew, or Latin, in which the student acquires the basic skills necessary to read texts in the original, and, at advanced levels, reads extensively in texts by major authors. These courses range from Classical Mythology, to Roman Historians, to a series on the Ancient City. For detailed information on all courses, please see the Classics Department web site.

Lower Division Courses

C071/H091. Greek Drama and Culture (3 s.h.) S. Core: AR.

Introduction to ancient Greek drama and the society that produced it. The course examines in detail tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, and comedies of Aristophanes. Among the topics considered are: tragic and comic festivals, the nature of Greek theaters, theatrical production techniques, religion and drama, women and tragedy, tragic and comic heroism, democracy and drama, myth and tragedy, and the legacy of Greek tragedy in the modern world.

Note: Attendance at theatrical productions encouraged or required.

C077. Introduction to the Ancient City (3 s.h.) F. Core: IS.

Introduction to the people, urban forms, and urban institutions of the ancient Greco-Roman world. Readings from translations of primary materials and from modern authors will survey such cities as Corinth, Pergamon, and Ostia. Audio-visual enhancement.

C086. Israel in the Middle East (3 s.h.) S. Core: IS.

Survey of Israel's history and geography, followed by consideration on major issues facing the nation and its neighbors: water supply, political structure, society, culture, economy, and the peace process.

Upper Division Courses

0111/H111. Gender in Antiquity (3 s.h.) F.

What can we learn about the lives of ancient Greek and  Roman women from ancient literature- literature written primarily by men?   Can we piece together the everyday lives of Greek or Roman women of  any social class?  Even if we believe in the equality of the sexes, would a word like "equality" have had any meaning to the ancients?  In this class  we will find answers to these questions by reading Greek and Latin  sources in translation as well as the works of modern Classicists.  While  focusing on women`s lives, we will gain a greater understanding of what  was expected of both genders in the ancient world

Note: Sometimes offered as H111

R112. Race: Ancient and Modern (3 s.h.) F. Core: IS and RS.

Comparative case studies on race and ethnicity in the ancient and modern worlds, concentrating on events and themes in the modern world that originate in or share key traits with racial/ethnic relations in Greek and Roman antiquity. These include: notions of racial formation and racial origins; theories of ethnic superiority; the relationship among slavery, trade and colonization, imperialism, genocide, assimilation, and native revolts; racial migration; linguistic and cultural differentiation; Indo-European language and culture; and ethnic differentiation in modern Mediterranean cultures.

0141. Mid-Eastern Literature in Translation (3 s.h.)

Different selections from Israeli and Arab literature are offered each semester. Special attention is given to the development of traditional and non-traditional forms. Prevalent social, moral and religious themes are discussed.

0147. Kabbalah and Mysticism (3 s.h.) S.

Introduction to the basic concepts, worldview and psychology of the Kabbalah. Mystical experiences and spiritual practices of the Kabbalists are situated within the context of comparative mysticism

0150. Love Themes (3 s.h.) F.

A selection of love poetry from the Song of Songs, Spanish Jewish poets in the Middle Ages and contemporary Israeli poets. Analysis of the figurative devices, themes and the different stages of love.

0160/W160. Ancient Greek Historians (3 s.h.) F. Core: W160:WI.

This course will survey Greek history from 800 BCE until the death of Alexander the Great (323 BCE) and the works of two of the most important Greek historians: Herodotus and Thucydides. A major component of the course will be an examination of the historiographical methods of these writers, but attention also will be paid to the other types of sources that are available.

0161/W161. Ancient Roman Historians (3 s.h.) S. Core: W161:WI.

This course will survey Roman history from the founding of Rome in the 8th century BCE through the fall of Rome in the 5th century CE. A major component of the course will be an examination of the texts and historiographical methods of important Roman historians such as Livy, Sallust and Tacitus, but attention also will be paid to other types of sources.

W241. Romans and Their Literature (3 s.h.) F. Core: WI.

This course will examine some of the great works of Roman historians, poets and novelists with a view to understanding the Romans’ beliefs about themselves and their world. The class will investigate the origins of the Roman people through the eyes of the historian Livy as well as the great epicist Virgil, who standardized the foundation myth of the Romans in his Aeneid. Comparing the works of Cicero and Catullus will introduce life during the last days of the Republic, while the poetry and real-life tragic end of the brilliant career of the Augustan poet Ovid will raise questions about the glory of the dawning Empire. Suetonius' gossipy record of the lives of the first twelve emperors, and Petronius' zany “novel,” the Satyricon, are fascinating guides to Rome in the first century.

0251/W251. Classical Greek and Roman Mythology (3 s.h.) F SS. Core: W251:WI.

An overview of the major myths survey of Greek and Roman antiquity including appropriate gods, heroes and heroines, and the stories told about them. The course examines the nature and social function of mythology, studying a number of different ancient and modern theories that attempt to account for this seemingly universal phenomenon. Also considered is the legacy of classical mythology in modern art and literature, including popular culture. This course provides students with the tools to understand other myths, both ancient and modern. Students encounter ancient myths through a variety of primary sources.

0252/W252. Comparative Mythology (3 s.h.) S. Core: W252:WI.

Materials from a variety of cultures will show how human beings deal with such ideas as the creation of the universe and mankind, the definition of the hero, order in the cosmos, and eschatology. Greek and Roman myths will serve throughout as the basis for comparison with a varying selection of myths from other cultures.

Note: Offered even number spring semesters.

0253. Hebrew, Myth and Legend (3 s.h.) S.

Cross Listed with Jewish Studies 0302.

The course will cover a selection of 3000 years of Hebrew legend and folktale. Two sources will be used. The first is stories that are included in the Bible, Mishnah, Talmud, and other written collections of stories. The second source is a collection of oral stories published by the Israel Institute for Folklore. Themes and literary devices will be analyzed, and the use of allegory, fable, and symbol will be explored. Stories and motifs will be compared to the international classification of motifs by S. Thompson. References will be made to the social religious functions of the legend.

Note: The course will be conducted in English.

W254. Classical Epic (3 s.h.) S. Core: WI.

A comparative study and close reading of the major heroic epics of the ancient Mediterranean, including Gilgamesh (Mesopotamia), Iliad and Odyssey (Greece), Aeneid (Rome). Other epics from both Greek and Roman antiquity and from other cultures might be studied as well. Topics to be discussed include the warrior ethic, heroic friendship, oral vs. literate poetry, the social function of epic and its historicity, myth and epic, and the changing nature of heroism. We will also pay attention to the heritage of classical epic in the modern world. Students will leave with a thorough understanding of this genre that is so important for Western and World literature.

0260/W260. Topics in Classical Culture (3 s.h.) F S. Core: W260:WI.

Topics from classical antiquity which are of general and current interest based on reading Greek and Roman texts in translation. Lectures, audiovisual presentations, and large and small group work used to explore the significance of the texts.

0261/W261. Topics in Hebrew Culture (3 s.h.) F S. Core: W261:WI.

Topics from Hebrew culture, which are of general and current interest based on reading Hebrew texts in translation. Lectures, audiovisual presentations, and large and small group work used to explore the significance of the texts.

0263/W263. Ancient City: Periclean Athens (3 s.h.) Core: W263:WI.

Focusing on Athens in the 5th century BCE., this course will survey the history of the period but will concentrate on life in a major ancient participatory democracy. We will cover drama, philosophy, archaeology, and daily life.

0264/W264. Ancient City: Hellenistic Alexandria (3 s.h.) S. Core: W264:WI.

At the death of Alexander his general Ptolemy moved the capital of Egypt from Memphis to Alexandria, which soon became renowned for buildings such as the Library and the Lighthouse, and as a center for commerce and arts. We will survey the art, literature, philosophy, social and economic foundations, and urban problems of this largest of Greek cities.

0265/W265. Ancient City: Augustan Rome (3 s.h.) S. Core: W265:WI.

As first princeps (emperor of Rome) Augustus claimed to re-establish republican Rome after years of external and internal wars. We will study the city that emerged from the efforts of architects, engineers and artists of all kinds enlisted to assist Augustus in the new founding of Rome.

0266/W266. Ancient City: Jerusalem (3 s.h.) S. Core: W266:WI.

Jerusalem, the ancient eternal magnet for Islam, Christianity and Judaism, is always in the news. 5000 years old, the city whose name means harmony and peace was destroyed and rebuilt twenty times. The course will explore the centrality of the city in mid-eastern history and will try to answer the eternal question: Why Jerusalem?

0267/W267. Ancient City: Byzantium (3 s.h.) S. Core: W267:WI.

The Greek colony Byzantium found new life as capital of the Christianized Roman Empire from the 4th century to the 15th century CE. This course explores the art, architecture, literature, military, political and social history of Constantinople from its re-founding by Constantine I through the early centuries of its eminence.

0275. Israelis and Arabs (3 s.h.) S.

Cross Listed with Jewish Studies 0331.

The four phases of the relationship between Israelis and Arabs as reflected in Israeli literature will be examined. The first phase is the romantic, erotic phase exemplified by the works of Smilansky. The second phase is the moral phase, which will be illustrated by the works of S. Izhar. The third phase is the realistic phase. The fourth is the most problematic one, as it reflects the guilt feelings, hatred, fear, and confusion of the present.

Note: The course will be conducted in English.

0278/W278. Jewish Humor Past and Present (3 s.h.) F S SS. Core: W278:WI.

This survey of development of Jewish humor from the medieval ages through the Enlightenment through modern Israel focuses on the different literary forms of wit and humor. Representative works and authors are Ibn Zabara, Book of Delight; Perl, The Discovery of Secrets; and Shalom Aleichem selections. The course concludes with selections from Kishon, Ben-Amotz (Israel), Woody Allen, Sam Levenson, and Nadir (U.S.).

Note: The course will be conducted in English.

0279/W279. Literature and Art of the Holocaust (3 s.h.) F SS. Core: W279:WI.

Cross Listed with Jewish Studies 0231.

One of the main assumptions of the course is that the Holocaust, which was considered to be a Jewish catastrophe, is humanity's catastrophe and affirmation of the bankruptcy and failing of Western civilization. The literature of the Holocaust transmits the horrors and terrors in concentration camps, on the trains and in the snowy fields.

Note: The course will be conducted in English.

0379. Holocaust and Resistance (3 s.h.) F.

Selection from the literature of the Holocaust and resistance during the Second World War. Through the selections, the class will explore life and death on another planet where logic is non-existent and where terror, disbelief, and loss of faith are dominant. An attempt will be made to reveal the challenge of portraying the experiences of the Holocaust.

0380/0381/0382. Independent Study (2, 3, 4 s.h.) F S.

Prerequisite: Permission of department chairperson.

Intensive study under individual guidance in a specific area suggested by the student and approved by the department adviser.

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