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Classics Courses

Course information found here includes all permanent offerings and is updated regularly whenever Academic Senate approves changes. For historical information, see the Course Catalogs. For actual course availability in any given term, use Course Search in the Portal.

Classics Courses

CLAS 100. Classical Mythology (1). From the wrath of Achilles to the Golden Bough, this class examines how ancient civilizations used mythology to make sense of their world. Students develop skills in literary and contextual analysis while investigating the intellectual traditions of myth and its role in intercultural exchange. The class also focuses on how the study of the ancient world can help us understand and appreciate our own modern mythologies. (5T) Offered each fall.

CLAS 200. Graeco-Roman Literature and its Post-Classical Tradition (.5, 1). The focus of this entry-level topics course is on either a specific genre, such as epic, tragedy, or comedy, or on a particular myth, such as that of Medea. May be repeated for credit if topic is different. (5T) Offered each spring.

CLAS 201. Beloit Blocks: Ghosts of Rome (1). Rome is a city of ghosts, of sharp juxtapositions between ancient and modern, then and now. It is haunted by a past that also sustains it, culturally and economically. Some ghosts are sanctioned, others are not; some are displayed, some reveal themselves, and others have to be sought. This course engages students in an imaginative approach to the ancient and modern city, exploring its past and present and learning how our own experiences (of history, urban spaces, culture, and even college itself) inevitably change the landscape of our investigation. Students spend a week in Beloit immersing themselves in Roman history, calibrating approaches to on-site study, and planning for study abroad. The class then travels to Italy, where we spend ten days hunting the ghosts of Rome—those that live there, and those we bring with us. (2A) Offered occasionally during the Beloit block session.

CLAS 220. Greek Civilization (1). What can a study of the ancient Greeks teach us about history, politics, philosophy, law, literature, gender, sexuality, and art? And how reliable are works of literature as historical sources? This course follows the birth and progression of Greek societies from the Bronze Age through the death of Alexander the Great. Students learn much about the Greeks, but are also challenged both to extract nuanced historical information from literary sources and to relate the ancient material of the course to modern day practices, ideas, and structures. (3B) Offered fall term (even years).

CLAS 225. Roman Civilization (1). Ancient Rome produced great works of literature, art, and architecture, and was the model for the American Republic. Yet its people enjoyed the bloodsports of the arena and engaged in the ruthless conquest and subjugation of much of the Mediterranean world. This course explores the history and culture of this seemingly contradictory civilization, from its origins as an Etruscan kingdom through the rise of the Republic and its transition into Empire. Through a critical and integrated analysis of literary and material culture, students develop a picture of what it meant to be Roman, and consider what it might mean to see ourselves as the inheritors of a Roman tradition. (Also listed as History 222.) (3B) Offered fall term (odd years).

CLAS 230. Ancient Greco-Italian Art and Architecture (1). An introduction to the art and architecture of ancient Greece, Etruria, and Rome, from the Early Bronze Age through the Imperial period. Special emphasis is given to Minoan and Mycenaean material remains, classical Athens, and Rome of the late Republic and early Empire. Students engage in creative independent and group projects as part of their study. (2A) (Also listed as Art History 210.) Offered occasionally. Prerequisite: one course in either classics, art history, or archaeology, or consent of instructor.

CLAS 250. Special Topics (1). The subject and content of this intermediate topics course change according to the training and special interest of the instructor. May be repeated for credit if topic is different. (5T) Prerequisite: Classics 100 or 200, or consent of instructor. Offered occasionally.

CLAS 251. Special Topics (1). The subject and content of this intermediate topics course change according to the training and special interest of the instructor. May be repeated for credit if topic is different. (3B). Prerequisite: Classics 100 or 200, or consent of instructor. Offered occasionally.

CLAS 350. Classics and You: a Capstone (.5). This course has three goals: (1) embark on an in-depth study of a topic, chosen in consultation with classmates and faculty; (2) share written work-in-progress with peers and faculty; (3) investigate the state of classics in academia and in contemporary American culture, which can include research into secondary, undergraduate, and graduate curricula and programs. (CP) Prerequisite: junior standing, Classics 100, Classics 220 or 225, and Latin or Greek 100 and 105, or consent of instructor.

CLAS 390. Special Projects (.25 - 1). Research work under faculty supervision. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.

CLAS 395. Teaching Assistant (.5). Work with faculty in classroom instruction. Graded credit/no credit.

CLAS 396. Teaching Assistant Research (.5). Course and curriculum development projects with faculty.

Greek Courses

GREK 100. Beginning Ancient Greek I (1). Study a language over 3,000 years old in which some of the greatest and most influential works of world literature were composed. In addition to learning grammar, syntax, and vocabulary (you are guaranteed to become etymological savants), you will be exposed to the field of historical linguistics, and in particular to the place of Ancient Greek in the Indo-European language family. Readings in the first semester include selections from Plato (What is the meaning of life?), Herodotus (What is history and why is it so interesting to study the past?), and the New Testament (Got questions about God? This book has answers!). (1S) Offered each fall.

GREK 105. Beginning Ancient Greek II (1). In the second term students complete the study of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. Readings include shorter passages from Herodotus, Thucydides, Aristophanes, and the New Testament, along with more extensive ones from Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. (1S) Offered each spring. Prerequisite: Greek 100 or consent of instructor.

GREK 200. Homer and Homeric Hymns (.5, 1). Readings include selected books of the Iliad or Odyssey, and at least one Homeric Hymn. The focus is on an examination of Homeric style, narrative technique, meter, and the nature of oral poetry. (5T) Prerequisite: Greek 105 or consent of instructor.

GREK 205. Greek Prose Authors (.5, 1). Readings may be drawn from the following Greek prose authors, genres, and works: Lysias (On the Murder of Eratosthenes), Xenophon (Anabasis), Lucian (True Stories), the Novel (Longus’ Daphnis and Chloe, Xenophon of Ephesus’ An Ephesian Tale), the New Testament (Mark, Luke, John, 1 Corinthians). Special emphasis is given to an examination of each work’s genre and style, as well as to the evolution of the Greek language over time. (5T) Prerequisite: Greek 105 or consent of instructor.

GREK 210. Herodotus (.5, 1). Delineation of the Herodotean view of history. The interaction of personal motive and social movement. The historian as reporter and interpreter, as ethnologist and sociologist, as entertainer, moralist, and artist. (5T) Prerequisite: Greek 105 or equivalent.

GREK 215. Greek Tragedy (.5, 1). An in-depth literary and linguistic study of one or two plays (e.g., Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound; Sophocles’ Antigone, Oedipus the King; Euripides’ Medea, Electra, Bacchae, Alcestis). (5T) Prerequisite: Greek 105 or consent of instructor.

GREK 300. Greek Philosophy (.5, 1). The victory of conceptual thought over the mythological mode, and the consequences that flow from the creation of philosophic language. Primary emphasis upon the Presocratics and the early and middle dialogues of Plato. (5T) Prerequisite: one 200-level Greek course or consent of instructor.

GREK 305. Thucydides (.5, 1). The influence of logos upon historical writing and political action in Thucydides’ history, with particular attention paid to the practice and effect of rhetoric in a democratic society. (5T) Prerequisite: one 200-level Greek course or consent of instructor.

GREK 310. Greek Comedy (1). Close reading of one play by Aristophanes (e.g., Clouds, Lysistrata, Frogs). Detailed attention to the inner world of the playwright as poet, dramatist, theatrical craftsman, and commentator on the culture of democratic Athens. (5T) Prerequisite: one 200-level Greek course or consent of instructor.

GREK 315. Early Greek Poetry (.5, 1). Hesiod and the lyric poets serve as sources for the examination of poetic texture as well as guides to the character of Greek myth, religion, and social and literary development. (5T) Prerequisite: one 200-level Greek course or consent of instructor.

GREK 390. Special Projects (.25 - 1). Prerequisite: sophomore standing.

GREK 395. Teaching Assistant (.5). Work with faculty in classroom instruction. Graded credit/no credit.

GREK 396. Teaching Assistant Research (.5). Course and curriculum development projects with faculty.

Latin Courses

LATN 100. Beginning Latin I (1). In this class, students master the basic vocabulary and forms of the language of the Caesars, Cicero, and the citizens of the Roman Empire. Latin is an advantageous starting point for learning any of the modern Romance languages (including Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian), and an education in Latin literature was once considered the backbone of a liberal arts education. This course is designed to enable a disciplined student to deal as soon as possible with Latin texts in a competent and sure manner. (1S) Offered each fall.

LATN 105. Beginning Latin II (1). Completion of all Latin forms and syntax, followed by a reading of a classical Latin texts chosen by students and instructor. (1S) Offered each spring. Prerequisite: Latin 100 or consent of instructor.

LATN 200. Public and Private Communication (1). This course focuses on the epistolary and oratorical genres: how did Roman writers communicate to their family and friends, and how did they make arguments in public? We focus on the works of Cicero, and other authors may include Ovid, Pliny the Younger, Seneca the Elder, Seneca the Younger, Quintilian, and Marcus Aurelius, depending on the interest and expertise of the students and instructor. Attention is paid to argumentation, salutations, and the relationship between writing and action. (5T) Prerequisite: Latin 105 or consent of instructor.

LATN 205. Romans In and Out of Love (1). The explosion of civil wars in Rome in the 1st century BCE is met with an equal explosion of... love poetry? This course examines the tropes, imagery, and metrics of Roman elegy. Students will encounter representative works of Catullus, Propertius, Tibullus, Sulpicia, and Ovid. Depending on the interests and expertise of the instructor and the students, the course may focus on one or two of the above authors, or it may focus on a particular theme (e.g., programmatic openings, the amica, the art of seduction, complaints, breakups). Attention is directed toward stylistics and critical interpretation in light of Augustan literature and politics. (5T) Prerequisite: Latin 105 or consent of instructor.

LATN 210 Roman Philosophy (1). How did Roman writers make sense of the natural world, human societies, and the place of the individual within these systems? This course explores representative philosophical writings of Cicero, Lucretius, Seneca, and Augustine. The course may focus on one or two of the above authors, or it may focus on a particular theme (e.g., friendship, the state, emotions, physics), depending on the interest and expertise of the instructor and students. (5T) Prerequisite: Latin 105 or consent of instructor.

LATN 215. Medieval Latin Literature and Palaeography (1). A survey of the extraordinary diversity of Medieval Latin literature (both poetry and prose), with special emphasis on the 11th-13th centuries. This course will also serve as an introduction to Latin palaeography (i.e., how to read medieval and early-Renaissance manuscripts written in Latin). (5T) Prerequisite: Latin 105 or consent of instructor.

LATN 300. Roman Drama (1). This course features close reading of representative plays of Plautus, Terence, and Seneca. We will consider each figure as a possible representative of and critical commentator upon his age, and we will investigate the dramas for their attitudes about politics, gender, history, and performance. Detailed attention will also be paid to the inner world of the playwrights as poets, dramatists, and theatrical craftsmen. (5T) Prerequisite: one 200-level Latin course or consent of instructor.

LATN 305. Roman Epic (1). A consideration of the Roman interpretation of the epic genre, beginning with Ennius and focusing on Vergil and his ambiguous relationship to Augustan ideology. We may also explore selections of some of the following: Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Lucan’s Bellum Civile, Valerius Flaccus’ Argonautica, and Statius’ Thebaid. The class draws attention to the manipulation of imagery, plot, intertext, and vocabulary in the creation of layered meaning. (5T) Prerequisite: one 200-level Latin course or consent of instructor.

LATN 310. Roman Historians (1). How did Romans understand and craft their own history? How have their narratives shaped our understanding of what it means to tell stories about our own past? Attention is paid to the social and historical context of textual production, narrative and character development, and the (re)production of Roman ideologies. Possible authors include Sallust, Livy, Tacitus, and Suetonius. (5T) Prerequisite: one 200-level Latin course or consent of instructor.

LATN 315. Roman Laughter and Society (1). Exploration of the comic as a critical key to social history and the Roman mind. Approaches to the intersection of humor and society: how the comedic illustrates and reveals issues of class structure and social ethics, personality and stereotype, power politics and statesmanship. Possible authors include Plautus, Horace, Juvenal, Martial, Seneca, and Petronius. (5T) Prerequisite: one 200-level Latin course or consent of instructor.

LATN 390. Special Projects (.25 - 1). Prerequisite: sophomore standing.

LATN 395. Teaching Assistant (.5). Work with faculty in classroom instruction. Graded credit/no credit.

LATN 396. Teaching Assistant Research (.5). Course and curriculum development projects with faculty.