Courses in the classical humanities offer students broad exposure to the languages, literature, philosophy, art, and history of Greece and Rome. Classical humanities, or “classics” as the discipline is commonly called, is a vibrant, interdisciplinary field that lies at the heart of the liberal arts. The study of classics provides an excellent foundation for graduate work in many fields, such as: history, law, philosophy, comparative literature, religious studies, art history, and archaeology.
In classical humanities courses students will investigate connections between the past and the present and will seek to understand the lens through which successive generations have viewed, construed, and often misconstrued the ancient past. Students will come to understand how the legacy of the Greeks and Romans remains alive, exerting influence in nearly aspect of contemporary culture from our public architecture to our favorite action heroes.
CL 105H: Classical World in Cinema
Study films inspired by the history, myth, and culture of ancient Greece and Rome. How do modern visions of the ancient world represent the past? What can they teach us about our present?
CL 200H: Classical Mythology
An interpretive look at Greek and Roman myth. Read primary sources and analyze narratives from historical, sociological, cross-cultural, and psychological perspectives.
CL 203H: Women and Gender in the Ancient World
Explores the role and status of women in Greece, Rome, and the Near East. Uses modern theoretical approaches to understand representations of women and constructions of gender in literary, historical, philosophical, and scientific texts and in the visual arts.
CL 212H: Language and History of Medicine
Of interest especially to students interested in biological sciences and health professions, this course combines an overview of the Latin/Greek roots used in medical and scientific terminology with an introduction to famous medical treatises of the Western tradition.
CL 220G: New Diseases in History & Lit
This course examines reactions to new diseases in various cultures across history. Considering medical writings alongside works of literature, it offers diverse insights into past plagues and modern pandemics.
CL 242H: Ancient Greek History
An overview from the Bronze Age to Alexander the Great. Examines the literary and material records with an emphasis on the political and cultural development of the city-state.
CL 243H: Roman History I: Romulus to Caesar
Overview of the history of Rome from its legendary beginnings in the eighth century BCE to the fall of the Republic and the ascension of Octavian in 31 BCE.
CL 244H: The Roman Empire
Overview of the history of the Rome beginning with the end of the Republic in the first century BCE and concluding with the destruction of the Empire in the fifth century CE.
CL 261H: Greek Tragedy in Modern Film and Literature
In-depth study of a few Greek tragedies and works they inspired in a variety of genres including drama, science fiction, psychological and philosophical studies, and film. Discusses changing concepts of tragedy and the tragic hero.
CL 262H: Ancient Comedy in Modern Film and Literature
Examines great Greek comedies and their influence on works by the Romans, Shakespeare, Moliere, and modern playwrights, as well as on the modern sit-com and Broadway musical. Also discusses theories of comedy and the comic hero.
CL 271H: Greek Literature: A Critical Survey
Selections from Greek poetry and prose. Emphasis on critical reading with attention to the socio-political context of works and to development of literary genres, forms, and symbols. No prerequisites, but CL 242H recommended.
CL 272H: Roman Literature: A Critical Survey
Introduces many of the most important literary and historical texts of Roman civilization and examines the influences of Rome on the Western heritage.
CL 352H: The Path of Wisdom and Virtue
Explores ancient conceptions of wisdom and virtue as conveyed in principal works of Aristotle and Cicero. Discusses the relevance of these concepts for our own age.