Ancient and Classical Studies


ANCS 112: Classical Latin I

Credits 5
Introduction to Classical Latin focuses on basic reading comprehension, vocabulary and Latin grammar. The course covers the first fourteen chapters of Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata.

ANCS 130: Damn the Gods

Credits 3
In spite of the terrible behavior demonstrated by the Greek and Roman gods, they remained the focus of religious attention for millennia. By closely analyzing these mythological narratives, students will consider what these myths have to say about Greek and Roman religion, and about Greco-Roman conceptualizations of the world around them.

ANCS 155: Ancient Greek Philosophy

Credits 4
An examination of Greek philosophy beginning with the pre-Socratic period and emphasizing the works of Plato and Aristotle. Reading is mainly in the primary sources.

ANCS 199: Medical Terminology

Credits 3

This course is designed to familiarize students with the Greek and Latin terms used in a variety of medical fields as well as to introduce them to the foundations of Ancient Greek and Roman medical practices and theory. Part of the course focuses on learning common classical roots, suffixes and prefixes so that students will have a functional understanding the terminology underpinning several anatomical systems, skeletal structures and muscular nomenclature. In the other part of the course, students will explore seminal Greek and Roman medical texts as a means to better contextualize the development of modern medical science. 

ANCS 221: Erotic Roman Poetry

Credits 3
What is Roman erotic poetry? Who wrote it? Why? In answer to these questions, students will read English translations of some of the most famous Roman erotic poets — Catullus, Tibullus, Propertius, Ovid — and in doing so, will engage with many important social issues from ancient Rome. Using erotic poetry as a springboard, the course will address conceptualizations and constructions of gender and sexuality in Rome, and the fallout from the civil wars that wracked the city of Rome in the 1st century BCE. The course will explore precisely what it meant (and still means) to write literature in the first person.

ANCS 222: Greece and Rome in Film

Credits 4
Did you know that Disney's Beauty & the Beast is based on Latin novel written almost 2,000 years ago? Or that Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club bears a striking resemblance to Sophocles' Oedipus Rex? Each week, students will read a selection of ancient literature and pair it with a screening of modern film to assess the continued influence that ancient narratives still exert across multiple genres. .

ANCS 241: Ancient Mediterranean History

Credits 3
In antiquity, the Mediterranean Sea united rather than divided cultures. This course surveys ancient civilizations around the Mediterranean basin, paying particular attention to the cultural interactions that shaped and transformed the earliest history of this region. The course focuses upon four key centers of civilization: the kingdoms of the Near East, Egypt, Greece and Rome. Among the topics we will consider: Hittite and Mycenaean relationships during the Bronze Age, Greek colonization and interaction with Egyptians, Phoenicians, Italians, and Near Eastern cultures during the 7th and 6th centuries B.C., the Persian empire and its clash with the Greeks in the 5th century, and Roman expansionism during the Roman Republic. Reading includes primary texts in English.

ANCS 243: Life, Death, & Healing in the Ancient World

Credits 3
How did people in antiquity define illness or health? How did they think about and manage the key transitional periods of a person's life such as birth, maturation and death? This course explores the ideas and practices of the healing arts and the handling of life transitions. The focus is primarily on ancient Greece, though the class will draw upon other ancient cultures for comparison, including Roman, Egyptian and Near Eastern sources. Readings consist of primary and secondary sources in English.

ANCS 315: Pompeii: Life & Death in a Roman Town

Credits 4

On August 24, AD 79, Mt. Vesuvius erupted, burying several Roman towns in the region of Campania, Italy, with a thick layer of volcanic ash and pumice. This event was a great tragedy for the people who lived in the area, causing vast destruction and considerable loss of life. For modern scholars, though, the event has proved an unusual blessing. Encapsulated within the volcanic debris is an unparalleled glimpse into the lives of the ancient inhabitants. This course explores the archaeological remains of Pompeii in order to learn about Roman life and culture in the early part of the Roman Empire.

ANCS 342: Reading Latin

Credits 3
Students who have completed Latin I and II or the equivalent may take this course to continue their study of Latin. Texts are chosen to accommodate student interests and aptitudes, and have included works from Caesar, Catullus, Cicero, HoPetronius, Virgil and Ovid. Since texts change from year to year, students may take this course multiple times.

ANCS 346: Ovid's Metamorphoses

Credits 3
Ovid's fifteen book epic, Metamorphoses, has been described as many things: a mythological handbook, pointed political commentary, an extended experiment with literary genre, and simply a self-involved display of Ovid's overinflated sense of genius. Students in this course will read the translated work in its entirety, along with relevant scholarship, in an effort to better understand this enigmatic epic. The course will culminate in a final research project.

ANCS 350: Words & Works of Ancient Rome

Credits 3
This course focuses on the literary and artistic works from successive periods in the history of ancient Rome to provide students with a broad overview of Rome's development and culture. Our sources include a wide range of texts (poetry, drama, history) and artifacts (architecture, sculpture, painting, daily objects). As we examine these "words" and "works" we seek to uncover the attitudes, values, and ways of seeing and thinking about the world that make each period of Roman history unique. Knowledge of Latin is not required.

ANCS 351: Words & Works of Ancient Greece

Credits 3
This course focuses on the literary and artistic works from successive periods in the history of ancient Greece to provide students with a broad overview of the cultural and intellectual trends of ancient Greece. Our sources include a wide range of texts (poetry, drama, history) and artifacts (architecture, sculpture, painting, daily objects). As we examine these "words" and "works" we seek to uncover the attitudes, values, and ways of seeing and thinking about the world that make each period of Greek history unique. Knowledge of Greek is not required.

ANCS 357: Gender and Sexuality in the Ancient Greek World

Credits 3
This course explores ways in which the ancient Greeks constructed notions of gender and sexuality. Students examine a wide range of primary evidence (such as drama, poetry, philosophy, scientific or medical treatises, court documents, art, architecture, and daily artifacts) in order to uncover Greek attitudes and practices. By confronting the assumptions of a culture that was in many ways radically different from our own, we address some of the fundamental ways that ideas about gender and sexuality inform and shape societal expectations and institutions, from personal identity and forms of self-expression to the legal, medical, and political mechanisms that govern society. Knowledge of a classical language is not required.

ANCS 358: Greek & Roman Drama

Credits 3

Here you will read some of the most famous dramatic texts from the ancient Greek and Roman world (e.g. Euripides’ Medea), as well as some of the more obscure ones (e.g. Seneca’s Oedipus). Since this is cross-listed between Theatre and ANCS, class discussions will approach the material from literary as well as theatrical angles, and you will be able to design research projects to fit your own individual interests. All texts are taught in English.

ANCS 370: That Belongs in a Museum!

Credits 3

In an iconic scene in Indiana Jones: Last Crusade, Indiana Jones mutters the famous phrase, “That belongs in a museum!” when a relic is forcibly taken from him. Though the scene is Hollywood fiction, it does serve to highlight real tensions surrounding antiquities. Simultaneously viewed as objects of material, cultural, and aesthetic value, ancient objects occupy a nebulous space in the modern world. Using both archaeological and museological perspectives, this course is designed to introduce students to the types of artifacts that survive from antiquity and to explore some of the special challenges associated with antiquities collections.

ANCS 371: Herodotus & the Persian War

Credits 3
The defiant bravery of king Leonidas as he and his famous band of 300 Spartan soldiers held the pass at Thermopylae against the might of the Persian Empire is a familiar one, celebrated in popular memory as an act that transcends history to become legend. Did it really happen that way? Or is this image largely a product of the imagination of Greece's first historian, Herodotus, considered by many to be “the father of history”? This course explores the way that Herodotus immortalized the conflict between the Greeks and Persians during the 5th century B.C. Students trace the forces that shaped this famous clash of cultures, and look at Herodotus' account in conjunction with other archaeological and historical evidence in order to talk about how history is created.

ANCS 486: Student Research

Credits 1
ANCS 486 SENIOR RESEARCH (1 credit)Ancient and Classical Studies majors are required to enroll in this course in the fall of their Senior year. Students identify a topic and conduct extensive research in preparation for writing their senior thesis.