The Classic Myths
In this course we will explore the stories the ancient Greeks told about their gods and heroes. Discover a world of beautiful gods and goddesses, terrifying monsters, extraordinary people performing extraordinary feats of strength and intellect, adventure, war, sex and a great deal of family dysfunction. We will encounter these figures and themes in Greek (and Roman) literary works such tragedy and epic poetry. Our focus will be on the tellings of Greek myths in ancient literature, but we will also look at the pervasive influence of Greek myth on later literary and artistic traditions.
Introduction to Roman Civilization
Who are the Romans? How has their culture impacted our world today? This course will delve into the literature and history of ancient Rome, as well as its contemporary reception, keeping in mind the disciplinary issues involved in studying a culture far removed in space and time. In answering these questions, we will rely on our own evaluations of ancient material culture and close analysis of Roman texts, including Plautus' comedies, Cicero's writings on the Republic, Vergil's epic Aeneid, and Apuleius' fantastical novel The Golden Ass.
Introduction to Greek Civilization
Who were the ancient Greeks, and what do they have to do with us? The idea of ancient Greece as the starting point of “Western Civilization” continues to capture modern imaginations. In this class, we will attempt to understand the Greeks on their own terms, in their own words, by reading a selection of their most famous and influential surviving works and situating these works in their historical context.