Study of the major developments, achievements, and contradictions in Greek culture from the Bronze Age to the 4th century BCE. Key works of literature, history, and philosophy (read in English translation) will be examined in their political and social context, and in relation both to other ancient Mediterranean cultures and to subsequent developments in Western civilization.
Covering Homeric & Classical Greece, Rome in its transition from republic to empire, & the world of the Hebrew Bible, this course surveys ancient Mediterranean civilizations with an emphasis on building writing skill. Satisfies Parts A or B of the R&C requirement.
Learn how to interpret papyri from Graeco-Roman Egypt and to deploy them for the writing of more inclusive histories of the ancient Mediterranean.
This course will focus on ideas about magic in the Greek and Roman worlds from about 750 BCE through 400 CE. Topics will include witches, holy men, love spells, necromancy, spirits, and mystery religions.We will examine how magic was represented in high literature (by authors like Homer, Ovid, Apuleius and Lucian) as well as the more practical evidence of curse tablets and the Greek Magical Papyri. Consideration will be given to analyzing the relationship between magic, religion, and philosophy. Our goal will be to study the common threads that connect different Greek and Roman magical practices, as well as to understand them in their cultural contexts. No knowledge of Greek or Latin required.
During the reign of Augustus Rome was transformed by an ambitious building program. This class will consider how the emperor’s many buildings—his Mausoleum, the new temples, his many monuments—helped shape popular perceptions of his new system of government (a veiled monarchy).
Investigate the world of ancient natural philosophers in Latin scientific texts of the 1st century CE. We'll read excerpts (in Latin) from Seneca & Pliny the Elder, especially meteorology, geology, & anthropology, with excursions into astronomy & medicine.