Location: Bowdoin / Classics / Courses / Spring 2012

Classics

Spring 2012

101. Classical Mythology
Michael Nerdahl M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
Focuses on the mythology of the Greeks and the use of myth in classical literature. Other topics considered are recurrent patterns and motifs in Greek myths; a cross-cultural study of ancient creation myths; the relation of mythology to religion; women’s roles in myth; and the application of modern anthropological, sociological, and psychological theories to classical myth. Concludes with an examination of Ovid’s use of classical mythology in the Metamorphoses.

213. War and Society in the Ancient Greek World
Stephen O'Connor M 10:30 - 11:25, W 10:30 - 11:25, F 10:30 - 11:25
Explores the dynamic relationship between the changing ways in which archaic and classical Greek societies were structured, and the ways in which the Greeks organized themselves for and conducted warfare. Examines the specifics of military organization and fighting as well as broader issues such as the causes and goals of Greek warfare, the role of ideology in determining representations of military conflicts, and the economic framework of Greek wars. Focuses especially on the current controversy concerning the origins and development of hoplite (Greek heavy infantry) warfare and its role in shaping the institutions of the Greek polis (city-state), and how we can use our archeological, iconographic, and literary sources to reconstruct the realities of hoplite battle. Concludes by investigating to what extent ancient Greek infantry warfare, with its emphasis on close-order shock combat, has provided a model for Western warfare to this day.

216. Sport and Athletics in the Greco-Roman World
Jorge Bravo T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
From Homeric Greece to the Roman Empire, exercise of the body and physical competition played varying roles in Greco-Roman culture, whether regarded as a form of excellence or exciting entertainment. This course will examine the literary and artifactual evidence for these physical pursuits in classical antiquity with the aim of understanding their nature and their relation to other aspects of society and culture such as politics, religion, education, art, warfare, and gender and sexuality. Their relation to the modern experience of sports will also be considered, mostly notably the modern Olympic Games, next scheduled to take place in summer 2012.

Archaeology

103. Egyptian Archaeology
James Higginbotham M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
Introduces the techniques and methods of archaeology through an examination of Egyptian material culture. Emphasis is placed upon understanding the major monuments and artifacts of ancient Egypt from the prehistoric cultures of the Nile Valley through the period of Roman control. Architecture, sculpture, fresco painting, and other ?minor arts? are examined at sites such as Saqqara, Giza, Thebes, Dendera, Tanis, and Alexandria. Considers the nature of this archaeological evidence, its context, and the relationship of archaeology to other disciplines such as art history, anthropology, history, and classics. Course themes include the origins and development of complex state systems, funerary symbolism, foreign contacts, and the expression of social, political and religious ideologies in art and architecture. Selected readings supplement illustrated presentations of the major archaeological finds of Egypt. Class meetings include artifact sessions in Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

210. Sport and Athletics in the Greco-Roman World
Jorge Bravo T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
From Homeric Greece to the Roman Empire, exercise of the body and physical competition played varying roles in Greco-Roman culture, whether regarded as a form of excellence or exciting entertainment. This course will examine the literary and artifactual evidence for these physical pursuits in classical antiquity with the aim of understanding their nature and their relation to other aspects of society and culture such as politics, religion, education, art, warfare, and gender and sexuality. Their relation to the modern experience of sports will also be considered, mostly notably the modern Olympic Games, next scheduled to take place in summer 2012.

306. Archaeology of the Greek Hero
Jorge Bravo T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
From the well-known heroes of epic like Achilles and Odysseus to more obscure figures such as the child hero Opheltes or the nameless heroines of inscribed cult calendars, heroes occupied an important place in the lives, experiences, and ideology of the ancient Greeks. This course will explore the ancient Greek hero as a figure of both cult and myth primarily as expressed in the surviving material culture of antiquity. Material to be examined will include archaeological sites identified with the worship of heroes, votive objects from their cult, inscriptions, and artistic representations ranging from public monuments to private drinking cups. In the process we will explore topics including the nature of hero worship, the heroes' ambiguous relation to morality and virtue, their role in the formation of the identity of communities and Greek culture more generally, and the Greeks' conceptualization of their past.

Greek

101. Elementary Greek I
Barbara Boyd M 9:30 - 10:25, W 9:30 - 10:25, F 9:30 - 10:25
Introduces students to basic elements of ancient Greek grammar and syntax; emphasizes the development of reading proficiency and includes readings, both adapted and in the original, of various Greek authors. Focuses on Attic dialect.

203. Intermediate Greek for Reading
Cassandra Borges M 9:30 - 10:25, W 9:30 - 10:25, F 9:30 - 10:25
A review of the essentials of Greek grammar and syntax and an introduction to the reading of Greek prose through the study of one of Plato’s dialogues. Equivalent of Greek 102 or two to three years of high school Greek is required.

Latin

102. Elementary Latin II
Ryan Ricciardi M 9:30 - 10:25, W 9:30 - 10:25, F 9:30 - 10:25
A continuation of Latin 101. During this term, readings are based on unaltered passages of classical Latin.

204. Studies in Latin Literature
Stephen O'Connor M 8:30 - 9:25, W 8:30 - 9:25, F 8:30 - 9:25
An introduction to different genres and themes in Latin literature. The subject matter and authors covered may change from year to year (e.g., selections from Virgil’s Aeneid and Livy’s History, or from Lucretius, Ovid, and Cicero), but attention is always given to the historical and literary context of the authors read. While the primary focus is on reading Latin texts, some readings from Latin literature in translation are also assigned. Equivalent of Latin 203 or three to four years of high school Latin is required.

307. Young Virgil
Barbara Boyd M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
Born in 70 B.C.E., the poet Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro) lived through the traumatic decades that saw the end of the Roman republic, and witnessed firsthand the political rebirth of Rome managed by Octavian after the battle of Actium. Virgil’s Aeneid, written in the first decade of the “restored Republic,” reflects both the historical turmoil of the time and its outcome; his earlier works, however, written during fifteen years of political uncertainty and great personal danger, offer a somewhat different perspective on the period, as well as providing insight into the nature of a poetic career in antiquity. Begins with Virgil’s Eclogues, the pastoral collection that established the poet’s reputation and attracted powerful patrons; then moves to selections from the Georgics, in which farming serves as a didactic metaphor for both government—good and bad—and human experience of the cosmos, and to selections from a number of other contemporary poems falsely ascribed (since antiquity) to Virgil and supposedly representing his earliest work. Research seminar; Latin readings will be complemented by an introduction to and exploration of recent scholarly discussions of Virgil’s early work.