LIT 145

 The Iliad of Homer

Daniel Mendelsohn

M W     3:10 pm-4:30 pm

OLIN 101


Cross-listed: Classical Studies   This course will consist of an intensive reading of Homer’s Iliad over the course of a single semester.  The course, which mimics the design of a graduate seminar—a single, two-and-a-half-hour meeting each week, focusing on in-depth discussion and textual explication, with a heavy emphasis on how to write critically about a literary text—is designed to introduce first-year students to more profound and sophisticated techniques of reading and thinking about texts than they will have thus far encountered.  After two prefatory sessions, in which students will be introduced to the large issues particular both to this genre (the archaic Greek world, oral composition, the Homeric Question) and to this particular text (the epic cycle, the “heroic code,” violence and warfare, the clash of civilizations, East vs. West, the role of the gods in human history), we will read through the epic at a rate of two books per week. Throughout, students will be introduced, by means of excerpts and shorter articles, to the arc of the scholarly tradition, especially with respect to the Homeric Question: from Wolf’s Prolegomenon to Homer to M. L. West’s recent argument that the Iliad was, in fact, written down by a single author/poet. Two summary sessions will conclude the semester as we (a) look at the classical heritage of the Iliad (the Aeneid, especially) and then (b) look back at the broad literary and cultural issues raised by this essential document of the Western tradition, and look at some modern adaptations (Logue’s “War Music,” for instance; also attempts to dramatize the Iliad—and why they so often fail).  A premium will be placed on student participation in class discussion, and each student will be asked to present a book of the poem (focusing on structural analysis, interpretative issues, etc.) to the class.  At least three papers, midterm, final exam. This course is designed for First-Year Students.  Class size: 16



CLAS 157

 5th Century Athens

William Mullen

 T Th    11:50 am-1:10 pm

OLIN 201


Cross-listed: Literature, History  In the fifth century BCE, Athens dramatically developed from a small, relatively unimportant city-state into a dominant power in the Aegean basin.  Athenian political, artistic, literary, and intellectual traditions continue to reverberate through the world today: democracy, tragedy and comedy, rhetoric, philosophy, history, as well as the classical style of sculpture and architecture stem from this remarkable culture.  The course will confront some of the ambiguities and tensions (slavery, exclusion of women and non-citizens from political power), as well as the glories, of Athenian art, literature, and history during this period.  This course is designed primarily for first-year students.  Class size: 22



CLAS / HIST 2361


Magic, Mysteries & Cult

Carolyn Dewald

 T Th    1:30 pm-2:50 pm

OLIN 308



Cross-listed: History; Religion  This course examines the ways in which polytheism was practiced and conceptualized by the ancient Greeks from the Mycenaean period into the Hellenistic era.  It will emphasize the ritual aspects of Greek polytheism through the analysis of religious institutions, beliefs, and rites in their wider socio-cultural contexts.  We will explore the literary expressions of Greek religion (the connection between myth and religion, e.g.), and the ways in which Greek religious beliefs and practices profoundly affected the development of Greek culture and history, in particular in the classical city state of Athens, and also in the syncretistic Hellenistic world that came afterwards.  Class size: 18



CLAS 316

 THE Epic in European Literature FROM HOMER TO MILTON

Daniel Mendelsohn

 T          1:30 pm-3:50 pm

OLIN 301


Cross-listed: Literature  A grasp of epic poetry--its techniques, themes, structure, and ideology--is fundamental to the understanding of the European literary tradition. This course will examine the evolution of the epic from Homer (8th c. BCE) to Milton's Paradise Lost (1667). The first half of the semester will be devoted to the Classical epic: Iliad, Odyssey, Theogony, Argonautika, De Rerum Natura, Aeneid, Metamorphoses. The second half will trace the epic across the map of Europe: Beowulf (8th-10th c. CE), the Chanson de Roland (11th c.), the Niebelungenlied (13th c), the Divine Comedy (14th c) Orlando Furioso (16th c.), and Milton. Special attention will be paid to the long tradition of European epic as a vehicle for exploring tensions between European and non-European cultures. Most texts will be read in their entirety.  This course is part of the World Literature offering.  Class size: 16



LIT 204


Thomas Bartscherer

M W     1:30 pm-2:50 pm

OLIN 202


Cross-listed: Classical Studies  In a celebrated passage from Plato’s Republic, Socrates claims that there is “an ancient quarrel between philosophy and poetry.” In this course, we will consider this and other ways in which ancient authors (or their characters) configured the relationship between poetic production and theoretical inquiry, and therewith gave birth to the practice of literary criticism in the West. We will begin with Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, focusing particularly on the understanding of poetry manifest within the world of these poems. Readings from Greek literature will also include lyric poetry (focusing on Sappho and Pindar), and Attic drama (e.g., Aristophane’s Frogs and Clouds, Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound, Euripides’ Medea and Bacchae). Readings from the Latin corpus will include epic, lyric, and dramatic poetry (e.g. Vergil, Horace, Catullus, Seneca). Concurrently, we will be examining the ongoing critique of literature from the fragments of early Greek philosophers (e.g. Anaxagoras, Xenophanes, Heraclitus), through Plato and Aristotle, to Cicero and Horace. Our twofold aim will be to develop an understanding of all these texts in their original context and to consider how they set the stage for subsequent developments in western literature and criticism. All readings in English.  Class size: 22



LIT 3101

 The Roman Poetry Book

Lauren Curtis

 Th       4:40 pm-7:00 pm

OLIN 309


Cross-listed: Classical Studies; Experimental Humanities  This course examines the invention of a phenomenon central to modern literary life: the poetry book. First adopted in the ancient Greek-speaking world and further developed among poets at Rome, the book and its textual, material form led readers and writers to reimagine the relationship between literary media and poetic meaning. Thus, they initiated a process of creative experimentation and a series of questions surrounding the interrelationship of technology and poetic expression that continue today in the print and digital age. Beginning with the shift from song traditions to book culture in the Greek world, our reading will then focus on several Roman books that take the medium in different directions: Catullus’ “little book,” Virgil’s Eclogues, Propertius’ books of elegies, Horace’s lyric Odes, Ovid’s poetry of love and exile, and Statius’ collection of Silvae. We will explore how the form and idea of the book intersect with ongoing literary conversations about monumentality and evanescence; performance, ritual and the archive; personhood and ventriloquism; defectiveness and beauty; and the poet’s construction of a relationship with literary tradition and with readerships present and future. All readings will be in English.  This course is a literature junior seminar.  This course is part of the World Literature offering. Class size: 15



ARTH 210

 ANCIENT Roman Art and Architecture

Diana DePardo-Minsky

 T Th    4:40 pm-6:00 pm

OLIN 102




MUS 203


Peter Laki

M W     3:10 pm-4:30 pm

BLM N217




LIT 2142


Thomas Bartscherer

M W     6:20 pm-7:40 pm

HEG 308




PHIL 109

 Intro to Ancient Philosophy

Jay Elliott

M W     10:10 am-11:30 am

OLIN 101







GRE 107

 advanced beginning Greek

Carolyn Dewald

M T Th    11:50 am-12:50 pm

OLIN 306


4 credits  This is the continuation of Greek 106, Intensive Beginning Greek. Focus will be on consolidating knowledge of forms and syntax, and exposure to a variety of different classical authors.  Class size: 15



GRE 202

 Euripides’ Bacchae

William Mullen

M W     11:50 am-1:10 pm



Euripides’ last tragedy was also his greatest masterpiece, named after its choruses of women followers of Dionysos, god not only of wine but also of transformation and theater.  We will read the entire play, with attention to the meters of the speaking parts and of the choruses, and the interplay between metrical pattern and sense in each line.  We will pay attention to the word order peculiar to Greek poetry as opposed to prose, and above all to the difficult and challenging word order of the choral odes.   Class size: 15



GRE 403


William Mullen




See Prof. Mullen.






LAT 106

 Basic Intensive Latin

Lauren Curtis

James Romm

M T W Th   9:20 am-11:20 am



8 credits  This course is designed for students with no experience with Latin, to read authors such as Virgil, Ovid, Cicero, and Augustine in the original language after one semester's intensive work (the equivalent of two semesters of college Latin). Daily drills and frequent quizzes will be combined from the beginning with an emphasis on reading: students will begin reading short selections from classical authors after only a few weeks and longer passages by midterm. Those wishing to enroll in this course should consult with Prof. Curtis or Prof. Romm, or attend the informational meeting in early December.  Class size: 18



LAT 208

 The Age of Nero

James Romm

M W     1:30 pm-2:50 pm

OLIN 304


Despite its slide into autocracy, the age of Nero (54-68 A.D.) saw a great flowering of Roman literature, including the comic novel Satyricon by Petronius, and the tragedies and essays of Seneca, as well as the mysterious historical drama called Octavia.  We will read selections from several of these texts, spanning a wide range of styles in both poetry and prose.  Readings in English will help situate our texts against the troubled history of Nero's reign.

Class size: 15




LAT  302 / 403

Roman Medea

James Romm


ASP 307


An examination of how the mythic figure of Medea was reimagined and reinterpreted by the Romans, in particular Ovid and Seneca.  We will read works of both authors in Latin, together with their Greek sources, Euripides and Apollonius of Rhodes, in English.  Class size: 12