Overview. Who are we? Where
do we come from? Where are we going? These are essential
questions of and about our times, especially now that we
stand at the threshold of a new centuryto say nothing
of a new millenium. Yet these questions are not ours. They
have been asked over and over, generation by generation,
people by people. The most famous inquirers were the ancient
Greeks and Romans, from whom the western tradition inherited
not only the substance of the questions, but also their
This course serves as an introduction to classical Greece
and Rome. The focus of the course is Greek and Latin literature
and art within its larger social and historical contexts.
Readings in English will include various genres of both
poetry (epic, lyric, tragedy and comedy) and prose (letters,
oratory, history, and philosophical and political treatises).
The physical remains of classical antiquity (art, artifacts,
and monuments) will also receive due attention. Our ultimate
goal is to understand the creators of these works in relation
to ourselves. What we discover will inspire and delight
you; it will also no doubt surpise, and even shock.
Each year the Classical World course has a theme. This
year's theme is "Journeys." Throughout the term
we shall consider many different implications of this word,
from the literaltravels from one location to anotherto
the more figurativejourneys across time, or across
ideas. Although we might not answer the ultimate question
"Where are we going?", we shall nevertheless make
good progress toward answering "Where do we come from?"
Objectives. The specific
goals for this course are as follows:
- to explore the classical world through literature, art,
- to view the remains of the ancient world in their cultural
- to assess the debt of the modern world to antiquity.
Furthermore, students will obtain and exercise the following
- to think critically; that is, to evaluate and analyze
carefully and precisely;
- to communicate critical thinking in oral presentations
and written essays;
- to conduct research via traditional and digital methods,
- to engage in and to facilitate group discussions and