Classics Department
Skidmore College

Kendra Eshleman
Ladd 209, x5462



Attendance & Participation 10%
5 short papers (1-3 pp. each) 40%
Presentation 15%
Midterm 15%
Final 20%

Attendance & Participation (10%)

Experience teaches that a successful class requires the active engagement of everyone involved. That means regular attendance, careful preparation and active, thoughtful participation in discussions. I will take attendance in class; more than 3 absences for any reason will adversely affect your grade.

Papers (1-3 pp.; 8% each)

5 short (1-3 pp.) essays, due over the course of the semester. These papers should be tight, focused meditations on some issue raised by your readings (topics for each day are linked to the dates in the timetable). Your meditations should be more than plot summaries: you need to stake out a position and make an argument in support of it. 1-3 pages isn't much space, so choose a thesis limited enough to be defended well in that space, and don't waste time on padding! A good argument will be based on close, careful consideration of your primary and secondary readings, but I neither expect, nor particularly want, you to do further research. Papers are due by the start of class on the relevant class day; e-mail submission greatly preferred.

Choice of which essays to write is entirely up to you, but to avoid pile-up at the end of the semester, you must submit at least 2 by the midterm.

Option: Some of you may have a strong desire to pursue a specific topic in depth. In that case, you may substitute a longer research paper, or similarly weighty project, for some or all of the short essays. If you wish to take this option, you must discuss it with me by October 7.

Independent project (15%; due dates variable)

In the second week of class, I will randomly divide you into pairs. Each team will be responsible for giving a c. 10-15 minute in-class presentation on a topic of general interest that pertains to, but goes beyond, your primary and secondary readings. The purpose of these projects is not to do ground-breaking independent research, but to dig a little more deeply into a topic that interests you and to find something interesting and useful to bring back to the class. To help focus your presentation and your audience's attention, each team should submit one possible short-answer exam question based on its presentation.

Teams should meet with me no less than 2 weeks before their presentation date to discuss ideas and bibliography for their presentations, and again 2-3 days before the presentation to go over what they're planning to do.

Topics (listed below) will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, so come talk to me early!

10/5 Dream interpretation 11/16 The rites of Mithras
11/4 Love magic 11/18 Jews at Rome
11/11 The taurobolium 11/21 Worship in the early church

Exams (35%)

There will be 2 exams, a midterm and a final. The midterm will be given in class on Monday, 10/24. The final will be given on Thursday, 12/22 at 6 pm. If you need to make special arrangements for either or both exams, please speak to me as soon as possible.