MWF 1.25-2.20 (Ladd 307)
Prof. Michael Arnush Ladd 209 x5462
marnush@skidmore.edu Hours: TuTh 11-12

Web Resources

Date Topic Lecturer Reading
Unit 1: Introductions
1/21 Introduction Arnush  

What does an historian do?

Arnush Homer Od. 1-3

What does a philologist do?
Curley, Murray, Porter Homer Od. 4-6
1/28 What does an archaeologist do? Mechem Homer Od. 7-9
Unit 2: Homeric world
1/30 Art & archaeology Mechem Homer Od. 10-12


History: archaic Greece


Homer Od. 13-15

2/4 Guest-friendship Curley Homer Od. 16-18
2/6 Fathers & sons Murray Homer Od. 19-21

2/9 Men & women Murray Homer Od. 22-24
2/11 Discussion: Homeric world Arnush  
Unit 3: Periclean age
2/13 History: the first historians
Arnush Herodotus & Thucydides (excerpts)
First paper due

2/16 Theater Mechem  
2/18 Aeschylus Porter Aeschylus Agamemnon; timeline
2/20 Sophocles Porter

Sophocles Oedipus Tyrannos; Thucydides on the plague

2/23 Parthenon Mechem
Hurwit (2004), chapter 1: "The Rock and the Goddess"
2/25 Euripides & Thucydides Porter, Arnush

Euripides Trojan Women & Thucydides' Melian Dialogue

Four clips from the Harvard Westlake School's 2007 production of an original opera, The Trojan Women, including an aria by Ellie, a member of our class:


Come to class prepared to represent and defend one of the two positions presented by Thucydides in his Melian Dialogue.

  • If your surname begins with "A" to "M," you will be an Athenian.
  • If your surname begins with "N" to "Z," you will be a Melian.
2/27 Aristophanes & comedy Curley Aristophanes Clouds
  • Based on your reading of Aristophanes and the tragedians, how does comedy resemble tragedy? How do the two genres differ? Think not only in terms of themes but also in terms of structure.
  • When Aristophanes (via the Chorus) extols the virtues of his brand of comedy (around line 520 or so), do you believe him? Why or why not?
    Today's class will involve obscene gestures and sexually explicit language.

3/2 Plato Ostrow Plato Symposium 1-44
3/4 Plato Ostrow Plato Symposium 45-end
3/6 Discussion: Periclean age Arnush Second paper: take-home midterm due

3/9-3/13 Spring Break

See Euripides' Bacchae in NYC in August at the Public Theater site (courtesy of Katie)!!!
Unit 3: Hellenistic age
3/16 History: Alexander to Cleopatra Arnush
3/18 Hellenistic literature Murray
Classical World Lecture: Prof. Hans Friedrich-Mueller, Union College, on "Debt-Bondage and Roman History," Davis Auditorium, 5.30pm
3/20 Transition to Rome Arnush Excerpts from Livy, Polybius and Phintys (?)

Unit 4: Roman republic
3/23 Arnush Cicero Correspondence (pp. 58-100)
3/25 Cicero & rhetoric Arnush Cicero Second Philippic against Antony (pp. 101-153)
  • What is the tone of this speech?
  • What sections of the speech do you find especially effective or exciting?
  • What are Cicero's main points against Antony?
  • How does Cicero feel about freedom, tyranny, and Republican political values?
  • Can you detect these rhetorical devices?
    • asyndeton: short, choppy sentences
    • parataxis: the arrangement side-by-side of phrases or clauses that are similar in content or style
    • hypophora: a rhetorical question asked and answered by the speaker
    • metaphor: a word or phrase used to designate one thing that stands in for another (e.g., “All the world’s a stage”)
    • simile: a comparison of two unlike things
    • invective: an attack that employs insulting, abusive language
    • praeteritio: to say things you claim you won’t say
  Homerathon! Spa Saratoga Room, 7pm-???
3/27 Cicero & philosophy Mechem Cicero On Old Age

3/30 Republican art Mechem  
Discussion: Roman republic
Arnush Third paper due
Assignment of Met Museum objects to teams
4/3 Preparation for Met trip Mechem Prep Met Museum object
Visit Tang Museum
4/4 Trip to Metropolitan Museum   Depart 7.30am, Case Center Parking Lot
Team presentations & the Roman domus

Unit 5: Roman empire
4/6 History: the Augustan vision Arnush Augustus Achievements of the divine Augustus
Historians and poets consider the emperor
Timeline for the life and career of Augustus
4/8 Art & archaeology Mechem Vergil Aeneid 1-3
4/10 Vergil Murray Vergil Aeneid 4-6

4/13 Vergil Wiesmann Vergil Aeneid 7-9
4/15 Vergil Curley Vergil Aeneid 10-12
4/17 Preparation for Monday group presentations   Reading packet (handout)

4/20 Roman daily life - part 1 Arnush

Reading packet (handout): required

4/22 Roman daily life - part 2
Discussion: Roman empire
Arnush Petronius Satyricon: recommended
Work on fourth paper
4/24 Elegy Curley Ovid, Heroides 1 and Heroides 7
Review Odyssey 19 and Aeneid 4
  • What seems especially Homeric and Vergilian in Heroides 1 and 7 ? What details, characterizations, themes, or images has Ovid retained from his poetic predecessors? Be prepared to cite one specific example from each poem.
  • What innovations has Ovid made in the stories of these heroines? What's new here? Again, please be prepared to cite one example from each poem.

4/27 Manuscript tradition Copans Pohndorff Room, Scribner Library 3rd floor
Fourth paper due

Discussion: Classical world

Greek & Roman Timelines


Academic Festival

  • Ancient History: 10.45am-12.00pm, Emerson Auditorium - Amanda Paret (Homer and Troy); Ross Jaffe (Herodotus); Jim Ryan (Catullus)
  • Women's Theater Collective: 1.30-2.30pm, Studio A - Claire Saxe
  • Dead Serious: 2.30-3.30pm, Ladd 307 - Wyatt Erchak
  • Den of Antiquities: 4.00-5.00pm, Ladd 206 - Katie Painter, Bryn Schockmel

5/7 Final exam   1.30-4.30pm
Bring all of your primary sources - you may use anything under the Readings column on this page
  • Aspects of the Augustan age
    • Values
    • Community
  • Comparison between Greece & Rome
    • Genres of literature
    • Artistic representations
    • Values
    • Community