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Mt. Vesuvius

CC 200 : Syllabus
Introduction Objectives Instructors Textbooks Requirements

This course is an introduction to ancient Greece and Rome for students of Classics, for those interested in the classical tradition and the impact of the study of antiquity on Medieval and Renaissance Europe, and for those seeking a general background in the Western tradition.

CC 200 also serves those students looking to develop writing skills within the discipline of classical studies.


The centerpiece of the course will be an examination of Greek and Latin literature within their larger social contexts.  Readings (in English) will include Greek and Latin epic, tragic poetry, letters and orations; history and historiography; and philosophical and political treatises.  The physical remains of classical antiquity will also receive scrutiny.

The theme for this year's Classical World course is "community."   Through the examination and analysis of art and texts, we will focus on the ways in which the Greeks and Romans constructed their communities, who could belong and who could not, the values upon which their communities were predicated, the lengths they would go to reenter and/or to protect their created communities, and the ways in which their ideals of community have been preserved and passed on to us.


Students of CC 200 will

-- understand the content, form, and scope of literary genres in ancient Greece and Rome;
-- view these genres in their social and historical contexts;
identify and assess selected artifacts and monuments; and
-- read and anyalyze historical documents within their social contexts

Furthermore, students will develop critical thinking abilities and learn to articulate them orally and in written form;  write literary, art historical/archaeological and historical analyses supported by primary sources (the ancient evidence);  and conduct research via traditional and digital methodology.


CC 200 is a team-taught course, drawing on the expertise of Skidmore professors across departments and disciplines.

Course Coordinators:
Professor Jackie Murray
Office: 205A Ladd Hall
Hours: TuTh 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. and by appointment
Telephone: 518.580.8407
email: jmurray2@skidmore.edu; jackiemurr@gmail.com
Professor Dan Curley
Office: 210 Ladd Hall
Hours: MW 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. and by appointment
Telephone: 518.580.5463
email: dcurley@skidmore.edu

Professors Murray and Curley are the co-coordinators of the course:  in addition to delivering lectures and overseeing day-to-day operations, they will craft essays and exams and assign grades.

Contributing faculty:

The following faculty members will contribute lectures and participate in other events related to the course:

-- Michael Arnush (Classics and History)
-- Ruth Copans (Scribner Library)
-- Leslie Mechem (Classics and Art History)
-- Christopher Moore (Philosophy)
-- David Porter (Classics)

As you will learn, the faculty will approach the material from very different perspectives, which will challenge you to craft your own informed interpretations both in class and in the essays.


The following required books are available in the Skidmore Shop:

-- Greek Tragedies Volumes 1 and 2.  Ed. Green and Lattimore. University of Chicago, 1992.
-- Aristophanes.  Clouds, Wasps, Birds.  Tr. Meineck.  Hackett, 1998.
-- Cicero.   Selected Works. Tr. Grant.  Viking Penguin, 1960.
-- Homer.   Odyssey.  Tr. Fagles.  Viking Penguin, 1996.
-- Plato.  Symposium.  Tr. Nehamas and Woodruff.  Hackett, 1989.
-- Vergil.  Aeneid.  Tr. Fagles.  Viking Penguin, 2007.


Class participation (20%)

Class participation involves more than just attendance.  Students must also keep up with the readings and assignments, and participate actively during all sessions.  Students are also expected to come to class on time, to remain in the classroom during class, and to maintain an environment that promotes the exchange of ideas.

NOTE:  Many reading assignments will be available via the web.  You may print these readings (double-sided, please) or you may bring your laptop to class and work with the reading on-screen.  If you opt for the latter, or you intend to use a laptop to take notes, you will be asked to sign a Laptop Agreement Form, in which you will agree to use your computer only for approved activities.  If you do not have an agreement form on file, you may not use your laptop in class.

NOTE:  The class has a fourth hour: Tu, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.  You are expected to attend each and every sesson.

NOTE:  CC 200 also has three special events at which attendance is mandatory.

-- Monday, March 7, 5:45 p.m.  The Fourteenth Annual Classical World Lecture.  An all-campus event that brings esteemed scholars and artists to campus to present their work.  This year's speaker, Professor Jeff Hurwit (University of Oregon), will present a lecture entitled "The Shipwreck of Odysseus."  Students will receive an invitation to the dinner that follows the lecture.

-- Tuesday, April 5, 7:00 p.m. - ???  Homerathon!  A marathon reading of Homer's poetry, open to the campus community.  You, the students enrolled in CC 200, together with students in other classics courses, will help engineer how the event will unfold.

-- Saturday, April 9 (all day).  Bus trip to Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY).  The Met houses a superb collection of Greco-Roman art, which will become the basis for prersentations by students, who will work in teams.  Travel by bus to NYC and admission to the museum are provided by the Classics Department.  We will prepare for our trip to the Met with a session in Skidmore's own Tang Museum.

Essays (40%)

In each of our four primary units, students will write an essay on an aspect of community in the Greek and Roman worlds.  The literary, archaeological and historical approaches on display in CC 200 will not only provide the context for your writing, but also teach you the fundamentals of writing from these perspectives.

In addition, students will develop skills as critics of others' work and as responders to critiques of their own writing;  and they will learn to revise their work to craft a polished final product.

The essays will be weighted as follows, to account for continued improvement:

-- Essay 1: 15% of the total essay grade
-- Essay 2: 20% of the total essay grade
-- Essay 3: 25% of the total essay grade
-- Essay 4: 40% of the total essay grade

Topics, due dates, and requirements here.

Examinations (40%)

There will be two exams, each worth 20% of your grade.  The midterm is scheduled for Friday, March 11;  the final, for Thursday, May 12, 6:00-9:00 p.m.  Details on both examinations will be distributed in advance.

NOTE:  Please make your travel plans in accordance with these dates, as it will NOT be possible to take the exams on other dates.

© Skidmore College Classics Department