Graduate Seminars 2016-2017

Prose Composition Courses

Fall LAT1000F Advanced Studies in Latin Language J. Welsh MW 9:00-11:00
Spring GRK1000S Advanced Studies in Greek Language R. Höschele TR 9:00-11:00

Language-Intensive Courses

Fall GRK1800F Greek Literature and Language M. Revermann F 9:00-12:00
Fall LAT1801F Apuleius, Apology A. Bendlin R 9:00-12:00
Spring GRK1801S Special Topics in Greek History B. Akrigg MW 13:00-15:00

Research Seminars

Fall CLA5000F All Things Odyssey J. Burgess T 15:00-18:00
Fall CLA5018F Orientalism and the Classics K. Blouin R 13:00-16:00
Spring CLA5022S Pindar P. Bing T 15:00-18:00
Spring CLA5023S Epicurean Literature in First-Century BCE Italy A. Keith W 15:00-18:00
Spring CLA5025S Josephus, and the History of Judea from Hellenistic rule to Titus’ Destruction of the Second Temple B. Chrubasik W 9:00-12:00
Spring CLA5028S Roman Networks C. Fulton M 15:00-18:00

Reading Seminars: Course Descriptions 

GRK1800F “Greek Literature and Language” / M. Revermann
Fridays, 9:00-12:00, LI103
As the primary objective of this course is to improve reading skills, participants will have to prepare a significant amount of text for translation and discussion for each session. Excerpts from the following authors will be read: Homer, Plato, Stesichorus, Aristophanes, Callimachus, Herodotus, Lysias, Demosthenes, Heliodorus. The texts are chosen to provide significant overlaps with the Reading List. In addition, relevant scholarly discussions will be assigned for each session in order to broaden the perspective beyond merely linguistic aspects towards broader questions of interpretation. In particular, the very act of reading ancient texts will be problematized from various theoretical perspectives throughout this course. Towards the end of the course, there will be a special focus on two more technical aspects, metre and textual criticism.

LAT1800F “Apuleius Apology” / A. Bendlin
Thursdays, 9:00-12:00, LI220
This reading seminar offers a close reading of Apuleius’s Apology, the published version of a defense speech pro se de magia the author purportedly delivered in ca. 158/9 CE in the town of Sabratha in Africa Proconsularis. The seminar investigates the text’s cultural and religious context, but we will also consider a range of related texts on “magic” and criminal procedure in the Roman imperial world (excerpts from Apuleius’s Metamorphoses, Pliny’s Natural History, Tacitus’ Annals, the pertinent juristic texts, inscriptions, etc.).

GRK1801S “Special Topics in Greek History ” / B. Akrigg
Mondays, Wednesdays, 13:00-15:00, LI205
In this course we shall focus on the written texts that survive from Athens at its imperial height. The course will include the reading of: excerpts from Thucydides; Aeschylus’ Eumenides; and Aristophanes’ Lysistrata. We shall also examine the dossier of Attic inscriptions prescribed for the reading list.

Research Seminars: Course Descriptions

CLA5000F “All Things Odyssey”” / J. Burgess
Tuesdays, 15:00-18:00, LI205
We will read through all of the Odyssey in Greek and interpret the epic from various perspectives. Class activities will include translation from each week’s assignment, group discussion on our readings, presentations by the professor, and student presentations.   Besides considering ancient views on Homer and modern schools of thought (Analysts, Unitarians, Oralists, Neo-Analysts), we will survey historical, anthropological, and theoretical approaches to the Odyssey, as well as its reception down through time. Requirements include a research paper and a final exam consisting of translation and commentary.

CLA5018F: “Topics in Roman History: Orientalism and the Classics” / K. Blouin
Thursdays, 13:00-16:00, LI103
The concept of Orientalism was developed by the literary scholar Edward Said who, in his seminal work Orientalism (1978), defined it as “the corporate institution for dealing with Orient – dealing with it by making statements abot it, authorizing views of it, describing it, by teaching it, settling it, ruling over it: in short, Orientalism [is] a Western style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over Orient”. Starting from a careful reading of Said’s work and of the scholarly and popular responses it led to, this seminar will reflect on the many ways in which Orientalism has shaped the field we call Classics. Issues to be discussed include ancient Orientalism, the relationship between Orientalism and the development of Classics as a discipline, Antiquity as a “chronological Orient”, and the origin, role, and significance of ancient topoi linked to the “Other” in contemporary discourses. Weekly readings will include modern scholarship and ancient, written and material primary evidence. Students in Classics are expected to read ancient Greek and Latin texts in the original language, while students from other departments who do not master these languages will be provided with translations.

CLA5022S “Pindar” / P. Bing
Tuesdays, 15:00-18:00, LI205
This course will focus on the epinician odes of the 5th cent. poet, Pindar. Through readings of selected Olympian, Pythian, Nemean and Isthmian odes, we will explore central questions of Pindaric scholarship such as the social and political significance of epinician, the relationship of poet and patron, myth and occasion, choral versus monodic performance, and biographical versus rhetorical criticism. In the latter part of the course, we will set Pindar¹s odes against those of his competitor, Bacchylides, and also trace the epinician¹s later history in Callimachus¹ elegiac victory odes and epigrammatic Hippika of Posidippus. Texts: H. Maehler & B. Snell (edd), Pindarus. Pars I. Epinicia. 8th edition (Teubner 1987); H. Maehler (ed.), Bacchylides. Carmina cum fragments. 11th rev. ed (Teubner 2003).

CLA5023S “Epicurean Literature in First-Century BCE Italy” / A. Keith
Wednesdays, 15:00-18:00, LI103
This course focuses on Epicurean philosophy and Latin literature in first-century BCE Italy. We shall explore the work of both self-described Epicureans (Philodemus, Lucretius, Horace) and the characterizations of Epicureans in the work of their opponent Cicero and their early adherent Vergil. We shall consider key Epicurean themes such as friendship and pleasure, and analyze Epicurean attitudes to the passions, politics and poetics, in a period that witnessed the literary innovations of the ‘Neoteric’ poets, the political upheavals of the civil wars, and the demise of the Roman republic.

CLA5025S: “Josephus, and the History of Judaea from Hellenistic rule to Titus’ Destruction of the Second Temple” / B. Chrubasik
Fridays, 10:00-13:00, LI103
The historian Josephus is lodged in-between three worlds: he was a Roman citizen who was at least for some time close to the imperial family of the Flavii; a member of the Jewish priestly aristocracy who had not only initially fought in the Roman campaign, but also saw himself as a member of the Hasmonean royal House; and—as his style and narrative technique betray—he was an emulator of Polybios and Thucydides, and as such a Greek historical writer. Josephus not only had a deep knowledge about Judaean affairs and access to critical information for writing his Jewish Antiquities, but also Josephus had an invested interest to craft his histories exactly how he saw the world he lived in. Similarly to Josephus himself, his home region, Judaea was lodged between the major powers of its time, generating a fascinating case of local history.

This course explores the history of the people of Judaea under Ptolemaic, Seleukid, and Roman rule through the eyes of the Jewish historian Josephus. The region was not only a pawn in the play of the major powers of the Hellenistic East, but its internal groups also used the external influences to establish their own positions within Jerusalem, and to extend Judaean power in the region. The main source of information for this course will derive from Josephus’ Jewish Antiquities—and this will enable us to thoroughly examine his narrative techniques. We will place his narrative in the context of alternative literary and documentary evidence in order to both assess Josephus the author, and to generate a clearer image of the Southern Levant in the Hellenistic and Early Roman periods.

This in-depth study of a local region is therefore chiefly an investigation into how to read (one specific case of) ancient narratives, how these narratives re-wrote, shaped and distorted ancient events, and how (and if) the modern responsible historian can generate meaningful histories from them. It is also a history of power, monarchy, political complexity, and anarchy, and how social pressures, and fanaticism transcends chronological periods.

CLA5028S “Roman Networks” / C. Fulton
Mondays: 15:00-18:00, LI103
During the first centuries CE, the reach of the Rome Empire was constantly being extended and contested, yet it was also maintained by cross-cultural connections that spanned the Mediterranean Sea, North Sea, Red Sea, Black Sea, and Indian Ocean, in addition to many overland trade routes. Scholarship has sought to understand these connections and elucidate the spread of certain phenomena through network-based approaches. This seminar addresses questions such as: How were these networks developed and maintained? What entities were moved along networks? What were the consequences?

After discussing current approaches to networks, this seminar will examine the objects, people, and ideologies transported around the Mediterranean. Case studies will explore (1) the incorporation of luxuries from Greece and the Near East into Roman usage, (2) changes in Roman attitudes towards Egyptian culture alongside changes in Egyptian practices, and (3) the negotiation of identity as a result of interactions between Rome and the western provinces. We will draw on evidence from epigraphic sources, ancient authors, and archaeological sites to tease apart the complex interrelationships of identity, religion, economy, and politics that were intertwined through Roman networks.