Graduate Seminars 2020-2021

Prose Composition 

 Fall GRK1000F Advanced Greek language J. Burgess MW 10-11:30
 Spring LAT1000S Advanced Latin language E. Gunderson TR 10-11:30

Language-Intensive Courses

 Fall LAT1802H Readings in Latin Epic M. Dewar T 2:30-5:30, LI220
 Spring GRK1800H Greek Literature and Language M. Revermann M 9-12

Research Seminars

 Fall CLA5009H Cicero, De Legibus: Political Thought, Law and Religion in Late Republican Rome A. Bendlin R 9-12
 Fall CLA5012H The Aristotelian Tradition: From Theophrastus to Alexander G. Boys-Stones T 9-12
 Fall CLA5024H Sprung from the earth: Indigeneity and the Classics K. Blouin W 2-5
 Spring CLA5004H Callimachus P. Bing W 1-4
 Spring CLA5016H Metal Production, Metalworkers, and Society in Ancient Greece S. Murray W 10-1
 Spring CLA5022H Sailing the Erythraean Sea: Greeks and Romans in the Indian Ocean World E. Lytle R 1-4
 Spring CLA5028H Social and Cultural Life in the Towns of the Roman Empire in the West C. Bruun T 2-5

Prose Composition: Course Descriptions

GRK1000H-F: Advanced Greek Language (J. Burgess)

This course is designed to deepen your understanding of the Greek language. It offers a review of Greek grammar and exercises in Greek composition.

LAT1000H-S: Advanced Latin Language (E. Gunderson)

This course is designed to deepen your understanding of the Latin language. It offers a review of Latin grammar, an introduction to Latin prose style, and exercises in Latin composition.

Reading Seminars: Course Descriptions 

LAT1802H-F: Readings in Latin Epic (M. Dewar)

The aims of this course are, first and foremost, to help students improve their general fluency in reading Latin epic poetry and, secondly, to help them prepare for the Qualifying Examinations. We shall begin with Catullus’ neoteric epyllion, Carmen 64. Students will be consulted in September to determine which other texts on the M. A. and Ph. D. Qualifying Examinations Reading Lists they prefer to study in class.

GRK1800H-S: Greek Literature and Language (M. Revermann)

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 both prose and poetry authors will be read and discussed. The texts are chosen to provide significant overlaps with the Reading List. In addition, relevant scholarly discussions may 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.
As a special module, this course will include a four-week ‘Greek Religion extension’. This will culminate in the (double) session on March 1 2021 which will be a Graduate Study Day (done in remote mode) with two outside guests (Prof. Barbara Kowalzig from NYU and Prof. Oliver Thomas from Nottingham University). This event is generously funded by the UTM Dean’s Office.

Research Seminars: Course Descriptions

CLA5009H-F – Cicero, De Legibus: Political Thought, Law and Religion in Late Republican Rome (A. Bendlin)

In this research seminar, we place “On the Laws,” Cicero’s (quasi-)legal codification of proper civic behaviour, in its political, intellectual, and literary contexts. To this end, we also peruse other Ciceronian writings and the works of other authors, in particular Cicero’s De Re Publica––composed, like De Legibus, in the 50s BCE––and epistolary correspondence from this period.
The topics addressed in the three extant books of De Legibus (the rest is lost) lend themselves to a variety of investigations: history and Roman historiography, the question of natural law, and Stoic philosophy more broadly in Book 1; Roman religion, its civic organization and legal regimentation in Book 2; Rome’s political institutions, the processes of civic decision-taking, and law-making in Book 3; and more generally, the Latin text of De Legibus and its transmission, its literary form (“law-codes” in Books 2 and 3, to which Cicero’s adds his own lemmatized commentaries), or Cicero’s constant referencing of the Platonic tradition (Plato’s Nomoi in particular).
Despite its fragmentary state, “On the Laws” has attracted a fair amount of attention since the 15th century; we also trace the text’s reception among early modern political philosophers and constitutional theorists.

J.G.F. Powell (ed.), M. Tulli Ciceroni De re publica, De legibus, Cato maior de senectute, Laelius de micitial (Oxford: OUP, 2006).

We use Powell’s critical edition; please obtain a copy prior to our first meeting. A syllabus and further bibliography are provided in Week 1.

CLA5012H-F – The Aristotelian Tradition: From Theophrastus to Alexander (G. Boys-Stones)

This course will focus mainly on Aristotelianism in the second and third centuries CE. New interest in the ‘esoteric’ texts of Aristotle (the ones that we read today) led to Aristotelians making a major contribution to the shape of philosophical debate during this period. But the course will also provide an opportunity to explore the entire tradition stretching back through the Hellenistic age to Theophrastus and other early followers of Aristotle. Thematically, it will focus on ethics, theology, and metaphysics.

CLA5024H-F – Sprung from the earth: Indigeneity and the Classics (K. Blouin)

This seminar will explore the representations and realities of indigeneity in the ancient Mediterranean world, as well as their entanglements with modern historiography and reception of the “Classical past”. Combining a multidisciplinary set of theoretical readings with primary evidence from a variety of periods and places, weekly meetings will be structured according to a case study approach. Topics to be discussed will notably include ancient hegemonic discourses about autochtony (including Athens’), conceptions of indigeneity in (Roman, Carthaginian) founding myths, interactions between ancient settlers and native populations, as well as the interplay between “Classical” education and the representations and treatments of indigenous populations in modern (settler) colonies.

CLA5004H-S – Callimachus (P. Bing)

In this course we will study Callimachus of Cyrene, the 3rd century B.C. scholar-poet who was a favorite of the Ptolemies, conducting scholarship at their newly instituted Library of Alexandria and promoting their policies and ideology of kingship as court poet. Through readings from the Aetia, Iambi, Hymns, Epigrams, Hecale, and Lyric we will examine the relationship between Callimachus’ poetry and his scholarship. For the Library of Alexandria, he wrote the Pinakes, the first bio-bibliographical catalogue ever, along with numerous ethnographic and paradoxographical works. His literary principles clearly shaped his scholarly judgements, while his scholarly researches provided rich material for his poetry. We will consider how the learnèd scholar-poet defined himself vis-à-vis earlier generations through the writtenness of his work and its reception in the act of reading. As one of the first poet-editors, he shaped his audience’s experience by artfully organizing his poems into books, collections to be experienced on the scroll rather than in performance. That writtenness also formed the basis of his revolutionary aesthetic of the learnèd, diminutive, and highly polished art-work. We will examine how his poetic principles reflect the sometimes heated and polemical aesthetic debates of his time, and how these fit the program of artistic patronage fostered by the Ptolemies. Finally, we will look at how Callimachus decisively influenced the Latin poets of the late Republic and Augustan Age.

CLA5016H-S – Metal Production, Metalworkers, and Society in Ancient Greece (S. Murray)

In the context of European prehistory and history, metal production has usually been interrogated in technological or economic terms, at the expense of serious consideration of the social roles of metalworking and metalworkers. However, comparative ethnographic and anthropological research documents widespread, complex connections between metallurgy and many non-economic aspects of society, including political structures, value systems, eschatological beliefs, and superstitious magic. While non-technologist discourse has been integrated into the study of metal production in some disciplinary literatures, it has not been brought to bear on the situation in ancient Greece. In this class, we will read a variety of primary texts and secondary sources, including literary, ethnographic, anthropological, and archaeological studies, that shed light on social, political, and ritual aspects of metalworking. Based on these readings, we will consider dynamics of metal production and consumption in ancient Greece within a broadly comparative and primarily social, rather than local techno-economic, lens. We will also take metalworkers seriously as complex agents with a variety of roles, rather than one-dimensional economic actors. If conditions allow, we will visit a metal foundry in order to witness productive processes that involve dramatic pyrotechnological expertise and demonstrate the mastery of elements. The aim will be to emerge from the class with a set of new research ideas and agendas that will serve as a corrective to an overly technological and modernizing economic discourse relevant to craft production in the study of ancient Greece.

CLA5022H-S – Sailing the Erythraean Sea: Greeks and Romans in the Indian Ocean World (E. Lytle)

This course is designed as an interdisciplinary investigation of the social, economic and intellectual histories of Greco-Roman interaction with the Indian Ocean World, the ancient Erythraean Sea. Topics to be treated include Ptolemaic exploration, settlement and trade in the modern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden; the origins and development of the Indian Ocean monsoon trade; the nature and scale of Greco-Roman trade with India, East Africa and SE Asia; ancient ethnographic, geographic and scientific interest in the Erythraean Sea.
The course will interrogate archaeological, art historical, literary and documentary evidence. For students with appropriate language training the course will offer opportunities to engage directly with a rich body of literary and documentary texts, but knowledge of Greek and Latin is not required. In designing the course I have assumed that most students will have had previous coursework in Classics or Ancient History, but the material intersects with a wide range of other disciplines and readings and research projects will be designed to accommodate students with different background training.

CLA5028H-S – Social and Cultural Life in the Towns of the Roman Empire in the West (C. Bruun)
Festivals, spectacles, local identities, cultic activities, elections, migration, social mobility, rich and poor – the Roman world during the Principate was a world of towns. In this course, we study the towns in Italy (excluding Rome) and the western provinces of the empire. The material remains of the towns (their layout and buildings, the archaeology) constitute the physical setting, while epigraphy provides most of the evidence that we can use for investigating social and cultural phenomena. Literary sources that shed light on urban life (Petronius’ Satyrica in particular) add to our evidence.