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Spring | Summer 2021
CLA|HIS 3110 A00 (Professor: TBA)
Homer, Hoplites, and Heroes: The Greek States at War
Aeschylus was the first tragic playwright whose writings achieved a degree of fame in the ancient Greek world. Yet upon his death in 456 BC, his self-composed epitaph made no mention whatsoever of his famous plays and instead concentrated his deeds from the Battle of Marathon a generation earlier. This is perhaps the best example of how, despite the literary, cultural, artistic, and architectural achievements of the classical age, warfare in ancient Greece remained the ultimate mark of one's citizenship and masculinity. This course shall examine how Homeric ideas of warfare not only reinforced social and political hierarchies, but equally had a significant influence on ancient Greek concepts of gender. At their best, such ideas were in part responsible for the rise of democracy at Athens and the classical age in general. However, when taken to extremes, they also caused the Greek city-states to destroy each other on the battlefield. To finish off the course, we will explore the adaptation of Homeric ideals in modern cinema through the films Troy (2004) and 300 (2006).
CLA|HIS 3110 B00 (Professor: TBA)
Gender and Women’s Rights in the World of Early Christianity
The course will consist of an examination of the status and rights of women in the Roman empire from the earliest days of Christianity in the first century CE until the conquest of Egypt in the seventh century. Students will be introduced to the complex question of what it meant to be a woman in the later Roman empire. While exploring the foundational concepts of feminist historiography, including gender and queer theory, the class will have the opportunity to experience first-hand the benefits that interdisciplinary and digital humanities methods bring to historical-sociological research. Topics will include Women in the law, Women’s social roles, Jesus’ female disciples, Women in the public sphere, Women in the early Church, Asceticism and monasticism, and Family life. This course will introduce students to knowledge from a variety of fields, including law (Roman and Late Antique), ancient history (first to seventh centuries CE) and gender studies (in particular, as it relates to sociology, history, and feminist historiography).
CLA|HIS 3110 A00 (Professor: R. Burgess)
The Late Roman Emperors, their Coinage, and the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
In which we examine the history of the late Roman emperors from the tranquility and prosperity that attended the accession of Marcus Aurelius in 161 to the dissolution of the western empire upon the deposition of Romulus Augustus in 476. This course will also consider the changes to the office of emperor itself and the way in which the emperors, their goals, and their public personas are presented on the coinage.
CLA|HIS 3510 (Professor: D. Côté)
Philosophes et « magiciens » dans l’Antiquité
Dans l’Antiquité, certains philosophes, comme Apollonius de Tyane et Apulée de Madaure, ont été accusés, formellement ou non, d’avoir pratiqué la «magie». D’autres se sont montrés intéressés à comprendre en quoi consistait la magie, tout en gardant leur distance, et ont été exposés à des rituels «magiques». C’est le cas de Plotin. D’autres encore, tel Jamblique et les philosophes de son école, ont introduit dans l’étude et la pratique de la philosophie, des rituels, supposément égyptiens et chaldéens, qui relèvent de la «théurgie», des rituels qui ressemblent parfois à des rituels «magiques».
Le but du cours est d’apporter une explication au phénomène de la proximité entre philosophie et «magie» que l’on peut observer dans certains milieux et dans certains contextes, du deuxième siècle au quatrième siècle de notre ère, dans le monde gréco-romain. Comme l’indiquent les guillemets utilisés dans le titre et dans cette description, la notion de «magie» et dans une moindre mesure celle de «théurgie» posent problème. Qu’est-ce que la «magie»? Qu’est-ce qu’un «magicien»? La réponse à cette question ne faisait pas l’unanimité dans l’Antiquité et encore aujourd’hui laisse perplexe le savant qui cherche à y répondre. Sans prétendre régler la question, le cours proposera tout de même les éléments d’une définition de la «magie» et de la «théurgie».
Le corpus qui sera étudié dans le cadre du cours comprend notamment : la Vie d’Apollonius de Tyane, de Philostrate, l’Apologie, d’Apulée, Les Métamorphoses ou l’Âne d’or, d’Apulée, le Philopseudes, de Lucien, la Vie de Plotin, de Porphyre, la Réponse à Porphyre, de Jamblique et les Vies de philosophes et de sophistes, d’Eunape de Sardes.
CLA 4151 (Professor: TBA)
War, Gender, and Vengeance in Greek Tragedy
Warfare is one of the most common themes in Greek tragedy, as explorations of human conflict, its participants, and its victims are at the core of some of the most important works by Aischylos, Sophokles, and Euripides. Many of these plays scrutinise and challenge contemporary notions of gender, in particular questioning ancient Greece’s focus on Homeric, agonal warfare. Vengeance, both divine and human, is as well central to many a tragic plot. These themes go hand-in-hand, as the role of women in these plays is often to call upon men to exact vengeance through warfare and performances of masculinity. The themes of war, gender, and vengeance are universal throughout human history; as such, the tragedies that examine these issues have always been popular, and are even experiencing a renaissance in the twenty-first century. This class will feature deep readings of selected Greek tragedies, examining the texts first and foremost as works of ancient literature, highlighting issues of meaning, interpretation, text, language, and translation. All texts shall be read in translation and knowledge of ancient Greek is not required. To finish off the course, we will explore the adaptation of ancient tragedy in modern cinema.
CLA|HIS 3110 B00 (Professor: TBA)
This course will deal with the history and archaeology of Pompeii. Topics include; the architecture and the history of the site and its urban plan; imperial patronage of Pompeii; the eruption of Vesuvius and destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum; the rediscovery of these sites in the Renaissance and their subsequent excavation in the modern era; the political relevance of Pompeii in the 18th and 19th centuries; domestic arts (interior decoration e.g., the four styles of painting); gardens, garden paintings and sculptural programs.
CLA 3130 (Professor: TBA)
Augustus and the Shaping of Rome
Augustus, the first Roman emperor, famously boasted that he found Rome a city of brick and left it a city of marble. No less profound than his change to the physical city was his reshaping of Roman society, politics. and culture, especially literature, to conform to his vision of Roman grandeur, grounded in a nostalgic vision of the past and intended to last an eternity. Rome produced some of its most famous authors in this period—Vergil, Livy, Horace, Ovid, Propertius, and Tibullus—but the relationship between literature and power had its dangers. In this course we will start by looking at the figure of Augustus himself and his goals as portrayed in a variety of sources, and we will then examine selected readings from these authors to see how their writings reflected or even promoted Augustus’ totalizing program but also resisted and undermined it.
CLA 3530 (Professor: TBA)
CLA|HIS 4150 (Professor: TBA)
The Greek East from Alexander to Augustus
From Alexander’s fabled march to the royal court of Cleopatra, the Greek East is often described by ancient sources as exotic and dangerous, a place of mysterious beliefs, Lucullan luxury, and alluring riches. In essence, the world between Egypt and India was ‘othered’ by the Greek sources: whereas Greeks were seen to be masculine, moderate, logical, and free, so Easterners were portrayed as effeminate, opulent, untrustworthy, and docile. This course examines the East as an idea which appears and reappears in the ancient Mediterranean world between the fourth and the first centuries B.C. The impact of this era and region on antique history is immeasurable, as the period saw Alexander’s campaigns remake ideas about gender, masculinity, and the warrior king; Homer’s Trojan War take on new significance as a fight between Greeks and barbarians over civilisation itself; and Alexandria with its Museion and library become the one of the world’s great cultural capitals. The East is equally the place from where Augustus took his ideas about monarchy when he became the first emperor of Rome. Thus, the East in the period between Alexander and Augustus unifies the entire ancient world, bridging not just the Mediterranean and antique Mesopotamia, but equally classical Greece with Imperial Rome.
CLA 4551 (Professor: M.-P. Bussières)
De Homère aux marches de St-Pierre : le parcours de l’épopée dans l'Antiquité
Ce séminaire vise à explorer le développement du genre littéraire épique en grec et en latin. Depuis les épopées fondatrices mises sous le nom d’Homère, en passant par les épopées littéraires d’époque hellénistique et latine, les épopées mythologiques, historiques, ou parodiques (comme la Batrachomyomachie : le combat des grenouilles et des souris) sont toutes distinctes, mais toutes en dialogue. Ce phénomène d’émulation n’épargne pas l’épopée biblique, qui avait pour but de raconter des épisodes de l’Ancien et du Nouveau Testament dans une forme plus littéraire que l’original. Le dernier exemple, les Actes des apôtres d’Arator, a été lu dans l’église St-Pierre-aux-liens au milieu du 6e siècle, faisant durer la pratique du genre jusqu’à la toute fin de l’Antiquité.
LCL 3102 (Professor: TBA)
Selections from Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–43 B.C.) was a lawyer, a statesman and a prolific writer who was a contemporary of Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great. His works include not only political and legal speeches and works on oratory, but also works on philosophy and religion, and a collection of personal letters that provide a fascinating window into Roman society and politics at the end of the Republic. In this course we will study a selection of his writings from different genres supplemented with some advanced Latin grammar.
LCL 3152 (Professor: R. Burgess)
Lucian’s True Stories and Plato’s Apology
Introduction to Greek authors including a grammar review component. This course has variable topics and may be taken several times if the themes are different. Texts this term include Lucian’s True Stories and Plato’s Apology.
LCL 4150 (Professor:J. Dijkstra)
Longus, Daphnis and Chloe
In this course, Daphnis and Chloe by the second-century author Longus will be central, one of the most famous ancient Greek novels. The novel describes how the two foundlings, brought up by shepherds, come of age and gradually discover love.