Classics

Timothy A. Joseph, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair

In the curriculum of the Department of Classics students study the ancient Greek and Roman cultures through their languages, texts, and artifacts. Courses are available every semester in the ancient Greek and Latin languages at the introductory, intermediate, and advanced levels. For both Classics majors and non-majors alike, there are offerings in Greek and Roman literature, history, politics, mythology, rhetoric, art and archaeology, and religion — all of these Classics courses require no knowledge of the ancient languages. For Classics majors, there are also opportunities for independent and collaborative research.

The department offers a wide selection of courses, seminars, and occasional tutorials that provide a comprehensive view of the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome. The program for majors is designed to develop a command of the Classical languages, to introduce the student to the techniques of textual and historical analysis, and to survey the Greek and Roman worlds through literary, historical, and archaeological evidence. The Classics major thus acquires a familiarity with the subtleties and intricacies of inflected languages, an appreciation for creative expression through the accurate translation of prose and poetry, and a critical knowledge of the texts, material culture and institutions that form the foundations of Western Civilization. In addition, the classroom experience can be enhanced by participation in first-rate study abroad programs in Rome and Athens.

A minimum of 10 courses is required for a major in Classics. To satisfy the language requirements of the Classics major, a student will typically take at least one semester of an author-level course in one of the languages (Greek or Latin) and complete the intermediate level in the other. Normally, majors take no fewer than eight courses in the original languages. Adjustments to the language requirements can be approved by the chair of the department.

The department offers three merit scholarships — two Rev. Henry Bean, S.J., Scholarships (annually) and the Rev. William Fitzgerald, S.J., Scholarship (every four years) — to incoming students with distinguished academic records who major in the Classics at Holy Cross. Recipients of these scholarships are granted full tuition, independent of need. Each scholarship is renewable annually, provided that the student maintains a strong academic record and continues to be a highly active Classics major. Candidates should address inquiries to: Department of Classics, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA 01610. The application deadline is Jan. 15.

Advanced Placement Credit: Students with AP credit in Latin may be placed in 300-level Latin courses but do not normally receive credit toward the major.

Courses

Latin Courses

Latin
Latin
101, 102
Annually

A grammar course introducing the student to the Latin language and its literature. One unit each semester.

Latin
101, 102
Annually

A grammar course introducing the student to the Latin language and its literature. One unit each semester.

Latin
213, 214
Annually

For students who have completed LATN 101 and 102 or two years of pre-college Latin. This course includes selected readings from Latin authors and an extensive grammar review. One unit each semester.

Latin
275
Fall

This intensive intermediate level course will consolidate the student's knowledge of Latin grammar through reading a variety of Latin texts. One unit.

Latin
320
Every third year

Extensive readings from the works of the Roman historians Sallust and Livy. Study of the sources and methods of Roman historiography. One unit.

Latin
321
Every third year

Concentrates on the Annales of Tacitus. Consideration is given to the Historiae, Agricola, and Germania. One unit.

Latin
322
Every third year

Selected orations of Cicero are read in the original. Emphasis is placed on rhetorical analysis and on the interpretation of historical and political developments of the first century B.C.E. One unit.

Latin
323
Every third year

Selected letters of Cicero and Pliny are read in the original Latin, while those of Seneca are read in English. Consideration is also given to historical background and to the development of letter writing as a literary form. One unit

Latin
324
Every third year

A detailed study of selected satires of Juvenal. Although emphasis is placed on the literary analysis of satire, some attention is also given to Juvenal’s works as a source for understanding first century CE Rome. One unit.

Latin
325
Every third year

A textual analysis of the Satyricon and its reflection of the reign of Nero and the social, religious, and political developments in the first century CE. One unit.

Latin
334
Every third year

An extensive examination of the poetic and philosophic message of Lucretius’ Epicurean poem, De rerum natura. One unit.

Latin
343
Every third year

Selected poems from the four books of Odes are read in the original. Emphasis is placed on literary analysis and interpretation. In addition, students read a sampling of Horace’s other poetic works in the original. One unit.

Latin
344
Every third year

A literary study and analysis of the poems of Catullus. One unit.

Latin
346
Every third year

Substantial portions of Books I and II are read. Appropriate attention is paid to the background of the satire genre and to the historical context of the poems. One unit.

Latin
350
Every third year

Reading in the original of selected works from the Patristic period. This course can count toward fulfillment of the Religious Studies major. One unit.

Latin
350
Every third year

Reading in the original of selected works from the Patristic period. This course can count toward fulfillment
of the Religious Studies major. One unit.

Latin
358
Every third year

A study of Vergil’s epic with emphasis on its literary artistry. One unit.

Latin
359
Every third year

The development of pastoral and agricultural poetry, as exemplified in Vergil’s two poetic masterpieces, Eclogues and Georgics. One unit.

Latin
363
Every third year

This course serves as an introduction to the comedies of Plautus and Terence. Topics considered include the dependence of Roman Comedy on Greek prototypes, the language and style of Roman comedy, the historical context of these plays and the evidence for how they were performed. One unit.

Latin
365
Every third year

Selected poems from the four books of Propertius’ elegies are read in the original. Appropriate attention is paid to the background of the elegiac genre. Emphasis is placed on literary analysis and interpretation. One unit.

Latin
366
Every third year

A close examination of the literary artistry of a number of individual stories in Ovid's epic poem Metamorphoses. One unit.

Latin
368
Every third year

This course is focused on Ovid’s Heroides, a collection of epistolary poems that present themselves as letters written by famous women in myth and literature to their absent lovers. In this course, students will become acquainted with Ovid’s poetic style and his use of the epistolary genre and also learn about philological and literary critical approaches to this poetry, including intertextuality, focalization, and feminist and gender criticism. One unit.

Latin
401, 402
Annually

Designed for selected students with approval of a professor and the Department Chair. This work may be done for one or two semesters. One unit each semester.

Greek Courses

Greek
101, 102
Annually

A first course in Greek language involving a systematic investigation of Attic or Homeric Greek through a logical and intensive study of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. One unit each semester.

Greek
Greek
101,102
Annually

A first course in Greek language involving a systematic introduction to Attic Greek through an intensive study of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. One unit each semester.

Greek
105
Spring

Greek grammar, covered in one semester, with a view toward preparing the student for Intermediate Greek. One unit.

Greek
213, 214
Annually

Translation and analysis of Greek prose and poetry, with close attention to grammar and syntax. Prerequisite: Greek 101 and 102 or Greek 105, or the equivalent. Students without the prerequisite should consult the department. One unit each semester.

Greek
330
Every third year

A survey in the original Greek of the major writers of drinking and fighting songs, of political and personal songs, and of sports and love songs from about 650 B.C. to 450 BCE. Knowledge (at least through English translation) of Homer, Hesiod and the Homeric Hymns is presumed. One unit.

Greek
332
Every third year

A reading of selected books of the Iliad and/or Odyssey with special attention to their literary value as well as to oral composition, metrics, authorship, and text history. One unit.

Greek
338
Every third year

Exegesis and translation of a biography by Plutarch, with attention to his essays and his place in Greek literature. One unit.

Greek
340
Every third year

An examination of selected passages from the historian Herodotus’ account of the Persian Wars. One unit.

Greek
341
Every third year

An in-depth survey of Thucydides’ history of the Peloponnesian War. Extensive selections of historical and literary significance are read in the original Greek. One unit.

Greek
351
Every third year

A close study of the speeches of one or more Attic orators. One unit.

Greek
360
Every third year

A detailed study of the Agamemnon and other dramas of Aeschylus in the original. One unit.

Greek
361
Every third year

Extensive investigation of one play in Greek and recent literary criticism of Sophocles. One unit.

Greek
362
Every third year

A detailed study of one play in the original, with attention to others in translation. One unit.

Greek
401, 402
Annually

Designed for selected students with approval of a professor and the Department Chair. This work may be done for one or two semesters. One unit each semester.

Classics Courses

Classics (In English)
Classics
101
Alternate years

A selection of ancient Greek literature read in translation, from Homeric epic to classical history and drama, with a focus on the relation between literature and social conditions. One unit.

Classics
102
Alternate years

A selection of ancient Roman literature read in translation, including authors such as Vergil, Tacitus, Cicero, and Plautus, with a focus on the relationship between literature and social conditions. One unit.

Classics
103
Alternate years

A study of classical epic, with special emphasis on Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and Vergil’s Aeneid, but including also other examples of the genre, such as Lucan or Statius. Topics to be considered include oral and literary epic, their social and political contexts, and the influence of classical epic on later literature. One unit.

Classics
106
Every third year

Study of a selection of ancient Greek and/or Roman tragedies and comedies, with an emphasis on performance practices and contexts. One unit.

Classics
107
Every third year

The subject of this course is the constant quest for an understanding of justice, as presented in selected dramas of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, as well as in later tragedy (e.g. Seneca, Shakespeare, Racine). One unit.

Classics
109
Alternate years

This course primarily examines how certain themes, typological figures and universal truths which are developed in Biblical and Classical literature have been adapted to new circumstances and handed down over the past two millennia. The other main focus of the course will be daily in-class writing assignments based on class discussions which will allow students to develop their creative and critical writing skills. One unit.

Classics
112
Alternate years

Comparison of Classical and modern versions of several ancient Greek myths. The relationships between myth and literature are considered, as well as reasons why these myths have endured through the centuries. Emphasis is on dramatic versions of the myths; narrative poetry and other genres such as music and cinema may also be explored. One unit.

Classics
114
Alternate years

This course traces the development of the concept and experiences of the process of discernment from Antiquity to the Renaissance by looking at a wide range of texts originally written in Greek or Latin in a case-study format. The primary focus will be the "discernment of spirits" as developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola in the Spiritual Exercises, with an emphasis on three key areas of discernment: Individual, Corporate, and Individual within Corporate. One Unit.

Classics
120
Fall, spring

An exploration of the significance of myths, their meanings and functions in the cultures of Greece and Rome. One unit.

Classics
121
Alternate years

A study of the goals, methods and subject matter of Greco-Roman science. Pays special attention to how science relates to the broader social, religious and intellectual context of the ancient world. One unit.

Classics
141
Fall

A study of Greek history from its beginnings to the death of Socrates. Emphasis is placed on a close analysis of the primary sources. One unit.

Classics
142
Spring

Topics covered include the shift of power from Greek city-states to Macedonian kingdoms; effects of the conquests of Alexander the Great; the cultural interaction between Greece, Egypt, and the Near East; and the rise of Rome to world power. One unit.

Classics
143
Every third year

An analysis of the institutions, literature, and political thought inspired by the democracy of fifth- and fourth-century Athens. One unit.

Classics
151
Spring

A survey of Roman civilization from the Regal period to the late Republic, with a special focus on the political and social forces that led to the establishment of the Principate. Concentrates on the primary sources for this period, including the historians, inscriptions, and monuments. One unit.

Classics
152
Fall

A survey of Roman imperial civilization from the first to the sixth century. Concentrates on the primary sources for this period, including the historians, inscriptions, monuments, and coins. One unit.

Classics
160
Fall, spring

An introduction to the methodologies employed by archaeologists. Most examples will be drawn from the artifacts, sites and monuments of the ancient Mediterranean world. One unit.

Classics
175
Every third year

This course reconsiders how the Greeks and Romans thought about, fought over, and tried to achieve their ideal vision of manhood. Our explorations of ancient texts and material remains will reveal that the idea of masculinity in the ancient world was anything but straightforward and that our own society still battles over what ancient manliness means today. One unit.

Classics
221
Alternate years

Examines the representations of mortal and immortal women in a variety of mythological narratives and in art. Consideration is given to the relationships between these representations and contemporary ideas about and images of women. Students should read Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey in translation before enrolling in this class. One unit.

Classics
222
Every third year

Examines the ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, which were destroyed by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 CE; and which have been subject to almost continuous archaeological excavation since the 18th century. Pompeii and Herculaneum have produced some of the best evidence we have for daily life in ancient Italy. An examination of the archaeological evidence will allow us to draw conclusions about subjects as varied as ancient slavery, Italian patronage, and notions of public and private space. The course will consider different sorts of spaces including houses, businesses, entertainment venues (like the theaters and the amphitheater), temples, and government buildings; as well as the decoration, furniture, and supposedly perishable materials found in these buildings. One unit.

Classics
225
Alternate years

A study of Greek and Roman oratory based on the reading and rhetorical analysis of speeches delivered in the law courts and assemblies of fifth- and fourth-century Athens, and the late period of the Roman Republic (80–45 BC), where the focus will be on the law court speeches of Cicero. The course involves both an introduction to the legal procedures of the Athenian and Roman courts and assemblies and careful analysis of the literary style and forms of legal argument in selected speeches. One unit.

Classics
262
Every third year

Covers the development of Greek sculpture from the Early Bronze Age up to Rome’s arrival in Greece in the second century BCE. Topics include the representation of the human form, the use of art as political propaganda and as an expression of piety toward the gods, Egyptian and Near Eastern influence on Greek art, workshop and regional styles, and the problem of identifying work by “Great Masters.” Counts toward fulfillment of the Visual Arts major. Prerequisite Classics 160. One unit.

Classics
263
Every third year

Covers the three major genres of Roman sculpture-portraits, historical reliefs and mythological sculpture. Topics considered include the use of art for political propaganda, the demands and effect of private patronage, the influence of class and gender politics, and the imitation of Greek, Etruscan and Egyptian styles by Roman artists. Counts toward fulfillment of the Visual Arts major. Prerequisite Classics 160. One unit.

Classics
264
Every third year

A detailed study of the archaeological remains from ancient sanctuaries. The buildings and monuments are studied in connection with other evidence for religious behavior in the different ancient cultures. Emphasis is on the cults and shrines of Ancient Greece and Rome but in different years, the ancient Near East and Egypt also are considered. Counts toward fulfillment of the Visual Arts major. One unit.

Classics
266
Every third year

Introduces students to the art of mural (wall) painting in the Mediterranean from the Bronze Age through Late Antiquity, and to the art of mosaic from its origins in Classical Greece through Late Antiquity. Topics addressed are the techniques of fresco and mosaic; the relationship of mural painting to lost panel paintings by famous artists; the social meaning of wall and floor decoration in the ancient world; the roles of artist and patron; the Roman response to Greek painting and mosaic; and the Christian response to pagan painting and mosaic. One unit.

Classics
267
Every third year

How do we know that Vesuvius erupted on August 24, 79 A.D., that the Temple of Zeus at Olympia was completed by 456 B.C. or that the bulk of the construction of the Pantheon in Rome took place in the 120s A.D.? This course surveys the physical techniques and historical method that lie behind dates like these. One unit.

Classics
401, 402
Annually

Designed for selected students with approval of a professor and the Department Chair. This work may be done for one or two semesters. One unit each semester.