Aug 21, 2018  
Course Catalog 2018-2019 
    
Course Catalog 2018-2019

Classics


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Andrew Wilburn, Associate Professor of Classics, Chair
Naomi Campa, Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics
Benjamin T. Lee, Professor of Classics
Kirk W. Ormand, Professor of Classics
Christopher V. Trinacty, Associate Professor of Classics
Elizabeth Wueste, Thomas F. Cooper Postdoctoral Fellow in Classics
 

Introduction

The study of Classics is a dynamic, multifaceted discipline engaged in the exploration of a remarkably multicultural part of the world - the ancient Mediterranean - from early pre-history to late antiquity (3000 BCE - 600 CE).  Students in Classics will study the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome in the context of the wider Mediterranean basin, which stretches from Spain, through Europe and North Africa and Egypt, into the modern Middle East.  This is an area of extraordinary religious, ethnic, linguistic, and cultural diversity.  Research in Classics engages with literature, drama, art, politics, philosophy, archaeology, and history.  We are therefore inherently interdisciplinary, and intentionally inclusive in our approach to understanding the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome as completely as possible.

At the same time, Classical scholars are keenly aware of the role that Classical culture and the scholarship that surrounds it has played in the production of modern institutions, forms of power, and aesthetic standards in the modern West.  We regard it as our particular challenge both to recognize the enduring value of the cultural productions of ancient Greece and Rome and to question their deployment in the modern world.  By studying ancient Greece and Rome in all their complexity, we can better understand - and critique - the structures of power that have claimed them as ancestors. 

The Classics Department offers courses in classical civilization that cover literature, history and society, as well as Greek and Roman contributions to philosophy, religion and government.  No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required for these courses. We have designed these classes with two aims in mind: to provide a background for students interested in all areas of literary, humanistic, artistic, and historical study; and to allow detailed study of particular historical, cultural, and literary moments from the ancient Mediterranean.

We also offer a full range of courses in Greek and Latin language and literature. Students who pursue the languages will develop a deeper understanding of the works of ancient Greece and Rome, and will be able to study source documents in their original languages. The Classics Department designs the introductory courses in ancient Greek and Latin so that students are able to approach significant material as soon as possible.  Advanced seminars aim at close study of one or two ancient authors, in their literary, historical, and cultural context. 

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Exams

Students who have been enrolled in the AP or IB programs in high school will be assigned advanced placement in accordance with the results of the qualifying examinations.  A score of 4 or 5 on the AP Latin examination, or a 6 or 7 on the Latin IB Examination, is required for the award of college credit.  Students will need to show the chair a syllabus and samples of their work in Latin to determine what level of class they will place into at Oberlin.  Credits earned from the AP or IB exam count toward general college credit, and cannot be used to fulfill requirements of the major(s), but will result in advanced placement.

Entry-Level Course Sequence Suggestions
Students just beginning to approach the classics should begin with Classics 111 (Greek and Roman Epic), Classics 112 (Greek and Roman Drama), Classics 103 (History of Greece) or Classics 104 (History of Rome), or with Latin 101 or Greek 101. Students are encouraged to enroll in any language course for which they are qualified. All entering students who have studied Latin or Greek previously should consult with a member of the department to determine the appropriate level of their entry into the language sequence. Students with four years of secondary-school Latin (including Vergil) will ordinarily be eligible for Latin 201 (Ovid) offered in the first semester. Such students are also strongly encouraged to consider beginning Greek in the fall semester. 

Students who have had less than three semesters of Latin will be advised to enroll in or audit Latin 101, enroll in the Winter Term group class in Latin, or to devote a Winter Term to review in order that they may enroll in Latin 102. Well-motivated students have done the equivalent of Greek 101 or of Latin 101 during a Winter Term and have then participated successfully in Greek 102 or Latin 102 in the spring.

Students considering a major in Greek or Latin should include in their first year and second year programs four semesters of work in the language, Classics 111 (Greek and Roman Epic) or Classics 112 (Greek and Roman Drama), and either Classics 103 (History of Greece) or 104 (History of Rome). Students who plan to major in Classical Civilization should take Classics 111 or 112, Classics 103 and 104, and two semesters of either Greek or Latin as early as possible. Early consultation with the Classics Department concerning proposed plans of study is advisable, particularly for those who contemplate spending part of the junior or senior year in Rome or in Athens, taking part in college affiliated study-away programs.

Major


A major in Classics can serve as the central focus of a widely ranging undergraduate curriculum since it includes many areas of human activity and creativity, and it has so served for students who have gone on to careers in business, publishing, medicine, law, and library science, among others.

Classics as a major or as a component part of an interdisciplinary or double major provides pre-professional training for those who intend to engage in research and teaching at the university or college level in such fields as Classics, Classical Archeology, Comparative Literature, Religion, Linguistics, Medieval Studies, Philosophy, and others. An undergraduate major in Classics in whole or in part is also preparation for those who intend to teach languages, literatures, or humanities in secondary schools. Interested students are advised to consult with the chairperson in devising a major or partial major program which will meet with their needs and desires. The majors are designed with a high degree of flexibility.

The Department of Classics offers three majors: Classical Civilization, Latin Language and Literature, and Greek Language and Literature.

1. The major in Classical Civilization will include: one of two introductory literature courses (Classical Civilization 111 or 112); both History of Greece and History of Rome (Classical Civilization 103 and 104); at least two courses in Greek or Latin, and lastly, six additional courses in Classics or “Related Courses.”  Among these must be at least one course in ancient Art and/or Archaeology, and at least one course on a relevant topic offered by another department (typically Art, English, History, Philosophy or Religion; courses from other departments may be substituted with the approval of the Chair.  See below for a list of approved related courses.) Additional courses in the ancient languages will also count towards these six additional courses, but credits for courses from the AP or IB exams will not count towards this requirement.

We advise students with a pre-professional interest and a desire to attend graduate school to major in either Greek or Latin Language and Literature. In such cases, work in the other language and literature is strongly recommended. Attention is called to the possibility of a minor in the other language and literature (see below).

2. The major in Latin Language and Literature will include: four courses in Latin above Latin 102; one of two introductory literature courses (Classical Civilization 111 or 112); and History of Rome (Classical Civilization 104); and three additional courses in Classics or “Related Courses.”   Among these must be at least one course in ancient Art and/or Archaeology, and at least one course on a relevant topic offered by another department (typically Art, English, History, Philosophy or Religion; courses from other departments may be substituted with the approval of the Chair.  See below for list of approved related courses.)  Additional courses in the ancient languages will also count towards these three courses.  Credits for courses from the AP or IB exams will not count towards the 4 courses required in Latin above 102.
 
3. The major in Greek Language and Literature will include: four courses in Greek above Greek 102; one of two introductory literature courses (Classical Civilization 111 or 112); History of Greece (Classical Civilization 103), and three additional courses in Classics or “Related Courses.”   Among these must be at least one course in ancient Art and/or Archaeology, and at least one course on a relevant topic offered by another department (typically Art, English, History, Philosophy or Religion; courses from other departments may be substituted with the approval of the Chair.  See below for list of approved related courses.)   Additional courses in the ancient languages will also count towards these three courses.  Credits for courses from the AP exams will not count towards the 4 courses required in Greek above 102.

With the permission of the Chair, appropriate courses from other departments in the College or from study away programs may be substituted for some of the above.

Students must earn minimum grades of C- or P for all courses that apply toward the major.

Minor


Students may receive a minor in Greek or Latin upon completion of approved programs of study. Such programs will consist of at least 5 courses in Classical Civilization, Greek Language and Literature, Latin Language and Literature, ancient philosophy, and classical art and archeology, and will ordinarily include Greek 202 or the equivalent for the minor in Greek and Latin 202 or the equivalent for the minor in Latin. Interested students are advised to consult the Chair.

 

Honors


Proposals must be submitted by early August of the Academic Year in which the honors project will be undertaken.

The Classics department the designation of Honors in each of the three majors, Classical Civilization, Greek Language and Literature, and Latin Language and Literature.

To be eligible for admission to the Honors Program in Classical Civilization, a student must have completed by the end of the junior year:

  1. One 300-level courses in Classical Civilization AND two 200 level courses in Classical Civilization or at least four 200-level courses in Classical Civilization. 
  2. Classical Civilization 103 (Greek History) and 104 (Roman History)
  3. Classical Civilization 111 or 112
  4. At least two courses in either Greek or Latin language
  5. Achieve an average grade of B+ or better in both Greek History and Roman History
  6. Have maintained a major GPA of at least 3.5, and a general GPA of 3.3.


To be eligible for admission to the Honors Program in Greek or Latin, a student must have completed by the end of the junior year:

  1. Two 300-level courses in either Greek or Latin and at least the 102-level course in the other classical language; or one 300-level course in Greek and one 300-level course in Latin
  2. Classical Civilization 103 (Greek History) or 104 (Roman History)
  3. Classical Civilization 111 or 112, plus two more courses in Classical Civilization
  4. Have maintained a major GPA of at least 3.5, and a general GPA of 3.3.

The department may invite qualified students to apply at the end of their junior year, but would also welcome applications from interested majors. Admission is based on overall academic distinction and outstanding work within the department.

To be awarded Honors in Classical Civilization, a student must:

  1. Complete a major in Classical Civilization 
  2. Earned a B+ or better in both History of Greece (CLAS 103) and History of Rome (CLAS 104)
  3. Complete satisfactorily a research project designed in consultation with members of the department
  4. Pass an oral examination on the reading list and research project.  (This examination may be conducted by an outside examiner, who would also pass judgement on the Honors project)

To be awarded Honors in Greek or Latin, a student must:

  1. Complete a major in Greek or Latin 
  2. Complete satisfactorily in the junior or senior year, a reading list devised in consultation with a member of the department that includes primary (ancient) and secondary (critical, historical) readings; this reading list may be completed as part of a course
  3. Pass (at the level of B+ or better), at the end of the relevant semester in the junior or senior year, a written translation exam on the primary sources in Greek or Latin
  4. Complete satisfactorily a research project designed in consultation with members of the department
  5. Pass an oral examination on the reading list and research project.  (This examination may be conducted by an outside examiner, who would also pass judgement on the Honors project)


Students participating in the Honors Program should register for Classical Civilization, Greek, or Latin 502 for four units of credit in the relevant semester in which the research paper is written.

Related Courses


The Classics Department normally awards major credit for selected courses with material related to Classical antiquity in the following departments and programs: Archaeology, Art, English, History, Philosophy, Politics, and Religion. Below is a list of courses that have been approved as related courses in recent years; other courses may be approved through consultation with the Chair.

Anthropology
ANTH 203 Introduction to Archaeology
ANTH 202 Fundamentals of Linguistics
ANTH 382: Archaeological Lab Methods


Art 
ARTS 310 Medieval Art
ARTS 344 Art in Ancient / Medieval Rome
ARTS 406 Word & Image in Medieval Art
ARTS 466 Cultural Property
ARTS 481 Architecture and Art in Islamic Cultures 


Comparative Literature
CMPL 200 Introduction to Comparative Literature

English
ENGL 293 Medieval and Renaissance Lyric
ENGL 301 Chaucer
ENGL 310 Early Medieval Literature: from Epic to Romance

History
HIST 101 Medieval and Early Modern European History
HIST 204 Medieval Intellectual History
HIST 207 Byzantine History
HIST 208 History of Science 1200-1800
HIST 209 City in Europe 1100-1789

HIST 303 Historical Consciousness in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

Jewish Studies
JWST 131 Jewish History from Biblical Antiquity to 1492
JWST 205 Hebrew Bible in its Ancient Near Eastern Context
JWST 208 New Testament and Christian Origins

Philosophy
PHIL 215 Ancient Philosophy

Politics
POLT 231 European Political Theory: From Plato to Rousseau
POLT 235 Debating Democracy

Religion
RELG 102 Introduction to Religion: Roots of Religion in the Mediterranean World
RELG 202 The Book of Job and its History of Interpretation
RELG 205 Hebrew Bible in its Ancient Near Eastern Context
RELG 208 New Testament and Christian Origins
RELG 217 Christian Thought and Action: Early and Medieval
RELG 218 Christianity in the Late Medieval World: 1100-1600
RELG 317 Selected Topics in Medieval Christianity: Augustine of Hippo

Theater
THEA 252 Western Theater History I

Art/Archaeology Requirement


All majors are required to take at least one course in ancient Art or Archaeology. These may be courses at Oberlin or offered by various programs abroad. The following courses fulfill this requirement; others may be substituted with the approval of the Chair.

Anthropology
ANTH 203 Introduction to Archaeology
ANTH 382: Archaeological Lab Methods

Art 
ARTS 310 Medieval Art
ARTS 344 Art in Ancient / Medieval Rome
ARTS 406 Word & Image in Medieval Art
ARTS 466 Cultural Property
ARTS 481 Architecture and Art in Islamic Cultures

Classics
CLAS 203 The City in Antiquity
CLAS 306 Egypt After the Pharaohs
CLAS 307 Roman Egypt: Art, Culture, History
CLAS 351 Pompeii: Life and Afterlife
CLAS 352 Selfies: Self-Representation in the Ancient World

Archaeology


Students interested in classical archaeology as a profession should note the availability of a concentration in Classical Archaeology in the Archaeological Studies program. This concentration requires both the relevant courses in classical art and archaeology and basic training in the classical languages and literatures. For further information, see the separate listing under Archaeological Studies above, or consult Professor Wilburn.

Study Abroad


Oberlin College is a participating member of the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome. A semester of study in Rome during the junior or senior year is available for qualified students majoring in the department, either at the Intercollegiate Center or other accredited Classics programs in Italy. There are also affiliated programs in Athens. Consult the chair for details.

Transfer of Credit


No more than half the hours credited toward the major may be granted for work at other recognized institutions.

Winter Term


The following faculty are particularly interested in sponsoring Winter Term projects as indicated. Professor Ormand: intensive beginning Greek; Professor Lee or Professor Trinacty, intensive beginning Latin; many other topics are also possible. 

The Martin Classical Lectures


The Martin Classical Lectures are delivered annually at Oberlin College by an eminent visiting scholar. Please contact the department chair, or see our web page for details about this year’s lectures.

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