Bachelor of Arts - Classical Studies

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  • Objectives
    A student in the Classical Studies department will enter the world of the ancient Mediterranean. We focus especially on the civilizations of Greece and Rome and offer courses in their literature, mythology, history, culture, art and archaeology. Students have the opportunity to learn Latin, the language of Roman emperors and Christian popes, and Greek, the language of philosophy, tragedy and the New Testament.
  • Academic title
    Bachelor of Arts - Classical Studies
  • Course description
    An Honours in Classical Studies consists of 60 credits.

    An overall average of 70% or more in courses counting towards the honours.
    A minimum of 24 credits in Latin and Greek.
    A minimum of two third year courses.
    CLA400 and CLA401 (thesis)

    A Major in Classical Studies consists of 42 credits; 24 credits are required for a minor. Majors must take a minimum of two third year courses.

    A Minor in Classical Languages consists of 24 credits in at least two of Hebrew, Greek or Latin, with at least 12 credits in one classical language.

    A Minor in Classical Art and Archaeology consists of 24 credits: Classical Studies 120 and 240; Classical Studies 110, 205, 206, 207, 208; Classical Studies 365 or 366.

    Classical Studies Concentrations in the Liberal Arts
    These concentrations consist of 36 credits or 12 courses.

    Concentration in Greek Civilization
    Requirements: Greek 101, and Classical Studies 100, 120, 205, 209, 210, 212, 219, 220, 223, 325

    Concentration in Roman Civilization
    Requirements: Latin 101 and 102, Classical Studies 100, 120, 130, 207, 208, 223, 225, 260, 280, 325

    Cognate Courses
    The following courses in classical studies are recognized as cognate in other departments:
    Classical Studies 120ab, 209a, 210b, 260a in History
    Classical Studies 212a, 213b, 219a, 220b in English
    Classical Studies and 219a, 220b in Drama
    Classical Studies 110ab, 325ab, 120ab and 350ab in Fine Arts
    Classical Studies 250ab, 350ab in Women’s Studies
    Classical Studies 350ab in Communication and Cultural Studies

    Classical Studies 100a/b     You Are What You Eat, Food, Community and Culture in the Greek and Roman World     3-3-0
    The aim of this course is to introduce students to the civilizations of Greece and Rome. We will explore language, literature, art, religion, myth, history, politics, geography, science and technology, as we investigate the many aspects of food production and consumption from cannibalism in Greek tragedy to the best way to stuff a dormouse. At the end of the course we will cook a meal and celebrate the Classical world.
    Prerequisite: Students must be enrolled in a Classical Studies Honours, Major, Minor or Concentration

    Classical Studies / Religion 107a     Introduction to Biblical Archaeology     3-3-0
    This course is an introduction to the methods and terminology of archaeology used in the eastern Mediterranean region of Syria-Palestine. Students will gain some familiarity with the methods and techniques of archaeological research, and an overview will be provided of the material remains of the cultures of Syria-Palestine (including the ancient Israelites, Philistines, Canaanites, Moabites and others), in order to illuminate the religious beliefs, art and cultural activities of these groups in the centuries preceding the Christian era.

    Classical Studies / Religion 109a     Egypt & Mesopotamia: From the Rise of Civilisation to the Persian Conquest     3-3-0
    The region of Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) saw the development of the first complex urban society more than 5000 years ago. About the same time, a second complex society, Egypt, was forming along the banks of the Nile River in Africa. Employing a mixture of historical texts and archaeological research, this course will give an overview of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia covering the time from the Neolithic Period (ca. 8500 BC) to the Persian conquest in the 6th century BC. It will begin with the formation of the first civilizations, the development of agriculture, writing, cities and major building projects in the form of temples and pyramids. In addition to examining the lives and political careers of important historical characters, the course will also explore the religious beliefs, and techniques of astronomy, medicine and warfare prevalent at the time.

    Classical Studies / Fine Arts History 110ab     The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt     3-3-0
    A survey of the art and architecture of ancient Egypt from the Pyramids to the Valley of the Kings and an introduction to the archaeological discoveries made in Egypt in the Twentieth century.

    Classical Studies 120ab     An Introduction to Classical Archaeology     3-3-0
    A survey of the history of classical archaeology from the discoveries of Schliemann at Troy and Evans at the Palace of Knossos and a study of the techniques of modern field archaeology.

    Classical Studies / Religion 122a     World Religions I: Ancient Mediterranean Religions     3-3-0
    An introduction to Mediterranean religions from the time of Alexander the Great (356- 323 BCE) to the emergence of Christianity as a prominent Roman religion in the late second century CE, including Mystery religions, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Mithraism, popular philosophical options of piety such as Stoicism and Epicurianism, as well as different forms of divination technologies such as astrology, magic, dream analysis and alchemy.

    Classical Studies 130ab     Sports and Games in the Ancient World     3-3-0
    The Olympic Games in ancient Greece and the chariot races in Rome’s Circus maximus allowed athletes to compete and spectators to enjoy themselves under the hot Mediterranean sun. Athletic training was useful in preparing men for war, but women also trained and competed in sports events. People of the ancient past liked to amuse themselves just as we do today, but dramatic festivals and even gladiatorial combat had religious origins. In this course we will use the sporting and recreational activities of the Greeks and Romans and their Mediterranean neighbours as a lens to revel aspects of these ancient societies.

    Classical Studies / Religion 146ab     Women in Religion     3-3-0
    An investigation of the religious lives of early pagan, Jewish, and Christian women in the context of the Greco-Roman world. Literary and epigraphical sources from the fourth century BCE to the third century CE are analyzed in order to determine women’s roles, rites and practices, with special attention to constructions of gender in the Greco- Roman world.
    Professor Murray
    Classical Studies 150ab     The Ancient World in Film and Television     3-3-0
    Movies and television have shaped our ideas about Greek and Roman myth, history and civilization. In this course we will study “sword and sandal” films and television as popular art forms and their relation to the ancient literary and visual sources.

    Classical Studies / Fine Arts History 205ab     Greek Art and Architecture     3-3-0
    Western art and architecture begin in ancient Greece. From miniature vases to monumental statues of ivory and gold, we will explore the creations of potters and painters, sculptors and architects and study Greek art from the Bronze age to the time of Alexander the Great.

    Classical Studies / Fine Arts History 206ab     Early Christian and Byzantine Art     3-3-0
    This course examines the ways in which the Christians adapted elements from Greek, Roman and Near Eastern art and architecture to their religious beliefs and requirements and also studies the development of this new Christian art in the Byzantine Empire. Major topics include: Catacomb art, early Christian and Byzantine architecture, mosaic and painting, manuscript illuminations, textiles and the minor arts.

    Classical Studies / Fine Arts History 207ab     Art of the Etruscans and the Roman Republic     3-3-0
    In this course we will begin with a study of the colourful wall paintings of Etruscan tombs where men and women drink and dance and panthers and lions guard the dead. Once rulers of Rome, the Etruscans and their art declined as the Roman Republic grew powerful. We will examine how the Romans developed an innovative art and architecture which expressed the values of their society.

    Classical Studies / Fine Arts History 208ab     Art and Architecture of Imperial Rome     3-3-0
    A survey of Roman art and architecture from the first century A.D. to the fourth century A.D. The course examines the use of art as propaganda and the tension between tradition and innovation in Roman Art.

    Classics Studies 209a     The History of Ancient Greece I: The Rise of the City State     3-3-0
    Greek history from the Minoan-Mycenean age to the Archaic period. Crete, Mycenae, the Trojan War, the development of the polis, ancient Sparta, Tyranny, democracy at Athens.

    Classics Studies 210b     The History of Ancient Greece II: The Road to Empire     3-3-0
    Classical Greece; the Persian Wars, the Athenian Empire, the development of democracy, Periclean Athens, the Peloponnesian War, the rise of Macedonia. Alexander the Great.

    Classical Studies 212a     Classical Mythology I     3-3-0
    The origin and development of Graeco-Roman mythology, and the importance of myths in understanding ancient literature and religion: theories of myth, cult and ritual, mystery religions, the epic tradition. Greek sources are read in translation.

    Classical Studies 213b     Classical Mythology II     3-3-0
    Myth and tragedy, myth and history, lyric poetry, Roman mythology. Greek and Latin sources are read in translation.

    Classical Studies / Religion 218a     Early Christian Literature I     3-3-0
    A seminar which introduces early gospels (both canonical and non-canonical), examined within the historical context of the Graeco-Roman world during the first and second centuries CE. Distinctive features and characteristics of each text will be examined in order to gain insight into their historical, social and political environments.

    Classical Studies 219a     The Greek Tragic Theatre I     3-3-0
    Myth and tragedy, origin and development of the Greek theatre; representative tragedies of Aeschylus and Sophocles, in translation.

    Classical Studies 220b     The Greek Tragic Theatre II     3-3-0
    Study of the later works of Sophocles and representative works of Euripides. (In translation)

    Classical Studies 223b / Political Studies 223b     Democracy in the Ancient World     3-3-0
    The idea of government by the people is highly valued today, but it was first given the name of “demokratia” (democracy) in ancient Greece. The most famous example in Greece is Classical Athens, but democratic elements appeared in many other ancient states, including republican Rome. The course will examine in detail how democracy worked in Athens, Rome, and various other ancient societies: how it began, who could participate, who was left out, what ancient writers thought of it and what were the results of democratic government on those inside and outside of the community.

    Classical Studies 225ab     Latin Literature     3-3-0
    In this course we will read selections of Latin poetry and prose (in English translation), including epic poetry, elegy, satire, drama, history, oratory, and didactic literature. Topics to be treated will include the influence of Greek literature, analysis of style and structure, literature as propaganda, and using literature as a means of access to Roman culture and history.

    Classical Studies / Religion 236b     Death and Dying in the Ancient World     3-3-0
    This course explores the myths, rituals and beliefs associated with death and dying in antiquity. Topics to be covered include myths associated with the afterlife; books of the dead; magic and death rituals; and understandings of heaven, hell and judgement.
    Prerequisite: Religion 100a or 101b or 122a or permission of instructor Professor Murray

    Classical Studies/ Fine Arts History/ Religion 238     Greece, Land of the Gods     6-6-0
    This six-credit course examines the sacred art and architecture of ancient Greece from Mycenae to Byzantium on site in Greece. Offered in the Spring semester. After preliminary lectures on campus students will spend two weeks traveling to the major sacred sites of mainland Greece.

    Classical Studies 240ab     Signs of the Past: Archaeological Interpretation     3-3-0
    A continuation of Classics 120ab with the emphasis on the techniques and methodology of archaeology. Topics include the use of artifacts in creating chronologies and theories, preservation and conservation of sites, ethical questions and problems relating to archaeological excavation. Sites from Greece, Italy and the American Southwest will be studied. Computer simulations.

    Classical Studies 241ab / Religion 241ab     The Archaeology of the Transjordan: Archaeological Field Methods     6-6-0
    Students registered in this course will participate in a six-week archaeological expedition to Jordan. Working under the supervision of professional archaeologists, students will be involved in the excavation and recording of artifacts recovered at Khirbat al- Mudayna, Jordan as part of the Wadi Ath-Thamad Excavation Project. Students will learn to take elevations, draw top plans and baulk sections, write daily and weekly field reports, and related activities. During the season, students will take part in the educational program of the expedition, which will include seminars, lectures by visiting scholars on the archaeology and history of Jordon, plus field trips to museums, neighboring excavations and major sites.

    Classical Studies 245     The Art and Archaeology of the American Southwest     3-3-0
    This travel course to the American Southwest will focus on the Art, Architecture and Archaeology of the pre-historic Anasazi Indians and their influence on Amerindian and contemporary art and architecture.Also an opportunity for students of archaeology to observe the methods, theories and techniques they have studied in class as put into practice on actual sites in the Southwest. Offered in the Spring semester only. Contact the Classics department for more information. No prerequisites.

    Classical Studies 250ab     Sex and Gender in the Ancient World     3-3-0
    This course will look at the ways that women and men of the ancient Mediterranean world interacted with each other, and at how ideas about sexuality and gender roles affected people’s lives. Topics to be examined will include marriage and divorce, conception and contraception, masculine and feminine ideals, gender and the law, sex and social class, the effects of gender on religious expression, homosexuality, private versus public life, what ancient doctors knew about sex, how to use magic to get a lover, and deviations from ancient sexual and gender norms.

    Classical Studies / Religion 256a     History of Christianity     3-3-0
    Historical survey of early Christianity: its origin and spread as a Roman religion; developments in its thought, practices, canonical writings, offices and institutions, self-definition in response to internal challenges (heresies) and external critique and hostility; the impact of Constantine; the east-west split.

    Classical Studies 260a     Rome From Republic to Empire     3-3-0
    This course will examine the events leading to the fall of the Roman Republic and the creation of a new imperial system under Augustus and his successors.

    Classical Studies / Philosophy 270a     The Pre-Socratics     3-3-0
    As an in depth study of the origins of philosophy in the West with special attention to Anaximander and Heracclitus, Pythagoras and Parmenides, Leucippus and Democritus.

    Classical Studies / Philosophy 271a     Philosophy of Socrates & Plato     3-3-0
    A study of the character and teaching of Socrates as portrayed in Plato’s early and middle dialogues. Emphasis will be on theory of education.

    Classical Studies / Philosophy 272b     Philosophy of Aristotle     3-3-0
    A study of selected works of Aristotle with special emphasis on logic, metaphysics, and the concept of substance.

    Classical Studies 280ab     Roman Religion     3-3-0
    This course examines the religion of the ancient Roman people, following the traditions and changes from the 8th century BCE to the Imperial period. Roman religion was very different from the monotheistic religions with which many of us are familiar today, but it was also significantly different from the mythology of the ancient Greeks, despite the Romans’ willingness to absorb and adapt the Greek myths. Topics to be studied in this course will include the Roman concept of divinity, beliefs about the dead, religious and cult ritual, senatorial and imperial control of religion, emperor worship, divination and prophesy, festivals, and Roman responses to the introduction of foreign religions.

    Classical Studies 325ab     The Classical Tradition     3-3-0
    This course examines the influence of Greek and Roman myths, literature and art on western culture from the mediaeval period to the 20th century. Readings (in translation) include Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Virgil’s Aeneid.
    Prerequisite: a previous Classics course or permission of the instructor.

    Classical Studies 350ab     The Goddess: History, Cult and Myth     3-3-0
    What are the names, images and symbols of the goddess? What are her attributes and powers? The goddesses of Greece and Rome and the Virgin Mary have origins which can be traced far back into prehistory. This seminar course examines the history of the goddess cults and the development of images and symbols which represent the goddess from the palaeolithic period to the present day using evidence from archaeology and anthropology, art and literature.
    Prerequisite: Classics 250ab or permission of instructor.

    Classical Studies 360ab     Topics in Ancient History     3-3-0
    This seminar course will examine selected topics and problems in ancient history and historiography. Sources will be read in translation.
    Prerequisites: Classical Studies 209 or 210; Classical Studies 215 or 216; or permission of the instructor.

    Classical Studies 365ab and 366ab     Topics in Classical Art and Archaeology I & II     3-3-0
    These seminar courses will explore topics and problems in Classical Art and Archaeology. Possible topics include: Roman Provincial Art and Archaeology; Greek Vase Painting; Gender and Sexuality in Ancient Art; The Archaeology of Periclean Athens; Aegean Bronze Age Archaeology; Classical Relief Sculpture.
    Prerequisites: CLA 120 or 240; CLA 205 or 206 or 207 or 208; or permission of the instructor.

    Classical Studies 370a / Philosophy 370a     Hellenistic Philosophy     3-3-0
    A study of selected Epicurean, Stoic, Skeptical and Neo-Platonic texts with reference especially to development of a philosophy of emotions and the elaboration of a systematic metaphysics.
    Prerequisites: Philosophy 271, 272 or permission of the instructor

    Classical Studies 380ab     Topics in Greek and Roman Drama     3-3-0
    This seminar course will concentrate on the nature of ancient tragedy and comedy and will include a discussion of Aristotle’s Poetics. Selected works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Plautus, Tenence, and Seneca will be studied (in translation).

    Classical Studies 400a     Honours Thesis Preparation     3-3-0
    The student will work with faculty advisors and complete a proposal, outline and bibliography and give an oral research progress report.

    Classical Studies 401b     Honours Thesis     3-3-0
    Prerequisite: CLA 400a

    Independent Studies
    Classical Studies 390a     Independent Study     3-0-0
    Classical Studies 391b     Independent Study     3-0-0

    Greek 101     Beginners’ Greek     6-3-0
    An attempt is made to teach the essentials of the language, and to progress to the reading of extracts from Greek authors.
    Greek 201a     Intermediate Greek I     3-3-0
    Selections from Greek authors.
    Greek 202b     Intermediate Greek II     3-3-0
    Selections from Greek authors.
    Greek 301a     Advanced Greek I     3-3-0
    Selections from Greek authors.
    Greek 302a     Advanced Greek II     3-3-0
    Selections from Greek authors.
    Greek 401a     Advanced Greek III     3-3-0
    Selections from Greek authors.
    Latin 101     Beginners Latin I     3-3-0
    Introducing the Latin language for the beginning student. The course covers basic Latin grammar, Latin vocabulary, and English etymology (the Latin origins for English words). And provides sufficient background to translate simplified Latin passages.
    Latin 102     Beginners Latin II     3-3-0
    Continuing with the Latin language for the beginning student. The course focuses on improving grammatical knowledge, building vocabulary, and creating better facility with Latin translation.
    Latin 201a     Intermediate Latin I     3-3-0
    Selections from Roman authors
    Latin 202b     Intermediate Latin II     3-3-0
    Selections from Roman authors
    Latin 301a     Advanced Latin I     3-3-0
    Selections from Roman authors
    Latin 302b     Advanced Latin II     3-3-0
    Selections from Roman authors

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