Current Graduate Course Offerings

Fall 2023

CLAS 815: Archaeology of the Roman Army - Dr. Reeves
The goal of this course is to familiarize graduate students with the wide range of materials available for studying the Roman army. The Roman army constitutes one of the most documented groups from the ancient world. Forts, inscriptions, and military paraphernalia have been found in all parts of the former Roman Empire. A rich collection of ancient literary texts relating to Roman military practices has also survived. By studying this material, students will learn not just about the Roman army, but about the range of materials available for studying the ancient world in general.

CLAS 820: Topics in Classical Studies II: Plutarch’s Parallel Lives - Dr. Carbon
With the growing importance of micro-histories and more nuanced perspectives in the study of ancient history, studying the 'great figures of the past' can seem, well, passé. History was not only made by 'Big Men' but by countless, largely unrecognized others. Yet it is the former who focussed interest then and who, for better or for worse, continue to captivate and dominate narratives for us now. Together, we will investigate why Plutarch thought these people were important and worth comparing, how these early 'biographies' shaped a larger, composite idea of 'Greco-Roman history', and how this fragmentary project and its sketches of different personae might still resonate with us today.

Expectations: You absolutely do not need to know Greek for this course (though it can help). But you should absolutely expect to read a lot of translated Greek as part of this seminar. We plan to cover many of the Parallel Lives and some scholarship on the subject (which will be made available to you in onQ).

Books: It's hard to find a good version of the Lives as a whole: cf. this helpful online guide HERE. The Penguin volumes are perhaps the most accessibly translated and consolidated; I recommend the Loebs as most useful for classicists, though they are a bit archaic and quite cumbersome (there are 12 little volumes). If you don't mind reading on the screen or printing out many trees, you will find all of these Loeb versions of the Lives accessible to you online on Perseus and in a variety of other locations

GREK 821: Poetry Lyric - Dr. Skaltsa
This course studies selected passages of Greek Verse, in particular works of Archaic Greek lyric. These were poems sung to the accompaniment of stringed musical instrument called a lyre (hence the name 'lyric'). Gender and class inclusive, Greek lyric poetry gives voice to women-amongst them the renowned poet Sappho from Lesbos-and people from all walks of life. Moving away from the heroic past and epic, Greek lyric poetry notably deals with daily life and matters of the heart. Poets and works will be contextualized in their historical, social, and cultural setting, that of the emerging Greek polis in the 7th and 6th c. BC. Passages will be read in the original Greek and commented upon for their linguistic, literary, and historical significance. 

Note: GREK 821 will be offered jointly with GREK 322 & 422

LATN 830: Prose Philosophy -  Dr. D'Elia
Cicero and Seneca's philosophical works were essential reading until the 19th century. Stoic ideas about virtue, happiness, suffering, fate, and self-sufficiency both rivaled and contributed to early Christian thought. In this course, we will read a small selection of Cicero and Seneca's most famous writings on virtue, happiness and how to live; and on violent spectacles, entertainment, and the Roman games. What is the good life? How can we deal with pain, suffering, and self-tormenting minds? How can gladiators or any kind of slave be models of virtue? Can watching violent spectacles really make us better people? How does Cicero react to the spectacle of dying animals before a roaring crowd? What did the Romans consider entertainment?

Students will be provided with a PDF of Latin readings from the works of Cicero and Seneca on a variety of themes. Other readings may also be provided if students are interested in additional themes, such as female gladiators, naumachiae, or early Christian arena martyrs. In the first class, we will read some Cicero and decide as a group what we want to focus on.

Learning Outcomes: After this course, student will be able to: read the life-changing precepts and observations of Cicero and Seneca in their original eloquent Latin without consulting an English translation; explain why the Romans valued violent spectacles and why the greatest ancient philosophers used a gladiator's approach to killing and dying as a model for living; and most importantly, understand stoic ideas and use them to improve their own lives.
(Will be offered jointly with LATN 321 & 421).


Winter 2024

CLAS 804: Topography of Athens- Dr. Skaltsa
This course offers an in-depth overview of the topography of ancient Athens from the Bronze Age to Roman times. Renowned as the cradle of democracy and for its Classical buildings and monuments, the course will study the long process of development of the city of Athens and its territory (Attica). By bringing together rich archaeological and textual evidence, numerous individual buildings, monuments, and sites will be investigated within their cultural, social and political settings. Selected problems in scholarship will offer some interesting and persistent enigmas relating to Attic topography. Participants will focus on the presentation of a building, monument or site, and submit a written paper.

Note: There are additional requirements for students at the graduate level; these are discussed and determined at the onset of the course

CLAS 823: Greek Archaeology II  - Dr. Zaccagnino
This course focuses on art in ancient Greece, emphasizing the post-Bronze Age. We will discuss artists and artisans, from their social status to their ethnicity and gender, how they represented themselves, and their technical skills and innovations. We will study pottery, sculpture, and painting. 

GREK 823: Prose History - Dr. Griffith
An intensive study of Greek historical writings, with special emphasis on Herodotus, Thucydides and Xenophon. (Will be offered jointly with GREK 321 & 421).

LATN 810: Latin Drama- Dr. Paul
A study of the work of Plautus, or Terence, or Seneca, and its position within the classical comedic or tragic tradition. (Will be offered jointly with LATN 322 & 422).

Summer 2024 - To be announced at a later date

CLAS 808: Archaeology Practicum I 

CLAS 809: Archaeology Practicum II

CLAS 810: Archaeology Practicum III

More information about our graduate courses can be found in the School of Graduate Studies Academic Calendar.