Classics

Website:  classics.sewanee.edu

Following the premise that a thorough and nuanced understanding of Greece and Rome and the formation of Western civilization can only be achieved through knowledge of the ancient languages, Sewanee offers a major in Greek, in Latin, and in classical languages.

Apart from the intellectual discipline, many students benefit from study of the foundational languages of the legal and medical professions and the hard sciences.

Students read ancient authors and modern works bearing on the languages, literatures, and civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome and are tested on those readings during the comprehensive examination.

Departmental Programs and Opportunities

The University is a member of the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, and majors are encouraged to study there for one semester. The James M. Fourmy Jr. Scholarship is awarded annually to a deserving and qualified graduate of this University for graduate study in classical languages. The Charles M. Binnicker Endowment Fund for foreign study of classical languages provides aid to our students who wish to study abroad.

Language Laboratory

The E.L. Kellerman Language Resource Center provides an opportunity for students in the modern foreign languages to immerse themselves in the sounds and culture of their target language. The facility features a state of the art Sanako Lab 100 system for practice with listening and speaking; a Satellite TV with stations in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish; wireless Apple Macbooks which can be checked out; a Sympodium for multimedia displays; and a cozy reading and viewing lounge with a library of foreign language books, magazines, and videos. Students can also access subscriptions to web-based language learning programs for reinforcing what is being taught in class as well as for learning languages not currently taught at the University. There is also Rosetta Stone software for Arabic, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish. Faculty and students alike take advantage of the language center’s audio- and video-editing equipment and analog-to-digital-conversion facilities in preparing engaging presentations for class. The Language Resource Center is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. except for Fridays when it closes at 4 p.m. and then reopens Sunday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Classical Studies Courses

CLST 101     Classical Mythology  (4)

Survey of the principal Greek and Roman myths with selected readings in English from ancient and modern sources.

CLST 110     Myth and Monuments  (4)

This course is a comparative study of the archaeological remains and mythology of the Egyptian pyramid builders, the Mesopotamian ziggurat builders, and the Adena/Hopewell and Mississippian mound builders of Central Tennessee.

CLST 121     Explorations in Ancient Society and Its Legacy  (4)

This special topics course consider the ancient world through the lens of history, culture, politics, and other such frameworks. May be repeated once for credit when the topic is different.

CLST 122     Explorations in Ancient Literature  (4)

This special topics course focuses on a key literary theme, author, genre, or time period and introduces students to the interpretation and close reading of ancient texts. May be repeated once for credit when the topic is different.

CLST 123     Explorations in Antiquity and the Arts  (4)

This special topics course introduces students to the study of Classical art, performance, and/or material culture. May be repeated once for credit when the topic is different.

CLST 124     Explorations in Ancient Ethics, Religion, and Belief  (4)

This special topics course considers moral, ethical, and religious questions formulated and prompted by the Greco-Roman world. May be repeated once for credit when the topic is different.

CLST 150     Classics in Cinema  (4)

The course focuses on portrayals of Greek and Roman culture in film, with readings from classical and later literature in translation as well as criticism.

CLST 160     Greek and Roman Private Life  (4)

This course examines Greek and Roman private life using primarily archaeological but also literary evidence. Topics include the family, marriage and divorce, domestic architecture, sport, religion, and food.

CLST 200     Classical Drama  (4)

This course, with texts read in translation, examines Greco-Roman drama of various sorts: the works of the Athenian tragedians, Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides; the Greek comedies of Aristophanes and Menander; the Roman comedies of Plautus and Terence; and the Roman tragedies of Seneca.

CLST 202     Ancient Lyric Poetry in Translation  (4)

This course examines lyric poetry from Greco-Roman antiquity ranging from the 8th century BC to the 1st century AD. Authors include Archilochus, Alcaeus, Sappho, Pindar, Catullus, and Horace. Consideration is also paid to the influence of ancient lyric upon the later poetic tradition and matters of translation. Taught in English.

CLST 205     Epigraphy Field School  (2)

The Epigraphy Field School, part of the Ancient Graffiti Project, aims to document and digitize ancient graffiti from Herculaneum and Pompeii. Students receive training in archaeological field methods as well as digital applications used to study ancient inscriptions. Fieldwork on-site is enhanced by field trips to surrounding sites and guest lectures. Prerequisite: one course in Latin numbered 104 or above and approval of the Epigraphy Field School program director.

CLST 207     Greek Archaeology  (4)

An introduction to the archaeology of ancient Greece and Rome.

CLST 208     Roman Archaeology  (4)

An introduction to the archaeology of ancient Greece and Rome.

CLST 210     Ancient Epic in Translation  (4)

This course focuses on the epic poetry of the Greco-Roman worlds. These works, which form the foundation of the western literary tradition, engage readers with a wide range of literary, mythological, historical, and cultural approaches. Possible readings include texts by Homer, Hesiod, Apollonius, Ennius, Lucretius, Vergil, Ovid, Lucan, Statius, Valerius Flaccus, and Silius Italicus.

CLST 220     Archaeology of Pompeii and Herculaneum  (4)

Buried and preserved by Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii and the nearby city of Herculaneum are two of the most well-known and complete cities of the ancient Roman world. The material culture of both sites serves as a microcosm in which to survey Roman history, religion, society, art, and daily life. This course examines several categories of archaeological evidence including wall paintings, epigraphy, artifacts, and architecture.

CLST 250     The Golden Age of Athens  (4)

This course examines the historical and literary sources that provide us with knowledge about the development of Athens in the Archaic and Classical periods culminating in the Peloponnesian War. Emphasis is placed on examining the methods, biases, and goals of the historians, Herodotus and Thucydides. Other authors considered include Sophocles, Aristophanes, the Sophists, Xenophon, Plato, and Aristotle. Not open for credit to students who have previously taken HIST 301.

CLST 301     Classical Etymology in English  (4)

A study of the derivation of English words from Latin and Greek, with discussions of grammar and of language history.

CLST 322     Exploring Rome and the Bay of Naples  (4)

In this extended on-site study in Italy, students examine the public and private life of people of various socio-economic classes in classical antiquity. The focus is on the material culture of Rome and the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. From the grand aristocratic villas and urban imperial palaces to the more modest quarters of the poor and enslaved, students explore at first hand the settings of the private lives of individuals in both the capital city of the Empire as well as the towns covered by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.

CLST 345     Literature and Myth: The Tradition of Classical Mythology in European Literature  (4)

A study of the use of classical myth in the literature of the Western World through an examination of selected works from the classical, medieval, and renaissance periods. Special attention is given to the development and literary history of the Trojan War legend. Prerequisite: CLST 101.

CLST 349     Sex and Sexuality in Classical Antiquity  (4)

This course examines sexual practices and the construction of sexuality in Greco-Roman antiquity. Drawing on both literary and artistic evidence, the course explores a wide range of topics, including sexual stereotypes, marriage, prostitution, pederasty, rape, adultery, and homoeroticism. Considerable attention is paid to the intersections of sex with gender, power, and social status.

CLST 350     Women and Gender in Classical Antiquity  (4)

This course examines the lives of women in the ancient world and their representation in the literature of Greece and Rome. It explores how the Greeks and Romans constructed both female and male gender and what behavioral and sexual norms they assigned to each. Reading assignments include wide-ranging selections from Greek and Roman poetry (epic, drama, lyric, and elegy) and prose (philosophy, history, and oratory). Subjects addressed include gender stereotypes and ideals, power-relations of gender, the social conditions of women, familial roles, and male and female sexuality.

CLST 351     Greek Literature in Translation  (4)

Survey of ancient Greek literature in English translation emphasizing the development of the major genres. Readings are selected from epic, lyric, tragedy, comedy, history, and oratory.

CLST 353     Latin Literature in Translation  (4)

Survey of Latin literature in English translation treating Roman comedy, epic, history, and satire. Special emphasis in the first semester is on Vergil's Aeneid.

CLST 354     Sacred Spaces in and around Rome  (2)

This three-week interdisciplinary course focuses on the relationship of the human to the divine in Italy, and Rome especially, from its earliest pagan manifestations, through the rise of Christianity in the first century, to the reform of spiritual life associated with St. Benedict and St. Francis of Assisi. The emphasis of the course is on the sense of place in these religious experiences of how location affected belief and behavior. Students explore ancient temples, Christian churches and catacombs in Rome, and follow in the footsteps of St. Benedict and St. Francis in Umbria.

CLST 355     Special Topics  (4)

Though its content will vary from semester to semester, this class always focuses on a special topic in classical literature or culture not fully covered in existing courses. Examples might include courses on a single author, a literary movement or tradition, a genre, or a theme. May be repeated when topic differs. Prerequisite: One course in CLST, GREK, or LATN or one course with attribute CLLG.

CLST 444     Independent Study  (2 or 4)

For students who offer an acceptable proposed course of study. May be taken more than once for credit. Prerequisite: Professor consent and prerequisite override required.

CLST 494     From Pericles to Caesar  (4)

This course traces the history of the Mediterranean world from fifth-century Athens to the rise of the Roman Empire. Special attention is given to ancient biography, historiography, and philosophy. The first half of the course includes the study of Plutarchis and Thucydidesi accounts of the lives of Pericles and Alcibiades as well as Plato's Apology and Symposium. In the second half of the course, works by Aristotle, Plutarch, Caesar, Cicero and Tacitus are considered. This course is only available through the European Studies Program.

Greek Courses

GREK 103     Elementary Greek I  (4)

An intensive, introductory course in classical and koine Greek emphasizing forms and syntax and with extensive readings. Four class hours per week.

GREK 104     Elementary Greek II  (4)

An intensive, introductory course in classical and koine Greek emphasizing forms and syntax and with extensive readings. Four class hours per week. Prerequisite: GREK 103 or placement.

GREK 203     Intermediate Greek  (4)

A continuation of the study of grammar with readings from a variety of classical authors. Four class hours per week. Prerequisite: GREK 104 or placement.

GREK 301     Homer I  (4)

Selected books of the Iliad with supplementary reading. Prerequisite: GREK 203 or higher or placement.

GREK 302     Homer II  (4)

Selected books of the Odyssey with supplementary reading. Prerequisite: GREK 203 or higher or placement.

GREK 303     Greek Historians I  (4)

Portions of Herodotus are read. Prerequisite: GREK 203 or higher or placement.

GREK 304     Greek Historians II  (4)

Portions of Thucydides are read. Prerequisite: GREK 203 or higher or placement.

GREK 305     Greek Lyric Poets  (4)

Selections from the elegiac, iambic, and melic poets are read. Prerequisite: GREK 203 or higher or placement.

GREK 307     Greek Orators I  (4)

Reading of selections from the Attic orators. Prerequisite: GREK 203 or higher or placement.

GREK 308     Greek Orators II  (4)

Reading of selections from the Attic orators. Prerequisite: GREK 203 or higher or placement.

GREK 310     New Testament  (4)

One gospel and one epistle are read. Prerequisite: GREK 203 or higher or placement.

GREK 401     Greek Tragedy I  (4)

Selected plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides are read. Prerequisite: GREK 203 or higher or placement.

GREK 402     Greek Tragedy II  (4)

Selected plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides are read. Prerequisite: GREK 203 or higher or placement.

GREK 403     Greek Comedy  (4)

Selected plays of Aristophanes and Menander are read. Prerequisite: GREK 203 or higher or placement.

GREK 404     Greek Philosophers  (4)

Selected works of the pre-Socratics, Plato, and Aristotle are read. Prerequisite: GREK 203 or higher or placement.

GREK 440     Directed Reading  (2 or 4)

Specific readings for advanced students. May be taken more than once for credit. Prerequisite: Professor consent and prerequisite override required.

GREK 444     Independent Study  (2 or 4)

For students who offer an acceptable proposed course of study. May be taken more than once for credit. Prerequisite: Professor consent and prerequisite override required.

Latin Courses

LATN 103     Elementary Latin I  (4)

An intensive, introductory course in Latin emphasizing forms and syntax and with extensive readings. Four class hours per week. Prerequisite: Placement.

LATN 104     Elementary Latin II  (4)

An intensive, introductory course in Latin emphasizing forms and syntax and with extensive readings. Four class hours per week. Prerequisite: LATN 103 or placement.

LATN 113     Accelerated Beginning Latin  (4)

An accelerated introductory course in Latin emphasizing forms and syntax and with extensive reading, intended as a refresher for those who have studied Latin previously. Prerequisite: Placement.

LATN 203     Intermediate Latin  (4)

A continuation of the study of grammar with readings from a variety of authors. Four class hours per week. Prerequisite: LATN 104 or placement.

LATN 300     Caesar  (4)

This course examines Caesar's presentation of the Civil Wars, including famous events such as the crossing of the Rubicon, the Battles of Dyrrhacium and Pharsalus, and the death of Pompey. Attention is also given to how these events are depicted in passages from Suetonius' Life of Julius Caesar and Lucan's epic poem, Pharsalia. The course aims not only to improve reading comprehension of Latin literature, but also to evaluate major sources for this critical period of Roman—indeed, all Western—history. It concludes with study of how Caesar's assassination is variously depicted. Not open for credit to students who have completed LATN 409. Prerequisite: LATN 203 or higher or placement.

LATN 301     Introduction to Latin Epic  (4)

A study of selected passages from Latin epic poetry. Prerequisite: LATN 203 or higher or placement.

LATN 302     Cicero  (4)

A study of Cicero as seen in selections from his various types of writing. Not open for credit to students who have completed LATN 404. Prerequisite: LATN 203 or higher or placement.

LATN 303     Catullus  (4)

A reading of the poems of Catullus. Prerequisite: LATN 203 or higher or placement.

LATN 305     Love Elegy  (4)

A study of Roman elegy through selections from one or more of the following authors: Tibullus, Sulpicia, Propertius, and Ovid. Prerequisite: LATN 203 or higher or placement.

LATN 306     Roman Satire  (4)

Reading of selected satires of Horace and Juvenal. Prerequisite: LATN 203 or higher or placement.

LATN 307     Ovid  (4)

Readings from one or more of the works of Ovid. Prerequisite: LATN 203 or higher or placement.

LATN 308     Sallust  (4)

This course focuses on the work of the Roman historian Sallust. Prerequisite: LATN 203 or higher or placement.

LATN 309     Livy  (4)

This course focuses on the work of the Roman historian Livy. Prerequisite: LATN 203 or higher or placement.

LATN 310     The Roman Novel  (4)

This course examines the genre of prose fiction in Latin, with particular attention to the Satyricon of Petronius and the Metamorphoses (or "Golden Ass") of Apuleius. Prerequisite: LATN 203 or higher or placement.

LATN 313     Lucretius  (4)

This course is devoted to close study of the Latin text of De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) by the Roman poet Lucretius. Prerequisite: LATN 203 or placement.

LATN 320     Horace's Lyric Poetry  (4)

This course focuses on the lyric works of Horace, especially the Odes. Prerequisite: LATN 203 or higher or placement.

LATN 321     Horace: Satires and Epistles  (4)

This course focuses on Horace's hexameter works, the Satires and/or Epistles. Prerequisite: LATN 203 or higher or placement.

LATN 401     Roman Comedy  (4)

A study of Roman comedy through a reading of at least one play by Plautus or Terence. Prerequisite: LATN 203 or higher or placement.

LATN 402     Roman Tragedy  (4)

A study of Roman tragedy through a reading of at least one play by Seneca. Prerequisite: LATN 203 or higher or placement.

LATN 403     Prose of the Roman Empire  (4)

This course focuses on the historical works of Tacitus, the letter of Pliny the Younger, and the biographies of the Caesars by Suetonius. Prerequisite: LATN 203 or higher or placement.

LATN 404     Poetry of the Roman Empire  (4)

Selections from the poetry of the post-Augustan imperial period, with readings from one or more of the following authors: Seneca, Lucan, Statius, and Martial. Prerequisite: LATN 203 or higher or placement.

LATN 405     Medieval Latin  (4)

Selections from the Latin prose and poetry of the fourth through fourteenth centuries, A.D. Prerequisite: LATN 203 or higher or placement.

LATN 406     Roman Philosophers  (4)

This course examines the philosophical prose writings of Cicero and Seneca. Special attention is given to Stoicism. Prerequisite: LATN 203 or higher or placement.

LATN 407     Vergil  (4)

Readings in the Eclogues, Georgics, and Aeneid. Prerequisite: LATN 203 or higher or placement.

LATN 440     Directed Reading  (2 or 4)

Specific readings for advanced students. May be taken more than once for credit. Prerequisite: Professor consent and prerequisite override required.

LATN 444     Independent Study  (2 or 4)

For students who offer an acceptable proposed course of study. May be taken more than once for credit. Prerequisite: Professor consent and prerequisite override required.