Fall '14 Courses

Classical Civilization

All readings for these courses are done in English.

CLCV 104 Classical Mythology

Bryan Burns

Achilles' heel, the Trojan Horse, Pandora's Box, an Oedipal complex, a Herculean task—themes and figures from classical mythology continue to play an important role in our everyday life. We will read the original tales of classical heroes and heroines together with more modern treatments in film and literature. Why do these stories continue to engage, entertain, and even shock us? What is the nature and power of myth? Readings from ancient sources in English translation.

Prerequisite: None 

Distribution: LL or REP  Semester: Fall Unit: 1.0

MTh:  11:10 a.m. -12:20 p.m.


CLCV 202 Invention of Athens

Adriana Brook

In the fifth century B.C.E., Athens was home to great intellectual ferment as well as political growth and crisis. This intellectual revolution resulted in significant artistic and intellectual accomplishments: Pericles oversaw the building of the Acropolis; citizens saw productions of Oedipus Tyrannos, Medea, and Lysistrata; and Herodotus and Thucydides invented the genre of history as we know it. On the political front, Athens defended itself against the Persian empire, developed into the most powerful city-state in the Mediterranean, and then dramatically fell as the result of failed imperial policy. In the early fourth century, Plato engaged with the political and intellectual conflicts of this period in The Apology and The Symposium. In this course, students will consider works of philosophy, history, tragedy, comedy, rhetoric, and political theory in their cultural and political context. We will examine and interrogate Athenian democracy, its conflicts, and its stunning and influential cultural achievements.

Prerequisite: None   

Distribution: HS or LL  Semester: Fall  Unit: 1.0 

TF: 9:50 a.m. -11:00 a.m.


CLCV/CPLT 225/325 Beyond Sonnets: The World of Poetic Forms

Elizabeth Young

In this course we will study a range of poetic forms which originated in Europe, Asia or the Middle East and then became popular among English-speaking poets. In each case, we will examine the form within its original cultural milieu, then trace its entry into English and subsequent development in modern English and contemporary American poetry. Some of the questions we will ask include: How do poetic forms reflect and respond to the cultural landscape in which they developed? How does the meaning and use of a form evolve when it enters a new culture? What are some of the technical difficulties inherent in adapting a form into a new language? To what extent do poetic forms come freighted with the histories from which they arose? Some of the forms to be discussed include: Ode (Greece), Funeral Elegy (Greece), Epigram (Rome), Love Elegy (Rome), Sestina (Italy), Pantoum (Malaysia), Ghazal (Indo-Persian-Arabic), Haiku and Renga ( Japan).

Prerequisite: 225 open to all students; 325 by permission of instructor. Cross-Listed as: CPLT 225/325

Distribution: LL  Semester: Fall  Unit: 1.0

MTh: 1:30 p.m. - 2:40 p.m.


CLCV 240 Romans, Jews, and Christians

Barbara Geller and Guy Rogers

At the birth of the Roman Empire virtually all of its inhabitants were practicing polytheists. Three centuries later, the Roman Emperor Constantine was baptized as a Christian and his successors eventually banned public sacrifices to the gods and goddesses who had been traditionally worshipped around the Mediterranean. This course will examine Roman era Judaism, Graeco-Roman polytheism, and the growth of the Jesus movement into the dominant religion of the late antique world.

Prerequisite: None; Cross-Listed as REL 240

Distribution: HS or REP  Semester: Fall  Unit:1.0

W: 2:15 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.



GRK 101 Beginning Greek I

Carol Dougherty

An introduction to ancient Greek language. Development of Greek reading skills.

Prerequisite: Open to students who do not present Greek for admission.

Distribution: None  Semester: Fall  Unit: 1.0

MTuWTh :  8:50 a.m.  - 9:40 a.m.


GRK 201 Athenian Literature

Adriana Brook

Study of a selected work from Classical Athenian literature, such as a dialogue of Plato or a tragedy of Euripides. Supplementary reading in English translation from other Greek works to illuminate the text in its literary and cultural context.

Prerequisite: 101 and 102 or two admission units in Greek or permission of the instructor.

Distribution: LL  Semester: Fall  Unit: 1.0

MTh:  2:50 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., F:  12:30 p.m. - 1:20 p.m.


GRK 309 Plato’s Symposium  

Bryan Burns

Plato's best known dialogue provides an opportunity to consider the construction of desire in Greek antiquity. Close reading of the text will allow for the analysis of language and rhetoric, as well as the characterization of each speaker. Broader study of the symposium as a social institution will enrich the significance of the text's narrative structure and immediate relevance within classical Athens.

Prerequisite: GRK 202 or permission of instructor

Distribution: LL  Semester: Fall  Unit: 1.0

MTh:   1:30 p.m. - 2:40 p.m.


LAT 101 Beginning Latin I

Ray Starr

Introduction to the Latin language; development of Latin reading skills.

Prerequisite: Open to students who do not present Latin for admission.   

Distribution: None  Semester: Fall  Unit: 1.0

TuWThF:  8:50 a.m.  - 9:40 a.m


LAT 200 Intermediate Latin I: Introduction to Roman Literature and Culture

Elizabeth Young

In conjunction with a thorough review of Latin grammar, we will make the transition to Latin literature and Roman culture. Selections in Latin may include Catullus (poetry), Ovid and the other love elegists, the emperor Augustus' The Deeds of the Divine Augustus, Perpetua (one of the earliest known women Latin authors) and the anonymous novella, The Story of Apollonius King of Tyre. Topics to be studied might include social status and identity (What defined you? Might your status/identity change, whether for better or worse?); Rome's relation to Greece, which Rome conquered but which long dominated Roman culture; or the nature and function of literature in Roman life.

Prerequisite: 102 or Wellesley's placement exam and permission of the instructor. 

Distribution: LL  Semester: Fall  Unit: 1.0

MTh:   9:50 a.m. – 11:10 a.m.,   W:  10:10 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.


LAT 301 Reading Latin Literature

Ray Starr

Romans read Latin as quickly and with as much pleasure as we read English. In this course you will learn to read Latin more like a Roman: with increased reading speed, improved comprehension, richer appreciation of literary styles, and greater pleasure. This course focuses not on systematically reviewing grammar but on concrete reading techniques that go beyond just looking up every word and on large and small-scale literary and rhetorical analysis. We'll read major works of Latin literature, with the specific works chosen depending in part on the interests of the students in the class; possible choices might include selections from an ancient novel or a history, a philosophical essay, an oration, or a biography.

Prerequisite: 201 or a 300-level Latin course or Wellesley’s placement exam and permission of the instructor.

Distribution: LL  Semester: Fall  Unit: 1.0

TF:   11:10 a.m.  – 12:20 p.m.