Current Undergraduate Courses

ARBC: Arabic

Winter 2016

ARBC101 Introduction to the Grammar and Vocabulary of Classic Arabic Sections

ARBC102 Introduction to the Grammar and Vocabulary of Classic Arabic II Sections

ARBC201 Classical Arabic (Intermediate) I Sections

Increased reading ability as well as learning the further essentials of grammar.

ARBC202 Classical Arabic (Intermediate) II Sections

Increased reading ability as well as learning the further essentials of grammar. Continuation of ARBC 201.

CLST: Classical Studies Undergraduate Courses

Winter 2016

CLST105 Greek and Roman Mythology Sections

Greek and Roman mythology and its interpretation. Emphasis on ancient texts read in English translation.

Classical Studies 105 offers a broad introduction to the vibrant world of Greek and Roman mythology and its influence today. Because myth touched every aspect of ancient life, this course will also shed light on the literature, art, and lived experience of the Greeks and Romans. The goals of the course are to familiarize students with the myths, with the primary texts in which they are told, with the place of myth-telling in ancient culture, and to introduce students to the chief interpretive theories of myth that have been developed over the past century. The course also touches on the transformation of ancient myths in modern storytelling. Emphasis will be placed on reading primary sources in English translation, and as a result students will become familiar with a variety of ancient literary genres. This course also develops valuable transferable skills in academic reading and writing. Prerequisites: None. (No prior knowledge of the...
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CLST110 Golden Age of Athens Sections

The history and culture, values, and achievements of fifth-century Athens.

This course concentrates on the remarkable political and cultural achievements of fifth century Athens addressing topics such as the development of democracy and how it functioned, the meaning of citizenship, gender and sexuality, social values and daily life, and the role of drama, art, and architecture in Athenian society. We will examine how some of the basic tenets of western culture were established during this formative period of European history, while also reflecting on how the culture and society of ancient Athens differed from our own. Prerequisites: None
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CLST111 Late Republican and Early Imperial Rome Sections

The history and culture, values, and achievements of Late Republican and Early Imperial Rome.

CLST204 Gods, Graves, and Goods: The Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Rome Sections

A survey of the material cultures of the pre-classical and classical civilizations of Greece and Rome, illustrating the principles and techniques used to illuminate the archaeological history of these civilizations.

This course will provide an introduction to Greek and Roman archaeology, from roughly 1000 BCE to CE 600. The course will place particular emphasis on the different types of evidence for our knowledge about the material culture of Greek and Roman antiquity. Two-thirds of the course will deal with such topics as the history of classical archaeology, how sites get buried and how they are discovered, and we will also consider how both sites and artefacts are dated. Topics covered in this section will include aerial photography, field survey, geophysical prospection, environmental archaeology, the role of science in archaeology, and underwater archaeology, and we will also consider the importance of pottery, coins and inscriptions for the study of classical archaeology. The last third of the course will deal first with an introduction first to Greek archaeology, and then to Roman. The approach within each will be topical rather than chronological:...
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CLST211 Greek Philosophy I Sections

The Presocratics; Socrates; Sophists. Recommended as preparation for CLST/PHIL 212 and PHIL 310.

The Presocratics; Socrates; Sophists. “The unexamined life is not worth living”: this is how the seminal Athenian philosopher Socrates explained his way of life to the jury that sentenced him. How did this attitude – and with it the complex of Western philosophy, medicine and science – first emerge in ancient Greece? In this course, we will piece together fragmentary evidence for the birth of rational speculation between the poets Homer and Hesiod (8th century BC) and Plato (4th century BC). Through the origin story of Western philosophy, we will encounter the original articulations of Greece’s most enduring and provocative ideas, among them atomism, materialism, the dialogue of science and religion, the notion of a universe governed by regular mathematical laws, the possibility of knowledge, and the goals of human life. Focus: Presocratics, Socrates, and Plato (8th- 4th century BCE). Prerequisites: None: Students with no prior knowledge of the subject are...
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CLST212 Greek Philosophy II Sections

Plato; Aristotle; selections from Hellenistic Philosophy. Recommended as preparation for PHIL 310 and PHIL 311.

Plato; Aristotle; selections from Hellenistic Philosophy. Is it possible to be sure that we are living a good human life, come what may? What would it be like to “succeed at” being a human being, at being ourselves? In the period under consideration in this course (c. 399 BCE–c. 529 CE), the nascent traditions of Greek logic, science, and ethics were turned to the exploration of such fundamental questions as these and spread across the Mediterranean world in the wake of Alexander the Great and the Roman Empire, laying the groundwork for the subsequent development of Western intellectual history. Over this term, we will study Aristotle, the great Hellenistic schools of ancient Athens (Stoics, Epicureans, and Skeptics) and the later ancient synthesis of Greek philosophy under the banner of Plato (Neoplatonism), and their influence on subsequent thought. Focus: Aristotle, Stoics, Epicureans, Skeptics, and Neoplatonists (4th century BCE-3rd century CE). Prerequisites: None: Students...
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CLST231 Ancient Greece Sections

A survey of the ancient Greek world from the Minoan and Mycenaean (about 2000-1000 BCE) to the Hellenistic Period (323-30 BCE).

Why are Greeks still today, just like their ancient ancestors, known for their shipping companies and business interests? Why were ancient Greeks apparently always warring among themselves and with others? Was democracy the most common form of government in ancient Greek communities? If not, why not, and what was the most common form of government? Is the “Greek Miracle” the best lens today through which to understand the development of the ancient Greeks?  The answers to these and other topical questions of our times can be found in studying ancient Greek history. Come and explore them with me. Prerequisites: None


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CLST232 Ancient Rome Sections

A survey of the ancient Roman world from the foundation of the city to the death of Constantine.

"There can surely be nobody so petty or so apathetic in his outlook that he has no desire to discover by what means and under what system of government the Romans succeeded in less than fifty-three years in bringing under their rule almost the whole of the inhabited world, an achievement which is without parallel in human history." - Polybius, Universal History 1.1.5 A survey of the ancient Roman world. The course consists of a series of lectures on the world of Rome from the foundation of the city to the death of Constantine. Lectures treat the Roman monarchy, the foundation of the Roman republic and its expansion, the social, economic and political problems that led to its fall, the reorganization of government under Augustus, and the Roman empire under the emperors. Brief consideration of the reforms of Diocletian and the unsolved problem of the decline of the Roman...
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CLST260 Gladiators, Games, and Spectacle in the Greek and Roman World Sections

History, development, and social function of various forms of spectacle in ancient Greece and Rome, from the Olympic games to the Roman arena.

Fame and shame. Blood and guts. Glory and death. Ancient games and spectacles promised all these and more to the people of ancient Greece and Rome. Spectacles united societies and divided them too. Ancient fans fanatically supported their favourites, but rivalries sometimes led to riots. Ranging from the competitions at the Olympic games in Greece to the spectacles of the Roman Coliseum and the Circus Maximus, this course will examine how spectacles and games functioned in the ancient world, their costs and rewards, and the costs to the humans and animals caught up in them. Over the course of the semester we will investigate the how and why of ancient games, the mechanics of how they were staged and organized, and who fought and competed in them. Prerequisites: None  
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CLST301 The Technical Terms of Medicine and Biological Science Sections

Acquaints the student with the Greek and Latin elements from which most specialized terms of modern medicine are constructed. Intended primarily for students planning to enter the medical, pharmaceutical, or biological sciences.

Classical Studies 301 helps students understand the Greek and Latin elements which are used in medical and biological terminology: students learn how to deconstruct medical and biological terminology into ordinary English so that they can easily understand and remember the language of biology and medicine. Students also learn the principles behind the construction of the terminology. The course is designed primarily for science students, particularly those in the biological or pre-medical fields, but students from other areas of study are also very welcome. No knowledge of the Greek or Latin languages is required, and no knowledge of anatomy or physiology is required.  The course additionally provides relevant material from ancient literary, mythological, historical, and medical sources, in order to furnish a cultural context for the elements under discussion. The course is offered both on-campus and on-line in both the fall and winter terms, and both cover the same vocabulary. For the on-campus...
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CLST308 Roman Law Sections

The development of Roman private law during the classical period with special attention to family law, contract and delict.

The Roman state developed one of the earliest complex legal systems. They excelled especially in creating a formal judicial system and a detailed framework for civil law. The resulting system of law that emerged forms the basis of most European and American law and influenced many aspects of English Common Law. Through the activities and involvement of these countries with other peoples and nations Roman law had a considerable impact on legal systems of non-Western countries as well.For example, in a South African court, reference is often made to the Digest of Justinian because their legal system is strongly based on Roman law that was brought to South Africa through the Dutch. In this way, therefore, as Brent Shaw says, “Roman politicians, magistrates, and jurists developed many of the fundamental legal principles that are basic to a majority of the formal legal systems in the world today.” This course, therefore,...
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CLST311 Women in the Bronze Age, Classical Greek and Hellenistic Cultures Sections

The images projected in mythology, literature, and art are compared with realities of women's lives insofar as they can be reconstructed from historical, legal, and archaeological records.

Classical Studies 311 examines the cultural representations and "real lives" of women in ancient Greece in the archaic (c. 800-500 BCE) and classical (c. 500-330 BCE) ages. The images projected in myth, literature and the visual arts are compared with the "realities" of women's lives insofar as these can be reconstructed from historical, legal and archaeological records. Two important purposes of the study of women in antiquity are to recover Greek women's history which, until recently, has been missing from general histories of ancient Greece, and to gain insight into the cultural dynamics of a society that subordinated women. Prerequisites: Second-year standing or above.
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CLST313 Greek Epic Sections

Homer's <i>Iliad</i> and <i>Odyssey</i>, in translation.

CLST 313-002 (Term 1;  C. Johnson) This course explores the nature and import of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. These works are essential for an understanding of ancient Greek society and are the foundation for all subsequent Greek literature. A close reading in translation will cover such subjects and themes as: Homer as a source of history: Mycenaean, Dark Age and Archaic periods the nature of legend and its relation to history religion and myth: Olympian Pantheon, religious background and worldview oral tradition and formulaic language epic as a genre Homer: who, where, when (Homeric question) The Iliad the nature of war and its impact on society the nature of the hero tragic worldview: gods and mortals human limitation, endurance and nobility The Odyssey immortality: gods and mortals the gods and human morality the nature of the hero and their trials personal loyalty and identity xenia and the continuity of the house (oikos) historical...
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CLST319 The Roman Army Sections

Rome's military from the early Republic to the Imperial period. Topics range from those of a military nature such as equipment and strategy to social topics such as policing and marriage of soldiers.

This course is an introduction to the history of Rome’s military.  The course begins with an examination of Rome’s military development through the republican period and then turns to examine the reforms made to the army to facilitate its role in controlling the vast empire of the Imperial period.  Specific topics which are examined include; recruitment and training, strategy, discipline, daily life, family life, law, reality of battle, mutiny and unrest, policing, Praetorian Guard, emperors’ relationship with the army, navy, logistics, engineering, civilian building, and veterans.
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CLST331 Greek Art and Architecture Sections

An introduction to the visual culture of the ancient Greek world in the second and first millennia BCE, especially from c. 1000 to 30 BCE.

This course explores the art and architecture of the Greek world from about 7000 to 30 BCE.  We’ll begin with the first farmers of the Neolithic and the trace the rise of Mycenae, Knossos and other legendary palaces of the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations.  We then examine the emergence of the Greek city states, focusing on the great Panhellenic sanctuaries of Olympia and Delphi and, of course, Athens and the famous monuments of its Akropolis and Agora that embody the rise of the world’s first democracy.  We’ll end with the spread of Greek art and architecture eastward with the conquests of Alexander the Great and the powerful Hellenistic kingdoms of his successors.  In each case we’ll consider the social, political, economic and ideological context of Greek material culture, its relationship to identities and the impacts of interactions with other cultures.  We'll also consider the legacy and reception of Greek art...
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CLST332 Roman Art and Architecture Sections

An introduction to the visual culture of the ancient Roman world from the 8th century BCE to the 4th century CE.

CLST 332: Roman Art & Architecture The social, cultural, political, and visual history of Roman art from the eighth century BCE to the fourth century CE.  Topics include the power of images to shape society; identity construction; cultural exchanges and borrowings across the ancient world; the impact of the Roman Empire on local visual traditions; and the complex relationships between subject and representation.
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CLST352 The Roman Republic Sections

Rome from the foundation to the Augustan settlement. Constitutional development; the workings and failure of the Republican political system; acquisition and growth of Empire; the political, social, and economic consequences of imperialism.

CLST355 The Athenians and their Empire Sections

The sources (literary, epigraphical and other) for Athens' emergence as one of the two leading city-states in late archaic and classical Greece and the stages by which her empire grew.

Classical Studies 355 (CLST 355 [3]): The Athenians and their Empire The sources (literary, epigraphical and other) for Athens’ emergence as one of the two leading city-states in late archaic and classical Greece and the stages which her empire grew. Prerequisite: CLST 231.   Aims of this course: examine the history and nature of the Athenian Empire gain familiarity with ancient sources of the period and some contemporary scholarship ancient and modern perspectives and representation: how history is imagined and created (affected by ideology and ontology) the nature, objectivity and purpose of history   consider the following: the development and nature of the empire from the 6th century BCE on competing representations of that empire in ancient and modern sources the empire and its effect on 5th century Greek culture the relationship between the empire and Athenian democracy
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CLST356 Alexander the Great and his Empire Sections

The rise of Macedon under Philip II leading to its domination of Greece and the overthrow of the Persian Empire by his son, Alexander; the subsequent spread of Greek civilization in the East.

"I suppose there was no race of men, no city at that time, no single person whom Alexander"s name did not reach." - Arrian,Anabasis 7.30.2.v A study of Alexander the Great: the historical figure, his legend, and his legacy. It begins with his rise, tracing the nature of Macedonia, its culture and previous kings, especially Philip II on whose successes Alexander"s legend was built.This course first examines Alexander"s accession, campaigns and untimely death and places Alexander in his social and historical context.The second part of the course will examine the legacy of Alexander through the history of the Hellenistic kingdoms and the persistence of Greek culture in the East.This course addresses questions of cultural interaction, assimilation, and conquest through the reading of the ancient sources in order to assess Alexander"s achievements and to understand the unique place which he occupies in visions of the classical past. Texts: 1.Romm, J. 2012. The Landmark Arrian:...
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CLST360H Life and Society in Classical Antiquity - CLASSICS IN FILM Sections

Topics in Greek and Roman life and society.

CLST401C Seminar in Classical History - SEM CLASSCL HIST Sections

Selected topics in Greek or Roman history, with an emphasis on research. Restricted to majors and honours students in CLST, CLAS, CLAH, ARGR, GRNE, CNRS.

Seminar in Classical History: DARK AGE AND ARCHAIC GREECE Classical Greece is still alive and rightly deserves to be defined as the apex of ancient Greek civilization. Until relatively recently, Classical Greece had been treated like the birth of the goddess Athena: fully grown when she came out of the head of Zeus, her father. Recent research, by contrast, has shown that the foundations of Classical Greece were laid beforehand during several formative centuries which laid the groundwork, making these achievements possible. The primary aim of this seminar course is to study, using a problem-oriented method, the main historical developments and issues of these formative centuries, from the Dark Age to the Archaic period ending in the watershed Persian Wars (roughly 1100-480 BC), a time-period collectively known as “Early Greece.” This is a truly fascinating period, which witnesses such things as the fall and re-rise of civilization (the second time on a completely different...
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CLST401D Seminar in Classical History - SEM CLASSCL HIST Sections

Selected topics in Greek or Roman history, with an emphasis on research. Restricted to majors and honours students in CLST, CLAS, CLAH, ARGR, GRNE, CNRS.

Pompeii In this seminar we will consider the ways in which the ancient city of Pompeii advances our knowledge of various aspects of Roman history and culture.  Topics which may be examined (depending on the interests of the students) include prostitution, gardening, politics, law, space utilization – both public and private, religion, art, death and burial, shopping, regional economics, government, social stratification, water utilization, bathing, hygiene, entertainment, banking and loans, gender, and daily life
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CNRS: Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies

Winter 2016

CNRS370 Theories of Myth Sections

Origins, nature, and transmission of myth in the Western tradition, with particular attention devoted to the interpretation of myth from ancient times up to the present. Some background in myth is recommended.

This course will examine the origins, nature and transmission of myth in the Western Tradition. It will devote particular attention to the interpretation of myth from ancient times up to the present day. Modern theorists discussed may, among others, include Freud; Jung; the so-called "Cambridge Ritualists;" N.Frye; J. Campbell; C. Levi-Strauss; R. Girard; W. Burkett; E. Cassirer. Prerequisites: None
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CNRS449 Honours Essay Sections

GREK: Greek

Winter 2016

GREK101 First-Year Ancient Greek I Sections

An introduction to Classical and Hellenistic Greek, Part I.

First-Year Ancient Greek I This course introduces the elements of classical Greek – the language of Homer, Greek drama and philosophy, and the New Testament. We will study fundamental Greek grammar and vocabulary useful for reading ancient Greek and understanding its influence on modern European languages. Prerequisites: None: Students with no prior knowledge of the subject are welcome.
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GREK102 First-Year Ancient Greek II Sections

An introduction to Classical and Hellenistic Greek, Part II.

GREK201 Second-Year Ancient Greek I Sections

Completion of the grammatical foundations of Ancient Greek, Part I.

GREK202 Second-Year Ancient Greek II Sections

Completion of the grammatical foundations of Ancient Greek, Part II; introduction to the reading of unadapted passages of Greek literature.

GREK351 Intermediate Ancient Greek: Prose Sections

Readings in the major authors in Greek Prose.

This course is designed to introduce intermediate students to ancient Greek prose literature; the selection of authors to be read varies each year, but can draw from genres as diverse as history, philosophy, biography, satire, religious texts, or even romance or early science fiction. The works to be read will be entirely unadapted but students will have the assistance of a commentary and lexicon, as well as the support of the instructor, to assist them in making the transition to reading ancient Greek texts. For 2015-16, readings will be drawn from Xenophon’s Anabasis, and the New Testament.
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GREK402E Greek Verse - GREEK VERSE Sections

Studies in epic, tragedy and/or comedy. It is recommended that the corequisite course be completed prior to GREK 402.

Greek Verse. In this course we will read Iliad 1 and 6, gaining a familiarity with Homeric verse. We'll also read some fragments of Sappho.
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HEBR: Hebrew

Winter 2016

HEBR101 Elementary Biblical Hebrew Part I Sections

Introduction to Biblical Hebrew grammar. Includes translation of prose and poetry from the Hebrew Bible.

HEBR102 Elementary Biblical Hebrew Part II Sections

A continuation of HEBR 101: Introduction to Biblical Hebrew grammar. Includes translation of prose and poetry from the Hebrew Bible.

HEBR201 Intermediate Biblical Hebrew I Sections

The second year of Biblical Hebrew with emphasis on rapid reading of poetry and prose along with grammar.

HEBR202 Intermediate Biblical Hebrew II Sections

The second year of Biblical Hebrew with emphasis on rapid reading of poetry and prose along with grammar.

LATN: Latin

Winter 2016

LATN101 First-Year Latin I Sections

Classical Latin for students with no previous knowledge of Latin, Part I.

Latin 101 Latin was the language of the Romans and, at the height of the Roman Empire during the first three centuries of the common era, was spoken throughout the whole of Western Europe and a large part of North Africa. After the fall of the Roman Empire in the west in the fifth century, Latin continued to be spoken in a variety of local dialects that developed through time into the modern Romance languages, e.g., French, Italian, and Spanish. Latin itself survived as the common language of educated people in Europe through the church and universities until the eighteenth century. A knowledge of Latin is essential to the study of the history, literature and archaeology of the Romans and for a serious understanding of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in Europe. It is also extremely useful in the study of the Romance languages as well as the English language, which...
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LATN102 First-Year Latin II Sections

Classical Latin for students with no previous knowledge of Latin, Part II.

Latin 102 continues with the basics of Latin grammar that we began in Latin 101, and illustrates these by a series of readings adapted from the major authors of classical Latin literature.  Students will be reading passages from such famous authors and works as Julius Caesar’s memoir of his campaigns in Gaul, Pliny the Younger’s first-hand account of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, and the statesman Cicero’s letters to his family.   Text (required): Susan C. Shelmerdine, Introduction to Latin, 2nd ed., Focus Publishing, 2013. ISBN: 978-1-58510-390-4
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LATN201 Second-Year Latin I Sections

Completion of the grammatical foundations of classical Latin, Part I.

Latin 201 completes most of the fundamentals of Latin grammar and syntax that were begun in Latin 101 and 102, which it illustrates by a series of readings adapted from the major authors of classical Latin literature.  We shall be reading passages from such famous authors and works as Livy’s legends of early Rome, Julius Caesar’s account of his campaigns in Gaul, and Tacitus’ story of the emperor Nero’s murder of the son of Claudius.   Text: Susan C. Shelmerdine, Introduction to Latin, 2nd ed., Focus Publishing, 2013. ISBN: 978-1-58510-390-4 (required)
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LATN202 Second-Year Latin II Sections

Completion of the grammatical foundations of classical Latin, Part II, and an introduction to the reading of unadapted passages of Latin literature.

Latin 202 completes the fundamentals of Latin grammar and syntax, which it illustrates by a series of readings slightly adapted from the major authors of classical Latin literature.  These include passages from such famous authors and works as Cicero on dreams, the historian Sallust on the decline of Rome, and the poet Ovid’s telling of the myth of Daedalus and Icarus. We then introduce students to the reading and translation of unadapted Latin, this year using as sample the third book of Eutropius’ Ab Urbe Condita, his summary of the events of Second Punic War. (Text of Eutropius is supplied.)   Required Text: Susan C. Shelmerdine, Introduction to Latin, 2nd ed., Focus Publishing, 2013. ISBN: 978-1-      58510-390-4
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LATN350 Latin Literature of the Classical Period (Prose) Sections

Readings in Latin Prose.

Third-year Latin aims to enhance students’ skills in reading unadapted Latin and to introduce them to some of the great authors of classical Latin literature. Our prose author this year will be the historian Livy. We shall be translating a selection of famous passages from his Ab Urbe Condita, and also considering his purposes in writing, the nature of his history and the linguisitic and artistic features of his work. Among our passages will be his narration of the founding of Rome, his stories of some early Roman heroes, his account of the Second (Hannibalic) Punic War, and his description of the Bacchic ‘conspiracy’ of 186 BCE. Texts (required): 1. Mary Jaeger, A Livy Reader: Selections from Ab Urbe Condita; Bolchazy-Carducci pub., ISBN: 978-0865166806 2. G. L. Kittredge, James B Greenough, Benj. L. D'Ooge, A. A. Howard, J. H. Allen, Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar; Dover pub., ISBN: 9780486448060
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LATN351 Latin Literature of the Classical Period (Verse) Sections

Readings in Latin Verse.

The goals of this course are to introduce students to Latin poetry and metre, and through the reading of the Latin text, to help students strengthen their grasp of grammar and syntax and improve their facility in translation. We will read and analyse Book II of Vergil’s Aeneid in which Aeneas recounts the fall of Troy to Dido. This book contains the famous story of the Trojan horse, the destruction of the city, and Aeneas’ eventually escape with his father and son. Epic battles, action and adventure abound.
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LATN402A Latin Verse - LATIN VERSE Sections

Studies in narrative verse, comedy, satire, elegiac and lyric poetry. May be repeated for up to 12 credits. It is recommended that the corequisite course be completed prior to LATN 402.

Horace's Odes. In the Odes, Horace perfected Latin lyric poetry, and produced a body of work that has had incalculable influence on later writers. The poems deal with a wide range of topics, including friendship, love and sex, politics, and philosophy. In this class we will read the first and third books of Horace's Odes in their entirety. We will place the poems in their social, literary, and historical context, looking in particular at the use Horace makes of Greek lyric models, his relationship with Augustus/Augustan ideology, and his philosophical ideals. We will also look at the reception of the Odes, both within antiquity and in more recent English literature. Throughout the course, special attention will be paid to Horace's language, metre, and style. Note: Students may take Latin 402 more than once, since the content varies each year.  
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NEST: Near Eastern Studies

Winter 2016

NEST101 Introduction to Near Eastern and Egyptian Archaeology Sections

An overview of the past two centuries of archaeological investigations of the civilizations of the ancient Near East and Egypt.

Most of us know about the ancient tombs, temples and pyramids of Egypt, and have heard about the great cities of Babylon, Ur and Nineveh in Mesopotamia. But how did recent archaeologists go about re-discovering these amazing cities and monuments? This course provides an overview of some of the most spectacular archaeological finds of the past two centuries in Egypt and the Near East, and the adventurers, explorers, and archaeologists who uncovered them. In the process, students will also learn about the types of archaeological techniques and tools which are used to unlock the secrets of the ancient past, and what archaeological evidence can tell us about the social, political, economic and religious aspects of life in Egypt and Mesopotamia, the ‘cradles of civilization’. There will be an opportunity for students to handle and study real archaeological artifacts from the Near East in the laboratories of the Museum of Anthropology. Prerequisites: None.
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NEST303 History of Ancient Egypt Sections

History and culture of Ancient Egyptian civilization from political, intellectual, social and environmental perspectives

This course is designed to provide a general introduction to the history of Ancient Egypt. After presenting and discussing the topographical and chronological setting of Ancient Egypt, the course will discuss modern approaches to reconstructing and understanding Egyptian history (the problem of sources, how to evaluate written and material evidence, different possible histories of Egypt, the role of the historian). The course will then present a comprehensive overview of Egyptian political, religious and cultural history from prehistory (4th millennium BCE) to the early Ptolemaic Period (200 BCE). Prerequisites: None
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NEST304 Ancient Egypt: The Archaeology of the Land of the Pharoahs Sections

The material remains of the ancient Egyptians from monumental tombs and temples to the artifacts of daily life; the development of Egyptian civilization from the rise of the first rulers to its incorporation into the Roman Empire.

Egypt has fascinated both scholars and the general public since ancient times, and not without good reason.  We will, of course, discuss mummies, pyramids, and famous pharaohs from Hatshepsut, the female king, to Akhenaten, the so-called heretic king and first monotheist, and Tutankhamen the "boy king" whose intact tomb was found by Howard Carter in 1922--but they tell only part of the story. Egypt is one of the earliest civilizations and, despite its eventual conquest by a succession of imperial powers, it retained many aspects of its distinctive culture over a period of millennia, influencing the art, architecture, and culture of neighbours and conquerors alike. In this course we’ll trace the rise, development, and occasional collapse, of Egyptian society from its origins in the Neolithic period through to its incorporation into the Roman Empire.  In exploring ancient Egypt, we’ll look at the incredible finds recovered by archaeologists (and others) and...
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NEST312 Religion in Ancient Egypt Sections

A survey of the religious beliefs, cults, and religious institutions in Pharaonic Egypt.

This survey course is designed to provide a general introduction to the religion of Ancient Egypt. We will discuss a wide field of topics such as concepts of cosmogony, cosmology, the pantheon of Ancient Egypt, temples and tombs, divine kingship, and the role of the priesthood. Throughout the course written sources will be complemented by archaeological evidence and thus will give the students a first insight into the wealth of material culture from Ancient Egypt. Prerequisites: None
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NEST315 Introduction to Akkadian Sections

The basic grammar and introduction to the cuneiform writing system of the Akkadian language of the Ancient Near East.

Akkadian is the ancient language of Mesopotamia within the Semitic language family. First finding prominence under Sargon of Akkad (late 3rd millennium BCE), Akkadian became dominant in Mesopotamia in the 2nd and early 1st millennia BCE, for much of which it was also the diplomatic language of the whole Ancient Near East. Written with an intricate system of cuneiform (wedge shapes in clay), we find myths of Marduk, Ishtar and the Babylonian pantheon, epics of Gilgamesh and Atrahasis and the ancient Flood, the so-called “laws” of Hammurabi, the military campaign records and propaganda of Assyrian kings, business accounts recording the sale of slaves, the adoption of children, and much more. This course will explore the basics of the language – grammar, vocabulary, syntax and a small amount of work in the cuneiform writing system. Previous work in a Semitic language (Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic, etc.) is an asset, but not required.
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NEST319 The Archaeology of Ancient Iraq and Syria: Babylon and Beyond Sections

An overview of the archaeology of the ancient Near East, with special emphasis on the civilizations of Mesopotamia, from the appearance of the first cities (c. 3400 BCE) to the end of the Persian period (c. 330 BCE).

The Archaeology of Ancient Iraq and Syria: Babylon and Beyond This course provides an overview of the archaeology of the ancient Near East, with special emphasis on the ancient civilizations that developed in Syria and Iraq, notably Sumer, Babylonia and Assyria (3100—330 B.C.). The course also includes some Prehistory (beginning with the Neolithic Era), and the world’s first farming communities. Major technological, artistic and architectural achievements of ancient Near East are emphasized, as well as the impact of religion, the emergence of the world’s first writing systems and cities, and the rise of empires. While discussing these themes, the history of archaeological research in the Near East will be surveyed, from the earliest discoveries of 19th century adventurers to the scientific approaches to archaeological recovery and interpretation that are utilized by researchers of today. Prerequisites: None, although NEST 101 is recommended.
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NEST402 The Archaeology of the City in the Ancient Near East Sections

The material manifestations of urbanism in the ancient Near East, from the 4th millennium BC up to the 1st millennium BC. Credit will be granted for only one of NEST 402 or 506.

The Archaeology of Space and Place This course explores the role of built environments – from single rooms to landscapes – in past societies.  Through participation in a series of lectures, seminar discussions, “hands-on” labs, and research projects, we’ll explore contemporary (and past) approaches that archaeologists use to understand buildings, settlements and built landscapes.  We’ll examine theories linking prehistoric and historic built environments to human and material agency, daily practice, power, identity and social reproduction, as well as concepts such as place, house and household, community and neighbourhood, cityscape, monumentality and memory. We’ll also emphasize the application of methods that can help us understand how various types of buildings affect human behavior, experience, and interaction by encoding and communicating meanings.  Case studies will be global in perspective.
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RELG: Religious Studies

Winter 2016

RELG101 Introduction to the Western (Abrahamic) Religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam Sections

An overview of the three main western monotheistic (Abrahamic) religions, together with the concepts used in studying religion, The focus will be on the origins and representative texts along with some historical development and current experience of each religion.

RELG201 Near Eastern and Biblical Mythology Sections

An introduction to Near Eastern mythology, including Mesopotamian myths and the Biblical myths recorded in Genesis 1 to 11.

In this course we will probe the distinct but related corpora of biblical and ancient Near Eastern “mythologies.” The focus will be on Mesopotamian literature (i.e., literary texts that are the products of ancient Iraq), though we will also examine biblical texts, particularly those that demonstrate influence from Mesopotamia. Both sets of texts shed light on the cultures that produced them, and we will explore how these texts both reveal and conceal aspects of their respective cultures. We will also consider the ways in which media (i.e., the physical material that scribes used to write these texts) and context (e.g., literary, religious, archaeological, social, etc.) contribute toward our understanding of this ancient material. Although our main focus will be on what these texts might have meant to their ancient audiences, we will also reflect on their continued influence on modern beliefs and perceptions. Prerequisites: None
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RELG203 Scriptures of the Near East Sections

An introduction to the scriptures of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

This course introduces students to the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Qur’ān—some of the foundational texts of both western and world culture, and the sacred scriptural basis for religious traditions originating in the Near East: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—and, more broadly, the social processes, textual practices, performance modes, and ideological constructs that, in various modes of synergy, constitute the phenomenon of  ‘scripture’ in religious traditions. Through close, critical readings and discussions of primary literature (in English translation), this course considers each set of texts in terms of: its contents; confessional and historical-critical theories of its contexts, composition, and canonization; relationship to the other sacred texts; and reception in later religious traditions.  The culminating part of the course explores cultural issues surrounding the generation and promulgation of competing character profiles within the scriptures and interpretive traditions of these kindred religions; characters of prominent interest include: Adam, Eve/Hawwāʾ, Satan/Iblīs, Noah,...
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RELG207 Classical Islam Sections

The history and culture, values, and achievements of Islamic societies from 700-1500; the interconnections between power, politics, gender, and the arts in Islamic societies. This course is highly recommended as a basis for all 300- and 400-level Islamic Studies courses.

The classical Islamic tradition (variously pegged between 650 and 1500AD) continues to influence and shape the modern Muslim discourse around the world. This course is divided into units, each focussed on a major Islamic science that is the subject of intense scholarly investigation and debate, in order to appreciate the rich tapestry of Islam's normative and lived tradition(s).These units comprise Islamic political history, sacred texts, theology, jurisprudence, legal theory, and mysticism.Each unit will give you a taste of a sub-field of Islamic Studies, and will introduce you to topics and issues that are central to the historical and living tradition of Islam. Prerequisites: None
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RELG208 Modern Islam Sections

The history and culture, values, and socio-political movements of the Islamic world from 1500 to the modern day; the interconnections between power, politics, gender, and the arts in modern Islamic societies. This course is highly recommended as a basis for all 300- and 400-level Islamic Studies courses.

Islam permeates the landscape of our contemporary world events—whether in relation to immigration, women’s rights, or terrorism. In this course, we will examine the ways that Islam has changed in the last five centuries in order to gain a better understanding of Muslims’ beliefs and practices today. We will analyze the deep impact and transformative effect of events like colonization, Western science, and increased literacy on Muslim peoples. We will survey modern Muslim debates on how their faith should relate to democracy, gender, nationalism, violence, reason, and authority. Students will leave the course better understanding the contested ways Muslims have sought to shape their tradition in the modern world.
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RELG306 Archaeology and the Bible Sections

The impact of archaeological research on understanding the history and religion of ancient Israel.

Over the last two centuries, archaeologists (both professional and amateur) have extensively excavated the lands depicted in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. Often digging with sacred texts in hand, they have uncovered a voluminous corpus of archaeological remains related to ancient Israel, early Judaism, and Christianity. This course introduces students to the comparative study of the material and literary production of the peoples who lived in ancient Palestine, from 1000 B.C.E. to 640 C.E. We will critically examine the ways that archaeological finds can - and cannot - contribute to our understanding of the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, Dead Sea Scrolls, classical Rabbinic Literature, and related texts. In addition, we will uncover the major interpretive issues that face scholars today. In each unit, following an overview of the period"s material culture, we will examine two sets of primary sources - one textual, one archaeological; critically evaluate modern interpretations and...
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RELG307 Sex, Lies, and Violence in the Hebrew Bible Sections

An exploration of the Bible's "dark side," with emphasis on texts that center on sex, deceit, and murder.

For all of its accounts of angels and miracles, the Bible features a staggering number of texts that deal with “real life,” including literature that deals with sex, deceit, and murder. Most of these texts never make it into a synagogue or church sermon, though some of them are persistently (mis-)used to justify the oppression and/or exclusion of women and LGBTQ individuals. Together we will probe these texts within their own ancient contexts, emerging both with a deeper appreciation of the Bible’s “dark side” and with a more sophisticated sense as to what these texts might have meant to their original audiences
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RELG414 The Gospels and the Historical Jesus Sections

The canonical and apocryphal gospels and the life and teachings of the historical Jesus.

The Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) are the historian's main source for his portrait of the historical Jesus. The focus of this course is the examination of various genres in the Gospels - parables, trial narratives, miracle stories, and so on, in order to understand the interplay of tradition and interpretation in the early decades of the Christian movement. The student will be encouraged to appreciate each Gospel as a unified composition, and to recognize each evangelist's principles of selection, arrangement and adaptation. A careful examination of the extra-canonical sources (Gospel of Thomas, Q, Apocryphal Gospels) to determine their relevance for historical Jesus research will be another feature of the seminar. Prerequisites: None
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RELG475A Topics in Religion - TPCS IN RELIGION Sections

Consult the course registration information each year for offered topics.

From the very beginnings of cinema right up to the present day, movies about Jesus have been one of the constants of cinematic history. From 1903’s Life and Passion of the Christ — one of the very first feature films—to Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ and beyond, the  gospel story has continually undergone fresh transformations and renewed incarnations through  the medium of film.  In the same way that the canonical and non-canonical Gospels frame  Jesus in different ways, so, too,  do the frames of film, whether it be Jesus Christ Superstar  or the Life of Brian. The first two-thirds of this course will chronicle part of this rich legacy. Yet, the life and passion of Christ have also influenced contemporary filmic constructions of the hero to such a degree that it is difficult to take the measure of characters like Frodo, Katniss Everdeen, Neo, or Luke Skywalker without being...
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RELG475D Topics in Religion - TPCS IN RELIGION Sections

Consult the course registration information each year for offered topics.

Is the Biblical Garden of Eden synonymous with Paradise? Does Genesis 2-3 represent Eve as a temptress? When does the plural noun Elohim refer to the singular God and to plural gods?  How to translate the Hebrew term Adam?  What does Exodus 3 recount about the secret name of God YHVH? What can the etymology of Hebrew names contribute to our understanding of specific Biblical narratives? Can the Nephilim be seen as fallen angels?  Who are the Lady Wisdom and Lady Folly of the Biblical book of Proverbs?  Join us as we read together select biblical narratives, discuss conceivable meaning/s of fascinating Biblical accounts, explore possible ideological-cultural aspects embedded in the texts, and examine their reception, impact and multiple interpretations over the ages. The course will treat both linguistic and literary aspects. Students interested in examining these issues with a focus on their literary aspects can take this course as RELG 475D [no language prerequisite]. Students interested in examining these...
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RELG480A Women and Religion - WOMEN & RELIGION Sections

A study of the roles of women in the literature of one or more religious traditions.

Women and Religion in the Islamic Tradition In this course, we examine recent academic debates that have changed the way we understand women, gender, and Islam. In particular, we will read and discuss key texts in the history of Islamic law and anthropology. The legal texts present and analyze the male-dominated juristic discourse on women in the pre-modern period. They also offer us a social analysis of women’s lived relationship with the law. The anthropological texts examine contemporary Muslim women’s practices in order to question our own scholarship’s Western liberal assumptions about freedom, autonomy, and what it means to be a modern woman. The course aspires to teach students the various ways Muslim women have constructed and lived their religious tradition.
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