This course provides an in-depth look at the fascinating past of the island of Cyprus: the legendary birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite. Join us and examine the development of Cypriot society from the island’s initial colonization in the 10th millennium BCE through the period of its rule as a province of the Roman Empire in the 4th century CE. We’ll explore a number of themes:

  • new discoveries that are revolutionizing our understanding of the Cypriot Neolithic and the role of Cyprus in the origins and spread of agriculture in the Near East;
  • Cyprus’s rapid transformation from an insular, village-based and largely egalitarian society, to an urbanized “civilization” during the Late Bronze Age;
  • Cyprus’s role in the Late Bronze Age “world system”, in which various societies of the eastern Mediterranean and Near East were increasingly interconnected through trade, warfare, and diplomacy;
  • the emergence and growth of city kingdoms during the early Iron Age, Archaic and Classical periods and the growing influences of Greek and Phoenician culture;
  • the role of domination and resistance as Cyprus fell under the control of a succession of empires (Persian, Ptolemaic, and Roman), and the effects of this on Cypriot identity and material culture;
  • the development of Cypriot archaeology from its 19th-century antiquarian roots to a modern, scientifically-based discipline; and
  • the role of colonialism and modern politics in the interpretation of Cyprus’s past.

This course provides important background for a proposed archaeological field school on Cyprus to be held in Summer 2015.


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.


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


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-



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)


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


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 derives much of its vocabulary from Latin.

A knowledge of Latin is also rewarding in its own right; it is a language of great strength and dignity, with a literature that includes the writings of Cicero, Vergil, Ovid and other authors of enormous influence in the shaping of later European literature and thought.

Latin 101 introduces the basics of Latin grammar, which it illustrates 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 Livy’s account of the founding of Rome, Ovid’s telling of the flood and the repopulation of the earth, and the statesman Cicero’s thoughts on the necessity of laws in the Roman state.
Text (required): Susan C. Shelmerdine, Introduction to Latin, 2nd ed., Focus Publishing, 2013. ISBN: 978-1-58510-390-4


Students will read a complete verse play. This course is designed to equip students with the necessary tools for independent reading of unadapted Greek texts.


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.

PhD Comprehensive Examinations

The Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies believes that reading lists constitute the best way to provide students with the general background of the field. Familiarity with these lists is assessed by comprehensive examinations or comps.

As part of the requirements for each PhD in the department, students are expected to write two written comprehensive examinations, in the first two weeks of April in the student’s second year of study. These are followed by an oral examination (within two weeks of the written examinations).

Written Examinations:

  • Students in the PhD in Classics write translation exams in both Greek <link> and Latin <link>.
  • Students in the PhD in Classics (Classical Archaeology) write essay exams in both Greek archaeology <link> and Roman archaeology <link>.
  • Students in the PhD in Classics (Ancient History) write a translation examination in either Greek <link> or Latin <link>. In lieu of a second exam, students complete Second Field requirements, described with the PhD degree requirements.
  • Students in the PhD in Religious Studies write essay exams on the religious traditions of the ancient Near East and Mediterranean, beginning with Gilgamesh, and including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam <link>, <link>.

Reading lists are the same across the cohort and are not tailored to individuals; the content may vary from year to year. Students identify the subjects on which they wish to write by 15 April of their first year to their Graduate Advisor. Lists for the following academic year are available from 1 July. While some works on these lists may be covered as part of the candidate’s coursework, there is no expectation that they will be: students should have the ability to work through all these texts on their own in addition to coursework.

Lists for translation exams represent a prescribed set of primary texts in the original language. These works represent a canon of original authors (literary, historical, and philosophical) that draws from many genres and time periods. The doctoral lists comprise the works on the associated MA list, with additional texts focusing on literature (Classics) or history (Ancient History). The process results in an identifiable and useful body of knowledge that is objectively examinable and fills the gaps in the candidate’s reading of central authors.

Lists for essay exams consist of 50-60 recent and substantial contributions to the relevant field, and are intended to familiarize the student with a core of scholarship and an understanding of major scholarly approaches.

Changes to the lists are the responsibility of the relevant examining committee:

  • PhD in Classics. Classical Languages Committee.
  • PhD in Classics (Classical Archaeology). Archaeology Committee.
  • PhD in Classics (Ancient History). Classical Languages Committee.
  • PhD in Religious Studies. Religious Studies Committee.

The structure of these exams is determined by the examining committee, and is communicated to the student when the lists are provided. Each exam is marked on a pass/fail basis by two department members selected by the chair of the relevant examining committee; if markers disagree the matter is referred to the Director of Graduate Studies (or the Head if the DGS is a marker). A failed exam may be retaken once, in August of the student’s second year.

Oral Examination:

Candidates may only progress to the oral examination once they have passed both reading list examinations.

This two-hour exam will be taken within two weeks of successful completion of the written examinations, with at least four faculty present, chaired by the Graduate Advisor or her/his designate. One hour of the exam will be devoted to questions about the material covered in each of the written comps. Questions will arise from the texts on the PhD reading lists; candidates will not be expected to know material beyond those texts, although credit will be given for breadth as well as depth of knowledge of primary sources. The questions will focus on issues ranging from particular problems relating to specific sources to broader issues relating to the cultural context of the primary material and interpretive models and methodologies scholars use when interpreting it. Sample questions will be made available to help candidates prepare themselves.

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