The texts which have survived to us from antiquity form a central pillar in our understanding of the Greco-Roman world, but often we give little thought to the place, function, and form of texts in their ancient context. This seminar will explore ancient texts from a variety of angles. We will examine the technologies of literacy, looking at the material nature of texts from the clay tablets of Linear B to wax writing tablets to the papyrus scroll to the parchment codex to public inscriptions on stone to graffiti. We will discuss how the physical form impacts how a text might have been read, who the audience of a text might have been, and what role its physical form may have played in preservation and transmission. We will explore the relationship between texts and education, between economics and the transmission of texts, between the physical form of a text and how it was used. We will be covering material from Bronze Age Greece to the Roman Empire, reading a range of primary and secondary texts.
Prerequisites: Restricted to Honours and Majors students in CLST, CLAH, CLAS, ARGR and GRNE. Others may ask the permission of the instructor.


In 133 BCE Tiberius Gracchus, a sacrosanct Tribune of the Plebs, was lynched by a mob organized by a senatorial faction: the Roman elite had discovered open murder as a political tool and they were never to forget it. Beginning with the death of Tiberius Gracchus and ending in 41 BCE, when the last army commanded by the Roman Senate defeated Mark Antony at the Battle of Mutina, we will explore the chaos, violence, and mayhem of the last years of the Roman Republic, as Rome”s shaky political machinery ground to a halt amid largescale urban violence. Although we will pay close attention to the famous personages of the era – Marius, Sulla, Julius Caesar, Pompey the Great, Cicero, and so forth – we will also examine those lower on the social ladder and the underlying social and political causes for the fall of the Republic.
Prerequisites: Major or Honours program declared, and CLST 232 and / or CLST 352, or with the permission of the instructor.


“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.
1.Romm, J. 2012. The Landmark Arrian: The Campaigns of Alexander. Anchor.ISBN-13: 978-1400079674
2.Austin, M.M. 2006. The Hellenistic World from Alexander to Roman Conquest. A Selection of Ancient Sources in Translation. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press. ISBN-13: 780521535618
Prerequisites: CLST 231 or 331, or permission of the instructor


The course focuses upon the Roman empire during the first century AD following its consolidation by the founding emperors Augustus and Tiberius. The performance of certain of their successors is discussed. But the emphasis is upon social, administrative and economic themes. There is investigation of how the provinces and cities of the empire were taxed and governed, and of how certain significant services were provided such as transport and supply of food staples. The nature and values of society are probed through exploration of such varied topics as the status and role of slaves and ex-slaves; the work undertaken by men and women; entertainment; and Roman funeral and burial practices. The fascinating world of Rome is likely to emerge as both less familiar, and more impenetrable and mysterious, than might have been anticipated.
Sensitive exploitation of original source material, both literary and non-literary (all in translation), is an important element throughout. While plenty of guidance will be given, students are expected to read widely for themselves among ancient and modern authors, as well as to take an informed part in class discussions.
Prerequisites: Classical Studies 232 or 331, or permission of the instructor


This course traces the development of Greek and Roman art and architecture from about 1000 BCE to the end of the fourth century CE. It is designed as a general introduction to the astonishing and path-breaking achievements by Greek and Roman artists and architects, but these will be set against the social and political context of the societies that produced them. Greeks and Romans were bombarded by images, just as much as we are today, and the course will examine the key role that visual culture played in Graeco-Roman society. The course will focus on the most significant works of art and some of the outstanding buildings produced by the ancients. The emphasis throughout will be on sculpture, painting, and architecture, but the minor arts, such as terracotta, glass, jewellery, coinage and gems will not be ignored altogether. The focus of term 1 will be on Greek art and architecture; Roman will be studied in term 2. This is a 6-credit year-long course with a mid-term test, one course paper and an exam in each term. The course has no prerequisites and should be of interest to students of classical studies, art history, architecture, medieval studies, religion, mythology and cultural anthropology.
Textbooks: the course textbooks are R. T. Neer, Art and Archaeology of the Greek World. A New History, c. 2500- c. 150 BCE (Thames + Hudson 2012) and (for Term 2) N. H and A. Ramage, Roman Art, 5th edition (Pearson/Prentice Hall 2009). Also recommended are J. Pedley, Greek Art and Archaeology, 5th ed. (Pearson/Prentice Hall 2012); and F. S. Kleiner, A History of Roman Art. Enhanced edition (Wadsworth 2007).
1. T. Neer, Art and Archaeology of the Greek World. A New History, c. 2500- c. 150 BCE (Thames + Hudson 2012)
2. N. Ramage and A. Ramage, Roman Art: Romulus to Constantine, 5th edition
Prerequisites: None


This course, reading plays in English translation, will explore the theatrical comedy of ancient Greece and Rome. From the ancient Greek world we will read a selection of Old Comedy plays by Aristophanes and the New Comedy of Menander. From the Roman world we will read selected plays by Plautus and Terence. We will examine the nature of comedy in the theatre in ancient Greece and Rome, exploring each play that we read from a number of perspectives. We will look at issues ofdramatic and literary style (what is unique to each author”s style of writing and sense of the theatrical); stagecraft (actors, costumes, theatrical resources);and social context (how are the plays responding to the political and social context for which they were written and what differences do we see between plays written for 5th and 4th-century BC Athens, or between 4th-century BC Athens and 2nd-century BC Rome). We will also briefly examine the influence and reception of ancient comedy on the western theatre tradition, from the 10-century plays of Hrosvitha to the Elizabethan theatre to Broadway musicals to modern sitcoms and romantic comedies.
Prerequisites: CLST 105, or permission of the instructor.


This course will guide students through the earliest plays of the European tradition, reading a range of Greek and Roman tragedies in translation. Selected plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Seneca will be studied in their intellectual, historical, and performance contexts. We will consider how classical tragedy has shaped the whole tradition of Western drama, while paying particular attention to what makes classical tragedy unique, including the chorus, the integration of speech and song, and the innovative use of mythological tradition. We will also study borderline cases between tragedy and comedy, including examples of satyr drama, prosatyric tragedy, and “tragicomedy”, to explore how we define tragedy and the tragic.



CLST 312 Matron, Mother, Mistress, Merchant, Murderer.

Women played a variety of roles in ancient Roman society and in this course we will examine the evidence that we have for women’s lives as well as how they were perceived by their male contemporaries and what value to society they were believed to have. Through a critical analysis of the material and visual culture and inscriptional, legal, and literary sources we will explore the realities and ambiguities of Roman women’s lives from imperial wives to household slaves and also consider the roots of modern conceptions and perceptions of women in the Western world today.
Prerequisites: Second-year standing or above.


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.


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 section, course materials are provided through the course website and in the twelve classroom lectures; students also attend six tutorials, where they practice their skills in creating and defining terms. There is a midterm as well as a final exam. For the on-line section, all materials are on-line, and there are weekly assignments and quizzes; there is no midterm, but there is a must-pass final exam.

Prerequisites: None.

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