Graduate Seminars

Each year, the Department offers a range of seminars for graduate students in Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology, and Religious Studies. Find below an overview of past and present graduate student seminars.

2019-2020

CLST 518B: Archaeologies of Greek Mobilities, Migrations, and Diasporas (F. De Angelis)
CLST 519A: Historical Roman Relief Sculpture (C. Gorrie)
CNRS 500B: Gender and the Legal Imagination in the Ancient Near East (S. Milstein)
CNRS 503D: Ancient and Modern Scholarship: Commentaries and Book Reviews (F. Yoon)
GREK 501C: Plato and the Search for Happiness (M. Griffin)
GREK 502B: Homer (F. Yoon)
LATN 501B: Reading and Writing Latin Prose (S. Braund)
LATN 502B: Virgil's Aeneid Book 12 (S. Braund)
NEST 500B: The Archaeology of Space and Place (K. Fisher)
RELG 500A: Apocalypse and Empire (G.A. Keddie)
RELG 503A: Christianizing Egypt (G.A. Keddie)

2018-2019

CLST 512A: The Provincialization of Roman Africa: Processes, Practices, and Power (M. McCarty)
CNRS 500A: Christians in Greco-Roman Cities (G. A. Keddie)
CNRS 503A: Mystery Religions (R. Cousland)
CNRS 503C: The Greek City (600-300 BCE) (N. Kennell)
GREK 401B/501B: Greek Prose, Xenophon's Symposium (J. Vickers)
GREK 402A/502A: Greek Verse, Theocritus (M. Hoskin)
LATN 401A/501A: Apuleius’ Apology: The Trial of a Warlock (S. McElduff)
LATN 402A/502A: Latin Verse Epistles (M. Hoskin)
NEST 401/505: Literature of Ancient Egypt or the Ancient Near East (W. Monroe)
NEST 402/506: Early Cities of the Ancient Near East (L. Cooper)

2017-2018

CNRS 500B: Gender in the Ancient Mediterranean (K. Huemoeller)
CNRS 503D: The Ancient Book (C. O'Hogan)
GREK 401A/501A: Biography (Xenophon and Plutarch) (F. Yoon)
GREK 401B/502B: Greek Tragedy (F. Yoon)
LATN 401C/501C: Inscribed History (K. Huemoeller)
LATN 402B/502B: Epyllion and Epic (C. O'Hogan)
CLST 501: Topography and Monuments of Athens (N. Kennell)
CLST 502: Topography and Monuments of Rome (M. McCarty)
CLST 518A: The Archaeology of Ancient Cyprus (K. Fisher)
CNRS 503B/RELG 502A Synagogues and Judaism in the Greco-Roman World (G. Gardner)
RELG 500B/CNRS 504: The Use and Abuse of the Bible in Modern Contexts (S. Milstein)

2016-2017

CNRS 500A/NEST 501B: Approaches to Ethnic Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean World (L. Cooper)
CNRS 502B/CLST 519D: Pompeii: Temples to Toilets (L. Bablitz)
CNRS 503A: Raw Comedy: Plautus and Mime (C.W. Marshall)
GREK 501D: Greek Prose: Herodotus and Thucydides (F. De Angelis)
LATN 501B: Latin Prose (K. Huemoeller)
LATN 502B: Latin Verse: Horace’s Odes (C. O’Hogan)
NEST 506: The Archaeology of the City in the ancient Near East: The Archaeology of Space and Place (K. Fisher)
RELG 502B: Topics in Judaism: Religion and Material Culture in Judaism (G. Gardner)
RELG 514D: Topics in Islam (R. Ahmed)

2015-2016

CNRS 500: Forum Romanum (L. Bablitz)
CNRS 502A/GREK 545: Greek Epigraphy (N. Kennell)
GREK 501B: Greek Prose (TBA)
GREK 502A: Hellenistic Poetry (C.W. Marshall)
GREK 525A/LATN 525A: Epic Transformed, Translations and Adaptations of Greco-Roman Epic Poetry (S. Braund)
LATN 501A: Reading and Writing Latin Prose Texts (S. Braund)
LATN 501C: Latin Prose (S. McElduff)
LATN 502B: Lucan, Civil War (S. Braund)
CLST 502: Topography and Monuments of Ancient Rome (M. McCarty)
CLST 503B: Greek Sanctuaries (N. Kennell)
CLST 511A: Hellenizing Pre-Roman Italy, Archaeological and Historical Approaches (F. De Angelis)
NEST 500A: Interconnections in the Late Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean (K. Fisher)
NEST 505: Ancient Egypt and the Bible, Interconnections between Egypt and Ancient Israel in the First Millennium BCE (T. Schneider)
RELG 500A/CNRS 502B: Making a Case: Law in Ancient Israel and Iraq (S. Milstein)

2014-2015

CNRS 500: Ancient Mystery Religions (R. Cousland)
CNRS 503C: Digital Antiquity (S. McElduff)
CNRS 503D/GREK 525: Comic Fragments (C.W. Marshall)
GREK 501C: Greek Orators: Murder, Adultery and Government Corruption (C.W. Marshall)
GREK 502D: Pindar and Lyric Poetry (M. Funke)
LATN 501D: Philippics and Their Influence (S. McElduff)
LATN 502C: Virgil’s Aeneid: from Zero to Hero – Aeneas on the battlefield (S. McElduff)
LATN 502D: Lucretius: De Rerum Natura (M. Funke)
CLST 501: Topography and Monuments of Ancient Athens (H. Williams)
CLST 519: Topics in Roman Archaeology: The Art and Architecture of the Severan Period (C. Gorrie)
CLST 518A: The Ancient Greek State in Comparative Perspective: Theory and Reconstruction (F. De Angelis)
NEST 501A: Near Eastern Archaeology, The Philistines (T. Schneider)
NEST 506: The Archaeology of the City in the Ancient Near East: The Archaeology of Space and Place (K. Fisher)
RELG 500E: Images of Eve; Great Women of the Bible (D. Arbel)
RELG 502C/HEBR 509B: Adventures in Reading: Narratives from the Hebrew Bible/Advanced Biblical Hebrew (D. Arbel)
RELG 514A/LAW/RELG 475A: Gender and Islamic Law (A. Chaudhry)
RELG 514B/LAW 342/RELG 475B: Islamic Law and Legal Theory (R. Ahmed)

2013-2014

CNRS 500/RELG 502C: Ancient Jerusalem (G. Gardner)
CNRS 503A: Rising from the Ruins: Neoclassicism and the roots of modern Classical Studies (H. Marshall)
GREK 501A: Herodotus and Thucydides (F. De Angelis)
GREK 502B: Aeschylus (C.W. Marshall)
LATN 501B: Tacitus (C. Gorrie)
LATN 501E: Latin Prose You Should Have Read: A Selection of Great Passages from Cato to Tacitus (S. McElduff)
LATN 502A: Seneca’s Thyestes and its Reception (S. Braund)
CLST 502: Topography and Monuments of Ancient Rome (R. Wilson)
CLST 503B: Greek Sanctuaries (H. Williams)
CLST 511: Greek Regional Archaeology (F. De Angelis)
NEST 501A: Iron Age Archaeology (L. Cooper)
RELG 500C: Images of Eve: Great Women in the Bible (D. Arbel)
RELG 514A: Gender and Islamic Law (A. Chaudhry)
RELG 514B: Islamic Law and Legal Theory (R. Ahmed)
HEBR 509B: Narratives from the Hebrew Bible (D. Arbel)

2012-2013

CNRS 500/CNRS 503E/GREK 525A: Being like Gods: Divine Knowledge and Power in Roman Alexandria (M. Griffin & T. Schneider)
CNRS 503D/LATN 535: TBA (S. McElduff)
GREK 401D/501D: Lucian (M. Funke)
GREK 402E/502E: Homer, Iliad (C.W. Marshall)
LATN 401A/501A: Latin Letters (G. McIntyre)
LATN 402C/502C: Terence (C.W. Marshall)
CLST 501: Topography and Monuments of Ancient Athens (H. Williams)
CLST 509A: Greek Sculpture (C. Williams)
CLST 510A: Roman Sculpture (C. Gorrie)
CLST 512A: Roman Provincial Archaeology (R. Wilson)
NEST 503: Material Culture of Ancient Egypt (TBA)
NEST 506: The Archaeology of the City in the Ancient Near East (L. Cooper)
RELG 502A: Sacred Relics in Early Judaism & Christianity (G. Gardner)
RELG 502B: Jews, Judaism & the Graphic Novel (R. Menkis)
RELG 514A: Reading the Qur’an (A. Chaudhry)
RELG 514B: Islamic Law & Legal Theory (R. Ahmed)

2011-2012

CNRS 500/RELG 500B: The Parables of Jesus (R. Cousland)
CNRS 502A: Roman Lawmaking (L. Bablitz)
CNRS 503D: Ancient Near Eastern Historiography (T. Schneider)
CNRS 503E/GREK 525B/LATN 525B: Scientific Literature in Greek and Roman Antiquity (D. Creese)
GREK 501E: Herodotus and Thucydides (F. De Angelis)
GREK 502D: Sophocles (G. Kovacs)
LATN 501D: Livy (C. Gorrie)
CLST 502: Topography and Monuments of Ancient Rome (R. Wilson)
CLST 503B: Greek Sanctuaries (H. Williams)
CLST 512A: Roman Provincial Archaeology (R. Wilson)
CLST 518A: Greek and Roman Maritime Archaeology (H. Williams)
CLST 518B: The Ancient Greek State: Theory and Reconstruction (F. De Angelis)
NEST 501B: Iron Age Archaeology (L. Cooper)
NEST 502A: War and Diplomacy in Ancient Egypt (T. Hikade)
RELG 502A: Introduction to Rabbinic Literature (G. Gardner)
RELG 502B: Hebrew Bible/Old Testament in Film (D. Arbel)
RELG 514B: History of the Religion of Islam
HEBR 509A: Reading Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Narratives (D. Arbel)
HEBR 509B: Rabbinic Hebrew (G. Gardner)

2010-2011

CNRS 500/RELG 531: Reading Foundational Narratives (D. Arbel and S. Braund)
CNRS 503C/GREK 525A/LATN 525A: Prostitutes and New Comedy (C. W. Marshall)
CNRS 504A/LATN 535/CLST 519D: Mystery Religions and the Rise of Christinaity on the Basis of Archaeology and Iconography (R. Wilson)
GREK 401A/501A: Murder, Adultery and Assault (C.W. Marshall)
GREK 402A/502A: Homer’s Odyssey (M. Griffin)
GREK 402B/502B: Iambic, Elegiac and Lyric Poetry (B. Clausen)
LATN 401A/501A: Cicero, Philippics II (S. McElduff)
LATN 401B/501B: Latin Prose Composition (S. Braund)
LATN 402B/502B: Latin Verse Satire (L. Rae)
CLST 501: Topography and Monuments of Ancient Athens (H. Williams)
CLST 517: Artefacts at the Museum of Anthropology (H. Williams)
CLST 519A: Cultural Contact and Interaction in Pre-Roman Italy: Archaeological and Historical Approaches (F. De Angelis)
NEST 500A: The Archaeology and Culture of the Philistines (T. Schneider)
NEST 503: Studies in the Material Culture of Ancient Egypt (T. Hikade)
RELG 500A: When Time Shall Be No More: Ancient and Modern Apocalypses (D. Neufeld)

2009-2010

CNRS 500/RELG 531: Approaches to the Ancient City (D. Neufeld)
CNRS 503A/LATN 545D: Latin Epigraphy (R. Wilson)
CNRS 503C/GREK 525B: Aristotle and the Purpose of Tragedy (C.W. Marshall)
CNRS 503D/GREK 525A: Greek Love (D. Creese)
CNRS 503E: The Ancient Greek State: Theory and Reconstruction (F. De Angelis)
CNRS 503F: Ancient Near Eastern Historiography (T. Schneider)
GREK 501A: Plato, Protagoras; Republic I (D. Creese)
GREK 501B: Diodorus Siculus and Plutarch (F. De Angelis)
GREK 502A: Aristophanes, Frogs (C. W. Marshall)
LATN 501B: Tacitus (S. Braund)
LATN 502A: Plautus, Truculentus, Pseudolus (C. W. Marshall)
LATN 502B: Vergil, Aeneid (S. McElduff)
CLST 502: Topography and Monuments of Ancient Rome (R. Wilson)
CLST 505A: Greek Sanctuaries (H. Williams)
CLST 512A: Roman Germany (P. Kiernan)
CLST 512B: Roman Britain (R. Wilson)
CLST 517: Greek and Roman Maritime Archaeology (H. Williams)
CLST 518A/CNRS 503E: The Ancient Greek State: Theory and Reconstruction (F. De Angelis)
NEST 501A: The Archaeology of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (L. Cooper)
NEST 502A: War and Diplomacy in Ancient Egypt (T. Hikade)
RELG 502A: Gender, Magic, Ideologies: The Witch Figure in the Ancient World (D. Arbel)
RELG 514A: Theory of Islamic Origins (M. Yazigi)

2008-2009

CNRS 500: Approaches to the Ancient City (D. Neufeld)
CNRS 501/LATN 535: Mystery Religions and the Rise of Christianity (R. Wilson)
CNRS 503A/CLST 519: Death and Dying in the Roman World (L. Bablitz)
LATN 521A: Lucan and his Reception (S. Braund)
LATN 521B: Ancient Rhetorical Theory (S. McElduff)
LATN 525B/GREK 525B: The Classical Commentary: Art and Science (S. Braund)
GREK 501B: Herodotus/Thucydides (F. De Angelis)
GREK 501A: Greek Prose (B. Clausen)
GREK 502A: Tragedy (C.W. Marshall)
LATN 501A: Roman Letters (S. McElduff)
LATN 501B: Apuleius (S. Braund)
LATN 502E: Elegy (S. McElduff)
CLST 501: Topography and Monuments of Ancient Athens (C. Williams)
CLST 506D: Studies in Roman Town Planning (R. Wilson)
CLST 509D: Greek Sculpture (C. Williams)
CLST 511/CNRS 505: Greek Regional Archaeology/Studies in Ethnicity (F. De Angelis)
CLST 512: Roman Africa (R. Wilson)
NEST 500A: The Archaeology and Culture of the Philistines (T. Schneider)
NEST 503: Studies in the Material Culture of Ancient Egypt (T. Hikade)
RELG 500: The Social World of the New Testament (D. Neufeld)
RELG 500A: Studies in the Gospel of Matthew (R. Cousland)
RELG 502A: Magic in Ancient Judaism (D. Arbel)
RELG 502D: Talmudic Law and Literature (R. Daum)
RELG 503: Early Christian Lives (P. Burns)
RELG 514: Theory of Islamic Origins (M. Yazigi)

2007-2008

CNRS 500/CNRS 503B/GREK 525B: Greek Musical Discourse (D. Creese)
CNRS 503A/LATN 525A: Seneca’s Tragedies and their Reception (S. Braund)
CNRS 503C: Latin Poetry Englished (S. Braund)
CNRS 505B/GREK 525A: Greek Stagecraft and Performance (C. W. Marshall)
LATN 545: Seminar in Latin Epigraphy (R. Wilson)
GREK 501A: Xenophon’s Anabasis (C. W. Marshall)
GREK 502A: Hellenistic Verse (D. Creese)
GREK 502B: Homer’s Odyssey (D. Creese)
LATN 501A: Cicero (S. McElduff)
LATN 502B: Myth, Magic and Witchcraft in the Roman World (S. McElduff)
LATN 502C: Latin Poetry 43-27 BCE (S. Braund)
CLST 502: Topography and Monuments of Ancient Rome (R. Wilson)
CLST 503B: Greek Sanctuaries (H. Williams)
CLST 512A: Roman Britain (R. Wilson)
CLST 513A: Maritime Archaeology (H. Williams)
NEST 501B: Archaeological Approaches to Ethnicity (L. Cooper)
NEST 502B: Warfare and Diplomacy in Ancient Egypt (T. Schneider)
RELG 500B: Religions of Ancient Israel (P. Mosca)
RELG 500E: Sacred Space and the Gospels (R. Cousland)
RELG 502A: Art of Rabbinic Narrative (R. Daum)
RELG 503B: Augustine’s “City of God” (P. Burns)
RELG 531: Methods in the Study of Religion (faculty)
HEBR 509A: Readings in Jeremiah (P. Mosca)

2006-2007

CNRS 500: Proseminar in Ancient Mediterranean Studies (D. Neufeld)
CNRS 503B/GREK 525B: Greek Love (D. Creese)
GREK 545B: Greek Epigraphy (F. De Angelis)
CLST 501: Topography and Monuments of Ancient Athens (H. Williams)
CLST 505A: Studies in Greek Town Planning (H. Williams)
CLST 511A: Ancient Sicily (F. De Angelis)
NEST 501A: Archaeology of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (L. Cooper)
NEST 502A: Warfare and Diplomacy in Ancient Egypt (T. Hikade)
NEST 503A: Introduction to Middle Egyptian (T. Hikade).

2020-21

CLST 518A: The Archaeology of Democracy? Public Monuments, Social Power, and the Greek City-State in the Archaic and Classical Periods
Instructor: Megan Daniels
Term 2

“We thus see that the polis exists by nature and that it is prior to the individual.” (Aristotle, Politics 1.2)

The polis, or city-state, is often portrayed in scholarship as a defining feature of the ancient Greek world, associated with the oligarchic and democratic governments that emerged in the Archaic and Classical periods. Yet, the city-state as a political entity had a long history in the Mediterranean and Middle East, stretching back to the fourth millennium. Was the Greek polis really that unique in the ancient world? This seminar will investigate the emergence of the city-state in the Archaic and Classical periods through public space and architecture, questioning in particular the relationship between public monuments, social power, and the egalitarian political formations that emerged over these periods. We will take Athens as our main case study, given the wealth of information it has yielded, but will necessarily broaden out our investigation to other city-states in Greece and Asia Minor, as well as other types of urban formations, and question whether or not there was a “typical” city-state in the Greek world. We will focus on key classes of public architecture such as sanctuaries, law courts, council houses, marketplaces, theatres, and necropoleis, and consider how public monuments and spaces both reflected and facilitated social hierarchies and political formations. At certain points we will also bring in comparative evidence from around the Mediterranean and Middle East to ask the ultimate question: was the Greek city-state unique in the broader Mediterranean and Middle East?

CLST 519B: Provincialiazing Africa
Instructor: Matthew McCarty
Summer Term 2 / Winter Term 1 (online)

This course will survey the Maghreb (roughly modern Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and western Libya) under the Roman Empire to understand the dynamics of ancient imperialism on social, cultural, economic, and religious levels. How did a region undergo “provincialization”? How did this affect power structures? constructions of identity? practices? How do we approach a Roman province in the wake of “Romanization” debates? And how have modern cultural and imperial metanarratives about Islam, “the Berbers,” and failed European colonization shaped the practice and results of archaeological investigation in Roman Africa?

We will build from readings about “Romanization”—a field of enquiry and debate uncomfortably situated at the intersections of cultural practices and imperial control—and modern anthropological theory. Using these to frame our questions, we will explore how a range of evidence (especially survey/excavation archaeology and inscribed texts) can shed light on the transformation of communities and their practices tied to the provincialization of Africa. Beyond the material, roughly one third of the course will focus on professional development: engaging with modern literature; crafting productive research questions; marshalling disparate forms of data to answer them; and grant writing.

This course will run online in July-August, 2020.

CNRS 500A: Translating Gods: Uniqueness and Communication in the Ancient World
Instructor: Michael Griffin
Term 1 (online)

Translatability of divinity is no mere academic task; it is a central task of human self-understanding. Otherwise, in this situation, something of our humanity – and arguably of our divinity – may be lost. —Mark Smith, God in Translation (2008), 340.

You’ve made this day a special day, by just your being you. There’s no person in the world like you. —Fred Rogers, Mr. Rogers’ Neighbourhood.

These quotes introduce two questions that we’ll explore together throughout this term. How do the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean and Middle East represent the personal identities of gods and humans as “translatable” across places, times, and languages? Conversely, how do they represent the “uniqueness” or individuality of divine and human beings? We’ll find that these modern constructions—loosely, translatability and uniqueness—interact in unexpected ways across key moments of ancient cultural exchange: in some settings, uniqueness appears to be the factor that most resists translation, visually and lexically; in others, it appears to be the core factor that facilitates translation. By focusing on case studies that draw from the expertise of our contributors, we aim to explore a series of “key moments” in ancient material, visual, literary, religious, philosophical, and technological exchange, with implications for our own articulations of divine and personal identity, translation, dialogue, and empathy.

Several meetings will welcome guest contributors. Specific topics and a course schedule will be posted here in summer 2020: https://is.gd/uniquetranslation

CNRS 502A: Slaveries of the Ancient Mediterranean
Instructor: Katharine Huemoeller
Term 2

Slavery, broadly defined, was practiced across the ancient Mediterranean. In this seminar we will compare the diverse forms it takes in different Mediterranean contexts, as well as the ways in which slaving as a social, economic, and legal phenomenon connected the region. Each student will be responsible for one particular iteration of slavery according to their research interests so that all leave with both a broad, cross-cultural understanding of ancient Mediterranean slavery and more narrow expertise in one particular time/place/source material. Given the framework of the seminar, we will also explore the challenges (and rewards!) of comparative methodologies, including ancient-modern parallels.

GREK 501D: Herodotus and Thucydides: The Origins of Greek Historiography
Instructor: Franco De Angelis
Term 2

This course will focus on translating selections from the historians Herodotus and Thucydides, who, as Leslie Kurke has put it (in O. Taplin [ed.], Literature in the Greek World [Oxford 2000], p. 115), were responsible for “charting the poles of history” for ancient, and by extension modern, historiography. The course will be evenly divided between these two historians, with the first six and one-half weeks devoted to Herodotus and the second six and one-half weeks devoted to Thucydides. Students will also be introduced to recent trends in modern scholarship on Herodotus and Thucydides, as well as to interpreting these historians, particularly through understanding the cultural backdrop against which they were writing and the possibilities and limitations of using them in modern historical reconstructions. Instead of just seeing differences between the approaches of Herodotus and Thucydides, we will also investigate whether any similarities in their approaches existed.

GREK 503A: GREEK PROSE AND VERSE
Instructor: Florence Yoon
Term 1 (online)

Students will read substantial selections from different prose and poetic authors, all focusing on the same mythical figure. The selection will depend on student interest, but one possibility would be Helen, for which we would read selections from Homer and Euripides (verse), all of Gorgias’ Encomium and selections from Isocrates (prose). The primary aims of the course are to speed up the pace of reading, to familiarize students with essential resources for language study, and to engage with different authors’ writing styles and approaches to myth.

LATN 501C: Cicero and his Reputation
Instructor: Siobhán McElduff
Term 2

Readings of famous passages by and about Cicero, both the good, the bad, and the extremely ugly. Mostly prose readings with some poetry.

LATN 502C: LATIN VERSE
Instructor: TBD
Term 1 (online)

NEST 500D: Interconnections in the Late Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean
Instructor: Kevin Fisher
Term 1 (online)

From the “Great Powers Club” to the famous Uluburun shipwreck, this course examines the sociopolitical, economic and ideological interactions that connected the various polities and cultures of the Late Bronze Eastern Mediterranean world from Greece to Babylonia, c. 1700–1100 BCE. Through material evidence from cities and shipwrecks, and textual sources including diplomatic letters and treaties, we’ll look at political relations and military conflicts among the great powers of the period and how the Egyptians, Hittites and other states forged and maintained some of the earliest empires, and the effects of these interactions on both conqueror and conquered. We’ll also investigate the nature of palatial economies and the implications of royal and commercial international exchanges by looking at the production, trade, and consumption of various commodities. From metals and ceramics to organic goods such as scented oils and luxury foods, we’ll discuss methods for determining their provenience, maritime connectivity and the technological aspects of sea transportation. The course will emphasize approaches to understanding cultural interaction (e.g., mobility, hybridity, entanglement) and the materiality, meaning and social life of goods.

RELG 500B/NEST 505: Humour in the Bible and the Ancient Near East
Instructor: Sara Milstein
Term 2

Although we might not think of biblical and Mesopotamian writers as humorous, there are some indications that certain texts were intentionally funny. What role did humour play in Near Eastern literature and cultures? What was the relationship between humour and politics, identity formation, and/or self-deprecation? Given that humour is culturally and temporally bound, how can we identify glimpses of it when we are so far removed from the ancients? In addition to using methodologies familiar to the field, this course will also investigate biblical and Near Eastern texts through the lens of humour theory and comedy theory.