The study of classics enables students to perceive the influence of the Greeks and Romans on the art, literature, and thought of our own time. By exposing students to the culturally and racially diverse world inhabited by the ancient Greeks and Romans, it helps them understand the rapidly changing world of today.
The study of Latin and Greek improves students'' reading and writing skills. Knowing Greek, Latin, or both imparts an increased mastery of English. It also provides a firm foundation for learning other languages, in particular the romance languages--French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. In an era of ever-increasing globalization, the ability to understand and express oneself in languages other than one''s own is becoming more and more important--and increasingly valued by employers.
The skills acquired by students of classics are transferable to a wide variety of contexts. Studying Latin, Greek, and the ancient Mediterranean world enables students to deal with precise details, master complex structures, and situate the events of today and the shape of their own lives within the larger sweep of history.
At Hamilton, students can realize those benefits by choosing between two concentrations: Classical Languages, where the focus is on Latin and Greek as keys to understanding the ancient world; and Classical Studies, where students study ancient history and culture while mastering one of the languages. Hamilton’s classics department offers a full range of courses in Latin, Greek, and Classical Studies, including Classical Mythology; Greek Archaeology: A Look at the Past; The Romans on Film; The Classical Tradition in American Political Life: Cicero, Jefferson, and Hamilton; Sexuality and Gender in Greece and Rome; Unraveling Cleopatra; Socrates, Cleopatra, and the Caesars; Heroism Ancient and Modern; Ancient Egypt; Ethics and Politics in Ancient Greece and Rome; Pompeii; Ancient Comedy; and Women in the Ancient Mediterranean World. In addition, the department’s Winslow Lectureship Fund brings distinguished visiting speakers to campus each year.
Hamilton classics students have ample opportunity for study abroad. The college is affiliated with the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome and the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. Hamilton’s distinguished tradition in classics ensures that funds are available from numerous awards earmarked for classics students.
Hamilton’s classics faculty is internationally recognized for its research. Participation in the VRoma Project and other initiatives marks the department’s interest in using technology in teaching and learning about the ancient world.
Hamilton classics graduates have made excellent use of the benefits afforded by their classical education. Some have gone on to graduate study and careers in teaching and scholarship, but the vast majority has embarked on productive careers in business, banking, publishing, medicine, and law.
An introduction to ancient mythology through readings from sources such as Gilgamesh, Egyptian mythology, Homer, Hesiod, Greek tragedy, Herodotus, Livy, Ovid and contemporary mythmakers. Origins, creation myths, divinities and heroes, and mystery religions. Open to first-year students only. Maximum enrollment, 16.
The Civilizations of Greece and the Near East.
An introduction to the legacy of ancient Greece and the Near East through the study of history, literature, philosophy and art. (Same as History 115.) Weiner.
An introduction to the history and culture of ancient Rome. Stress on social history and basic skills in the study of history. (Same as History 120.) .
Socrates, Cleopatra and the Caesars.
An introduction to classical studies and the ancient Mediterranean world that focuses on some pivotal figures. Consideration of the multiple facets of ancient Mediterranean society and culture, including multiculturalism, race, class and gender. Attention to literature, art, religion, philosophy and history. Readings from ancient and modern sources, and films dealing with the world of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Not open to students who have taken Classics 100.
The Classics on Film.
A study of films reflecting ancient Greek and Roman themes, including westerns (such as Unforgiven and The Searchers), works of science fiction (such as Star Wars and Blade Runner), detective stories (such as The Maltese Falcon), and films explicitly based on Greek and Roman sources (such as Spartacus and O Brother, Where Art Thou). Classical texts will be juxtaposed with their film representations, there will be readings from modern writers on film and the classics, and attention will be given to the way in which films about the ancient world reflect the times in which they were made. (Same as Cinema and Media Studies 135.)
Women in the Ancient Mediterranean World.
An introduction to the roles of women in the ancient world through various sources: history, art and archaeology, law, literature and medicine. Covers the period from Egypt to early and classical Greece and down to the Roman empire, and traces the shifts in attitudes during these periods. (Same as Women's and Gender Studies 140.)
History of Ancient Western Philosophy.
A study of the philosophical classics from early Greek times to the Renaissance. Emphasis on Plato and Aristotle. Section 01 is lecture only. Other sections are writing intensive and registration priority is given to junior and senior philosophy concentrators (limit 20; with an additional weekly discussion session). (Same as Philosophy 201.) Werner.
Provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the field of classical studies, focused through the Roman site of Pompeii and the eruption of Vesuvius in 70 CE. Through Pompeii, its destruction, and its remarkable level of preservation, we will study the art, architecture, archaeology, literature, philosophy, religion, history, daily life, sexuality, food, and social structures of Rome, as well as the place of Rome in the modern imagination. Students will gain a comprehensive overview of the many approaches and sub-disciplines represented within classical studies.
Atoms, Gods and Monsters: Lucretius and His Legacy.
This course investigates the enduring influence of Lucretius’ poetry and philosophy in Western culture and religious thought. Lucretius was a Roman poet whose On the Nature of Things expounds Epicurean physics, cosmology, and ethics. Lucretius teaches that atomistic physics govern the universe and all its phenomena. This radical atheistic materialism challenged the religious, social, and political values of Rome while pushing the boundaries of science and poetry. Lucretius’ controversial influence spans atomic physics to evolutionary biology to Botticelli to Thomas Jefferson to Frankenstein.
Greek Archaeology: A Look At the Past.
A study of major archaeological excavations and material remains of ancient Greece from the Bronze Age through the Hellenistic Period, with particular attention to the relationship between material remains and political and cultural history. Examines the exchange of archaeological and artistic influences with contemporary cultures of Europe, Africa and Asia. (Writing-intensive.) Maximum enrollment, 20.
An examination and discussion of the myths of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, with particular focus on the reception of these myths in the literature, art, intellectual traditions and social issues of contemporary societies and analysis of how these myths continue to enrich our culture today. Gold.
The Classical Tradition in American Political Life: Cicero, Hamilton, Jefferson and the Making of the Republic.
A study of ancient Greek and Roman influences on the creation of the United States, with special attention to the influence of Cicero and the rivalry between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. Readings include biographies of and writings by all three figures. (Same as Government 242.) Anechiarico and Rubino.
Tragedy: Then and Now.
How did Greek tragedy work in the city of Athens? Athens was a radical democracy but was based on slave labor and the exclusion of women. How is this implied contradiction displayed in the works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides? But tragedy also has contemporary life. How do these plays transcend their time of production? An opportunity to examine relations of gods/humans, fate/choice, as well as gender, class/ethnicity and sexuality. Readings to include works by Seneca, Racine, Sartre, O’Neill, Heaney, Fugard. (Genre) (Same as Literature and Creative Writing 244 and Theatre 244.)
Heroism Ancient and Modern.
An examination of ancient and modern views of the hero. Consideration of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Vergil's Aeneid, modern works such as Voltaire's Candide and films such as Shane, The Maltese Falcon, Blade Runner, Joan the Maid and the Star Wars series.
Power and Corruption in Ancient Rome.
An examination of personal and political corruption in ancient Rome, with particular attention to the manner in which it is depicted by writers such as Sallust, Livy, Horace, Tacitus and Juvenal. Some attention to depictions of corruption in modern America, especially to Robert Caro's portrayals of Robert Moses and Lyndon Johnson.
Art of Ancient Greece and Rome.
An examination of Mediterranean art from the Bronze Age through the Roman Empire. Special emphasis on the archaeological discovery and reshaping of ancient art by later scholars and the concept of the “classical.” (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, one course in art history or classics. (Same as Art History 261.) Maximum enrollment, 20.
Greece, Rome, and the Mediterranean.
Traditionally we have studied ancient Greece and Rome in isolation from the surrounding world, as places that shaped the beginnings of “western” civilization. This course takes a broader view. We shall explore the ancient Mediterranean as a place of dynamic interaction from the Levant though Egypt, North Africa, Greece, Italy, and the islands in between. Far from standing in isolation, the arts of ancient Greece and Rome participated in these transnational cultural networks. (Writing-intensive.) (Same as Art History 262.) Maximum enrollment, 20. McEnroe.
Readings of Greek and Roman comedies in English translation: Aristophanes, Plautus, Terence, Lucian, Apuleius, mime. Discussions of why and for whom comedy is funny, comedic perspective, theories of humor, roles of women and slaves in comedy, cultural values, themes and plots, history of comedy, staging and theatrical technique. May also include class production of a play. (Writing-intensive.) (Same as Theatre 280.) Maximum enrollment, 20. Feltovich.
The Romans on Film.
Critical examination of films such as Spartacus, Julius Caesar, The Last Temptation of Christ, Ben Hur, I Claudius, Fellini Satyricon, The Fall of the Roman Empire and Gladiator. Readings from ancient writers such as Plutarch, Tacitus and Suetonius, as well as from selected modern sources. Prerequisite, one course in Latin, Greek or classical studies.
Sexuality and Gender in Greece and Rome.
This course examines issues of sex, sexuality, and gender in the ancient societies of Greece and Rome through the study of literature, art, sociology, and science. We will investigate the representation of gender cross-culturally over time to learn what we know, and what we can’t know, about the lives of ancient men and women, their interaction, communication and their roles in culture and society. Particular attention will be given to the lives of women, whose voices are often underrepresented in Greek and Roman literature and historical records. Prerequisite, 1 course in Classics or Women's Studies. (Same as Women's and Gender Studies 325.) Jesse Weiner.
Re-Imagining the Classics.
Investigates how, and why, ancient Greek and Roman literature and art has influenced the history of literature, art and ideas since antiquity, with special emphasis upon comparing post-classical texts, artwork and performances with their classical sources of inspiration and provocation. Topics and readings vary according to the focus of the course in a given semester. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, one course in Latin, Greek or classical studies, or consent of instructor. Maximum enrollment, 20.
Ethics and Politics in Ancient Greece and Rome.
A study of Greek and Roman attitudes toward the question of private and public behavior, concentrating on such topics as the meaning of success, the use of power, the function of language in political life, the relationship between the individual and the state, and the role of the state in regulating behavior. Contemporary applications. Readings from Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Sallust and Tacitus. Prerequisite, one course in Latin, Greek, classical studies, political theory, philosophy or consent of instructor.
Cleopatra was a witness to and a shaper of the history of ancient Egypt and the late Roman Republic. To posterity the historical Cleopatra is an enigma, but her image in film, literature, art and popular culture is ever present. Through authors such as Horace, Plutarch, Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw and through cinematic treatments from the 1940s-1970s, explores how the historical figure of Cleopatra became both the signifier and embodiment of sexual and racial politics across historical periods. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, one course in classical studies or Africana studies. (Same as Africana Studies 372 and Women's and Gender Studies 372.) Maximum enrollment, 20.
A study of the history of ancient Egypt and of its interaction with other ancient African kingdoms, including Nubia, Kush and Punt. Examination of Egypt’s prehistory, language, social and gender relations, and cultural development. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, One Classical Studies or Africana Studies course. (Same as Africana Studies 374.) Maximum enrollment, 20.
Topics to be arranged. Open only to senior concentrators. Maximum enrollment, 12. Gold.
Elementary Greek I.
An introduction to the language and culture of Greece and the ancient Mediterranean. Thorough grounding in the grammar, syntax and vocabulary of ancient Greek. Reading and discussion of elementary passages from classical or New Testament Greek that cast light on ancient Mediterranean society and culture. For those with no previous knowledge of Greek. Three class meetings a week, in addition to a drill session. Feltovich.
Elementary Greek II.
Continuation of Greek 110. Further study of grammar, syntax and vocabulary, accompanied by reading and discussion of passages from classical or New Testament Greek that cast light on ancient Mediterranean society and culture. For students who have completed Greek 110 or those who have had some Greek but require review. Three class meetings a week, in addition to a drill session. Feltovich.
Intermediate Greek: The World of Greece and the Ancient Mediterranean.
Reading and discussion, with grammar review, of intermediate-level passages from classical, Hellenistic or New Testament Greek selected to illuminate the history, society and culture of Greece and the ancient Mediterranean. Readings from the New Testament and from writers such as Xenophon and Lucian. Prerequisite, knowledge of elementary Greek. Weiner.
Homer and the Greek Hero.
Reading from Homer's Iliad and Odyssey in the original Greek. Consideration of the Greek concept of heroism and the role of epic poetry, with attention to the society and culture of the Homeric world. Prerequisite, any 200 or 300 level Greek course.
The Greek Historians.
The story of ancient Greece as told in the words of the Greeks themselves. Readings, in the original Greek, from Herodotus, Thucydides and Xenophon. Attention to the wider issues of ancient Mediterranean society and culture. Prerequisite, any 200 or 300 level Greek course.
Readings, in the original Greek, from the tragedians Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides and from the comic playwrights Aristophanes and Menander. Attention to matters such as the role of women and slaves, social and cultural values, and theories of tragedy and comedy. Prerequisite, any 200 or 300 level Greek course. .
Topics in Ancient Greek Society and Culture.
Reading and discussion of original Greek texts that cast light on the history, society and culture of Greece and the ancient Mediterranean. Authors and topics vary; may be repeated for credit. Prerequisite, any 200 or 300 level Greek course. Weiner.
Elementary Latin I.
An introduction to the language and culture of ancient Rome. Thorough grounding in Latin grammar, syntax and vocabulary. Reading and discussion of elementary passages that cast light on the society and culture of ancient Rome and its empire. No knowledge of Latin required. Three class meetings a week, in addition to a drill session. Gold.
Elementary Latin II.
Continuation of Latin 110. Further study of grammar, syntax and vocabulary, accompanied by reading and discussion of passages that cast light on the society and culture of ancient Rome and its empire. For students who have completed Latin 110 or those who have had some Latin but require review. Three class meetings a week, in addition to a drill session. Gold.
Intermediate Latin: The World of Ancient Rome.
Reading and discussion, with grammar review, of intermediate-level Latin passages selected to illuminate the history, society and culture of ancient Rome and its empire. Readings from writers such as Caesar, Cicero, Sallust, Catullus, Ovid and Martial. Prerequisite, knowledge of elementary Latin. Feltovich.
The Roman Hero.
Readings, in the original Latin, from Vergil's Aeneid and other Roman epics. Consideration of the nature of heroism and epic poetry, with attention to the history, society and culture of the Roman world. Prerequisite, any 200 or 300 level Latin course. Gold.
The Roman Historians.
The story of ancient Rome and its empire as told in the words of the Romans themselves. Readings, in the original Latin, from Sallust, Livy, Tacitus and other historians. Prerequisite, any 200 or 300 level Latin course.
The Literature of Love and Desire.
Readings, in the original Latin, from the love poetry of Catullus, Horace, Tibullus, Propertius and Ovid. Attention to Greek influences on Roman love poetry, to its Roman context and to the Roman influence of subsequent notions of love and erotic poetry. Prerequisite, any 200 or 300 level Latin course.
Letters, Society and History.
Readings, in the original Latin, from the letters of such writers as Cicero, Pliny and Seneca. Attention to the ways in which those letters cast light on Roman society and the movement of history. Prerequisite, knowledge of intermediate Latin.
Topics in Roman Society and Culture.
Reading and discussion of original Latin texts that cast light on the history, society and culture of Rome and the ancient Mediterranean. Authors and topics vary; may be repeated for credit. Prerequisite, any 200 or 300 level Latin course. Haley.