Department of Classics

AHC 310 • Western Civ In Medieval Times

32013 • Kaufman, Cheryl
Meets MW 400pm-530pm WEL 2.312
(also listed as HIS 309K)
show description

This course offers an introductory survey of Western European history, from about 300 to 1500 C.E. Although textual sources are central to the study of history, we will also focus on visual and material sources to discuss the cultural, social, political, economic, and intellectual history of the Middle Ages, with a focus on the formation of identity. Classes will be a mixture of lecture, discussion, and collaborative assignments.


Learn to analyze and articulate meaning from primary sources created in the Middle Ages - both texts and material culture. Learn to read critically and gain a broad understanding of European history. Gain the ability to describe the major historical trends in the history of Western Civilization during the Middle Ages. Become more aware of material culture and the significance of place/space both in the medieval and modern world. Develop a deeper understanding of cultures that may be different from our own. (Note that this course has a Global Cultures flag)


Rosenwein, Barbara, A Short History of the Middle Ages (2009, single volume) Augustine, Confessions (translated by F.J. Sheed)

Einhard and Notker the Stammerer, Two Lives of Charlemagne (Penguin Classics, translated by Lewis Thorpe)

The Letters of Abelard and Heloise (translated by Betty Radice)

Additional required readings will be made available electronically on Canvas. (If you need help with Canvas, you can find on-line tutorials and assistance at:




Map quiz: 5%

Quizzes (including pop quizzes): 15%

Mid-semester tests: 30% (2 @ 15% each)

Final exam (cumulative): 30%

Attendance: 10%

Class Participation: 10%

AHC 319 • Ancient Mediterranean World

32015-32030 • Perlman, Paula J
Meets MW 1000am-1100am CLA 0.126
(also listed as C C 319D, HIS 319D)
show description

"Ancient Mediterranean World" surveys the major civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Italy from the dawn of the city around 3000 BC through the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 400s AD. Beyond providing a basic historical framework, the course explores the surprising ways in which the various civilizations of the area influenced one another culturally. We will examine interactions between Egyptians, Sumerians, Hittites, Hebrews, Persians, Greeks and Romans, among others. Students will also learn about the different types of evidence, both literary and archaeological, on which knowledge of the ancient world is based. There are two lectures and one discussion section per week.

This course carries the Global Cultures and Writing flags.

This course fulfills the Cultural Expression, Human Experience, & Thought Course area requirement.

AHC 325 • Mltary Hist: Anc Mediterran

Meets TTH 930am-1100am WAG 112
(also listed as C C 348)
show description

A Military History of the Ancient Mediterranean:

The course will explore the military history of the ancient world from Archaic Greece to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. It is not designed to be a mere survey of battles and campaigns, but rather an in-depth engagement with primary source materials (in translation) aiming to understanding how warfare and violence shaped the political, cultural and social history of the ancient world.

Our approach will be chronologically structured, moving from the development of heavy infantry in Archaic Greece, to the democratic thalassocracy of 5th century Athens. In the 4th century, the fragile Greek system of fragmented poleis was overwhelmed by the rising power of Macedonia, which developed a “new model army” that conquered not only Greece, but overthrew the Achaemenid Empire and left in its wake a new international system of successor dynasties. We will then turn to Rome, which evolved from a modest city in Central Italy into an unusually successful conquest state based on an amateur citizens’ militia. The political crises of the Late Republic spawned destructive civil wars, and led to the formation of a monarchy that rested on the coercive presence of a professional army posted on the frontier. By the Late Empire, however, the Roman Army increasingly proved unable to ensure either internal stability or external security, despite a series of military reforms.  Our survey of ancient military history will be multifaceted: we will explore the institutional dynamics of various armed forces (including tactics, chains of command, logistics, etc.), the interface between war and religion, the impact of violence on both ethnic identity and gender definition, the role of technology, the relationship between military service and political participation, and the public commemoration of warfare. This is a reading and writing intensive course. Previous coursework in ancient history is strongly recommended.

AHC 325 • History Of Rome: The Empire

32040 • Riggsby, Andrew M
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm WAG 101
(also listed as CTI 375, HIS 321)
show description

This class will cover the story of the Roman empire from the death of Caesar to the fall of Rome in A.D. 476.  After working our way through the narrative of this period (about half th semester), we will examine a number of topics that cut across time.  The course will touch on politics, law, war, the economy, social classes, gender, and psychopathic emperors.

AHC 325 • History Of Greece To 146 Bc

32055 • Gulizio, Joann
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm WEL 3.266
(also listed as C C 354D, HIS 354D)
show description

This course covers Greek history from the fall of Athens in 404 BC through Greece's loss of independence to Rome some 250 years later--an era defined by the figure of Alexander the Great.

Classes will focus on five successive periods: (1) the decline of Greece's independent city-states; (2) their subordination to a Greek-speaking Macedonia under Philip II and his son, Alexander the Great; (3) Alexander's conquest of the Persian Empire; (4) the resulting Hellenistic Age of Greek kingdoms in Egypt, Syria and Macedonia; and (5) Rome's absorption of both Macedonia and mainland Greece.

The course will devote roughly equal time to covering major events and personalities, exploring key developments in culture and society, and examining the various types of evidence available for the era.  There will be two hours of lecture and one hour of discussion each week.

This course carries a Global Cultures flag.

AHC 330 • 12th-Century Renais: 1050-1200

32064 • Newman, Martha G.
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm GAR 0.132
(also listed as HIS 344G, R S 357)
show description

European society changed so rapidly and extensively between 1050 and 1200 that medievalists often call it a "renaissance," ( a period of rebirth not to be confused with the later Italian Renaissance.) During this period, agricultural technologies changed, new forms of religious life developed, schools and universities emerged, cathedrals were built, towns became self-governing, and royal governments experimented with new forms of administration and law. Though a reading of primary documents - including love letters, memoirs, accounts of religious visions, chronicles of urban revolts, court poetry, theological treatises, and artistic creations – this course examines a series of these intellectual, religious, social, and political developments.

The goals of this course are for students 1) to identify the important events and figures in this period of rapid change; 2) to learn to read and analyze different types of medieval documents;  3) to understand how historical arguments and accounts are constructed from the analysis of primary documents; 4) to understand the interconnections between economic, social, religious, and cultural developments; and 5) to construct and write their own historical analyses.



Colin Morris, The Discovery of the Individual (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1987).

Galbert of Bruges, The Murder of Charles the Good, trans. James Bruce Ross (New York:  Harper and Row, 1967;  reprinted by Toronto University Press).

Paul Archambault, ed. , A Monk’s Confession:  The Memoirs of Guibert of Nogent (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995).

Peter Abelard and Heloise, Letters and other Writings, ed. William Levitan (Hackett Publishing Company, 2007).

Georges Duby, William Marshal:  Flower of Chivalry, (New York:  Pantheon, 1987).

Highly recommended:

Christopher Brooke, Europe in the Central Middle Ages, 3nd edition (London, Longman, 2000).

In addition, selected primary documents are available on Blackboard.


Course Requirements and Grades

•3 short (2-3-page) papers                               30% (10% each)        

•Map Test                                                       5%

•Midterm Exam                                                20%

•Final Paper (10 pages)                                    35%

•Class Participation                                           5%

•Attendance                                                     5%

AHC 330 • Lost Languages/Decipherment

32066 • Huehnergard, John
Meets TTH 930am-1100am CAL 422
(also listed as C C 348, LIN 350, MEL 321, MES 342)
show description

Hieroglyphs. Cuneiform. The Phoenician alphabet. Two centuries ago these and other scripts could not be read; some of them were not considered writing at all. Today, scholars debate the fine points of ancient Egyptian and Sumerian grammar. They read early Greek in Linear B tablets, ancient Mayan in Mesoamerican glyphs, an unsuspected Indo-European language in curious Anatolian hieroglyphs, and other long-forgotten languages in other scripts, some of them cracked only recently. In this course we will examine several famous and not-so-famous decipherments: how those scripts have been deciphered, their languages decoded, their ancient texts and literatures read once again, and their cultures brought back to life. We will also consider why so many scripts must be deciphered — why some scripts and languages have died out so completely that they have been forgotten. Finally, we will investigate a number of scripts that have not yet been deciphered, such as Etruscan, the Indus Valley script, and the Rongorongo script of Easter Island, and consider why they remain unsolved.


Andrew Robinson. 2002 (2009). Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts. New York: Thames & Hudson.


50%: Research project (in several stages) and its presentation in class

25%: Participation in class discussions of the weekly topics and readings

15%: Book review (5-7 pages)

10%: Exercises in decipherment

AHC 378 • Space And Place

32070 • Rabinowitz, Adam T
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm WAG 112
(also listed as C C 375)
show description

Intended principally for third-year majors in Classics, Latin, Classical Archaeology, Ancient History and Classical Civilization, this course will take a widely multidisciplinary approach to the cultural concepts of space (a geographically defined location that can be physically occupied) and Place (a space encoded with cultural meaning).  Ranging broadly across Greek and Roman literary, historical, and archaeological sources, students will explore a variety of ancient approaches to the physical world around them, on the level of both landscape and the built environment. Students will also be introduced to some of the online and digital resources that have emerged from the “spatial turn” in the humanities since the 1990s, many of which are focused specifically on the Classical world.

AHC 679HB • Honors Tutorial Course

show description

Prerequisite: AHC 679HA.

Supervised conference course for honors candidates in classics. Three conference hours a week for two semesters.

Majors who plan to seek special honors in Ancient History and Classical Civilization, special honors in Greek, special honors in Latin, or special honors in Classics should apply to the honors adviser for admission to the honors program at least one full academic year before they expect to graduate. A University grade point average of at least 3.00 and a grade point average in the coursework required for the major of at least 3.50 are required for admission. The requirements for graduation with special honors, which are in addition to the requirements of the major, are (1) AHC 679HA and 679HB-W, Greek 679HA and 679HB-W, Latin 679HA and 679HB-W, or Classical Civilization 679HA and 679HB-W, Honors Tutorial Course, with a grade of A in each half; (2) a University grade point average of at least 3.00 and a grade point average of at least 3.50 in the coursework required for the major and an “A” in each half of the honors tutorial course; and (3) completion at the University of at least sixty semester hours of coursework counted toward the degree.

Requirements for the Honors Thesis

(1.) The student must discuss the Honors program option with the Faculty Academic Advisor.
(2.) The student must fill out and have signed a Conference Course form for the 679HA and 679HB-W courses.
(3.) The student must spend one semester enrolled in 679HA for directed reading and research under a faculty mentor.
(4.) The student must spend one semester enrolled in 679HB-W writing the Honors Thesis. Students should consult a semester academic calendar and consult with their faculty mentors to determine a schedule for completion of the Thesis. A second faculty reader must also review the Thesis.
(5.) The College of Liberal Arts expects a Thesis to require at least 20 pages of reviewed and revised text. Although there is no other required minimum, the Thesis should consist of more substantial output.
(6.) The final version of the Thesis must be turned in to the Department of Classics Undergraduate Advisor in an electronic (PDF) format or bound copy.

Carries an Independent Inquiry flag.