Department of Classics

AHC 310 • The Premodern World

32015 • Talbot, Cynthia
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm UTC 3.112
(also listed as HIS 301F)
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AHC 310 Introductory Surveys in Premodern History:

Introductory survey of premodern history with emphasis on regions outside of the ancient Mediterranean world.

AHC 319 • Ancient Mediterranean World

32020-32035 • Perlman, Paula J
Meets MW 1100am-1200pm WAG 101
(also listed as C C 319D, HIS 319D)
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"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 • Enemy Figures Of Greece/Rome

32039 • Oughton, Charles
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 2.102
(also listed as C C 348)
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How did ancient Greek and Roman authors portray their enemies? What lessons can we learn from the characterizations of adversaries and the discourses about opponents that we find in the writings of ancient poets and historians? Do the fables and legends surrounding formidable foes change over time? Are there traditional depictions of enemy figures or themes concerning adversaries that are still in use today? This course examines the treatment, characterization, and reception of enemy figures in Ancient Greece and Rome. We will read various primary texts—ranging from epic and historiography to drama and oratory—to explore how these ancient authors perceived of their foes. While the focus of the class will be on military adversaries—both foreign and domestic—we will also consider enemies in the broadest sense, including cultural, personal, and intellectual opponents.

This course will not simply be a survey of notable ancient enemies. We will instead work thematically and generically through depictions of various types of adversaries that appear in histories, epic, and drama. We will encounter, analyze, compare, and contrast the various means of portraying one’s enemies that become evident in these texts. We will see, among others, the valorous adversary in Homer’s Hector, the formidable opponent in Livy’s Hannibal, the degenerate morals of Sallust’s Catiline, and the indiscriminate and discriminatory “othering” of entire cultures in ancient ethnographies.

Above all else, we will try to gain an understanding of the range of options available to ancient authors to characterize and target their enemies. As we do so, we will also gain insight into the discursive traditions still used to portray enemies—military, political, and personal—today. To succeed in this class, you will need to complete the daily reading assignments diligently and participate enthusiastically in classroom discussion. The reward, however, will be well worth the effort, as students who apply themselves to the course with dynamism will both find new ways of examining these ancient texts and have a better understanding of the depiction of enemies that they encounter on a regular basis in the modern world.


  • Homer and Fagles (trans.), Iliad (Penguin 1991 or 1998). ISBN 0140275363
  • Herodotus and Strassler (ed.), The Landmark Herodotus (Anchor, 2009). ISBN 1400031141
  • Livy and Yardley (trans.), Hannibal’s War--Books 21-30 (Oxford 2009). ISBN 0199555974
  • Sallust and Batstone (trans.), Catiline’s Conspiracy, The Jugurthine War, Histories (Oxford 2010). ISBN 0192823450
  • Plautus and Richlin (trans.), Rome and the Mysterious Orient: Three Plays by Plautus (UC Press 2005). ISBN 0520242750
  • Tacitus and Birley (trans.), Agricola and Germany (Oxford 2009). ISBN 019953926X
  • Other readings (including translations of smaller selections of primary texts and secondary scholarship) will be posted and available on the course website.


Grades will be calculated as follows: in-class participation and attendance (5%); quizzes and “3-Minute Papers” (10% total); short written responses to biweekly reading questions (best 5 papers = 15%); a final term paper on a topic of your choice related to the theme of the course (20%); two midterm exams (15% each, 30% total); and a cumulative final exam (20%). The exams will include short IDs of terms and concepts, passage IDs, and essays and will primarily assess your ability 1) to identify, provide the context of, and discuss the significance of passages from our reading texts, and 2) to synthesize a coherent argument in response to essay questions based on passages and topics discussed in class.

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AHC 325 • Hist Of Rome: The Republic

32040 • Riggsby, Andrew M
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am WAG 101
(also listed as CTI 375, HIS 321M)
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Covers the period from Rome's foundation through Caesar's murder in 44 B.C.  The emphasis placed on the last two centuries of the Republic when problems accumulated and solutions did not.  All the factors contributing to the Republic's fall will discussed:  political, military, social, economic, religious, etc..

This course carries the Global Cultures flag and fulfills the Cultural Expression, Human Experience, & Thought Course area requirement.



2 quizzes (each 25%) requiring essay answers

Final exam (50%) requiring essay answers


M. Cary & H.H. Scullar, A History of Rome (3rd ed.)

Plutarch, Fall of the Roman Republic (Penguin)

Sallust, Jugarthine War & The Conspiracy of Catiline (Penguin)


Appian, Civil Wars (Penguin)

AHC 325 • Hist Grc To End Pelopon War

32045-32050 • Palaima, Thomas G
Meets MW 100pm-200pm CLA 0.126
(also listed as C C 354C, CTI 375, HIS 354C)
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Studying Greek history gives us the chance to view in microcosm all the variables that affect the course of history at other times in other places. We can see human beings and human societies at their best and worst, understand how power works in human societies, observe different kinds of political and economic systems, and consider how cultural values are shaped and what influence they have on what human beings do. We shall study the origins of democracy and de-mystify what ancient democracy was. The history of Greece is also a history of warfare and competition.

This course surveys Greek history from the palatial period of the late Bronze Age (1600-1200 B.C.E.) through the 'Dark Ages' and into the 'polis' period down through the end of the Peloponnesian War (404 B.C.E.).

We shall puzzle over how to interpret the often very uneven and very peculiar evidence for the social, political and economic systems that develop in different districts of Greece in 'prehistoric' and historical times.

There will be very little use of visuals. We shall concentrate on sources and how to use them.

The course will consist of two hours of lecture per week plus a one-hour discussion section. Each member of a discussion section will have to lead discussion (with a well-prepared handout) at least once during the semester. Afterwards s/he will write up a retrospective on the discussion to be handed in at the beginning of the final week.

We shall be reading in translation from masterworks of history and literature: Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus, Thucydides, Plutarch, we shall also take into account documentary sources, including translated Linear B texts from the Greek Bronze Age and inscriptions of the historical period.

We shall discuss carefully critical methods for interpreting primary sources.Technically AHC 325 CC 354C HIS 354C is an upper-division course. However, it assumes no background knowledge of the subject and will combine survey of periods with in-depth discussion of particulars. There are no prerequisites. This course counts towards the major in Ancient History and Classical Civilization.

Grading policy:  There will be a fifth-week examination (20% short answer and essay at the start of the 6th week), a tenth-week examination (30% short answer and essay at the start of the 11th week), and a fifteenth-week examination (30% short answer and essay on Wednesday of the 15th week). The final component of the grade will be performance in discussion (20%). You should sign up to be a group leader for one of the available discussion sessions. Discussion grade will be based 1/2 on group leading and handout (10% overall) and 1/2 on general participation (10% overall). There will be no final examination in the examination period. Grading is on the regular "A"-"D," 100-60 system (no curve). Regular class participation will be noted under miscellaneous. Breakdown of elements of the grade: 5th-week exam (20%), 10th-week exam (30%), 15th-week exam (30%), discussion (leading 10% and general participation 10%).

This course carries the Global Cultures flag.

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

AHC 330 • Epics And Heroes Of India

32055 • Talbot, Cynthia
Meets MW 300pm-430pm CBA 4.326
(also listed as ANS 372, CTI 345, HIS 350L)
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FLAGS:   GC  |  Wr  |  II


This undergraduate seminar focuses on India's classical epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.  Although they originated in ancient times, these two captivating narratives have been retold in different languages and formats over the centuries, including most recently in the form of TV serials and graphic novels.  Among the topics to be explored are the martial ethos of ancient India, the complexities of dharma, the ideology of kingship, traditional gender norms, the recent politicization of the Ramayana, and the use of the epics to counter social and gender hierarchy.  Students will read abbreviated versions of the epics along with excerpts from various translations of the complete narratives; they will also be exposed to other primary sources including paintings, traditional theatrical performances, and modern films and TV shows.


1) Chakravarthi V. Narasimhan, The Mahabharata

2) Gurcharan Das, The Difficulty of Being Good

3) R. K. Narayan, The Ramayana

4) Numerous articles and essays provided on Canvas.


reading responses (6 x 5% each) = 30%; analytical essays (2 x 25% each) = 50 %; film review = 5%; attendance & participation = 15%

AHC 679HA • Honors Tutorial Course

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Prerequisites:  Upper-division standing and admission to the Classics Honors Program.

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.