Classical Civilization (CLCV)

CLCV 125a / PHIL 125a, Introduction to Ancient PhilosophyStaff

An introduction to ancient philosophy, beginning with the earliest pre-Socratics, concentrating on Plato and Aristotle, and including a brief foray into Hellenistic philosophy. Intended to be taken in conjunction with PHIL 126.  WR, HU0 Course cr

CLCV 161a / ARCG 161a / HSAR 247a, Art and Myth in Greek AntiquityStaff

Visual exploration of Greek mythology through the study of ancient Greek art and architecture. Greek gods, heroes, and mythological scenes foundational to Western culture; the complex nature of Greek mythology; how art and architecture rendered myths ever present in ancient Greek daily experience; ways in which visual representations can articulate stories. Use of collections in the Yale University Art Gallery.  HU0 Course cr

CLCV 200b / HIST 204b, Global Leadership, 600 BCE–600 CENoel Lenski

This course provides students with an accessible and engaging introduction to both the classical world and the problems of political organization and leadership through time and across societies. Students learn to think comparatively between individuals, societies, and systems and to analyze different ideals of leadership. This means considering not only traditional masculine and military conceptions of rule but also the leadership roles and styles of women, slaves, and rebels. We hope to bring into view, in other words, the intersectional challenges to power faced by non-traditional leaders in a world dominated by gender, class, and cultural prejudices, and to show how non-traditional leaders confronted and overcame these. Students draw upon this experience to access the premodern world as an alternative but related historical reality which can productively inform their engagement with the present.  HU
MW 9:25am-10:15am

* CLCV 216b / LITR 239b / MGRK 216b / WGSS 209b, Dionysus in ModernityGeorge Syrimis

Modernity's fascination with the myth of Dionysus. Questions of agency, identity and community, and psychological integrity and the modern constitution of the self. Manifestations of Dionysus in literature, anthropology, and music; the Apollonian-Dionysiac dichotomy; twentieth-century variations of these themes in psychoanalysis, surrealism, and magical realism.  HUTr
F 1:30pm-3:20pm

CLCV 223a / HIST 212a, The Ancient EconomyJoseph Manning

A survey of the economies of the ancient Mediterranean world, with emphasis on economic institutions, the development of the economies over time, ancient economic thought, and the interrelationships between institutions and economic growth. Material evidence for studying the economies of the ancient world, including coinage, documentary material, and archaeology.  HU
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

* CLCV 258b / EVST 257b / HIST 201b, Ecocultures of Antiquity: Ecocritical Approaches to Ancient Greece and RomeKirk Freudenburg

This class examines how the Greeks and Romans exploited their natural surroundings not only as physical resources, but as resources for human thought. The focus is on how ancient thinkers, living lives that were largely city-bound and detached from nature, structured their thoughts about the lives they lived (and about human existence more generally) by reference to their nonhuman surroundings: creatures, plants and places, some of which existed in the real world (in places far off, largely unknown and elsewhere; in places penetrated, explored, and/or told of), others of which existed entirely in the imagination, whether as inherited lore, or as places and creatures invented ad hoc by individuals and groups to get certain kinds of cultural work done. We look not only at the how and what, but at the why of nature’s encoding via culture, and vice versa (their symbiosis), paying special attention to ancient Rome (though with a short first glance at Homer, Hesiod and Aristotle). We begin by scrutinizing the categories themselves, attempting to find historically appropriate ways to connect modern ecocritical concerns and ways of thought to the ancient world. Topics include: the cosmos, the heavens, and the first humans (and first peoples in their places); humans in their ‘kinds’ and animals, wild and tame; mountains, rivers, the sea and the undersea; human and animal foods, farming and food ways; wine and fermentation; groves, forests and trees; gardens, flowers, vegetables and fungi; birds, fish, weasels and snakes; earthquakes, floods and natural disasters; pollution, dirt and the city of Rome; the ecocultural lives of others.  HU

* CLCV 260a / NELC 168a, Origins of WritingKlaus Wagensonner

Exploration of writing in the ancient Near East and the profound effects this new method of communication had on human society. Focus on Egypt and Mesopotamia, where advanced writing systems first developed and were used for millennia, with consideration of Chinese, Mayan, and Indus Valley writing systems as well.   HU
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* CLCV 319b / HIST 242Jb / MGRK 300b / WGSS 293b, The Olympic Games, Ancient and ModernGeorge Syrimis

Introduction to the history of the Olympic Games from antiquity to the present. The mythology of athletic events in ancient Greece and the ritual, political, and social ramifications of the actual competitions. The revival of the modern Olympic movement in 1896, the political investment of the Greek state at the time, and specific games as they illustrate the convergence of athletic cultures and sociopolitical transformations in the twentieth century.  HU
Th 9:25am-11:15am

* CLCV 330a / HSHM 414a, Ancient Medicine and DiseaseJessica Lamont

This seminar examines the concepts of medicine, healing, and disease in communities of the ancient Mediterranean and beyond, in light of the modern fields of pathology, surgery, pharmacology, therapy, gynecology, obstetrics, psychology, anatomy, medical science, ethics, and education. Primary regions of focus include ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, though students have the opportunity to focus more broadly (for example, ancient China, Mesoamerica, India) in individual presentations and research papers. Students (1) gain a better understanding of the foundations of Western medicine and (2) an appreciation for how medical constructs and practices take on different meanings over time, as science and society evolve in tandem. Course material is a combination of primary and secondary readings, all in English.  HU
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

* CLCV 340a / HIST 201Ja, Religions of the Roman EmpireCJ Rice

This course explores the various religious traditions of the Roman empire from the second century BCE to the sixth century CE. We pursue two principal intellectual aims. First, we work together to digest, analyze, and critique theoretical aspects of the study of premodern religion. Scholars have recently challenged in various ways the use of “religion” as a category to study the premodern past. Together, we examine and assess these arguments and their utility for “doing” ancient Mediterranean studies in the twenty-first century. Second, we examine a number of topics and issues in the study of “religion” (e.g., sacred texts, ritual, etc.) as they manifested–or, perhaps, did not–in Roman culture. To do so, we look to a wide range of texts and objects that enable us to explore a variety of case studies, including but not limited to sacrifice, legal regulation, and the emergence and integration of new or foreign religious movements.
   WR, HU
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* CLCV 346a, The Greek HistoriansJoseph Solodow

Close reading of the Greek historians, Herodotus, Thucydides, Polybius, also Eastern and pre-Herodotean Greek writings, Hellenistic histories, including Acts of the Apostles and II Maccabees: their aims, historical methods, literary techniques, influence on historiography.  HU
MW 2:30pm-3:45pm

* CLCV 353a / HUMS 375a / LITR 353a / WGSS 351a, Greek Tragedy and PsychoanalysisNebojsa Todorovic

What do ancient fifth-century Athens and turn-of-the-(twentieth-)century Vienna have in common? In fact, psychoanalysis’ development was intertwined with Freud’s interpretations of classical Greek tragedy, and Greek tragedies in turn can shed light on psychoanalytic concepts in excess of Freud’s readings. The juxtaposition of these two worlds allows us to understand each with a fresh perspective. And this is what we study in this class: we read and interpret the best-known tragic plays by ancient playwrights Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides in dialogue with key concepts of psychoanalytic criticism. Well-established questions that Greek tragedy raises about gender politics, the evolution of democracy, the progressive disintegration of the Athenian polis, the construction of citizenship and foreignness, the influence of rhetoric and sophistry is reframed in dialogue with Freud’s (and his followers’) redefinitions of language, the unconscious, the self, trauma, violence, and gender. The goal of this course is to provide students with a clear understanding of the historical evolutions of these two forms of cultural production while also engaging in more theoretical and comparative work of literary interpretation and critical theorization. Considering the pivotal role that both psychoanalysis and Greek tragedy held in the development of later currents of thoughts (including postcolonial studies, Black Studies, feminist theory, queer theory, and Black studies), particular attention is paid the afterlives of the Freudian method and classical tragedy.  WR, HU
MW 4pm-5:15pm

* CLCV 450a, Two-Term Senior Project for the Major in Classical CivilizationAndrew Johnston

Qualified students may write a two-term senior essay under the guidance of a faculty adviser. An appropriate instructor is assigned to each student by the director of undergraduate studies in consultation with the student. In the first term, selected readings compensate for individual deficiencies and help the student achieve a balanced overview. In the second term, students select a topic for research from any area of the literature, history, culture, or philosophy of ancient Greece, Rome, or Hellenistic Egypt, or a topic from the classical tradition.

* CLCV 452a, One-Term Senior Project for the Major in Classical CivilizationAndrew Johnston

A one-term senior project. Students select a topic for research from any area of the literature, history, culture, or philosophy of ancient Greece, Rome, or Hellenistic Egypt, or a topic from the classical tradition. An appropriate instructor is assigned to each student by the director of undergraduate studies in consultation with the student.