Professor: Janet D. Jones

Associate Professors: Kevin F. Daly, Stephanie Larson (Chair)

Assistant Professors: Matthew Adams (visiting), Ashli Baker, Kristine Trego

The curriculum of the department of classics offers students opportunities to study the Mediterranean world of the ancient Greeks and Romans and, to a more limited extent, the societies of the Near East and Egypt. Some courses also stress the classical tradition, the western inheritance of Greco-Roman ideas and art forms. The department offers varied kinds of courses through which students may approach the study of the ancient world, including courses in Greek and Latin.

The classics curriculum offers a broad interdisciplinary approach to classical studies which prepares students well for a wide range of careers. A broad liberal arts education and training in critical, rigorous thinking and writing provide our students with the tools necessary to succeed in such varied careers as law, teaching, journalism, and business, and to adapt well to the rapid pace of change characteristic of contemporary life.

To facilitate students' exploration of the diversity and complexity of the ancient world and the contemporary disciplines that study it, the department of classics groups its courses into five categories: 1) Ancient History and Society, 2) Archaeology and Material Culture, 3) Myth and Text, 4) Greek, 5) Latin.

The Major and Minors in Classics

The department recommends that a student choosing a major or minor in classics develop a focus in at least one of the above categories. Students who may have an interest in pursuing graduate studies in classics are strongly recommended to include concentrated language study of Greek and Latin in their curriculum.

A major in classics consists of a minimum of eight courses, with the following requirements:

  • at least two courses in Greek or Latin.
  • at least two courses in classics offered by the department of classics. Additional courses that relate to classics offered by other departments (e.g., ARTH 101) may be applied to the major in classics with the adviser's approval. No more than two such courses at the 100 level can count toward the major.
  • a Culminating Experience in classics:

Students may complete the Culminating Experience in Classics by choosing one of the following options during or after the second semester of their junior year:

  • taking one 300-level classics seminar
  • taking a credit-bearing classics experience outside Bucknell, such as: archaeological field experience in Greece, Italy, or other ancient sites in the Mediterranean area. This option must be cleared by both the student's academic adviser and the chair of the classics department in order to count for the Culminating Experience.
  • writing an honors thesis in classics (a one-year sequence). This option is reserved for those majors with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

In these and other experiences within the classics major, professors will also emphasize the following main areas of competence: written and oral communication skills and information literacy.

Students are encouraged to choose an honors program in classics, Greek, or Latin. Candidates for honors must take CLAS 321-322 and pass with distinction the oral examination on the thesis.

The department strongly encourages its majors to study abroad in a Mediterranean setting, in Italy or Greece especially. Several options, for a semester, a year, or a summer, are available.

Three minors are offered by the department of classics.

  • The Greek minor consists of four full-credit courses in Greek at any level taken at Bucknell.
  • The Latin minor consists of four full-credit courses in Latin at any level taken at Bucknell.
  • The minor in classics consists of five courses in classics, including no more than two courses in Greek and/or Latin. The minor in classics may include up to two courses offered by other departments or programs, chosen from a list that is periodically updated. This list includes HUMN 98, ARTH 101, PHIL 205, and POLS 250.

 

Ancient History and Society

Courses in this category focus upon the study of the culture and society of ancient Greece, Rome, and the Near East, including religion, politics, law, sexuality, economics, education, and patterns of thought and behavior, as well as the approaches and methodologies of ancient historians.

131.  Greek Civilization (I or II; 3, 0)
Introduction to the study of ancient Greek civilization through its art, literature, history, religion, etc. Emphasis on the classical period. Seniors by permission of the instructor.

132.  Roman Civilization (I or II; 3, 0)
Introduction to Roman civilization from Romulus to Constantine. Emphasis on social and cultural history, including literature, art, architecture, religion, and historiography in their cultural context. Seniors by permission of the instructor.

217.  Greek History (II; 3, 0)
Greek history from the heroic Bronze Age down through the Persian invasion, the flourishing of Classical Athens, and the Peloponnesian wars to the death of Socrates, focusing on political, social and economic developments. Crosslisted as HIST 240.

218.  Roman History (II; 3, 0)
Roman history from Rome's foundations as a backwater village ca. 753 BCE through its rise as a world-power to its fall in the fourth century CE, focusing on economic and political issues. Crosslisted as HIST 241.

219.  Ancient Egyptian Literature (I; 3, 0)
This course presents an overview of written primary sources from Ancient Egypt including literary, religious, and historical texts from the Third Millennium BCE to the Greco-Roman Periods.

220.  Preindustrial Environment (AI or AII; 3, 0)
An introduction to the environmental history of the Near East, Mediterranean Basin, and Europe from the Neolithic Period to the Industrial Revolution through three thematic lenses: how the natural environment shaped the patterns of human life, how ideologies towards nature shifted over time, and how human activities and ideologies reshaped the landscape. Crosslisted as ENST 216.

227.  Ancient Near Eastern Mythology (I or II; 3, 0)
This course presents an overview of the mythology and belief systems from the Ancient Near East from the Third Millennium BCE to the Greco-Roman Periods.

228.  Ancient Near Eastern History (I or II; 3, 0)
Introduction to the history of the Ancient Near East; Egypt, the Levant, Anatolia, and Mesopotamia from the Third Millennium BCE to the Greco-Roman Periods. Emphasis is on political and social history and the evolution of belief systems.

229.  Ancient Biography (AI or AII; 3, 0)
This course explores the emergence and development of ancient biographical writing.

233.  The Age of Alexander the Great (AI; 3, 0)
Study of the transformation of Classical Greek culture into a civilization dominating the Mediterranean world and its Eastern neighbors. Topics may include art, urban culture, politics, intellectual expressions, and religious innovation.

236.  The Age of Augustus (AI; 3, 0)
Study of late republican-early empire Rome, emphasizing the transition from the republic to empire, the role played by Augustus in this transition, the tension between East and West, and the crisis of morals.

237.  Ethnicity, Gender, and Identity in Antiquity (AI or AII; 3, 0)
Ancient Greek and Roman perceptions, both social and biological, of gender (including sexuality) and ethnicities. Includes discussion of the social position of women and other marginal members of society in antiquity. Crosslisted as WMST 237.

332.  Classical Athens (I; 3, 0)
An in-depth, integrative study of Athens from the 6th-4th centuries including its literature, arts, architecture, religion, philosophy, politics. Some background required. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

333.  Hellenistic Cultural Landscape (I or II; 3, 0)
An in-depth, interdisciplinary examination of the period from the death of Alexander (323 BCE) to the Battle of Actium (31 BCE) focused on the concept of the Hellenistic cultural landscape as a cultural, historic, ecological, and symbolic system. Includes discussion of the eastern Mediterranean and central Asia as a focal point of confrontation between east and west over time. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

334.  Women in Antiquity (AI or AII; 3, 0)
Seminar-style examination of the lives of women in antiquity, both real and imagined, as attested in a variety of ancient media. Crosslisted as WMST 334. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

 

Material Culture/Archaeology

Courses in this category focus upon the study of the physical evidence, including the processes by which material objects from the ancient world are uncovered and analyzed; the evolution of urban forms; the expressions of architecture and art; the theories and practices of ancient technology; and the relationships which ancient cultures had with their environments and ecosystems.

141.  Ancient Cities (AI; 3, 0)
Introduction to Near Eastern and Greco-Roman civilization through study of major urban centers. Seniors by permission of the instructor.

241.  Archaeology of Egypt (AI or AII; 3, 0)
Survey of the material culture, with emphasis on major architectural and artistic developments and their legacy to modern Western civilization. Crosslisted as ARTH 241.

242.  Archaeology of Greece (AI; 3, 0)
Survey of the material culture of the Greek world from the Bronze Age through the Hellenistic period. Crosslisted as ARTH 242.

243.  Archaeology of Rome (AII; 3, 0)
Survey of the material culture of the Roman world from the Etruscans through the late Empire. Crosslisted as ARTH 243.

247.  Ancient Technology (AI; 3, 0)
A detailed survey of the state of ancient technology by the time of the early Roman empire in its economic and social context. Topics include sources of power, mining and metallurgy, quarrying, land and sea transport, and the urban infrastructure.

251.  Biblical Archaeology (II; 3, 0)
A survey of the archaeology of the Biblical world from the Agricultural Revolution through the Byzantine Period emphasizing the evolution of the Biblical texts.

 

Myth and Text

Courses in this category focus upon the study of the traditions of ancient mythology, the major Greek and Roman literary works and authors in translation, and the ways in which images and ideas from ancient myths and texts found shape in later literary traditions. Students interested in these topics also may want to consider the literature courses in Greek and Latin (see below).

215.  Classical Myth (AI; 3, 0)
Study of the traditional tales of Greece and, to a lesser extent, the Near East and Rome; consideration and application of myth theory.

221.  Heroic Epic (AI or AII; 3, 0)
Interpretive study of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey and other epics chosen by the instructor (e.g., the Argonautica and Aeneid). Study may include epic works of later traditions.

222.  Greek Tragedy (I or II; 3, 0)
Interpretive study of the works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides.

224.  Poetry of Passion in Greece and Rome (AI or AII; 3, 0)
Interpretative study of Greek and Latin poetic genres (such as lyric, epigram, elegy, pastoral, and satire), with an emphasis on the representation of love and sexuality. May include discussion of post-classical traditions of erotic poetry.

225.  The Classical Tradition (AI or AII; 3, 0)
This class establishes, explores, and questions what it means to be "classically educated" and to engage in Classical Studies in the modern world. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Not open to first-year students.

 

Further Courses, Seminars, and Independent Study

250.  Topics in Classics (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Study of a topic relating to the classical world and its tradition. Examples: slavery, women, religions, a historical period. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

275.  Greece and Turkey: East and West (S)
This course is based around a three-week summer study abroad experience in Greece and Turkey. Themes and materials will vary from year to year. Prerequisite: interview prior to admission. Crosslisted as ENGL 275 and HUMN 275.

311.  Independent Study in Classics (I or II; R) Half to full course.
Topics in classical civilization, to be chosen by the student. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

321.  322. Honors Tutorial and Thesis (I and II)
Independent study and research leading to the writing of a thesis.

335.  Roman Literature (I or II; 3, 0)
This seminar will consist of an in-depth reading of various literatures of Rome from both literary and historical perspectives.

350.  Seminar on a Classical Topic (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Study of a topic of importance in classics. Examples: a current problem, an important figure, a historical period.

Courses offered occasionally
223 Ancient Laughter, 226 Ancient Conflict and Competition, 231 Religion of the Ancient Mediterranean, 239 Fall of Rome and Rise of Byzantium, 336 The Ancient Novel

 

Classical Languages: Greek (GREK)

The courses in Classical Languages are grouped into Greek and Latin and involve the study of the language and reading of primary authors. Although Latin and ancient Greek are no longer spoken, we encourage students to study language knowing that work with the ancient languages encourages logical thought, provides a sophisticated grasp of the possibilities of language, enhances an understanding of the culture, and gives the student opportunities to study at first hand some of the greatest works of the human spirit.

Beginning and Intermediate sequences (101, 102, 151) are offered in both languages each year. Courses beyond the intermediate level are offered according to demand.

Students with previous Greek experience should consult a member of the department when choosing where to start in the sequence. The sequence begins with 101 in the fall semester.

101.  102. Introductory Ancient Greek (I and II; 4, 0)
An introduction to the classical and koine forms of the language. Emphasis upon forms and grammar, and rapid development of facility in reading. In the second semester, selections chosen from a range of Greek periods. Prerequisite for GREK 102: GREK 101 or equivalent.

151.  Intermediate Greek (I and/or II; 3, 0)
Study of selected works in Greek, including such authors as Homer, Euripides, Herodotus, Lysias, Plato, Xenophon. Review of forms and grammar. Prerequisite: GREK 102 or equivalent.

221.  Studies in Greek Literature (I and II; R; 3, 0)
Study of a topic or author focusing on original Greek texts (e.g., Herodotus, Homer, Sophocles, Plato, New Testament). Highly recommended for students anticipating application to graduate programs in classics or divinity. Prerequisite: GREK 151 or equivalent.

311.  Independent Study in Greek (I or II; R)
Independent study of Greek texts with concomitant study of secondary sources. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

 

Classical Languages: Latin (LATN)

The courses in Classical Languages are grouped into Greek and Latin and involve the study of the language and reading of primary authors. Although Latin and ancient Greek are no longer spoken, we encourage students to study language knowing that work with the ancient languages encourages logical thought, provides a sophisticated grasp of the possibilities of language, enhances an understanding of the culture, and gives the student opportunities to study at first hand some of the greatest works of the human spirit.

Beginning and Intermediate sequences (101, 102, 151) are offered in both languages each year. Courses beyond the intermediate level are offered according to demand.

The introductory and intermediate sequence of LATN 101, LATN 102, LATN 151 is offered each semester. LATN 151 is intended for students with at least two semesters of college Latin or three or more years of secondary school Latin. Students with two or fewer years of secondary school Latin should enroll in LATN 101 or LATN 102; consultation with a member of the department is advised.

101.  Introductory Latin (I and II; 4, 0)
Introduction to the language. Emphasis upon forms and grammar, and rapid development of facility in reading.

102.  Introductory Latin (I and II; 4, 0)
Continuing study of Latin grammar with review of basic material, including the introduction to Latin reading. Prerequisite: LATN 101 or equivalent.

151.  Intermediate Latin (I and II; 3, 0)
Review of the grammar necessary for the introductory reading of selected Roman authors. Authors may include Plautus, Cicero, Catullus, and Vergil. Prerequisite: LATN 102 or equivalent.

221.  Studies in Latin Literature (I and II; R; 3, 0)
Advanced readings in Latin authors. Authors vary by semester, prose and poetry offered in alternate semesters. May be repeated as credit when topic varies. Prerequisite: LATN 151 or equivalent.

311.  Independent Study in Latin (I or II; R)
Independent study of Roman authors, with concomitant study of secondary sources. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

 

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