2012-13 Catalog

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Offering Description

Ancient Words and Works: On Being Human


Fall 2012 and Winter 2013 quarters

Ulrike Krotscheck classics, archaeology , Nancy Bishop western art history
Fields of Study
art history, classics, history and literature
Preparatory for studies or careers in
classical studies, archaeology, literature, history and mythology.

The origins of humanism and the humanities are deeply rooted in the history and culture of the ancient Mediterranean. Contemporary society, for better and for worse, draws significantly from many aspects of this common history. This program introduces students to the foundations of humanistic investigation through the study of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria. Our main goal will be to study art, architecture, literature, and other known aspects of the ancient world with the goal of understanding what it meant to be human in that place and time.  Although the peoples of the ancient world lived in dramatically different circumstances than we do, the social, political, and philosophical questions they faced—as well as the answers they developed—resonate with the challenges of contemporary life.  Our work will help us to understand and appreciate why this is so.

We will study the texts and monuments of Greco-Roman antiquity, seeking to understand the works of its foremost thinkers and artists, from the Bronze Age to the height of the Roman Empire. Our inquiry will help us establish a strong foundation in the literary and artistic artifacts that have long shaped our own cultural legacy, and broaden our historical perspective on this vibrant, ever-changing, often violent part of the world. Through the disciplines of archaeology, art history, literary analysis, and history, we will survey ancient Greece and Italy in a comprehensive manner. We will encounter the accomplishments of Homer, Sophocles, Thucydides, Virgil, Tacitus, Praxiteles, the architects of the Parthenon and the Pantheon, and others, not merely as relics to be appreciated but as vital, continually compelling invitations to think and feel our way into new points of view on both the modern and the ancient world. We will also investigate the less visible aspects of ancient life: religion, myth, death ritual, recreation, and the role of women and slaves.  Our aim is to gain a more comprehensive picture of this part of our history.

Students will interpret textual and visual material in discussion and writing. As interpretive composition is crucial to our approach, we will provide many opportunities for writing and revising, with frequent faculty and peer review. Writing and writing workshops will be an integral part of the learning experience and students should expect to spend a large amount of time improving their writing.

This program is intended for the lower-division/new student who is looking not only for a solid foundation in art history, classical literature, and the history of the ancient Mediterranean, but also to those seeking an intensive reading- and writing based experience that will prepare them for upper-level work in the humanities and social sciences. 

Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Required Fees
$30 per quarter for entrance fees and field trips.
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
December 11th, 2012 This program will now accept students at all class levels (Freshman through Senior).
November 13th, 2012 Winter quarter enrollment conditions updated.
September 17th, 2012 Fall fee added.
July 25th, 2012 Winter fee updated.
April 26th, 2012 Nancy Bishop added to program