CLAS 295 - Topics in Classical Civilization
Credits: 3 credits in Fall or Winter; 4 credits in Spring
Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit.
Selected subject areas in classical civilization. The topic selected varies from year to year. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.
Spring 2014 Topic:
CLAS 295: Money Is Power: Control, Destruction and Revolution in the First 1000 Years of Coinage (4). This course explores the revolutionary effect of coinage in the first 1,000 years of its existence and the transformative role it played in the ancient Greek and Roman world. We explore how historical events are reflected in coinage and how coinage itself acted upon individuals, rulers, states and societies. By understanding the rapid rise of coinage as well as the wide array of ancient experiments, both successful and unsuccessful, in controlling and using it, we gain unique insight into the importance of money in our own society. As part of the course, students will be loaned an uncleaned Roman coin from Israel to clean, identify and display at the end of the class. (HU) Elliott. Spring 2014
Winter 2014 Topic:
CLAS 295: The End of the (Ancient) World: Crisis, Contagions, Cults, and Climate Change (3). In this course we consider the end of the Roman Empire. While traditional accounts emphasize political and military factors, we examine alternative explanations for the end of the ancient world. We engage with disciplines as diverse as economics, medicine, ecology, and religious studies. Students confront and participate in ongoing debates about the role that modern approaches play in understanding ancient societies. At the same time, by examining the forces which may have determined the end of antiquity, students should be better equipped to contextualize and understand similar movements in contemporary society. (HU) Elliott. Winter 2014
Fall 2013 Topics:
CLAS 295-01: City of Athens:Archaeology, Culture, and Society (3). For over one thousand years, Athens ranked among the most vibrant cities of the ancient Mediterranean world. Athens was where the concept of democracy was first invented and practiced, and the center of great achievements in theater, athletics, literature, architecture, law, art, science, philosophy, rhetoric, and a great many other institutions and pursuits that influenced not just ancient Greece, but Western civilization. In this course we explore the rich and complex history of Ancient Athens. Our discussions of the buildings, objects, inscriptions, and graves of the Ancient Athenians are supplemented with the literary testimony of the Athenians themselves, to provide a richer account of the social and political history of Athens, from its beginnings to its decline in the Late Roman period. (HU) Laughy. Fall 2013
CLAS 295-02: Topic: History of the Roman World (3). This course provides a survey of Roman history from the founding of the city to the fall of the Western Empire. We discuss the major political, military, and social developments of a civilization that has fundamentally shaped our culture until today. Students meet Rome’s major political and military players, get an idea of what it was like to live in the Roman empire, read foundational Roman authors, and explore the empire’s most significant monuments. Throughout the course, special emphasis is placed on the sources of Roman history and the challenges presented by them. (HU) Köster. Fall 2013
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