Humanities 110

Introduction to Humanities: Greece and the Ancient Mediterranean

Syllabus | Fall 2016

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Course Logistics

Required Texts

  • Aeschylus, The Oresteia, trans. Fagles (Penguin)
  • Anonymous, The Epic of Gilgamesh, trans. George (Penguin)
  • New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha, trans. Coogan, et al. (Oxford)
  • Curd, ed., Presocratics Reader: Selected Fragments and Testimonia, trans. McKirahan (Hackett)
  • Freeman, Egypt, Greece and Rome, 3rd Edition (Oxford)
  • Herodotus, The Histories, trans. Selincourt (Penguin)
  • Hesiod, Theogony and Works and Days, trans. Lombardo (Hackett)
  • Homer, The Iliad, trans. Lattimore (Chicago)
  • Miller, Greek Lyric: An Anthology in Translation (Hackett)
  • The Tale of Sinuhe and Other Ancient Egyptian Poems, trans. Parkinson (Oxford)
  • Sophocles, Sophocles I: Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone, trans. Grene and Lattimore (Chicago)
  • Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, trans. Warner (Penguin)
  • Various Readings on The Ancient Mediterranean and Western Asia available on e-reserves


To access texts that are listed as being on e-reserves, find the day's reading assignments and follow the link to the text. You will need your kerberos username and password to be able to access the texts. Learn more about accessing e-reserves on Moodle. Please bring a copy of the day's reading assignment to class.

Recommended Texts

Williams and Colomb, The Craft of Argument (Concise Edition) (Chicago)
Harvey, The Nuts and Bolts of College Writing (Hackett)

All texts may be purchased at the Reed College Bookstore; limited numbers of each are on reserve in Hauser Library. Also on reserve or in the reference section: Oxford Classical Dictionary; Oxford Companion to Classical Literature; Anchor Atlas of World History, Volume I; Richard Lanham, Revising Prose.

Conference Assignments

The Registrar makes initial assignments to conferences in this course that continue through the year. Students who subsequently find it necessary to change conferences must petition the Humanities staff (forms for this purpose may be obtained from the Registrar or from Jolie Griffin, Vollum 320). Return completed forms to David Garrett, chair of Hum 110. No conference changes will be permitted after the second week of the term.

Papers, Writing Assignments, and Examinations

Four course-wide papers will be assigned, due at the times designated on the schedule of readings and lectures; at least one of these papers will be revised. Individual conference leaders may assign additional writing. If the due date for an assignment conflicts with a religious holiday or obligation that you wish to observe, please consult with your conference leader. A four-hour final examination for the fall semester will be given Thursday, December 15 from 8am-12pm in Vollum Lecture Hall. Rescheduling of the final exam will be allowed only for medical reasons

Writing Center

You can get additional help with all stages of the writing process from the Writing Center located in the Dorothy Johansen House. Drop-in help from writing tutors is available Sunday – Thursday, 6 p.m.-10 p.m.; additional hours will also be available during weeks that a paper is due (contact the Writing Center for more information).

Schedule of Readings and Lectures

Map of the Ancient World
Basic Chronology of the Ancient World

Week 1

Mon 29 Aug

  • Anonymous, The Epic of Gilgamesh, pp. xiii-lii, 1-100, 175-195;
  • Freeman, Egypt, Greece and Rome, pp. 1-18.
Lecture: Panel: Margot Minardi, Lucia Martinez, Michael Faletra, Christian Kroll

Wed 31 Aug

  • Anonymous, The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • Freeman, pp. 19-36.
Lecture: "Gilgamesh: When Terrified by Death..."
Nathalia King

Fri 2 Sep

  • Visual Images: study these images before lecture and conference
  • Anonymous, The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • The Code of Hammurabi (online)
Lecture: "Of Gods, Kings, and Law"
David Garrett

Week 2

Mon 5 Sep

Lecture: Labor Day Holiday. No class.

Wed 7 Sep

  • Visual Images: study these images before lecture and conference.
  • Salima Ikram, Ancient Egypt: An Introduction, pp. 68-115 (on e-reserves)
  • Mark Lehner, The Complete Pyramids, pp. 106-119 (on e-reserves)
  • Freeman, pp. 37-55
Lecture: “Stairway to Heaven: The Great Pyramid In and Out of Context”
Tom Landvatter

Fri 9 Sep

  • “The Tale of Sinuhe” and “The Teachings of Khety,” Tale of Sinuhe and Other Ancient Egyptian Poems, pp. 21-53, 273-83
  • Freeman, pp. 81-92
Lecture: "Sinuhe’s Flight"
Elizabeth Drumm

Sat 10 Sep

Lecture: First Paper Due

Week 3

Mon 12 Sep

  • Visual images:  study these images before lecture and conference
  • "The Great Hymn to Osiris" (Lichtheim II 81-86) (on e-reserves)
  • "Coffin Text 148" (Simpson 263-265) (on e-reserves)
  • "Horus and Seth" (Lichtheim II 214-223) (on e-reserves)
  • "The Book of the Dead 125" (Lichtheim II 124-132) (on e-reserves)
  • "The Dialogue of a Man and His Soul" (Parkinson 151-165)
  • "Harper Songs" (Simpson 332-333; Lichtheim II 115-116) (on e-reserves)
Lecture: "Sirius Rising: Religion and Art in Ancient Egypt"
Pancho Savery

Wed 14 Sep

  • Tom Buckley, "The Discovery of Tutankhamun's Tomb" in "Treasures of Tutankhamun:  Catalogue" (on e-reserves)
  • David Silverman, “Prologue” and “Tutankhamun and the Return to the Tradition” (on e-reserves)
  • Visual images:  study these images before lecture and conference
Lecture: "Democratizing Culture: King Tut and the Canon Wars"
Sarah Wagner-McCoy

Fri 16 Sep

  • Fowler, Love Lyrics of Ancient Egypt (selections) (on e-reserves)
  • Foster, Love Songs of the New Kingdom (selections) (on e-reserves)
  • Freeman, pp.  81-92.
Lecture: “Familiar Yet Strange: Love Lyrics of New Kingdom Egypt”
Dustin Simpson

Week 4

Mon 19 Sep

  • Genesis (including the Introduction from the Oxford Study Bible)
  • Freeman, pp. 93-107
Lecture: “The Geneses of Genesis”
Michael Faletra

Wed 21 Sep

  • Genesis
Lecture: "Babble"
Jan Mieszkowski

Fri 23 Sep

  • Introduction to, and Selections from Exodus (1-15)
  • Jaffee, Early Judaism, pp. 19-28, 49-67 (on e-reserves)
Lecture: "People in Between: The Israelites, the Exodus, and the Book of Exodus"
Margot Minardi

Week 5

Mon 26 Sep

  • Selections from Exodus (15-35; 40.16-34)
Lecture: “Moses as a Nation Builder”
Tamara Metz

Wed 28 Sep

  • The Book of Job
Lecture: “Questioning (in) the Book of Job”
Kristin Scheible

Fri 30 Sep

  • The Book of Esther
Lecture: “Esther Engendered”
Kristin Scheible

Week 6

Mon 3 Oct

  • Homer, The Iliad, Bks 1-5
Lecture: “Oral Tradition in Homer: Giving Form to Action”
Nathalia King

Wed 5 Oct

  • Homer, The Iliad, Bks 6-10
  • Freeman, pp. 116-139
Lecture: “Shut up, Thersites! Hush, dear Andromache! Class, Gender, and Silencing in the Iliad”
David Garrett

Fri 7 Oct

  • Homer, The Iliad, Bks 16-20
Lecture: “What Needn't Be Said: Homeric Values”
Lisa Steinman

Sat 8 Oct

Lecture: Second Paper Due

Week 7

Mon 10 Oct

  • Homer, The Iliad, Bks 21-24
Lecture: “Love Is a Battlefield”
Jay Dickson

Wed 12 Oct

  • Hesiod, Theogony
Lecture: “Goddesses and Gods”
Michael Faletra

Fri 14 Oct

  • Hesiod, Works and Days
Lecture: “’When the Artichoke Flowers’: The Works and Days of Hesiod”
Lena Lencek

Sat 15 Oct

Lecture: Fall Break

Week 8

Mon 24 Oct

Lecture: “Life Forms”
Kris Cohen

Wed 26 Oct

  • Visual Images: study these images before lecture and conference:
  • Hurwit, The Art and Culture of Early Greece, pp. 125-135 (introduction) and pp. 179-202 (on kouroi) (on e-reserves)
Lecture: “Defining Art”
Ann Delehanty

Fri 28 Oct

  • Miller, Greek Lyric: An Anthology in Translation: Archilochus, pp. 1-12; Tyrtaeus, 13-19; Alcman, pp. 31-37
  • Solon, pp. 64-76
  • Freeman, pp. 144-83
Lecture: “How to Read Poetry and Why?”
Marat Grinberg

Week 9

Mon 31 Oct

  • Presocratics Reader, pp. 13-65
  • Freeman, pp. 184-201
Lecture: “The Myth of the Birth of Science”
Troy Cross

Tue 1 Nov

Lecture: "Black and Brown Classics"
Dan-el Padilla Peralta (Princeton University)

Wed 2 Nov

  • Miller, Greek Lyric: An Anthology in Translation: Sappho, pp. 51-63; Theognis, pp. 82-94; Ibycus, pp. 95-98; Anacreon, pp. 99-103
Lecture: “Speaking Sappho: Lyric Form, Lyric Voice”
Lucía Martínez

Fri 4 Nov

  • Herodotus, Histories, Bk/Ch. 1.1-1.170, 1.201-216
  • Freeman, pp. 202-218
Lecture: "Oracular History and Athenian Empire"
Margot Minardi

Week 10

Mon 7 Nov

  • Herodotus, Histories, Bk/Ch. 2.1-64, 2.113-120, 3.1-38, 3.61-89
Lecture: "Herodotus across the Disciplines”
Humanities 110 Faculty

Wed 9 Nov

  • Herodotus, Histories, Bk/Ch. 5.55-78, 7.1-152
Lecture: “Interpreting the Persian Wars”
Radhika Natarajan

Fri 11 Nov

  • Herodotus, Histories, Bk/Ch. 8.1-103, 9.17-82, 9.114-122
Lecture: Herodotus: "The Man from Halicarnassus"
Robert Knapp

Sat 12 Nov

Third Paper Due

Saturday, November 12, at 5:00 PM in your conference leader's Eliot Hall mailbox.

View Paper Topics

Week 11

Mon 14 Nov

  • Visual Images: study these images before lecture and conference.
  • Axworthy, “Origins: Zoroaster, the Achaemenids, and the Greeks,” A History of Iran, pp. 1-30;
  • Royal inscriptions (selections), The Persian Empire, Kuhrt, ed., 70-74, 141-158, 492-495, 503-505 (all on e-reserves)
Lecture: “Empire of All Kinds”
Margot Minardi

Wed 16 Nov

  • Visual Images:  explore these images from the University of Chicago Oriental Institute before lecture and conference.
  • Margaret Cool Root. "Achaemenid Imperial Architecture:  Performative Porticoes of Persepolis" (on e-reserves)
Lecture: “Making Empire at Persepolis”
David Garrett

Fri 18 Nov

  • Aeschylus, “Agamemnon,” “Libation Bearers,” Oresteia
  • Freeman, pp. 249-269
Lecture: “Feminine Speech in The Oresteia”
Michael Faletra

Week 12

Mon 21 Nov

  • Aeschylus, “Eumenides,” Oresteia
Lecture: “Justice in The Oresteia”
Peter Steinberger

Wed 23 Nov

  • Sophocles, Antigone
Lecture: “Antigone and Athens’ Democratic Anxieties”
Tamara Metz

Thu 24 Nov

Thanksgiving Vacation

November 24-November 27

Week 13

Mon 28 Nov

Lecture: “Architecture, Memory and Meaning: The Parthenon and Beyond”
Christian Kroll

Wed 30 Nov

  • Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, Introduction, Bk/Ch. 1.1-55, 1.66-125
Lecture: Humanities 110: Shaping Questions for Review
Small Group Discussions

Fri 2 Dec

  • Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, Bk/Ch. 1.139-146, 2.1-65
  • Freeman, 297-303
Lecture: “Costs of (Athenian?) Democracy”
Tamara Metz

Sat 3 Dec

Lecture: Fourth Paper Due

Week 14

Mon 5 Dec

  • Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, Bk/Ch. 3.1-85, 5.83-116
Lecture: “Thucydidean Thought”
Peter Steinberger

Wed 7 Dec

  • Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, Bk/Ch. 6.6-41, 7.1-18, 7.49-87
Lecture: “The Limits of Democracy”
Robert Knapp

Thu 15 Dec

Final Exam

Thursday, December 15, 8:00 AM-12:00 PM