Humanities 110

Introduction to Humanities: Greece and the Ancient Mediterranean

Syllabus | Spring 2016

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Course Logistics

Required Texts

  • Apuleius, The Golden Ass, trans. Lindsay (Indiana University Press)
  • Aristophanes, Three Comedies: The Birds, The Clouds, The Wasps, trans. Arrowsmith (University of Michigan Press)
  • Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics, trans. Irwin (Hackett)
  • Cicero, Selected Works, trans. M. Grant (Penguin)
  • Epictetus, The Handbook, trans. Nicholas P. White (Hackett)
  • Euripides, Euripides I, ed. David Grene and Richmond Lattimore (University of Chicago Press)
  • Freeman, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, 2nd ed. (Oxford)
  • Josephus, The Jewish War, trans. Williamson (Penguin)
  • Livy, The Rise of Rome; Ab Urbe Condita, trans. Luce (Oxford)
  • Lucretius, On the Nature of Things, trans. Englert (Focus Philosophical Library)
  • The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha New Revised Standard Version: College Edition (Oxford)
  • Ovid, Metamorphoses, trans. Melville (Oxford)
  • Plato, Republic, trans. Reeve (Hackett)
  • Plato, Trial and Death of Socrates, trans. Grube (Hackett)
  • Seneca, The Stoic Philosophy of Seneca: Essays and Letters, trans. Hadas (Norton)
  • Theocritus, Idylls, trans. Verity (Oxford)
  • Virgil, The Aeneid, trans. Mandelbaum (Bantam Doubleday Dell)
  • Various readings on the Roman World available on e-reserves

Recommended Texts

  • Harvey, The Nuts and Bolts of College Writing (Hackett)
  • Williams, The Craft of Argument (Univ. of Chicago Press)


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.

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 due to time conflicts must petition the chair of Humanities 110. Forms for this purpose may be obtained from the Registrar, online ( or from Kathy Kennedy, Chem 303. Turn in completed forms to Humanities 110 Chair as soon as possible. No conference changes will be permitted after the second week of the term.

Papers, Writing Assignments, and Examinations

Three course-wide papers will be assigned, due at the times designated on the schedule of readings and lectures. Individual conference leaders may assign additional writing. A final examination for the spring term will be given in finals week, May 9, 1-5pm. 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 25 Jan

  • Euripides, Medea
Lecture: "The Problem With Being a Barbarian"
Ann Delehanty

Wed 27 Jan

  • The Trial and Death of Socrates
Lecture: "A Kind of Gadfly"
Pancho Savery

Fri 29 Jan

  • Aristophanes, The Clouds
Lecture: "The Comic City"
Nigel Nicholson

Week 2

Mon 1 Feb

  • Plato, Republic, Books 1 - 2
Lecture: "Who is Cephalus?"
Peter Steinberger

Wed 3 Feb

  • Plato, Republic, Books 3 - 5
Lecture: "Sex, Gender and the Power(s) of Philosophy"
Tamara Metz

Fri 5 Feb

  • Plato, Republic, Books 6 - 7
Lecture: "Platonic Metaphysics"
Walter Englert

Week 3

Mon 8 Feb

  • Plato, Republic, Books 8 - 10 
Lecture: "Image Worlds”
Kris Cohen

Wed 10 Feb

  • Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Books 1 - 2
Lecture: “The Function Argument”
Steven Arkonovich

Fri 12 Feb

  • Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Books 3 and 6
Lecture: “Acting Justly or Just Acting: On Becoming Virtuous"
Ann Delehanty

Week 4

Mon 15 Feb

  • Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book 10
Lecture: “What Aristotle Had That We Do Not"
Troy Cross

Wed 17 Feb

  • Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics Book 10:6-9; Politics, Books 1:1-7 and 12-13 (on e-reserve)
Lecture: "The Virtue of Political Science"
Tamara Metz

Fri 19 Feb

  • Study this Image Gallery before lecture and conference
  • Stewart, Andrew, "The Alexandrian Style: A Mirage?" pp. 231-246 (on e-reserve)
  • Freeman, pp. 314-332 (2nd edition) or 313-331 (3rd edition)
Lecture: "Ancient Aliens: Material Culture and Identity in Hellenistic Alexandria"
Tom Landvatter

Sat 20 Feb

First Paper Due

Saturday, February 20, at 5:00 PM in your conference leader's Eliot Hall mailbox.

View Paper Topics

Week 5

Mon 22 Feb

  • Theocritus, 1-7, 11, 13, 15, 17
  • Freeman, pp. 333-354 (2nd edition) or 332-354 (3rd edition)
Lecture: "Country Matters"
Robert Knapp

Wed 24 Feb

  • Polybius, Histories, Book 6, sections 1-39, 47, 50-58 (on e-reserve)
  • Freeman, pp. 369-401 (2nd edition) or 368-399 (3rd edition)
Lecture: "Polybian Thought"
Peter Steinberger

Fri 26 Feb

  • Lucretius, On the Nature of Things (De Rerum Natura), Book 1 (lines 1-637, 921-1117), Book 2 (lines 1-293), and Book 3 (all);
  • Garnsey & Saller, The Roman Empire, chapter 9 (on e-reserve)   
Lecture: "Lucretius, Rome, and the Nature of the Universe"
Walter Englert

Week 6

Mon 29 Feb

  • Lucretius, On The Nature of Things (De Rerum Natura). Books 5 - 6
Lecture: "Lucretius and the Things of Nature"
Ralph Drayton

Wed 2 Mar

  • Cicero, On Duties III
  • Freeman, pp. 402-428 (2nd edition) or 400-427 (3rd edition)
Lecture: "Cicero and Roman Philosophy"
Walter Englert

Fri 4 Mar

  • Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, Preface and Book 1
Lecture: "How to Found a Republic: The Roman Example"
Tamara Metz

Week 7

Mon 7 Mar

  • Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, Book 2.1-25, Book 3.25-29, Book 4.13-16, and Book 5.19 - end
Lecture: "Republican Virtue"
Robert Knapp

Wed 9 Mar

  • Augustus, Res Gestae; Suetonius, Life of Augustus (both on e-reserve)
  • Freeman, pp. 429-444 and 450-464 (2nd edition) or 428-443 and 449-464 (3rd edition)
Lecture: "From Octavian to Augustus"
Ellen Millender

Fri 11 Mar

Lecture: "Picturing Peace"
Margot Minardi

Sat 12 Mar

Second Paper

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

View Paper Topics

Week 8

Mon 14 Mar

  • Virgil, Aeneid, Books 1 – 4
Lecture: "Epic and Allusion in Virgil's Aeneid"
Sarah Wagner-McCoy

Wed 16 Mar

  • Virgil, Aeneid, Books 5 – 7
Lecture: "The Two Faces of Aeneas: Private Feeling and Public Duty"
Dustin Simpson

Fri 18 Mar

  • Virgil, Aeneid, Books 8-9
Lecture: Panel
Ann Delehanty, Tamara Metz, David Garrett, Kris Cohen

Sat 19 Mar

Sprink Break

March 19-March 27

Week 9

Mon 28 Mar

  • Virgil, Aeneid, Books 9 – 12
  • Homer, The Iliad, Book 24
Lecture: "This is the End"
Pancho Savery

Wed 30 Mar

  • Ovid, Metamorphoses, Books 1 – 3
Lecture: "Language, Power, Change"
Gail Sherman

Fri 1 Apr

  • Ovid, Metamorphoses, Books 4 – 6, 15
Lecture: "Portrait of the Artist as Spider-Woman"
Jessica Seidman

Week 10

Mon 4 Apr

  • Seneca, The Stoic Philosophy of Seneca: "On the Tranquility of the Mind," "On Providence, and "Letter 70"
Lecture: "Public Philosophy"
Jan Mieszkowski

Wed 6 Apr

  • Epictetus, The Handbook; Seneca, "On Slavery"
Lecture: "Stoicism, Epictetan Style"
Paul Hovda

Fri 8 Apr

  • Paul, Romans (in The New Oxford Annotated Bible)
  • Freeman, pp. 564-581 (2nd edition) or 579-600 (3rd edition)
Lecture: "Messiah and Gentiles"
Mike Foat

Week 11

Mon 11 Apr

  • Josephus, The Jewish War, pp. 27-31, 133-148, 307-354, 387-405
  • Martin Jaffee, Early Judaism, Chapter 1, pp. 19-45 (on e-reserve)
Lecture: "Josephus: Historian, Traitor, Hero?"
Marat Grinberg

Wed 13 Apr

  • Gospel According to Matthew
Lecture: "Tradition and Innovation in the Gospel of Matthew"
Michael Faletra

Fri 15 Apr

  • The Gospel of John
Lecture: "Word!"
Kristin Scheible

Sat 16 Apr

Third Paper Due

Saturday, April 16, at 5:00 PM in your conference leader's Eliot Hall mailbox.

View Paper Topics

Week 12

Mon 18 Apr

  • Study this Image Gallery before lecture and conference
  • Tessa Rajak, "The Dura-Europos synagogue:  Images of a Competitive Community," 141-154 (on e-reserve)
  • Patricia DeLeeuw, "A Peaceful Pluralism: the Durene Mithraeum, Synagogue, and Christian Building" 189-199 (on e-reserve)
Lecture: "Christians, Pagans, and Jews at Dura Europos"
William Diebold

Wed 20 Apr

Lecture: "Did Race Matter in Classical Antiquity? Tacitus's Germans and the History of a Bad Idea"
Margot Minardi

Fri 22 Apr

  • Apuleius, The Golden Ass
Lecture: "Strange to Tell"
Jay Dickson

Week 13

Mon 25 Apr

  • Apuleius, The Golden Ass
  • Freeman, pp. 541-563
Lecture: "Beyond Cupid and Psyche"
Michael Faletra

Wed 27 Apr

Apuleius, The Golden Ass
Lecture: "Place and Space in Apuleius"
Gail Sherman

Fri 29 Apr

Lecture: Final Panel: "What Was That?"
Jan Mieszkowski, Tamara Metz, Margot Minardi, Lucia Martinez

Mon 9 May

Final Exam

Monday, May 9, 1:00 PM-5:00 PM