Reed College Catalog

Alice Hu

Latin epic, early imperial Latin literature, Greek tragedy.

Thomas P. Landvatter

Mediterranean archaeology, Hellenistic and Roman Egypt and Near East, identity and ethnicity in the ancient world. On sabbatical 2022–23.

Ellen G. Millender

Greek and Roman history, Greek historiography, archaic and classical Sparta, women in the ancient world.

Nigel J. Nicholson

Greek and Latin literature, literary theory.

Sonia A. Sabnis

Latin and Greek literature, imperial prose.

Laura Zientek

Latin and Greek literature, imperial poetry and philosophy, landscape studies.

The ancient Mediterranean was a geographically vast, culturally diverse, and profoundly interconnected world, incorporating Egypt and North Africa; modern Turkey and west Asia; and Greece, Italy, and southern to northwestern Europe. The Department of Greek, Latin, and Ancient Mediterranean Studies (GLAM) centers on the study of the ancient Mediterranean region, especially the ancient Greek world and the Roman Empire, but also ancient Egypt and other cultures and civilizations of the region. GLAM is inherently interdisciplinary, since we examine the ancient Mediterranean world by employing historical, literary, art historical, archaeological, and linguistic approaches to understanding the cultures and societies of this world in all their aspects.

GLAM offers courses in Greek (GRK), Latin (LAT), and ancient Mediterranean studies (ANME). Courses in Greek and Latin at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels are offered each year and allow students to read ancient authors, engage with texts, and explore documents in the original language. Students can begin studying Greek and Latin at any stage in their Reed career. Students with prior coursework in Latin or Greek should take the department placement exam and consult with their adviser before registration. Ancient Mediterranean studies courses are focused on the history, archaeology, literature, or philosophy of the ancient Greek and Roman Mediterranean and beyond. These courses are open to all Reed students and do not require any knowledge of Greek or Latin. Through GLAM’s interdisciplinary curriculum, students develop critical thinking and writing skills, learn to work with different kinds of evidence, and consider different cultures by investigating people, places, texts, and objects that are at the same time both familiar to us and distant.

There are two major tracks in GLAM:
●      History and archaeology of the ancient Mediterranean, for those students who are most interested in history and material culture.
●      Greek and Latin language and literature, for students who are primarily interested in language study and Greek and Latin literature.

The department also offers three minors in the languages:
●      Greek
●      Latin
●      Greek & Latin

We also offer a standing interdisciplinary major, Religion–ancient Mediterranean studies.

Many of our students study abroad during their junior year, typically in Athens at College Year in Athens (CYA) or in Rome at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies (ICCS), known as the “Centro.” Reed also cosponsors an archaeological excavation on Cyprus that typically runs each summer. This project provides students with hands-on experience in archaeological field methods. The department has several sources of funding that can support student participation in this project.


Requirements for the Major with Concentration in Greek and Latin Language and Literature
1. Three units of 300-level language in Greek or Latin.
2. Two units of the other language.
3. Two units of ancient Mediterranean studies (ANME) in history or archaeology.
4. Junior qualifying examination.
5. Ancient Mediterranean Studies 470.

Recommended but not required:
1. Additional units in ancient Mediterranean studies courses, including Advanced Greek or Advanced Latin.
2. French, German, or both.
3. Relevant courses in other subjects such as anthropology, art history, linguistics, literary theory, philosophy, religion, and comparative race and ethnicity studies.

Requirements for the Major with Concentration in History and Archaeology of the Ancient Mediterranean
1. Two units of ancient Mediterranean studies in ancient history.
2. Two units of ancient Mediterranean studies in archaeology.
3. Three units of Greek and/or Latin, at least one of which must be at the 200 level or higher.
4. Three further units of Greek, Latin, or ancient Mediterranean studies; two of these units may, with department approval, be satisfied by two units in one of the following areas:
    a) Anthropology: 211 plus one other unit.
    b) History: any two units (including courses with a historical focus or methodology in other departments).
    c) Religion: any two units.
    d) Art history: Art 201 plus one other unit.
5. Junior qualifying examination.
6. Ancient Mediterranean Studies 470.

Recommended but not required:
1. Statistics.
2. Other relevant courses in subjects such as anthropology, art history, or history.
3. French, German, or both.

A Minor in Greek, Latin, or Greek and Latin
The goal of the Greek, Latin, and ancient Mediterranean studies minors is to ensure work in Greek or Latin language at the advanced level, and to provide various options to students with different levels of preparation that reflect achievement of that standard.

Requirements for the Greek Minor

Five units from Greek 111, 112, 201, 301, and 302. Greek 301 or 302 may be repeated for credit.

Requirements for the Latin Minor

Five units from Latin 111, 112, 201, 301, and 302. Latin 301 or 302 may be repeated for credit.

Requirements for the Greek and Latin Minor

  1. Six units from Greek 111, 112, 201, 301, 302, Latin 111, 112, 201, 301, and 302. At least two of these units must be from Greek 301 and 302 or Latin 301 and 302.
  2. At least two units must be in each language.

Greek

Greek 111 - First-Year Greek: Part I

One-unit semester course. This course offers a study of the elements of ancient Greek grammar and syntax, introduces students to the cultures that used ancient Greek, and conducts first readings in Greek prose and poetry. Conference.

Greek 112 - First-Year Greek: Part II

One-unit semester course. This course offers a study of the elements of ancient Greek grammar and syntax, introduces students to the cultures that used ancient Greek, and conducts first readings in Greek prose and poetry. Prerequisite: Greek 111 or equivalent. Conference.

Greek 201 - Intermediate Greek

One-unit semester course. This course offers an intensive review of the grammar and syntax studied in first-year Greek, while refining and extending students’ facility with the Greek language. Students will develop close reading and interpretive skills as well as familiarity with a variety of literary styles and authors. Prerequisite: Greek 112 or equivalent. Full course for one semester. Conference.

Greek 301 - Advanced Greek I

One-unit semester course. This seminar focuses on expanding students’ interpretive skills and critical vocabulary. Students analyze primary texts in the original and in translation, and employ and critique relevant scholarship and theory that aids the reading and understanding of these texts. Students typically study one landmark work of Greek literature, such as the Iliad or Odyssey or an Attic tragedy. Students also gain a broader understanding of Greek literary production. Prerequisite: Greek 201 or equivalent. Conference. May be repeated for credit.

Greek 302 - Advanced Greek II

One-unit semester course. This seminar utilizes and expands the linguistic and interpretive skills that students have developed in first-year and intermediate Greek. Students analyze primary texts in the original and in translation, and employ and critique relevant scholarship and theory that aids the reading and understanding of these texts. A wide range of seminars is offered over a four-year period. While some seminars are organized around specific works, others focus on authors, genres, and periods or places. Recent seminars have explored fifth-century Athenian tragedy, the development of historiography and ethnography, the politics and representation of athletics, the transformation of Greek literature in the Hellenistic world, and the Hellenistic urban environment. Prerequisite: Greek 301 or consent of the instructor. Conference. May be repeated for credit.

Latin

Latin 111 - First-Year Latin: Part I

One-unit semester course. This course offers a study of the elements of Latin grammar and syntax, introduces students to the cultures that used Latin, and conducts first readings in Latin prose and poetry. Lecture-conference.

Latin 112 - First-Year Latin: Part II

One-unit semester course. This course offers a study of the elements of Latin grammar and syntax, introduces students to the cultures that used Latin, and conducts first readings in Latin prose and poetry. Prerequisite: Latin 111 or equivalent. Conference.

Latin 201 - Intermediate Latin

One-unit semester course. This course offers an intensive review of the grammar and syntax studied in first-year Latin, while refining and extending students’ facility with the Latin language. Students will develop close reading and interpretive skills as well as familiarity with a variety of literary styles and authors. Full course for one semester. Prerequisite: Latin 112 or equivalent. Conference.

Latin 301 - Advanced Latin I

One-unit semester course. This seminar focuses on expanding students’ interpretive skills and critical vocabulary. Students analyze primary texts in the original and in translation, and employ and critique relevant scholarship and theory that aids the reading and understanding of these texts. Students typically study one landmark work of Roman literature, such as Vergil’s Aeneid, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Horace’s Odes, Statius’s Thebaid, or Apuleius’s Metamorphoses. Students also gain a broader understanding of Roman literary production. Prerequisite: Latin 201 or equivalent. Conference. May be repeated for credit.

Latin 302 - Advanced Latin II

One-unit semester course. This seminar utilizes and expands the linguistic and interpretive skills that students have developed in their prior Latin work. Students analyze primary texts in the original and in translation, and employ and critique relevant scholarship and theory that aids the reading and understanding of these texts. A wide range of seminars is offered over a four-year period. While some seminars are organized around specific works, others focus on authors, genres, and periods or places. Recent seminars have explored the genre of Roman love elegy and how it changed in the hands of its different practitioners, the reception of Roman love poetry in English, the politics of bodily change, epic and encyclopedism in relation to the imperial power exercised both on and by the Roman elite male, the decay of the Roman Republic, and the formation of the imperial system. Prerequisite: Latin 301 or consent of the instructor. Conference. May be repeated for credit.

Not offered 2022–23.

Ancient Mediterranean Studies

Ancient Mediterranean Studies 251 - Ancient Greek Athletics

One-unit semester course. For better or worse, the ancient Olympics (motto now “Faster, Higher, Strong—Together”) has proved itself one of the most influential of Greek institutions. This course will study the values and meanings given to the ancient Olympics by studying the representation of athletic victory in the poetry and dedications that celebrated victors. What ideas of athletic victory did these memorials produce? How did they link athletic success to moral excellence, natural talent, family history, masculinity, beauty or divine favor, and build up these very notions so that they seemed real and significant? Who could claim the political capital of athletic excellence for their own—victors? Their cities? Second-place finishers? Non-Greeks? What events counted as events—women’s events, team events, running with a shield, dog racing? And what kind of work even qualified you as a victor? Throughout we will use comparisons to the meanings that other sporting movements have sought to claim, and so we will take time to study Roman sports and the modern Olympic movement, again focusing on how various artistic forms (poetry, film, mass choreographed performances) construct victory. Course conducted in English; no Greek required. Conference. Cross-listed as Literature 251.

Ancient Mediterranean Studies 261 - Greek and Roman Mythology

One-unit semester course. We will study different theoretical approaches to mythology and a variety of literary and material sources for Greek and Roman myths. Where do myths come from and how are they perpetuated and made distinct? How do they contribute to different forms of knowledge, custom, and creative expression? What role do they have in the formation and maintenance of group identities? How have Greek and Roman myths been received and revised to comment on contemporary experiences? Ancient authors studied may include Homer, Hesiod, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Plato, Apollonius, Virgil, Ovid, and Apuleius. Prerequisite: first semester of Humanities 110. Conference. Cross-listed as Literature 261.

Ancient Mediterranean Studies 371 - The Greek World from 776 to 404 BCE

One-unit semester course. This course offers a chronological survey of archaic and classical Greek history and civilization from the traditional foundation of the Olympic games in 776 BCE to the fall of the Athenian Empire in 404 BCE. After beginning with a brief look at Bronze and Dark Age Greece, we will cover the following topics: the rise of the polis; Greek colonization; the “Age of Revolution”; hoplite warfare, aristocracy, and the spread of tyranny; the rise of Athens and Sparta; the Persian Wars; the development of Athens’s democracy and empire; the causes and course of the Peloponnesian War; the development of ethnography and historical inquiry; and the nature of Greek social relations, with an emphasis on slavery and gender dynamics in Athens and Sparta. Emphasis is placed on the interpretation of ancient evidence, including primary literary works, inscriptions, and relevant archaeological material. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference. Cross-listed as History 391.

Not offered 2022–23.

Ancient Mediterranean Studies 373 - The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic

One-unit semester course. This course offers a chronological survey of Republican Roman history from Rome’s consolidation of power on the Italian peninsula in 266 BCE to the death of the Emperor Augustus in 14 CE. We will begin with a consideration of Rome’s rapid growth from 264 to 146 BCE and the various theories concerning the factors behind Roman imperial expansion. We will then explore the political, social, economic, and cultural repercussions of Rome’s transformation into the leading power in the Mediterranean and the various factors that led to the fall of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire under Augustus. During the semester we will cover the following topics: the structure and evolution of the Roman constitution; the development of the “professional” Roman army and its political ramifications; changing gender relations in Roman society; imperial governance; the growth and practice of slavery; Rome’s cultural interaction with Greece and the East; the social and cultural function of gladiatorial combat; Rome’s relations with its allies; the politicization of the Roman people and the rise of “popular” politicians; and the Augustan settlement. Emphasis is placed on the interpretation of ancient evidence, including primary literary works, inscriptions, and relevant archaeological material. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference. Cross-listed as History 393.

Ancient Mediterranean Studies 374 - The Athenians and the “Other”

One-unit semester course. This course examines the conception and construction of otherness from the vantage point of the male citizen in fifth- and fourth-century Athens, who framed himself as the ultimate insider. We will begin by briefly considering both the “other” as the object of historical analysis and the various lenses through which male Athenians constructed their identity during this period. We will then spend the rest of the semester examining the Athenians’ construction of self and other via a number of intertwined categories including ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, religion, and disability. This examination will involve the close study of a number of different genres, such as historical accounts, tragedy, comedy, and oratory. In addition to reading authors such as Herodotus, Euripides, Aristophanes, and selections from the Hippocratic corpus, this course will also examine relevant archaeological evidence. Prerequisite: Humanities 110. Conference. Cross-listed as History 394.

Ancient Mediterranean Studies 377 - Women in the Ancient World

One-unit semester course. This course examines the female experience in the ancient Mediterranean from the middle of the eighth century BCE to the second century CE. We will begin by briefly considering some main themes in women’s history and the applicability of gender as a category of historical analysis to the study of the ancient world. We will then turn to a close analysis of the available literary, documentary, and archaeological evidence that illuminates ancient attitudes toward women, women’s daily lives, the female life cycle, and the various practical and symbolic roles that women played in Greece, Rome, and the broader Mediterranean world. Topics include the portrayal of women in ancient myth, literature, and art; the political, legal, economic, and social status of women; women’s roles in state and private religious activities; women in the family and household organization; women’s education and female literacy; philosophical treatments of gender; scientific knowledge and folklore concerning gender and sexuality; and the function of gender in ancient ideologies. The course follows these topics chronologically, with special emphasis given to the coincidences and conflicts between literary images of women and the realities of their everyday experience recoverable through documentary and archaeological evidence. Prerequisite: Humanities 110. Conference. Cross-listed as History 397.

Not offered 2022–23.

Ancient Mediterranean Studies 382 - Material Culture and Empire: The Archaeology of the Roman World

One-unit semester course. This course considers the archaeology and material culture of the Roman Empire, including the city of Rome, Italy, and the provinces. This course is theoretically grounded in the archaeology of empire, but will also be content-based, covering major sites throughout the empire and classes of material culture. Topics to be covered may include the origin and development of the city of Rome; imperial display; daily life in the Roman Empire; the archaeology of the Roman economy; the archaeology of cult and religion; provincial archaeology and the relationship between center and periphery; the archaeology of border regions; and methodological and disciplinary issues in approaching a vast territorial empire. Throughout the course, emphasis will be placed on the archaeology of identity in an imperial context. Prerequisite: Humanities 110, or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference. 

Not offered 2022–23.

Ancient Mediterranean Studies 383 - Contact and Exchange in the Mediterranean: The Archaeology of the Greek World

One-unit semester course. This course considers the archaeology and material culture of the Greek world, centering on the Aegean and the wider eastern Mediterranean and Near East, as well as other areas of Greek settlement. The focus will be both theoretical and content-based, covering important sites, objects, and classes of material culture. Topics to be covered may include the development of urban and public space; monumental architecture; sculpture and other fine arts; houses, households, and the archaeology of daily life; Greek colonization and city foundations; ceramics and the use of pottery as archaeological evidence; and funerary practices. Throughout the course, emphasis will be placed on the interaction between Greeks and other groups in the Mediterranean, and the material effects of that interaction. Prerequisite: Humanities 110, or consent of the instructor. Lecture-conference. 

Not offered 2022–23.

Ancient Mediterranean Studies 385 - Mummies, Urns, and Ancestors: The Archaeology of Death and Burial

One-unit semester course. This course examines archaeological approaches to human death and burial, introducing how archaeologists use the material remains of mortuary practice to analyze ritual, social, economic, and ideological institutions, structures, and identities in past societies. Using case studies drawn from ancient Egypt and the wider ancient Mediterranean, this course will present a theoretical grounding for the archaeological investigation of human burial, including bioarchaeological and osteological approaches. From the perspective of funerary practice, we will examine social structure, class, and rank; religion and belief systems; ethnicity and cultural identity; age, sex, and gender; and memory and ancestor veneration. This course will also consider aspects of archaeological ethics as it relates to the study of human remains. Lecture-conference. 

Not offered 2022–23.

Ancient Mediterranean Studies 470 - Thesis

Two-unit yearlong course; one unit per semester.

Ancient Mediterranean Studies 481 - Independent Reading

Variable (one-half or one)-unit semester course. Prerequisite: approval of instructor and division.