Course Descriptions for Classics, Greek & Latin
The following courses are offered by Department of Classics according to a variety of schedules. Please consult the UW Madison timetable for the current course offerings. Questions about future course offerings should be directed to the department administrator.
- Classics 100: Legacy of Greece and Rome in Modern Culture
This course explores the legacy of ancient Greek and Roman civilization in modern culture and challenges students to appreciate the roots of western civilization and to understand and interpret reflections of antiquity in today's society.
- Classics 110: The Ancient Mediterranean
This course is an examination of the evolution of the human community in the Mediterranean Basin, from the beginning of the earliest civilizations in the Near East (3000 B.C.E.) until the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West (500 C.E.).
- Classics 150: Ancient Greek and Roman Monsters
Ancient monsters were forces of chaos that threatened the natural order of the universe: they had to be contained, banished to
the edges of the world or destroyed. But the Greeks and Romans also believed them to be magical beings that held the promise
of special knowledge - of the past, of dangers to be faced, of musical arts - or which, like the Sphinx, possessed an enigmatic
intelligence capable of fooling all but the most cunning of mortals. In this course we investigate these contrasting aspects of
ancient monsters, drawing directly on texts (in translation) and works of art through which the Greeks and Romans explored the
monstrous and its place in their world. We also compare ancient representations with those in modern artistic media - comics,
games, stories and movies - considering both how our notions of the monstrous are influenced by or contrast with those of our
ancient predecessors, and how our very identities are created by and enacted through our depictions of monsters.
- Classics 205: Greek and Latin Origins of Medical Terms (Not Regularly Offered)
This course studies the Greek and Latin roots of modern English words, with particular emphasis on medical terminology. In addition to building their vocabularies and improving their reading skills, students will explore topics related to the use and evolution of language in general.
- Classics 300: The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Greece
A survey of the art and archaeology of the ancient Greek world from the Bronze Age through the Hellenistic period. The geographical focus of the course is the eastern Mediterranean, specifically the Balkan Peninsula, the islands of the Aegean Sea, and western Turkey. Topics in architecture, painting, ceramics, sculpture and the minor arts will examine the problems in context, chronology, reconstruction, technique and style in Greek art and archaeology. Assigned readings will illuminate important discoveries, new technologies, and theoretical and methodological debate in the disciplines of art history and archaeology.
- Classics 304: The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Rome
A complete survey of archaeological discoveries from ancient Rome and the Mediterranean. Illustrated lectures focus on architecture and topography, sculpture in bronze and marble, ceramics and glass, as well as mosaics and interior decorations and coinage and metalwork. All media are discussed in the context of ancient Roman economy, religion, mythology, workshops and craft production, warfare and conflict, social organization, and personal and political identity. A short unit on ethics presents controversies and modern debates about looting, museum collection practices, and ownership of cultural property.
- Classics 311: Schools and Learning in the Medieval World (Not Regularly Offered)
This course is an introduction to the various forms of education in the Middle Ages and their effect in shaping the childhood and adolescent experience of literate medieval men and women. Some attention will also be given to the medieval origins of such modern education institutions as the public grammar school and the University.
- Classics 320: The Civilization of Ancient Greece
This course explores the major works of ancient Greek poetry, drama and philosophy in their social, political and historical contexts. A close reading of the original sources is emphasized. Lectures will cover aspects of genre, historical background and literary interpretation to help interpret the readings. Discussions in section will allow students the chance to present their own ideas and ask questions. Fulfills requirements for Communications B.
- Classics 322: The Civilization of Ancient Rome
A survey of the history, literature, culture, and daily life of Romans of all ages, beginning with Aeneas who brings the Trojans to Italy and Romulus founds the eternal city, and ending with Constantine, who in the fourth century A.D. laid the foundations of the Christian Roman Empire. Important historical episodes, such as the rise and fall of Julius Caesar and the “golden age” of Augustus, and topics such as religion, government, the lives of women, and the military will be considered. Satisfies Part B of the General Education Communication Requirement (Comm B).
- Classics 324: Ancient Tragedy (Not Regularly Offered)
This course considers the tragic genre and its socio-political context through an examination of selected plays by three major Greek tragedians: Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. Attention is also given to ancient and modern theories of the genre, literary influence, and contemporary performance.
- Classics 325: Ancient Comedy (Not Regularly Offered)
This course explores comedy in Ancient Greece and Rome using Aristophanes, Menander, Platus, and Terence (in translation). Attention is also given to the history, archeology, and architecture of ancient theaters.
- Classics 330: Ancient Epic
This course is an introduction to the epic poetry of Greece and Rome. The reading list will vary, with assigned texts selected from
Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Apollonius' Argonautica, Virgil's Aened, Ovid's Metamorphoses, and Lucan's Civil War. The course
will explore important themes of epic literature both as they are developed within each text and as they evolve from the Greek
Archaic to the Hellenistic age, and eventually to Augustan Rome. The course will also explore the influence of ancient epic on
literature from the middle ages to the modern period.
- Classics 350: Rome: The Changing Shape of the Eternal City (Not Regularly Offered)
This course explores the changing shape of Rome as a physical city and as a cultural metaphor from Augustan age to the Renaissance.
- Classics 351: Gender and Sexuality in the Classical World
Introduces students to the representation of sex, gender, and self, in ancient Greek and Roman poetry, drama, philosophy, history, and rhetoric. Questions to be considered include: What is gender and what is sexuality? How did ancient Greece and Rome use sex and gender to manage pleasure, procreation, and self-, and social-, control? Do different types of sex and sexuality exist for different audiences, then and now? Considering the answers of the Greeks and Romans to these questions helps us to think about the roles of nature and nurture, masculinity and femininity, domination and subordination, and the relationship of self to community.
- Classics 370: Classical Mythology
Gods who eat their children? A woman who mates with a bull? Learn about these and other incredible stories in Classical Mythology. The course will acquaint you with all of the major characters and stories of ancient Greek and Roman mythology: the Olympian gods, Heracles and his labors, Jason and the Argonauts, Perseus and the medusa, the Trojan war. Daily classes will focus on the literary and artistic sources that represent these myths and then discuss possible interpretations. By the end of the course, you should be able to identify any allusion to classical myth and impress your friends with your knowledge! A great way to fulfill the L&S breadth requirement in literature.
- Classics 371: Topics in Greek Culture
This course explores selected aspects of Greek culture (e.g., sports, women, family, and warfare, with emphasis on literary remains.
- Classics 372: Topics in Roman Culture
This course explores selected aspects of Roman culture (e.g., sports, women, family, and warfare, with emphasis on literary remains.
- Classics 373: Topics in Classical Culture
This course explores selected aspects of Classical culture (e.g., sports, women, family, and warfare, with emphasis on literary remains).
- Classics 375: Civilization of Ancient Egypt (Not Regularly Offered)
This course is a study of texts and art from the Old Kingdom through the Roman Imperial period.
- Classics 376: Love Poetry of the Ancient Mediterranean
Selections from the love poetry of four ancient cultures: Egypt, Greece, Israel, and Rome. This course will explore a variety of lyric poems in the context of their larger socio-historical settings observing the culturally conditioned representations of desire.
- Classics 379: Eureka! Technology and Practice in the Ancient World
This course chronicles the development of technology and engineering in the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome with attention to earlier advances in Mesopotamia and Egypt. Imparts and appreciation for the legacy of ancient science and technology in modern culture.
- Classics 430: Topics in Classical Archaeology
Explore topics in archaeology of ancient Greece and Rome such as the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the archaeology of Greek and Roman religion, and the Late Antique Palaces.
- Classics 470: Interpretations of Classical Mythology (Not Regularly Offered)
Some major myths of Greece and various interpretations proposed from ancient to modern times: allegorical, occult, psychological, historical, and anthropological approaches as well as the role of myth in science fiction.
- Classics 476: Ethnicity in the Ancient World (Not Regularly Offered)
This course is an examination of attitudes to race and ethnicity in the ancient world with emphasis on literary, epigraphical, and archaeological evidence from Greece and/or Rome.
- Classics 477: Law and Society of Ancient Athens (Not Regularly Offered)
Using speeches delivered in Athenian courts as sources for Athenian politics, society, and culture, rather than focusing narrowly on legal questions or exclusively on the facts of individual cases, this course will course examine how politicians used the courts to harm their rivals, how law became a stage to pursue, not end, disputes, and how court cases reveal to us Athenian values and beliefs.
- Classics 517: Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean
This course explores ancient religions in their political, social, and cultural contexts. Topics include ritual, literary, and artistic representations, religious persecutions, and/or modern approaches to the study of ancient religions. Chronological and geographical focus will vary between Greece, Rome, Judaea, and Egypt.
- Classics 550: Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies in Medieval Civilization (Not Regularly Offered)
An integrated treatment of a specific theme to be announced by a group of specialists in different fields: Classics, French, Italian, History, and Medieval Studies.
- Classics 554: Classical Backgrounds to English Literature
This course is designed for majors in Classical Humanities, Classics, English, Comparative Literature, and students in other literature departments interested in the classical tradition. It requires a previous Classics course at the 300-level or consent of the instructor, since basic familiarity with canonical classical texts is assumed. It will introduce students to the techniques of close reading applied to literary texts within a tradition in which much of the meaning and effect of later texts is derived from their variation on earlier ones. The course will examine classical genres important for English literature in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries: epic, mock-epic, satire, epistle, pastoral, and lyric. Major themes of the course include poetic inspiration, imitation, and allusion.
- Classics 555: The Literature of Ancient Greece (Not Regularly Offered)
This course is an introduction to archaic and classical Greek culture through reading of important literary texts including Homeric epic, lyric poetry, drama, historiography, and philosophy.
- Classics 556: The Literature of Ancient Rome (Not Regularly Offered)
- Classics 561: Greek and Roman Medicine and Pharmacy
A study of Greek and Roman medicine and drug lore from the Pre-Socratics to Oribasius (c. 600 B.C. - A.D. 350), including the backgrounds of ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian medicine.
- Classics 564: Topics in Greek Literature (Not Regularly Offered)
This course is a study of selected aspects of Greek Literature (e.g., genres such as epic or drama).
- Classics 566: Topics in Latin Literature (Not Regularly Offered)
This course is a study of selected aspects of Latin Literature (e.g., genres such as epic or drama).
- Classics 568: Topics in Classical Literature (Not Regularly Offered)
This course explores selected aspects of Greek and Latin literature (e.g., genres such as epic or drama), with special attention given to the relationship between the two literary traditions.
- Classics 591: Undergraduate Seminar: Approaches to the Classical World
This course is an Introduction to the wide variety of approaches and methods which classicists use for the study of the literatures, cultures, and societies of ancient Greece and Rome. Topics include: Homer, Troy and the Historicity of the Trojan War, Aeschylus' Oresteia, Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War, Ovid's Metamorphoses, and Paleography and Textual Criticism.
- Classics 602: The Ancient Mediterranean City (Not Regularly Offered)
This course explores the archaeological and literary sources for the ancient Mediterranean city. Readings focus on primary and secondary literature for the topography and architecture of a specific city or group of cities with geographical, temporal, or politic links.
- Classics 700: The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Greece
See Classics 300
- Classics 701: Proseminar: Research Methods and Issues in the Field of Classics
The course is an intensive, largely sight translation course in Greek and Latin along with an introduction to the basic tools and research skills required in the field of Classics.
- Classics 704: The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Rome
See Classics 304
- Greek 103: First Semester Greek
This is the first course in the introductory Greek sequence, which is designed to prepare students to read Classical Attic prose and poetry. Classes focus on the study of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary as well as reading adapted passages.
- Greek 104: Second Semester Greek
This course is a continuation of Greek 103. The course is designed to further build student's proficiency in grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. Reading materials will include some adapted passages from Classical Greek authors.
- Greek 105: Modern Greek - First Semester (Not Regularly Offered)
In this course, students will be introduced to the Modern Greek language through reading and conversation. No previous experience is required.
- Greek 106: Modern Greek - Second Semester (Not Regularly Offered)
This course is a continuation (2nd semester) of Greek 105
- Greek 305: Intermediate Greek
This course explores selections from Plato's Dialogues, the New Testament, Homer's Iliad, and Herodotus.
- Greek 306: Intermediate Greek
This course is a continuation of Greek 305.
- Greek 401: Greek Drama (Not Regularly Offered)
This course will explore selected plays of Euripides or Sophocles.
- Greek 402: Greek Drama and Lyric Poetry (Not Regularly Offered)
This course is a continuation of Greek 401.
- Greek 505: Elementary Prose Composition
This course is designed to improve a student's knowledge of Ancient Greek through translations from English to Greek. Students will also have the opportunity to write short compositions in Greek.
- Greek 506: Advanced Composition (Not Regularly Offered)
This course is a continuation of Greek 505.
- Greek 510: Homer
This course includes extensive reading of both Iliad and Odyssey.
- Greek 511: Hesiod
This course explores the writings of Hesiod in Greek.
- Greek 512: Greek Lyric Poets
This course explores the complete corpus of Alcman, Ibycus, Stesichorus, Sappho, Alcaeus, Corinna, Anacreon, Praxilla, and Simonides as well as selections from Bacchylides and Pindar.
- Greek 520: Greek Comedy
This course is a close reading of several plays with attention to Aristophane's lyric genius and political opinions.
- Greek 521: Greek Tragedy
This course is a close reading of selected plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, or Euripides.
- Greek 531: Herodotus
This course is a close reading and critical comparison of history as art and history as science.
- Greek 532: Thucydies
This course is a continuation of Greek 531.
- Greek 541: Plato
This course is an exploration in original language of major topics in Platonic philosophy.
- Greek 542: Aristotle
This course explores The Politics as a critique of Plato and as a contribution to the theory of the polis.
- Greek 551: Attic Orators (Not Regularly Offered)
This course explores selected masterpieces from Antiphon to Hypereides with emphasis upon the contribution of rhetoric to the intellectual life of the fourth century.
- Greek 552: Attic Orators (Not Regularly Offered)
This course is a continuation of Greek 551.
- Greek 560: Hellenistic Greek (Not Regularly Offered)
This course explores a selection of texts, chiefly religious in content: Pagan, Jewish, and Christian.
- Greek 562: Hellenistic Poetry (Not Regularly Offered)
This course explores selections from Callimachus, Theocritus, Bion, Moschus, Apollonius, Aratus, and the Anthology.
- Greek 564: Plutarch
- Latin 103: Elementary Latin
This course is an introduction to Latin of the Classical period (100 BC - AD 100). A student who takes this course and then Latin 104 will be able to read Latin texts of intermediate difficulty.
- Latin 104: Elementary Latin
This course is a continuation (2nd semester) of Latin 103. By the end of this course, students will have acquired sufficient knowledge of Classical Latin grammar to enable them to read works of intermediate difficulty.
- Latin 203: Intermediate Latin
In this course, selections will be read from some of the greatest Classical Latin authors.
- Latin 204: Introduction to Latin Literature
In this course, the language and style of one or more of the great works of Classical Latin poetry or prose will be studied in detail.
- Latin 301: Latin Literature of the Roman Republic
This course explores writers of the Republic studied in a historical and cultural context.
- Latin 302: Latin Literature of the Roman Empire
This course explores writers of the Augustan period and the Empire studied in a historical and cultural context.
- Latin 316: Latin Paleography (Not Regularly Offered)
This course covers reading of medieval manuscripts.
- Latin 391: Latin for Graduate Reading Knowledge I (Offered in Summer)
This course is an intensive grammar and reading course for graduate students.
- Latin 392: Latin for Graduate Reading Knowledge II (Offered in Summer)
This course is a continuation of Latin 391.
- Latin 505: Elementary Prose Composition
This course is a survey of Latin syntax and idioms.
- Latin 506: Advanced Latin Composition (Not Regularly Offered)
This course is a continuation of Latin 505.
- Latin 510: Lucretius
- Latin 515: Vergil
- Latin 519: Latin Poetry
This course will explore Latin poetry of the Republic and/or Empire.
- Latin 520: Roman Drama
- Latin 521: Roman Elegy
This course studies the language and style of Catullus, Tibullus, Propertius, Ovid, or several of these poets' elegiac works.
- Latin 522: Roman Lyric Poetry
This course explores Roman lyric poetry of one or a combination of Horace, Statius, or later lyric poets.
- Latin 523: Roman Satire
This course explores one or a combination of: fragments of Lucillius, Horace, Persius, Juvenal, or later satire poets.
- Latin 524: Roman Novel
- Latin 532: Tacitus
- Latin 539: Latin Historical Writers
- Latin 549: Latin Philosophical Writers
This course will cover one of the following: Cicero's philosophical works, Seneca, Latin patristic writers.
- Latin 559: Latin Oratory
- Latin 563: Medieval Latin
- Latin 602: Late Ancient and Early Medieval Literature (Not Regularly Offered)
- Latin 775: Latin Epigraphy (Not Regularly Offered)