Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies (CLAS)

The curriculum of the department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies offers students multidisciplinary opportunities to study the Mediterranean world of the ancient Greeks and Romans and, to a more limited extent, the ancient societies of the Near East and Egypt. Some courses also stress the classical tradition, the western inheritance of Greco-Roman ideas and art forms. The department offers varied kinds of courses through which students may approach the study of the ancient world, including courses in Greek and Latin.

The Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies curriculum offers a broad interdisciplinary approach to classical studies and therefore prepares students well for a wide range of careers. A broad liberal arts education and training in critical, rigorous thinking, oral presentations and writing provide our students with the tools necessary to succeed in such varied careers as law, teaching, journalism, and management, and to adapt well to the rapid pace of change characteristic of contemporary life.

To facilitate students’ exploration of the diversity and complexity of the ancient world and the contemporary disciplines that study it, the department groups its courses into five categories:

  1. Ancient History and Society
  2. Archaeology and Material Culture
  3. Myth and Text
  4. Greek
  5. Latin

Ancient History and Society

Courses in this category focus upon the study of the culture and society of ancient Greece, Rome, and the Near East, including religion, politics, law, sexuality, economics, education, and patterns of thought and behavior, as well as the approaches and methodologies of ancient historians.

CLAS 131Greek Civilization1
CLAS 132Roman Civilization1
CLAS 217Greek History1
CLAS 218Roman History1
CLAS 219Ancient Egyptian Literature1
CLAS 220Preindustrial Environment1
CLAS 227Ancient Near Eastern Mythology1
CLAS 228Ancient Near Eastern History1
CLAS 229Ancient Biography1
CLAS 233The Age of Alexander the Great1
CLAS 236The Age of Augustus1
CLAS 237Ethnicity, Gender, and Identity in Antiquity1
CLAS 332Classical Athens1
CLAS 333Hellenistic Cultural Landscape1
CLAS 334Women in Antiquity1

Material Culture/Archaeology

Courses in this category focus upon the study of the physical evidence, including the processes by which material objects from the ancient world are uncovered and analyzed; the evolution of urban forms; the expressions of architecture and art; the theories and practices of ancient technology; and the relationships which ancient cultures had with their environments and ecosystems.

CLAS 141Ancient Cities1
CLAS 241Archaeology of Egypt1
CLAS 242Archaeology of Greece1
CLAS 243Archaeology of Rome1
CLAS 247Ancient Technology1
CLAS 251Biblical Archaeology1

Myth and Text

Courses in this category focus upon the study of the traditions of ancient mythology, the major Greek and Roman literary works and authors in translation, and the ways in which images and ideas from ancient myths and texts found shape in later literary traditions. Students interested in these topics also may want to consider the literature courses in Greek and Latin (see below).

CLAS 215Classical Myth1
CLAS 221Heroic Epic1
CLAS 222Greek Tragedy1
CLAS 224Poetry of Passion in Greece and Rome1
CLAS 225The Classical Tradition1

Classical Languages: Greek

The courses in Classical Languages are grouped into Greek and Latin and involve the study of the language and reading of primary authors. Although Latin and ancient Greek are no longer spoken, we encourage students to study language knowing that work with the ancient languages encourages logical thought, provides a sophisticated grasp of the possibilities of language, enhances an understanding of the culture, and gives the student opportunities to study at first hand some of the greatest works of the human spirit.

Beginning and Intermediate sequences GREK 101, GREK 102, GREK 151 are offered in both languages each year. Courses beyond the intermediate level are offered according to demand. Students with previous Greek experience should consult a member of the department when choosing where to start in the sequence. The sequence begins with GREK 101 in the fall semester.

LATN 101
  & GREK 101
Introductory Latin
   and Introductory Ancient Greek
2
LATN 102
  & GREK 102
Introductory Latin
   and Introductory Ancient Greek
2
LATN 151
  & GREK 151
Intermediate Latin
   and Intermediate Greek
2

Classical Languages: Latin

The courses in Classical Languages are grouped into Greek and Latin and involve the study of the language and reading of primary authors. Although Latin and ancient Greek are no longer spoken, we encourage students to study language knowing that work with the ancient languages encourages logical thought, provides a sophisticated grasp of the possibilities of language, enhances an understanding of the culture, and gives the student opportunities to study at first hand some of the greatest works of the human spirit.

Beginning and Intermediate sequences LATN 101, LATN 102, LATN 151 are offered in both languages each year. Courses beyond the intermediate level are offered according to demand. Students with two or fewer years of secondary school Latin should enroll in LATN 101 or LATN 102; consultation with a member of the department is advised.

LATN 101
  & GREK 101
Introductory Latin
   and Introductory Ancient Greek
2
LATN 102
  & GREK 102
Introductory Latin
   and Introductory Ancient Greek
2
LATN 151
  & GREK 151
Intermediate Latin
   and Intermediate Greek 1
2
1

intended for students with at least two semesters of college Latin or three or more years of secondary school Latin

Major in Classics

The department recommends that a student choosing a major or minor in classics develop a focus in one of the categories within the department, as described in the Overview. Students who are interested in pursuing graduate studies in classics are strongly recommended to include several years of concentrated language study of both Greek and Latin in their curriculum.

A major in classics and ancient Mediterranean studies consists of a minimum of eight courses, with the following requirements:

At least two courses in Greek or Latin2
At least two courses in classics and ancient Mediterranean studies 22
Culminating Experience
Select one of the following: (during or after the second semester of junior year)
One 300-level classics and ancient Mediterranean studies seminar
A credit-bearing classics experience outside Bucknell 3
Writing an honors thesis (a one-year sequence reserved for GPA of 3.5 or higher)
2

Additional courses that relate to classics offered by other departments (e.g., ARTH 101 World Art I: Caves to Cathedrals) may be applied to the major in classics with the adviser’s approval. No more than two such courses at the 100-level can count toward the major.

3

Such as: archaeological field experience in Greece, Italy, or other ancient sites in the Mediterranean area. This option must be cleared by both the student’s academic adviser and the chair of the classics and ancient Mediterranean studies department in order to count for the Culminating Experience. 

In these and other experiences within the classics and ancient Mediterranean studies major, professors will also emphasize the following main areas of competence: written and oral communication skills and information literacy.

Students are encouraged to choose an honors program in classics, Greek, or Latin. Candidates for honors must take CLAS 321 Honors Tutorial and Thesis-CLAS 322 and pass with distinction the oral examination on the thesis.

The department strongly encourages its majors to study abroad in a Mediterranean setting, in Italy or Greece especially. Several options for a semester, a year, or a summer, are available, including a classics-based Bucknell study abroad semester in Athens, Greece, offered every spring.

Minors in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies

Three minors are offered by the department of classics and ancient Mediterranean studies.

Greek Minor

The Greek minor consists of four full-credit courses in Greek at any level taken at Bucknell.

Latin Minor

The Latin minor consists of four full-credit courses in Latin at any level taken at Bucknell.

Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies Minor

The minor in classics and ancient Mediterranean studies consists of five courses in classics (CLAS), including no more than two courses in Greek and/or Latin. The minor in classics may include up to two courses offered by other departments or programs, chosen from a list that is periodically updated. This list includes:

ARTH 101World Art I: Caves to Cathedrals1
PHIL 205Greek Philosophy1
POLS 250History of Western Political Thought I1
RESC 098Foundation Seminar in Residential Colleges (Myth, Reason, & Faith)1

Classics Courses

CLAS 131. Greek Civilization. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Introduction to Near Eastern and Greco-Roman civilization through study of major urban centers. Introduction to the study of ancient Greek civilization through its art, literature, history, religion, etc. Emphasis on the classical period.

CLAS 132. Roman Civilization. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Introduction to Roman Civilization from Romulus to Constantine. Emphasis on social and cultural history, including literature, art, architecture, religion, and historiography in their cultural context.

CLAS 141. Ancient Cities. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternating Fall Semester; Lecture hours:3
Introduction to Near Eastern and Greco-Roman civilization through study of major urban centers. Seniors by permission of the instructor.

CLAS 150. Modern Greek Language. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
Introduction to the basics of the Modern Greek language and culture; taught on site in Athens during the semester study abroad program in Athens.

CLAS 215. Classical Myth. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternating Fall Semester; Lecture hours:3
Study of the traditional tales of Greece and, to a lesser extent, the Near East and Rome; consideration and application of myth theory.

CLAS 216. Athenian and Theban Traditions. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3,Other:3
Theban and Athenian myth traditions studied in their hostorical context and as cultural constructions expressing identity, religion, and regional opposition through literature, vase painting, and architecture.

CLAS 217. Greek History. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
Greek history from the heroic Bronze age down through the Persian invasion, the flourishing of Classical Athens, and the Peloponnesian wars to the death of Socrates, focusing on political, social, and economic developments. Crosslisted as HIST 240.

CLAS 218. Roman History. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
Roman history from Rome's foundations as a backwater village ca. 753 BCE, through its rise as a world-power to its fall in the fourth century CE, focusing on economic and political issues. Crosslisted as HIST 241.

CLAS 219. Ancient Egyptian Literature. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
This course presents an overview of written primary sources from Ancient Egypt including literary, religious and historical texts from the third millennium BCE to the Greco-Roman Periods.

CLAS 220. Preindustrial Environment. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
An introduction to the environmental history of the Near East, Mediterranean Basin, and Europe from the Neolithic Period to the Industrial Revolution through three thematic lenses: how the natural environment shaped the patterns of human life, how ideologies towards nature shifted over time, and how human activities and ideologies reshaped the landscape. Crosslisted as ENST 216.

CLAS 221. Heroic Epic. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Interpretive study of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey and other epics chosen by the instructor (e.g., the Argonautica and Aeneid). Study may include epic works of later traditions.

CLAS 222. Greek Tragedy. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Interpretive study of the works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides.

CLAS 223. Ancient Laughter. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
Interpretive study of Greco-Roman dramatic comedy (works of Aristophanes, Plautus, and Terence) and the comic traditions.

CLAS 224. Poetry of Passion in Greece and Rome. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Interpretative study of Greek and Latin poetic genres (such as lyric, epigram, elegy, pastoral, and satire), with an emphasis on the representation of love and sexuality. May include discussion of post-classical traditions of erotic poetry.

CLAS 225. The Classical Tradition. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This class establishes, explores, and questions what it means to be "classically educated" and to engage in Classical Studies in the modern world. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Not open to first-year students.

CLAS 226. Ancient Conflict and Competition. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
The ancients had numerous settings for conflict and competition: battlefields, stadia, and artistic patronage. This course explores the origin, content, and meaning of agonistic display.

CLAS 227. Ancient Near Eastern Mythology. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This course presents an overview of the mythology and belief systems from the Ancient Near East from the third millennium BCE to the Greco-Roman Periods.

CLAS 228. Ancient Near Eastern History. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Introduction to the history of the Ancient Near East; Egypt, the Levant, Anatolia, and Mesopotamia from the third millennium BCE to the Greco-Roman Periods. Emphasis is on political and social history and the evolution of belief systems.

CLAS 229. Ancient Biography. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This course explores the emergence and development of ancient biographical writing.

CLAS 230. Herodotus and His World. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3,Other:3
Study of the historian's work alongside major cultural moments of the 5th century BCE, including the Persian and Peloponnesian wars, the Sophistic movement, the Athenian Empire, and the Aegean Sea as a cultural conduit.

CLAS 231. Religion of the Ancient Mediterranean. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
Study of the various religions of the ancient Mediterranean, especially Greek and Roman pagan practices as well as Near Eastern influences and early Christianity.

CLAS 233. The Age of Alexander the Great. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternating Fall Semester; Lecture hours:3
Study of the transformation of classical Greek culture into a civilization dominating the Mediterranean world and its Eastern neighbors. Topics may include art, urban culture, politics, intellectual expressions, and religious innovation.

CLAS 236. The Age of Augustus. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternating Fall Semester; Lecture hours:3
Study of late republican - early empire Rome, emphasizing the transition from the republic to empire, the role played by Augustus in this transition, the tension between East and West, and the crisis of morals.

CLAS 237. Ethnicity, Gender, and Identity in Antiquity. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Ancient Greek and Roman perceptions, both social and biological, of gender (including sexuality) and ethnicities. Includes discussion of the social position of women and other marginal members of society in antiquity. Crosslisted as WMST 237.

CLAS 240. Roman and Byzantine Greece. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:4
History and archaeology of Roman and Byzantine Greece; focus on culture through art, architecture, religion, politics, and regional studies. Taught on site and in Athens during the semester study abroad program in Athens.

CLAS 241. Archaeology of Egypt. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Survey of the material culture, with emphasis on major architectural and artistic developments and their legacy to modern Western civilization. Crosslisted as ARTH 241.

CLAS 242. Archaeology of Greece. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternating Fall Semester; Lecture hours:3
Survey of the material culture of the Greek world from the Bronze Age through the Hellenistic period. Crosslisted as ARTH 242.

CLAS 243. Archaeology of Rome. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternating Spring Semester; Lecture hours:3
Survey of the material culture of the Roman world from the Etruscans through the late Empire. Crosslisted as ARTH 243.

CLAS 247. Ancient Technology. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternating Fall Semester; Lecture hours:3
A detailed survey of the state of ancient technology by the time of the early Roman empire in its economic and social context. Topics include sources of power, mining and metallurgy, quarrying, land and sea transport, and the urban infrastructure.

CLAS 250. Topic in Classics. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Study of a topic relating to the classical world and its tradition. Examples, slavery, women, religions, a historical period. May be repeated for credit when topic varies.

CLAS 251. Biblical Archaeology. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
A survey of the archaeology of the Biblical world from the Agricultural Revolution through the Byzantine Period emphasizing the evolution of the Biblical texts.

CLAS 253. Ancient Ships and Seafairing. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
This course will introduce you to the ships, sailors, and navies of the ancient Mediterranean and of Greece and Rome in particular. We will analyze the evidence in ancient texts, shipwreck archeology, and artistic representations.

CLAS 275. Greece and Turkey: East and West. 1 Credit.

Offered Summer Session Only; Lecture hours:Varies
This course is based around a three-week summer study abroad experience in Greece and Turkey. Themes and materials will vary from year to year. Prerequisites: interview prior to admission. Crosslisted as ENGL 275 and HUMN 275.

CLAS 311. Independent Study in Classics. .5-1 Credits.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:Varies; Repeatable
Topics in classical civilization, to be chosen by the student. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

CLAS 321. Honors Tutorial and Thesis. 1 Credit.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:3
Independent study and research leading to the writing of a thesis. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

CLAS 322. Honors Tutorial and Thesis. 1 Credit.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:3
Independent study and research leading to the writing of a thesis. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

CLAS 332. Classical Athens. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
An in-depth integrative study of Athens from the 6th - 4th centuries including its literature, arts, architecture, religion, philosophy, politics. Some background required. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

CLAS 333. Hellenistic Cultural Landscape. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
An in-depth, interdisciplinary examination of the period from the death of Alexander (323 BCE) to the Battle of Actium (31 BCE) focused on the concept of the Hellenistic cultural landscape as cultural, historic, ecological, and symbolic system. Includes discussion of the eastern Mediterranean and central Asia as a focal point of confrontation between east and west over time. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

CLAS 334. Women in Antiquity. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Seminar-style examination of the lives of women in antiquity both real and imagined, as attested in a variety of ancient media. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as WMST 334.

CLAS 335. Roman Literature. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This seminar will consist of an in-depth reading of various literatures of Rome from both literary and historical perspectives.

CLAS 336. The Ancient Novel. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
Study of Graeco-Roman prose fiction, such as Apuleius' "Golden Ass', and Longus' 'Daphnis and Chloe', together with current scholarly literature. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

CLAS 350. Seminar on a Classical Topic. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Study of a topic of importance in classics. Examples: a current problem, an important figure, a historical period. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

Greek Courses

GREK 101. Introductory Ancient Greek. 1 Credit.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:3
An introduction to the classical and koine forms of the language. Emphasis upon forms and grammar, and rapid development of facility in reading.

GREK 102. Introductory Ancient Greek. 1 Credit.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:3
An introduction to the classical and koine forms of the language. Emphasis upon forms and grammar, and rapid development of facility in reading. Selections chosen from a range of Greek periods. Prerequisite for GREK 102: GREK 101 or equivalent.

GREK 151. Intermediate Greek. 1 Credit.

Offered Both Fall and Spring,Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Study of selected works in Greek, including such authors as Homer, Euripides, Herodotus, Lysias, Plato, Xenophon. Review of forms and grammar. Prerequisite: GREK 102 or equivalent.

GREK 221. Studies in Greek Literature. 1 Credit.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Study of a topic or author focusing on original Greek texts (e.g., Herodotus, Homer, Sophocles, Plato, New Testament). Highly recommended for students anticipating application to graduate programs in classics or divinity. Prerequisite: GREK 151 or equivalent.

GREK 311. Independent Study in Greek. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Independent study of Greek texts with concomitant study of secondary sources. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

Latin Courses

LATN 101. Introductory Latin. 1 Credit.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:4
Introduction to the language. Emphasis upon forms and grammar, and rapid development of facility in reading.

LATN 102. Introductory Latin. 1 Credit.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:4
Continuing study of Latin grammar with review of basic material, including the introduction to Latin reading. Prerequisite: LATN 101 or equivalent.

LATN 151. Intermediate Latin. 1 Credit.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:3
Review of the grammar necessary for the introductory reading of selected Roman authors. Authors may include Plautus, Cicero, Catullus, and Vergil. Prerequisite: LATN 102 or equivalent.

LATN 221. Studies in Latin Literature. 1 Credit.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Advanced readings in Latin authors. Authors vary by semester; prose and poetry offered in alternate semesters. May be repeated as topic varies. Prerequisite: LATN 151 or equivalent.

LATN 311. Independent Study in Latin. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:Varies,Other:3; Repeatable
Independent study of Roman authors, with concomitant study of secondary sources. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

Faculty

Chair: George R. Exner

Professor: Janet D. Jones

Associate Professors: Kevin F. Daly, Stephanie Larson

Assistant Professors: Ashli Baker, Kristine Trego

Lecturer: Matthew Adams