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Undergraduate Studies in Classics

The courses offered by the Classics Section fall into two main categories: (1) Greek and Latin Language courses and (2) Classical Culture courses which require no knowledge of Greek or Latin.

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Language Courses

Introduction to Language

  • Word Power  (SLL1002F/S)

    An Introduction to key concepts from the civilisations of the ancient Mediterranean and a survey of English words derived from Greek and Latin. The course consists of three components:

    1. Words and ideas: focus on concepts deriving from ancient words
    2. Word-building skills
    3. Style: focus on the use of English grammar

    Entrance requirements: none.

Ancient Greek

First-year Ancient Greek courses (Greek IA and IB) cover basic grammar and syntax, and include reading of selected texts, language work, and aspects of Greek culture.

  • Greek IA (SLL1052F)

    This course is designed for students with no previous knowledge of Ancient Greek. It provides an introduction to basic grammar and syntax, and includes reading of selected texts, language work, and aspects of Greek culture.

    Entrance requirements: none.

  • Greek IB (SLL1053S)

    This course builds further on the grammar and syntax taught in SLL1052F Greek IA, and includes further reading of selected texts, language work, and aspects of Greek culture.

    Entrance requirements: SLL1052F Greek IA.

Senior Ancient Greek courses (II and III level) cover advanced grammar, composition and stylistics, and include a selection of works by key Greek writers (e.g. Homer, Herodotus, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Euripides, Thucydides, Plato, Demosthenes).

  • Greek IIA (SLL2052F)

    This course includes reading of selected authors (see above), in their socio-historical context, practice in unseen translation, language work and stylistics.

    Entrance requirements: SLL1053S Greek IB.

  • Greek IIB (SLL2053S)

    This course includes reading of selected authors (see above), in their socio-historical context, practice in unseen translation, language work and stylistics.

    Entrance requirements: SLL2052F Greek IIA.

  • Greek IIIA (SLL3052F)

    This course includes reading of selected authors (see above), in their socio-historical context, practice in unseen translation, language work and stylistics.

    Entrance requirements: SLL2053S Greek IIB.

  • Greek IIIB (SLL3053S)

    This course includes reading of selected authors (see above), in their socio-historical context, practice in unseen translation, language work and stylistics.

    Entrance requirements: SLL3052F Greek IIIA.

Latin

Prerequisites for Latin track: students who have Matriculated in Latin with a C grade or above may be admitted directly into Latin IB (SLL1051S) at the discretion of the Head of Classics. Students with Matric Latin who do not qualify for admission into Latin IB will be required to take Latin IA.

First-year Latin courses (Latin IA and IB) cover basic grammar and syntax, and includes reading of selected prose and verse passages, and a study of various aspects of Roman life.

  • Latin IA (SLL1050F)

    This course is primarily designed for those who have not studied Latin before, but is also open to those who have done some Latin at school but not enough to enter Latin IIA.

    The course provides an introduction to Latin for students with no previous knowledge of Latin. It offers insights into word formation and sentence structure and the Latin roots of common words in English. The syllabus includes a selection of prose and verse passages, and a study of various aspects of Roman life.

    Entrance requirements: none.

  • Latin IB (SLL1051S)

    The course provides further instruction in Latin grammar and syntax, and includes a selection of prose and verse passages, and a study of various aspects of Roman life.

    Entrance requirements: SLL1050F Latin IA (or C grade matriculation).

Senior Latin courses (II and III level) cover advanced grammar, composition and stylistics, and include a selection of works by key Latin writers (e.g. Cicero, Livy, Catullus, Sallust, Virgil, Tacitus, Lucretius, Ovid, Petronius).

  • Latin IIA (SLL2050F)

    Language work and prescribed texts, drawn from a range of authors (e.g. Cicero, Catullus, Petronius).

    Entrance requirements: SLL1051S Latin IB.

  • Latin IIB (SLL2051S)

    Language work and prescribed texts, drawn from one or more of the following: Virgil, Ovid, Livy, Sallust.

    Entrance requirements: SLL2050F Latin IIA.

  • Latin IIIA (SLL3050F)

    Selections from Cicero, Catullus and from Roman Satire (Horace or Juvenal or Petronius). On the language side tuition is given in prose composition and Latin stylistics.

    Entrance requirements: SLL2051S Latin IIB.

  • Latin IIIB (SLL3051S)

    Selections from: Virgil or Ovid and Livy or Sallust. On the language side tuition is given in prose composition and Latin stylistics.

    Entrance requirements: SLL3050F Latin IIIA.

 

Classical Culture Courses

Classical Culture courses focus on Greek, Roman, and Mediterranean history, culture and mythology (including North Africa and Ancient Egypt). All material is studied in English, and no knowledge of Ancient Greek or Latin is required. However, students intending to proceed to Classical Studies Honours are strongly encouraged to include a course in Greek or Latin in their undergraduate curriculum.

First-year Courses

First-year Classical Culture courses offer introductions to a range of important areas within the field of Classics.

  • The World of Odysseus (SLL1054F)

    This course provides an introduction to the ancient Mediterranean world through Homer's Odyssey, examining the hero, Odysseus, in the context of early Greek society and its oral traditions, and tracing the hero's fortunes in ancient and modern literature, film and art. All texts are studied in English, and no knowledge of ancient languages is required.

    Entrance requirements: none.

  • Ancient Egypt (SLL1057F)

    This course provides an overview of Egyptian history with special reference to the dynastic period c 3050 to 1069 BC and the period of foreign occupation (Nubian dynasty, Ptolemies), 664-to 30 BC. The course will address issues of Egyptian chronology and identity and provide an introduction to key aspects of Egyptian civilization.

    Entrance requirements: none.

  • The World of Aeneas (SLL1136S)

    This course provides an introduction to the cultural history of ancient Rome and her empire. The Aeneid, the poet Virgil’s epic account of Rome’s origins and of the vision of her later greatness, will form a starting point for a survey of Roman culture through ancient texts (in translation), art and archaeology. Students will acquire basic familiarity with the most significant Roman literary genres, and with the study of Roman life and society through the analysis of materials ranging from wall-paintings in private houses to the remains of the monuments and public spaces of Rome as an imperial capital.

    Entrance requirements: none.

  • Introducing Ancient History (SLL1097S)

    An introduction to the study of ancient history and classical archaeology in the Mediterranean world from the 8th century BC to the early Roman Empire (1st century AD). The focus is on the development of Rome in the Italian peninsula and the emergence of Rome as a major power in the Mediterranean world. The reigns of the early Roman emperors are also covered.

    Entrance requirements: none.

  • Introduction to Classical Literature and Thought (SLL1055S)

    [Not currently offered]

    This course provides an education in cultural literacy through written, visual and performative texts (including film), focusing on Greek and Roman writers and artists and their influence in the modern age. Topics covered include Greek and Roman theatre, art, religion, love, sex and gender roles, the novel in antiquity, science and philosophy, Pompeii. (Not all these topics are necessarily taught every year).

    Entrance requirements: none.

Senior Courses

Senior Classical Culture courses offer advanced study of central aspects of ancient Greek and Roman culture. Most of these Culture and History courses are offered in alternate years (i.e. they can be taken in a particular year either as a 2000-level course or as a 3000-level course). Students should consult the Humanities Faculty Handbook to determine which courses are offered (and at which level) in a particular year.

Students majoring in Classical Studies may choose to complete an extended essay in their final year. This option is recommended for students who intend to proceed to Classical Studies Honours. Students should consult the Head of Classics to discuss both the topic and the availability of suitable supervision. Final-year coursework and assessment are adjusted to accommodate the demands of the essay project.

  • Ancient Mythology (SLL2058F)

    This course provides an introduction to Greek mythology and concepts of the divine, followed by a detailed study of selected myths of Ancient Greece and Rome, including the following topics: Theories of Myths and their meaning; the ideological uses of Myth; Myth in Classical Art and literature; Myth in post-classical literary and artistic traditions.

    Entrance requirements: 2nd year status.

  • The City in the Ancient World (SLL2057F/3057F)

    A study of some major cities of the ancient Mediterranean world, such as Rome, Alexandria, Byzantium and Carthage. This course will consider how these cities developed and were managed, and what life was like for their inhabitants. The evidence includes archaeological finds, and art and literary texts, especially those associated with the culture of Alexandria.

    Entrance requirements: 2nd year status or 3rd year status – depending on the level at which you wish to register for the course.

  • Roman Literature and Empire (SLL2059F/3059F)

    The course deals with the phenomenon of the Roman Empire from the 1st century BC to about the 3rd century AD. It examines the nature and development of Roman rule under the emperors and the kinds of literature that emerged in a culturally and linguistically diverse empire, whether written in poetry or prose.

    Entrance requirements: 2nd year status or 3rd year status – depending on the level at which you wish to register for the course.

  • Athenian Life and Culture (SLL2055S/3055S)

    A study of key aspects of the world of ancient Athens. Attention is given to the history of the city and its political and social organisation – especially democracy, slavery, and the life of women. The culture, art, and architecture of Athens are examined in terms of their relation to Athenian religion and ideology. Study of select political works of Plato and Aristotle is included.

    Entrance requirements: 2nd year status or 3rd year status – depending on the level at which you wish to register for the course.

  • Roman Society and Law (SLL2056S/3056S)

    This course focuses on key aspects of Ancient Rome and its civilisation. Topics covered include the concept of citizenship, marriage and inheritance law, slavery, business practice and welfare schemes, crime and punishment, religion, and visual and material culture. Attention is also given to selected examples of the literary production of Rome, especially historiography, biography, and poetry.

    Entrance requirements: 2nd year status or 3rd year status – depending on the level at which you wish to register for the course.

  • Sex from Sappho to Cyber (SLL3001F)

    [Not currently offered]

    A study of selected aspects of the erotic in (particularly) Western literature from Greek to Roman antiquity to the modern period. The focus of the course is literary (prose, poetry, drama), but other media are examined, especially those pertaining to ‘virtual’ erotics (as enabled by the technologies afforded through the internet).

    Entrance requirements: 3rd year status.

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