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The following courses are currently offered by the Department of Classical and Mediterranean Studies. Courses offered in affiliated units that contribute to the major and minor in classical and Mediterranean studies are listed under approved courses. For a full list of current courses, please see the Vanderbilt undergraduate catalog or YES (enrolled students only).


The elements of classical Greek. Reading of simplified texts from authors of the fifth and fourth centuries BCE. [3] (No AXLE Credit)

Continuation of 1101. Completion of the elements of classical Greek through readings from classical authors. Introduction to Homeric and Hellenistic Greek. [3] (INT)

Review of Greek grammar, and reading from classical and biblical texts. [3] (INT)

Selected reading and interpretation; history and literary characteristics of the Homeric epic; practice in reading of meter. [3] (INT)

Classical Athenian authors, with a focus on Lysias and Demosthenes. Historical context, rhetorical technique, and prose style.  Prerequisite: 2202 or departmental placement. [3] (HCA)

Selections from the major Greek historians, especially Herodotus and Thucydides, and study of their philosophy of history; investigation of the development of historical prose writing. Prerequisite: 2201 or departmental placement. [3] (HCA)

Selected readings from the dialogues of Plato and from the ethical writings of Aristotle. Corollary readings and discussions of the pre-Socratic philosophers and the post-Aristotelian schools. Prerequisite: 2202 or departmental placement. [3] (HCA)

Selections from the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. Survey of the development of tragedy. May be repeated for credit with change of subject matter. Prerequisite: 2202 or departmental placement. [3] (HCA)

The Greek melic, elegiac, and iambic traditions, with an introduction to the Greek dialects and special emphasis on Archilochus, Tyrtaeus, Alcaeus, and Sappho. Prerequisite: 2202 or departmental placement. [3] (HCA)

Writings of Greek Christians, from the New Testament to critical works and letters by the Cappadocian fathers. Historical and intellectual context. Rhetoric and style. The Roman East. Prerequisite: 2201 or departmental placement. [3] (HCA)

Designed for majors wanting to familiarize themselves with works and authors not covered in the regular curriculum. Prerequisite: 6 hours above 2202.  [Variable credit: 1–3 each semester, not to exceed a total of 6] (No AXLE Credit)

May be repeated for credit with change of subject matter. [3] (No AXLE Credit)


Designed to enable the student to understand elementary Latin, whether written or oral. Some practice in speaking and writing in Latin. [3] (No AXLE Credit)

Continuation of 1101, and transition to literary Latin. Emphasis on the comprehension of texts. [3] (INT)

The equivalent of Latin 1101 and 1102. This course presents the elements of the Latin language at an accelerated pace. Designed for students who have completed one or two years of Latin in high school but are not prepared to enter Latin 1102. [5] (INT)

Review of Latin grammar and selected reading from major Latin prose authors.  [3] (INT)

Review of Latin grammar and selected reading from major Latin poets. [3] (INT)

Selections from The Civil War and The Gallic War. Literary style and historical context. Prerequisite: 2202 or departmental placement. [3] (HCA)

Study of Cicero’s career and thought, and of his contribution to the development of the concept of humanitas. Readings from his letters, speeches, or philosophical works. Prerequisite: 2202 or departmental placement. [3] (HCA)

The literary letters of Seneca and Pliny, with a brief introduction to the personal correspondence of Cicero and the letters discovered at Vindolanda. Prerequisite: 2202 or departmental placement. [3] (HCA)

Selections from Sallust, Livy, and Tacitus, with attention to their objectives and methods; analysis of Roman historiography and its relation to Greek and early Christian historiography. Prerequisite: 104 or departmental placement. [3] (HCA)

Selections from the works of one of Rome’s most important biographers,read in the context of the Latin biographical tradition as well as the political and social background. Prerequisite: 2202 or departmental placement. [3] (HCA)

Selections from the works of one of Rome’s most important historians, read in the context of historiographical tradition and political and social background. Prerequisite: 2202 or departmental placement. [3] (HCA)

Reading of selected comedies of authors such as Plautus and Terence: study of the form of Roman comedy and its relation to the Greek New Comedy. Prerequisite: 2202 or departmental placement. [3] (HCA)

Reading and interpretation of Catullus’ poems; aesthetic, political, and rhetorical contexts; fundamentals of Latin meter. Prerequisite: 2202 or departmental placement. [3] (HCA) 

Lucretius’ poem studied both in the tradition of Epicurean philosophy and as a landmark in the development of the Latin didactic epic; background material in the fragments of Epicurus and some treatment of the Epicurean movement in Italy and especially in Rome. Prerequisite: 2202 or departmental placement. [3] (HCA)

An intensive study of the entire poem, in the context of the epic tradition. Prerequisite: 2202 or departmental placement. [3] (HCA)

Reading and interpretation of Horace’s Epodes and Odes; relation to the Greco-Roman lyric tradition and to Augustan politics. Prerequisite: 2202 or departmental placement. [3] (HCA)

Authors who created a new type of love poetry during the rule of emperor Augustus: Tibullus, Propertius, Ovid, and Sulpicia. Construction and contestation of gender roles; political contexts; development of the elegiac couplet; modern responses. Prerequisite: 2202 or departmental placement. [3] (HCA)

Reading and interpretation of selections from the Metamorphoses or other works of Ovid. Prerequisite: 2202 or departmental placement. [3] (HCA)

The satires of Horace, Persius, and Juvenal; the origins of Roman satire; history and conventions of the genre; background reading in other Roman satirists. 2202 or departmental placement. [3] (HCA)

Selections from authors in the literary renaissance during the reign of the artistic Emperor Nero, including Seneca, Lucan, Persius, and Petronius. Stylistic innovations, literary merits, and cultural contexts. Prerequisite: 2202 or departmental placement. [3] (HCA)

Selections from the writings of Latin Christians, from the account of Perpetua’s martyrdom to the Confessions of Augustine. Prerequisite: 2202 or departmental placement. [3] (HCA)

May be repeated for credit with change of subject matter. [3]

Designed for majors wanting to familiarize themselves with works or authors not covered in the regular curriculum. Prerequisite: 6 hours above 2202. [Variable credit: 1–3 each semester, not to exceed a total of 6] (No AXLE Credit)

Classics (Courses requiring no knowledge of either Greek or Latin)

Topics vary. [1] (No AXLE Credit)

Topics vary. [1] (No AXLE Credit)

A survey of the history and achievements of Greece from its Mycenaean origins to the Roman domination. Topics include literature, art, athletics, Periclean Athens, theconquest of Alexander, and the Hellenistic age. [3] (INT)

A study of the nature of the Greek myths, with consideration of the related Near Eastern myths and the early history of myths in Greece. Both the divine and the heroic myths, with some attention to the development of these myths in Italy and to their influence upon art and literature. [3] (HCA)

Ancient Roman civilization from mythical foundations to the of the empire. A historical survey of topics including art and architecture, city life, agriculture, religion, law, slavery, public entertainment, and literature. [3] (INT)

From the neolithic period to the conquests of Alexander the Great, in the geographical area from Persia to Troy and Egypt. Special attention to the history of Israel. [3] (INT)

The Greek world from the beginning of the Mycenaean Age (1650 BCE) to the end of the Classical period. Special attention to the relationship between political history and the development of Hellenism. [3] (INT)

From Alexander’s conquest of the Persian Empire to the ascendancy of Christianity in the late fourth century. Emphasis on social, cultural and religious transformations, within the framework of political history. [3] (INT)

The growth and evolution of the Roman world, from the foundation of the city in the seventh century BCE to the reign of Caesar Augustus. The Romans’ unification of Italy, conquest of the Mediterranean and western Europe, adoption of Hellenism, and overthrow of the Republic. [3] (INT)

The Roman world from Augustus to the collapse of the western empire in the fifth century CE. Political, military, social, and religious history. Special attention given to problems arising from use of the primary sources as well as to controversies in modern scholarship. [3] (INT)

The Eastern Roman Empire from Constantine to the Arab conquests. Political, social, cultural, and religious history, including monasticism, barbarian invasions, and the changing roles of the Emperor and Church. Special attention to developments in urban life and landscape.  Counts toward the minor in Islamic Studies. [3] (INT)

Sculpture, vase painting, architecture, and the minor arts from about 1000 BCE to the late fifth century BCE Formal and stylistic developments in relation to changing cultural background. [3] (HCA)

Sculpture, vase painting, architecture, and the minor arts from after the Parthenon to the Roman Empire. A focus on those media (wall painting and mosaic) that develop significantly in this period. [3] (HCA)

Sculpture, architecture, and painting from the tenth century BCE to the early fourth century CE. Daily life of the Romans as seen in the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum.  [3] (HCA)

Influences of classical Greece and Rome on the literature, politics, architecture, and values of the United States from the colonial period to the present. [3] (US)

Religious oppositions in the eastern Mediterranean world from the Maccabean revolt to the Muslim conquests of the seventh century; beginnings of religious militancy; challenges of monotheism to Greco-Roman civilization; conversion, persecution, and concepts of heresy and holy war in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.  Counts toward the minor in Islamic Studies. [3] (P)

Biological history of the Greeks, Romans, and other Mediterranean peoples from the Bronze Age to early Christianity and Late Antiquity. Changing concepts of death and afterlife, interpretations of disease, medical thought and practice, healing, epidemics, natural catastrophe, dietary variation. Classical literature, archaeology, bones and teeth. [3] (SBS)

The status and role of women, law and the regulation of the private sphere, sexuality and gender roles, demography and family structure, marriage, children, religion, domestic architecture and the household economy, ancient critiques of the family, and the impact of Christianity. [3] (SBS)

Continuity and change in ancient Greek and Roman warfare 800 BCE to CE 120. Social, political, and religious aspects of war. Effects of war, imperialism, and militarism on internal and external populations. [3] (INT)

Ancient comic forms juxtaposed with modern theories of humor. Aristophanic Old Comedy, New Comedy, and Satire. Modern parallels. [3] (HCA)

The relationship between law and society as illustrated by cases drawn from Roman legal and literary sources. The development of legal reasoning and the rise of an autonomous legal profession at Rome. [3] (SBS)

Relationship of law and society as illustrated by legal, literary, epigraphic, and papyrological evidence. Views and methodologies of leading modern scholars. Focus on methodology. Marriage, family, personal status, the economy, and judicial system. Basic familiarity with Roman history or law is expected.  [3] (SBS)

Ancient Rome in the Age of Augustus.  Social, administrative, religious, and military reforms.  Common themes in architecture, art, and literature; development of a new national identity in the transition between Republic and Empire. Pre-requisite: Classics 1150, 2150, or 2160.  [3] (HCA)

The example of ancient Athens. The stoa, the theater, the house, and fortifications. Institutions such as the courts, the public assembly, and the family. Literary, historical, archaeological, and philosophical sources. [3] (SBS)

Study of ancient Greek religious worship through an examination of temples, cult images, votives, priests, and processions.  Panhellenic sanctuaries and oracular and mystery cults. No credit for students who have earned credit for 3700. [3] (INT)

Representations in Classical Greek art, literature, and archaeological evidence. The composition of the Homeric epics; the meaning of the Trojan War to later audiences. [3] (HCA)

Alexander's rise to power and conquests in Europe, Asia, and Africa; the legacy of his introduction of Greek culture to the East; his significance to later audiences. Offered on a graded basis only. [3] (HCA)

Ancient Athens in the fifth century BCE. Art, architecture, literature, history, art, and historical evidence for political and religious life in the city. [3] (HCA)

Introduction to the cuneiform script and to the grammar of Akkadian, the language of ancient Mesopotamia. Selected readings in Old Babylonian (CODEX Hammurabi, Mari letters) and Neo-Assyrian texts (Creation Poem, Gilgamesh Epic). [3–3] (INT)

A survey of highly sophisticated Near East cultures of the last three millennia before the common era (B.C.). Discussion of political histories, and the social, religious, and intellectual heritage of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Anatolia through excavated artifacts and written documents. [3] (INT)

The Amarna period from the sixteenth through the twelfth centuries BCE, as illumined by excavations of palaces and temples in Egypt, Anatolia, Canaan, and Mesopotamia as well as the vast historical, legal, and literary documents of the period. Focus on the internationalism and theological speculation of the period as seen through the powerful personalities and accomplishments of leaders such as Thutmoses III, Suppiluliumas, Ramses II, and the spiritually influential Akehnaten. [3] (INT)

Travel to Greece to survey Greek religion: its deities, sanctuaries, and festivals. Examine the wide variety of pagan cults from prehistory to late Antiquity; the roots of early Christianity; and the influence of ancient pagan cults on modern Greece. Related topics include Athenian democracy; the impact of cults and festivals on warfare, the economy, athletics, and literature; and the role of women and other marginalized groups. No credit for students who have earned credit for 3210. [3] (INT)

Archaeological field school at the site of Kenchreai with seminars and excursions in southern Greece. Basic techniques in excavation, survey, and the analysis of architecture, artifacts, and bones. Explorations of churches, temples, houses, and tombs. Focus on Greece during the Roman Empire and late antiquity. Landscape settlement, cult practice, cultural and social diversity, and funerary ritual. [3] (INT)

The mid-second century BCE to the mid-second century CE. Investigating significant sites, monuments, and museum collections in Rome and locations throughout southern Italy. Monumental and domestic architecture, wall paintings, sculpture, coins, and ancient sources. [3] (INT)

Completion of a substantial research paper in either classics or the classical tradition under the direction of a faculty sponsor. Consent of both the faculty sponsor and the director of undergraduate studies is required.  [Variable credit: 1–3 each semester, not to exceed a total of 6] (No AXLE Credit)

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