Humanities 110

Syllabus | Spring 2015

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Required Texts

  • Apuleius, The Golden Ass, trans. Lindsay (Indiana University Press)
  • Aristophanes, The Clouds, trans. Arrowsmith (University of Michigan Press)
  • Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics, trans. Irwin (Hackett)
  • Cicero, Selected Works, trans. M. Grant (Penguin)
  • Epictetus, The Handbook, trans. Nicholas P. White (Hackett)
  • Freeman, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, 2nd ed. (Oxford)
  • Josephus, The Jewish War (Penguin)
  • Livy, The Rise of Rome, trans. Luce(Oxford)
  • Lucretius, On the Nature of Things, trans. Englert (Focus Philosophical Library)
  • The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha New Revised Standard Version: College Edition (Oxford)
  • Ovid, Metamorphoses, trans. Melville (Oxford)
  • Plato, Republic, trans. Reeve (Hackett)
  • Plato, Trial and Death of Socrates, trans. Grube(Hackett)
  • Seneca, The Stoic Philosophy of Seneca: Essays and Letters, trans. Moses Hadas (Norton)
  • Theocritus, Idylls, trans. Verity (Oxford)
  • Virgil, The Aeneid,trans. Mandelbaum (Bantam Doubleday Dell)
  • Various readings on the Roman World available on e-reserves

Recommended Texts

  • Harvey, The Nuts and Bolts of College Writing (Hackett)
  • Williams, The Craft of Argument (Univ. of Chicago Press)

All texts may be purchased at the Reed College Bookstore; limited numbers of each are on reserve in Hauser Library. Also on reserve or in the reference section: Oxford Classical Dictionary; Oxford Companion to Classical Literature; Anchor Atlas of World History, Volume I; Richard Lanham, Revising Prose.


To access texts that are listed as being on e-reserves, find the day's reading assignments and follow the link to the text. You will need your kerberos username and password to be able to access the texts. Learn more about accessing e-reserves on Moodle. Please bring a copy of the day's reading assignment to class.

Conference Assignments

The Registrar makes initial assignments to conferences in this course that continue through the year. Students who subsequently find it necessary to change conferences must petition the Humanities staff (forms for this purpose may be obtained from the Registrar or from Kathy Kennedy, Chem 303). Turn in completed forms to Michael Faletra, Hum 110 Chair. No conference changes will be permitted after the second week of the term.

Papers, Writing Assignments, and Examinations

Three course-wide papers will be assigned, due at the times designated on the schedule of readings and lectures.  Individual conference leaders may assign additional writing. A final examination for the spring term will be given in finals week, Wednesday, May 13th, 8:00 am – noon, in Vollum Lecture Hall. Rescheduling of the final exam will be allowed only for medical reasons.

Schedule of Readings and Lectures

Timeline for the texts covered this semester

+ Expand Weeks | - Collapse Weeks

Week 1

Mon. Jan 26

Aristophanes, The Clouds

Lecture: "The Clouds: The Cultural Work of Comedy" / Laura Leibman

Additional Resource: Lecture Handout

Wed. Jan 28

The Trial and Death of Socrates

Lecture: "A Kind of Gadfly" / Pancho Savery

Fri. Jan 30

Plato, Republic, Books 1 - 2

Lecture: "Who is Cephalus?" / Peter Steinberger

Week 2

Mon. Feb 2

Plato, Republic, Books 3 - 5

Lecture: "Socrates and Plato and You" / Michael Faletra

Wed. Feb 4

Plato, Republic, Books 6 - 7

Lecture: "Platonic Metaphysics: Plato's Solution to the Crisis of Logos" / Meg Scharle

Fri. Feb 6

Plato, Republic, Books 8 - 10

Lecture: "Image Worlds" / Kris Cohen

Week 3

Mon. Feb 9

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Books 1 - 2

Lecture: "The Function Argument" / Steven Arkonovich

Wed. Feb 11

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Books 2, 3, and 6

Lecture: "The Moral and Intellectual Virtues" / Nathalia King

Fri. Feb 13

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Books 3, 6, and 10.6-9

Lecture: "Contemplation and Reed's Honor Principle"/ Margaret Scharle

FIRST PAPER DUE: Saturday, Feb 14, 5:00 PM

Week 4

Mon. Feb 16

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Books 8 and 9

Lecture: "Friendship" / Elizabeth Drumm

Wed. Feb 18

Art and the Hellenistic City

Study this Video and Image Gallery before lecture and conference.

J.J. Pollitt, "Introduction" from Art in the Hellenistic Age (on e-reserve)

Freeman, pp. 314-332.

Lecture: "Multiculturalism, Hellenism, and the Pergamon Altar" / Nathalia King

Fri. Feb. 20

Theocritus, 1-7, 11, 13, 15, 17

Freeman, pp. 333-354.

Lecture: "Country Matters" / Robert Knapp

Week 5

Mon. Feb. 23

The Book of Daniel (in The New Oxford Annotated Bible)

Lecture: "The Writing is on the Wall" / Jan Mieszkowski

Wed. Feb 25

The Book of Esther and 1 Maccabees 1-4, 6:1-17, 8:1-32, 9:1-22 (in The New Oxford Annotated Bible)

Lecture: "1 Maccabees and Esther: Jewishness, Gender, and Power" / Marat Grinberg

Fri. Feb 27

Polybius, Histories, Book 6, sections 1-39, 47, 50-58 (on e-reserve)

Freeman, pp. 369-401.

Lecture: "Polybian Thought" / Peter Steinberger

Week 6

Mon. Mar 2

Lucretius, On the Nature of Things (De Rerum Natura), Book 1 (lines 1-637, 921-1117), Book 2 (lines 1-293), and Book 3 (all)

Garnsey & Saller, The Roman Empire, chapter 9 (on e-reserve).

Lecture: "Lucretius, Rome, and the Nature of the Universe" / Walter Englert

Wed. Mar 4

Lucretius, On The Nature of Things (De Rerum Natura). Books 5 - 6

Lecture: "Epicurean Naturalism / Materialist Poetics" / Paul Hovda and Jan Mieszkowski

Fri. Mar 6

Cicero, On Duties III

Freeman, pp. 402-428.

Lecture: "Cicero and Roman Philosophy" / Walter Englert

SECOND PAPER DUE: Saturday, Mar 7, 5:00 PM

Week 7

Mon. Mar 9

Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, Preface and Book 1

Lecture: "The Body Politic" / Nathalia King

Wed. Mar 11

Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, Book 2.1-25 and Book 5.19 - end

Lecture: No lecture

Fri. Mar 13

Augustus, Res Gestae (on e-reserve)

Suetonius, Life of Augustus (on e-reserve)

Freeman, pp. 429-444, pp. 450-464.

Lecture: "From Octavian to Augustus" / Ellen Millender

Week 8

Mon. Mar 16

Peter J. Holliday, "Time, History, and Ritual on the Ara Pacis Augustae" (JSTOR)

Study this Image Gallery before lecture and conference.

Browse the Ara Pacis Augustae In-depth Visual Documentation website.

Lecture: "Picturing Peace" / Margot Minardi

Wed. Mar 18

Virgil, Aeneid, Books 1 – 4

Lecture: "Allusion and Epic in Virgil's Aeneid"/ Sarah Wagner-McCoy

Fri. Mar 20

Virgil, Aeneid, Books 5 – 8

Lecture: "Virgil and Ekphrasis" / Elizabeth Drumm


Week 9

Mon. Mar 30

Virgil, Aeneid

Lecture: "Homer Through Roman Eyes" / Laura Leibman

Wed. Apr 1

Virgil, Aeneid, Books 9 – 12; Homer, The Iliad, Book 24

Lecture: "This is the End" / Pancho Savery

Fri. Apr 3

Ovid, Metamorphoses, Books 1 – 3

Lecture: "Ovid's Epic of Transformation" / Walter Englert

Week 10

Mon. Apr 6

Ovid, Metamorphoses, Books 4 – 6, 15

Lecture: "Portrait of the Artist as Spider-Woman" / Jessica Seidman

Wed. Apr 8

Seneca, The Stoic Philosophy of Seneca: "On the Tranquility of the Mind," "On Providence, and "Letter 70"

Lecture: "Public Philosophy" / Jan Mieszkowski

Fri. Apr 10

Epictetus, The Handbook; Seneca, "On Slavery"

Lecture: "Stoicism, Epictetan Style" / Paul Hovda

Week 11

Mon. Apr 13

Josephus, The Jewish War, pp. 27-31, 133-148, 307-354, 387-405

Martin Jaffee, Early Judaism, Chapter 1, pp. 19-45 (on e-reserve).

Lecture: "Josephus: Historian, Traitor, Hero?" / Marat Grinberg

Wed. Apr 15

Paul, 1 Corinthians (in The New Oxford Annotated Bible)

Freeman, pp. 564-581.

Lecture: "Sex, Gender, and the Messianic Body" / Laura Leibman

Fri. Apr 17

Gospel According to Matthew

Lecture: "Tradition and Innovation in the Gospel of Matthew" / Michael Faletra

Week 12

Mon. Apr 20

The Gospel of John

Lecture: "Jesus Divided: Polemical Wars in the Gospel of John and the Talmud" / Marat Grinberg

Wed. Apr 22

Gail L. Hoffman, "Theory and Methodology: Study of Identities using Archaeological Evidence from Dura-Europos," 45-69 (on e-reserve)

Tessa Rajak, "The Dura-Europos synagogue: Images of a Competitive Community," 141-154 (on e-reserve)

Patricia DeLeeuw, "A Peaceful Pluralism: the Durene Mithraeuum, Synagogue, and Christian Building" 189-199 (on e-reserve).

Lecture: "Christians, Pagans, and Jews at Dura-Europos" / William Diebold

Fri. Apr 24

Apuleius, The Golden Ass

Lecture: "The Strange Story" / Jay Dickson

THIRD PAPER DUE: Saturday, April 25, 5:00 PM

Week 13

Mon. Apr 27

Apuleius, The Golden Ass

Freeman, pp. 541-563.

Lecture: "Apuleius and Resistance to Empire" / Sonia Sabnis

Wed. Apr 29

Apuleius, The Golden Ass

Lecture: "A Serious Joke: Apuleius Between Religion and Philosophy" / Steve Wasserstrom

Fri. May 1

Final Panel: Michael Faletra, Sonia Sabnis, Steve Wasserstrom

FINAL EXAM: Wednesday, May 13th, 8:00 am - noon