Classical Culture Courses
CL C 1123.001-Gods and Heroes in Art (Davis MWF 12:30-1:20 p.m.) Letters Category: History
Do you consider paint-by-numbers an art form? Is your knowledge of classical mythology limited to playing God of War or watching Disney’s Hercules? If so, this course is designed for you! From simple drawings on cave walls to ornate stained glass in churches, art has been used throughout history to tell beautiful stories. As every artist has a story to tell, it is peculiar that so many artists, both ancient and modern, have chosen the bizarre world of Greek and Roman mythology as their playground. By focusing on the fascinating and complex ways mythology has influenced art throughout time, this course will teach students to see sculptures as more than lifeless rocks, paintings as more than motionless pictures, and movies as more than mind-numbing entertainment. (IV-a)
CL C 2383.001-Classical Mythology (Huskey MWF 9:30-10:20 a.m.) Letters Category: History, Literature
Heroes! Demigods! Gods and Goddesses! Monsters! Adventure! Love! War! Everything you could ever want in a course! Mythology! (IV-b)
CL C 2413- Medical Vocabulary. Sec. 995, 996 (Walker-Esbaugh , Online)
Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Designed to be of special use to students planning a career in the Allied Health professions. Study of the basic Greek and Latin elements of medical terminology through the analysis of select vocabularies and word lists.
CL C 2603.001 A Survey of Ancient Greek Culture (Russell MWF 10:30-11:20 a.m.) Letters Category: History
This class is part mythology, part history, part literature, part art — it is an introduction to the world of the Ancient Greeks. We will study not only Greece, but also ourselves, and the many ways our modern world has been influenced by these ancient people and ideas. Many words in English are derived from the Greek language: history, philosophy, geometry, democracy, politics, rhetoric, mythology, drama, tragedy, comedy, epic, and many others. In this class we will observe how the Greeks both gave us these words, and began the conversation about these concepts in Western society. The readings will come mostly from the writings of the Greeks themselves, allowing us to observe how they lived their daily lives and how they built empires; how they entertained themselves and how they sought the meaning of life and the truth about religion. (IV-b)
CL C 3113 Ancient Epic Poetry (Greene TR 3:00-4:15 p.m.)
This course will explore three great epics of the ancient world: the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Aeneid. We will discuss the social values and ideas about heroism contained in these epics, as well as their poetic qualities, their historical context and mythological foundations, and the similarities and differences between them. (IV-b)
CL C 3223.001 Classical Art and Arch: Hellenistic Greek and Roman Art (Stanley MW 4:30-5:45 p.m.) Letters Category: History
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Continuation of 3213. Survey of Hellenistic art with particular attention to the individuality of style and diversity of matter. Early Etruscan and Roman art. The development of Roman art in native and assimilated forms; studies in domestic and national monuments. (IV-a)
CL C 3033.001 Love and Loss (Watson TR 9:00-10:15 a.m.) Letters Category: Literature
One of the enduring legacies of classical literature is its freshness and universality of the human condition. Join us as we explore the concepts of love and loss—from intimate relationships between individuals to authors' affection for (or loss of) the society that they called home. During the semester, our journey will take us through the poetry of Catullus, Tibullus, Propertius, Vergil, and Ovid along with lamentations from the likes of Cicero and Seneca. In them, we will see the development of Roman elegy and lament, and the commonality of human experience. We will use this body of work to develop analytical skills vital for understanding classical (and modern!) literature. At the course’s conclusion, students will be able to confront and analyse passages of Latin poetry—particularly those related to love elegy and lament. (IV-b)
CLC 3403.001 - Law and Justice: (Harper, MW 1:30-2:45 p.m.)
Letters category: Philosophy; Constitutional Studies Area 1 or 2
What makes a law just? Is a law just because it was made through a fair process, for instance by majority vote? Or is a law just because of its substance, because it respects human rights, promotes the greatest good for the greatest number, or establishes a fair system for the interaction of voluntary agents? This course explores these questions in the context of Greek and Roman law. The Greeks and Romans were the first western societies to confront these questions directly, and more importantly they tried to implement their ideas through political institutions. The focus of this course is on law, because law is the meeting point between the theory and practice of justice. With Aristotle’s Politics as our principal guide, this course will follow the development of justice throughout the Greco-Roman experience. (IV-b)
CL C 3510.001 Syrian Christianity (Johnson TR 3:00-4:15 p.m.)
Letters Category: History, Philosophy
This course will introduce students to the long history of Christianity in Syria, focusing on its ancient roots in the Greco-Roman world. For Syrian Christians, the history of their churches begins with Jesus himself. Syriac, the indigenous language of Syrian Christianity, is a dialect of Aramaic and thus closely related to the Palestinian Aramaic of Jesus in the first century AD. Syrian Christians played an important role in the post-Constantinian Christian Roman empire while also flourishing under the Persian empire in Iran. They even sent missionaries along the Silk Road and became the first Christians to reach China. Since the Middle Ages, Syriac-speaking Christians have remained a small but substantial presence in the Muslim countries of the Middle East. We will study their history from a number of angles and using the whole humanistic toolkit: language, literature, art, theology, politics, colonialism, and identity. We will endeavor to understand Syrian Christianity on its own terms while also relating it to the history of Christianity in the region more generally and to the development of medieval and modern Islam. The course will also examine how minorities have found themselves persecuted, sometimes unexpectedly, in the 20th–21st centuries and what appeals to the West have been able to accomplish.
CLC 3510.002 - Gladiators, Sports, Spectacles: Violent entertainment in ancient Rome (Stanley, MW 3:00-4:15 p.m.) Letters category: History
Entertainment in ancient Rome comprised non-violent forms of entertainment, but the most famed forms of Roman entertainment had a very pronounced violent component. The “games” (ludi) of ancient Rome were presentations that involved extreme violence. These “entertainment” forms included gladiatorial fights, staged animal hunts (venationes), the executions of prisoners of war and convicted criminals, and the most popular entertainment of them all, the chariot races. The games, however, went beyond their entertainment value and served as a message of Roman power and reminded audiences of the wars that Rome fought to conquer and keep the vast territories that comprised their empire. The varied games served to remind all of the inevitability of Roman justice for anyone who challenged Roman power. The destruction of animals in the venationes and death of men in gladiatorial contests particularly served as a graphic reminder of what would be the result for transgressors of Roman power. The games were also especially helpful as types of educational tools useful in teaching about the Roman value system of the time. While descriptions of the games undoubtedly offend modern sensibilities, this course will consider the contemporary standards of the Roman world and what was actually acceptable or rejected as too much violence for entertainment. The topics considered in this course include gladiators and their origins and types, the venues in which the games of violent entertainment were offered (Colosseum, Circus, Theaters), multiple types of “ludi,” production and advertising of games, the importance of animals in the games, the experiences of the games in the Roman provinces, the psychological and metaphorical significance of the games, and portrayals of gladiatorial violence in film.
CL C 3613 Classical Influence on Modern Literature (R. Huskey TR 1:30-2:45 p.m) Letters Category: Literature
One of the most basic and universal aspects of being human is laughter and comedy. This course is a survey of various types of comedy (e.g., physical comedy; satire; puns and language games; mistaken identity; and stand-up) as they arise in literature from antiquity through the middle ages and into the 21st Century. Students will experience the serious hilarity of Plautus, Aristophanes, Juvenal, Shakespeare, Sherman Alexie, The Simpsons, and Tina Fey. (IV-b)
LAT 1115 - Beginning Latin: (Walker-Esbaugh, sec. 001 M-F 10:30-11:20 a.m.), (Hansen, sec. 002 M-F 12:30-1:20 p.m.) (Davis, sec. 003 M-F 2:30-3:20 p.m.)
Introductory study of the vocabulary and grammar of the Latin language, with practice in the reading of sentences and connected prose from selected Latin authors (I-b1)
LAT 1215 - Beginning Latin: (Walker-Esbaugh, sec. 001, M-F 11:30-12:20 p.m.), (Hansen, sec. 002, M-F 3:30-4:20pm)
Prerequisite: 1115, or the equivalent, with a grade of C or better.
Introductory study of the vocabulary and grammar of the Latin language, with practice in the reading of sentences and connected prose from selected Latin authors
LAT 1315.001 - Intensive Latin: (Honors, Chambers, MW 9:30-10:20a.m. ,TR 9:00-10:15 a.m.)
Prerequisites: Any foreign language background of 1 to 2 years.
This is an accelerated course covering the material presented in Latin 1115 and 1215 in one semester. This course was specifically created for the exceptional student with a foreign language background (not Latin) who wishes to move rapidly through both introductory Latin courses in a single semester. It is also appropriate for those students who have had two years of mid-high or high school Latin but feel they need an intensive grammar review before proceeding to an intermediate reading course. *Students of the latter category should have an interview with the instructor before enrolling in the course.
Hours of Credit: Successful completion of the course will allow the student to obtain credit for ten semester hours of Latin (five hours letter graded that count as Honors credit, five hours S/U credit).
Required Text: Latin Alive and Well, An Introductory Text OU Press by Peggy Chambers
Course Requirements: There will be daily homework and weekly testing; grades will be based on homework, quizzes and exams.
Recommendations: Because of the intensity of this course and the amount of material that is covered and assigned, it is recommended that the student carry a total course load (including Latin 1315) of no more than 14-16 hours,especiallyif the student is also working.
LAT 2113.001 - Intermediate Latin Prose: Caesar (Hansen, sec. 001, MWF 1:30-2:20 p.m.)
This course focuses on the reading and understanding of continuous prose passages of Latin. It begins with a review of word forms, and then moves on to further practice with more complicated sentence constructions. Through this class, the student will begin to read Latin prose with increased proficiency, and acquire a more thorough knowledge of Latin vocabulary and grammar. In the fall, the readings include selections from the Vulgate, Caesar, and Livy; in the spring, the selections are from Eutropius, Caesar, and Cicero. Roman history and culture will be an important component of both semesters. This class may be repeated, with a change of reading material, for a maximum of six hours credit.
LAT 2113.002 - Intermediate Latin Prose: Attic Nights of Aulus Gellius: (Chambers, TR 12:00-1:15 p.m.)
The Noctes Atticae (Attic Nights) is a collection of stories Aulus Gellius (ca. A.D. 123-170) had heard or read. The subjects are widely varied and include fables, philosophy, history, biography, antiquities, law, literary criticism, and grammar. From this collection, I have chosen for translation excerpts or complete stories I found especially enjoyable and revealing of Roman customs, beliefs, character, and codes of conduct. The text and class requirements include grammar review and text translations in addition to a report (in English) from a list of topics drawn from the assigned translation material.
Required Course Materials:
1. Text: The Attic Nights of Aulus Gellius, An Intermediate Text and Grammar Review, OU Press, P.L. Chambers
2. Workbook of the Sentences and Text Translations (Available at the Crimson and Cream Copy Shop in the Union)
LAT 2213.001 - Intermediate Latin Poetry: Ovid: (Davis, MWF 9:30-10:20 a.m.)
The Intermediate Latin Poetry course centers on transitioning students from “textbook” Latin to translating authentic Latin poetry. Ovid, one of classical Rome’s most creative and controversial poets, provided excellent examples of Latin grammar and classical poetic techniques. Often shrouded in religious, social, and political controversy, Ovid’s poems still entertain modern translators of all skill levels. By focusing on a selection from Ovid’s major works, students will develop a deeper understanding of Latin grammar, Roman poetry, and classical culture. This course contains rotating material from Ovid’s poems; therefore, the course may be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours.
LAT 3213 Vergil (Greene TR 4:30-5:45pm)
The fall of Troy, the wanderings of a hero, the strains of love and duty, the founding of the Roman race—all in this: the most influential and controversial poem of all time. In this course, we will read and discuss Vergil’s Aeneid in the original language, and pay close attention to its place in the epic tradition and analyze its status as a work of Augustan literature. Join us and learn what makes this perhaps the greatest poem ever written.
LAT 4133 Latin Historians (Watson TR 10:30-11:45 a.m.)
Introductory course in Roman history. Readings chosen to present memorable persons and episodes in the ascendancy of the Republic, the critical issues of the Civil Wars, and the social and political decadence of the Early Empire.
GRK 1115 Beginning Greek (Davis M-F 10:30-11:20 a.m.)
When choosing a secondary language to study, students often make their decisions based on two criteria: the path of least resistance and the false assumption that fluency will be accomplished in 3 semesters. Instead of investing over 13 hours of course credit into classes that provide little future benefit, enroll in a language that creates a more logical student and a more marketable job candidate.
In the first semester, students will be introduced to the fundamentals of the classical Greek language. At the same time, students will learn vocabulary essential for modern technical vocations and many of the core concepts of western civilization. After gaining the ability to translate works ranging from Homer to the New Testament by the third semesters, students quickly realize that one of the primary benefits of learning classical Greek is an increased proficiency in English. Even after one semester of Greek, students see a remarkable improvement in English composition and gain an expansive vocabulary from Greek derivatives. Learning Greek requires effort (as does learning any foreign language); however, the final result will provide lasting benefits in a student’s future courses and help to set a graduate apart in a competitive job market.
GRK 2113.001 Biblical Greek: New Testament (Johnson TR 12:00-1:15 p.m.)
Friedrich Nietzsche famously said “It is notable that God learned Greek when he wanted to become a writer, but also that he did not learn it well.” This class will engage Nietzsche’s challenge head-on and investigate the New Testament as a preeminent example of Greek writing from the Roman Empire. The koine (or “common”) Greek of the New Testament and Early Christianity represents the linguistic successor to the diplomatic language of the court of Alexander the Great, while also drawing on the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament. More than any other single book, the New Testament exerted a key influence in perpetuating the Greek language of Athens and Alexandria into the Roman and Byzantine worlds. We will discuss the cultural setting of classical, Jewish, and Christian elements in the New Testament, while paying close attention to lexical and syntactic changes in the fabric of the Greek language. We will study the manuscript history of the New Testament and learn how textual critics have reconstructed the original Greek of this book from a complicated legacy of surviving witnesses. For students of Greek, the Postclassical world offers a much larger body of literature than the Classical, and the New Testament stands at the very beginning of that revolution. This class presents a rare opportunity to read, at an advanced level, the foundational document of Christian Greek. (I-b3)
GRK 3113 Advanced Greek Prose: Plotinus (Johnson MWF 2:30-3:20 p.m.)
Letters Category: History, Literature
Plotinus of Lycopolis (AD 205–270/1) was one of the most important philosophers of the ancient world. His philosophy represented an extension and systematization of the metaphysics of Plato and Aristotle, mediated partly through Stoicism and Middle Platonism. Yet he was also sui generis and transcended the philosophical schools of his day. The school of thought he is said to have inaugurated is called today Neoplatonism and, subsequent to him, it deeply influenced the western tradition, through its appropriation into late antique and medieval Christian theology but also through Plotinus’ work directly, especially during the Renaissance. The written philosophy of Plotinus, effectively transcripts of his oral lectures, was collected by Plotinus’ student Porphyry into six books of nine chapters, and is consequently known as The Enneads. In this class we will read selections from the Enneads in Greek, covering many different subjects: the theological hierarchy, the soul, beauty, free will, matter, and others. We will also read the whole of the Enneads in translation. The dual focus of the class will be understanding the Greek of the Enneads, sometimes thorny and other times sublime, as well as understanding his thought and his contribution to the history of Platonism. While Plotinus is a challenging thinker, close attention to the Greek will help us understand the technical vocabulary of his language as well as how Plato and Aristotle were read in the ancient and late antique contexts.
LTRS 1113.001 Introduction to Letters (Coodin MWF 3:30-4:20 p.m.)
Letters Category: History, Literature, Philosophy This course serves as an introduction to the Letters major, OU’s interdisciplinary humanities degree. This semester’s section will address reason and passion. Over the course of the term, we will study seminal writings about reason and emotion from Classical Greece through the nineteenth-century and explore how the reason/emotion dichotomy has helped shape Western accounts of what it means to be human. We will be discussing the changing values accorded to rationality and passion over time by focusing on the terminology and imagery used to represent them in canonical works of literature and philosophy, including Aristotle’s Ethics, Robert Burton’sThe Anatomy of Melancholy,and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights.This course contains a variety of short writing assignments intended to familiarize incoming students with the requirements of essay writing, as well as a mid-term and final exam. Class format is based on lecture and discussion.No prerequisites. Approved for Gen-Ed (IV-b) credit.
LTRS 2103 Introduction to Constitutional Studies (Butterfield, Sec.001 MWF 11:30-12:20 p.m. )(Schumaker, Sec. 002 MWF 1:30-2:20 p.m.) Letters categories: History or Phil.; Constitutional Studies Area: 1, 2, 3, or 4
This course serves as a broad introduction to the theory and history of constitutional governance. The student who completes the course will acquire, first, aconceptual vocabularythat enables her or him to think critically about the nature of constitutional problems. The student will learn what liberty, justice, natural law, natural rights, civil rights, legitimacy, monarchy, democracy, majoritarianism, classical liberalism, republicanism, executive power, legislative power, judicial power, and judicial review mean. Secondly, the student will acquire aframework of core knowledgeabout the history of constitutionalism. This includes the classical roots of constitutional thought, the contribution of the English common law tradition, the origins and structure of the U.S. Constitution, and the development of American constitutionalism during the civil war and civil rights movement. Finally, the student will leave the course with adeeper sense of the constitutional basisof contemporary political controversies (IV-b)
LTRS 3113 Examined Life I: Antiquity (R. Huskey TR 10:30-11:45 a.m.)
Letters Categories: History, Literature, Philosophy
This course presents a survey of the history, literature, and philosophy of the ancient world through reading and discussion of the great books of Greece and Rome, with particular emphasis on understanding the impact and relevance of classical texts on modern day thought. Authors covered include Homer, Plato, Ovid, and Plautus. (IV-d)
LTRS 3203.001 Revenge Tragedy, Ancient and Modern (Coodin, 8/22-10/14, MW 6:00-8:40 p.m.)
Letters Category: History or Literature
The revenge tragedy, one of the most fiercely enduring forms of entertainment, is as popular nowadays in revenge-obsessed films like The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo as it was when Shakespeare first staged Hamlet in 1600. This course sets out to investigate the Classical origins of the revenge tragedy, and traces its evolution through the Renaissance and onto the silver screen. Over the sixteen-week semester, we will be examining the revenge tragedy’s preoccupation with violence, social non-conformity, and heroism, along with the genre’s persistent, even obsessive interest in theatrical and filmic spectatorship. The second half of the course will feature weekly film screenings with selected action, horror, and mobster movies that offer distinctively modern cinematic adaptations of the revenge tragedy. (IV-d)
LTRS 3313.001 - Secret Societies in American Culture (Butterfield, MWF 12:30-1:20 p.m.)
Letters Categories: History; Constitutional Studies area: 3 or 4
In this course, we will examine secret societies in American history, from the Revolution through the twentieth century. This will include some more myth than reality as well as groups such as the Freemasons, Odd Fellows, Ku Klux Klan, and collegiate secret societies that could claim the membership of millions. A better understanding of the societies themselves, why people joined, and the nature of their secrecy and ritual can reveal a great deal about American culture. The course will also give equal attention to the fears and anxieties that such groups generated at particular moments in American history. (IV-d)
LTRS 3510.900 Famous Trials (Porwancher TR 4:30-5:45 p.m.)
Letters Category: History; Constitutional Studies area 4
From the Salem Witch Trials to O. J. Simpson, the spectacle of a public court determining questions of life and liberty has long captured the imagination of the country. How has the conduct of trials shaped American attitudes about justice? Why have certain trials served as proxy battles for larger political wars? How have representations of trials in art and theater informed popular memory? Drawing on select primary and secondary sources, this course will grapple with these questions in the context of the nation’s legal, social, and political history.
LTRS 3603 - Debating Constitutional Controversies: (Porwancher TR 12:00-1:15 p.m.)
Letters category: History or Philosophy; Constitutional Studies area: 4
Students will rotate between teams of lawyers and panels of judges, alternately arguing and deciding constitutional controversies. Students will learn how to conduct advanced legal research on and formulate persuasive arguments about some of our most divisive constitutional issues. In addition to cultivating oratorical skills, students will write two research papers on controversies of their choosing.
LTRS 4503.001 - Capstone Course: Visions of America (McClay, MW 1:30-2:45 p.m.)
Letters Category: History, Literature or Phil.; Constitutional Studies Category 1, 2
The American experience has always attracted the imputation to it of larger meanings. This course will involve a reading and discussion of some of the most influential literary, historical, ethnological, and artistic attempts to render a large-scale interpretation of the meaning of American history, particularly as considered in the larger context of European and world history. Readings will range from the earliest European anticipations of America (More’s Utopia, Shakespeare’s Tempest, Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, Puritan sermons) to the narratives of George Bancroft, the observations of Tocqueville and other European travelers, the “frontier thesis” of Frederick Jackson Turner, the “progressive” historiography of Charles Beard, the consensus history of Daniel Boorstin, the critical New Left historiography of the 1960s, the effort to give proper space and voice to previously marginalized groups, and the uneasy mix of postrevisionism and postmodernism in the present—what historian Daniel Rodgers has called “the age of fracture.” The course will be built around the researching and writing of an extensive research paper, on a topic of the student’s choosing, as well as shorter papers geared toward the readings. (V)
LTRS 4970.001 - IACH Seminar: Gender and the Constitution: (Schumaker, MW 3:00-4:15 p.m.)
Letters category: History; Constitutional Studies area: 3 or 4.
This course examines the history of gender and the Constitution in the United States. Beginning with the Founding generation and ending in the present, we will explore how ideas about gender, sexuality, and the family have shaped the privileges and obligations of American citizenship. We will examine the ways that the relationship between gender, sex, and the Constitution has changed over time. Topics covered in this class include feminism, masculinity, women’s suffrage, interracial marriage, affirmative action, and sexual orientation. In addition, we will study how women have shaped the law as plaintiffs, lawyers, and judges.