Zachary Seguin

CLAS Courses

CLAS 100 – An Introduction to Classical Studies

An introduction to Greek and Roman civilization, focusing on six key aspects of the discipline of classical studies: history, literature, philosophy, myth and religion, art and architecture, and classical archaeology.

CLAS 103 – Colossos - The Major Figures of Classical Antiquity

An introductory study of the achievements of ancient Greece and/or Rome through some of their major figures. Each year two figures will be featured. These may include Homer, Pericles, Socrates, Alexander the Great, Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, Augustus, Nero, Seneca, Hadrian, and Constantine.

CLAS 104 – Classical Mythology

A study of Greco-Roman mythology and legend, with special emphasis on the Olympian gods and the figure of the hero. Topics may include myths of creation, the rise of the gods, divine myths, the tales surrounding the cities of Troy, Mycenae and Thebes and the heroes Herakles, Perseus and Theseus.

CLAS 105 – Introduction to Medieval Studies

An introduction to Medieval European civilization focusing on essential aspects of the discipline: history, literature, philosophy, religion, art, architecture and archaeology, law, and science and technology.

CLAS 123 – Classical Studies in Pop Culture

An introduction to the role that Classical Studies and the classical cultures have played in pop culture. This course will examine specific references, such as ancient Greek myths, and more general trends, such as literary types, in contemporary movies, television shows, comic books, and video games to illustrate the continued fascination with the cultures of Ancient Greece and Rome.

CLAS 201 – Ancient Greek Society

A survey of the civilization of Classical Greece, featuring such topics as the individual (male and female), political institutions, art, religion, philosophy, literature, social life and leisure activities.

CLAS 202 – Ancient Roman Society

A survey of the civilization of the Roman Republic and Empire, featuring such topics as the individual (male and female), political institutions, art, religion, philosophy, literature, social life and leisure activities.

CLAS 205 – Medieval Society

A survey of medieval civilization featuring such topics as the individual (male and female), political institutions, art, architecture, religion, philosophy, literature, social life and leisure activities.

CLAS 210 – History of Ancient Law

A historical introduction to law in the ancient world. Babylonian, Assyrian, Hittite, and Roman law, legal practices, and concepts will be examined.

CLAS 220 – Philosophy of Friendship

Friendship is an essential part of a happy life. Ancient western philosophers made friendship one of the cornerstones of their ethics. This course is an exploration of their views on problems such as the necessity of friendship, its nature, its species, and its relationship to happiness and the political community.

CLAS 221 – Introduction to Archaeology

An introduction to the working assumptions, analytic approaches, and integrative and descriptive methods of archaeological anthropology.

CLAS 230 – Classical Roots of English Vocabulary

This course offers an introduction to the etymology of the English language, in particular that part which has been derived from Latin and ancient Greek; the main focus will be the most important Classical roots from which the vocabulary of the life sciences and other academic disciplines derives.

CLAS 231 – Studies in Ancient Greek Literature

Special topics in ancient Greek literature, as announced by the department. Authors, works, time periods, and topics will vary. Authors studied may include Homer (epic), Euripides (tragedy), Aristophanes (comedy), Thucydides (history), Sappho (poetry) and Plato (philosophy). Topics by which the course will be organized may include gender, slavery, politics, war, peace, death, and love.

CLAS 232 – Studies in Ancient Roman Literature

Special topics in ancient Roman literature, as announced by the department. Authors, works, time periods, and topics will vary. Authors studied may include Vergil (epic), Seneca (tragedy), Plautus (comedy), Livy (history), Catullus (poetry) and Lucretius (philosophy). Topics by which the course will be organized may include gender, slavery, politics, war, peace, death, and love.

CLAS 237 – The Ancient Near East and Egypt

A study of the civilizations of the ancient Near East focusing on Mesopotamia (Sumer and Akkad, the Babylonian Dynasty, and the Third Dynasty of Ur), Hatti, Assyria, Egypt, and Persia.

CLAS 241 – Survey of Greek Art and Architecture

A survey of Greek art and architecture from the earliest times to the coming of the Romans. Material studied may include the art of the Bronze Age, the development of Greek sculpture, the evolution of the Acropolis at Athens and the change in art and architecture after Alexander the Great.

CLAS 242 – Survey of Roman Art and Architecture

A survey of Roman art and architecture from the earliest times to the age of Constantine the Great. Material studied may include the art of the Etruscans, the evolution of Roman portraiture, innovations in architectural materials and forms, the use of art and architecture by the Emperors and the change to Late Antique art.

CLAS 251 – Greek History

A survey of ancient Greek history, from the Bronze Age to Alexander the Great, emphasizing particularly its political and military aspects.

CLAS 252 – Roman History

A survey of ancient Roman history, from the Republic to the Empire, emphasizing particularly its political and military aspects.

CLAS 261 – Great Works: Ancient and Medieval

A historical survey of ancient and medieval philosophy in the Western tradition.

CLAS 311 – Sex and Gender in the Ancient World

This course examines a variety of issues around sexuality and gender relations in antiquity, including sexual mores and behaviours; literary, artistic, and philosophical constructs of gender; the roots of misogyny; and the legal and social restrictions placed on women in most ancient societies.

CLAS 321 – Archaeology of Complex Cultures

Cultural development from the agricultural revolution to the rise of literacy. Special attention to the development of agriculture as a means of subsistence and to the rise of early civilization. Areas and periods of emphasis will vary from year to year.

CLAS 325 – Greek and Roman Religion

An examination of the religious beliefs and cult practices of the classical world. Topics include prayer and sacrifice; divination and oracles; temples, priests and festivals; mystery cults and their relation to Christianity.

CLAS 326 – The Body, Dress, and Religion

From clothing to hairstyles to tattoos, dress can express beliefs, aspects of identity, and power. This course examines dress in a variety of religions from ancient Greece to the modern era. The course includes attention to the look and feel of dress on the body, conflicts that can arise over dress and religion, as well as the role of dress in the formation and maintenance of religious communities.

CLAS 327 – Astrology and Magic

An examination of the theory and practice of astrology and magic in the classical and medieval worlds. Topics include the relationship of astrology and magic to traditional Greco-Roman religion and Christianity, occult practices and the people who performed them.

CLAS 331 – Advanced Studies in Ancient Literature

An in-depth examination, through English translation, of a genre(s), author(s) or selected topic(s) in Greek and/or Roman literature. Material studied may include the genres of epic, tragedy, comedy, lyric, and satire, and authors such as Homer, Virgil, Sophokles, Seneca, Aristophanes, Menander, Plautus, Sappho, Pindar, Catullus, and Horace.

CLAS 341 – Advanced Studies in Greek Art and Architecture

An advanced survey of the art and architecture from a selected time period of Greek history. Material studied may include the art and architecture of the Aegean Bronze Age, and the Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic periods. Archaeological, historical and cultural issues specific to each time period will be discussed through the important media of the day.

CLAS 342 – Advanced Studies in Roman Art and Architecture

An advanced survey of the art and architecture from a selected time period of Roman History. Material studied may include the art and architecture of the Etruscans, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. Archaeological, historical and cultural issues specific to each time period will be discussed through the important media of the day.

CLAS 351 – Advanced Studies in Greek History

An advanced study of aspects of Greek history, through the examination of a specific time period, event(s) or theme(s). Topics studied may include the Archaic Age and the rise of the Polis, the Persian Wars, the Peloponnesian War, conflict in the 4th c. BCE, the history of the Hellenistic period and Greek social history. [This is a repeatable course, subject to different content; it may be completed a total of four times.]

CLAS 352 – Advanced Studies in Roman History

An advanced study of aspects of Roman history, through the examination of a specific time period, event(s) or theme(s). Topics studied may include the Punic Wars, the end of the Republic, the Julio-Claudian Dynasty, history of the High Empire, later Roman history and Roman social history.

CLAS 361 – History of Ancient Philosophy

In this course, students will examine one or more important figures, periods, or issues in ancient philosophy. Plato and Aristotle are among the philosophers who may be covered.

CLAS 362 – History of Ancient Philosophy 2

From Aristotle to the close of classical antiquity.

CLAS 384 – Science and Technology of Ancient Greece and Rome

A study of scientific thought and achievements in such areas as astronomy, biology, anatomy and medicine, and of the technological skills which produced and distributed raw materials, manufactured goods and agricultural products.

CLAS 390 – Classical Studies Abroad

This course features a combination of academic study and firsthand investigation of museums and ancient sites, normally in Greece and/or Italy.

CLAS 395 – Research Skills Training

This course will provide students with an opportunity to improve their research skills by working within an instructor's area of expertise. Students will utilize ancient source material (such as inscriptions, papyri, manuscripts, coins) and modern scholarly literature to investigate a particular topic.

CLAS 461 – Studies in Ancient Philosophy

Special topics in ancient philosophy, as announced by the department.

CLAS 485 – Greco-Roman Civilization and History

This is a topic-oriented directed study course intended for senior students.

CLAS 486 – Senior Seminar

Each Fall and Winter term a senior seminar on some aspect of Greek or Roman civilization will be offered.

CLAS 490A – Senior Honours Thesis

Students wishing to undertake a Senior Honours Thesis in their fourth year should consult the Department's Undergraduate Officer.

CLAS 490B – Senior Honours Thesis

Continuation of the Senior Honours Thesis.

CLAS 492 – Directed Study

Under exceptional circumstances, and only with the prior approval of the Department, a student may substitute an individualized course of study at the senior level. Such circumstances might include, for example, the student's participation in an approved archaeological dig. For further details, consult the Department.

CLAS 600 – Research Methods in Classical Studies

A team-taught course exploring the variety of methodologies involved in studying the ancient Mediterranean, with a focus on Greco-Roman civilization and its transmission to us. Each contributing faculty member will showcase the particular methodologies employed in his or her research. This course is taught int he Fall term and is a required course for all MA students.

CLAS 601 – The Integration of the Ancient Mediterranean World

The greater Mediterranean Basin, joining Europe, Africa and Asia, has a long and influential history. This fall-term course introduces the major processes of cultural integration in the Mediterranean from the Bronze Age to the end of the Roman Empire and the appropriate research methods. This course will be team-taught with a central coordinator.

CLAS 631 – Studies in Greek Literature

An investigation of selected themes, topics, time periods or genres in ancient Greek literature. This course is repeatable provided that the topic is different. One example could be Attic Drama and Civic Identity.

CLAS 632 – Studies in Latin Literature

An investigation of selected themes, topics, time periods or genres in Latin literature. This course is repeatable provided that the topic is different.

CLAS 633 – Studies in Ancient Literature

An investigation of selected themes, topics, time periods or genres in Ancient literature. This course is repeatable provided that the topic is different. One example could be Theories and Methods of Literary Criticism.

CLAS 635 – Dining in the Greek and Roman World

This course examines the civilizations of Greece and Rome through their dining practices as depicted in art, architecture, and literature, from the eastern origins of the Greek symposium through the late Roman banquet.

CLAS 636 – Judaeo-Christian Literature and the Classical Past

This course will examine the ways in which early Greek and Roman Judaeo-Christian literature engages with the Classical tradition. Seminars will reflect upon examples of continuity and difference, with consideration given to the relationship of Greek and Roman literature with Semitic cultures.

CLAS 637 – The Underworld and Afterlife in Ancient Mediterranean Literature

This course explores the development of the idea of the Underworld and Afterlife, with special attention to the catabasis (the visit to the Underworld), in literary and epigraphic sources from Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece and Rome. Analyses will focus on the philosophical, religious, political, psychological and literary dimensions of the material.

CLAS 640 – Eastern Mediterranean Trade and Cultural Exchange

Literary and archaeological evidence for contact between cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean in the Iron Age is examined from a Greek perspective. Phoenician, Assyrian, Egyptian, Phrygian, Lydian, Persian and Greek relations are explored.

CLAS 641 – Studies in Greek Art and Architecture

An investigation of selected themes, topics, time periods, artistic media or styles in ancient Greek art and architecture. This course is repeatable provided that the topic is different. One example could be Artistics and Cultural Commonalities in the Hellenistic Mediterranean.

CLAS 642 – Studies in Roman Art in Architecture

An investigation of selected themes, topics, time periods, artistitc media or styles in Roman art and architecture. This course is repeatable provided that the topic is different.

CLAS 643 – Studies in Ancient Art and Architecture

An investigation of selected themes, topics, time periods, artistic media or styles in ancient art and architecture. This course is repeatable provided that the topic is different. One example could be The Sacred Island of Delos: Cultural Crossroads.

CLAS 644 – The Sacred Island of Delos: Cultural Crossroads

This course will take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the Greek island of Delos. Literature about the island, its important historical and religious roles, its multicultural population and the island's material remains will all be examined, encompassing a time period from ca. 2000 BCE - 300 CE. The students can approach this material from a philological, historical, archaeological or art historical perspective. Using Delos as a focus, it is hoped that students will see the need for integrated approaches to the study of the ancient Mediterranean and learn of the important, multifaceted roles this island played throughout history.

CLAS 651 – Topics in Greek History

An investigation of selected themes, topics, time periods, and methods in ancient Greek history. This course is repeatable provided that the topic is different. Examples could include: The Hellenistic Kingdoms: Conquest and Cultural Interaction; Greeks and Egyptians in Ptolemaic Egypt; or Athenian Democracy and Political Discourse.

CLAS 652 – Topics in Roman History

An investigation of selected themes, topics, time periods, and methods in Roman History. This course is repeatable provided that the topic is different. Examples could include: Roman Frontiers and Provinces; The Decline of the Roman Empire and its Consequences; The History of Roman Citizenship (8th cent. BC-AD 6th cent.); or The World of Roman Law.

CLAS 653 – Topics in Ancient History

An investigation of selected themes, topics, time periods, and methods in ancient history. This course is repeatable provided that the topic is different. Examples could include: Slavery and Cultural Exhange in Greco-Roman Antiquity; Asia Minor in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods; or The Ruler Cult in the Greco-Roman World.

CLAS 654 – Greeks and Egyptians in Ptolemaic Egypt

This course focuses on a specific period within Egyptian history: the Ptolemaic era, when Egypt was ruled by the Greco-Macedonian dynasty descended from Ptolemy I. For roughly three centuries, until the suicide of the Ptolemaic queen Cleopatra VII in 30 BC, the Egyptians lived under an alien ruling authority of Hellenic heritage. Furthermore, they lived and worked alongside numerous immigrants of the same heritage, immigrants who appear to have benefited frequently from the differential laws, practices, and institutions that favoured them and did nothing for the native people of Egypt. Yet at the same time, a study of Ptolemaic Egypt reveals also a pattern of increasing assimilation between Greeks and Egyptians. Such assimilation was not solely the result of increasing mutual tolerance and respect. Indeed, the history of Greco-Macedonian relations with the Egyptians demonstrates that whatever respect and privileges the ruling classes ultimately granted to the natives of Egypt were at least in part the result of violent Egyptian assertiveness, in the form of armed rebellion. The history of interactions between Greeks and Egyptians in Ptolemaic Egypt offers an unmatched opportunity for the examination of the relations between rulers and ruled, of the clash between ethnic groups, and of the forces that lead to reception on the one hand and resistance on the other.

CLAS 655 – Roman Frontiers and Provinces

The Roman world was a vast cultural mosaic embracing the remnants of the Hellenistic, Celtic and Punic civilizations. This seminar will explore the history and development of the frontiers and provinces of the Roman Empire. Topics to be discussed include: frontier defences, methods of expansion and control, urban and rural settlement, cultural and religious development, economy and daily life.

CLAS 656 – Topics in the Principate of Augustus

An exploration of key aspects of the Principate of Augustus from the time he accomplished his 'restoration' of the Roman Republic in 28/27 B.C. until his death in A.D. 14.

CLAS 657 – Roman Trade, Travel and Communication

A study of the means of transportation, routes for trade, and methods of communication employed in the Roman world. Shipping and road systems for the transportation of both bulk and luxury goods will be examined, as well as the methods by which both private and public communication occurred around the Mediterranean.

CLAS 659 – The Decline of the Roman Empire and its Conseqences for the Mediterranean

An examination of the compound crises which afflicted the Roman Empire in its later centuries, with a view to identifying and analyzing the underlying social, economic, political, logistical and ecological forces at work in creating them, as well as the various "solutions" to these crises which people applied across the Mediterranean which led to what we call the "Medieval" era. Taking as its starting point Joseph Tainter's, The Collapse of Complex Societies (1988), the class will look at various explanations for Rome's "Decline & Fall" advanced by scholars from the time of Gibbon to current applications of ecological theory to the analysis of historical events. Relevant comparisons to other cultures which have suffered similar declines, as well as to present-day events, will be made as they arise in the chronological order of the course material.

CLAS 690 – Directed Studies

Directed Studies for individual students.

CLAS 691 – Special Topics

A selection of material from one author or several authors or investigation of selected themes, topics, genres at the graduate level.

CLAS 695 – Classical Studies Abroad

This course features a combination of academic study and firsthand investigation of museums and ancient sites, normally in Greece and/or Italy. Students are required to give a presentation during the trip on a topic relevant to one of the sites being visited. A piece of written work involving original research relating to some of the material investigated during the visit is also required.