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Spring 2022 Courses

CLAS 81100 Callimachus

Instructor: Dee Clayman
Thu, 4:15 PM-6:15 PM, 3 credits
The Graduate Center In-Person
In this course we will read through most of the extant corpus of Callimachus of Cyrene, including the most substantial fragments of the Aitia, Iambi, and Hecale, the six Hymns and 63 epigrams. Students should purchase G. B. D’Alessio 2007 Callimaco. 4th ed. in two volumes. Milano: BUR. It is available in paperback from for 16,50 euros ( or $35.49 from Amazon. Other editions and commentaries will be on reserve at the Mina Rees Library and depending on the editorial schedule we may also be able to make use of the new Loeb Callimachus. Students should be prepared to translate and reflect upon the text each week, as well as make a presentation in class and write a paper on an agreed upon topic.
Callimachus is the most important and influential of all the Alexandrian poets, and well worthy of the time and effort it takes to work through the mostly fragmented text. His allusive style, deep learning, and sense of humor raise the question that will organize our discussions: What’s going on here?


CLAS 75200 Classical Receptions and Black Classicism

Instructor: Gail Smith 
Wed 4:15 PM-6:15 PM, 3 credits
The Graduate Center  In-Person   
As an aspect of classical receptions, this course studies the use of Classics by writers of the African diaspora and its theoretical underpinnings. An examination and analysis of  African American and African literature reveal black classicism as a vital  part of the classical tradition.
This course is cross- listed with AFCP 80000.


CLAS 72100 The Politics of Nighttime in the Late Republic: Cicero, Sallust, Caesar

Instructor: Joel Allen 
Wed 6:30 PM-8:30 PM, 3 credits
The Graduate Center  In-Person
This course looks at policies concerning and attitudes toward—and the battleground that was—the night in Rome during the tumult of the Late Republic.  Nighttime has been a subject of scrutiny by historians of other periods for some time (early modern Europe; the colonial U.S.; modern Latin America; and so on), but has only recently been approached by scholars of the ancient Mediterranean (note especially Angelos Chaniotis, ed., La nuit: imaginaire et réalités nocturne dans le monde Gréco-Romain [Fondation Hardt, 2018]).  We’ll test hypotheses of the Roman night as a populist space, or as a gendered one, or as an experience of a distinct economy, society, or culture.
With an eye on the doctoral reading list in Latin prose at the Graduate Center and in an attempt to maintain a “control” on our inquiries, we’ll consider texts written within decades of each other—speeches by Cicero, commentaries by Caesar, and histories by Sallust.  We’ll pay particular attention to these authors’ style and technique, as well as their historical context.  While genres of Latin prose will thus be a through-line, students will be welcomed to base their final projects on any Latin text(s) of their choosing, be they poetry, epigraphy, or other genre of prose, such as philosophy or epistolography.


CLAS 74300 The Art and Archaelogy of Roman Women

Instructor: Elizabeth Macauly
Thu 6:30 PM-8:30 PM, 3 credits,
The Graduate Center In-Person 
Roman women have been the topic of considerable research since Sarah Pomeroy’s seminal Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves, published in 1975. Roman women—of all ranks and statuses—are well attested in the archaeological record. Drawing on surviving visual and material culture, this seminar will explore the art and archaeology of women in the Roman World, primarily during the imperial period (27 BCE to 337 CE). After a general introduction to the study of women, gender, and sexuality in Rome as well as a review of the theoretical approaches, such as gender and feminist theories, that scholars use to frame their investigations, the course will take a case study approach, with each weekly seminar being focused on a particular topic. Topics may include the following: imperial portraiture and the portraiture system; representations of imperial women on coinage and historical reliefs;  gender and space; the role of women as architectural patrons; the role of women as priestesses; personifications and goddesses; funerary reliefs and tombs of freed women; women at work; Egyptian mummy portraits; Palmyrene funerary busts; women on the limes and in the western provinces; and/or the reception of Roman women in American art. Visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and American Numismatics Society are planned. Students will selected works of art or monuments for class presentations and write final research papers on a topic of their choosing (in consultation with the instructor).


CLAS 75200 Plato and the Foreigner in Philosophy

Instructor: Nickolas Pappas
Thu 11:45 AM-1:45 PM, 3 credits
The Graduate Center  In-Person
A study of Plato focused on the question of who the philosopher is, and how that figure compares to the citizen or native. Those outside the ambit of philosophy in Plato’s dialogues are often also those outside Athenian citizenry, whether because they come from other Greek cities, speak another language, or live in Athens as slaves (who were usually also foreigners).

 Rather than ask whether Plato “likes” or “doesn’t like” foreigners, outsiders, non-citizens, and the like, we will look closely at examples of both orientations, asking in what ways the philosopher in Plato has to be the outsider and the insider both at once.
Readings in Plato will include and emphasize the Republic, but also selections from the Cratylus, Laws, Lysis, Menexenus, and Statesman. Secondary readings will include:
Page DuBois. Slaves and Other Objects. University of Chicago Press, 2003.
Benjamin Isaac. The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity. Princeton University Press, 2004.
Demetra Kasimis. The Perpetual Immigrant and the Limits of Athenian Democracy. Cambridge University Press, 2018.
Rebecca LeMoine. “Foreigners as Liberators: Education and Cultural Diversity in Plato’s Menexenus.” American Political Science Review 111 (2017): 1-13.
Rebecca LeMoine. Plato’s Caves: The Liberating Sting of Cultural Diversity. Oxford University Press, 2020.
Silvia Montiglio. “Wandering Philosophers in Classical Greece.” Journal of Hellenic Studies 120 (2000): 86-105.
Robert Parker. Miasma: Pollution and Purification in Early Greek Religion. Oxford University Press, 1996.



CLAS 81800 Topics in Greek History: Hellenistic Egypt

Instructor: Andrew Monson
Tu 4:15 PM-6:15 PM, 3 credits
NYU  In-Person 
The History of Ptolemaic Egypt This seminar examines the history of Ptolemaic Egypt (323-30 BC) with an emphasis on kingship/queenship and the relations between Greeks and Egyptians. We will cover the formation of the monarchy under Ptolemy I and II, Egyptian imperialism in the eastern Mediterranean under Ptolemy II and III, and the crisis of the kingdom under Ptolemy IV and V, revival and reconfiguration under Ptolemy VI and VIII, growing Roman influence, and the role of queens from Arsinoe II to the seven Cleopatras. Interspersed with these political topics will be thematic discussions of cultural, social, religious and economic history. Students will get an experience analyzing papyri and inscriptions as historical sources.


CLAS 73200 Roman Law

Instructor: Michael Peachin
Tu 6:30 PM-8:30 PM, 3 credits
NYU  In-Person 
This course will investigate Roman legal culture by asking, and answering, two essential questions: How did the Romans go about making law? How was that law implemented? Underlying this line of investigation is a much bigger question, which we will at least broach: In the widest sense possible, what did the Romans imagine law to be for? The answer to such a question may not be quite so simple as one might imagine. So as to get at all of this, we will study topics such as: the sources available for law; legal training; expertise in the law -- how it was construed, and what it meant; the writing(s) of the Roman jurists; how the government was structured, so as to create and/or implement law. What we will not examine, so much, are the particular areas of the substantive law -- therefore, not so much the law of sale, or obligations, or delict, or the like. We will get some sense of some of these aspects of Roman law; but, the substance of any given area of the law will not be a focus here. In short, this course is more about something that might be called legal culture.


CLAS 70200 Latin Rhetoric and Stylistic

Instructor Emilia Barbiero
Mon 4:15 PM-6:15 PM
NYU In-Person
The aim of this course is to strengthen students’ command of Latin morphology and syntax through exercises in prose composition, regular sight translation and close stylistic analysis of literature from a variety of genres and periods.

Fall 2021 Courses

CLAS 70100 Greek Rhetoric and Stylistics

Instructor: David Sider
Tuesday, 4:15 pm-6:15 pm, 3 credits
Students will translate selected English passages into idiomatic Greek of the 5th-4th centuries.


CLAS 82100 Roman Geopoetics

Instructor: Alessandro Barchiesi
Monday, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm, 3 credits
NYU-in- person
In this class on Roman literary texts I use the term Geopoetics to describe the dynamics formed when the geography and geopolitics of the empire encounters a literary text, and the text participates to the making, mapping, renaming, and transformation of the world. The topic has analogies with modern accounts of colonization and the appropriation of places. For some examples note e.g. my papers on the Aeneid 'Trojans at Buthrotum' and 'Into the Woods' (in my [] website), the book by W. Thalmann on the Argonautica, or the new book by Renaud Gagné on the cosmography of Hyperborea.
   The discussion will deal with texts in Latin, taken from different periods, and some texts in Greek. After some initial seminars led by the instructor on authors such as Lycophron, Virgil, Ovid, Lucan and Statius, the students will be invited to present a paper of their own, with a wide choice of texts and topics.

CLAS 81800 Cleopatra

Instructor: Prof. Joan Breton Connelly
Monday, 4:30 pm-6:30 pm, 3 credits
NYU, in- person
The old maxim “history is written by the victors” continues to challenge students engaged in reconciling the written record with that recovered from archaeological excavations.  This is especially true for the last decades of the Hellenistic period.  Our seminar focuses on the story told by material culture surviving from the first century B.C. from Alexandria in Egypt, to the eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus and the Levant, and on to Rhodes, Cyrenaica, and Rome.  Looking at architecture, sculpture, ceramics, seals, coins, mosaics, metalware and other decorative arts, we will consider the intersection of Hellenistic Greek traditions, “Alexandrianism” (and the validity of this term), Egyptian cultural traditions, and those of Rome during the Late Republic.  At the center of this intersection is Cleopatra VII.  We will examine the written sources and epigraphic evidence for her rule within the broader contexts of what archaeology can offer in balancing this picture.  Looking through the prisms of religion, demographics, social and economic histories, urbanism and the arts, we may gain new insights into the dynamics of the period and its vibrant interactions between East and West.

CLAS 71100 Sappho and Alkaios

Instructor: Lawrence Kowerski               
Thursday, 4:15 pm-6:15 pm, 3 credits
Hybrid, Graduate Center, Room 3306
This seminar is a survey of the larger surviving fragments of poetry by Sappho and Alcaeus with attention paid to their position in the broader literary and cultural history of Greece. Throughout we will consider issues that arise when reading fragmentary poetry. We will confront modern scholarly concerns such a genre, composition, performance context, authorship, and persona.  We will specifically look at the newest fragments of Sappho and the larger issues that arise from them.

CLAS 75200 Professional Writing Seminar

Instructor: Dee Clayman
Wednesday, 4:15 pm-6:15 pm, 3 credits
This course is limited to Classics, CUNY PhD students.
EO permission required
Hybrid, Graduate Center,  Room 3307

This course is designed to take students through the process of academic research and writing. Each participant will choose a text to study and will report regularly to the class on the progress of their work. By the end of the semester they will have a professional paper in a fully documented publishable format, a shorter version suitable for oral presentation and an abstract to send to conference organizers and publishers. As a capstone to the semester students will read their papers to colleagues and faculty at a Friday afternoon colloquium. Topics to be covered in class include how to choose a promising subject; what questions to ask of the text; where to find bibliographical sources and when to decide you have read enough; how many footnotes are needed and which kinds; what elements are necessary for a successful oral presentation; and where to send the abstract or paper, when it is ready.

This course is limited to CUNY Ph.D. students only with priority given to more advanced students. Instructor’s permission is required. There will be no auditors.

CLAS 72100 Poetics of the Early Empire

Instructor: John Van Sickle
Wednesday, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm, 3 credits Room 3308
Hybrid, in tandem with Prof. Clayman’s 4:15 pm class.
Text assigned: Cornelius Tacitus, Roland Mayer, Dialogus de
Cambridge Greek and Latin classics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. ix, 227 pages ; 20 cm.. ISBN 0521470404.
This edition was a bench mark two decades ago (see Sander Goldberg, BMCR 2002.03/05): useful engagement with textual criticism & intertextuality—fictions of recalling dialogue as in Cicero, Plato: here the elderly historian claiming to recount debate between poetry & oratory, which he absorbed iuvenili ardore..

Past Courses

Spring 2021
Fall 2020
Spring 2020
Fall 2019
Spring 2019
Fall 2018
Spring 2018