CLAS 237
The Life of Ancient Cities: Building, Belonging, Trading and Dying in Greece and Rome Spring 2024
Division I
Cross-listed HIST 237
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

In this course we explore ancient urbanism, investigating Greco-Roman cities from the early archaic period through late antiquity. By analyzing a variety of primary sources — literature, visual art, inscriptions, papyri, building remains — dating from 750 B.C. to 300 A.D. and ranging geographically from Spain to central Asia, we will think critically about problems such as communal belonging, spatial interaction, social exclusion, monuments, memories, and identities in urban contexts. Athens and Rome will beckon along the way, but numerous places around the Mediterranean basin and beyond will feature prominently, including Pompeii in southern Italy, Olynthus in Macedonia, Cyrene in North Africa, Ephesus and Priene in western Asia Minor, Alexandria and Berenike in Egypt, and Dura Europos and Ai Khanoum in Central Asia. Every week, we will tackle a core question associated with life in the ancient city: the challenges of urban design, the tensions associated with civic membership, the consolidation of political institutions, the conflicts brought about by trade and migration, the role of religion, the effects of war, the universal reality of social exclusion, cultural expressions of life and death, and the impact of sudden natural catastrophes, among others.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 20
Expected: 15
Class#: 3908
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Class participation in discussion, various written assignments leading toward the development and completion of a research paper on a topic of the student's choosing.
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: Majors and intending majors in Classics and History
Distributions: Division I
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
HIST 237 Division II CLAS 237 Division I
Attributes: HIST Group P Electives - Premodern

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