A growing urban-rural divide is defining political discourse around the world. The interrelation and tension between “city” and “countryside” are not new, however, but date back to the time when cities first began. How do cities occupy and transform, interact with and displace rural landscapes? What are the values, stereotypes, and ideals–as well as artistic, literary, and architectural forms–associated with the city and the countryside? What role does one play in the political, social, and economic life of the other? With a focus on ancient Greece and, especially, Rome, this course will combine archaeological evidence and contemporary scholarship with primary sources ranging from Hesiod, Theocritus, Vergil, and Propertius to Cato the Elder, Varro, Vitruvius, and Pliny the Elder, to examine an array of topics including land surveying and colonization; agrarian legislation; the urban food supply; rustic religion in the city; urban parks and gardens; and the concept of the pastoral. Together, we will explore the city and the countryside – not just as places, but also as states of mind. All readings are in translation.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
informed participation, two short papers (2-5 pages), final paper (8-10 pages)
none, although prior knowledge of the ancient world will be useful
declared and intending majors in Classics and Environmental Studies
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit: