The material on this page is from the 1997-98 catalog and may be out of date. Please check the current year's catalog for current information.


Classical and Medieval Studies

Professors Cole (History), Thompson (English), and Jones (History); Associate Professors Allison (Religion), Chair, Corrie (Art), Rice-DeFosse (French)(on leave, winter semester and Short Term), Fra-Molinero (Spanish), and O'Higgins (Classics)(on leave, 1997-1998); Assistant Professors Casey (Classics) and Imber (Classics); Mr. Hayward (Classics), Mr. Walker (Classics), and Mr. Bigelow (Classical and Medieval Studies)

The roots of the genius as well as the demon of modern Western civilization extend deeply into the ancient cultures of Greece, Rome, and the medieval world. Understanding of our present, informed speculation concerning the future, and comparative study of other cultures and civilizations is greatly enhanced by a study of the classical and medieval past. The traditional unit of study for these subjects is civilization as a whole, not some specialized and fragmented aspect or perspective. This requires an interdisciplinary approach involving the perspectives of history, literature, philosophy, religion, the arts, and, of course, Greek and Latin, the original languages of these earlier civilizations.

Major Requirements. Within this interdisciplinary major students may elect to concentrate in either classical studies or medieval studies. The major requires eleven courses (or ten courses and one Short Term unit).

1) An introductory course, either Classics 100 (introduction to the ancient world) or History 102 (Medieval Europe) as appropriate.

2) Four courses in Latin or four courses in Greek to be taken at Bates or through other authorized college programs.

3) A one-semester senior thesis, Classical and Medieval Studies 457 or 458. Thesis advisors will be chosen by the Chair of the Program in consultation with the student, according to thesis subject. Students must submit a thesis proposal to the Chair at the end of their junior year.

4) Five additional courses selected from the following list and drawn from at least two departments. The selection must be made in consultation with and with the approval of the Chair of the Program.

5) By the winter semester of their senior year, majors must satisfactorily complete a translation in either Greek or Latin. The translation examination will be offered annually. This examination, known as the Comprehensive Exam, tests competency in reading representative Greek or Latin authors. Although at least two years of course work in the relevant language is essential, students should practice for this examination on their own, or in study groups, during the year in which they plan to take it. Competency in reading at least one of the ancient languages is an essential element of the major.

In general, students in Classical and Medieval Studies should put together their classes so as to build toward the senior year thesis and the expertise that it requires.

The Program Classical and Medieval Studies maintains a homepage on the world wide web where curricular changes and special events are posted.

Appropriate course offerings among the various departments will naturally vary from year to year. Scheduling is determined by individual departments. From time to time a special classical and medieval studies symposium may be offered. Course descriptions are available under the various departmental listings. Courses titled as Classics, Greek, or Latin are listed under the Department of Classical and Romance Languages and Literatures.

121D. From Epic to Romance in Medieval European Literature. From Beowulf's heroic struggle to preserve society from the depredations of monstrous foes, to the French knights who wander endlessly through the forest in search of love, religious perfection, or just plain adventure, representations of society and the individual have been linked to forms of narrative. Students investigate the changing nature of the self between the eighth and fourteenth centuries, as that self is constructed and understood in a variety of texts and generic forms. Examples of epic, romance, chanson de gest, and saint's life, drawn from the literatures of England, France, Italy, Germany, and Scandinavia suggest both the diversity and the commonality of European culture(s). This course is the same as English 121D. Enrollment limited to 25. Staff.

205. Ovid's Metamorphoses Transformed. Very soon after its publication, Ovid's Metamorphoses became the standard source for the stories of Greco-Roman mythology. This course traces (in English) the various retellings of some of those myths through medieval, Renaissance, and modern times, in Europe and the Americas, primarily in literary reworkings, but with some attention to art and music as well. Reading the Ovidian original in Latin is available to students with one or more years of Latin, who will register for this course under the rubric, Latin 205. This course is the same as Latin 205. Open to first-year students. T. Hayward.

208. Introduction to Medieval Archeology. Archeology is an important tool for investigating medieval societies unrecorded in documents and art. This course introduces archeological methods and recent archeological studies of urban and rural life in Northwestern Europe from 1000 to 1500 A.D. Topics such as early trade, social roles of churches and monastic communities, ethnicity in towns, and peasant economy are discussed, illustrated by slide presentations. Today, teams of historians, social scientists, and physical scientists are researching historical and biocultural processes of the Middle Ages, including the Norse settlement of the North Atlantic. This emphasizes these new, interdisciplinary approaches. This course is the same as Anthropology 208 and History 208. Open to first-year students. G. Bigelow.

360. Independent Study. Independent study of individually selected topics. Periodic conferences and papers are required. Permission of the Department is required. Students are limited to one independent study per semester. Staff.

457, 458. Senior Thesis. The research and writing of an extended essay in Classical and Medieval Studies, following the established practices of the field, under the guidance of a supervisor in the Classical and Medieval Studies Program. Students register for Classical and Medieval Studies 457 in the fall semester and for Classical and Medieval Studies 458 in the winter semester. Classical and Medieval Studies 457 or 458 is required of all majors. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Classical and Medieval Studies 457 and 458. Staff.

Short Term Units

s50. Individual Research. Registration in this unit is granted by the Department only after the student has submitted a written proposal for a full-time research project to be completed during the Short Term and has secured the sponsorship of a member of the Department to direct the study and evaluate results. Students are limited to one individual research unit. Staff.

The following courses from across the curriculum can be applied to the major:

Anthropology 225. Gods, Heroes, Magic, and Mysteries: Religion and Ancient Greece. This course is the same as Religion 225.

Art 225. Iconography: Meaning in the Visual Arts from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance.
Art 231. Greek and Roman Art and Architecture.
Art 232. Pyramid and Ziggurat.
Art 241. The Art of Islam.
Art 251. The Age of the Cathedrals.
Art 252. Art of the Middle Ages.
Art 265. The Early Renaissance: Interpreting European Art, 1250-1450.
Art 266. The High Renaissance and Mannerism: Interpreting European Art, 1450-1600.
Art 376. Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Art.
Art 376A. Venice: Painters and Merchants.
Art 376B. Kiev to Palermo: Art of the Byzantine World, 843-1453.
Art s27. Period from Antiquity to Renaissance in Florence and Rome.

Classics 100. Introduction to the Ancient World. This course is the same as History 100.
Classics 150. The Grotesque in Classical Antiquity.
Classics 160. Tragedy and The Athenian City.
Classics 200. Ancient Comedy and Satire.
Classics 201. Women in Antiquity.
Classics 202. Greek Tragedy.
Classics 301. Explorations in Greek Prose. This course is the same as Greek 301.
Classics 305. Africa and the Classics.
Classics 360. Independent Study.
Classics 365. Special Topics.
Classics s20. Readings in the Odyssey of Homer. This course is the same as Greek s20.
Classics s21. Readings in Latin Epic. This course is the same as Latin s21.

English 171. European Literature: European Tradition from Homer to Cervantes.
English 205. Middle-English Literature.
English 206. Chaucer.
English 210. Medieval Drama.
English 211. English Literary Renaissance (1509-1603).
English s32. Performing Medieval Plays.
English s33. Editing Medieval Manuscripts.

French 351. Early French Literature.
French s30. Retracing the Pilgrimage Route. This course is the same as Spanish s30.

FYS 211. Growing up in Ancient Rome.

Greek 101. Elementary Ancient Greek (1).
Greek 102. Elementary Ancient Greek (2).
Greek 201. Intermediate Ancient Greek (1).
Greek 202. Intermediate Ancient Greek (2).
Greek 301. Explorations in Greek Prose. This course is the same as Classics 301.
Greek 360. Independent Study.
Greek 365. Special Topics.
Greek s20. Readings in the Odyssey of Homer. This course is the same as Classics s20.
Greek s50. Individual Research.

History 100. Introduction to the Ancient World. This course is the same as Classics 100.
History 102. Medieval Europe.
History 201. Greek Civilization.
History 202. Herodotus and Thucydides: Storytelling and Analytical Intelligence.
History 207. The Roman World and Roman Britain.
History 390D. Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
History 390I. Anglo-Saxon England.
History 390N. Vikings.

Latin 101. Elementary Latin (1).
Latin 102. Elementary Latin (2).
Latin 201. Intermediate Latin (1).
Latin 202. Intermediate Latin (2).
Latin 205. Ovid's Metamorphoses Transformed. This course is the same as CMS 205.
Latin 360. Independent Study.
Latin 365. Special Topics.
Latin s21. Readings in Latin Epic. This course is the same as Classics s21.
Latin s50. Individual Research.

Music 241. Music Literature of the Medieval and Renaissance Periods.

Philosophy 270. Medieval Philosophy.
Philosophy 271. Greek Philosophy.

Religion 213. From Law to Mysticism.
Religion 214. Bible and Quran.
Religion 222. Myths and Their Meaning.
Religion 225. Gods, Heroes, Magic, and Mysteries: Religion in Ancient Greece. This course is the same as Anthropology 225.
Religion 235. Ancient Israel: History, Religion, and Literature.
Religion 236. Introduction to the New Testament.
Religion 238. Early Jewish History and Thought.
Religion 241. History of Christian Thought I: Conflict, Self-Definition, and Dominance.
Religion 242. History of Christian Thought II: The Emergence of Modernity.
Religion 245. Ascetic and Monastic Christianity: The Christian Flight from the World to God.
Religion s25A. The Red-Letter Gospel.
Religion s26. Readings in the Greek New Testament.

Spanish 240. Loco Amor/Buen Amor.
Spanish s30. Retracing the Pilgrimage Route. This course is the same as French s30.
Spanish s32. Medieval Spain: Christians, Jews, and Muslims.

Theater 200. The Classical Stage.

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