Gods and heroes, fate and free choice, gender conflict, the justice or injustice of the universe: these are just some of the fundamental human issues that we will explore in about ten of the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides.
This course will survey the changing image of Alexander the Great from the Hellenistic world to the contemporary. We shall study the appropriation of his life and legend in a variety of cultures both East and West and discuss his reception as both a divine and a secular figure by examining a variety of media including texts (primary and secondary) and images (statues, coins, mosaics, illuminated manuscripts, film, and TV) in the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Jewish, Islamic, Medieval, Renaissance, and Early Modern contexts.
The New Testament is many things to many people. Around the globe, it is and has been for two millennia a source of culture, law, and faith. It has been used both to undergird battles for civil rights and to fight against them. It has been used both to justify wars and to argue that all war is unjust. Yet, many people haven¿t read the New Testament and still more haven¿t looked at it from historical, sociological, comparative and literary frameworks. This course will provide you the opportunity to read the New Testament and to study it closely.
California's collections of Greco-Roman antiquities present several opportunities: to learn about ancient Greek and Roman societies via their artifacts; to trace the microhistories of particular collections; to gain a sense of how those specific narratives reflect more general patterns of Californian and US pasts; and finally to reflect on the nature of collecting and the ethics involved. This course will combine visits to collections on campus and field trips farther afield (San Francisco, San Simeon and Malibu) with classroom discussion.
Roman monumental space was designed to impress. This class will explore the interrelated aesthetics and mechanics of construction that led to one of the most extensive building programs undertaken by a pre-modern state. Through case studies ranging from bridges, domes and machines to road networks, hydraulic engineering and landscape modification, we will investigate not only the materials, methods, and knowledge behind Roman architectural innovation, but the communication of imperial messages through aesthetics of space.
The Roman town of Pompeii, buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 C.E., provides information about the art and archaeology of ancient social life, urban technology and production, and ancient spatial patterns and experience. Its fame illustrates modern relationships to the ancient past, from Pompeii's importance on the Grand Tour, to plaster casts of vaporized bodies, to debates about reconstruction, preservation, and archaeological methods.