Course Descriptions

Click below to see the Fall 2021 course offerings for Classics & Archaeology:

  • COURSE TITLE: Elementary Latin

    COURSE NUMBER: CLAR 1115

    SECTION: 01

    TERM: Fall 2021

    TIME/DAYS:MW 2pm-3:30pm

    INSTRUCTOR: Faculty

    COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS

    An intensive course in elementary Latin, which will cover the basics of Latin grammar and syntax, and introduce basic vocabulary. An excellent elective for students of Classics, Theological Studies, Philosophy, History, English, and Modern Languages, or for anyone who wishes to grasp the essentials of language structure. An Oral Communication flag is attached to the course.

    STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

    The successful student will: Learn how an inflected language works; learn approx. 150 common vocabulary words; understand the declension of Latin nouns; understand the conjugation of Latin verbs; be able to read and write basic Latin Sentences (with the aid of a dictionary); be able to converse and recite Latin at a basic level.

    PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND

    None, though any previous language experience will prove helpful.

    REQUIRED TEXTS

    Text to be determined.

    COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS

    The course will cover about 1 chapter per week with lectures, drills, written homework, a weekly quiz, and weekly recitation exercises. There will also be a midterm and final exam.

    NOTE: The course has a FLAG in Oral Communication Skills.

  • COURSE TITLE: Egyptian Hieroglyphics

    COURSE NUMBER: 1350

    SECTION TIMES/DAYS: MW 6:30pm - 8pm

    INSTRUCTOR: Faculty

    CORE AREA: Fulfilled

    FLAGGED: Oral Skills

     

    COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS

    The language of ancient Egypt, written in hieroglyphs, existed for thousands of years before being gradually replaced by Arabic. This course focuses on Middle Egyptian, the classical phase of the ancient Egyptian language. Students will become acquainted with the hieroglyphic script, basic elements of Egyptian grammar, and the social and historical contexts in which ancient Egyptian texts were created. Students will also learn to read the texts and formulae they are most likely to encounter in museums.

    STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

    Students will gain familiarity with the most common hieroglyphic signs, be introduced to the basics of ancient Egyptian grammar, and learn to read the texts and formulae most likely encountered in museum settings (coffins, sarcophagi, statues, etc.). Students will also study the material culture and historical aspects of ancient objects and their hieroglyphic inscriptions. More broadly, students will also examine ancient literacy and they ways in which writing was used to create and maintain ancient values and social structures.

    PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND

    None

    REQUIRED TEXTS

    Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs, 2nd Edition, By James P. Allen

    COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS

    Students will be expected to learn the most common hieroglyphic signs and basic elements of Egyptian grammar. Students are also expected to actively participate in weekly discussion sections and prepare texts in advance.

  • SEMESTER: Fall 2021

    COURSE TITLE:  Epic Poetry

    COURSE NUMBER: CLAR 2200.01

    TIMES/DAYS:  TR 12:00-1:30pm

    INSTRUCTOR: Faculty

     

    COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS

    A close reading and analysis of the major epics of the Classical World: Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, and Vergil’s Aeneid.  Emphasis will be placed on plot, character and theme, and the development of the epic tradition. This course will focus on developing a close familiarity with the text of the major Greek and Roman epics and a confident engagement with their literary qualities. The first half of the course will involve detailed exploration of the two Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, and their artistic and historical background, combining broad discussion of the poems' themes, techniques, architecture, and values with close study of key sections of the text in translation. Topics to be covered will include narrative technique and characterization; oral composition; the poet's treatment of gods and women; and discussion of the values of 'Homeric' society (heroism, hospitality, religion). In the second half of the course, we will study the Aeneid of Virgil in its literary, historical and political context, including consideration of Virgil's style, literary models and the main themes and concerns of his poetry. As a transition to Roman epic, we shall look briefly on Hellenistic Epic and study Apollonius of Rhodes' Argonautica (Jason and the Golden Fleece).

     

    STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

    The successful student will learn the subject matter of the epic cycle (the legends of the Trojan saga and its aftermath) and the principal characters involved.  S/he will be able to write critically about the poems and discuss intelligently the characters of the poems, and the epic themes of heroism, survival and self-sacrifice.  S/he will appreciate the foundation laid by the epic poets for subsequent developments of the tradition.

     

    PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND:

    Prior knowledge of Greco-Roman culture is helpful, but not necessary.

     

    REQUIRED TEXTS/ REFERENCES:

    • The Iliad of Homer. Trans. Richmond Lattimore.
    • The Odyssey of Homer. Trans. Richmond Lattimore.
    • The Apollonius of Rhodes, Jason and the Golden Fleece. Trans. Richard Hunter.
    • Virgil, The Aeneid. Trans. Robert Fitzgerald.

     

    COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS

    Approx. 80-100 pages of reading per week; quizzes; midterm and final exam; two papers (2-3 and 10-12 pages). The format will be a combination of lectures and discussion sessions.

     

     

  • FALL 2021

    COURSE TITLE:   INTRODUCTION TO THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST

    COURSE NUMBER:   CLAR 2360

    SECTION TIMES/DAYS: T-R 4-5:30 pm

    INSTRUCTOR: Faculty

    CORE AREA:   EHAP

    FLAGGED:  Information Literacy

     

    COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS

    The ancient Near East (present-day Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, and Turkey) is considered the ‘cradle of civilization.’ Here in the regions of Mesopotamia, Syria-Palestine, and Anatolia, the first urban societies arose and writing was invented. The first empires marshaled large armies and amassed fabulous riches. Complex religious and ritual ideologies were expressed in the art and architecture. And all has been revealed by the archaeologist’s spade.

    This course surveys the major archaeological sites and monuments from the earliest settlements in the Neolithic (10,000-6000 BCE) down to the conquest of the Near East by Alexander the Great in 330 BCE. Areas of coverage include Chatal Höyük, Sumer, Akkad, Babylonia, Assyria, and Persia. Emphasis is placed on the relationship between the arts and ancient society in order to enable students to acquire the skills for accessing and appreciating ancient civilizations.

     

    STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

    By the end of the semester students will:

    • know the development of the different Near Eastern Civilizations and their interactions.
    • understand how texts, archaeology and art history provides historical and cultural background for the study of the Ancient Near East.
    • be able to question and challenge the exclusive use of one type of material (i.e. texts vs. archaeology) when constructing theories in State formation and political ideology.
    • know the most important archaeological sites, monuments and kings.
    • be familiar with the latest scholarship on the topics covered in class.
    • be able to do research on archaeological topics related to the ancient Near East.
    • orally present research results.

    Such set of critical thinking skills will be applicable to other periods and geographical areas of the ancient world.

     

    PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND

    There are no prerequisites for this course.

     

    COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS

    Each student is expected to do the bi-weekly readings, thoroughly participate in discussions, and take notes during class. Readings DO NOT ONLY include the required textbooks. I want you to spend some time in the Library, and to look at the books listed in the bibliography. I expect you to use these references to further your knowledge on the lectures topic.

    The work load will be at least eight hours per week of individual study, including:

    • Reading each week, including primary texts in translation
    • Review for the midterm and final exam
    • Study for quizzes
    • Preparation and writing of reading reflections and short papers
    • Preparation and writing of a research paper
  • An introductory survey of the visual arts from the Prehistoric through the late Roman period.

    University Core fulfilled: Explorations: Historical Analysis and Perspectives; Flag: Information Literacy.

    (Cross listed with Art History 2000)

  • COURSE TITLE: Classical and Near Eastern Myth

    COURSE NUMBER: CLAR 3210

    TIMES/DAYS: MW 4pm-5:30pm

    INSTRUCTOR: Faculty

    CORE AREA:

    FLAGGED:

     

    COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS

    This course provides an introduction to and systematic review of the mythology of the Near East and the Greco-Roman world. In it we will consider myth not just as fantastic or fictitious stories told by people from long ago, but as a broad and readily observable phenomenon of the human condition, across time and space (up to and including our own modern myths). Our principal interest is in the religious, mythical, and historical traditions of the Classical World (ancient Greece and Rome) and the Near East, compared with each other and to some extent with other traditions worldwide, and with what we can learn from myths about the cultures who share them. Our approach to myth will necessarily ask us to play the role of anthropologist, of historian, of linguist, of archaeologist, of literary critic, of art historian, and even of psychologist.

    In addition to a broad survey of the literary (i.e., written) accounts of myths from the Near Eastern and Classical worlds, we will often turn our attention to visual expressions of myth in the artistic traditions of the so-called “Western World” (as they occur in antiquity, as they manifest in the history of art, and as they are still used as vehicles for culture today), in order to appreciate better the full array of media that expressed, adapted, and transmitted these mythic accounts.

     

    STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

    • Evaluate the literary, artistic, and religious cultures of ancient peoples by examining their myth-telling through critical readings of both primary (the “myths”) and secondary (the “mythology”) sources
    • Develop a core set of tools for examining and interpreting myths, and apply those tools and theoretical approaches to myth and mythology (ancient and modern)
    • Identify and interpret common patterns in myth-making across cultures
    • Compare these patterns to understand better the cultural values of the people who tell them

     

    PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND

    There are no prerequisites for this course

     

    REQUIRED TEXTS

    • Classical Myth (8th edition) – Barry Powell
    • The Epic of Gilgamesh (trans. Sandars)

     

    COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS

    Students will be expected to read primary and secondary material, including modern scholarship; to participate in discussions in the classroom of the readings and of other topics from lectures; to apply the theories and analytical tools that they develop for interpreting ancient myths to modern and contemporary expressions of myth; to produce several short written responses to various questions.

  • COURSE TITLE: Greek & Roman Religions

    COURSE NUMBER: CLAR 3220

    SECTION TIMES/DAYS: MW 2pm-3:30pm

    INSTRUCTOR: Faculty

    CORE AREA: IFTR INT: Faith and Reason

    FLAGGED:

     

    COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS

    This course explores the religions of ancient Greece and Rome from our earliest evidence through the emergence of Christianity under the Roman Empire. While the course follows a broadly chronological outline, individual lectures will concentrate on specific themes, such as polytheism and monotheism, philosophy and religion, magic and personal religion, religion and the state, and the idea of “the foreign” in ancient religion.

     

    STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES   

    Students will gain a fundamental understanding of the key aspects of Greek and Roman religion and how these aspects differ from modern religious practices. In addition, students will gain insight into the culture and society of Greece and Rome through the study of their religions. Students will also exercise critical thinking by engaging with a wide variety of texts (literary, philosophical, documentary) and material culture.

     

    PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND

    None

     

    REQUIRED TEXTS

    Warrior, Valerie M. 2009. Greek Religion: a Sourcebook. Newburyport, MA: Focus.

    Mikalson, Jon D. 2005. Ancient Greek Religion. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub.

    Beard, Mary, John North, and S. R. F. Price. 1998. Religions of Rome. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Volumes 1 &2)

     

    COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS

    Students will be expected to participate in weekly discussion based on (usually) primary source readings. In addition, there will be one midterm (ID based) one final exam (essay based), and one final research essay (ca. 10 pages) on a topic chosen in consolation with the instructor.

  • A survey of the significant monuments of art and architecture of ancient Greece, from the Bronze Age to the Hellenistic Period, with an emphasis on form and function in their historical context.

     University Core fulfilled: Explorations: Historical Analysis and Perspectives.

    Crosslisted with Art History 3102.

  • COURSE TITLE: Introduction to Near Eastern Religions

    COURSE NUMBER: CLAR 3330

    SECTION TIMES/DAYS: TR 12pm-1:30pm

    INSTRUCTOR: Faculty

    CORE AREA: Faith & Reason

    FLAGGED: Information Literacy

     

    COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS

    Ishtar, Astarte, and Baal are amongst the most famous deities of the Ancient Near East, who fascinated early epigraphers through the mythical stories related in ancient clay tablets found in the ruins of cities such as Nippur, Babylon, and Ugarit.

    This course will provide an introduction to the religious beliefs, practices, and mythical stories of the Ancient Near East from the Neolithic period to the middle of the first millennium BCE. We will particularly focus on the Levantine coast and Mesopotamian area (modern-day Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, and Iran, with glimpses at the Anatolian region).

    Through general overviews of creation myths, pantheons, afterlife beliefs, and magical practices, this course will address the role of religion in society and its political implications for kings and empires, as well as its economic power.

    Primary sources in English translation will be read, and ancient artifacts from the University’s museum collection will implement the illustrated lectures.

     

    STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

    By the end of the semester, students will know how archaeology and historical sources can help understand the development of ancient religions. They will:

    • know the most important deities and their worship centers,
    • be familiar with the evolution of funerary and religious rituals over time and in different regions
    • be able to identify the main deities,
    • be familiar with the latest scholarship on the topics covered in class,
    • be able to question and challenge the exclusive use of one type of material (e. texts vs. archaeology vs. iconography) when constructing theories in religious ideology,
    • orally present the research they did on a chosen topic.

     

    PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND: 

    There are no prerequisites for this course.

     

    REQUIRED TEXTS

    • Dalley, S. 2000 (or 2008). Myths from Mesopotamia. Creation, the Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others. A New Translation. Oxford World’s Classics.
    • Coogan, M.D. & Smith, M. 2012. Stories from Canaan. Second Edition. Westminster John Knox Press.

     

    COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS

    Each student is expected to do the weekly readings, thoroughly participate in discussions, and take notes during class. Readings DO NOT ONLY include the required textbooks. The workload will be at least six hours per week of individual study, including:

    • Reading each week, including primary texts in translation
    • Review for the midterm and final exam
    • Study for quizzes
    • Preparation and writing of reading reflections and short papers
    • Preparation and writing of a research paper
    • Small-group assignments undertaken outside of class
  • COURSE TITLE: The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Nubia

    COURSE NUMBER: CLAR 3398.01

    SECTION TIMES/DAYS: T.-Th. 4-5:30 pm

    INSTRUCTOR: Brian Smith

    CORE AREA: TBD

    FLAGGED:

    COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS

    We will examine the development of the art and architecture of the cultures of ancient Nubia, as well as discuss concepts of race and ethnicity in the ancient Nile Valley. This class will reveal one of the most dynamic and innovative civilizations of the ancient world and will highlight its relationship with Egypt and how both civilizations influenced each other. It will cover the period from the earliest inhabitants of the Nile Valley (Paleolithic through the Neolithic and domestication of plants and animals) and will continue until the advent of Christianity

     

    STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

    At the conclusion of the semester students are expected to demonstrate:

    • Knowledge of the most significant archaeological sites and monuments of ancient Nubia
    • An understanding how archaeology provides historical and cultural background for the study of ancient Nubia
    • Familiarity with the ideological aspects expressed in images as well as monumental architecture

    Such set of critical thinking skills will be applicable to other periods and geographical areas of the ancient world, particularly Egypt.

     

    PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND: 

    There are no prerequisites for this course.

     

    REQUIRED TEXTS

    TBD

     

    COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS

    Each student is expected to do the bi-weekly readings, thoroughly participate in discussions, and take notes during class. Readings DO NOT ONLY include the required textbook(s). I want you to spend some time in the Library, and to look at the books listed in the bibliography. I expect you to use these references to further your knowledge on the lectures topic.

    The work load will be at least six hours per week of individual study, including:

    • Reading each week, including primary texts in translation
    • Review for the midterm and final exam
    • Study for quizzes
    • Preparation and writing of reading reflections and short papers
    • Preparation and writing of a research paper
  • Semester: Fall 2021

    Course Title: Classical Hellenism, Race and Ethnicity

    Course Number/Section: CLAR 4220 .01

    Times/Days: TR 4:00-5:30pm

    Instructor: Prof. Katerina Zacharia

    Core Area: Interdisciplinary Connections (IINC)

    Flagged: Writing (LWRT) and Oral Communication Skills (LORS)

     

    COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS

    This 4-unit interdisciplinary course studies the variegated mantles of Greek ethnicity since antiquity, and the legacy of Greek culture for the ancient and modern Greeks in the homeland and the diaspora, as well as for the ancient Romans and the modern Europeans. The course explores the production of stereotypes in the representation of the other, and studies ‘Greece’ as both an idea and a lineage deployed by fascist regimes in the construction of their national image in European nationalisms. We will examine the concept of ‘classical Hellenism’ and its imprint on modern theories of racial and ethnic superiority, on modern subject formation in Europe, and on racial dynamics in American culture. Our study will cover time periods spanning the archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, the war of independence, early Greek state, and modern era, and will include an interdisciplinary study of the effects European phenomena such as colonialism, Enlightenment, and nationalism had on the ways the Europeans viewed the West. The course reflects on global issues, ranging from the Americas to the Greek-Americans and to European nationalisms, from the archaic to the Modern Greeks, and from visual to museum representations of cultures.

    STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES: Students will:

    • Learn Greek history and culture from antiquity to modernity.
    • Become familiar with critical theories of race and ethnicity.
    • Explore ancient conceptions and theories of ‘Classical Hellenism’ and their imprint on modern theories of racial and ethnic superiority.
    • Be able to critically analyze the relationship between the concepts of ‘Classical Hellenism’, European nationalisms, and ‘Whiteness’ and ‘Blackness’ in American culture.
    • Implement the new theoretical tools in the composition of an informed research critical essay on the topics addressed in the course.

    RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND:

    Familiarity with Greek history/culture is welcome.

     

    REQUIRED TEXTS:

    Katerina Zacharia (ed.), Hellenisms: Culture, Identity and Ethnicity from Antiquity to Modernity. (Aldershot: Ashgate Variorum 2008/Routledge 2016).

    Supplementary readings will be regularly posted on Brightspace.

     

    COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS:

    Following the LMU credit hour policy, students are expected to spend 9 hours per week on systematic outside reading to: (i) Read at least 50 pages per week, and prepare for in-class debates on the merits of assigned readings; (ii) Produce 20 pages of written coursework (reading responses, compare-and-contrast papers, posts in discussion forums, peer evaluations and reflection papers); (iii) Produce 10-page research paper to develop further the understanding of issues addressed in class.

     

    GRADING SCHEME:

    The final grade will be determined as follows: Reading Responses, In-class Debates, Discussion Forum: 20%; Short Essays on primary sources: 30%; Peer Reviews/Reflections: 5%; Annotated Bibliography, First Draft, Abstract: 15%; Research Paper: 30%

  • This course offers a supervised internship with the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (LAGFF) administrated by Prof. Katerina Zacharia, LAGFF Director of Education & Culture. The course provides the necessary resources and tools to students to maximize career seeking skills through internship advisement, resume and cover letter support, and reflection on the internship experience.

    May be repeated for a maximum of 4 semester hours.

    Credit/No Credit grading.

  • Course Title: Archaeology and the Bible

    Int: Faith and Reason

    Flag: Writing

    Course Number: CLAR 4350

    Sections Times/Day: TR 10am-11:30am

    Instructor: Faculty

    Course Description

    This course gives us an opportunity to discover archaeological data linked to key events from the Old and New Testaments. We will study important ancient cities and investigate artifacts that enhance our understanding of the Bible’s historical context. We will also explore archaeological data that conflicts with the Bible’s presentation of the past and discuss the historicity of Biblical people and events like the Exodus, King David, and the Ark of the Covenant. Hands-on examination of LMU’s collection of ancient artifacts will enhance our learning experience.

    Student Learning Outcomes

    By the end of this course, students will:

    • Be familiar with key events of the Bible and how they relate to the archaeological record
    • Have a general understanding of the timeline of Biblical Events
    • Be able to identify hallmarks of material culture in ancient Israel
    • Have an understanding of some of the conflicting opinions on major topics in Biblical Archaeology
    • Have an increased knowledge of archaeological interpretation and an appreciation of how the past both challenges and enhances our understanding of the Bible

    Coursework and Expectations

    Students are expected to complete weekly readings assigned from the textbooks and primary sources in translation, as well as additional short assignments meant to enhance understanding of specific topics. Attendance is required as well as thoughtful participation in class discussions. Students should use both class notes and weekly readings to study for quizzes and exams. Two short papers and a final research paper will allow students to investigate a topic related to Biblical Archaeology. Exploration of supplemental readings is encouraged to enhance an understanding of the material. Students should be spending an average of nine hours per week on the course material outside of class.

    Textbooks

    Bible;  Borowski, Oded. Daily life in biblical times. No. 5. Society of Biblical Lit, 2003;  Cline, Eric H. Biblical archaeology: a very short introduction. Oxford University Press, 2009.

  • The LMU Bulletin maintains the most complete list of classics and archaeology courses. See all courses