Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Courses Fall 2020

The following list includes graduate courses taught by faculty members of the Graduate Group and graduate courses offered by other programs and departments. Graduate students are also strongly encouraged to explore courses in other fields and disciplines that align with their scholarly interests.

CLST 500 Materials and Methods

Peter Struck

F 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This is the required proseminar for first-year graduate students in Classical Studies and Ancient History. It will introduce you to some key methodological, practical and theoretical tools for beginning a scholarly career in these fields. 


ANCH 611 Greek Epigraphy

Jeremy McInerney

M 2:00 PM - 05:00PM

An introduction to the principles and practices of Greek Epigraphy. Study of selected Greek inscriptions.


LATN 501 Latin Prose Composition

Cynthia Damon

TR 10:30 AM - 1200 PM

For this introduction to Latin prose composition we will be using Bradley's Arnold, Latin Prose Composition, edited and revised by J. F. Mountford, which offers a thorough grammar review and challenging exercises. The exercises will give you an active command of Latin syntax: you'll be asking "how do I say X?" rather than "what does this author mean by X?" This is an important step towards awareness of the variety of possible expressions for any given X. And awareness of this variety is one of the things that will help you appreciate an author's style. What advantage does a participle have over a clause? or vice versa? Why use an abstract noun rather than an indirect question? or vice versa? Gerund vs. gerund-replacing gerundive? Repraesentatio? We will also read passages from a variety of Latin prose authors with an eye to their style. My aim in this course, which is open to undergraduate and graduate students alike, is that your ability to read and appreciate Latin prose improve substantially.


GREK 540 The Greek Text: Language and Style

James Ker

W 02:00 PM-05:00 PM

What do we need to read texts in ancient Greek? In this course we read just one prose text and one poetic text, or a very limited number of texts and passages, with a focus on language and formal analysis (such as diction, grammar, stylistics, metrics, rhetoric, textual criticism). A range of exercises will be used to develop these skills, including composition, lexical studies, recitation, memorization, exegesis, written close-readings, and sight-translation.


CLST 526  Materials and Methods in Mediterranean Archaeology           

Lauren Ristvet

T 09:00 AM - 1200 PM

This course is intended to familiarize new graduate students with the collections of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and the wide range of scholarly interests and approaches used by faculty at Penn and neighboring institutions, as well as to provide an introduction to archaeological methods and theory in a Mediterranean context. Each week, invited lecturers will address the class on different aspects of archaeological methodology in their own research, emphasizing specific themes that will be highlighted in readings and subsequent discussion. The course is divided into five sections: Introduction to the Mediterranean Section; Collections; Method and Theory in Mediterranean Archaeology; Museum Work; and Ethics. The course is designed for new AAMW graduate students, though other graduate students or advanced undergraduate students may participate with the permission of the instructor.


CLST 523 Narrative in Ancient Art

Ann Kuttner, Holly Pittman

T 04:30 PM - 07:30 PM

Art history, and its cousins in religious, social, political and literary studies, have long been fascinated with the question of narrative: how do images engage time, tell stories? These are fundamental questions for ancient Near Eastern, Egyptian and Mediterranean art history and archaeology, whose rich corpus of narrative images is rarely considered in the context of "Western" art. Relations between words and things, texts and images, were as fundamental to the ancient cultures we examine as they are to modern studies. As we weigh classic modern descriptions of narrative and narratology, we will bring to bear recent debates about how (ancient) images, things, monuments, and designed spaces engage with time, space, and event, and interact with cultural memory. We will ask "who is the story for, and why?" for public and private narratives ranging from political histories to mythological encounters. Our case studies will be drawn from the instructors' expertise in Mesopotamian visual culture, and in the visual cultures of the larger Mediterranean world from early Greek antiquity to the Hellenistic, Roman, and Late Antique periods. One central and comparative question, for instance, is the nature of recording history in pictures and texts in the imperial projects of Assyria, Achaemenid Persia, the Hellenistic kingdoms, and Rome.


LATN 603 Julio-Claudian Literature   

Joseph Farrell

R 01:00 PM - 04:00 PM

The years between the principates of Augustus and Nero are commonly regarded as a "fallow" period in Latin literary history. In fact, this is objectively untrue in terms of both the amount of literature produced during this time and in terms of its influence. If one considers the relationship between contemporary Latin and Greek literature or the evidence for increased institutional support of literature during this period, the sense of its importance increases. In this course we will study the formative aspects of literature culture during the regimes of Tiberius, Gaius, and Claudius and their decisive influence on the Latin and Greek literature of the subsequent Imperial Period.


ANEL-646 The Land of Sumer: Writing, Language, and Culture

Stephen J. Tinney


This self-contained course sets the Sumerian language, writing system and use of writing in their social and historical context. The aim is to provide students of ancient history and culture from diverse disciplines with a good grounding in Sumerian culture, familiarity with the Sumerian language and cuneiform writing system and the requisite knowledge for critical assessment of published translations and of the secondary literature. The course is organized as two threads, culture on the one hand and language on the other. The two threads are united by taking examples in the language exercises, vocabulary assignments, etc., as far as possible from the domain of the week' cultural topics. The net effect is to examine the culture both through contemporary secondary literature and through direct contact with elementary primary texts of relevance to the various topics of discussion. The language component of the course will be carried out in a combination of transliteration and cuneiform, with an expectation that all students will gain familiarity with at least the core 80 syllabic signs, and about 100 additional logographic signs.


CLST 562 Introduction to Digital Archaeology

Jason Herrmann

MW 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM

Digital methodologies are an integral part of contemporary archaeological practice, and demand that archaeologists to hold a new set of skills and knowledge fundamentals. This course will expose students to a broad range of digital approaches through a review of relevant literature and through applied learning opportunities centered on a course project. The technological underpinnings, best practices, and influences on archaeological practice and theory will be discussed for each method covered in the course. Applied learning opportunities in digital data collection methods will include: aerial and satellite remote sensing, global navigation satellite system (GNSS) survey, 3D scanning methods, close-range photogrammetry, and near-surface geophysical prospection. Students will also have opportunities for practical experience in digital database design and management, geographic information science (GIS) and 3D modeling and visualization. Students will communicate the results of the course project in a digital story that will be presented at the end of the term. Prior archaeological classwork and/or experience preferred.


GREK 613 Alcibiades

Kate Brassel

TR 01:30 PM - 03:00 PM

Political superstar, demagogue, desperate lover, brilliant general, and traitor, Alcibiades captured the imaginations of his fellow Athenians as well as thinkers and artists for centuries to come. This course offers students an opportunity to study democracy, sexuality, ethics, and youth through the perspectives on Alcibiades presented in comedy, historiography, philosophy, and oratory. In addition to preparing weekly translations, students will write individual papers presenting original close readings or research and will additionally collaborate on a digital project.