Classics

Classicists study all aspects of the ancient Mediterranean world – from its history and languages to its politics, philosophies, science and religions – with particular focus on Greece and Rome.

Part of this study includes how these ancient civilizations have shaped the society we live in today.

Students in the Department of Classics enjoy the vast and interdisciplinary nature of course offerings in the classics. As the oldest academic discipline, it has laid the foundation for many others that followed, and still serves as an excellent complement to them, from math and science to the arts and architecture. 


Classics electives

Below is a list of all classics electives that anyone can register for, because they have 0 or just 1 prerequisite. For a complete list of our classics courses, see the university calendar


Critical Reading and Writing: Classics in Popular Culture (CLAS 1001) 

Critical Reading and Writing: Classics in Popular Culture is an introduction to the ways in which modern popular culture represents and understands the ancient Greek and Roman world. Emphasis is placed on learning and practising critical reading and writing skills, including the comprehension and analysis of primary sources and secondary literature, and effective academic composition. All sections of this course follow Critical Reading and Writing Course Guidelines available at www.mun.ca/hss/crw.


Gods in Classical Mythology
(CLAS 1051)  

Gods in Classical Mythology is an introduction to some of the major myths of ancient Greece and Rome, with particular attention to the gods. The myths will be studied with reference to their social and historical contexts, literary and artistic representations, modern theories of interpretation, and influences on modern modes of cultural expression.

Note: Same as the former CLAS 1050


Heroes in Classical Mythology
(Classics 1052) 

An introduction to some of the major myths of ancient Greece and Rome, with particular attention to the heroes. The myths will be studied with reference to their social and historical contexts, literary and artistic representations, modern theories of interpretation, and influences on modern modes of cultural expression.

Note: same as the former CLAS 1050


Life in Ancient Greece
(CLAS 1100)  

Life in Ancient Greece is a general survey of the origins and evolution of Ancient Greek Civilization. The course introduces the student to Greek social and political institutions, religion and myth, and achievements in art, philosophy, science and literature, as well as the influence of Ancient Greece on the modern world.


Introductory Latin I
(CLAS 1120) 

Introductory Latin I familiarizes students with the basics of the Latin language. Students will learn how to read simple narratives and short poems in Latin and examine the connections between language and culture. Evaluation will focus largely on comprehension of written Latin. All sections of this course follow the Language Study Course Guidelines available at www.mun.ca/hss/ls.

Note: Same as Medieval Studies 1120


Introductory Latin II
(CLAS 1121) 

Introductory Latin II continues to familiarize students with the Latin language and Roman culture and society. Students will acquire a broad vocabulary, learn to read more complex passages of prose and poetry in Latin, and gain insights into key social concepts through study of language. All sections of this course follow the Language Study Course Guidelines available at www.mun.ca/hss/ls.

Note: Same as Medieval Studies 1121

Prerequisite: CLAS 1120 or Medieval Studies 1120


Introductory Ancient Greek I 
(CLAS 1130) 

Introductory Ancient Greek I familiarizes students with the basics of the Ancient Greek language. Students will master the Ancient Greek alphabet, learn how to read simple narratives in Ancient Greek, and examine the connections between language and culture. Evaluation will focus largely on comprehension of written Ancient Greek. All sections of this course follow the Language Study Course Guidelines available at www.mun.ca/hss/ls.

Note: Same as Medieval Studies 1130


Introductory Ancient Greek II
(CLAS 1131) 

Introductory Ancient Greek II continues to familiarize students with the Ancient Greek language. Students will acquire a broad vocabulary, learn to read more complex passages of prose and poetry, and gain insights into key social concepts through study of language. All sections of this course follow the Language Study Course Guidelines available at www.mun.ca/hss/ls.

Note: same as Medieval Studies 1131

Prerequisite: CLAS 1130 or Medieval Studies 1130


Life in Ancient Rome
(CLAS 1200) 

Life in Ancient Rome is a  general survey of the origins and evolution of Ancient Rome. The course introduces the student to social, political, and legal institutions, the growth of the Roman Empire, Roman art, literature, and religions, as well as Rome's pervasive influence in the modern world.


Greek Art and Architecture
(CLAS 2010)

Greek Art and Architecture is an introduction to the study of the art and architecture of Ancient Greece, its social, religious, and political functions in Athens and the greater Greek world. The course introduces students to different ways of analysing and interpreting the material remains of the ancient Greeks and traces their echoes in modern art and architecture.


Roman Art and Architecture
(CLAS 2015)

Roman Art and Architecture is an introduction to the study of the art and architecture of Ancient Rome, its social, religious, and political functions in Rome and the provinces. The course introduces students to different ways of analysing and interpreting the material remains of the ancient Romans and traces their echoes in modern art and architecture.


History of the Hellenistic World
(CLAS 2020)

History of the Hellenistic World is a survey of the history of the Mediterranean world and the Near East from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE until the incorporation of the Kingdom of Egypt in the Roman Empire in 30 BCE. Particular attention is given to the influence of the new monarchies on political, social and cultural developments in both Greek and non-Greek communities.

Note: Same as History 2034


Ancient Near Eastern History
(CLAS 2025)

Ancient Near Eastern History is an introduction to the history of ancient city-states, kingdoms and empires in Egypt and/or Mesopotamia, including economic, social, political and cultural developments. Students will be introduced to the rich heritage that influences the modern Middle East and its relations with the traditions of Europe.

Note: Same as History 2020


History of Classical Greece
(CLAS 2035)  

History of Classical Greece is a survey of Greek History from the Bronze Age to the death of Alexander the Great, with special reference to the social and political institutions of the fifth century BCE. Students will learn about the foundations of modern democracy and its responses to internal and external challenges.

Note: Same as History 2035


History of the Roman Republic
(CLAS 2041) 

History of the Roman Republic is a survey of Roman history from the early monarchy to the death of Julius Caesar, with special reference to the society and politics of the late Republican period. Students will learn about the different ways in which modern states have, for good or ill, attempted to emulate republican Roman political structures.

Note: Same as History 2041, the former CLAS 2040, the former History 2040


History of the Roman Empire
(CLAS 2042) 

History of the Roman Empire is a survey of Roman history from the death of Julius Caesar to the rise of Constantine, with special reference to the society and politics of the early Imperial period. Course contents may also include the representation of Roman emperors and imperial culture in modern film and television.

Note: Same as History 2042, the former CLAS 2040, the former History 2040


Women in the Ancient World
(CLAS 2055)

Women in the Ancient World is an examination of the role of women in ancient Mediterranean civilizations from the perspectives of social and political history and culture. Critical assessments of relevant scholarship and methodologies will be included. Students will gain awareness of views of gender identity and sexuality that are different from modern views.


Gladiators and the Arena: Violent Spectacle in Ancient Rome 
(CLAS  2156) 

Gladiators and the Arena: Violent Spectacle in Ancient Rome is an introduction to the violent and dangerous spectacles of ancient Rome: gladiatorial combat, beast fighting, executions, and chariot-racing. Emphasis will be placed on exploring the historical details of these spectacles, their significance in relation to aspects of Roman society, and representations of Roman gladiators, the arena, and chariot-racing in modern culture.


History of Ancient Philosophy
(CLAS 2701) 

History of Ancient Philosophy introduces students to the origins of philosophy among the ancient Greeks and Romans. Topics include cosmology, metaphysics, physics, ethics, God, and the ancient ideal of philosophy as a ‘way of life.’ We will examine the texts and fragments of the most influential and foundational philosophers of the ancient world, focusing primarily on the thought of Plato and Aristotle, their engagement with the Pre- Socratic philosophers who came before them, and their influence upon philosophers since.

Note: Same as Philosophy 2201, the former Philosophy 2701


Science and Technology in the Ancient World
(CLAS 2900)

Science and Technology in the Ancient World is an introduction to significant developments in ancient Greek and Roman science and technology with emphasis on interpreting the primary evidence, including written sources (in translation) and material remains, assessing the historical and social context, considering the nature of changes, and their influence on modern science and technology.


Technology and Culture in the Ancient World 
(CLAS 2901) 

Technology and Culture in the Ancient World is an introduction to the applied technologies of the Greek and Roman cultures from ancient written sources and archaeological remains. It covers the time from the Late Bronze Age through the Late Roman Empire. Topics include machinery and gadgets, mass production, engineering, nautical technology, and labour. Students learn to assess the feedback between modern technology and culture by analysing equivalent situations in the ancient world.


The Environment of the Greeks and Romans
(CLAS 2902) 

An introduction to the environment in the ancient Greek and Roman world. It gives an overview of our sources of information, research methods, the technology of exploitation of natural resources and associated problems, and the environment in the mythical imagination of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Students learn to analyse the environmental problems faced by these ancient cultures and will apply what they learn to modern contexts.


Greek and Latin Roots of Scientific Terms
(CLAS 2903)

The Environment of the Greeks and Romans is an overview of the Greek and Latin origins of modern scientific and medical terminology.

Note: Same as the former CLAS 1900


Greek Religion
(CLAS 3010)

Greek Religion is a study of the role of religion in the private and public life of the Greek world. Topics include the Greek gods, religious rituals, sacred sites and temples, regional and temporal variations in religious practices, and the role of religion in society. The course may also compare ancient Greek religious practices and modern conceptions of religion.

Note: Same as Religious Studies 3010, the former CLAS 3121, the former Religious Studies 3121

Prerequisite: There is no prerequisite for this course but students are strongly advised to have successfully completed at least one 1000- level or 2000-level Greek and Roman Studies course before registering in any 3000-level or higher Greek and Roman Studies course


Roman Religion
(CLAS 3020)

Roman Religion is a study of the role of religion in the private and public life of the Roman world. Topics include the Roman divinities, sacred sites and temples, the role of religion in politics and society, the interaction with and assimilation of foreign religious practices, and the rise of Christianity. Students may also compare Roman religious practices with modern conceptions of religion.

Note: Same as Religious Studies 3020, the former CLAS 3121, the former Religious Studies 3121

Prerequisite: There is no prerequisite for this course but students are strongly advised to have successfully completed at least one 1000- level or 2000-level Greek and Roman Studies course before registering in any 3000-level or higher Greek and Roman Studies course


Greece and Persia
(CLAS 3030) 

Greece and Persia is a study of relations between Greece and Persia from the foundation of the Persian Empire to the death of Alexander the Great. The course examines, and invites students to critique, the perceived dichotomy between "East" and "West," both ancient and modern.

Prerequisite: There is no prerequisite for this course but students are strongly advised to have successfully completed at least one 1000- level or 2000-level Greek and Roman Studies course before registering in any 3000-level or higher Greek and Roman Studies course


Socrates and Athens
(CLAS 3040)  

Socrates and Athens is an introduction to and examination of Socrates within the context of Athenian political, social, cultural, intellectual, and religious life, and against the background of the fifth-century enlightenment and the sophistic movement. The course also examines changings views and representations of the figure of Socrates from antiquity to modern times.

Prerequisite: There is no prerequisite for this course but students are strongly advised to have successfully completed at least one 1000- level or 2000-level Greek and Roman Studies course before registering in any 3000-level or higher Greek and Roman Studies course


Augustus and Rome
(CLAS 3050) 

Augustus and Rome is a course that examines transformations in Roman society and the city of Rome under the first Roman emperor (27 BCE to 14 CE). Topics include Augustan literature, art, and architecture, and the religious, social, and urban changes during this period. Students will also consider the ways in which later authoritarian regimes throughout history have appealed to the figure of Augustus as a model.

Prerequisite: There is no prerequisite for this course but students are strongly advised to have successfully completed at least one 1000- level or 2000-level Greek and Roman Studies course before registering in any 3000-level or higher Greek and Roman Studies course


The Italian Renaissance and Classical Antiquity
(CLAS 3103) 

The Italian Renaissance and Classical Antiquity introduces students to the reception of Greco-Roman antiquity in Renaissance Italy. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which the cultural legacy of classical antiquity was studied, reinterpreted, and adapted to new uses by writers, scholars, artists and architects such as Petrarch, Machiavelli, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Alberti.

Prerequisite: There is no prerequisite for this course but students are strongly advised to have successfully completed at least one 1000- level or 2000-level Greek and Roman Studies course before registering in any 3000-level or higher Greek and Roman Studies course


Christianity and the Roman Empire
(CLAS 3270) 

Christianity and the Roman Empire is a study of the relationship between Christianity and the Roman Empire from the first to the fourth century.

Note: Same as History 3270, Medieval Studies 3270, Religious Studies 3270


Tragic Drama in Greece and Rome
(CLAS 3405) 

A detailed examination of the tragic dramas of ancient Greece and Rome. A selection of plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Seneca will be read in English translation. Topics may include the development of ancient tragedy, its literary, performative and thematic traditions, its representation of social and historical conditions, its influence on later tragic drama, and on modern theatre and film.

Note: Same as the former Classics 2805

Prerequisite: There is no prerequisite for this course but students are strongly advised to have successfully completed at least one 1000- level or 2000-level Greek and Roman Studies course before registering in any 3000-level or higher Greek and Roman Studies course


Comic Drama in Greece and Rome
(CLAS 3410) 

Comic Drama in Greece and Rome is a detailed examination of the comic dramas of ancient Greece and Rome. A selection of plays by Aristophanes, Menander, Plautus and Terence will be read in English translation. Topics may include the development of ancient comedy, its literary performative, and thematic traditions, its representation of social and historical context, its influence on later tragic drama, and on modern theatre, and film and television.

Note: Same as the former Classics 2810

Prerequisite: There is no prerequisite for this course but students are strongly advised to have successfully completed at least one 1000- level or 2000-level Greek and Roman Studies course before registering in any 3000-level or higher Greek and Roman Studies course


Epic Poetry in Greece and Rome
(CLAS 3415)

Epic Poetry in Greece and Rome examines the poems of Homer, Apollonius of Rhodes and Virgil in English translation. Instructors may include additional poems. Topics to be discussed include the development of epic poetry, its literary traditions and its role in Greek and Roman society, and its influence on modern literature and film.

Note: Same as the former Classics 2060

Prerequisite: There is no prerequisite for this course but students are strongly advised to have successfully completed at least one 1000- level or 2000-level Greek and Roman Studies course before registering in any 3000-level or higher Greek and Roman Studies course


Sport and Athletics in Ancient Society
(CLAS 3500)

Sport and Athletics in Ancient Society traces the evolution of athletics and other forms of recreation in Greece and Rome, with emphasis on their religious, cultural, and social importance. Topics include sports in Homer, the concept of arete, the Olympic ‘ideal,’ gladiatorial contests, Greek athletics and the Roman Empire, and an analysis of ancient echoes in modern sport and athletics, e.g. the Olympic Games. 


Special Topics in Classics
(CLAS 3501-3510)

Special Topics in Classics courses will vary each year and will focus on topics determined by the Department on a semester by semester basis.

Prerequisite: There is no prerequisite for this course but students are strongly advised to have successfully completed at least one 1000- level or 2000-level Greek and Roman Studies course before registering in any 3000-level or higher Greek and Roman Studies course


Ancient Myth and Cult
(CLAS 3600) 

Ancient Myth and Cult develops the students’ knowledge of myth and material culture by examining specific religious sites in the Greek and Roman world as foci of ritual practice. Students learn to integrate knowledge of physical remains with literary and ritual evidence in order to obtain a more integrated understanding of religious life in ancient Greece and Rome.

Note: Same as Religious Studies 3600

Prerequisite: There is no prerequisite for this course but students are strongly advised to have successfully completed at least one 1000- level or 2000-level Greek and Roman Studies course before registering in any 3000-level or higher Greek and Roman Studies course


The Ancient World in Film
(Classics 3700)

The Ancient World in Film examines the representation of the history and cultures of the ancient world in film. A selection of films will be studied and extensive reference will be made to the ancient evidence that informs them. The ancient world’s impact on modern society will be considered together with the film industry’s recasting of the ancient world in response to modern social and historical developments.

Prerequisite: There is no prerequisite for this course but students are strongly advised to have successfully completed at least one 1000- level or 2000-level Greek and Roman Studies course before registering in any 3000-level or higher Greek and Roman Studies cours


Greek and Roman Medicine
(Classics 3900) 

Greek and Roman Medicine examines the medical theories and practices of the ancient Greek and Roman world by taking account of ancient texts (in translation) as well as evidence from material culture, including art and architecture. Topics may include the relationship between science and medicine, concepts of health and illness, the role of the healer, practical applications, gender differentiation of patients, and legacy of ancient practices.

Prerequisite: There is no prerequisite for this course but students are strongly advised to have successfully completed at least one 1000- level or 2000-level Greek and Roman Studies course before registering in any 3000-level or higher Greek and Roman Studies course


Ships and Seafaring in the Ancient World
(Classics 3901) 

Ships and Seafaring in the Ancient World is an introduction to the maritime traditions of the ancient Greeks and Romans. It gives an overview of our sources of information, research methods, the origins and technology of shipbuilding, types of vessels, navigation, nautical infrastructure, and the sea in the mythical imagination of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Where appropriate, the course makes reference to modern elements such as hydraulic concrete, SCUBA diving, recreational boating and sailing, etc.

Prerequisite: There is no prerequisite for this course but students are strongly advised to have successfully completed at least one 1000- level or 2000-level Greek and Roman Studies course before registering in any 3000-level or higher Greek and Roman Studies course


Ancient Greek and Roman Mathematics*
(CLAS 3902)

Counts a Quantitative Reasoning credit for HSS students

Ancient Greek and Roman Mathematics introduces students to the way the ancient Greeks and Roman employed mathematics and refers, where possible, to preceding Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and Indian models. Students will learn about Greek and Roman number systems, numerals, time measurement, the Roman calendar, ancient surveying devices, and the use of the abacus. They will also be introduced to the social and cultural background of ancient mathematicians such as Pythagoras, Thales, Archimedes, and Hypatia. The course follows the guidelines for Quantitative Reasoning (QR) courses in HSS. 

Students will learn:

  • The African and Asian origins of Greek and Roman mathematics
  • Counting and numbering systems of the ancient Greeks and Romans
  • Greek and Latin numerals in the English language
  • Greek and Latin units of measurement, time reckoning, and denominations of currency
  • The Roman calendar and its political dimensions
  • The social and cultural contexts and works of popularly known Greek and Roman mathematicians
  • The use of dioptra, groma, and chorobates
  • The use of an abacus
  • To solve simple mathematical problems using ancient methods

Seminar in Roman History and Society
(CLAS 4010)

Seminar in Roman History and Society is a seminar in Roman History and Society.

Prerequisite: There is no prerequisite for this course but students are strongly advised to have successfully completed at least one 1000- level or 2000-level Greek and Roman Studies course before registering in any 3000-level or higher Greek and Roman Studies course


Seminar in Greek Literature and Culture
(CLAS 4020)

Seminar in Greek Literature and Culture is a seminar in Greek Literature and Culture.

Prerequisite: There is no prerequisite for this course but students are strongly advised to have successfully completed at least one 1000- level or 2000-level Greek and Roman Studies course before registering in any 3000-level or higher Greek and Roman Studies course


Seminar in Roman Literature and Culture
(CLAS 4030)

Seminar in Roman Literature and Cultur is a seminar in Roman Literature and Culture.

Prerequisite: There is no prerequisite for this course but students are strongly advised to have successfully completed at least one 1000- level or 2000-level Greek and Roman Studies course before registering in any 3000-level or higher Greek and Roman Studies course


Special Topics in Greek and Roman Studies
(CLAS 4100-4109)

Special Topics in Greek and Roman Studies courses will vary yearly and focus on topics announced by the Department and may include field studies in topography, Greek and Roman art and architecture, archaeology, and related areas, to be held in the Mediterranean and other regions of Graeco-Roman influence.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor and the Head of the Department