CL101-000: Classical Literature

DaysTimeLocationInstructorGERCreditOPUS #
1:00PM - 1:50PM
White Hall 110
Camden, David
1:00PM - 2:15PM
White Hall 110
Camden, David
Appropriate for First Year students.
An introductory survey of the major literary developments and the most influential texts of ancient Greece and Rome, with attention to their cultural context.

The goal of Classics 101 is to introduce students to the rich literature of ancient Greece and Rome and place it within its cultural and historical contexts. In this course we will read and discuss major works by Greek and Roman authors and consider why these works and their authors were considered so important in antiquity and through the ages. We will begin by discussing the Panathenaia, one of the most important festivals in Athens, and reading one of the two canonical texts that were performed during this festival, the Odyssey of Homer. We will then move to the symposium, the Greek drinking party, where we will discuss the short poems of Sappho and the philosophy of Plato, before attending another festival, the City Dionysia, the premier venue for tragedy and comedy. In the second half of the semester, we will begin our journey to Rome, with a stopover at the Library of Alexandria. After discussing the new priorities of Hellenistic poetry, we will examine its influence on Catullus, Horace, and Ovid. Virgil’s Aeneid will loom large at this point, after which we will move to the court of Nero. Here, we will read Seneca’s Apocolocyntosis and Petronius’ Satyricon, two comic mixtures of poetry and prose that, unfortunately, did not save their authors, two courtiers of Nero, from an early death by order of the emperor.


The schedule of courses on O.P.U.S. is the official listing of courses, including days and times they meet and the General Education Requirements they satisfy. Students should use course descriptions as general guidelines. Course requirements, grading details, book lists, and syllabi are subject to change.