Cl 155: Survey of Greek and Roman Literature (crn: 34589) Spring 2016

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CL 155: Survey of Greek and Roman Literature

(CRN: 34589)

Spring 2016

I. Course Information:

Prerequisites: None

Location: LA 105

Time: MWF 2:10 - 3:00 p.m.

II. Contact Information:

Instructor: Barbara Weinlich, Ph.D.

Office: Liberal Arts 429

Phone: (406) 243-2719


Office Hours: MWF 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

and by appointment (happily)

III. Course Description:

This course introduces you to the literature of Classical Greece and Rome and encourages you to become a critical reader of the past. As you examine and discuss passages from selected Greek and Roman authors (in English translation), you will come to know some of the most important lines of literary and philosophical development that have been shaping Western thought since then. Some of the key questions posed in this course are: Why did these works cause previous generations to value them so highly? In what ways are the authors we are reading in conversation with one another? How are these books relevant to our lives? What do we gain from them? In seeking the answers, you will not only better understand and appreciate those 'old' texts but also learn something about yourselves. Chances are that you will return to these texts and the profound questions they raise over the course of your lives.

IV. Learning Outcomes:

In this course you will come to know some of the most important lines of literary and philosophical development that have been shaping Western thought since then. In this course you will learn to:

  1. define the main lines of literary and philosophical development introduced to you in this course;

  2. compare the main lines of literary and philosophical development introduced to you in this course;

  3. examine and classify the different moral universes of the texts introduced to you in this course;

  4. analyze the different moral universes of the texts introduced to you in this course;

  5. contrast the different moral universes of the texts introduced to you in this course;

  6. construct an argument as to how and why the/a the main line/lines of literary and philosophical development (introduced to you in this course) has/have shaped Western thought to this day.

V. Course Format:

This course is designed as a game in which you can earn experience points in every class meeting (= game session) and in every class-related activity such as writing journal entries, taking the midterm and the final exam, completing your final project, and taking quizzes. Under the guidance of your instructor (= game master) this gamified course emphasizes your growing experience in figuring out things about Greek and Roman literature (in English translation) that have shaped western thought for nearly three millennia. A typical class day will be a mix of lecture, a mini presentation by a student, and discussion. There will be bi-weekly journal entries (3 pages), a midterm and a final exam (ID part & essay part), and a final project (paper & ppt.). Quizzes on reading assignments will draw on the reading questions posted on Moodle for each assigned reading. There will be at least two opportunities for you to earn extra credit. More detailed information on assignments (including grading criteria) as well as the assigned readings from Herodotus, Thucydides, Cicero, Lucretius, and Ovid are posted on Moodle.

VI. Required Texts:

  • S. Lombardo: The Essential Homer. ISBN: 0872205401

  • (2) R. Fagles: Aeschylus: The Oresteia. ISBN: 9780140443332

  • (3) A. Nemahas: Plato: Symposium. ISBN: 0872200760

  • (4) S. Lombardo: The Essential Aeneid. ISBN: 0872207900

  • (5) All texts posted on Moodle

VII. Experience Points & Levels:

Engagement & Participation in Game Sessions: 111 xp (37 @ 3 xp each)

3 Mini Search Projects: 150 xp (50 @ 3 xp each)

20 Reading Quizzes: 200 xp (20 @ 10 xp each)

5 Journal Entries: 250 xp (5 @ 50 xp each)

2 Exams: 200 xp (2 @ 100 xp each)

Final Project: 150 xp (1 @ 150 xp)


Total Possible XP 1010 xp*
*extra credit excluded

Final Grades will be determined by what level you reach:
20th level 1000 xp A, and laudatio sempiterna

19th level 930 xp A

18th level 900 xp A-

17th level 870 xp B+

16th level 830 xp B

15th level 800 xp B-

14th level 770 xp C+

13th level 730 xp C

12th level 700 xp C-

11th level 670 xp D+

10th level 630 xp D

9th level 510 xp F

8th level 410 xp

7th level 320 xp

6th level 240 xp

5th level 170 xp

4th level 110 xp

3rd level 60 xp

2nd level 20 xp

1st level 0 xp

VIII. Absences & Tardiness:

  1. Absence is absence -- whether excused or not. If you miss one class, it will probably not severely impact your progress towards the goals of this course (and so your course grade), provided that you complete all scheduled assignments and activities. However, if you miss more than two classes, your experience-point summary will inevitably suffer.

  2. Be on time -- both for your own benefit and that of your peers. If you are late, talk to me after class. Thank you for your cooperation!

IX. Flex Days & Late Assignments:

All assignments are due on the day and at the time indicated. In the interest of fairness to all members of the class, there will be no extensions.

I do, however, want you to submit your best work and recognize that illness or other obligations may prevent you from completing an assignment at the stipulated deadline. With this reality in mind, you possess 6 "flex-days" for use during the semester. Each flex-day permits you to submit an assignment one day late (or part thereof) without penalty. For example, you could submit one assignment during the semester 6 days late (e.g., due on Friday, submitted on Wednesday); or 6 (writing) assignments one day late each. A day is day, meaning that weekends and holidays count. Any assignment submitted late after you have used all your "late days" can gain, at most 1/2 credit. You may use "flex days" on any assignments except for those completed in class (e.g. quizzes, midterm and final exam).

X. Course Website (Moodle):

Our course website (Moodle) will be your best friend and companion on your journey through Greek and Roman literature. Aside from required readings, every assignment will be posted there -- including reading questions for the reading quizzes! Please check the website for new postings 24 hours before every class meeting.
XI. Your University Email Account:

Your university email is your official way of written communication with your instructor. I will use it frequently. So, please check it -- ideally once per day.
XII. Academic Integrity & Intellectual Property:

Collaborative work on assignments is allowed and encouraged provided that all work you submit under your name represents your own knowledge, not that of your partner(s). Good faith mistakes can and do happen; but willful violators of academic honesty, either by cheating on exams or plagiarizing written work will be referred to the Honor Council for further action. A good rule of thumb: when in doubt, ask, and if you cannot ask, cite -- and then ask.

All students must practice academic honesty. Academic misconduct is subject to an academic penalty by the course instructor and/or disciplinary sanction by the University.

All students need to be familiar with the Student Conduct Code. The Code is available for review online at

XIII. Credit / No Credit Option:

I expect you to take the course for a traditional letter grade. However, I am willing to discuss the CR/NCR grading option in exceptional circumstances.

XIV. Accommodation of Learning Disabilities:

The University of Montana assures equal access to instruction through collaboration between students with disabilities, instructors, and Disability Services for Students. If you think you may have a disability adversely affecting your academic performance, and you have not already registered with Disability Services, please contact Disability Services in Lommasson Center 154 or 406.243.2243. I will work with you and Disability Services to provide an appropriate modification.

XV. Add / Drop Deadlines:

The last day to add/drop this class on-line is February 15, 4:30 p.m.

The last day to add/drop this class with my and your advisor’s signature (only): March 28, 4:30 p.m.

XVI. "The Rules of the Game"

  1. Engagement & Participation in Game Sessions:

Engagement and participation in game sessions (= in class) involves attendance, preparation, and in-class participation. Engagement and participation in game sessions is defined minimally as regular attendance. Engagement and participation in game sessions is defined maximally as attendance at all game sessions and active participation in the game based on the completion of all assignments. Defined maximally, engagement and participation in game sessions means (1) active listening, and (2) intelligent and informed participation in homework reviews and in-session drills. As a rule of thumb, you should prepare 2 (two) hours for each class meeting. In each class meeting you can earn experience points on a 0-3 scale: 0 for absent, 1 for being present but incapable of participation, 2 for engaging and being a good sport, 3 for active, effective participation.

  1. Mini Search Projects:

Each game participant will be tasked with 3 (three) small search projects. 'Search project' means researching a piece of information for the upcoming game session and sharing it with the other game participants in an oral presentation. Ideally, these mini search projects will prepare you for your final project. The minimum length of your mini search project's presentation is 5 minutes, the maximum 10. Accompanying handouts are welcomed.

  1. Journal Entries:

Must be typed, double-spaced in standard 12 pt. font, and have 1-inch margins all round. Please use MLA style (posted on course website) for argumentative essays. Please submit two (2) hardcopies. The length of each journal entry is three (3) full pages. It will be accompanied by a separate works-cited sheet. Your argumentative essay must include at least three (3) references to two previously discussed readings. Please observe the MLA style for in-text references / citations. Assessment standards for argumentative essays entries are posted on the course website. You may re-write 3 (three) of your journal entries.

  1. Reading Quizzes

Quizzes on reading assignments will draw on the reading questions posted on Moodle for each assigned reading. The number of questions varies from 5 to 7. The format of the quizzes will be short answers.

  1. Midterm and Final Exam:

The midterm and the final exam will consist of an ID part and an essay part. A review session is scheduled before each exam. The final exam will not be cumulative.

  1. Final Project:

Your final project will enable you to develop at greater length a topic of particular

interest to you. A list of suggested topics together with more information on the project

itself will be provided before Spring Break. If you wish to pursue another topic, please clear it first with your instructor. Your final project will consist of a paper and an accompanying ppt. presentation. It will be due (at the latest) on Friday, May 6, that is, at the beginning of our last class meeting. More information on the nature of the project will posted on the course website.
XVII. Evaluation Quick List*

The Grade of A: A-level work implies excellence in critical thinking and excellent

performance within the course. In addition, it implies exceptional command of reading materials.
The Grade of B: B-level work implies sound critical thinking and sound performance

within the course. In addition, it implies sound command of reading assignments.

The Grade of C: C-level work implies mixed critical thinking and mixed performance

within the course. Assignments are completed with minimal

errors in form and display that the student has read the assigned


The Grade of D: D-level work implies only a minimal level of understanding and skill in

critical thinking. In addition, it implies one incomplete assignment or several assignments that display considerable errors in form and content.

The Grade of F: F-level work implies a pattern of unskilled thinking and/or failing to do

the required work of the course. That is to say, multiple incomplete

assignments or multiple assignment that do not follow the instructions

and display little or no preparation.

* This list does not consider the impact of one absence.

XVIII. Schedule of Topics and Readings:

Week 1

M 01/25

Introduction to the course & to the first reading

W 01/27


The Beginnings of Greek Literature: The Epics of Homer

Iliad, Books 1 & 8

R 01/28


The Epic's Hero I: Honor and Glory

Iliad, Books 9 & 18

Week 2

M 02/01


The Price of Victory: Homer on the Fall of Troy

Iliad, Books 20 & 22

W 02/03


The Epic's Hero II: Problematic Aspects of Heroism

Iliad, Books 23 & 24

F 02/05


Another Hero and his Story: Odysseus

Odyssey, Books 1 & 9

Week 3

M 02/08



Athenian Tragedy and its Sociology

Agamemnon (Part 1 of Aeschylus' Oresteia), ll. 1-815


W 02/10


The Greek Image of the Female

Agamemnon, ll. 816-1708

F 02/12


Clytemnestra and the Myth of Matriarchy

The Libation Bearers, ll. 1-526

Week 4

M 02/15


W 02/17


Orestes and the Pattern of Puberty Rites

The Libation Bearers, ll. 527- 1077 & The Eumenides, 1-175

F 02/19


Apollonian and Athenian Strategies

The Eumenides, ll. 176-791

Week 5

M 02/22



The Female turned into the Goddess (...)

The Eumenides, ll. 792-1057


W 02/24


The Father of History: Herodotus

Herodotus: Histories 1.1-34 (Moodle)

F 02/26


Herodotus' Narrative Technique

Histories 1.35-72 (Moodle)

Week 6

M 02/29


Recurring Motifs in Herodotus

Histories 1.73-130 (Moodle)

W 03/02


Ethnography in Herodotus

Histories 2.1-5 & 35-51 (Moodle)

F 03/04


Herodotus' Outlook

Histories 7.1-37 (Moodle)

Week 7

M 03/07



Another Writer and his (Hi-)Story

Thucydides: History of the Peloponnesian War 1.1-49 (Moodle)


W 03/09

Discussion Session: Epic, Drama, and Historiography - Different and yet the Same?

F 03/11


Week 8

M 03/14


W 03/16


Thinkers: Socrates and Athens' Aristocratic Society

Plato: Symposium, pp. 1-24

F 03/18

Aristophanes' Taxonomy and the Politics of Sex

Plato: Symposium, pp. 25-47

Week 9

M 03/21

Socratic Reasoning

Plato: Symposium, pp. 48-77

W 03/23


The Literary Legacy of Plato

Cicero: On Friendship (selected passages) (Moodle)

F 03/25


Oratory: The Defense Speech

Cicero: Pro Caelio 1-36 (Moodle)

Week 10

M 03/28



Eloquence and Persuasion

Cicero: Pro Caelio 37-77 (Moodle)


W 03/30


The Display Speech

Cicero: Philippic 2.1-58

F 04/01


The 'Classic Invective'

Cicero: Philippic 2.59-119

Week 11


Week 12

M 04/11


The Didactic Poem: Lucretius' On the Nature of the Universe

Lucretius, Selections from Book 1 (Moodle)

W 04/13


The Polemical Argument

Lucretius, Selections from Book 3 (Moodle)

F 04/15


Not a Cheerful Philosophy

Lucretius, Selections from Book 6 (Moodle)

Week 13

M 04/18



Deflating the Aspirations of his Predecessors: Ovid's Art of Love

Selections from Ovid's Art of Love (Moodle)


W 04/20


Modifying Homer: Vergil's Aeneid

Aeneid, Book 1

F 04/22


The Gods in the Aeneid

Aeneid, Book 7 & Book 12.954-1017

Week 14

M 04/25


The Hero of the Aeneid I

Aeneid, Book 1.177-183 & Book 4

W 04/27


The Hero of the Aeneid II

Aeneid, Book 12.530-1157

F 04/29


Viewing History through a Mythical Perspective

Aeneid, Book 8

Week 15

M 05/02


The Other Epic: Ovid's Metamorphoses

Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book 1.1-600 (Moodle)

W 05/04


The Qualities of the Metamorphoses

Book 14.81-253 & Book 15.828-992 (Moodle)

F 05/06




Week 16

M 05/09 3:20 - 5:20 p.m.


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