FYSM 1106 A, B – Issues in Classics

Offered by the College of the Humanities. Only counts as an elective.
Seminars three hours a week.

FYSM 1106 A – Travel and Sightseeing in the Ancient World

As armchair travelers, the students will be introduced through literary, historical, and archaeological evidence to the realm of travel in Antiquity.  With maps and guides, both ancient and modern, and with first-hand accounts, the students will retrace the journeys of emperors and poets, explorers and traders, military commanders and pilgrims, and ordinary tourists as they travelled the roads and seaways of the Mediterranean world from the Pillars of Hercules in the west to the city of Constantinople in the east.  Stops along the way will include the Pyramids and monuments of Egypt where the earliest traces of tourism are found, the oracle of Apollo at Delphi, the site of the games at Olympia, the Acropolis in Athens, the ruins of “windy Troy”, resort towns along the Bay of Naples as they were before the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, and Rome itself.  All roads do lead to Rome!  The students will meet travelers both famous and somewhat obscure including Odysseus and Aeneas, Wenamon, Herodotus, Alexander the Great, Pytheas, Horace, the emperor Hadrian, and the Pilgrim of Bordeaux, to name a few.

Why did people travel such distances? Was it for trade or war, to seek a cure from the god of healing at Epidauros or perhaps a desire to see the Colossus of Rhodes or the Pyramids in Egypt?  How did people get from place to place and what of the accommodations along the way?  Could they buy a road map or a guidebook, or even souvenirs as we do today?  Finally, how do we know about all this?  Thus, among the issues to be considered is the survival of both written and archaeological material from Antiquity, material that provides evidence for our knowledge and understanding of the Graeco – Roman world.

There is no prerequisite for this course and students do not need to have any knowledge or background whatsoever in the Ancient World.  

Assignments are designed to develop the students’ writing skills and their familiarity with reference and research materials in the Library.

FYSM 1106 B – A History of Sparta

Ancient Sparta is primarily known for its military prowess. Closer examination, however, reveals that the Spartans were far more than simple machinelike soldiers who thought of nothing but war and the state. Their society was significantly complex, and Sparta set out its laws and rules for government in written form earlier than any other polis. Additionally, Sparta featured atypical sexual and gender relations as women could own land and men were encouraged to form homosexual partnerships. This course shall study the history of ancient Sparta from its legendary origins until the Roman Empire. Analysis will involve the examination Homeric legends and Sparta’s role in the Trojan War, as well as the events that shaped historical Sparta. This will include in-depth studies of Spartan civilisation from the standpoints of politics, geography, gender, economy, religion, and culture. Finally, focusing particularly on the Cold War as well as the graphic novel and film 300, we shall look at the reception of Spartan history through modern politics, literature, and film.
Precludes additional credit for CLCV 1000 (no longer offered).

Prerequisite(s): normally restricted to students entering the first year of a B.A., B.Cog.Sc. or B.G.In.S. program.