Languages and Cultures

Courses Offered Spring 2023

Classics Courses

(the full course is in English)

History 330: Parties and Wars: Greece in the Classical Period (4 credits)
Jason Schlude TR 12:45-2:05 [HE Movement Encounter]

The Classical Period in Greece (c. 480-323 BCE) is a cornerstone for western history, and its legacy very much extends into our modern world. In this course, we will concentrate on investigating Greek society and culture at this vibrant time. In particular, we will explore the complexities of Greek identity, broadly defined. At the heart of this course will be the contention that identity was (and is) not a fixed and immutable concept. Rather Greeks constructed and negotiated key elements of their identity as part of a dynamic social process. With this in mind, this course will focus on evidence that illustrates how Greek identity was articulated and debated in a social context in general and in certain social spaces in particular. Such “spaces” of interest will include political debates, battlefields, theatrical productions of tragedies and comedies, funerals, philosophical dialogues, legal trials, drinking parties, and athletic events. In considering how Greek identity was worked out in various ways in these different social contexts, we will learn about a wide range of Greek social and cultural practices related to government, ethnicity, the military, family, gender, religion, death, humor, intellectualism, the body, and education. Humans today are social animals, and the ancient Greeks were no different. Appreciation of the Greeks’ intensely social orientation will lead us to new insights about them – and ourselves. This course is suitable for students of any major, including those who have not taken a previous history course.

Classics 379A: Grand Strategy (4 credits)
Jason Schlude and Bill Pelfrey TR 9:35-10:55 [HE Truth Focus]

Vision and decision, across 5000 years of human history: this is the subject of Grand Strategy. In this course, we will consider a vast array of case studies, starting from the depths of ancient history and moving into the present moment. Along the way, we will witness the spectacular successes and failures of some of the most famous leaders of all time. We will ask a series of interrelated questions that will enable us to understand past human behavior and to best prepare ourselves for how to grapple with crises now, political and personal (and broadly defined). What resources did leaders have? How did they use them? To what effect? How should we explain success or failure? What can we learn from later creative reflections on these movers and shakers in society? How should we apply the past to the present? Is there a reliable recipe for success? As we grapple with such questions and seek truth, students will have opportunities to apply what we learn in a modern context. They will collaborate on responses to global crises and consider how this course can help them to lead lives of positive impact and deep meaning. If you want big history, big questions, and (possibly) big answers, join us.

Classics 379B: Truth, Lies, and Fiction in Classical Literature (4 credits)
Rachel Mazzara MWF 10:20-11:15 [HE Truth Focus anticipated]

When we read a novel, attend a play, or even listen to a tall tale, we’re told stories about things that haven’t really happened by people who aren’t telling us the truth. How is it, then, that made-up stories can seem meaningful? Is there truth in fiction, or is fiction a type of lie? This seminar will trace the ways that ancient Greek and Roman poets, playwrights, philosophers, and other writers explored these questions in a range of time periods and literary genres. Beginning with an introduction to the Greek philosophical and literary concept of mimesis and working up to the first sci-fi novel, we’ll consider how classical authors evaluate and represent different types of literary invention and their relationships to truth and storytelling. Periodically we will pause in our reading of ancient literature and hold roundtable discussions evaluating our overarching question: what is at stake when we distinguish between truth, lies, and fiction?

Classics 399: Capstone (2 credits)
Jason Schlude TBD

All Classics: Ancient Mediterranean Studies majors and Classics: Classical Languages majors must present a senior project in a public forum. In consultation with a faculty advisor, students choose a project appropriate to their previous course of study and/or their individual goals. Students completing 398 on a topic relevant to their Classics major do not need to complete CLAS 399.

Greek Courses

(focused on studying Greek language and literature)

Greek 111: Beginning Greek I (4 credits)/SSNT 401: New Testament Greek (3 credits)
Jason Schlude TR 8:00-9:20 [Benedictine Raven]

This is the first course in a two-course sequence designed to enable students to read ancient Greek, including both Attic and Koine dialects. Over the course of the year we will learn the principle elements of Greek grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. Students also will have an opportunity to read the New Testament in its original Greek text and to develop and understanding of the historical and theological perspectives that shaped it. No prerequisite.

Greek 211: Intermediate Greek (4 credits)
Jason Schlude TR 2:20-3:40 [HE anticipated]

This course will offer students a review of key grammatical concepts in ancient Greek and an opportunity to build advanced reading skills through substantial exposure to Classical Greek authors such as Plato. Satisfactory completion of this course fulfills the core foreign language proficiency. Prerequisite is GREK 112 or permission of the instructor.

Greek 327: Topics in Greek Literature (2 credits)
Jason Schlude CD-TR 2:20-3:40 [HE anticipated]

A selected topic in Greek literature, such as the Attic orators, lyric poetry, the novel, church literature, or prose composition. This course may be repeated for credit if the topics are different.

Latin Courses

(focused on studying Latin language and literature)

Latin 112: Intro to Latin II (4 credits)/Languages 402: Reading Latin in the Humanities II (3 credits)
Rachel Mazzara MWF 9:10-10:05

The elements of classical Latin, its grammatical structure and forms, with a basic vocabulary. Development of reading skill through a varied selection of ancient texts in prose and verse.

Latin 338: Roman Comedy (4 credits)
Rachel Mazzara MWF 1:50-2:45

The ancient Romans liked to laugh as much as we do today! In this class, we'll read at least one of Plautus' or Terence's comedies in full with attention to the distinctive features of their genre, their poetic style, and their archaic Latin language. We'll also learn about ancient theater production, imagine how these plays might have looked and sounded in performance, and discuss some of the current questions in scholarship on Roman comedy: How do these plays represent the world? Who were they for, and who were they about? And what can we learn about the playgoers of Republican Rome from the jokes that Plautus and Terence wrote to make them laugh?

College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University

Ana Conboy
Chair, Languages and Cultures Department
CSB Richarda P16

Jennifer Schwichtenberg
Department Coordinator
CSB Richarda P38
SJU Quad 253A