2022-23 Fall/Winter - Classical Civilization: Topic Courses

CLA390H5F - Topics in Greek History & Culture: The Trojan War: Archaeology and Myth (M. Haase)

This course explores Troy and the Trojan War, and their unique place in the Greek and Roman literary and historical imagination, archaeology, mythology and art. We deal with Homer and the epic tradition, the archaeological site of Troy through the ages, and the historical reconstruction of contact and conflict between city-states in ancient Anatolia and Greece. Topics also include the present-day 'war' between archaeologists and historians regarding the interpretation of the evidence: the discovery of Troy is inextricably interwoven with the history of modern archaeology, which also features this course. The course also looks at some of the key themes in the reception of the Trojan War from ancient Greece to 21st-century North America, such as the uses of Trojan themes in the construction of national origins and identities, and as a mirror reflecting armed violence in modern-day wars.

CLA391H5F - Topics in Roman History & Culture: The Etruscans (M. Haase)

When one thinks of “ancient Italy,” usually Rome comes to mind. While the imprint of Rome on Italy is enormous, in fact different peoples inhabited the Italian peninsula for centuries before Rome became a major power. The Etruscans, who occupied Central Italy from the Iron Age, were the most prominent of these peoples, and their legacy continued long after Rome asserted its authority over Italy. For a long time, the Etruscans seemed shrouded in mystery; the lack of longer texts in the Etruscan language made it more difficult for modern scholars to appreciate their civilization and reconstruct their society. But recent developments in archaeology and linguistics have added significantly to our knowledge of the Etruscans. This course will explore their art, architecture, and archaeology, and investigate how the material culture of this people sheds light on their society and history.

CLA404H5S - Advanced Topics in Classics: Alexandria: Queen of the Mediterranean (M. Haase)

The second city of the Roman Empire was not Athens. Founded by Alexander the Great, a century after Athens’ golden age and millennia after the beginning of Egyptian civilization, Alexandria evolved into a major political, economic and cultural center that shaped the course of history. While Alexandria was a Hellenistic foundation, recent underwater campaigns have brought monuments to light that attest to the city’s surprisingly Egyptian (Pharaonic) features. This course will examine the history, society, archaeology and intellectual life of Alexandria. Much like present-day Toronto, ancient Alexandria thrived on ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic diversity. The city was a hub of intellectual achievement and technical innovation, and its monuments and cultural institutions included the Sema (Alexander’s tomb), Pharos (lighthouse), Museum (an international scholarly centre) and the great Library, one of the largest in the ancient world. The course will also explore the historical impact of Alexandria as one of the greatest cosmopolitan centers of the ancient Mediterranean.