Courses in Classics and Letters

Here's a list of the courses we will be offering in the Fall 2013 semester. Download a pdf of the entire schedule here. Be sure to check oZone or ClassNav for the most up-to-date information about times and places.

Classical Culture

CL C 1113.001-Introduction to Classical Studies: (S. Huskey, MWF 10:30 a.m.)
Letters category: Literature, History, or Philosophy
War, intrigue, romance, betrayal, heroes, monsters, villains—Classical Studies has it all!
Through readings, discussion, and presentations, we will learn about two of the most exciting periods in human history: Athens in the 5th century BC and Rome in the 1st century BC. Along the way, we’ll investigate the continuing influence of Classical civilization on our lives today.

Readings will come from ancient sources in English translation, and they’ll focus on a common theme: standing up for what is right by speaking truth to power.

CL C 2213.001- Classical Archaeology: (Stanley, MW 3:00 - 4:15 p.m.)
Letters category: History
This course is a survey of the origins of classical archaeology and the major civilizations that archaeologists discovered.  The course begins with the study of the discovery of the ancient near eastern civilizations, including those of the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians.   Attention then will turn to the civilizations along the Levant of the Mediterranean Sea and to the great civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Rome.  The important men and women who were the first pioneer archaeologists will also be studied as well as lesser civilizations as the occasions arise.

CL C 2383.001: Classical Mythology: (Honors, Doty, MWF 2:30 p.m.)
Letters category: Literature
This course will explore the culture and attitudes of ancient Greece through an examination of its religious beliefs.  In addition, we will consider the significance of these stories for our own time, and why we continue to tell them after two thousand years.

CL C 2413.995 or 996 - Medical Vocabulary: (Walker-Esbaugh- ONLINE)
Medical Vocabulary. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Designed to be of special use to students planning a career in the Allied Health professions. Study of the basic Greek and Latin elements of medical terminology through the analysis of select vocabularies and word lists.

CL C 2603.001: Survey of Ancient Greek Culture: (Wagner, TR 9:00 a.m.)
Letters category: History
This survey course provides an overview of Greek culture from the Mycenean age to the Hellenistic era.  We shall examine all aspects of Greek life, from the intellectual (literature, history, philosophy, science, medicine) to the fine arts (theater, art, architecture) to daily life (social structures, the household, religion, sports, warfare).  

CL C 3113.001: Ancient Epic Poetry in English Translation: (TBA, TR 3:00 p.m.)
Letters category: Literature
The epic poetry of Homer, Hesiod, Vergil and other Greek and Roman writers in its literary and historical context. The epic tradition in later European literature.

CL C 3123.900: Ancient Drama in English Translation: (Honors, Greene, W at 5:30 – 8:10 p.m.)
Letters Category: Literature
Lectures and discussion on the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. We will also watch modern film productions of some of these plays.   

CLC 3223.900 Classical Art & Arch: Hellenistic Greek Art; Roman Art: (Stanley, MW 7:30pm)
Letters category: History
Pre-Req.: Continuation of 3213. Survey of Hellenistic art with particular attention to the individuality of style and diversity of matter. Early Etruscan and Roman art. The development of Roman art in native and assimilated forms; studies in domestic and national monuments.

CLC 3403.001:  Law and Justice (Harper, MW 3:00 p.m.)
Letters category: Philosophy; Constitutional Studies Area 1 or 2
What makes a law just?  Is a law just because it was made through a fair process, for instance by majority vote?  Or is a law just because of its substance, because it respects human rights, promotes the greatest good for the greatest number, or establishes a fair system for the interaction of voluntary agents?  This course explores these questions in the context of Greek and Roman law.  The Greeks and Romans were the first western societies to confront these questions directly, and more importantly they tried to implement their ideas through political institutions.  The focus of this course is on law, because law is the meeting point between the theory and practice of justice.  With Aristotle’s Politics as our principal guide, this course will follow the development of justice throughout the Greco-Roman experience.

CLC 3510-900: Gladiators, Sports, Spectacles: Violent entertainment in ancient Rome 
(Stanley, MW 4:30 p.m.)      Letters category: History
Entertainment in ancient Rome comprised non-violent forms of entertainment, but the most famed forms of Roman entertainment had a very pronounced violent component.   The “games” (ludi) of ancient Rome were presentations that involved extreme violence.  These “entertainment” forms included gladiatorial fights, staged animal hunts (venationes), the executions of prisoners of war and convicted criminals, and the most popular entertainment of them all, the chariot races. The games, however, went beyond their entertainment value and served as a message of Roman power and reminded audiences of the wars that Rome fought to conquer and keep the vast territories that comprised their empire.  The varied games served to remind all of the inevitability of Roman justice for anyone who challenged Roman power.  The destruction of animals in the venationes and death of men in gladiatorial contests particularly served as a graphic reminder of what would be the result for transgressors of Roman power.   The games were also especially helpful as types of educational tools useful in teaching about the Roman value system of the time.

While descriptions of the games undoubtedly offend modern sensibilities, this course will consider the contemporary standards of the Roman world and what was actually acceptable or rejected as too much violence for entertainment.

The topics considered in this course include gladiators and their origins and types, the venues in which the games of violent entertainment were offered (Colosseum, Circus, Theaters), multiple types of “ludi,” production and advertising of games, the importance of animals in the games, the experiences of the games in the Roman provinces, the psychological and metaphorical significance of the games, and portrayals of gladiatorial violence in film.

CLC 3510.901:  Ancient Constitutions (Gish, TR 4:30 p.m.)
Letters category: History or Philosophy; Constitutional Studies Area 1 or 2
This course studies the nature and form of ancient constitutions, with an emphasis on the principles and institutions of classical Greek regimes (such as Athens and Sparta); of the Roman Republic; and of the Hebrew Republic (as detailed in the Hebrew Bible). The foundational character of ancient constitutions, as regimes establishing a distinct way of life for a particular people, grounded upon a core understanding of justice and the principles of just government, will be studied, along with the institutional offices and arrangements that serve as the means to pursue or secure those principles. This course also addresses the conceptual foundations of liberty and law associated with rival constitutional perspectives (democratic, oligarchic, monarchic, etc.) in antiquity, as well as the character of sovereignty and the limitations of constitutional politics. Students are thereby introduced to the ancient foundations of, and influences upon, early American constitutional thought. Readings include selections from Thucydides, Xenophon, Plato, Aristotle, the Athenian Orators, Polybius, Cicero, Livy, the Hebrew Bible, Augustine, and/or Plutarch.

CL C 3613.001: Classical Influences on Modern Literature: Animality and Humanity (Coodin, MWF 1:30 p.m.) Letters category: Literature
Animals figure in our most enduring representations of the natural world, and they are also central to how we as humans understand our place within it. This course begins with a curiosity shared by many different kinds of writers, thinkers, and artists about animals’ distinctive attributes and habits, and asks how our attempts to describe, classify, and evaluate animals have shaped our ongoing attempts to define what it means to be human. Over the course of the semester, we will investigate representations of animals in some of the most enduring and memorable works of Western literature across a span of roughly four hundred years, from Shakespeare’s England to twentieth-century America. We will focus on the relationship between animals, passions, and rationality; we will learn about why philosophers gravitate towards animals in discussions of philosophical skepticism; we will ask about how and why animals are used to represent socio-political hierarchy; and we will inquire into the ways that animals both serve and complicate the human attempt to turn lived experience into coherent narratives.


GRK 1115.001- Beginning Greek: (Beck, M-F 10:30 a.m.)

GRK 1215.001- Beginning Greek: (Beck, M-F 12:30 p.m.)
Prerequisite: 1115.

GRK 2113.001: Biblical Greek: New Testament (Beck, MWF 1:30 p.m.)
 We will read the book of Acts.

GRK 3113.001: Advanced Prose (Doty, MWF 11:30 a.m.)
This course will cover selections from Xenophon’s Anabasis.


LAT 1115 - Beginning Latin (TBA, sec. 001, M-F 8:30), (Walker-Esbaugh, sec. 002, M-F 10:30 a.m.), (Wagner, sec. 003, M-F 11:30 a.m.), (Hansen, sec. 004, M-F 12:30 p.m.)
Introductory study of the vocabulary and grammar of the Latin language, with practice in the reading of sentences and connected prose from selected Latin authors

LAT 1215 - Beginning Latin: (Walker-Esbaugh, sec. 001, M-F 11:30 a.m.), (Hansen, sec. 002, M-F 3:30 p.m.)
Prerequisite: 1115, or the equivalent, with a grade of C or better.
Introductory study of the vocabulary and grammar of the Latin language, with practice in the reading of sentences and connected prose from selected Latin authors

LAT 1315-001: Intensive Latin (Honors, Chambers, MW -9:30 a.m. & TR 9:00 a.m.)
Prerequisites:  Any foreign language background of 1 to 2 years.
This is an accelerated course covering the material presented in Latin 1115 and 1215 in one semester.  This course was specifically created for the exceptional student with a foreign language background (not Latin) who wishes to move rapidly through both introductory Latin courses in a single semester. It is also appropriate for those students who have had two years of mid-high or high school Latin but feel they need an intensive grammar review before proceeding to an intermediate reading course. *Students of the latter category should have an interview with the instructor before enrolling in the course.                                    

Hours of Credit: Successful completion of the course will allow the student to obtain credit for ten semester hours of Latin (five hours letter graded that count as Honors credit, five hours S/U credit).                                                                                           

Required Text: Latin Alive and Well, An Introductory Text OU Press by Peggy Chambers 

Course Requirements: There will be daily homework and weekly testing; grades will be based on homework, quizzes and exams.                                   

Recommendations: Because of the intensity of this course and the amount of material that is covered and assigned, it is recommended that the student carry a total course load (including Latin 1315) of 14 hours or less.  If the student is working, the total course load (including Latin 1315) should be reduced to 12 hours.

LAT 2113.001: Intermediate Latin Prose: Caesar (Hansen, sec. 001, MWF 1:30 p.m.)
This course focuses on the reading and understanding of continuous prose passages of Latin. It begins with a review of word forms, and then moves on to further practice with more complicated sentence constructions. Through this class, the student will begin to read Latin prose with increased proficiency, and acquire a more thorough knowledge of Latin vocabulary and grammar. In the fall, the readings include selections from the Vulgate, Caesar, and Livy; in the spring, the selections are from Eutropius, Caesar, and Cicero. Roman history and culture will be an important component of both semesters. This class may be repeated, with a change of reading material, for a maximum of six hours credit.

LAT 2113.002: Intermediate Latin Prose: Attic Nights of Aulus Gellius(Chambers, TR 12:00 p.m.)
The Noctes Atticae (Attic Nights) is a collection of stories Aulus Gellius (ca. A.D. 123-170) had heard or read. The subjects are widely varied and include fables, philosophy, history, biography, antiquities, law, literary criticism, and grammar. From this collection, I have chosen for translation excerpts or complete stories I found especially enjoyable and revealing of Roman customs, beliefs, character, and codes of conduct.  The text and class requirements include grammar review and text translations in addition to a report (in English) from a list of topics drawn from the assigned translation material.              

Required Course Materials:                                                                                                        

  1. Text:  The Attic Nights of Aulus Gellius, An Intermediate Text and Grammar Review, OU Press, P.L. Chambers
  2. Workbook of the Sentences and Text Translations (Available at the Crimson and Cream Copy Shop in the Union)

LAT 2213.001: Intermediate Latin Poetry: OVID (Wagner, MWF 9:30 a.m.)
This semester: selections from Ovid's Heroides. In this class, we focus on reading and understanding unsimplified Latin poetry, along with a review of grammar, scansion, poetic techniques, and storytelling devices. We also briefly consider the historical context and literary aspects of these poems. This course rotates among three of Ovid's works (Metamorphoses, Heroides, and Amores) and so may be repeated, with a change of reading material, for a maximum of 6 hours.

LAT 3213.900: Vergil  (TBA, TR 4:30 p.m.)
Selected readings from the works of Vergil, whose writings established the forms for all subsequent epic, didactic, and pastoral poetry in the west.

LAT 4133, Latin Historians: Tacitus (S. Huskey, MW 1:30 – 2:45 p.m.)
We will read the first book of Tacitus' Histories, about the bloody clashes between rivals in 69 CE, the infamous "year of the four emperors" after the death of Nero. 


LTRS 1113.001: Introduction to Letters: The Great Books on Reason and Passion (Coodin, MWF 3:30 p.m.)
Letters Category: History, Literature or Philosophy
This course serves as an introduction to the Letters major, OU’s interdisciplinary humanities degree. This semester’s section will address reason and passion. Over the course of the term, we will study seminal writings about reason and emotion from Classical Greece through the nineteenth-century and explore how the reason/emotion dichotomy has helped shape Western accounts of what it means to be human. We will be discussing the changing values accorded to rationality and passion over time by focusing on the terminology and imagery used to represent them in canonical works of literature and philosophy, including Aristotle’s Ethics, Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy, and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

This course contains a variety of short writing assignments intended to familiarize incoming students with the requirements of essay writing, as well as a mid-term and final exam. Class format is based on lecture and discussion. No pre-requisites.

LTRS 2103: Introduction to Constitutional Studies (Butterfield, Sec 001, MWF 11:30 a.m.)
Letters category: History; Constitutional Studies category: 2, 3 or 4
This course offers a general introduction to America's constitutional tradition, including a detailed examination of what constitutions are, what constitutional government has looked like historically, and what people at various times and in various cultures have believed constitutional government ought to look like. Beginning with some of the foundational texts in political thought, we will then discuss the ideas and the historical contexts that gave shape to the U.S. Constitution at the time of its creation in 1787 before exploring how that Constitution has been variously interpreted and remade in the intervening two centuries. The goal is to provide an introduction to the basic concepts, vocabulary, and historical events that are crucial to more advanced study of constitutional thought and history. A student who completes this course is well prepared to enroll in others within Constitutional Studies.

LTRS 2103: Introduction to Constitutional Studies (Gish, Sec 002, TR 1:30 p.m.; Gish, Sec 003, TR 3:00 p.m.)
Letters category: History; Constitutional Studies category: 2, 3 or 4
This interdisciplinary course serves as a broad introduction to the history and theory of constitutionalism, ancient and modern, as well as to constitutional governance, with special attention to our American constitutional heritage. It is a foundational course for students interested in understanding American constitutional government and politics, designed to approach the subject of constitutionalism from a variety of academic perspectives, such as history, political theory, classics, political science, and constitutional law. Students who complete the course will develop the conceptual vocabulary necessary to reflect seriously and critically upon the nature, purpose, and form of constitutions; the historical background and theoretical roots of both ancient and modern constitutionalism; constitutional principles; and perennial questions and issues related to constitutional design and government. Students thereby acquire the framework of core knowledge essential to understanding both constitutionalism and constitutional governance, including the classical roots of constitutional thought, the contribution of the English common law tradition and American colonial experience, the origins and structure of the U.S. Constitution, and the development of American constitutionalism during the civil war and civil rights movement.  Finally, the student will leave the course with a deeper sense of the constitutional basis of contemporary political controversies.

LTRS 3133.001: The Examined Life III: Enlightenment (R. Huskey, TR 1:30 p.m.)
Letters Categories: History, Literature, Philosophy
This course presents a survey of the history, literature, and philosophy of the ancient world through reading and discussion of the great books of Greece and Rome, with particular emphasis on understanding the impact and relevance of classical texts on modern day thought. This course will count towards the history, literature, or philosophy requirement of the Letters major.  Readings will include selections from Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Ovid, and Cicero.

LTRS 3313.001: Secret Societies in American Culture (Butterfield, MWF 10:30 a.m.)
Letters Categories: History;Constitutional Studies category: 3
In this course, we will examine secret societies in American history, from the Revolution through the twentieth century. This will include some more myth than reality as well as groups such as the Freemasons, Odd Fellows, Ku Klux Klan, and collegiate secret societies that could claim the membership of millions. A better understanding of the societies themselves, why people joined, and the nature of their secrecy and ritual can reveal a great deal about American culture. The course will also give equal attention to the fears and anxieties that such groups generated at particular moments in American history.

LTRS 4503.001: Capstone Course: (R. Huskey, TR 10:30 a.m.)
Letters category: capstone
Prerequisite: senior standing in major. May be repeated with change of content; maximum credit six hours. Students write a senior paper on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor. Papers will demonstrate students' abilities to synthesize material drawn from among two or more of the areas included in the Letters program.

Click on the links below to see the comprehensive listing of courses offered in...

For more information, contact one of the Classics and Letters advisors:

Peggy Chambers

Angie Gauthier

John Hansen

Samuel J. Huskey
Cheryl Walker-Esbaugh