Classical Studies | Problems in Classical Civilization
C494 | 1022 | Hansen


C494 Topics in Classical Civilization is intended to help
undergraduates pull together different aspects of their experiences
as majors in Classical Studies and to discover new directions for
exploration.  The class membership will consist of persons who have
taken different paths through the major, so that an exchange of ideas
and information is pertinent and important.

This year’s seminar explores ancient Greek popular literature through
reading, class discussion, research, oral reports, and writing.  What
kinds of literature are there?  What is popular literature?  In what
sense can one speak of popular literature before the age of mass
literacy and printed books?  We will read ancient novels (romantic,
historical, and comic novels), early Christian short stories, popular
wisdom literature, compilation literature (for example, fable books,
jokebooks, and paradoxography), popular handbooks such as handbooks
of fortune-telling, popular poetry such as anonymous gravestone
verse, and other genres, considering them for themselves and in
relation to other ancient literature as well as to later literature.

Required Texts
William Hansen.  Anthology of Ancient Greek Popular Literature.
Bloomington and
Indianapolis:  Indiana University Press, 1998.
Tomas Hägg.  The Novel in Antiquity.  Berkeley and Los Angeles:
University of
California Press, 1991.