Coordinator, Ancient Near Eastern Studies
Professor of Ancient Scripture
Offices: 2015 HRCB (Kennedy Center); 365-F JSB
Phone: 801-422-3359
Twitter: @EricDHuntsman

Classical Civilization 201
Classical Tradition

Course Description

Fall 2005 Syllabus

Directions for Writing Assignments

ClCv 201 is designed to fill a G.E. history of civilization requirement by exploring the ideas, literature, and culture of the Greeks and the Romans and then surveying their convergence with Christianity and their development through the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance.

Early Christianity spread through the Greco-Roman world largely through the medium of Classical languages and the cultural and political unity provided by the Roman state. St. Augustine began his career as a student of Classical literature and rhetoric and, while rejecting paganism, deeply admired Cicero, Vergil, and Horace. Classical learning and the dream of world unity provided the basis for the Carolingian imperial restoration, and it was the rediscovery of the full-depth of Classical learning that initiated the Italian Renaissance.

The readings in ClCv 201 will concentrate on primary texts—some in unabridged forms and selections of others—and will study them within their historical and cultural contexts. Readings and lectures will help the student identify historical trends and the development of ideas and literary traditions. Classical culture was far more than just literary texts and systems of philosophies, however. Accordingly, this course will also touch upon other aspects of culture—particularly developments in art and architecture that reflected the humanism of the Classical world and heavily influenced the Medieval and Renaissance periods.

Gaining an appreciation of the Classical world-view will provide students with insight into modern perceptions of human nature, society, beauty, and religion, and will promote in them an appreciation of the rich legacy that the Classical Tradition has been through the history of the West.

Lecture Outlines and Presentations


  • 1. Introduction to ClCv 201: Civilization. The Study of Cultural History; What is the Study of the Classics? The Importance of the Classical Tradition to Western Culture. Classical Antecedents: The Near East.  Reading: After class, review MP Intro (pp. xvii–xxi) and ch. 1 (pp. 1–8, 12–16, 26).


Unit 1: Homer, Classical Greece, and the Hellenistic World

Bronze Age Aegean, 3000-1150 B.C.

Greek Dark Age/Age of Heroes, c. 1150–750 B.C.

  • 2. The Bronze Age, The Greek Dark Age, and Oral Poetry: Classical Antecedents: The Bronze Age Aegean—Minoan Crete and Mycenaean Greece. The Greek Dark Ages, 1100-750 B.C. The Greek Dark Ages, Development of Greek Religion, and the Rise of the Oral Tradition. Characteristics of Epic.  Reading: MP ch. 2 (pp. 31–38, 41-45); peruse "Synopsis of the Greek Pantheon," noting the names and functions of the chief Greek gods and goddesses (packet, 175–185).
  • 3. The Trojan Cycle and Homer: The historical Trojan War; Episodes from the Trojan Cycle; Homer; Oral Poetry and Epic; Homeric Values; the Age of Heroes.  Readings: Lombardo introduction, ix–xx.
  • 4. Introduction to Homer; Iliad I: The Trojan War and Homer’s Poem. The Rage of Achilles; Agamemnon Calls the Greeks to Council—Thersites; Paris and Menelaus; the Truce Is Broken; the Aristeia of Diomedes.  Readings: Homer, Iliad, from books 1–6.407 (Lombardo, 1–78).
  • 5a. Homer, Iliad II: Hector and Andromache; the Trojans Reach the Ships; the Embassy to Achilles; the Shield of Achilles; Death of Patroclus. Death of Hector; Priam Visits Achilles; Funeral of Hector.  Readings: Homer, Iliad, from books 6.408–558; 8–9; 16; 18; 22–24 (Lombardo, 78–106, 153–87, 205–240).
  • 5b. Homer, Odyssey I:  Background, Structure, and Opening of Odyssey. The TelemachyReadings: Homer, Odyssey, from books 1, 4 (Lombardo, 241–284).
  • 6. Homer, Odyssey II: Odysseus and Calypso; Nausicaa; the Wanderings of Odysseus —Polyphemus, Circe, the Underworld, and Dangers at Sea; hybris, atasthalia, and the Fate of Odysseus’ Companions. Readings: Homer, Odyssey, from books 5–6, 8–12 (Lombardo, 284–365).
  • 7. Homer, Odyssey III:  Return to Ithaca—the Beggar and the Hound; Faithful and Unfaithful Servants; Recognition; Theodicy and the Death of the Suitors. Odysseus and Penelope. The Final Resolution.  Readings: Homer, Odyssey, from books 13, 16–24 (Lombardo, 366–482).

Archaic Greece, 700-490 B.C.

  • 8. Archaic GreeceSocial and Economic Transition. The Polis and Man as a Politikos Zoön. Colonization. Political Developments: Aristocracies, Tyrants, and towards Democracy. Hesiod. Cultural and Artistic Advances. Lyric poetry: Archilochus and Sappho. Begin Natural Philosophers: Materialists and Idealists.  Readings: MP ch. 2 (pp. 38–39, 45; Aristotle, Politics (I) 1253 a 7 (packet, 42).
  • 9. Archaic Greek Culture: Philosophy and Art:  Complete Natural Philosophers: Materialists and Idealists. Vase Painting. Archaic Sculpture. Doric Architecture. Vase Painting. Doric Architecture. Archaic Sculpture.  Readings: MP ch. 2 (pp. 45–53); Archaic Greek Supplements (packet, 1–4).
  • 10. The Rise of Athens and the Persian Wars: Finish looking at sculpture and architecture. Solon and Peisistratos at Athens. The Origins of Athenian Drama. Herodotus and the Beginning of Historiography. The Stories of Croesus and Solon. Cleisthenes and "Democratic" Politics at Athens. Athens in the Persian War.  Readings: MP ch. 2–3 (pp. 39–41, 67); Herodotus excerpts (packet, 5–20).

Quiz 1 Materials

Classical Greece: the Fifth Century, 490–404 B.C.

  • 11. The Rise and Fall of Classical Athens: The Rise of the Athenian Empire; Thucydides, the Pentekontaëtia, and Ironies of Empire; Thucydides and Scientific History—the Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War. The Funeral Oration and the Elevation of Athenian Culture— filokalei/n kai. Filosofei/n: "Loving Beauty and Loving the Things of the Mind."; the Effects of War—Thucydides and the Decline of Athenian Morality.  Readings: MP ch. 3 (pp. 55–59, 67–68); Thucydides excerpts (packet, 21–33) and MP–R, 75–80.
  • 12. Classicism, Aeschylus, and "Lyric" Tragedy:  Classical Culture and Achievement (The Hellenic Good Life, Development of Humanism, and the Principles of Classicism); Development of Classical Tragedy; Aeschylus and the Oresteia, especially Agamemnon Readings: MP ch. 3 (pp. 61–64, 75–79); Aristotle, excerpts from Poetics, MP–R, 89–94; Introduction to Aeschylus and Agamemnon, (GT 1, 2–60).
  • 13. Sophism and Sophoclean Drama: Presocractic Philosophy and the Spread of Sophism. Sophoclean Drama. The Oedipus Cycle. Antigone: Radical Democracy and the Role of the State. MP ch. 3 (pp. 64–65, 68–69); Aristotle, excerpts from Poetics, MP–R, 89–94; Introduction only to Oedipus the King, MP–R, 56–57 and GT, 108–109; Antigone, (178–232).
  • 14. Classical Greek Art and Architecture:  Sculpture—Severe, High Classical, and Late Classical; Doric Architecture Perfected—the Parthenon. Ionic Architecture.  Readings: MP ch. 3 (pp. 71–80).
  • 15. Euripides and Aristophanes: Culture in the Midst of War: Societal Stress and Literature–Euripides' Medea and Hippolytus; the Old Comedy of Aristophanes. Readings: MP ch. 3 (pp. 65–66); Hippolytus (GT, 235–295).

Fourth Century Greece, 404–336 B.C.

  • 16. Fourth Century Greece I.  The Figure and Trial of Socrates (Cf. Plato’s Apology)); the Socratic Revolution. Fourth Century Changes in Greek Society and Politics; Plato and Greek Philosophy—idealism, the Theory of Forms, and Mimesis.   Readings: MP ch. 3 (pp. 59–60, 69–71); Plato, excerpts from The Republic and Phaedo, MP–R, 89–94 and packet, 34–37; D&C 93:1–39.  Paper #1 due, comparing and contrasting Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey –or– compare and contrast the genres of historiography and tragedy
  • 17a. Fourth Century Greece II: Isocrates, Rhetoric, and the System of Paideia. Aristotle, the Aristotelian Method, and ethics. Cultural, Artistic, and Political Developments.  Readings: MP ch. 3 (pp. 71, 80–81); Isocrates, from Antidosis (packet, 38–41); Aristotle, from Nicomachean Ethics (packet, 42–60) and Politics (MP–R, 94–95).
  • 17b. Fourth Century Art.

The Hellenistic World, 336–164 B.C.

  • 18a. The Hellenistic World: Alexander the Great; Hellenistic Kingdoms; the Spread and Development of Classical Greek Culture; Hellenistic Religion and Philosophy; Hellenistic Art.  Readings: MP ch. 3–4 (pp. 60, 87–107); MP–R, 96–97; Epicurus, "Letter to Menoeceus," MP–R, 98–101; on Epicurus and Zeno from Introduction to On the Good Life (Grant, 25–27).
  • 18b. Hellenistic Art.

Exam 1 Materials


Unit 2: Rome, Early Christianity, and Late Antiquity

Rise of Rome: Early and Middle Republic, 753–133 B.C.

  • 19. The Rise of Rome. Legendary Rome, 753–509 B.C: Roman Origins and the Early History. Early and Middle Republic, 509–133 B.C.: conquest of Italy, Punic Wars and Roman Expansion; culture, literature, art, and architecture; Polybius and the Roman constitution (introduction).  Readings: MP ch. 5 (pp. 109–115, 117–118); Livy, "The Founding of Rome" [1.1–7.3], "The Expulsion of the Kings," [1.49, 56–60 and passim] (packet, 90–101); Livy, "Cannae," [22.44–51] and "The Defeat of Hannibal" [30.35] (packet, 109–114); Polybius, summary and introduction (packet 61–63).

The Late Republic, 133–27 B.C.

  • 20. The Weakness of the Late Republic.  Polybius and the Roman constitution (continued); The Roman Revolution, Great Men and Writers of the Late Republic—Marius, Sulla, Sallust, Cicero, and Caesar; the Catilinarian Conspiracy.  Reading: MP ch. 5 (p . 115); Polybius, esp. from book 6 on the Roman constitution (packet, 63–73); Sallust, from Bellum Catilinae (packet, 74–78); Cicero, from In Catilinam I (packet, 79–87).
  • 21. Roman Art, Education, and Philosophy. Visual Arts in the Late Republic: Sculpture, Architecture, and Engineering. Cicero and a Roman Classical Education. The Greek Cultural Heritage. Ciceronian humanism. Philosophy in Cicero’s age. Introduction to Cicero’s philosophic writings.  Readings: MP ch. 5 (pp. 117–119, 123–125, 130–132); Cicero, from Pro Archia. (packet, 87–88). Cicero, On the Good Life, 7–22, 31–44.
  • 22. Cicero on Philosophy and Statecraft.
    • a. Qualities and Training of a Statesman. Excerpt: from Cicero, On the Orator (On the Good Life, 228–64 and 307–36)..
    • b. A Classical Cosmology—the Universe and Man’s Place in It.  Excerpt: from Cicero,"Dream of Scipio" (On the Good Life, 341–55).
    • c. Philosophy on Ethics and Emotions.  Excerpt: from Cicero, Discussions at Tusculum 5 (On the Good Life, 49–116).
    • d. A Treatise on Practicality. Excerpt: from Cicero, On Duties 2 (On the Good Life, 117–139, 170–171). 
    • We are only reading representative selections from Cicero's philosophic treatises; if one of them interests you for your paper, you will want to read that complete treatise.

Augustan Rome, 27 B.C.–A.D. 14

  • 23.  The Augustan Age.  The Rise of Augustus—the aftermath of Caesar’s murder and the rise of Octavian; Actium: the victory over Antony and Cleopatra; Augustus’ Constitutional Settlement. The Augustan Program—Moral Reforms and the Restoration of Values; The Artistic Program; Livy and Moralizing History.  Reading: MP ch. 5 (pp. 115–117, 124, 132–135); Suetonius, from the Life of Augustus (packet, 135–142); From Livy 1 and 2 (packet, under "Prologue," 89, and Good and Bad Exempla," pages 101–109; Cincinnatus episode).
  • 24. Vergil I.  The Author and the Times; Maecenas and Augustan Patronage; The Aeneid: A New Kind of Epic; Vergil and Roman Origins. The Gods and Aeneas; Aeneas in Africa. The Fall of Troy—furor to pietas; a New Future for the Family. The Odyssey and the Wanderings of Aeneas—Prophecies and Portents; Death of Anchises.  Reading: MP ch. 5 (pp. 119–121); Vergil, Aeneid I–III (West, vii–x, 3–68; note West’s introductory essays and summaries as you proceed to read the Aeneid).

Quiz 2 Materials

  • 25. Vergil II.  Quiz #2 distributed.  The "Tragedy" of Dido; Funeral Games for Anchises; Vergil’s Book of the Dead; the Iliad revisited.  Reading: Vergil, Aeneid IV–VII (West, 69–164).
  • 26. Vergil III.  Quiz #2 due.  The Future of Rome and the Shield of Aeneas; Nisus and Euryalus; the Gods and Battle; Turnus and Aeneas: the cost of greatness—pietas versus furor; poetry or propaganda: the meaning of the AeneidReading: Vergil, Aeneid VIII–XII (West, 165–290).

Imperial Rome, A.D. 14–235

  • 27. Imperial Rome I.  Ovid and the Late Augustan Poetry; History and Governance during the Pax Romana: the Roman Peace; from principate to monarchy: the Julio-Claudians. Silver Age Literature. Lucan and Epic.   Reading: MP ch. 5 (pp. 121–122); Ovid, Metamorphoses, excerpts from 1 and 4 (MP–R, 122–126) and the apotheosis of Caesar, 15.745–870 (packet, 115–117); Lucan, from the Pharsalia (packet, 118–123).
  • 28. Imperial Rome II.  Flavian, "Adoptive," and Severan emperors. Imperial Philosophy—Roman Stoicism, Marcus Aurelius the Stoic, Neoplatonism; Later Silver Age Literature—Tacitus and historiography; a brief look at Imperial Art and Architecture.  Reading: MP ch. 5 (pp. 122–130, 135–137); from Tacitus, excerpts from Annales (packet, 124–131); Suetonius, read Lives of Gaius and Nero (packet, 142–150). Marcus Aurelius, from Meditations (MP–R, 132–138).
Early Christianity
  • 29. Christianity and the Greco-Roman World. Paper #2 due, considering Cicero and the earlier Greek Classical Tradition –or– comparing Vergil and Homer, or Ovid and any earlier poets.  Topics: The Jewish Background; Jesus and the Early Church; The New Testament and Hellenistic Culture; Christians and the Roman Empire; Early Christian Art. Reading: MP ch. 6 (pp. 143–152, 157–167); Acts 9–28; 1 Thessalonians; from Tacitus, Annales (packet, under "The Burning of Rome," 131–134); Eusebius, excerpts from Ecclesiastical History (MP–R, 171–174).

The Late Empire, A.D. 235–476

  • 30. Constantine and the Triumph of Christianity. Late Antiquity: Historical and Religious Developments; Diocletian and Constantine; Christianity—from Persecution to Toleration to Official Religion; Christian Architecture and Art.  Reading: MP ch. 7 (pp. 169–173, 174–184); Eusebius, excerpts from Ecclesiastical History (MP–R, 174–175).
  • 31. Augustine and the Fall of the Roman West.  Background of St. Augustine; the Confessions—Classical education and the struggle of the unsaved soul; Augustine and the Problem of Rome’s decline. Fall of Rome. Germanic Successor States.  Reading: MP ch. 7 (pp. 173–174); excerpts from Augustine, selections from Confessions (MP–R, 165–169), and City of God (packet, 151–164).

Exam 2 Materials


Unit 3: Medieval and Renaissance Europe 

The Persistence and Transformation of Classical Culture.

  • 32a. Heirs of Classicism: ByzantiumNew Rome: Byzantine History and Society, A.D. 476–1453.  Reading: MP ch. 7 (pp. 184–188); Anna Comnena from The Alexiad (MP–R, 175–178).
  • 32b. Byzantine ArtByzantine Architecture and Art—Hagia Sophia, San Vitale, mosaics, and characteristics of Byzantine style.  Reading: MP ch. 7 (pp. 184–188)
  • 33a. Heirs of Classicism: Germanic Europe. Germanic Europe, A.D. 476-768—the Germanic Successor States; Boethius and Bede; the Role of the Church in the Preservation of the Classical Tradition; Gregory the Great; Benedictine Monasticism.  Reading: MP chs. 7 and 8 (pp. 189–191, 203–225); Boetheius, from The Consolation of Philosophy (MP–R, 178–182).
  • 33b. Heirs of Classicism: Islam. Rise of Islam, A.D. 570–732—Muhammad, the Qur’an, Hegira, Jihad, conquest of Arabia; Five Pillars; Caliphs, Umayyads, Abbasids; Mosques and Arabesque. Reading: MP chs. 7 and 8 (pp. 189–191, 203–225); excerpts from the Qur’an (MP–R, 192–198).
  • 34. The Dream Rediscovered—Charlemagne and Empire.  Charlemange and Empire; The Carolingian Renaissance; Einhard and Notker: The Legend and Figure of Charlemange.  Reading: MP ch. 7 (pp. 191–199); Einhard, from The Life of Charlemagne (MP–R, 182–185).

Feudal Europe, A.D. 814–987

  • 35. Feudal Europe.  Manorialism and the Feudal System; Rise of Towns and the Feudal Monarchies; Medieval Christianity and the Strength of the Church; Romanesque Style.  Reading: MP ch. 9 (pp. 227–238, 244–248).

The High Middle Ages, A.D. 987–1309

  • 36. The Twelfth Century Renaissance.  Tuesday is Friday!  Economic and Urban Revival; Development of Feudal Monarchies; Universities; Peter Abelard, Scholasticism, Thomas Aquinas; Gothic Architecture.  Reading: MP ch. 9 (pp. 238–242, 248–259); Elements of Scholasticism (packet, last supplement, 188ff., including excerpts from Peter Abelard and Thomas Aquinas); Thomas Aquinas, excerpts from Summa Theologica (MP–R, 233–235).

Quiz 3 Materials

Late Middle Ages, A.D. 1309–1401

  • 37. Dante.  Quiz #3 distributed.  Topics: Dante and the Rise of the Vernacular; The Structure of the Divine Comedy. Dante and the Classical Tradition; Sins of Incontinence, Violence, and Fraudulence. Sins of Treachery, Cato and Purgatorio, and Trajan, Constantine, and Ripheus in Paradiso XX.   Reading: MP ch. 9 (p. 243); Dante, from Inferno 1, 3, 5, and 24 (MP–R, 235–246; handout from Paradiso 20).
  • 38. Petrarch and the Rediscovery of Classical Humanism.  Quiz #3 due.  Topics: Emerging from Plague, Famine, and War; Late Gothic and the International Style; Petrarch and the rediscovery of Classical Humanism; the Pisani and sculpture; Italy during the fifteenth century; studia humanitatisReading: MP ch. 10 (pp. 263–283); introduction to Petrarch (MP–R, 252–253); Petrarch, Ascent of Mt. Ventoux (handout) and excerpts from Letter to Posterity, Africa, Letter to Cicero, and My Secret (packet, pp. 165–170)

The Early, or Florentine, Renaissance, A.D. 1401–1494

  • 39. The Great Innovators and the Florentine Renaissance. Topics: What was the Italian Renaissance? The context and spirit of the Early Renaissance. The Medici and Florence. Revolution in painting: Cimabue and Giotto. Brunelleschi and Architecture; Donatello, Ghiberti, and Sculpture; Painting and the Early Italian Masters. [Flemish School and Van Eyck extra]  Reading: MP chs. 10 and 111 (pp. 283–291, 297–321).

The High, or Roman, Renaissance, A.D. 1494–1520

  • 40. From Florence to Rome: Machiavelli and BramantePaper #3 due, considering Dante or Petrarch’s use of the earlier Classical tradition.  Topics: Italy: politics and power. The Renaissance and literature—Castiglione and Machiavelli; Bramante and architecture.  Reading: MP ch. 12 (pp. 323–332, 346–348); Machiavelli, Letter to Francesco Vettori (handout) and excerpts from and The Prince (MP–R, 294–298).
  • 41. The Roman Renaissance.  Topics: From High Renaissance to Early Mannerism. Classicism perfected—Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael. Reading: MP ch. 12 (pp. 332–346).

Exam 3 Materials

Announcements and Upcoming Events

Recent Lectures

September 12: “Sitting at the Feet of Jesus,” Time Out for Women, Denver

August 18-21 “Worship: Encountering and Being Transformed by God,” BYU Education Week

August 17 “LDS Christology and the Gospel of John,” BYU Education Week

August 5-11 Aspen Grove Family Camp

April 22: “Grateful for Grace: Appreciating the Saving and Transforming Power of Jesus Christ,” YSA 18th Stake Fireside

April 30: Womens Conference 2015 "Wells of Trust Fanning Flames of Faith"

May 8–9:   “The Search for the ‘Real’ Jesus of Nazareth: The Jesus of Faith, History, and Revelation,” Miller-Eccles Study Group, Fullerton and La Cañada, California

Upcoming Lectures

September 24 Second John A. Widtsoe Symposium, “Religion in the Public Square,” 7:00-9:00, tutor Center Ballroom, USC, Los Angeles (with the following link:

October 9 “The Footsteps of Jesus: Remembering His Miracles,” Cruise Lady Learn Our Religion Series, 7:00, 9118 S Redwood, West Jordan

November 8: “Sitting at the Feet of Jesus,” Time Out for Women, St. George

November 14: “Sitting at the Feet of Jesus,” Time Out for Women, Portland