Relevant Courses Taught in Other Departments

ARCN 222: Experimental Archaeology and Experiential History.This course offers an experiential approach to crafts, technologies, and other material practices in premodern societies. Through hands-on activities and collaborations with local craftspeople, farmers, and other experts, this course will examine and test a variety of hypotheses about how people in the past lived their lives. How did prehistoric people produce stone tools, pottery, and metal? How did ancient Greeks and Romans feed and clothe themselves? How did medieval Europeans build their homes and bury their dead? Students will answer these questions and more by actively participating in a range of experimental archaeology and experiential history projects. Lab required.Prerequisites: One previous Archaeology pertinent course 6 credits; Science with Lab; offered Fall 2021–Austin Mason

HIST 131. Saints, Sinners, and Philosophers in Late Antiquity. In Late Antiquity, Christians and pagans asked with particular intensity: How should I live? What should be my relationship to wealth, family, power, and the world? How are mind and body related in the good life and how can this relationship be controlled and directed? What place had education in the pursuit of the good life? Was the best life to be achieved through material renunciation, psychological transformation, or both? We will ask these and many other questions of a wide array of primary sources written originally in Latin, Greek, Syriac, Coptic, and Armenian while employing the insights of modern scholarship. 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; not offered 2021–2022

HIST 133. Crisis, Creativity, and Transformation in Late Antiquity This course investigates the dramatic transformations that shaped the eastern Mediterranean world and surrounding regions between ca. 250-850 CE. We will focus in particular on how people in late antiquity used environmental, institutional, socio-economic, and cultural resources to address an ongoing series of changes and challenges in their worlds. It also examines these responses from multiple perspectives: winners and losers, elites and non-elites, people of different ethnicities and cultures, urban and rural populations, and diverse religious groups and sects within these groups. The emergence and implications of Christianity and Islam as major organizing identities will also be explored. 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Spring 2022–William North

HIST 137. Early Medieval Worlds.  Through the intensive exploration of a variety of distinct “worlds” in the early Middle Ages, this course offers an introduction to formative political, social, religious, and cultural developments in Europe between c.300 and c.1050. We will pay special attention to the structures, ideologies, practices, and social dynamics that shaped and energized communities large and small.  We will also focus on developing the ability to observe and interpret various kinds of textual, visual, and material primary sources. 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Winter 2022–William North

HIST 201. Rome Program: Power and Piety in Medieval Rome, 300-1150 Through site visits, on-site projects, and readings, this course explores the ways in which individuals and communities attempted to give physical and visual form to their religious beliefs and political ambitions through their use of materials, iconography, topography, and architecture. We will also examine how the material legacies of imperial Rome, Byzantium, and early Christianity served as both resources for and constraints on the political, cultural, and religious evolution of the Italian peninsula and especially Rome and its environs from late antiquity through the twelfth century. Among the principal themes will be the development of the cult of saints, the development of the papal power and authority, Christianization, reform, pilgrimage, and monasticism. 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2021-2022

HIST 233. Cultures of Empire: Byzantium, 843-1453 Heir to the Roman Empire, Byzantium is one of the most enduring and fascinating polities of the medieval world. Through a wide variety of written and visual evidence, we will examine key features of Byzantine history and culture such as the nature of imperial rule; piety and religious controversy; Byzantium’s evolving relations with the Latin West, Armenia, the Slavic North, and the Dar al-Islam (the Abbasids and Seljuk and Ottoman Turks); economic life; and Byzantine social relations. Extra time may be required for group projects. Prerequisites: No prerequisites, but History 137, 138, or 204 will be helpful. 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies, Writing Requirement; not offered 2021-2022

PHIL 113. The Individual and the Political Community. Are human beings radically individual and atomic by nature, political animals, or something else? However we answer that question, what difference does it make for our understanding of the ways in which larger political communities come into existence and are maintained? In this course we will explore these and related questions while reading two of the most foundational works in political theory, Plato’s Republic and Hobbes’s Leviathan, as well as several contemporary pieces influenced by these thinkers. 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2021—Allison E Murphy

PHIL 270. Ancient Philosophy. Is there a key to a happy and successful human life? If so, how do you acquire it? Ancient philosophers thought the key was virtue and that your chances of obtaining it depend on the sort of life you lead. In this course we’ll examine what these philosophers meant by virtue and how they understood its implications for your everyday life. We will situate the ancient understanding of virtue in the context of larger questions of metaphysics (the nature of being and reality), psychology, and ethics, as they arise in foundational works from Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics. 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2021 —Allison Murphy

POSC 160. Political Philosophy Introduction to ancient and modern political philosophy. We will investigate several fundamentally different approaches to the basic questions of politics–questions concerning the character of political life, the possibilities and limits of politics, justice, and the good society–and the philosophic presuppositions (concerning human nature and human flourishing) that underlie these, and all, political questions. 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022–Mihaela Czobor-Lupp, Laurence Cooper

POSC 250. Kings, Tyrants, Philosophers: Plato’s Republic Cross-listed with POSC 350. In this course we will read Plato’s Republic, perhaps the greatest and surely the most important work of political philosophy ever written. What are the deepest needs and the most powerful longings of human nature? Can they be fulfilled, and, if so, how? What are the deepest needs of society, and can they be fulfilled? What is the relation between individual happiness and societal well-being? Are they compatible or in conflict with one another? And where they are in conflict, what does justice require that we do? The Republic explores these questions in an imaginative and unforgettable way. 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Winter 2022–Laurence Cooper

POSC 254. Freedom, Excellence, Happiness: Aristotle’s Ethics What does it mean to be morally excellent? To be politically excellent? To be intellectually and spiritually excellent? Are these things mutually compatible? Do they lie within the reach of everyone? And what is the relation between excellence and pleasure? Between excellence and happiness? Aristotle addresses these questions in intricate and illuminating detail in the Nicomachean Ethics, which we will study in this course. The Ethics is more accessible than some of Aristotle’s other works. But it is also a multifaceted and multi-layered book, and one that reveals more to those who study it with care. 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry; not offered 2021–2022

RELG 213: Religion, Medicine, and Healing. How do religion and medicine approach the healing of disease and distress? Are religion and medicine complementary or do they conflict? Is medicine a more evolved form of religion, shorn of superstition and pseudoscience? This course explores religious and cultural models of health and techniques for achieving it, from ancient Greece to Christian monasteries to modern mindfulness and self-care programs. We will consider ethical quandaries about death, bodily suffering, mental illness, miraculous cures, and individual agency, all the while seeking to avoid simplistic narratives of rationality and irrationality. 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2022 —Sonja Anderson

RELG 228. Martyrdom. What does it mean to be a martyr? How have various traditions understood bodily suffering, violence, and integrity in relation to gender, piety, the divine, empire, and conflicts with other groups? We will examine the noble death tradition in Greco-Roman antiquity, various Jewish and Christian martyrdom accounts, the artistic depiction of martyrdom, and the cultural function this material has had from antiquity into modernity. The course will also consider martyrdom in Islam and the rhetoric of persecution in contemporary religious and political events. 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement; not offered 2021-2022