Classics

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Upcoming Events

Check out some of our Winter Courses!

CLAS-1011-003 Greek Society
It is often said that ancient Greece was the cradle of western civilization. But what does this mean and how closely do our own ideologies and practices correspond to those of the ancient Greek world? This course examines not only the political institutions and the intellectual and artistic accomplishments that are seen as models of western society, but also the less savory aspects, such as slavery, social and economic inequality, imperialism, and war. Join Dr Allison Surtees on Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:00-11:15am, in 3M59.
CLAS-2010/HIST-2090-002 Topics in Classical Studies: "Justice in the Balance - Rome Law and its Legacy"
Ipso facto, a priori, dicta, a fortiori, ad hominem, amicus curiae, bona fide, ex post facto: legal language in English, French, German, and across Europe and North America is permeated by Latin phrases. Indeed, while concrete, gladiators, and roads come to mind when you mention "Roman," perhaps the greatest influence (and the most common present use of Latin) of the Romans is law. The legal system, laws, precepts, and concepts of the Roman Empire formed the basis of European law - and through European imperialism and colonialism, they form the basis of law across the globe. In no other area of contemporary life, therefore, are the Romans more important, and the study of Roman law is still at the foundation of the training of lawyers across the world. In this course, we approach Roman law as a phenomenon specific to Rome and an enduring monument of global importance. Consider the following questions with Jason Brown: How did the Romans understand "justice"? How do ancient categories of law (e.g., civil and criminal) still shape the legal systems of Canada and the United States? In what way are we still Romans when we practice law? MWF, 9:30-10:20am, in 1C16A.
CLAS-2500-050 The Ancient World Through Film
Classical Antiquity has been a part of cinema since its origin. By the 1950s and 60s, the biggest budget movies were set in Ancient Rome (e.g., The Ten Commandments [1956], Ben-Hur [1959], Spartacus [1960], Cleopatra [1963]), and Rome and film were combined into the "sword-and-sandal" genre. But Antiquity's role in cinema has not been confined solely to big budget spectaculars, and directors with a more artistic impulse have been drawn to the lurid stories and enduring meaning of the Classics (e.g., Satyricon [1969], Caligula [1979]). With the release and success of Gladiator (2000), the historical Classical epic had a new lease on life and a new critical standing; Troy (2004), Alexander (2004), and 300 (2006) switched focus from Rome to the legendary and historical warfare of ancient Greece. Yet, even when war and violence hold audience (and studio) attention, the Classics have also inspired more thoughtful cinematic endeavours (e.g., Agora [2009]). In this course, Laurence Broadhurst addresses many of these films and themes and questions the cinematic obsession with antiquity: what do these films tell us about antiquity; or more precisely, what do our cinematic representations of the past tell us about the present? (Popcorn not included) Wednesdays, 6:00-9:00pm, in 2M73.
CLAS-2702-001 Religion in Greece and Rome
The Olympian deities of the ancient Greeks and Romans feature in countless idioms, movies, television shows and works of literature; the blood sacrifice of animals in antiquity is a lurid highlight in televised depictions of the ancient world. But aside from this popular representation, what did religion mean to the ancient Greeks and Romans? For a thousand years, deities such as Zeus, Mercury, Athena, and Juno were worshipped by peoples of the Mediterranean, alongside a litany of lesser-known powers that inhabited the countryside, the sea, the spot that lightning struck, and figurines and statues. Indeed, in many ways, the world was alive with supernatural and divine powers in antiquity, and religion was not a specific sphere of life confined to a particular day or place, but rather a pervasive aspect of life for the peoples of the ancient Mediterranean. This course, taught by Dr Melissa Funke, covers the religious practices, beliefs, texts, and religious places of the ancient Greeks and Romans, from their earliest appearances in Bronze Age material remains and archaic literary texts, to the transformation of Classical religion in the opening centuries of the common era. Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:30PM-3:45pm, in 3M62
CLAS-3870/4870-001 Sexuality, Sex, and Gender in the Greek and Roman World: Pornography
“I can’t define pornography but I know it when I see it.” (Justice Stewart in Jacobellis v. Ohio, 1964). The identification of pornography is a complex and subjective matter. Whether or not an image is read as pornographic is broadly dependent on cultural and social norms. But even within an individual culture, there is often significant disagreement about what precisely constitutes pornography. A single image can be interpreted as pornographic, erotic, artistic, or religious, depending on the viewer. Travel back to ancient Greece and Rome with Dr Allison Surtees to explore ancient “pornography” and what it can tell us about Greek and Roman sex, sexual and gender identity, and personal and political relationships. Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:30-3:45pm, in 2C14. **Note: This course includes graphic sexual language and imagery and some discussion of sexual violence.**

Classics in the News

If you're wondering what a Classics degree can teach you, then check out Nigel Nicholson's blog on the Classical Association of Canada's website!

Degrees in History and Ancient History are certainly not useless! They teach incredibly valuable skills! See the article by James Grossman in the LA Times!

Prof. Michael Mackinnon is part of the team that filmed Pompeii's People for CBC's "The Nature of Things with David Suzuki". Blending CGI imagery, dramatic reconstruction, and aerial photography, this offers an unforgettable immersion in the ancient city of Pompeii and the lives of its people. For more details, see here!

Were the Romans ever in China or Japan? Was there movement from East Asia through to the western Roman Empire? Recent discoveries may suggest trade or movement of some sort! Or perhaps not...

Ever wondered what can you do with a degree in Classics? Anything you want, including opening a food truck with Roman fusion food!

Interested in Greek and Roman warfare? Follow this link to hear our own Dr. Conor Whately and Dr. Matt Maher talk about their recent seminar on the topic at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

What did the ancient Romans eat? Find out in these articles, here, here, and here, featuring our own Dr. Michael MacKinnon!

Latin is gaining popularity in everything from Facebook to Twitter to celebrities' tattoos - and studies show that learning Latin improves performance in other areas, too, such as math. Read all about it in this Maclean's article, from May 4, 2013.

Josephine Livingstone (The Guardian, Sept. 16, 2013) presents reasons for learning a dead language here.

Congratulations to...

Ruth Dickinson, one of our Honours students, who has been awarded the Dr and Mrs Roderick Hunter Scholarship for 2016-17!

Simone Reis who has been awarded the Beatrice and John Zack Scholarship in Classics for 2016-17!

Teri-Lynn Wood who has been awarded the Colleen M. Madson Memorial Prize for 2016-17!

Brittany Bauer who has been awarded the Dr. Robert Gold Prize in Classics for 2016-17!

Daniel Russell, who has received an honourable mention not only in the Classical Association of Canada's Essay Contest, Senior Category, but also the Classical Association of Canada's Senior Sight Competition (ancient Greek). He is also the winner of this year's AHEPA (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association) scholarship, and has also been awarded the Edwin and Anne Eagle Memorial Scholarship for 2016-17!

Dr. Conor Whately who was recently awarded a SSHRC Insight Development Grant for 2016-18, and who recently published a monograph entitled Battles and Generals: Combat, Culture, and Didacticism in Procopius’ Wars"!

Prof. Michael MacKinnon, recipient of the University of Winnipeg’s prestigious Erica and Arnold Rogers Award for Research Excellence for 2015 and also as the recipient of prestigious Tytus Fellowship for Winter 2016!

The recipients of the Classics Department Prizes for 2015/16!

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