Lit. 370-01 (1449) & -02 (2033): Topics in Ancient Literature:

Prof. Pat Licklider                    Fall 2011

Orestes avenges the murder of his father Agamemnon by killing Aigisthos, while his mother Clytemnestra flees.

Detail of an Athenian red-figure vase, Late Archaic (c. 520 b.c.) in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Learning Objectives:


ALWAYS bring the day's text to class.  The following are in the order we will read them and are available in the college bookstore.  All should be available more cheaply in used copies or online from Barnes & Noble or  Other, secondary readings are online in the library's electronic resources.  The password for these is revenge.

Homer, The Iliad, translated by Stanley Lombardo.  Hackett Publ., 1997. ISBN: 087220-3522.  $14.00

------, The Odyssey, translated by Robert Fagles.  Penguin, 2006.  ISBN: 978-01430-39-952.  $16.00.

Aeschylus, The Oresteia, transl. by Peter Meineck.  Hackett Publ., 1998.  ISBN: 087220-3905.  $11.95

Euripides, Medea and Other Plays,  translated by Philip Vellacott.  Penguin.  ISBN:  978-0140-441-291.  $11.00

Alter, Robert, translator, The David Story.  W.W.Norton, 2005.  ISBN:  978-039-332-0770, $17.95.


Writing Assignments:  

See Writing Assignments for full info.  Except for the in-class writings, these assignments may all be revised in response to comments and resubmitted

1.  Two 4-6-page papers.  Due Oct. 6 and either Nov. 10 or Dec. 13 (changed to Dec. 20/22) (25 points each)

2.  Five one-page reflections, at least one in September, at least one in October, at least one in November, and the remaining two anytime before Dec. 13   (5 points each for 25 points)

3.  Now and then, I will ask you to write in class to focus discussion.  These writings will not be collected or graded.

Attendance and Participation:

It is important to be present and on time for every class. Being present means you have your book and are ready for writing and discussion.   If you are late 20 minutes or more, I will mark you absent. Finally, with four absences, explained or not, your grade will be dropped a half grade. If you accumulate six or more absences, you will not pass this course. Participation in class discussion counts for as much as 5 points.

Study Groups:

In the first few weeks of class, I will establish semester-long groups of 4-5 students each.  At midterm, I will ask each of you to report on the workings of your group.  How might it work better? Which member do you think you have learned the most from?  I will use these evaluations to move people in and out of groups as needed.  These groups will have several responsibilities.  

1.  The groups will divide and "conquer" long secondary readings, reporting to each other the info they have summarized from their segment. Thus everyone in the group will have the benefit of the info in these readings without having to read them all.  

2.  Each group will prepare and perform an oral presentation from one of Homer's poems on Oct. 13.  See Group Work for more info. (10 points

3.  Instead of a final exam, each group will combine with another group to prepare and present as a final group project a trial of a character from the course.   These two trials will take place during the period set aside for your section's final exam.  See Group Work for more info.  (10 points)


College Policy on Plagiarism:

"Plagiarism is the presentation of someone elseís ideas, words, or artistic, scientific, or technical work as oneís own creation. Using the ideas or work of another is permissible only when the original author is identified. Paraphrasing and summarizing, as well as direct quotations, require citations to the original source.  Plagiarism may be intentional or unintentional. Lack of dishonest intent does not necessarily absolve a student of responsibility for plagiarism. It is the studentís responsibility to recognize the difference between statements that are common knowledge (which do not require documentation) and restatements of the ideas of others. Paraphrase, summary, and direct quotation are acceptable forms of restatement, as long as the source is cited.  Students who are unsure how and when to provide documentation are advised to consult with their instructors. The Library has free guides designed to help students with problems of documentation." (From the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Undergraduate Bulletin, p. 36)

Nothing you write for this class will require outside research, just close attention to the assigned books and readings.  If you need help writing any assignment, do not turn to the Internet.  Instead, email me or use the excellent resources of the college's Writing Center, 2450N.