The Alien in Antiquity: Greek and Roman Perceptions of the Foreigner

History 285A.001

Spring 2007
2227 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
Tues 2-5

The seminar will explore the impressions of the alien and the unfamiliar in a number of key texts by classical authors. The aim will be to get beyond the simplistic notion of constructing the ";Other"; and to discern the nuances and complexities in ancient descriptions. We will look at the perceptions of Persians in works like Aeschylus' Persae, Herodotus, and Xenophon, at Egyptians through the eyes of Herodotus and Diodorus, at Phoenicians in Plautus' Poenulus, at Gauls and Germans in the writings of Caesar and Tacitus, and at Jews in a variety of classical texts.

The class will meet as a group for about five weeks, then work individually on a major paper, and resume group meetings in the later part of the semester to discuss each student's paper.


Note Room Change!