Fall 2018 Courses

The following is a selection only of courses relating to the Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology program that will be offered in the Fall 2018 semester. Please see the online schedule of classes for detailed information. Check back for updates, as additional courses may be added later.

The AHMA Seminar

AHMA 210: Josephus - Boyarin and MacRae

The historian Josephus tells us many things about himself: he was a Judean priest and committed to God and his law; a general in the Great Revolt against Rome; a prophet of Vespasian’s rise to the emperorship; an author of Greek historiography; a Roman citizen named Titus Flavius Josephus. But how and why does he tell us all this? Through readings of his Vita and Bellum Judaicum, we will seek in this seminar to understand Josephus’ written self in the context of Greek historiography, Roman imperial history and the history of the Judaean people during the Second Temple Period (and after). As a figure at the intersection of the Greco-Roman world and the cultures of the Near East in the first century CE, Josephus’ complex subjectivity will lead us towards questions of identity (“Hellenization”; “Romanization”) and resistance/ accommodation to empire.


Department of Classics

CLAS202: Survey of Latin Literature, Part I - Sailor

In this course we will read together a series of Latin texts from the Republic through the early Augustan era, at a pace of about thirty Oxford Classical Text pages of prose or 1000 lines of verse per week. We’ll begin with Plautus and end with early Livy, taking in along the way Cicero, Catullus, Lucretius, Sallust, Vergil’s Eclogues, and Horace’s Satires. All assignments will be drawn from the Classics PhD reading list. Most of the time and effort we invest in the class will go towards attaining good understanding of the Latin we are reading together. Beyond this, though, we will regularly want to talk from an interpretive perspective about what we read. Recurrent questions will include the continual transformative engagement of Roman with Greek culture, the relationship of literature to the upheaval and eventual revolution of the latter part of the first century BCE, and the development of ideas about authorship and career. The final grade will be based in part on contributions during class but mainly on weekly translation quizzes.


CLAS 225: Papyrology - Hickey

This year’s version of the seminar is an introduction to Greek papyrology; its ultimate aim is the development of the skills required to edit Greek texts on papyrus and related media such as wood. The first three quarters of the course will be organized around nine important papyrological “archives” (Ptolemaic, Roman, and “Byzantine,” i.e., late antique); aggregates of papyri (whether ancient or modern in origin) tend to be more interesting. Our study of facsimiles from these assemblages will provide exposure to the vital koine of Graeco-Roman Egypt and allow practice with a variety of handwritings. At the same time, we shall commence work on unedited papyri from Berkeley’s excavations at Tebtunis as well as tablets from the British Library (including a remarkable set of model contracts from Panopolis, which we shall study in conjunction with Collège de France Professor Jean-Luc Fournet and a group of students from the École pratique des hautes études). The final quarter of the semester will be devoted to workshopping these editions. Berkeley students who pass the course will be eligible to apply for two international seminars in 2019 (details to come).


CLAS 270: Seminar in Classical Architecture: Roman Houses - Peña

In this course we will examine the nature of housing in the Roman world from the iron age through to the late empire, focusing on recent scholarship directed at developing new theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of Roman houses with a view to enhancing our understanding of domestic life.

Department of History

HIST 280: Slavery, Agricultural Labor, and the Economy in the Later Roman Empire - Elm

Beginning with a discussion of the principal historiographic works and hence the central areas of scholarly controversy regarding the Roman economy up till now (Harper, Hickey, Sarris, Bransbourg, Grey), the course will then focus on the evidence from legal, literary, and documentary sources, to end with a discussion of Augustine of Hippo's recently discovered letters on slavery and coloni.


Department of History of Art

History of Art 145B: Ancient Portraiture and Biography - Hallett


History of Art 192B: Roman Mummy Portraits - Hallett



Department of Near Eastern Studies

NES 298: Theories of Religion (ancient to modern) - Hendel