Classics 025. The Classical Heritage in America (4 units)

imageClassics 025. The Classical Heritage in America (4 units)
Melissa Stem

MWF 9:00-9:50A
1128 Hart Hall
CRN 91221

Course Description: In this course we will examine how Americans have engaged with classical antiquity and explore what different portrayals of Greece and Rome reveal about American political and cultural identities. From the Founders to contemporary America, we will ask: What is the continuing influence of ancient Greek and Roman culture on American culture? How have people used, and how do we use, classical sources? Which ideas and ideals resonate, and which are rejected?

We will look at the classical tradition and American engagement with the classics in politics and law, art and architecture, literature, education and popular culture. Class time will be used to discuss the readings. There will be regular writing assignments (informal responses to the readings as well as analytical papers), student presentations, and essay exams.

Prerequisite: None.

GE credit (Old): Arts & Humanities and Writing Experience.
GE credit (New): Arts & Humanities, American Cultures and Writing Experience.

Format: Lecture/Discussion - 3 hours; Term Paper.


  • Margaret Malamud, Ancient Rome and Modern America  (Wiley-Blackwell, 2008)
  • Classical Antiquity and the Politics of America: From George Washington to George W. Bush, edited by Michael Meckler  (Baylor University Press, 2006)