Classics 120. Greek and Roman Historiography (4 units)

imagesClassics 120. Greek and Roman Historiography (4 units)
Carey Seal

MWF 12:10-1:00P
251 Olson Hall
CRN 54621

Course Description: This course offers an opportunity to study the origins of Western historical writing. In reading and discussing the works of Herodotus, Thucydides, Polybius, Sallust, and Tacitus, we will learn a great deal about ancient history, but our chief concern will be with how and why these writers wrote what they did. What did they think was the value of learning about the past? Why did a prose history seem to them the most effective way of realizing this value? What conclusions—about politics, about human nature, about the historian’s responsibilities—did they intend their readers to derive from their work?

Prerequisite: A lower division Classics course or consent of instructor (cseal@ucdavis.edu).

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

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

Textbooks:

  • Herodotus, The Histories, translated by Robin Waterfield  (Oxford University Press, 2008)
  • Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, translated by Martin Hammond  (Oxford University Press, 2009)
  • Polybius, The Histories, translated by Robin Waterfield  (Oxford University Press, 2010)
  • Sallust, Catiline's War, the Jugurthine War, Histories, translated by A.J. Woodman  (Penguin Classics, 2008)
  • Tacitus, The Annals of Imperial Rome, translated by Michael Grant  (Penguin Classics, 1956)